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3.5-inch Whiskey Lake SBC features CNVi-ready M.2 slot for speedy Intel WiFi cards

Mar 30, 2020 — by Eric Brown 1,107 views

Kontron has launched a 3.5″-SBC-WLU SBC that runs Linux or Win 10 on an 8th Gen Whiskey Lake CPU with up to 64GB DDR4, 2x GbE, 4x USB, triple display support, and triple M.2 slots including a CNVi-ready slot.

Kontron’s 3.5″-SBC-WLU joins at least four other Linux-ready 3.5-inch boards with Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-UE processors (see farther below). The SBC may be late to the Whiskey Lake party, but it brings a nice party gift: an M.2 E-key slot that supports Intel Integrated Connectivity (CNVi) WiFi/Bluetooth modules, including Intel Wireless-AC and Intel Wireless-Access Point cards.

3.5″-SBC-WLU, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The CNVi-connected WiFi modules “provide up to 12 times higher WLAN speed than conventional devices, depending on the model,” says Kontron. CNVi support is also available on Ibase’s 3.5-inch IB919 Whiskey Lake SBC.

The 3.5″-SBC-WLU is designed for fanless and fan-cooled IoT solutions in retail, banking, hospitality, education, industrial control, and automation applications. The 146 x 105mm board runs Linux or Windows 10 on Intel’s quad-core, 8-thread, 1.7GHz/4.4GHz Core i7-8665UE and i5-8365UE(1.6GHz/4.1GHz), as well as the dual-core, quad-thread 2.2GHz/3.9GHz Core i3-8145UE and 2.0GHz, dual-core, dual-thread Celeron 4305UE. They all offer Intel UHD Graphics 620 or 610 and 15W TDPs.

3.5″-SBC-WLU portside detail view
(click image to enlarge)

You can load up to 64GB DDR4 via dual sockets. Coastline ports include 2x GbE, 2x 4K-ready DP++, and 4x USB 3.1, which are likely Gen 1 (USB 3.0) instead of the faster Gen2. You can run three displays at once if you activate the LVDS interface with the DisplayPorts.

3.5″-SBC-WLU and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The 3.5″-SBC-WLU is equipped with a SATA 3.0 interface, as well as an M.2 M-key slot that supports SATA. In addition to the CNVi-ready M.2 E-key, there’s an M.2 E-key that has its own micro-SIM slot for cellular expansion. Other interfaces are listed in the spec sheet below.


Specifications listed for the 3.5″-SBC-WLU include:

  • Processor — Intel 8th Gen “Whiskey Lake” UE-series Core and Celeron (2x or 4x core @ up to 2.0GHz); Intel UHD Graphics 620 (Core) or 610 (Celeron); 15W TDP (configurable TDP of 12.5W to 25W)
  • Memory — Up to 64GB DDR4 via 2x sockets at 2400MHz (Core) or 2133MHz (Celeron)
  • Storage – SATA III; SATA support on M.2 M-Key (see expansion below)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel I219LM or I210-AT
  • Display/media:
    • 2x DisplayPort++ at up to 4096 x 2304 @ 60Hz
    • 24-bit, dual-channel LVDS at up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz
    • Triple independent display support
    • Audio line-in, line-out, mic headers and 2x 3W speakers (Realtek ALC262 audio)
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.1 host ports
    • 4x USB 2.0 headers
    • 2x RS232/422/485 headers
    • 8-bit DIO, smart fan interface
  • Expansion:
    • M.2 M-Key 2280/2242 slot with PCIe x4, SATA 3.0
    • M.2 E-Key 2230 slot with CNVi, PCIe x1, USB 2.0
    • M.2 B-Key 2242 with PCIe x1, USB 3.1
    • Micro-SIM slot linked to M.2 B-key
  • Other features — Watchdog; HW monitoring; optional TPM 2.0; optional cooler and cables
  • Power — 12V DC input
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C; 0-95% humidity tolerance
  • Dimensions — 146 x 105mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system – Linux; Windows 10

In addition to the Ibase model noted above, other 3.5-inch Whiskey Lake-UE and/or U boards include Commell’s LE-37N, Congatec’s Conga-JC370, and ASRock’s SBC-350. Other recent 3.5-inch boards from Kontron include the Apollo Lake based 3.5″-SBC-APL.

Further information

The 3.5″-SBC-WLU is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Kontron’s announcement and product page.


(advertise here)

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One response to “3.5-inch Whiskey Lake SBC features CNVi-ready M.2 slot for speedy Intel WiFi cards”

  1. CNXSoft says:

    It looks like the 12x boost in WiFi speed is based on 802.11ax vs 802.11n, and not directly related to the use of CNVi.

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