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Linux-friendly COM Express module floats 3rd Gen Cores

Jul 30, 2015 — by Rick Lehrbaum 595 views

Acrosser has introduced a pair of COM Express Type 6 Basic modules based on circa-2013 Core i7/i3 CPUs from Intel’s extended lifecycle, embedded roadmap.

Being compatible with PICMG’s COM Express Type 6 Basic specifications, Acrosser’s “AMB-HM76B1” computer-on-module has much in common with other embedded board vendors’ products in the same form factor. In Acrosser’s case, the module is offered in two versions, offering the choice of fan or passive heatspreader cooling solutions. With this release, the company has doubled its COM Express module product line, adding to the one it rolled out in late-2012.

Acrosser’s AMB-HM76B1 comes in heatspreader- and fan-cooled models
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to offering two heat dissipation configurations, the AMB-HM76B1 comes in three SKUs, based three dual-core, 17W TDP, 3rd Generation Intel processors: the 1.7GHz Core i7 3517UE, the 1.GHz Core i3 3217U, or the 1.4GHz Celeron 1047UE. The module’s design teams these processors up with Intel’s QM7 mobile chipset.

Intel HM76 chipset block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Acrosser’s Linux support for the AMB-HM76B1 comes in the form of Linux 3.3-based Fedora 17 32 and Linux 3.5-based Ubuntu 12.10. However, in light of the chipsets used, we imagine most any modern Linux kernel or distribution will run fine on the boards. Windows 7 is also supported.

Another pair of COM Express modules based on Intel’s 3rd Generation Intel Core and Celeron processors and HM76 mobile chipset was introduced by Congatec about two years ago. Congatec’s Conga-BS77 and Conga-TS77 (shown below) are implemented according to PICMG Type 2 and Type 6 bus specifications, respectively, and are available in a wide range of Core and Celeron processor SKUs.

Congatec Conga-BS77 (left) and Conga-TS77
(click images to enlarge)


Development baseboard

Although no reference to a COM Express Type 6 carrier board appeared in Acrosser’s announcement of the AMB-HM76B1 or currently shows up on either of the AMB-HM76B1’s product pages, an ACM-B4080 carrier board for COM Express Basic Type 6 COMs is listed on the COM Express family page of Acrosser’s website. We presume it supports HM7681-based development.

Acrosser’s ACM-B4080 carrier for COM Express Type 6 modules
(click image to enlarge)

The image above identifies the key features of the ACM-B4080 baseboard, which, among others, include 1x VGA port, 2x HDMI ports, 4x SATA interfaces, 8x USB ports; GPIO, 1x PCIe x16 slot, 1x PCIe x4 slot, 3x PCIe x1 slots, and a pair of sockets where you plug-in the COM Express module.

Summary of HM76B1 specs

Specifications listed by Acrosser for the HM76B1 module include:

  • Processor — 3rd Gen Intel Core i7/i3/Celeron processors with HM76 chipset:
    • Core i7 3517UE — dual-core, 1.7GHz, 4MB cache, 17W TDP
    • Core i3 3217UE — dual-core 1.6GHz, 3MB cache, 17W TDP
    • Celeron 1047UE — dual-core, 1.4GHz, 2MB cache, 17W TDP
  • Memory — 2x 204-pin SODIMM sockets, for up to 16GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage — 2x SATA III (6Gb/s), 2x SATA II (3Gb/s)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82574L), supporting iAMT 8.0 and PXE Boot
  • Display — Intel HD graphics 4000, with interfaces for:
    • 1x analog RGB, up to 2048×1536 px with 32-bit @75Hz
    • 1x HDMI Port, up to 1920×1200 @60Hz
    • 1x dual channel LVDS
    • 3x DisplayPort
    • 1x SDVO/DisplayPort
  • Audio — Intel HD Audio
  • USB — 4x USB3.0, 8x USB2.0
  • Other I/O — 2x UART (TX/RX only), 8x GPIO (4x inputs, 4x outputs)
  • Expansion — 1x PCIe x16 Gen 3; 6x PCIe x1
  • Power — 24-pin ATX connector, 4-pin ATX 12V connector; consumption TBD
  • Dimensions — 125 x 95mm; COM Express Basic Type 6
  • Operating temp. — 0 to 60°C
  • Operating systems — Linux 3.3 (Fedora 17 32), Linux 3.5 (Ubuntu 12.10), Windows 7

Further information

Additional details and ordering information may be found at Acrosser’s two AMB-HM76B1 module product pages, for the heatspreader and fan cooled models. Information regarding the ACM-B080 COM Express Type 6 carrier board is available here. Prices are not listed publicly.

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