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COM quartet showcases Intel’s Elkhart Lake Atoms

Sep 25, 2020 — by Eric Brown 451 views

TQ announced four “TQMxE40” compute modules with Intel’s 10nm “Elkhart Lake” Atom x6000E SoCs in SMARC, COM Express Mini Type 10, and Compact Type-6 form factors.

TQ-Embedded announced a quartet of TQMxE40 modules with Intel’s new Elkhart Lake Atom x6000E, Pentium, and Celeron SoCs. No OS support was listed, but Linux and Windows should work fine. The TQMxE40 series joins earlier TQ modules such as its 8th Gen Whiskey Lake TQMx80UC COM Express Compact Type 6 and i.MX8X-based TQMa8Xx and TQMa8XxS SMARC modules.

TQMxE40S SMARC (left) and TQMxE40M Mini Type 10 modules
(click images to enlarge)

TQ’s four Elkhart Lake modules are as follows:

  • TQMxE40S — SMARC 2.1
  • TQMxE40M — COM Express Mini Type 10
  • TQMxE40C1 — COM Express Compact Type 6
  • TQMxE40C2 — COM Express Compact Type 6

TQMxE40C1 (left) and TQMxE40C2 Compact Type 6 modules
(click images to enlarge)

The dual- and quad-core Elkhart Lake SoCs comprise 8x Atom x6000E, 2x Pentium, and 2x Celeron models. The processors feature 10nm SuperFin Tremont CPU cores and up to 32EU Intel Gen11 graphics cores, which offer triple 4K display support and greater potential for AI tasks. Intel claims up to 1.7x better single-thread, 1.5x better multi-thread, and 2x better graphics performance compared to the 14nm Goldmont Plus based Gemini Lake.

Elkhart Lake integrates an Intel Programmable Services Engine (Intel PSE) built around a real-time Cortex-M7 core. Intel PSE supports functions such as power management and remote out-of-band (OOB) and in-band (INB) device management. Other Elkhart Lake highlights include support for 64GB and ECC RAM and up to 3x 2.5GbE ports with TSN. (For more details, see our Elkhart Lake report.)

Elkhart Lake models(left) and reference platform block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The SMARC 2.1 form-factor, 82 x 50mm TQMxE40S and the Mini Type 10, 84 x 55mm TQMxE40M modules will arrive first, followed by the two almost identical, 95 x 95mm Compact Type 6 modules. The TQMxE40C1 Type 6 offers up to 16GB soldered LPDDR4 ECC RAM while the TQMxE40C2 Type 6 has up to 64GB non-ECC or 32GB ECC RAM via dual SODIMM sockets. Like the TQMxE40C1, the SMARC and Type 10 modules provide up to 16GB LPDDR4 ECC RAM, but it’s not soldered. All the modules use Intel’s in-band ECC (IBECC) RAM.


The TQMxE40 modules support all the Atom models except the two “FE” versions of the Atom x6000E, which offer Intel Safety Island functional safety (FuSa) features. The Atom options include three “RE” models, which offer support TSN nd the related Intel TCC. The fastest model is a quad-core, 1.8GHz/3.0GHz Atom x6425E with 32EU 500MHz/750MHz graphics and a 12W TDP. The TQ modules also support four dual and quad-core Pentium and Celeron parts.

TQMxE40 series feature comparison
(click images to enlarge)

The SMARC 2.1 form-factor TQMxE40S differs significantly from the other modules. It’s the only one that supports 2x GbE ports, which like the single GbE controllers on the other modules enables IEEE 1588 (Precision Time Protocol).

The SMARC module offers more serial interfaces with 2x CAN, 2x high-speed UART, and 2x legacy UART instead of the choice of 2x CAN or 2x legacy UART on the other modules. It also offers 4x I2C instead of 1x and 14x GPIO instead of the 8x. You also get an SD interface, which on the COM Express modules is an either/or option with the GPIO.

TQMxE40S (left) and TQMxE40M block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

Like the Mini Type 10 TQMxE40M, the TQMxE40S offers only 4x PCIe Gen3 interfaces, compared to 8x on the Type 6 modules. The SMARC module is the only one that lacks an LPC interface. It offers only has a single SATA III interface instead of 2x, and it has 4x USB 2.0 instead of 8x. All the modules support 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, one of which can be dual-role Type-C.

TQMxE40C1 (left) and TQMxE40C2 block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

Like the two Type 6 modules, the TQMxE40S provides 2x DP++ with support for either DP or HDMI and a choice of eDP or dual-channel LVDS. (The Type 10 TQMxE40M is limited to 1x DP++ with eDP or single-channel LVDS.) The SMARC module is the only one with I2S audio as well as a second I2S interface that can be muxed with the Intel HD Audio (HDA) provided by the COM Express modules.

All the modules provide 8-256GB eMMC, SPI, SMBus, a board controller with watchdog, and optional TPM 2.0. The SMARC module has a 4.75-5.25V input while the COM Express modules provide 4.75-20V. They are all available in 0 to 60ºC and -45 to 85ºC models.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the TQMxE40 modules, but the TQMxE40S and TQMxE40M will arrive first. More information may be found in TQ-Embedded’s announcement and launch page, which offers links to individual product pages.

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