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IoT gateway runs Ubuntu on Apollo Lake

Feb 3, 2017 — by Eric Brown 2,632 views

Gigabyte’s “EL-30” IoT gateway offers a Pentium N4200, 8GB DDR3L, 32GB eMMC, dual GbE and HDMI, wide-range power, plus WiFi, BT, and optional 3G and ZigBee.

Gigabyte has unveiled an IoT gateway that taps Intel’s new 14nm fabricated “Apollo Lake” chips, in this case the quad-core, 1.1/2.5GHz Pentium N4200 with 6W TDP. The EL-30 follows a series of Intel Braswell-based EL-20 IoT gateways, which are primarily promoted as being Windows and Android devices, but also support Ubuntu. By contrast, the EL-30, which is due to ship in the second quarter, gives Ubuntu 16.04 LTS equal billing with Windows 10 IoT, Windows 10, and Android Nougat (7.0).

EL-30, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like many IoT gateways, the fanless EL-30 offers dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and extensive wireless support, but it’s the first we can recall that sports dual HDMI (1.4b) outputs. The audio-ready HDMI ports are driven by the Intel HD Graphics 505 GPU to up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz resolution. This would suggest an upward expansion of the IoT concept to media applications like remote digital signage or surveillance.

The 140.8 x 107.5 x 29.5mm, 560-gram EL-30 is sized like the EL-20 gateways except for being two millimeters taller. The gateway supports up to 8GB of dual-channel DDR3L-1600/1866 RAM, and comes standard with 32GB eMMC. A microSD slot is also available.

EL-30 detail views
(click image to enlarge)

In addition to the dual GbE ports, communications are enabled by a WiFi and Bluetooth module installed in the half-size mini-PCIe slot. There’s also a full-sized mini-PCIe where you can add 3G and mSATA storage. Dual WiFi and single 3G antennas connectors are said to be available. The photos show a fourth antenna, however, which is probably an antenna for the optional ZigBee radio.

EL-30 with antennas (left) and internal detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The EL-30 features 4x USB 3.0 ports, an audio combo jack (Realtek ALC255), an RS485/232 serial interface via an RJ45 port, and a “Micro-B” RS232 full-duplex port. There’s also a TPM header for an optional security chip, as well as 2x LEDs. The manual, but not the product page, also lists internal SATA, GPIO, SPI/SMB, a USB 2.0 header, a Kensington Lock interface, and SIM Card slot interfaces, as seen in the image above.


The EL-30 has a DC jack and a wide-range 12-19V power input with an AC 100 to 240V adapter. The system runs at 65W/3.42A, and supports 0 to 40°C temperatures.

Gigabyte’s embedded line also includes a Bay Trail Atom-based GB-TCV1A Wind River Validated Intelligent IoT Gateway Solution, which supports Wind River Linux and Fedora in addition to Android and Windows.

Further information

The EL-30 gateway will be available in Q2 2017 at an unstated price. More information may be found at Gigabyte’s EL-30 product page.

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