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Tough, IP67-sealed box PC runs Linux on Atom

Jul 1, 2015 — by Eric Brown 1,614 views

X-ES unveiled a rugged, sealed embedded PC that runs Linux on an Atom E3800, and offers 4GB of ECC RAM, IP67 protection, M12 ports, and -40 to 70°C support.

For its new XPand6903 embedded computer, Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) returned to the same Intel Atom E3800 system-on-chip found in its Linux-ready XPedite8150 and XPedite8152 COM Express modules. The feature sets are close enough that it’s possible there’s a XPedite8150 COM under the hood, although this is not indicated in the documentation.


The convection air cooled XPand6903 is designed for Human Machine Interface (HMI), industrial automation, and transportation applications, especially in “environmentally challenging and space-constrained situations,” says X-ES. The box PC is sealed against dust and water per IP67 and uses protected M12 port connectors, making the system “ideal for medical and food-safe environments where it will be exposed to chemicals and moisture,” says the company.

The DIN rail mountable XPand6903 is available in X-ES ruggedization levels 1 and 3. The first gives you 0 to 55°C operation with 20 g shock and 0.002 g²/Hz vibration resistance. The level 3 model expands to a -40 to 70°C range, and ramps up shock resistance to 30 g and vibration to 0.04 g²/Hz.

XPand6903 front panel view and connector details
(click images to enlarge)

The 7.0 x 4.5 x 1.3-inch system ships with a quad-core, 1.91GHz Intel Atom E3845, but other models are also available. The SoC is backed up with a generous 4GB of DDR3-1333 SDRAM with ECC. Undefined SATA SSD storage options are available via internal SATA connectors.


The XPand6903 features dual gigabit Ethernet connections on separate M12 ports. Other M12s mix and match I/O. All told, you get two VGA, two RS-232/422, and four USB ports, but these are split up to match USB with either VGA or serial I/O.

The system also can be configured to provide DVI-D or DisplayPort interfaces in place of VGA. Internal expansion options are said to include WiFi, cellular, GPS, and CAN bus, but no details were supplied.

The XPand6903 supports a wide input voltage range of 12 to 28 volts, with reverse polarity protection. Additional power input voltages may be available on request.

XPand6903 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The XPand6903 supports Windows 7 and “most modern Linux distributions” out of the box. In addition, there are BSPs for VxWorks and X-ES Enterprise Linux (XEL), which appears to be based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). An open source coreboot bootloader is available via Intel”s Firmware Support Package (FSP), enabling faster boot times and simplified security, says X-ES.

Specifications listed for the XPand6903 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E3845 (4x Bay Trail-I cores @ up to 1.91GHz); other E3800 models also available
  • Memory — 4 GB DDR3-1333 ECC SDRAM
  • Storage — Optional, factory-configurable, internal, SATA-based modules
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet on M12 connectors
  • Other I/O (M12 connection combos):
    • 2x RS-232/422/485, 2x USB 2.0
    • VGA, USB
    • VGA, USB
    • Optional DVI-D or DisplayPort in place of VGA
    • Optional expansion I/O including CAN bus and wireless
  • Power:
    • 12 to 28V input (4-pin M12)
    • Reverse polarity protection
    • MIL-STD-704 28 VDC input voltage support
  • Ruggedization:
    • Extended shock and vibration tolerance (X-ES levels 1 and 3)
    • Operating temperature — 0 to 55°C (level 1); -40 to 70°C (level 3); convection air cooling
    • Sealed case with IP67 protection for dust and water
  • Dimensions — 7.0 x 4.5 x 1.3 in.
  • Weight — less than 1.75 lb
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 7; BSPs also included for X-ES Enterprise Linux (XEL) and VxWorks

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the XPand6903. More information may be found on the X-ES XPand6903 product page.

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