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Rugged embedded computers run Linux on Whiskey Lake

Oct 30, 2019 — by Eric Brown 963 views

Vecow launched two compact, rugged embedded PCs with Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-UE. The Linux-ready SPC-5000 and -5100 offer 4x 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and SUMIT expansion with optional 10GbE modules, and the RES-3000 features IP67-protected M12 ports.

Vecow announced a fanless, rugged SPC-5000 computer and almost identical, but wider-temp SPC-5100, equipped with Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-UE CPU. Both embedded computers target machine vision, in-vehicle computing, factory automation, ITS, intelligent control, and AIoT/Industry 4.0 applications.

The SPC-5000/5100 systems appear to be based on Vecow’s recently launched, 3.5-inch EMBC-3000 SBC. The EMBC-3000 also powers a larger, more feature-rich SPC-5200 computer that was announced at the same time in early September.

SPC-5100 (left) and SPC-5000 (right), with earlier SPC-5200 shown at top
(click image to enlarge)

The SPC-5000/5100 announcement references both of those products plus an unannounced, but documented, RES-3000 system, which we cover farther below. The larger RES-3000 is waterproof and offers rugged M12 ports.


Vecow SPC-5000/5100

Vecow’s 150.4 x 106.2 x 44mm, 0.9 kg SPC-5000 and 150.4 x 106.2 x 62.1mm, 1.3 kg SPC-5100 systems appear to differ only in the addition of a heatsink to the SPC-5100. This enables a wider -40 to 85°C range instead of -40 to 70°C.

Much of the I/O and layout is identical to that of the SPC-5200, which similarly supports Linux and Windows 10. The larger SPC-5200 adds 16 isolated DIO interfaces, as well as two more RS-232/422/485 and two more GbE ports for a total of 4x each.

SPC-5000, front and back

The Vecow SPC-5000/5100 supports dual- and quad-core Whiskey Lake U and long-lifecycle UE-series Core and Celeron parts, all with 15W TDP. The computers can load 4GB to 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM via a single slot.

For storage, there’s a SATA III slot plus an optional, SATA II based mSATA card available on one of the two mini-PCIe slots. The other slot is accompanied by a SIM card slot and supports an optional 4G/GPS module with antenna. Vecow also lists an optional WiFi/Bluetooth module with antennas, but with no mention of mini-PCIe.

SPC-5100, front and back

The Vecow SPC-5000/5100 provides Intel I210 and Intel I210LM based Gigabit Ethernet ports with WoL and PXE support. The LM port also supporting iAMT 12.0. The system provides 4x 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 host ports plus 2x RS-232/422/485 DB9 ports.

SPC-5000 (left) and SPC-5100
(click images to enlarge)

Media features include a DisplayPort for up to 4096 x 2304 @ 60Hz resolution and a DVI-D port for up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz. Dual audio jacks link up to a Realtek ALC892 codec with 5.1 Channel HD audio.

with stacked
SUMIT cards

SUMIT A and B expansion slots are optional and support stackable SUMIT cards with multiple 10GbE copper, 10GbE optical SFP+, 5G, SIM socket, PoE, serial, GbE, GbE Fiber, or video capture. Vecow has gone all in on the SUMIT standard and offers SUMIT expansion design and manufacturing services

Two external 3-pin terminal blocks provide a 9-48V input and a remote switch. There’s also a 16-mode ignition control, as well as a watchdog, hardware monitoring, and TPM 2.0 security. A DIN-rail kit is optional.

Ruggedization features include 50g, IEC 60068-2-27-compliant shock and 5Grms, IEC 60068-2-64-compliant vibration resistance. There is also humidity resistance and CE/FCC/EN50155/EN50121-3-2 EMC protection.


The RES-3000 likely uses the same EMBC-3000 SBC as the three SPC systems, but you’d never know it from looking at it. Rugged M12 ports are lined up in a row along the rear panel, providing 2x RS-232/422/485, 2x GbE, and a USB 2.0 port that supports dual USB connections. The DC input with 9-48V support is also on an M12. Internally, there are SATA III and mSATA (SATA III) slots with an optional 2.5-inch HDD/SSD bracket.

RES-3000, front and back

The 2.3 kg, 250 x 180 x 44mm has the same ruggedization features as the SPC-5000/5100 except for a slightly narrower -30 to 70°C operating range and IP67 waterproofing on all the ports. These include the M12 connectors, the HD-ready DVI-D port, and the power switch.

The Whiskey Lake-U options and up to 32GB DDR4 support are the same as the other systems, as is the watchdog and HW monitoring. TPM 2.0 is optional, and wall- and VESA mounting appear to be standard.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the SPC-5000, SPC-5100, and RES-3000. More information may be found in Vecow’s announcement and its SPC-5000, SPC-5100, and RES-3000 product pages.

Rugged Science informs us that it will offer the new Vecow computers for North American customers. At publication time, we see several Vecow SPC computers on its ultra-compact industrial computer page, but the latest models have yet to be posted.

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One response to “Rugged embedded computers run Linux on Whiskey Lake”

  1. Steve Steinbacher says:

    North American customers can reach out to Rugged Science, Vecow’s master distributor for sales/support inquiries.

    Steve Steinbacher
    Rugged Science

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