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Bay Trail-based SBC family adopts three PC/104 styles

Mar 21, 2014 — by Rick Lehrbaum 1,068 views

Adlink is readying four PC/104-style SBCs using Intel Atom E3800 SoCs, and offering SATA, GbE, USB, and multimedia ports, plus stackable PCI and ISA buses.

Despite having absorbed PC/104-creator Ampro, Adlink isn’t the first embedded boardmaker out with Bay Trail on the PC/104 form-factor. That distinction appears to belong to ADL, which demonstrated its new E3800-based PC/104-style ADLE3800PC SBC at Embedded World in Nuremberg last month. In contrast to ADL’s use of down-stacking PCIe/104 expansion, Adlink went with PC/104’s older — but more richly-supported — self-stacking PCI (PCI-104) and ISA (PC/104) buses. Both companies’ offerings fit within the PC/104 Consortium’s non-winged, 90 x 96mm footprint.

Four SBCs from three fabs: CM1-BT1; CM2-BT2; CM3-BTx
(click image to enlarge)

The main differences among Adlink’s four new PC/104 style SBCs reside in their respective E3800-series processors and stackable expansion buses. The four appear to be built from three unique fabs, as pictured above. Their key differentiators are tabulated below — notice how the four models’ expansion bus configurations (PCI and/or ISA) result in three different form-factor designations.

CM1-BT1 CM2-BT2 CM3-BT4-8G CM3-BT1
Processor E3815 @ 1.46GHz E3825 @ 1.33GHz E3845 @ 1.91GHz E3815 @ 1.46GHz
CPU cores 1 2 4 1
Form-factor PC/104 PC/104-Plus PCI-104 PCI-104
Stackable PCI bus no yes yes yes
Stackable ISA bus yes yes no no

Intel’s Atom E3800 (“Bay Trail-I”) system-on-chips, introduced last Fall, feature TDPs ranging from 5 to 10 Watts. They’re based on the same 22nm Silvermont architecture as the earlier Atom Z3000 (Bay Trail-T) SoCs, but target general embedded, as opposed to tablet, applications. Among other enhancements relative to the earlier embedded Atoms, the E3800 SoCs offer faster performance and lower power consumption, and integrate Intel’s Gen 7 3D graphics engine, said to deliver up to twice the 3D performance of the earlier parts.

Intel Atom E3800 (“Bay Trail-I”) SoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Adlink’s four CMx-BTx SBCs implement slight variations of a common base architecture, as shown in the three block diagrams below. Common features include high-speed SATA, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and 2.0, and multi-protocol COM ports, with some options unique to specific models. On the multimedia side, the modules offer both VGA and LVDS interfaces, including dual-display support, plus HD audio.

Four SBCs from three designs: CM1-BT1; CM2-BT2; CM3-BTx
(click image to enlarge)

Summary of specifications


Preliminary specifications of Adlink’s four CMx-BTx SBCs are listed below:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E3800 SoC or Celeron:
    • CM1-BT1, CM3-BT1 — single-core E3815 @ 1.46GHz (5W TDP)
    • CM2-BT2 — dual-core E3825 @ 1.33GHz (6W TDP)
    • CM3-BT4-8G — quad-core E3845 @ 1.91GHz (10W TDP)
  • Memory — up to 4GB DDR3L@1333MHz (SODIMM)
  • Storage:
    • 1x SATA 3GB/s port, shared with mSATA
    • Option — second SATA 3GB/s port (except on CM3-BT1)
    • Onboard eMMC — up to 8GB (CM3-BT4-8G only)
  • Networking:
    • 1x gigabit Ethernet port
    • Option — second GbE port (except on CM3-BT1)
  • Display:
    • VGA interface
    • Single/dual channel 18/24-bit LVDS from eDP (two lanes)
    • Supports dual-independent displays
  • Audio — HD Audio (integrated in SoC);
  • USB — 1x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0
  • Other I/O — 8x GPIOs; up to 4x COM ports
  • Serial:
    • 2x RS-232/485 with full handshake
    • Option — additional 2x RS-232/485 with TX/RX/CTS/RTS (except on CM3-BT1)
  • Expansion buses (form-factors):
    • CM1-BT1 — ISA only (PC/104)
    • CM2-BT2 — ISA + PCI (PC/104-Plus)
    • CM3-BT1 — PCI only (PCI-104)
    • CM3-BT4-8G — PCI only (PCI-104)
  • Dimensions — 90 x 96mm (PC/104 without wings)
  • Power — 5V DC (consumption unspecified)
  • Operating temperature:
    • Standard — 0 to 60°C
    • Industrial — -20 to 70°C
    • Extreme — -40 to 85°C
  • Environmental compliance:
    • Shock/vibration — IEC 60068-2-64, IEC-60068-2-27, MIL-STD-202F
    • HALT — thermal/vibration stress; thermal shock, combined test
  • Software:
    • Operating system support — Linux 32/64-bit and Windows 7/8 32/64-bit are standard; BSPs are also available for WES7/8; WEC7; QNX; VxWorks
    • Other — Adlink SEMA (Smart Embedded Management Agent)

Further information

The four new PC/104-style SBCs begin sampling in “late Q2,” according to an Adlink marketing representative. Additional details are available at the Adlink website’s PC/104 SBC area.

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