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Intel Core based EPIC SBC targets retail applications

Jul 10, 2018 — by Eric Brown 931 views

Aaeon’s retail-oriented “EPIC-KBS8” SBC offers a choice of 6th or 7th gen Intel Core chips, as well as SATA III, mSATA, mini-PCIe, 2x GbE, and up to 2x LVDS and 12x USB interfaces.

The EPIC-KBS8 is based on last year’s EPIC-KBS7, which similarly has a legacy, 165 x 115mm EPIC form factor and supports 6th gen (“Skylake”) or 7th gen (“Kaby Lake”) Intel Core CPUs. The new model has fewer real-world ports, but more onboard USB and serial interfaces, among other changes.

EPIC-KBS8 (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

While the EPIC-KBS7 targeted machine vision and other embedded applications, the EPIC-KBS8 is “purpose-built for retail and fintech (financial technology) applications,” says Aaeon. Retail solutions might include a camera, barcode scanner, cash register, scale, or fingerprint detector, says the company. No OS support was listed, but the previous board shipped with Linux and Windows drivers.


The EPIC-KBS8 features an LG1151 socket for Skylake and Kaby Lake chips up to 54W TDP. Two SKUs are available: The 0001 model has an Intel H110 I/O chipset while the 0002 has a higher end Q170.


Among other extras, the 0002 model adds a second LVDS interface and four more internal USB 2.0 interfaces. This gives you a total of 12x USB ports if you include the two coastline USB 3.0 ports available on both models, down from 4x 3.0 ports on the EPIC-KBS7.

Both EPIC-KBS8 models lose the previous HDMI port, leaving you only with the coastline VGA port and one or two LVDS interfaces for displays. One of those can be swapped out for an eDP connection.

There’s only one SATA III port instead of two, and there’s no longer a SATA power connection. As before, you get an optional mSATA interface via a half-size mini-PCIe slot. This is a BOM change option on the 0001 model and is BIOS-selectable with the 0002. There’s also a full-size mini-PCIe slot, which in the case of the 0002 version is supported with a micro-SIM slot for cellular modems.

EPIC-KBS8 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The EPIC-KBS8 is further equipped with 2x GbE ports, 6x serial interfaces, an audio interface, 8-bit DIO, and an optional speaker amp. As before there’s a moderately extended 0 to 60°C range and a wide-range power supply.

Specifications listed for the EPIC-KBS8 include:

  • Processor — 6th or 7th Generation Intel i7/i5/i3 Core and Celeron CPUs up to 54W TDP; LGA1151 socket; Intel H110 (model 0001) or Q170 (0002) chipsets
  • Memory — up to 16GB DDR4-2133
  • Storage — SATA 3 port; mSATA optional via half-size mini-PCIe
  • Display:
    • VGA port
    • 1x (0001) or 2x (0002) 18/24-bit, dual-channel LVDS
    • Optional eDP (replaces 1x LVDS)
    • Backlight inverter supply (12V, 2A)
  • Networking — 2x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with WoL
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 6x (0001) or 10x (0002) USB 2.0
    • 5x RS-232 (COM2-5 with 5V/12V/RI design)
    • 1x RS-232/422/485 (COM2)
    • Audio interface (ALC892) with optional I2S-based 2W amp
    • 8-bit DIO
  • Expansion — Half-size mini-PCIe slot (with mSATA support); full-size mini-PCIe slot; micro-SIM slot (0002 model only)
  • Other features — Watchdog; optional cables and fans
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Power — +12V or 9-24V AT/ATX
  • Dimensions — 165 x 115mm; EPIC form factor

“Putting fast, socket-type processors on an EPIC board will give our customers a huge advantage,” stated Alicia Wang, Aaeon embedded computing division product manager. “Not only does the EPIC form factor’s smaller size make it cheaper to produce, but 4” boards can also be used in systems that Mini-ITX SBCs are just too bulky for.”

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EPIC-KBS8. More information may be found on Aaeon’s EPIC-KBS8 product page.

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