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Embedded PC with 6th or 7th Gen CPUs offers optional mini-PCIe and PCIe x4

May 21, 2019 — by Eric Brown 1,591 views

Aaeon’s barebones, semi-rugged “EPIC-KBS9-PUC” embedded PC runs on 6th or 7th Gen Core CPUs with up to 4x GbE and 2x serial plus 4x USB, mSATA, dual displays, and optional mini-PCIe, PCIe x4, or 2.5-inch HDD.

Aaeon has spun last year’s EPIC form-factor EPIC-KBS board into an embedded system for light industrial duty including “automated warehouse robots, retail POS systems, and even a 3D printer for cakes.” The barebones, 216 x 180 x 65mm system will presumably let you load either Linux or Windows on a range of 6th (Skylake) or 7th (Kaby Lake) generation Intel Core CPUs up to 65W.

(click images to enlarge)

It should be noted that using any non-legacy Intel Core chip except for models released in 2019, including the latest Coffee Lake Refresh or upcoming Ice Lake Core chips, risks potential attacks from the recently revealed Intel Core vulnerabilities to the ZombieLoad and MDS threats. More likely, you’ll apply Intel’s patches and risk anywhere form a 3-19 percent reduction in performance.

Aaeon’s EPIC-KBS9-PUC gives you a choice of H110, H170, or Q170 I/O chipsets for a variety of 6th or 7th Gen (mostly T and TE) chips. With the H110, the system requires a BOM change to flip the default, full-size mSATA storage interface to a mini-PCIe slot while the other two chipsets only require changing a BIOS setting. The H110 model is also the only one that lacks the separate PCIe x4 expansion slot, which can be swapped out for a 2.5-inch HDD bay. The PCIe x4 slot supports optional graphics card and dual USB-port riser kits.



The EPIC-KBS9-PUC supports up to 32GB of 2133MHz DDR4 via dual slots. The default configuration is for 4x Intel I211-based GbE ports with PoE and IP camera support, but you can optionally reduce that to two ports. Other features include 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and single HDMI 1.4b, VGA, and RS-232/422/485 ports. Optionally, you can flip the VGA to a second RS-232/422/485 port.

The system runs on 12V DC via a lockable jack, and there’s a power button and LED. The VESA- and wall-mountable, 2-kg system offers a 0 to 50°C range and 1 Grms/5-500Hz anti-vibration resistance (with mSATA). Potential customization options range from “adding additional USB ports to offering HDMI 2.0 with 4K High Definition video output for customers needing an embedded system for digital signage or kiosks,” says Aaeon.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EPIC-KBS9-PUC, but with the well-established EPIC-KBS board inside, it should be available soon. More information may be found in Aaeon’s EPIC-KBS9-PUC announcement and product page.


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