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Braswell COM twins have SMARC and Qseven personalities

Jan 22, 2016 — by Tom Williams 608 views

Adlink announced a pair of computer-on-modules with the same Braswell CPU and memory options, but on two different form factors with slightly different I/O.

Adlink’s newly announced “LEC-BW” and “Q7-BW” are built around the same set of Intel Pentium N3710 and Celeron 3000 series 14nm “Braswell” processors. Both modules offer 8GB of 64-bit DDR3L (1600MT/s) RAM memory plus many of the same interfaces, with differences largely dictated by their conformance to two different computer-on-module form factor standards.

Adlink’s SMARC-style LEC-BW (left) and Qseven-style Q7-BW
(click images to enlarge)

The modules each support these four Intel Braswell system-on-chips:

  • Pentium N3700 — 4x Braswell cores @ 1.6GHz (2.4GHz burst) with 2MB L2 cache and 6W TDP
  • Celeron N3150 — 4x Braswell cores @ 1.6GHz (2.08GHz burst) with 2MB L2 cache and 6W TDP
  • Celeron N3050 — 2x Braswell cores @ 1.6GHz (2.16GHz burst) with 2MB L2 cache and 6W TDP
  • Celeron N3000 — 2x Braswell cores @ 1.04GHz (2.08GHz burst) with 2MB cache and a 4W TDP

The Braswell processors integrate Intel’s 8th generation graphics, which can power up to three displays of 4K video and offers 2D and 3D acceleration. The graphics architecture also supports OpenGL for graphics acceleration, as well as OpenCL, which can use the parallel architecture of the GPU for intense numerical operations. All four processors also support Intel HD Audio.


Adlink had earlier introduced a COM Express Type 6 module that uses the same selection of processors. It would appear that aside from providing several small differences in I/O, Adlink’s intention with these new modules on different form factors was mainly driven by a desire to cater to OEMs’ form factor preferences. Added to the earlier Braswell-based COM Express Type 6 module, it would appear that all the bases are now covered.

Comparing the newborn twins

  • LEC-BW — The LEC-BW is built on the short form of SGET’s SMARC module specification, at 82 x 50mm. It therefore has 16 percent less space than the 70 x 70mm Q7-BW, and can thus offer somewhat fewer I/O options. Since both modules share the same processor family, their graphics and video options are quite similar. On the LEC-BW, single-channel LVDS and HDMI are supplied.

    LEC-BW photo and block diagram
    (click images to enlarge)

    The I/O options of the LEC-BW include two gen-2 PCIe x1 ports and one USB 3.0 connection. There is also a single Gigabit Ethernet channel plus two USB 2.0 host and one client port. Flash storage is provided by means of one SDIO and one eMMC 8-bit connection. Digital control is offered via 12 GPIO lines, as well as serial connections in the form of two UART, two SPI, four I2C, and one SMBus interfaces. There are also one each of LPC and DB40 available. Two MIPI CSI 4L/2L camera ports are supplied, as well.


  • Q7-BW — As mentioned, the Qseven-style Q7-BW COM has much in common with the LEC-BW, but offers several additional video and I/O options. In the video department, there is support for another mode of HDMI, 2560×[email protected], as well as custom options for HDMI.

    Q7-BW photo and block diagram
    (click images to enlarge)

    Other additional I/O includes three extra USB 2.0 host ports, for a total of five, plus storage options for an onboard SATA SSD and an eMMC flash chip. The Q7-BW has four I2C lines, but only one UART.

Common features

Both modules are supported with reference design baseboards. Each of the baseboards has the specific connectors unique to each COM, along with a set of interface connectors and signal conditioning logic required to present the COM’s I/O signals at real-world connectors. This makes it easy for developers to test the modules according to end application’s and then to craft an economical application-specific mainboard that their needs.

Adlink’s Qseven (left) and SMARC baseboard photos (upper row) and their respective block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

Additionally, both modules support Adlink’s Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) software interface, which provides monitoring and control of various board functions, including CPU modes, temperature, fan control, memory information, BIOS updates, and more. SEMA works in conjunction with an on-board “board management controller” (BMC), which communicates with the chipset via I2C, and provides a dashboard that enables monitoring and control either locally or remotely via the Cloud.

According to Adlink, both are compatible with Linux, Android, and Windows 7 and 10. Additionally, support for QNX or VxWorks can be provided on request.

No total power consumption figures were available for either of the modules, at the time of this post.

Further information

Adlink’s new Braswell COMs are expected to ship during Q2, at unlisted prices. More details may be found at the LEC-BW and Q7-BW product pages. Their respective development baseboards are at Adlink’s SMARC baseboard and Qseven baseboard product pages.

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