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Comet Lake-S appears on COM Express

Jan 15, 2021 — by Eric Brown 275 views

Portwell’s Linux-ready “PCOM-B655VGL” Basic Type 6 module features Intel’s up to 10-core, 10th Gen Comet Lake-S plus up to 32GB DDR4, 3x DDI, 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, and PCIe x16 and 8x PCIe x8 Gen3.

In a switch from the usual response to new Intel Core designs, we have seen plenty of embedded computers based on Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake-S but fewer SBCs and as far as we can see, no compute modules. Now Portwell has announced what appears to be first COM Express module based on Comet Lake-S, although Portwell makes no claims for being first.

The PCOM-B655VGL follows other Portwell COM Express Basic Type 6 modules including its 8th Gen Coffee Lake based PCOM-B654GL. The new module supports applications including industrial automation, communication, gaming, networking, IoT, medical equipment, transportation, smart retail, and automated test equipment.

PCOM-B655VGL, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The PCOM-B655VGL appears to support the full lineup of Comet Lake-S parts, including numerous octa-core and deca-core models that started showing up last May in products such as Vecow’s ECX-2000 Series. The four default SKUs all have 35W TDPs: the 10-core, up to 4.6GHz Turbo Core i9-10900TE along with the octa-core i7-10700TE, the hexa-core i5-10500TE, and the quad-core i3-10100TE. Intel Q470E or W480E chipsets are also available.


The addition of higher core-count models offers another reason to upgrade from Comet Lake. Otherwise, the 14nm fabricated, Skylake-architecture 10th Gen chips provide only modest speed improvements over 8th/9th Gen Coffee Lake or lower-power 8th Gen Whiskey Lake.

The PCOM-B655VGL supports Win 10, Ubuntu, and CentOS, a longtime open-source, community-driven fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 that Red Hat recently abandoned. Now CloudLinux has adopted the CentOS project, which this week was reborn as AlmaLinux.

The 125 x 95mm PCOM-B655VGL can load up to 32GB of 2666MT/s or 2933MT/s DDR4, including ECC RAM. The module provides an Intel I219LM GbE controller, PCIe x16 Gen 3, and 8x PCIe x1 Gen 3.

PCOM-B655VGL block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Media features include 3x DDI with a choice of DP 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 at up to 4096 x 2304 @ 60Hz and 4096 x 2160 @ 30Hz, respectively. You also get a 24-bit dual-channel LVDS, switchable to 4K-ready eDP, and an HD-ready VGA interface.

The PCOM-B655VGL is further equipped with 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, 8x USB 2.0, 8-bit GPIO, 2x UART, I2C, and SMBus. The module has a TPM 2.0 chip, a 12VDC input, 10+-year availability, and a moderately extended 0 to 60°C operating range. A PCOM-C60B ATX carrier board will also be available.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the PCOM-B655VGL. More information may be found in Portwell’s announcement and product page.

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