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Elkhart Lake powers Mini Type 10, Qseven, and embedded PC products

Feb 15, 2022 — by Eric Brown 221 views

DFI unveiled a Linux-friendly “EHL Series” of embedded products based on Intel’s Elkhart Lake, including the “ED700-EHL” industrial computer, “EHL9A2” Mini Type 10, and “EHL7000” Qseven module.

Last August, we covered DFI’s EHL171 and EHL173 thin Mini-ITX boards, which are based on Intel’s Atom x6000 Elkhart Lake processors. Now, DFI has formally announced the boards along with three other EHL (Elk Hart Lake) Series products. The ED700-EHL embedded system, EHL9A2 COM Express Mini Type 10 module, and a more preliminary “EHL7000” Qseven module ship with Linux and Win 10 IoT Enterprise and offer 15-year lifecycle support.



ED700-EHL render image (left) and EHL9A2 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

DFI notes that some of the EHL Series products support 10nm Elkhart Lake’s high-throughput, 8 GT/s per channel PCIe Gen3 links, as well as its 2.5GbE, 5G, and WiFi 6 connections. Together, these technologies help “remote industrial control devices, Kiosk, medical monitoring, or mobile AGV/AMR to respond to edge events in real time,” says DFI. Other cited applications include outdoor digital advertising, factory data collection and robotic arms, equipment control, fleet management, medical robots, smart energy, and infotainment systems on trains and buses.

DFI touts the EHL Series support for Intel vPro and AMT functions on the Atom SKUs. “With vPro and AMT, EHL series can not only monitor and manage remote devices via in-band signaling, but also automatically update, backup, and reboot the operating system through the out-of-band signaling when the operating system is down, reducing downtime and ensuring devices are running in optimal condition at all times,” says the company.

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DFI’s landing page claims that: “The EHL series can connect up to three 4K Ultra HD independent displays at the same time.” Yet only the EHL171 and EHL173 Mini-ITX boards are capable of this feat. The announcement suggests DFI is prepping a EHL Series COM Express Compact module, which we imagine will also support triple 4K displays.



EHL173 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The previously detailed EHL171 and EHL173 boards are identical except that the latter has a 9-36V input. Other highlights include 2x 2.5GbE, 2x USB 3.1 Gen2, 2x USB 3.1 Gen1, M.2 B- and E-key slots, and PCIe x4. You also get a -40 to 85°C operating range and support for the Atom x6000 FE functional safety parts.

 
ED700-EHL

The ED700-EHL system lists Ubuntu 20.04 and Win 10 support for the full range of Elkhart Lake Atom, Celeron, and Pentium parts, including the industrial TSN/TCC enabled Atom RE cores and the FuSa-ready Atom FE processors. Oddly, DFI does not list RAM support. We will guess that like the EHL9A2 Mini Type 10 module, it offers 16GB, rather than the 8GB available on the EHL7000 Qseven module. It is possible it supports 32GB, which is offered by the EHL171 and EHL173 Mini-ITX boards.

The 195 x 120 x 70mm system appears to be unique among Elkhart Lake products in that its display capabilities are limited to a single, old-school VGA port for up to 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz. An ALC262 audio codec is also on board.

The ED700-EHL supplies a 2.5GbE port (MaxLinear GPY215) in addition to 3x GbE ports (Intel I210/I211). One of the GbE ports shares a co-lay connection with 2x USB 3.1, which would suggest it goes inactive if you use more than half of the 4x USB 3.1 ports. Dual USB 2.0 ports are available on request.

The ED700-EHL is further equipped with 16GB to 64GB eMMC, a 2.5-inch SATA 3.0 bay, and an Intel OOB or Remoguard SSD. For additional storage, an M.2 2280 slot supports SATA and PCIe x4. You also get an M.2 3042/3052 (USB 3.0/PCIe) slot, accompanied by dual SIM card slots, as well as an M.2 2230 (USB/PCIe) for WiFi/BT. There are 6x antenna openings and support for 5G Sub-6 and WiFi 6 (802.11ax).

The product page mentions “isolated COM,” and the render image appears to show a pair of DB9 serial ports. There is no mention of the COM ports in the specs, however, except for its listing of an 8-bit DIO connection that has a “jumper switch to COM.” The DIO, which also includes a 12-bit isolated DIO, would appear to be available on the system’s external terminal plug block.

The ED700-EHL provides TPM 2.0, a watchdog, an RTC with battery, and a whopping 20x LEDs, 12x of which show DIO status. A terminal plug supplies a 9-36VDC input. The wall- and DIN-rail mountable system is available in -20 to 60°C and -40 to 70°C SKUs with 10-90% non-condensing RH tolerance. You also get 3G shock and IEC68-2-64 compliant vibration resistance.

 
EHL9A2

The EHL9A2 joins other Elkhart Lake based COM Express Mini Type 10 modules such as Portwell’s PCOM-BA02GL, Congatec’s Conga-MA7, Kontron’s COMe-mEL10 (E2), and TQ’s TQMxE40M. No specific Elkhart Lake models were listed for the 84 x 55mm module, which supports up to 16GB of dual-channel LPDDR4X 3200MHz/4267MHz. You can order 8GB to 128GB eMMC 5.1 on request.



EHL9A2 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The module provides an Intel I225IT controller for 2.5GbE. Dual displays are enabled via DDI (4K-ready DP++ or HDMI), and either HD-ready LVDS or 4K eDP. There is also HD Audio support and a speaker interface. The EHL9A2 enables 4x PCIe Gen3 x1, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, 8x USB 2.0, 2x SATA III, 2x UART, 8-bit DIO, I2C, SPI, CANBus, SMBus, LPC, SD 3.0, and on request, SDIO.

The EHL9A2 has a watchdog and a 4.75-20V input in AT or ATX modes. There are -5 to 65°C and -40 to 85°C operating ranges, both with 5-90% RH support.

 
EHL700

The EHL700 Qseven 2.1 module is listed as being in the “planning” stage, and there is not even a render image. The spec list says the module defaults to a quad-core Celeron J6413, and yet the ordering information box lists only three Atom RE parts. The Linux distribution is available with a Linux graphics driver. Other Elkhart Lake based Qseven modules include Seco’s Atlas, Avnet’s MSC Q7-EL, and Portwell’s PQ7-M109.

The 70 x 70mm module is available with up to 8GB of dual-channel LPDDR4-3200, as well as up to 128GB eMMC 5.1. Like the EHL9A2, dual displays are enabled via DDI and eDP/LVDS, and you get HD Audio.

A single GbE controller offers two choices: an Intel I211AT for the 0 to 60°C SKU and an Intel I210IT for the -40 to 85°C model. For USB, you appear to get a choice between a single USB 3.1 with 8x USB 2.0 or 3x USB 3.1 with 4x USB 2.0.

Other interfaces include 2x SATA III, 4-bit GPIO, 4x PCIe Gen2 x1, and single SDIO, LPC, I2C, SMBus, SPI, and UART. The 5V module has a watchdog, FTPM security, 5-90% RH tolerance, a heatsink, and an optional heatspreader, bracket, and carrier board.

 
Further information

The previously covered EHL171 and EHL173 thin Mini-ITX boards have begun sampling, with pricing undisclosed. No pricing or availability information was provided for the “preliminary” ED700-EHL system and EHL9A2 Mini Type 10 module or the “planned” EHL7000 Qseven module. (Based on the documentation and images, we’d guess that the EHL9A2 is farthest along.)

More information may be found in DFI’s announcement and EHL Series landing page.
 

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