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Compact, rugged Skylake computer-on-module is big on PCIe

Aug 29, 2016 — by Eric Brown 940 views

Kontron’s Linux-ready “COMe-cSL6” COM Express Compact Type 6 module offers 10 PCIe lanes, up to 24GB RAM and 32GB eMMC, and industrial temperature support.

Almost a year ago, when Intel announced its 6th Generation Core “Skylake” processors, Kontron was among a batch of vendors that announced plans to deliver COM Express computer-on-modules based on the new Intel platform by the end of the year. Kontron’s announcement was less detailed than the others, however, and it is just now releasing its first Skylake COM Express module: the COMe-cSL6. So far, this is the only Kontron Skylake product aside from a new, and similarly Linux-ready, mITX-SKL-H Mini-ITX board.

Kontron COMe-cSL6
(click image to enlarge)

Kontron’s COMe-cSL6 follows two previous Intel Core-based Compact Type 6 offerings that we missed at the time: a 4th Gen Haswell based COMe-cHL6 and a 5th Gen Broadwell based COMe-cBL6. Fortunately, Kontron has posted a comparison spec chart (PDF) between these modules as well as some Bay Trail Atom-based Compact Type 6 products we did cover: the COMe-cBTc6/cBTi6 and COMe-cBTi6R. Presumably, the new COMe-cSL6 will be added to the chart soon.

Kontron’s COMe-cSL6 joins a growing number of Linux-ready, 95 x 95mm COM Express Compact Type 6 offerings built around Skylake. Like the other Skylake Compact Type 6 COMs we’ve seen, the COMe-cSL uses Intel’s power-efficient, 15W TDP, dual-core U-Series models. Kontron’s competitors here include the Adlink cExpress-SL, the Axiomtek CEM501, the DFI SU968, and the Win Enterprises MB-73450.


The Kontron COMe-cSL6 feature set falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. The module stands out with its 32GB of optional eMMC and 10x PCI-Express interfaces — twice as many as some of the others. Its up to 24GB of DDR4 RAM limit is not as much as the 32GB maximums possible on the Adlink and Axiomtek modules, but more than the DFI and Win Enterprises COMs. It only has two SATA 3.0 interfaces instead of three on the Axiomtek and DFI models and four on the Adlink. Like all but the DFI module, the Kontron board provides optional -25 to 75°C and -40 to +85 °C support.

COMe-cSL6 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The COMe-cSL6 runs Linux, Windows 7/8.1/10, WEI8, or VxWorks on Intel’s dual core, 2.6GHz i7-6600U, 2.4GHz i5-6300U, or 2.3GHz i3-6100U, as well as the 2.0GHz Celeron 3955U, all with 15W TDPs. The module ships with 8GB DDR4 RAM down, with the option to add up to 16GB via a SODIMM slot for a total of 24GB. You can also add up to 32GB of onboard SLC eMMC flash as an option.

The COMe-cSL6 features a GbE controller, as well as dual SATA 6Gbps, 4x USB 3.0, and four USB 2.0, and dual serial interfaces. Three DDI interfaces are available, two of which support DisplayPort++ while the third supports VGA. You also get eDP and dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interfaces.

Nine of the 10 PCIe 3.0 lanes are standard, with five offering PCIe lanes and four with PEG. The optional 10th interface requires that you disable LAN eDP, and eMMC. The module has wide-range 8.5V to 20V ATX power with ACPI 4.0. The COMe-cSL6 is further equipped with HD audio, SPI, LPC, SMB, Fast I²C, staged watchdog, RTC, MARS, and TPM 2.0.

Further information

The COMe-cSL6 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at Kontron’s COMe-cSL6 product page.

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