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Compact, rugged module runs Linux or Android on Apollo Lake

Feb 20, 2017 — by Rick Lehrbaum 842 views

Ubiqconn’s 95 x 95mm, Apollo Lake-based “COM-AL6C” COM offers 4K video along with multiple SATA, USB, GbE, and PCIe interfaces, plus -40 to 85°C operation.

Ubiqconn Technology Inc. has announced a “COM-AL6C” COM Express Type 6 Compact form factor computer-on-module built around Intel’s Apollo Lake processors and designed to withstand the rigors of both fixed and mobile industrial applications. The module offers a choice among three Intel Apollo Lake processors: the quad-core Atom x5-E3930, quad-core x5-E3940, and dual-core x7-E3950, which are clocked at up to 2.0GHz burst and offer TDPs from 6.5 to 12 Watts.

Two views of the COM-AL6C
(click images to enlarge)

The Ubiquconn COM-AL6C computer-on-module joins several other Apollo Lake-based COM Express Compact modules that have been unveiled by industrially-oriented board suppliers since Intel launched its Apollo Lake SoCs last October. These include Aaeon’s COM-APLC6, Adlink’s cExpress-AL, Advantech’s SOM-6869, and Congatec’s Conga-TCA5.

Being compatible with the industry standard COM Express Type 6 Compact specification, all of these Apollo Lake-based COMs naturally implement a fairly consistent set of features. Interestingly, all but Aaeon’s Apollo Lake COM Express modules are available in optional extended temperature versions that support -40 to 85°C operation. Only Adlink’s appears to support 16GB of onboard SODIMM RAM, with the remainder being limited to 8GB.

COM-AL6C block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Like its Apollo Lake competitors, the Ubiqconn module features Intel Gen9 Graphics 505/500 with 4K support and triple simultaneous display video outputs, along with the COM Express Compact standard’s typical set of I/O ports and PCIe expansion signals, which are expressed via a pair of high density board-to-board connectors on the back of the board. Specifically, these include up to 5x PCIe lanes, 2x USB3.0 ports, 8x USB 2.0 ports, 2x SATA 6Gb/s ports, 2x serial ports (Rx/Tx only), and 4 GPIOs.


Detailed specifications listed for the uCOM-AL6C include:

  • Processor — choice of three Intel Apollo Lake processors:
    • E3950 quad-core @ 1.6/2.0GHz (12W TDP)
    • E3940 quad-core @ 1.6/1.8GHz (9W TDP)
    • E3930 dual-core @ 1.3/1.8GHz (6.5W TDP)
  • Memory — 2x SODIMM sockets supporting up to 2GB DDR3L 1600MHz (non-ECC)
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet (Intel I219LM)
  • Storage — 2x SATA 3.0 6Gb/s
  • Graphics — Intel Gen9 Graphics 505/500 supporting 3x simultaneous independent outputs:
    • DDI supporting DP/HDMI
    • LVDS single/dual channel, 18/24-bit (via eDP-to-LVDS bridge)
    • eDP — 4 lanes
  • Other I/O:
    • Audio — Intel HD Audio (Codec on carrier board)
    • USB — 2x USB3.0/2.0, 8x USB2.0
    • 2x serial ports (TX, RX only)
    • GPIO — 4x GPI, 4x GPO
    • SPI, LPC, SMBus, I2C
    • Up to 5x PCIe Gen 2 x1 lanes (configurable to x2, x4)
  • Other features — optional TPM 2.0; optional SuperIO on carrier board; on-board PMU for hardware monitoring, APM, watchdog, fan control, etc.; wake-on-USB, wake-on-LAN
  • Power — 7.8 to 17 VDC wide input with 5V SB; AT support
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70°C (standard); -40 to +85°C (optional)
  • Shock/vibration — IEC 60068-2-64; IEC 60068-2-27
  • Dimensions — 95 x 95mm; COM Express v2.1 Type 6 Compact
  • Operating system support — Linux, Android, VxWorks, Windows 10

Ubiqconn suggests that its COM-AL6C module is well suited for use as a component in applications including “embedded IoT, smart factory, smart edge gateway and other Industrial 4.0 related applications in which design of power and space is critical.”

Further information

The uCOM-AL6C appears to be available now, although pricing is not stated. Further details are available at Ubiqconn’s uCOM-AL6C product page.

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