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Compact Apollo Lake SBC aims sky high

Oct 22, 2019 — by Eric Brown 3,467 views

Versalogic’s Linux-ready, sandwich-style “Harrier” SBC has an Apollo Lake processor and a compact 95 x 55mm footprint, ECC RAM support, and ruggedization features designed for high altitude UAVs.

Versalogic announced a Harrier SBC due in Q1 2020 that revises the compact, COM-and-carrier design of its three-year-old, Intel Bay Trail based Osprey, but advances to the newer Intel Apollo Lake. The Osprey is similarly bereft of real-world ports to enable easier real-world deployments in constrained environments.

With its rugged, SWaP-optimized, 95 x 55 x 27mm deisgn, and support for up to 8GB soldered ECC error-correcting DDR3L RAM, it’s intended primarily as a platform for High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs and High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) systems in which cosmic rays can cause memory errors. The design is also suitable for other unmanned vehicles including terrestrial robots and autonomous underwater vehicles (UAVs). The lack of coastline ports helps reduce the weight to 140 grams.

Harrier (left) and preliminary detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The compute module part of the boardset is equipped with an Atom E39xx SoC. There are two standard SKUs: a quad-core, 1.6GHz/2.0GHz Atom E3950 model with 8GB soldered ECC RAM and 32GB eMMC and a dual-core, 1.3GHz Atom E3930 configuration with 2GB ECC and 8GB eMMC. The module, which does not appear to be independently available, supports Linux, Windows, Windows Embedded, and VxWorks.


The Harrier is equipped with a microSD slot plus SATA, USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 2x GbE, and 2x RS-232/422/485 interfaces. You also get 8x DIO, I2C, and 3x counter/timers.

Media interfaces include a mini-DisplayPort++ with support for 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz and HDMI video and audio signals, as well as a single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interface. Dual mini-PCIe slots include a full-sized slot with mSATA, PCIe, and USB support and a half-sized slot that supports only PCIe and USB. A TPM 2.0 chip is onboard for security.

The Harrier has an 8-17V DC input (nominally 12V) with ACPI 3.0 power management and typical consumption of 5.5W or 8.8W, depending on the SKU. There’s also an RTC with battery support and system reset and HW monitoring.

The Harrier has a -40 to 85°C temperature range with humidity and thermal shock resistance, and it ships with a heat plate with optional heatsink and fan. The board supports up to 4,570-meter (15,000 ft.) altitudes and offers MIL-STD-202H-compliant vibration and shock resistance.

To compensate for the lack of coastline ports, Versalogic offers a wide variety of cables and adapters to hook up the I/O. There are also a dozen mini-PCIe modules to choose from, including Ethernet, fiber, FireWire, GPIO, analog input, GPS, display, and mSATA.

Further information

The Harrier (VL-EPU-4011) will be available Q1 2020 at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Versalogic’s Harrier announcement and product page.

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