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SMARC 2.0 module gives Apollo Lake plenty of options

May 16, 2017 — by Eric Brown 569 views

[Updated: May 17] — MSC’s rugged MSC “SM2F-AL” is an Apollo Lake SMARC 2.0 COM with triple displays and options like WiFi/BT and up to 64GB each of eMMC and SATA NAND flash.

Avnet-owned MSC Technologies is adding to its line of Intel Apollo Lake based COMs with a MSC SM2F-AL module. The MSC SM2F-AL follows its earlier MSC C10M-AL COM Express Mini Type 10 module and SMARC 2.0 “short” form-factor MSC SM2S-AL. The new MSC SM2F-AL adopts the full-size, 82 x 80mm SMARC 2.0 format. Other full-sized Apollo Lake SMARC modules include Congatec’s Conga-SA5.

(click image to enlarge)

Like the Conga-SA5 and MSC’s previous Apollo Lake modules, the MSC SM2S-AL supports all three Apollo Lake quad-core and dual-core Atom 3900 parts, as well as the dual-core Celeron N3350 and quad-core Pentium N4200. The default OS is Windows 10, with a Linux BSP available upon request. The module, which is available in both 0 to 60°C and -40 to 85°C models, is offered with a heatsink, a heatspreader, and an optional, newly announced MSC SM2-MB-EP1 Mini-ITX carrier board (see farther below.)

The MSC SM2F-AL module provides up to 8GB of dual-channel, soldered DDR3L-1866 SDRAM, with optional ECC support. The COM is available with up to 64GB each of optional, soldered onboard eMMC 5.0 and SATA NAND flash storage. Also optional is a wireless module with 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC.


The MSC SM2F-AL supports triple independent displays, with a pair of DDI interfaces supporting DisplayPort 1.2 and/or HDMI 1.4b ports with up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz or 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 an optional eDP 1.3 port with 4K support. Dual MIPI CSI-2 interfaces are available along with I2S and HD audio support.

The module is further equipped with a GbE controller plus interfaces including SATA III (6Gbps), SD, 2x USB 3.0 host, 3x USB 2.0 host, and USB 2.0 OTG. Four UARTs are available, along with 2x SPI, I2C, LPC, SMBus, and 4x PCIe Gen 2 lanes.

Other features on this 5V module include a watchdog, PWM fan speed control, system monitoring, and support for external RTC battery and EAPI. Options include TPM 1.2 and TCG (Trusted Computing Group) security.

MSC SM2-MB-EP1 carrier

The MSC SM2F-AL is available with a new MSC SM2-MB-EP1 Mini-ITX carrier board that supports the SMARC 2.0 form factor in short or standard sizes. The board appears to be the same as the one provided in the recent MSC SM2S-SK-AL-EP1 SMARC 2.0 Starter Kit designed specifically for short-sized SMARC modules, including the MSC SM2S-AL.

(click image to enlarge)

The 170 x 170mm board supplies coastline ports including 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB 2.0 OTG. Side-accessible I/O also includes an SD slot, DisplayPort, HDMI port, 3x audio jacks, and RS232 and CAN 2.0B interfaces, both of which use DB9 ports.

Onboard interfaces include more RS-232 and CAN 2.0B headers, as well as DVI, eDP, LVDS, and MIPI-CSI2 connectors. You can choose between a PCIe x4 slot or a mini-PCIe slot with USB support.

Other features include a SATA II (3Gbps) connector, as well as eSPI, SPI, SMBus, I2C, GPIO, and a PWM fan connector. Sockets are available for SPI boot flash and an RTC.

The 0 to 70°C ready board has a 20-pin ATX power connector plus a 4-pin ATX 12V connector and a power jack for an alternative single voltage (12V/24V) supply. Power and reset buttons are onboard, along with various switches and jumpers.

Further information

The MSC SM2F-AL SMARC 2.0 module and MSC SM2-MB-EP1 Mini-ITX carrier board appear to be available now at undisclosed prices. More information may be found at MSC’s MSC SM2F-AL and MSC SM2-MB-EP1 product pages.

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