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Intel Atom E3800 SoCs debut on 3.5-inch SBCs

Nov 5, 2013 — by Eric Brown 3,359 views

Axiomtek and Nexcom each announced Linux-friendly 3.5-inch single board computers built with dual- or quad-core Intel Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) system-on-chips. The Nexcom EBC 355 and Axiomtek CAPA841 SBCs each feature dual gigabit Ethernet ports, dual Mini-PCI Express slots, and dual display capabilities with HDMI, VGA, and LVDS interfaces, plus support for extended temperature operation.

Intel’s Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) SoC is built upon the same 22nm Silvermont architecture as the tablet-focused Atom Z3000 (Bay Trail-T) SoC, but is aimed at the general embedded market. The SoCs are said to provide faster performance and lower power consumption than earlier Clover Trail+ Atoms. Among other enhancements, they offer a larger L2 cache, native USB 3.0 and HDMI support, and Intel’s Gen 7 3D graphics engine, delivering up to twice the 3D performance.

Last month, Portwell announced a trio of products based on the E3800, including a Nano-ITX SBC, a Mini-ITX motherboard, and a Type 6 COM Express Compact COM. Congatec unveiled a Qseven style Conga-QA3 and COM Express Type 6 Compact Conga-TCA3 module based on the Bay Trail-I.


Now Nexcom and Axiomtek are bringing the Intel E3800 SoC to the 3.5-inch SBC form factor. Both the Nexcom EBC 355 and Axiomtek CAPA841 are available with either a quad-core Intel Atom E3845 clocked at 1.91GHz or a dual-core Atom E3826 clocked at 1.46GHz, featuring 10W and 7W TDPs, respectively.

Nexcom EBC 355

Nexcom mentions medical devices as well as outdoor computers such as gate control systems, gas station kiosks and public information displays as ideal applications for the EBC 355. Medical devices should benefit from the board’s USB 3.0 connections, said to enable faster collection of patient data for portable health monitoring devices. The E3800’s 3D and video hardware acceleration support are said to provide faster image processing for handheld ultrasound machines. The board is also said to be suitable for home automation, thin clients, and industrial automation, where it’s touted for its ability to provide “precise visualization of process controls.”

Nexcom EBC 355 3.5-inch SBC, top and bottom
(click images to enlarge)


The single 204-pin SODIMM supports up to 4GB or 8GB of DDR3L-1066/1333 RAM, depending on various citations in Nexcom product pages and datasheets. The EBC 355 provides coastline VGA and HDMI ports, as well as dual-channel 24/48-bit LVDS interfaces. The latter supports resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels. Dual displays are supported.

Two gigabit Ethernet ports are supplied with PXE boot and wake-on-LAN support, Next to them on the coastline are two more ports, which appear to be two of the four available USB 3.0 connections.

Additional I/O appears to be available from onboard headers, and includes dual SATA 2.0 interfaces, four serial ports (one of them RS232/422/485), and dual Mini-PCI Express slots. A Realtek ALC886 audio codec supports pin-header based audio I/O. The 146 x 102mm SBC can handle operating temperatures from -20 to 60°C, and runs on +12V DC input via a 4-pin connector, says Nexcom.

Axiomtek CAPA841

Axiomtek’s CAPA841 is equipped with a DDR3L-1066/1333 SODIMM that supports up to 8GB, and offers a CompactFlash socket for storage. Like the Nexcom SBC, it supplies dual Mini-PCI slots. One of them is half-sized, while the full-sized slot supports an mSATA interface.

Axiomtek CAPA841 3.5-inch SBC, top and bottom
(click images to enlarge)


In addition to the mSATA option, the board is equipped with a SATA-300 port. Like the Nexcom board, there are dual gigabit Ethernet ports with PXE Boot and wake-on-LAN, along with four USB ports. However, they are USB 2.0 ports instead of 3.0. Two of the USB ports are on the coastline, along with one of the four serial ports. Two of the serial connections are said to be BIOS-selectable RS-232/422/485 ports

Like the Nexcom SBC, the CAPA841 provides coastline HDMI and VGA ports. It also offers dual display capability together with the 18/24-bit single/dual channel LVDS interface

The CAPA841 is further equipped with 8-channel digital I/O, an SMBus connection, and audio I/O (Realtek ALC662). The board has a wider temperature range than the Nexcom model, supporting -40 to 85°C temperatures, and also provides dust and noise protection, according to Axiomtek.

Further Information

No ship date was provided by Nexcom for its EBC 355, but Axiomtek’s CAPA841 SBC is said to be scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2014.

More details on the Nexcom board may be found in its EBC 355 product announcement and at the company’s EBC 355 product page.

More information on Axiomtek’s board is available in its CAPA841 announcement and at the company’s CAPA841 product page.

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