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COM Express module runs Linux on 3.6GHz Bald Eagle

Mar 9, 2015 — by Eric Brown 1,340 views

GE’s rugged, Linux-ready COM Express Type 6 Basic module integrates AMD’s dual- or quad-core R-Series SoCs at up to 3.6GHz, and offers -40 to 85°C support.

GE Intelligent Platforms’s bCOM6-L1700 is the first Linux-friendly computer-on-module we’ve seen to run AMD’s latest “Bald Eagle” R-Series system-on-chips. You get a choice of dual- or quad-core models on the module, which adopts the 125 x 95mm COM Express Type 6 Basic form factor.

(click image to enlarge)

The bCOM6-L1700 is designed for challenging harsh environments that are subject to extremes of temperature, vibration, and shock, says GE. The module is especially useful for those applications in which “maximum uptime is mission-critical such as heavy industry, transportation, military/aerospace, and energy exploration,” says the company.

The module supports -40 to 85°C operating temperatures, although these figures are said to be CPU dependent, suggesting perhaps that only the dual-core model is up to the task. The COM supports up to 16GB of soldered ECC DDR3 RAM for extra robustness, but there are no claimed specs for shock and vibration resistance.


In addition to the 16GB of RAM, there’s an optional onboard SATA SSD ranging up to 64GB, as well as a gigabit Ethernet controller. Interfaces expressed via the COM Express connectors include four SATA 3.0 connections, and a choice of SD or GPIO interfaces.

bCOM6-L1700 core chipset block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Multimedia interfaces include DisplayPort, eDP, VGA and HD Audio I/O. Additional I/O includes four USB 3.0 ports and eight USB 2.0 ports, although the block diagram suggests there might be 10 USB 2.0 interfaces. For expansion, you get seven PCIe 2.0 x1 lanes and a PEG interface.

AMD R-series APU architecture
(click image to enlarge)

A CEC05 carrier board is available for the module, although GE had no details on it. The company also offers custom carrier board development services.

Specifications listed for the bCOM6-L1700 include:

  • AMD Embedded R-Series with AMD Radeon HD GPU:
    • RE427BDGH44JA (4x x86 Steamroller cores @ 2.7GHz to 3.6GHz); 8x GPU cores @ 600MHz to 686MHz; 4MB L2 cache; 35W TDP
    • RE225FECH23JA (2x x86 Steamroller cores @ 2.2GHz to 3.0GHz); 3x GPU cores @ 464MHz to 533MHz; 2MB L2 cache; 17W TDP
  • Memory — up to 16GB soldered DDR3 with ECC
  • Storage:
    • Optional onboard SATA SSD up to 64GB
    • 4x SATA 3.0 6Gbps interfaces
    • SD interface (or setup selectable swap for 8x GPIO)
  • Display:
    • DisplayPort (DDI)
    • eDP (embedded DisplayPort)
    • VGA
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0
    • 8x USB 2.0
    • HD Audio
    • SPI, LPC, IR
  • Expansion:
    • 7x PCIe 2.0 x1 lanes or various combinations
    • PEG (PCIe Graphics) or swap for 2x “8 Gen 3”
    • 8x GPIO (or setup selectable swap for SD interface)
  • Ruggedization:
    • -40 to 85°C operating temperature (CPU dependent)
    • Pre-mounted heat sink/spreader
    • Alarm sensors for temperature
    • Shock/vibration — “Increased shock and vibration immunity; depends on carrier/system design”
    • Optional conformal coating
  • Dimensions — 125 x 95mm (4.79 x 3.74 in.); COM Express Type 6 Basic
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 7/XP; VxWorks

“The [bCOM6-L1700] modular design, based on open standards, is ideally suited for next generation Industrial PCs, and will provide a path for automation controller system solution providers to scale in design based on AMD technology in those demanding environments,” stated Sameer Gupta, Marketing Manager, Industrial Controls and Automation, AMD Embedded Solutions.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the bCOM6-L1700 module. More details may be found on the GE Intelligent Platforms bCOM6-L1700 product page.

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