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Customizable Apollo Lake mini-PC runs Linux

Oct 28, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,605 views

ADL’s Linux-ready “ADLEPC-1700” industrial mini-PC offers an Apollo Lake SoC, 8GB soldered LPDDR4, SATA, 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, DP, mini-PCIe, and a customizable I/O that defaults to 2x COM.

ADL Embedded Solutions has announced an Intel Apollo Lake based ADLEPC-1700 successor to its Intel Bay Trail ADLEPC-1500 from 2017. The system has the same 86 x 81 x 33mm dimensions but offers twice the RAM and a higher resolution 4K DP 1.2 port, among other changes. There is also a new customizable I/O compartment integrated into the top of the unit. Farther below we take a look at a few Apollo Lake SBCs from ADL that we missed, one of which may form the basis for the ADLEPC-1700’s mainboard.

ADLEPC-1700 and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The ADLEPC-1700 runs Linux or Windows 7 and 10 on a choice of dual- and quad-core Apollo Lake models up to a 1.6GHz Atom x7-E3950. The fanless system is equipped with 8GB soldered LPDDR4-2400 and offers a SATA III SATADOM slot limited to 128GB storage.

There is also a mini-PCIe-based mSATA socket that supports up to 512GB storage. This appears to be the same as a general purpose mini-PCIe slot which supports mSATA and is available with optional CAN, 802.11xx, 3G/4G, 4x RS232/422/485, Ethernet, DIO, MIL-STD-1553, SSDs, and ARINC modules.


The front-side I/O includes 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, and a new USB Type-C port designed for power input. There is a 12V input with a screw connector with power LED that is listed as optional but appears to ship with the standard SKUs. A reset button is also available.

The DisplayPort 1.2 connection supports up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz displays. Other features include HD Audio, 4-bit GPIO, and TPM 2.0. Above the fixed I/O, the customizable I/O compartment defaults to 2x RS232/422/485, which has drivers that are supported only under Linux.

ADLEPC-1700 with dual COM and LAN customizable I/O combo

It is unclear what other I/O options are available here, although the image above shows an alternate configuration with dual COM ports and a third LAN port. ADL mentions several other options in addition to the mini-PCIe modules, including 8-bit GPIO, an RTC with battery, a WiFi antenna kit, and a 9-36V DC input. There are also optional power adapters and DIN-rail mounting. VESA mounting appears to be standard.

Although the press release mentions -40 to 85°C support, the documentation lists only -40 to 60°C and -40 to 70°C options. The 1.3 lb. system is touted for its rugged, industrial grade 6063 aluminum construction, but there is no mention of the previous EN50155-compliant shock and vibration resistance.


Whereas the earlier, Atom E3800 based ADLEPC-1500 is powered by a separately available ADLE3800SEC SBC, which also powers the stackable ADLEPC-1520 system, ADL did not mention the source of the ADLEPC-1700’s mainboard. It might be a variation on the ADLE3900SEC, which has the same 75 x 75mm dimensions as the ADLE3800SEC.

ADLE3900SEC and images showing stacking function, including an enclosed model
(click images to enlarge)

The ADLE3900SEC was announced in Feb. 2019 along with two other Apollo Lake SBCs covered below. The ADLE3900SEC is equipped with 4GB soldered DDR4, 2x GbE, USB 3.0 and 2.0, and 4K-ready DP. The SBC has an M.2 B-key 2242 socket with SATA support and a mini-PCIe slot, as well as a dual-PCIe edge connector that supports a variety of add-on modules. There is also a galvanically isolated 20-30VDC input, TPM, and up to -40 to 85°C support.

The ADLE3900SEC has the same support for vertical stacking as the ADLE3800SEC. This feature is not mentioned with the ADLEPC-1700, but it might be used here to enable the customizable I/O compartment rather than stack the same board with duplicate ports.

The 3.5-inch ADLE3900HD and ADLE3900HDC SBCs would be too big to fit into the ADLEPC-1700 chassis. Both models provide Apollo Lake with 8GB LPDDR4, DVI-D, and an I-PEX Connector for HDMI, DP, or USB 3.0.

ADLE3900HD (left) and ADLE3900HDC
(click images to enlarge)

The ADLE3900HD and ADLE3900HDC SBCs are further equipped with 2x GbE, USB 3.0 and 2.0, TPM 2.0, and isolated 20-30V inputs. The ADLE3900HD offers dual M.2 slots, one of which has SATA support, plus a SATA interface and battery holder.

The ADLE3900HDC lacks the M.2 slots but offers dual SATA III connectors and dual 40-pin PCIe x1 expansion connectors. It also adds internal I/O including a third GbE interface, 3x USB 2.0, serial, GPIO, and a few other headers. Like the ADLE3900HD, it is available in -20 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C models.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for theADLEPC-1700. More information may be found in ADL Embedded Solutions’ announcement and product page.

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