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Elkhart Lake spins into COM Express, SMARC, and Qseven modules

Feb 15, 2021 — by Eric Brown 369 views

Avnet’s “MSC C6C-EL” Type 6, “MSC SM2S-EL” SMARC, and “MSC Q7-EL” Qseven modules run Linux or Win 10 on Intel’s Elkhart Lake Atom x6000 SoCs and support triple independent displays and up to 256GB flash.

In the transition from MSC Embedded to Avnet Integrated, we fell off the company’s PR list –- our last MSC post was for the 9th Gen Coffee Lake MSC HCC-CFLS COM-HPC module in Mar. 3, 2020. We now see that Avnet Integrated has announced Intel Elkhart Lake based MSC SM2S-EL SMARC 2.1 and MSC C6C-EL COM Express Type 6 modules last October and December, respectively. The Avnet subsidiary also posted a product page, but not an announcement, for a Qseven based MSC Q7-EL module built around the same Atom x6000 processors.

MSC C6C-EL (left) and Elkhart Lake CPU choices for all three Avnet modules
(click images to enlarge)

A Sep. 2020 announcement about Avnet Integrated’s Elkhart Lake plans also mentions a Type 10 module that has yet to appear. That same month, Avnet announced an 11th Gen Tiger Lake based MSC C6C-TLU Type 6 module that you can check out on your own.

Each of Avnet’s Elkhart Lake modules run Yocto based Linux and Windows 10 IoT Core or Enterprise on the same selection of industrial focused, 10nm fabricated Elkhart Lake processors (see chart above). These include dual and quad-core “E” and “RE” series Atom x6000 options and several quad-core models from the less industrial Pentium and Celeron Elkhart Lake processors. There is no support for the “FE” models with functional safety support.


The “RE” series Atom models lack the Turbo modes of the “E” models but add support for Intel Time Coordinated Computing (Intel TCC) and the related Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). Avnet says that “TSN enhances transmission of data over standard Ethernet networks by adding new functionality, which enables deterministic data transfer in real-time with low latency and high availability.”

All three Avnet modules are available in 0 to 60°C and -45 to 85°C versions, depending on the CPU choice. They all offer 5-95% non-condensing humidity tolerance and optional heatspreaders and heatsinks, and the COM Express module also provides a fan option.

All three modules support triple independent displays. The 2x DP or HDMI ports and the single eDP ports support 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz while the dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interface can achieve 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz and the optional 4-lane MIPI-DSI on the Qseven and SMARC modules can go to 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz. All the modules support Intel’s in-band ECC RAM on the Atom-branded chips.


The MSC C6C-EL follows other Elkhart Lake based COM Express Compact Type 6 modules such as Congatec’s Conga-TCA7, Eurotech’s CPU-161-19 and CPU-161-20, and TQ’s TQMxE40C1 and TQMxE40C2. This is the only module in Avnet’s Elkhart Lake lineup that supports up to 32GB RAM, which is available as DDR4-3200 via dual slots. There is also an option for up to 256GB eMMC.

(click image to enlarge)

The 95 x 95mm module is equipped with a GbE controller, as well as 2x SATA III, 2x USB 3.1, 6x USB 2.0, and 2x UARTs. Expansion features include 8x PCIe Gen3 x1 and a single LPC.

The MSC C6C-EL provides display interfaces including 2x DDI, which can be DP (up to 1.4) or HDMI 2.0b, as well as eDP 1.3 or LVDS. HD audio is also available.

Other features include TPM 2.0, a watchdog, an RTC, a fan supply, and system monitoring. The module is powered via an 8.5-20V input with optional 5V standby power and it typically consumes 7-14W. ATX and Mini-ITX carrier boards are optional.


The MSC SM2S-EL follows Elkhart Lake SMARC 2.1 modules including Advantech’s SOM-2532, Kontron’s SMARC-sXEL (E2), and TQ’s TQMxE40S. The 82 x 50mm “short” SMARC 2.1 module is the only product in Avnet’s Elkhart Lake lineup with dual GbE controllers. In addition, one of the 4x PCIe Gen3 x1 interfaces can be optionally converted to an SGMII interface for a third Ethernet port.

(click image to enlarge)

You can load up to 16GB LPDDR4 at up to 4267MT/s plus up to 256GB of optional UFS 2.0 flash. Display interfaces include 2x DP++, LVDS or eDP, and optional MIPI-DSI. Audio features include HD audio with I2S or 2x I2S.

The MSC SM2S-EL is equipped with 2x USB 3.1 and 6x USB 2.0, all with host/device support. You also get 4x UART, 2x SPI, 2x CAN-FD, and single SATA III, SD/SDIO, I2C, and SMBus.

Other features include a watchdog, RTC, system monitoring, fan interface, and optional TPM 2.0. There is a 5V input with 5V standby support. A starter kit is optional, but there were no details.


The still unannounced MSC Q7-EL follows Portwell’s Elkhart Lake based PQ7-M109 Qseven module. The 70 x 70mm Qseven 2.1 module supports up to 16GB LPDDR4 at up to 4267MT/s plus up to 256GB of optional UFS 2.0 flash.

(click image to enlarge)

The single GbE controller can be expanded to two via an optional SGMII in place of one of the 2x SATA III interfaces. There are also up to 4x PCIe Gen3 x1 interfaces. Display interfaces include a single DP++ plus 2x eDP, which can be swapped out for optional MIPI-DSI and LVDS. You also get HD audio.

The standard USB configuration is 2x USB 3.1, 6x USB 2.0, and a single USB OTG interface. Optionally, you can go with single USB 3.1 and OTG ports and 8x USB 2.0. Other I/Os include single SD/SDIO, UART, I2C, SPI, LPC, SMBus, and CAN-FD.

The MSC Q7-EL is further equipped with a watchdog, RTC, system monitoring, fan interface, and optional TPM 2.0. There is a 5V input with 5V standby support. A starter kit is optional, but there were no details.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the MSC C6C-EL, MSC SM2S-EL, or MSC Q7-EL modules. More information may be found in the MSC C6C-EL and MSC SM2S-EL announcements, as well as the MSC C6C-EL, MSC SM2S-EL, and MSC Q7-EL product pages.

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