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Compact Apollo Lake computer runs Linux

Apr 6, 2020 — by Eric Brown 417 views

WinSystems’ fanless, Linux-ready “SYS-ITX-N-3900” computer has an Apollo Lake SoC, -20 to 60°C support, wide-range power, M.2 and mini-PCIe expansion, and a compact 150 x 150 x 50mm footprint.

A year and a half after the first Intel Gemini Lake based embedded computers arrived, we have seen only a few models based on this latest Atom family of chips. Gemini Lake continues to be in short supply, as it has been since its arrival.

Yet, the industry keeps churning out computers based on the similarly 14nm fabricated Apollo Lake platform. The latest is WinSystems’ fanless SYS-ITX-N-3900, which runs Linux or Windows 10 IoT on dual- or quad-core Apollo Lake Atom SoCs.

SYS-ITX-N-3900 (left) and ITX-N-3900
(click images to enlarge)

Designed for industrial IoT, energy management, and medical design solutions, the SYS-ITX-N-3900 is based on an unnamed Nano-ITX SBC. This appears to be WinSystems’ ITX-N-3900.


The 120 x 120mm ITX-N-3900 board was announced in 2018 but escaped our attention at the time. (See the ITX-N-3900 block diagram and detail views directly below.)

ITX-N-3900 block diagram and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

At 150 x 150 x 50mm, the SYS-ITX-N-3900 is about the same size as the company’s Intel Bay Trail based SYS-ITX-N-3800, which is also based on a Nano-ITX SBC. Features are similar, although the new model offers a few modern touches such as M.2 expansion. There’s also a soldered TPM 2.0 security chip, among other changes.

The SYS-ITX-N-3900 supports up to 8GB DDR3L (1600/1866MHz), and there’s a microSD slot, a dedicated mSATA slot, and a 2.5-inch SATA 3.0 bay. Other features include 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, and a single RS-232/422/485 port.

SYS-ITX-N-3900 block diagram and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

Dual displays are enabled with VGA and DisplayPorts, with the latter offering 4096 x 2160 resolution. You also get a line-out audio jack. For expansion, there’s a half-size mini-PCIe slot, an M.2 E-key 2230 slot, and an antenna hole.

The SYS-ITX-N-3900 is equipped with a watchdog and a 12-24V DC input with power button. The wall, VESA, and DIN-rail mountable system supports -20 to 60°C operation.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the SYS-ITX-N-3900. More information may be found in the WinSystems press release and product page.


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