congatec SMARC 2.1 Carrier Board Makes Intel Atom Processor Based 3.5-inch SBCs Modular

May 28, 2020 Tiera Oliver

congatec announced its new conga SMC1/SMARC-x86 3.5-inch carrier board available to date.

Tailored to make 3.5-inch SBC designs modular, it is optimized for the Gen 5 Intel Atom, Celeron, and Pentium processors (codenamed Apollo Lake) as well as future low power x86 generations. Its slot for SMARC 2.1 processor modules provides processor socket independent scalability.

The new SMARC 2.1 carrier board is application-ready and off-the-shelf deployable in small to mid-sized series in combination with any congatec SMARC Computer-on-Module.

Another benefit of the carrier board is the capability to implement customizations, which according to the company, ensures custom design efficiency. SMARC module customers can even get free access to the carrier board schematics as support for own carrier board designs.

The new conga-SMC1/SMARC-x86 features audio codec and USB-C implementation that is optimized for Intel Atom processor technology. It is also optimized for MIPI cameras, which can now be connected directly and without any additional hardware. With  to two MIPI-CSI 2.0 connectors it is possible to develop systems that provide three-dimensional vision and can therefore also be used for situational awareness in autonomous vehicles. Combined with processor-integrated support for artificial intelligence and neural networks, this commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platform offers everything developers need for smart vision systems.

Feature set in detail:

  • Size-optimized, 3.5-inch form factor
  • Scalable across the entire Intel Apollo Lake processor range, from Intel Atom (E3950, E3940, and E3930) to Celeron (N3350), and Pentium (N4200) processors.
  • Measuring 146 x 102 mm, the conga-SMC1/SMARC-x86 offers dual GbE, 5x USB and USB hub support as well as SATA 3 for external hard drives or SSDs.
  • For custom expansions, the board offers a miniPCIe slot as well as an M.2 Type E E2230 slot with I2S, PCIe and USB, and an M.2 Type B B2242/2280 with 2x PCIe and 1x USB.
  • An integrated MicroSim slot for IoT connection is also provided, next to specific embedded interfaces such as 4x UART, 2x CAN, 8x GPIO, I2C and SPI.
  • Displays can be connected via HDMI, LVDS/eDP/DP and MIPI-DSI. The board further offers two MIPI-CSI inputs for camera connection.
  • Sound is implemented via an audio jack.
  • The board comes with full Windows and RTS hypervisor support.
  • For the open source community, congatec also offers precompiled binaries with a suitably configured bootloader, appropriately compiled Linux, Yocto and Android images, plus all required drivers that are available to congatec customers on GitHub.

For more information, visit:

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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