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Rugged, Linux-ready Qseven module taps Apollo Lake

May 18, 2017 — by Eric Brown 522 views

The “MSC Q7-AL” is a Qseven COM with Intel Apollo Lake, triple display outputs, and options including -40 to 85°C support, 64GB eMMC, and a 3.5-inch carrier.

MSC Technologies has spun another Apollo Lake module in the form of a 70 x 70mm, Qseven 2.1 form-factor MSC Q7-AL COM. The announcement follows other recent MSC Apollo Lake module launches including the recent MSC SM2F-AL SMARC 2.0 COM. The module competes with other Qseven 2.x COMs using Intel’s 14nm SoC family including Arbor’s EmQ-i2401, Portwell’s PQ7-M108, Advantech’s SOM-3569, Congatec’s Conga-QA5, and Seco’s Q7-B03.

Two versions of the MSC Q7-AL
(click image to enlarge)

The MSC Q7-AL supports all three of Intel’s Apollo Lake quad-core and dual-core Atom 3900 parts, as well as the dual-core Celeron N3350 and quad-core Pentium N4200. Windows 10 is the default OS, and a Linux BSP available upon request. You can choose between 0 to 60°C and -40 to 85°C models, and optionally purchase the COM with a new 3.5-inch “MSC Q7-MB-EP6-601” carrier board designed for Qseven 2.x modules (see farther below.)

Like the recent MSC SM2F-AL SMARC module, the MSC Q7-AL ships with up to 8GB of dual-channel, soldered DDR3L-1866 SDRAM, with optional ECC support. The COM is available with optional, up to 64GB soldered eMMC 5.0 storage, but without the SMARC module’s SATA SSD option. A GbE controller is onboard, but unlike its SMARC sibling, it offers no optional wireless module.


The MSC Q7-AL supports triple independent displays with a DisplayPort++ interface that supports both DP 1.2 and/or HDMI 1.4b ports with up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz and 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz resolution, respectively. A dual-channel, 18/24-bit LVDS interface with up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz can be swapped out for two eDP 1.3 ports with 4K support. HD audio is also available.

The MSC Q7-AL is equipped with dual SATA III (6Gbps) interfaces, as well as SD, UART, LPC, I2C, SPI, and SMBus, each in single units. For USB, you get one USB 3.0 host port and one of the following host options, each of which includes 1x host/device port: 2x USB 3.0 plus 4x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 plus 6x USB 2.0, or 8x USB 2.0.

Other features on this 5V module include 4x PCIe Gen 2 lanes, a watchdog, PWM fan control, system monitoring, and RTC and EAPI support. Options include TPM 1.2 and TCG (Trusted Computing Group) security.

MSC Q7-MB-EP6 carrier

The MSC Q7-AL is available with a 148 x 102mm, “3.5-inch” MSC Q7-MB-EP6 carrier designed for Qseven 2.x modules. The new carrier board is available with the same -40 to 85°C option as the module.

(click image to enlarge)

The MSC Q7-MB-EP6 provides an SD slot and an mSATA socket that appears to be independent of the separate, USB-ready mini-PCIe interface. The coastline presents dual GbE ports, as well as USB 3.0 and 2.0 host ports, a micro-USB 2.0 OTG port, an RS-232 DB-9 port, and a DisplayPort. An HD audio codec is also onboard.

Internal interfaces include USB 2.0, SATA II, CAN, RS-232/485, and LVDS or eDP with backlight support, among other I/O. The 5V board has a preinstalled Qseven heat rail, and the Qseven module is placed on the lower side of the baseboard, “making it easy to thermally connect the Qseven heat spreader to a metal enclosure and provide fanless heat dissipation,” says MSC.

Further information

The MSC Q7-AL Qseven 2.1 module and MSC Q7-MB-EP6 carrier appear to be available now, with pricing unstated. More information may be found on MSC’s MSC Q7-AL and MSC Q7-MB-EP6 product pages.

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One response to “Rugged, Linux-ready Qseven module taps Apollo Lake”

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