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SMARC module delivers Elkhart Lake with up to 256GB UFS

Sep 28, 2020 — by Eric Brown 531 views

Advantech’s Linux-ready “SOM-2532” SMARC 2.1 module is built around Intel’s Atom-class, 10nm Elkhart Lake platform and supplies up to 16GB LPDDR4-3200, 256GB UFS 2.1, dual GbE with TSN, dual USB 3.1 Gen 2, dual CAN, and triple 4K support.

Advantech is one of the early adopters of Intel’s newly announced Elkhart Lake Atom x6000E, Pentium, and Celeron processors. Its SOM-2532 competes with the similarly SMARC 2.1 form-factor TQMxE40S, one of several Elkhart Lake modules that TQ-Embedded announced last week. The SOM-2532 follows Advantech’s Apollo Lake based SOM-2569 SMARC module.

SOM-2532 and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Elkhart Lake SoCs run on 10nm SuperFin Tremont CPU cores and up to 32EU Intel Gen11 graphics with triple 4K and improved AI performance. Intel claims up to 1.7x better single-thread, 1.5x better multi-thread, and 2x better graphics performance compared to Gemini Lake.

Elkhart Lake integrates an Intel Programmable Services Engine (Intel PSE) built around a Cortex-M7 with in-band out-of-band device management. Other Elkhart Lake highlights include support for more RAM and up to 3x 2.5GbE ports. (For more details, see our Elkhart Lake report.)


In its announcement, Advantech says the module supports dual- and quad-core models, yet the datasheet says it supports only quad-core, 10-12W TDP Elkhart Lake models with 1.8-1.9GHz base frequencies and 2.6-3GHz Turbo speeds. This would appear to limit the selection to three quad-core models: the 12W Atom x6425E and 10W Celeron J61413 and Pentium J6425, all with 1.8GHz/3GHz clock rates.

Linux and Windows Embedded are supported on the module, which is aimed at automation, medical, IOT edge and transportation applications. The module also supports Advantech’s iManager and WISE-PaaS/DeviceOn embedded management applications.

Like the other Elkhart Lake boards we have covered in recent days, the 82 x 50mm SOM-2532 is available in 0 to 60°C and -40 to 85°C models. The 3.0-5.25V powered module offers 3.5 Grms vibration resistance and 40°C @ 95% non-condensing relative humidity tolerance.

Unlike Avalue’s 3.5-inch, Elkhart Lake based ECM-EHL SBC, the module lacks support for 32GB RAM, but you can load up to 16GB high-speed, durable LPDDR4 3200MT/s, as well as optional error-correcting IBECC RAM on some SKUs. Like Congatec’s Elkhart Lake based Conga-PA7 Pico-ITX SBC, there is support for speedy UFS 2.1 flash, in this case at up to 256GB.

The module includes a GbE controller that can drive dual ports, but unlike the Avalue SBC, there’s no support for 2.5GbE. The ports include Elkhart Lake’s built-in Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) technology, which improves the precision of data synchronization over the network and “minimizes jitter to reduce latency during real time device communication,” says Advantech.

The support for dual LAN connections is claimed to improve cybersecurity in industrial automation. “Users can connect multiple systems or batch firmware updates using WISE-PaaS/OTA via an internal LAN to protect important data” and also “conduct external communication via another independent LAN in diverse usage conditions,” says Advantech.

The SOM-2532 can drive 3x independent displays with LVDS (1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz) or eDP, DP++ at up to 4096 × 2160 @ 60Hz, and HDMI at up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz. Additional I/O includes 4x PCIe x1, 2x USB 3.1 Gen2, 6x USB 2.0, 2x 4-wire serial, 2x 2-wire serial, and 2x CAN-FD. You also get SATA 3.0, Intel HD Audio, SMBus, I2C, SPI, eSPI,14-bit GPIO, and a watchdog.

Further information

Although the product page lists the SOM-2532 as “preliminary,” Advantech says the module is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in the announcement and product page.


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