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Linux-friendly Coffee Lake module supports up to 64GB DDR4

Apr 26, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,661 views

Kontron’s “COMe-bCL6” COM Express Basic Type 6 module features Intel’s 8th Gen Core and Xeon CPUs with 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.1, 8x PCIe, and options including a 1TB NVMe SSD, -40 to 85°C, and up to 64GB DDR4.

Kontron has unveiled its first product based on Intel’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” processors. The COMe-bCL6 joins other Coffee Lake based COM Express Basic Type 6 modules including the Congatec Conga-TS370 and Seco COMe-C08-BT6, which were announced early this month when Intel rolled out 18 Coffee Lake H-, M-, U- and T-series Intel Core and Xeon chips, as well as the more recent Data Modul EDM-COMB-CF6 and MSC Technologies MSC C6B-CFLH.

COMe-bCL6 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The COMe-bCL6 feature set is very similar to all these products, with Coffee Lake enabled features like additional PCIe interfaces, support for three simultaneous 4K displays, and multiple USB 3.1 ports with up to 10Gbps transfer speed. The 125 x 95mm COMe-bCL6 stands out with its options — for example, by special request, you can double the number of DDR4 memory slots to up to 64GB instead of the standard maximum of 32GB. Other special request options include an onboard 1TB NVMe SSD, and like the Congatec module, the COMe-bCL6 supports Intel Octane memory.

Like the Data Modul COM, the COMe-bCL6 provides optional -40 to 85°C support in addition to the standard 0 to 60°C, and it also offers an extended -25 to 75°C option. A special R E2S version is available that includes the -40 to 85°C support, as well as ECC memory and “integrated rapid shutdown.”


The COMe-bCL6 runs Linux, Windows 10, or VxWorks on the following Coffee Lake H- and M-series chips:

  • Intel Core i7-8850H (6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.6GHz/4.3GHz); 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP); Intel HD Graphics 630; QM370 chipset
  • Intel Core i5-8400H 4x 8-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.5GHz/4.2GHz); 8MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP); Intel HD Graphics 630; QM370 chipset
  • Intel Xeon E-2176M, 8850H (6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.7GHz/4.4GHz); 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP); Intel HD Graphics P630; CM246 chipset

The COMe-bCL6 offers a GbE controller, and provides 4x SATA III, 4x USB 3.1, 4x USB 2.0, and 2x RX/TX serial ports. Like its rivals, it provides a single PEG x16 and 8x PCIe x1 connections that support Intel Optane.

“Four 4K displays can be controlled, three of them separately,” says Kontron, which, if we’re interpreting it correctly, suggests that it offers the same triple simultaneous independent 4K support as its rivals. Three DisplayPort++ DDI ports, are available, one of which can instead support VGA, and there’s a dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interface, which can be swapped out for eDP. HD Audio and UHD video streaming are also available.

The COMe-bCL6 is further equipped with SPI, LPC, SMB, “Fast” I2C, a watchdog, and an RTC, There’s an 8-20V wide-range power input and ACPI 6.0 power management.

Security features include TPM 2.0, optional vPro, and optional Kontron Approtect Security Solution. Approtect, which is found on other Kontron products such as its Intel 7th Gen based COMe-bKL6 Basic Type 6 module, incorporates a Wibu-Systems security chip and a security software framework with IP and copy/reverse engineering protection. Kontron Approtect licensing also “enables new business models such as ‘pay per use’, demo versions for limited time periods, or activation/deactivation functions,” says the company, which last year was acquired by S&T Deutschland Holding AG.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the COMe-bCL6. More information may be found on Kontron’s COMe-bCL6 product page.

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