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Coffee Lake module features shock and vibration resistance

Jul 5, 2018 — by Eric Brown 831 views

Adlink’s rugged “Express CF/CFE” COM Express Basic Type 6 integrates an 8th Gen Core or Xeon chip with up to 48GB RAM and loads of SATA, USB 3.1, and PCIe. There’s also a carrier board with a Live Linux USB stick.

Adlink has joined a growing number of companies releasing COM Express Basic Type 6 modules based on Intel’s 8th Generation “Coffee Lake” processors. Its Express CF/CFE Type 6 Basic offering follows Kontron’s COMe-bCL6, as well as Congatec’s Conga-TS370 and Seco’s COMe-C08-BT6 and more recently, Data Modul’s EDM-COMB-CF6 and MSC Technologies’ MSC C6B-CFLH.

Express CF/CFE and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Adlink supports the same Coffee Lake models as its rivals. The Express-CF ships with the Intel Core H-series and the Express-CFE supports the Intel Xeon E-2176M M-series CPU, as follows:

  • Core i7-8850H (6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.6GHz/4.3GHz); 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
  • Core i5-8400H (4x 8-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.5GHz/4.2GHz); 8MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
  • Xeon E-2176M, 8850H (6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.7GHz/4.4GHz); 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)

The hexa-core Coffee Lake processors provide more than a 25 percent performance boost over quad-core, 7th Gen Kaby Lake chips “at no significant cost increase,” says Adlink. Thanks to the Intel UHD Graphics 630, the Express CF/CFE can drive triple independent 4K displays. Standard support is offered for 64-bit versions of Linux and Windows 10, and there’s also an extended support BSP for 64-bit Linux.


The 125 x 95mm Express CF supports up to 48GB DDR4-2133/2400 via three slots (one is on the back) while the Express CFE can also load ECC RAM. An Intel I219LM or Intel I219V GbE controller is onboard, with the LM version offering AMT 12.0 support.

The triple 4K display support is enabled via 3x DDI channels for DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, and DVI. The module also provides 18/24-bit single/dual-channel LVDS or a build option for 4-lane eDP. There’s also an analog VGA build option, which replaces one of the DDI channels. HD audio is supported on the optional Express-BASE6 carrier board, which has a Realtek ALC886 codec.

The Express CF/CFE supports 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.1, 4x USB 2.0, 2x UARTs with console redirection, and 8x GPIO. In addition, you get 40- and 60-pin debug interfaces, with the latter using an XDP header for ICE debugging. There’s also support for Super I/O and TPM 2.0, as well as a SEMA Board Controller.

Intel Optane memory and NVMe SSDs are available via PCIe x4 Gen3 interfaces. The PCIe/PCI feature set is listed as: PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x8, or 1x PCIe x8 with 2 PCIe x4 (Gen3). In addition, you get 6 PCIe x1 (Gen3) on an AB connector and 2x PCIe x1 (Gen3) on a CD connector. Other expansion buses include LPC bus, SMBus (system), and I2C (user).

Like its rivals, the Express CF/CFE can survive 0 to 60°C temperatures. It’s the only one of the group, however, that is touted for its shock and vibration resistance, which are compliant with IEC 60068-2-64, IEC-60068-2-27, and various MIL-STD-202F methods.

The COM provides a 12V/5V input, as well as power management features with ACPI 5.0 and Smart Battery support. Heat spreaders and active and passive heatsinks are optional.

COM Express Type 6 Starter Kit Plus

The module is available with a COM Express Type 6 Starter Kit Plus built around an ATX form factor Express-BASE6 carrier board. The board provides one PCIe x16 Express slot with a proprietary pinout for a DDI adapter card, as well as a PCIe graphics slot x16. There’s also a PCIe x4 slot and three PCIe x1 slots. Additional features include SATA, VGA, LVDS, USB 3.0/2.0, GbE, and Super I/O.

Express-BASE6 carrier (left) and the Starter Kit Plus add-on boards (top to bottom): DDI adapter, PCIe adapter, and debug module
(click images to enlarge)

The kit is further equipped with a T6-DDI Video Adapter Card, a PCIe x16-to-two-x8 Adapter Card, a DB40 DeBug Module, and various cables. A USB stick is provided with documentation, drivers, libraries, and BSPs, as well as a “Live Linux” distribution with pre-installed SEMA software.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the “preliminary” Express CF/CFE. More information may be found in Adlink’s Express CF/CFE
announcement and product page, as well as the COM Express Type 6 Starter Kit Plus product page.

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