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Apollo Lake SMARC module has dual GbE and soldered LPDDR4

Jul 8, 2019 — by Eric Brown 1,015 views

Kontron’s Linux-friendly “SMARC-sXAL4” module is equipped with an Apollo Lake SoC, up to 8GB soldered LPDDR4, 2x GbE controllers, triple display support, and an optional industrial range.

Kontron has announced a SMARC 2.0 module with a choice of all five of Intel’s Apollo Lake SoCs. The SMARC-sXAL4 updates Kontron’s similarly Apollo Lake based SMARC-sXAL module with faster soldered RAM, a second GbE controller, and more.

(click image to enlarge)

Like the SMARC-sXAL and Kontron’s Intel Bay Trail based SMARC-sXBTi — as well as the new i.MX8X-powered SMARC-sAMX8X, which is still listed as “coming soon” — the SMARC-sXAL4 adopts the 82 x 50mm “short” version of the SMARC 2.0 spec. This same short format was also used by Congatec’s Apollo Lake driven Conga-SA5. Other Apollo Lake based SMARC modules include the full-size, 82 x 80mm SM2F-AL from MSC.

Kontron is offering five standard SKUs based on the three Apollo Lake Atom chips – the quad-core Atom x7-E3950 and x5-E3940 and the dual-core x5-E3930 — plus the quad-core Pentium N4200 and dual-core Celeron N3350. Each SKU has different mixtures of LPDDR4 (2GB to 8GB) and eMMC (4GB to 32GB) as shown below. Up to 128GB eMMC (MLC) appears to be available by special request.

(click image to enlarge)

The three Atom-based “E2” modules all support -40 to 85°C temperatures while the Pentium and Celeron support 0 to 60°C. OS support includes Linux, VxWorks, and Windows 10 IoT and Enterprise.


The SMARC-sXAL4 offers faster, soldered LPDDR4 RAM and features 2x GbE controllers instead of one on the SMARC-sXAL. Although Kontron has yet to post a separate product page for the xXAL4 model, the only other change we saw was that there are 4x PCIe x1 (up from 3x), and one of the 4x USB 2.0 ports can be optionally swapped out for a USB OTG port. On the deficit side, there’s a standard 5V input instead of the previous 3V to 5.25V power.

Features shared with the SMARC-sXAL include a SATA 3.0 interface, as well as 2x USB 3.0, and 4x serial interfaces. Triple simultaneous displays are supported with 4K-capable HDMI and DP++ plus dual-channel LVDS (or eDP by request).

Other features include HD audio, 5x I2C, 2x SPI, 2x MIPI-CSI, 12x GPIO, and I2S. Instead of optional TPM 2.0, there’s an option for Kontron Approtect security built around the Wibu-Systems CodeMeter security chip.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the SMARC-sXAL4. More information may be found in Kontron’s SMARC-sXAL4 announcement. There’s no product page yet — the announcement points to the old SMARC-sXAL product page.


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