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Rugged 3.5-inch SBC gives you choice of Kaby or Skylake U-series

Apr 5, 2018 — by Eric Brown 882 views

IEI’s 3.5-inch “Wafer-ULT3/ULT4” SBC runs on Intel 6th or 7th Gen Core U-series CPUs, and offers triple display support, SATA III, 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, 2x mini-PCIe, and -20 to 60°C support.

IEI has launched a 3.5-inch SBC called the Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 that features Intel’s dual-core U-series processors including Skylake Core or Celeron (ULT3) or Kaby Lake Core (ULT4) chips. The system is aimed at transportation systems, including passenger information computers, but it would seem to fit a much wider range of embedded applications.

Wafer-ULT3-CE-R10, one of six Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 models (left) and with optional heatsink
(click images to enlarge)

The 146 x 102mm Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 is available in six different models with different names ranging from a Wafer-ULT3-i3-R10 with a 6th Gen Core, up to 2.3GHz i3-6100U to a Wafer-ULT4-i5-R10 with an up to 3.5GHz, 7th Gen Core i5-7300U. The images here show the most affordable option of the six 15W TDP options: the Wafer-ULT3-CE-R10 with an up to 1.6GHz 6th Gen Celeron 3855U. No OS support was listed for the boards, which are identical other than their CPU models, but we imagine Linux or Windows will run just fine.

Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 SKU list (left) and processor models
(click images to enlarge)

You can load up to 16GB of 2133MHz DDR4 SDRAM on one SODIMM socket and can order an optional second socket with 4GB or 8GB of DDR4, for a total of up to 24GB overall. The Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 is further equipped with dual GbE ports, a SATA 3.0 interface, and dual full-size mini-PCIe slots: one enables mSATA, and the other is paired with a SIM card slot.

Wafer-ULT3-CE-R10 side view

Triple displays are available via a combination of coastline HDMI and VGA ports, an onboard LVDS connector, and an iDP interface co-laid with VGA that gives you a choice of HDMI, LVDS, VGA, DVI, or DisplayPort. Dual HD Audio interfaces are also onboard.

Wafer-ULT3-CE-R10 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 offers dual RS-232/422/485 interfaces and 6x USB links, including 4x coastline USB 3.0 ports. Other features include DIO, SMBus, a watchdog, and more. The system supports -20 to 60°C temperatures, and has a 12V input. It runs at 4.27A on the up to 3.4GHz i7-6600U Skylake chip.

Specifications listed for the Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 include:


  • Processor — Intel 6th or 7th Gen U-Series CPUs (see chart above)
  • Memory — up to 16GB DDR4 2133MHz via single SODIMM; optional 4GB or 8GB DDR4 on second slot
  • Storage — SATA III (6Gbps); +5V SATA power connector; mSATA via mini-PCIe
  • Display:
    • HDMI port up to 4096 x 2160 @ 30Hz
    • VGA port up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz
    • 18/24-bit, dual-channel LVDS up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60HZ
    • iDP interface for HDMI, LVDS, VGA, DVI, DP (co-layout with VGA)
    • Triple display support
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel i219LM/i211AT) with AMT 11.0
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • Audio out
    • SMBus, fan connector
    • 2x RS-232/422/485
    • 8-bit DIO
  • Expansion — 2x full-size mini-PCIe slots (1x shared with mSATA); SIM slot
  • Other features — Watchdog; 2x LEDs; optional heatsink; IEI One Key Recovery solution
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 60˚C
  • Power — 12V input; internal power connector (2×2 pin or optional terminal block); power and reset buttons
  • Weight — 250 g
  • Dimensions — 146 x (3.5-inch)

Other 3.5-inch SBCs that offer Intel 6th or 7th Gen Core chips include Commell’s LS-37K, which uses higher-powered S-series and Xeon-E3 CPUs. There’s also a 3.5-inch Aaeon GENE-KBU6 that offers Kaby Lake U-series chips. Other IEI boards include the Intel Braswell based Hyper-BW Pico-ITX SBC.

Further information

The Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on IEI’s Wafer-ULT3/ULT4 announcement and 3.5-inch Wafer page.


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