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Linux-ready 3.5-inch SBC drives compact, fanless box-PC

Sep 14, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,076 views

Advantech announced an Intel Braswell based “PCM-9310” 3.5-inch SBC with triple display support, plus a 1U height “EPC-S101” embedded PC that runs on it.

Advantech announced its 3.5-inch PCM-9310 SBC in passing as the foundation for its EPC-S101 “bare-bone chassis” industrial computer, which it touts for its slim, 1U, 39mm height. We’ll focus primarily here on the PCM-9310 SBC which is tagged as “new,” and which supports Linux as well as Windows and VxWorks. The EPC-S101 product page does not list Linux support.

PCM-9310, front and back

Other Braswell-based Advantech products include a UBX-310D POS computer and SOM6868 COM Express module. Braswell-based 3.5-inch SBCs from other vendors include Aaeon’s GENE-BSW5 and Commell’s LE-37F.

PCM-9310 side view
(click image to enlarge)

The PCM-9310 feature set is much like that of the Aaeon and Commell models, which similarly support 0 to 60°C temperatures. You get 8GB of DDR3L plus SATA III, mSATA, and optional mini-PCIe. Triple displays are supported via LVDS, VGA, and HDMI ports.

PCM-9310 detail view (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The PCM-9310 front panel is further equipped with dual GbE ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, and 2x USB 2.0 ports, with two more USB 2.0 interfaces available internally. Other interfaces include audio I/O, GPIO, and 4x serial connections.

Specifications listed for the PCM-9310 3.5-inch SBC include:


  • Processor — Intel “Braswell” with Intel HD Graphics 400 (Gen 8):
    • Atom x5-E8000 (4x 1.04GHz/2GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 5W)
    • Celeron N3160 (4x 1.60GHz/2.24GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 6W)
    • Celeron N3060 (2x 1.60GHz/2.48GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 6W)
  • RAM — 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM
  • Storage — SATA 3.0 port; optional SATA 2.0; full-size mSATA slot
  • Display:
    • HDMI 1.4b port at up to 2560 x 1600 at 60Hz
    • VGA port at up to 1920 x 1200 at 60Hz
    • Single/dual-channel, 18/24-bit LVDS at up to 1920 x 1200 at 60Hz
    • Optional eDP 1.3 at up to 2560 x 1440
    • 3x independent displays
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (RTL8111E)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 interfaces
    • 2x RS232 interfaces
    • 2x RS-232/422/485 interfaces with auto flow control
    • Audio mic-in, line-in, line-out (ALC892)
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • I2C and SMBus on shared pin
  • Expansion — Optional mini-PCIe slot on request
  • Other features – 2x LEDs; watchdog; HW monitoring; heatsink; optional heat spreader and USB cables
  • Power — 12V DC input (optional jack); ACPI, Lithium 3V 210mAh battery; 7W (quad-core) or 5W (dual) typ. consumption
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 102mm; 3.5-inch form factor
  • Weight — 0.6 k
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 8.1 and WES7; VxWorks; SUSI API support


The fanless, 188 x 150 x 39mm EPC-S101 computer is suitable for retail, commercial kiosk, signage applications, environmental monitoring, and HMI applications, says Advantech. The 0.95-kilogram computer offers the same dual- and quad-core Braswell options with 8GB RAM, and exposes all of the PCM-9310 SBC’s ports.

EPC-S101 front (left) and internal views

The EPC-S101 also adds a rear panel with the four serial ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 3x audio jacks, and a DIO port. The back panel is further equipped with a 12V input, a power switch, and antenna mount. The LVDS interface is disabled, so you’re limited to dual instead of triple displays.

The optional mini-PCIe slot is standard here, and is accompanied with a SIM slot. There’s an optional 2.5-inch SATA drive, as well as VESA, wall, and DIN-rail mounting.

EPC-S101 detail views
(click image to enlarge)

The temperature range drops to 0 to 50°C, but the EPC-S101 adds IEC 60068-2-64-compliant vibration and IEC 60068-2-27-compliant shock resistance. The system supports Advantech’s iManager and WISE-PaaS/RMM middleware, as well as its SUSI Embedded Software APIs.

Further information

The PCM-9310 and EPC-S101 are available now. The PCM-9310 SBC sells for $216 for the dual-core Celeron N3060 model and $237 for the Celeron N3160. No pricing was available for the Atom x5-E8000 based PCM-9310 model or any of the EPC-S101 configurations. More information may be found on Advantech’s PCM-9310 and EPC-S101 product pages.


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