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Industrially oriented ATX boards run Linux on Kaby Lake or Skylake

Oct 24, 2017 — by Eric Brown 683 views

Aaeon’s “IMBA-Q170A” and lower end “IMBA-H110A” ATX boards support 7th or 6th Gen S-Series CPUs with extensive PCIe, M.2, SATA, and USB 3.0 expansion.

No pricing was listed for the IMBA-Q170A and IMBA-H110A boards, but they’re billed as “two of the most affordable offerings on the current single board market.” The very similarly equipped ATX form factor (305 x 244mm) SBCs support Intel’s 7th Gen Kaby Lake or 6th Gen Skylake processors, specifically targeting the dual-core, 15W TDP S-Series Core, Pentium, and Celeron CPUs in an LGA1151 socket. The difference is that the IMBA-Q170A incorporates an Intel Q170 I/O chipset while the IMBA-H110A uses the Intel H110.

IMBA-Q170A (left) and IMBA-H110A
(click images to enlarge)

Both boards can run 64-bit Fedora Linux, as well as Windows builds up to 64-bit Windows 10. The boards are said to be suitable for embedded applications including digital signage, rolling stock, industrial robots, and aerospace.

Block diagrams for IMBA-Q170A (left) and IMBA-H110A
(click images to enlarge)

The IMBA-Q170A is the higher-end model. It supports up to 64GB, dual-channel DDR4 2400/2133/1867 instead of 32GB on the IMBA-H110A. The Q170A model is also available in a separate SKU that offers 4x SATA III ports (instead of 3x) as well as a second PCIe x4 port. That same value added Q170A SKU provides a PCIe-ready M.2 M key slot instead of the SATA-based M.2 M key on both the standard Q170A SKU and the H110A model.

The standard Q170A SKU is the same as the H110A model in regard to SATA III (3x), M.2 (M key with SATA), and PCIe (PCIe x16 and single PCIe x4). However, the IMBA-Q170A is the only model that supports RAID (0/1/5/10).

IMBA-Q170A, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The IMBA-Q170A provides 10x USB 3.0 ports instead of a mix of 4x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 ports on the H110 model. The Q170A model also offers 3x USB 2.0 headers compared to 4x on the H110A, enabling a total of 13x total USB connections compared to 10x.

IMBA-H110A, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The only other difference we could see between the two models is that the Q170A offers 2x HDMI 1.4 and a VGA port while the H110A has single HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, and VGA ports. In either case 4K video and triple display support are available.

IMBA-H110A detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Both the IMBA-Q170A and IMBA-H110A provide dual GbE ports with WoL and PXE, as well as a RS-232/422/485 DB-9 port and 5x RS-232 headers. They also supply 8-bit DIO, a PS/2 port, 3x audio jacks (Realtek ALC887), a watchdog, hardware monitoring, fan headers, and optional TPM 2.0. The boards are rated for 0 to 60°C temperatures, and have 24-pin ATX power connectors as well as a Lithium battery.


Further information

The “affordable” IMBA-Q170A and IMBA-H110A ATX boards are “coming soon.” More information may be found on Aaeon’s IMBA-Q170A and IMBA-H110A product pages.

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2 responses to “Industrially oriented ATX boards run Linux on Kaby Lake or Skylake”

  1. ryan says:

    How are these “SBCs?” They’re motherboards.

    • LinuxGizmos says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ryan. I tend to agree with you, and we don’t normally refer to ATX motherboards as SBCs and don’t typically cover standard motherboards at LinuxGizmos. We made an exception in this case due to the fact that these boards are aimed at embedded and industrial applications (including robotics). Here’s an excerpt from Aaeon’s PR that announced the pair:

      “The IMBA-Q170A and IMBA-H110A boards are two of the most affordable offerings on the current single board market, and the economic choice for manufacturers looking to consolidate their systems with something nice and hardy as they are resilient, resolutely scalable and easy to maintain,” said Clark Lee, Product Manager for AAEON’s Industrial PC Division (IPC). “As such, they are perfect for heavy industry applications such as rolling stock, industrial robots and aerospace.”

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