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COM Express module taps 15W dual-core Haswell

Mar 6, 2014 — by Eric Brown 849 views

Adlink’s new Linux-ready COM Express module packs a 4th Gen. Intel Core ULT processor, PCIe, and eight USB, four SATA, and three display ports in 95 x 95mm.

The “cExpress-HL” is a trimmed down version of Adlink’s Express-HL computer-on-module, and similarly adopts the COM Express Type 6 (COM.0 R2.1) form-factor, but in the smaller, “Compact” 95 x 95mm format. They both support a range of 4th Generation Intel Core “Haswell” processors, but while the Express-HL supports six of the “E” branded Cores, including the top-of-the-line, 1.7GHz, quad-core Core i7-4700EQ, the cExpress-HL comes with a choice of four of Intel’s dual-core “ULT” or “U” brand Cores. Congatec, another COM Express specialist, also splits its Haswell-based COM Express Type 6 modules into two lines, the “E” ready Conga-TS87 and “U” compatible Conga-TC87.

(click image to enlarge)

The four Haswell processors available in Adlink’s cExpress-HL series COMs — Intel’s Core i7/i5/i3 and a Celeron — have lower-end 200MHz Intel HD Graphics compared to the 400MHz Intel HD Graphics 4600 on the “E” models. However, they also burn around half the TDP, at 15 Watts. The processors also feature Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, for up to 4x threads on the dual-core CPUs.

Memory and I/O options have also been reduced on the cExpress-HL, presumably with cost savings to match. The modules supports up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, compared to 32GB for the original Express-HL. Similar I/O includes a gigabit Ethernet port, four SATA 6Gb/s ports, dual serial UARTs, and GPIO.


You get dual-channel LVDS, but instead of three DDI ports offering an option of DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI, you get two. Triple displays are still supported, however.

As with the larger and higher-end Express-HL, you get eight USB ports, but only two of those are USB 3.0 instead of four. Expansion options are also scaled down to a choice of four PCIe x1 or one PCIe x4, but they are accompanied by the usual COM Express legacy buses.

cExpress-HL block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The rugged module offers an -20 to 70°C operating temperature option, but not Adlink’s “Extreme Rugged” (-40 to 85°C) option. There’s also shock and vibration resistance, says Adlink.

Specifications listed for the cExpress-HL module include:

  • Processor — 64-bit 4th Generation Intel i7/i5/i3/Celeron ULT; Mobile Intel QM87 Express chipset:
    • Core i7-4650U — dual-core 1.7GHz (3.3GHz turbo), 4M Cache, 15W, Intel HD Graphics 5000 @ 200MHz (GT3)
    • Core i5-4300U — dual-core 1.9GHz (2.9GHz turbo), 3M Cache, 15W, Intel HD Graphics 4400 @ 200MHz (GT2)
    • Core i3-4010U — dual-core 1.7GHz (no turbo), 3M Cache, 15W, Intel HD Graphics @ 200MHz (GT2)
    • Celeron 2980U – dual-core 1.6GHz (no turbo), 2M Cache, 15W, Intel HD Graphics 4400 @ 200MHz (GT1)
  • Memory — up to 16GB dual-channel DDR3L SDRAM @ 1600/1333MHz, via dual stacked SODIMMs
  • Storage — four SATA 6 Gb/s ports
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
  • Display:
    • Single/dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS
    • 2x Digital Display Interface (DDI) ports supporting DisplayPort, HDMI, or DVI
    • Triple independent simultaneous displays
    • Supports OpenGL 3.1, DirectX 11, Intel Clear Video HD Technology, Advanced Scheduler 2.0, 1.0, XPDM support, DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA)
  • Audio — Intel HD Audio integrated in QM87 chipset (Realtek ALC886)
  • USB — 2x USB 3.0; 6x USB 2.0
  • Serial I/O — 2x UARTs
  • Other I/O — 4x digital in; 4x digital out; debug port
  • Expansion — 4x PCIe x1 or 1x PCIe x4; LPC bus; SMBus; I2C
  • Other features — TPM module (optional); supports Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA); remote console, CMOS backup, hardware monitor, watchdog timer
  • Ruggedization:
    • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C or -20 to 70°C
    • Shock and vibration — EC 60068-2-64, IEC-60068-2-27; MIL-STD-202F, Method 213B, Table 213-I, Condition A and Method 214A, Table 214-I, Condition D
    • HALT — thermal stress, vibration stress, thermal shock and combined test
  • Power:
    • Standard voltage input — ATX mode 12V with 5V standby; AT mode 12V
    • Wide voltage input — ATX mode 5-20V with 5V standby; AT mode 5-20V
  • Dimensions — 95 x 95mm; PICMG COM.0: Rev 2.1 Type 6 “compact”
  • Operating systems — Linux, Windows 7/8, VxWorks

Further information

No pricing or availability information was supplied for the cExpress-HL. More information may be found at the cExpress-HL product page.

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