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Rugged Apollo Lake x7-E3950 SBC with Data Acquisition and PCIe/104 Expansion
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  • Specification
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  • Intel "Apollo Lake" x7-E3950 1.6GHz (burstable 2.0GHz) quad-core processor
  • 4GB non-ECC / 8GB ECC RAM soldered down
  • PCIe/104 OneBank
  • Operating temperature: -40°C to +85°C (-40°F to +185°F)

Saturn combines a feature-rich Atom‑class processor‑based SBC with a professional-quality industrial analog and digital data acquisition subsystem and flexible I/O expansion in a single board designed for rugged applications.

  • Intel "Apollo Lake" x7-E3950 1.6GHz (burstable 2.0GHz) quad-core processor with 15-year lifecycle
  • 4GB non-ECC or 8GB ECC RAM soldered down
  • Integrated professional-quality analog and digital data acquisition subsystem with software support
  • Bottom side heat spreader with integrated thermal pad provides efficient cooling and convenient mounting
  • Full −40 to +85ºC industrial operating temperature range
  • Thicker PCB and latching connectors increase resistance to shock and vibration
  • PCIe/104 OneBank expansion socket for industry-standard rugged I/O expansion
  • Minicard expansion socket for versatile low-cost I/O

Saturn was designed from the ground up with a comprehensive set of features to meet the challenges of rugged environments and applications:

  • Memory is soldered down to avoid problems that can occur with commercial style SODIMM type memory modules
  • The 50% thicker PCB increases rigidity and improves reliability of fine pitch and high-ball-count BGA solder joints
  • All I/O connectors are latching for increased ruggedness
  • A bottom-side heat spreader provides more efficient cooling than a traditional heat sink. Processor and memory chips are both thermally connected to the heat spreader. In addition the exterior surface features recessed thermal pads for improved thermal connectivity to the system enclosure.
  • All components are rated and/or tested to ensure reliable −40 to +85ºC operation

Integrated Data Acquisition
Saturn is a member of Diamond’s 2-in-1 series of SBCs with integrated data acquisition. For applications requiring precision analog I/O, a 2-in-1 SBC is an ideal choice because it reduces the number of boards in the system, resulting in a system that is smaller, lighter, lower cost, and easier to assemble and maintain. The features of the Saturn DAQ circuit surpass those found on most other embedded SBCs in both variety and quality, providing a comprehensive, professional quality subsystem backed with top of the line software support. «A» models include the full DAQ circuit with both analog and digital I/O features, while «D» models include only the digital I/O features.

Saturn’s data acquisition circuit features autocalibration, which maintains best accuracy of the A/D and D/A circuits regardless of time and temperature swings. Using the supplied Universal Driver software library, the circuit can be quickly calibrated to within +/-2LSB accuracy at any time, relative to the on-board precision reference voltage circuit.

The A/D circuit includes 16 single-ended / 8 differential analog input channels with programmable input ranges and a maximum aggregate sampling rate of 250KHz. A built-in programmable counter/timer supports accurate high-speed sampling with precise timing. The 2048-sample FIFO with programmable threshold ensures error-free sampling and enables you to tune the performance of the circuit to minimize interrupt processing overhead.

The D/A circuit consists of 4 16-bit D/A voltage outputs with independently programmable output ranges including 0-10V, +/-10V, 0-5V, and +/-5V. A 2048-sample waveform buffer is included to support arbitrary waveform generator functions on up to 4 channels simultaneously.

The digital I/O circuit consists of GPIO, counter/timers, and pulse-width modulators. The GPIO circuit provides 22 buffered digital I/O lines, consisting of one 8-bit port and 14 1-bit ports. Each port is individually programmable for input or output. The 1-bit direction controllable ports provide better matching of input and output quantities to each application. Jumper configuration enables selection of 5V/3.3V logic levels and pull-up or pull-down resistors on the digital I/O lines.

The 8 32-bit programmable counter/timers feature both up and down counting with clocking selectable from an external digital signal or the on-board 50MHz clock. Counters can be used for generating programmable output frequencies with programmable output pulse widths, counting external events, generating interrupts to the host processor at a programmable rate, and driving A/D sampling at precise frequencies with perfect timing between samples.

The circuit further includes 4 24-bit programmable pulse width modulators also driven by the on-board 50MHz clock. These feature programmable rate, duty cycle, and polarity, with real-time rate and duty cycle update capability.

Software Support
Diamond Systems’ Universal Driver software provides unmatched power and flexibility for embedded data acquisition programming with PC/104 and small form factor I/O boards. It provides flexible C-language programming support for Windows and Linux to control all data acquisition features on Saturn, as well as Diamond’s MiniCard data acquisition modules that can be used with Saturn.

A powerful and convenient graphical control panel provides instant, easy access to all data acquisition features on the board. It can be used for proof of concept, testing, and even system debugging.

I/O expansion
Saturn provides two sockets for the installation of I/O expansion modules:

  • A PCIe/104 OneBank I/O expansion socket provides 4 PCIe x1 lanes and 2 USB 2.0 ports to interface with hundreds of PCIe/104 I/O modules from vendors around the world. Only top side expansion is supported, since the bottom side of Saturn is covered by the heat spreader.
  • A full-size PCIe MiniCard socket supports both PCIe and USB minicards. Saturn supports Diamond’s complete line of PCIe MiniCards.

What is PCIe/104 OneBank™?
OneBank™ is the name given to the PCIe/104 standard that utilizes a more compact, cost effective connector to support rugged, high-speed I/O expansion. The original PCIe/104 connector features 3 «banks» of contacts. The 2nd and 3rd banks contain PCIe x8 / x16 signals that are not supported on Atom processors nor used by most I/O expansion modules. By eliminating these signals, a smaller and more cost effective connector can be used to provide compatibility with any PCIe/104 I/O module that uses a PCIe x1 or USB host connection, while freeing up precious PCB space for additional I/O or connectors. OneBank is an official expansion connector supported by the PC/104 Consortium (of which Diamond Systems was a founding member).

Mass storage
Saturn offers two options for mass storage:

  • An M.2 2242 size SATA socket is provided for onboard mass storage. Modules up to 1TB are available. This is the most common choice.
  • A standard 7-pin SATA connector is available for connecting a standard 2.5″ or other form factor hard drive. This connector can be used when higher capacity storage is needed. Diamond offers accessory board ACC-HDDMOUNT which allows a 2.5″ drive to be mounted on the PC/104 holes on Saturn.

Cable Kit
The Saturn cable kit includes all I/O cables needed for all I/O connectors on Saturn except the LCD data and backlight cables, which are customized for each individual application. Cables are normally sold as complete kits. Individual cables may be available in some cases or may be ordered with minimum order quantities; contact us for availability. Detailed drawings listing all components are provided to enable customers to build their own cables.

Development kits
Development kits are available to support quick project startup. Each kit includes the Saturn SBC, a cable kit, and a programmed 64GB flashdisk with a read-to-run installation of Windows 10 or Linux operating system, plus a backup USB memory device. Simply install the flashdisk, attach the cables, add your keyboard, mouse, and display, and connect power, and the board will boot into a fully functional OS.

Configuration files and instructions are provided to rebuild the OS with your application. The Linux kit includes all the tools needed to rebuild the OS. The Windows 10 kit includes a runtime license.

A software-only kit is available that consists of just the programmed flashdisk and backup USB memory device. This software kit is intended for customers who already have one or more Saturn SBCs. One software kit can be used on any number of Saturn boards. (Windows licensing requirements still apply.)

Technical specifications
Processor Intel "Apollo Lake" x7-E3950 1.6GHz (burstable 2.0GHz) quad-core processor with 15-year lifecycle
RAM 4GB non-ECC / 8GB ECC RAM soldered down
Interfaces 2 gigabit Ethernet ports
2 HDMI ports
Dual-channel 24-bit LVDS with backlight power
2 USB 3.0 ports with USB 2.0 downward compatibility
2 dedicated USB 2.0 ports
2 RS-232/422/485 + 1 RS-232 serial ports
Audio HDA audio (ALC662)
SATA 7-pin connector
Storage M.2 2242 SATA socket supports up to 1TB flashdisk
TPM TPM 2.0 chip on board
PCIe/104 OneBank PCIe/104 OneBank I/O expansion connector with 4 PCIe x1 and 2 USB 2.0 connections
Heat spreader Bottom-mounted heat spreader for efficient cooling and convenient mounting
Input voltage 5VDC input voltage
RTC battery On-board RTC backup battery with external battery connector
Operating systems Windows 10 64-bit and Ubuntu Linux 64-bit OS support
Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.0" / 114 x 102mm W x H

Data acquisition subsystem features

Inputs 16 single-ended / 8 differential analog inputs
A/D resolution 16-bit A/D resolution
Analog inputs Unipolar and bipolar
Input configuration Single-ended and differential input configuration
Input ranges Programmable gain 1/2/4/8 providing input ranges +/-10V / 0-10V down to +/- 1.25V / 0-1.25V
Sample rate 250KHz maximum A/D sample rate, single-channel and multi-channel mode
A/D triggering Internal clock / external clock / software A/D triggering
A/D operation Single-channel and multi-channel-scan A/D operation
FIFO Interrupts with FIFO to support reliable high-speed sampling
Analog outputs 4x 16-bit single-ended analog outputs
Output ranges +/-10V, +/-5V, 0-10V and 0-5V output ranges
Autocalibration Autocalibration with Universal Driver software maintains accuracy over time and temperature
Digital inputs 24 digital I/O, 3.3V logic / 5V tolerant inputs
Counter/timers 8x 32-bit programmable counter/timers for A/D timing and general counting purposes
PWM 4x 24-bit PWM outputs

Environmental and physical specifications

Operating Temperature -40°C to +85°C (-40°F to +185°F) (fanless)
Model Description
SAT-E3950-4GA Saturn SBC, E3950 CPU, 4GB RAM, With Data Acquisition
SAT-E3950-4GD Saturn SBC, E3950 CPU, 4GB RAM, With Digital I/O
SAT-E3950-8GEA Saturn SBC, E3950 CPU, 8GB ECC RAM, With Data Acquisition
SAT-E3950-8GED Saturn SBC, E3950 CPU, 8GB ECC RAM, With Digital I/O
SAT-E3940-4GA Saturn SBC, E3940 CPU, 4GB RAM, With Data Acquisition
SAT-E3940-4GD Saturn SBC, E3940 CPU, 4GB RAM, With Digital I/O
SAT-E3940-8GEA Saturn SBC, E3940 CPU, 8GB ECC RAM, With Data Acquisition
SAT-E3940-8GED Saturn SBC, E3940 CPU, 8GB ECC RAM, With Digital I/O
DK-SAT-E3940A-LNX64 Development Kit, Saturn SBC With DAQ, Linux 64-Bit BSP
DK-SAT-E3940A-WE1064 Development Kit, Saturn SBC With DAQ, Windows 10 64-Bit BSP
DK-SAT-E3950A-LNX64 Development Kit, Saturn SBC With DAQ, E3950 CPU, Linux 64-Bit BSP
DK-SAT-E3950A-WE1064 Development Kit, Saturn SBC With DAQ, E3950 CPU, Windows 10 64-Bit BSP
SDK-SAT-E3940A-LNX64 Software Development Kit for Saturn SBC, Linux 64-bit OS
SDK‑SAT‑E3940A‑WE1064 Software Development Kit for Saturn SBC, Windows 10 64-bit OS
CK-SAT-01 CK-SAT-01 cable kit
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