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Compact, rugged, Kaby Lake SBC features robust expansion

Mar 12, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,756 views

VersaLogic’s rugged, Linux-ready “Lion” SBC offers Intel 7th Gen Core CPUs and SATA 3.0, PCIe/104 OneBank, PCI-104, mini-PCIe, and SPI/SPX expansion.

VersaLogic has continued its line of Linux-friendly, zoologically named PC/104 SBCs with the Lion, which takes on Intel’s latest 7th Generation Core “Kaby Lake” U-series processor. This is the first Kaby Lake based PC/104 board we’ve seen, and the first to offer the OneBank extension scheme. Other PCIe/104 OneBank boards include VersaLogic’s Bay Trail Atom based Bengal, as well as Diamond Systems’s Atom N2800 based Atlas and WinSystems’s Apollo Lake Atom based PX1-C415.

Versalogic Lion
(click images to enlarge)

The stackable, PCIe/104-Express compatible OneBank format includes both a legacy PCI connector and a high-speed PCIe connector. The design is said to provide flexible system expansion, while leaving more on-board space available. The single bank connector is mechanically and electrically compatible with PCI/104-Express Type 1 and Type 2 modules.

Lion front detail
(click image to enlarge)

The 108 x 96mm Lion SBC enables high-end embedded applications including flight navigation, guidance systems, and medical scanning and imaging, says VersaLogic. The 5V board is available in either 0 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C models with a standard heat plate or optional heat sink or heat sink-with-fan. Shock and vibration resistance is rated per MIL-STD-202G, including Methods 204, 214A, and 213B. High-altitude support is also available.

The Lion supports Intel’s dual-core Core i3-7100U, Core i5-7300U, and Core i7- 7600U, with the latter supporting 2.8GHz performance or 3.9GHz in turbo mode. The Intel Gen 9 HD Graphics 620 enables dual simultaneous displays as well as up to 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz resolution via the pair of mini-DisplayPorts.

Lion rear detail and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Lion can pack on up to 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, and offers a microSD slot, and a SATA 3.0 port, with the option to add a second. A full-sized mini-PCIe slot supports either mSATA or wireless expansion. The board provides dual GbE ports, two coastline USB 3.0 Type-C ports, and four more internal USB 2.0 connections.


The SBC is further equipped with dual RS-232 and dual RS-232/422/485 interfaces and an SPI interface that also supports up to two SPX modules. You also get 8-bit DIO, I2C, counters and timers, and optional audio. Other features include an RTC with battery and a TPM 2.0 security chip.

As usual with VersaLogic’s boards, there are numerous accessories, including cables, adapters, power supplies, and cooling systems. There are also a lot of PCI-104, mini-PCIe, and SPX based expansion modules for video, wireless, GbE, Firewire, storage, and A/D interfaces.

The Lion supports Linux, VxWorks, Windows, and Windows Embedded. It ships with a 5+ year availability guarantee and 5-year product warranty, with optional 10+ year support. Customization services are available even in low OEM quantities, and include conformal coating, revision locks, custom labeling, and customized testing and screening.

Further information

The Lion SBC (VL-EPMe-42) is available from both VersaLogic and Digi-Key Corp. at an unstated price. More information may be found on the Lion product page.

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