Dev Kit Weekly: ADLINK I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake Development Kit

December 16, 2022

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Industrial IoT, it’s that it moves fast. It’s constantly evolving to include capabilities like vision, edge analytics, and robust security, all at the speed of real-time operational requirements – if decisions aren’t made fast enough, and tasks aren’t executed in the right order and at the right time, all of a sudden, your entire process is in shambles.

Speed and timing in IIoT environments are of the utmost criticality, and that’s exactly the point addressed by ADLINK’s I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake development kit – so let’s get under the hood of this thing.

The I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake development kit is an Industrial IoT prototyping kit with an off-the-shelf ADLINK LEC-EL SMARC 2.1-compliant Computer-on-Module based on the 6th generation Intel® Atom® x6425E SoC, which comes with four cores and 32 integrated Intel® UHD Graphics execution units. The 10 nm Elkhart Lake Atom processor boasts a 1.5 MB L2 cache and supports 32 GB of memory capacity across four channels that deliver a max bandwidth of 59.7GB/s.

The built-in GPU, which runs at a base frequency of 500MHz, includes support for DirectX, OpenGL, OpenCL, and Intel® Quick Sync Video, and can drive up to 3 separate 4K resolution displays. The kit also features H.265 and H.264 video encode and decode capabilities.

On the SMARC module, you’ll find up to 8GB of LPDDR4 memory and several high-speed I/O interfaces – and of course the Atom® processor. This resides – or rather, plugs into – ADLINK’s I-Pi SMARC Plus carrier board, which provides even more I/O and expansion options, including RJ45 ports, several USB ports, HDMI, an audio jack, M.2 E-Key and M.2 B-Key expansion slots, and more. The beauty here for industrial designers is the extensibility, as the carrier board-plus-module combination allows the module to be exchanged for a higher performance one so long as it is SMARC 2.1 compliant. The carrier board can remain in place without requiring extensive retrofits or system redesigns for years or decades into the future.

Since the kit is intended for use in industrial environments, the whole package is compliant to the IEC 60068-2-64 and IEC 60068-2-27 shock and vibe standards and can operate in temperatures ranging from -40ºC to 85ºC.

Beyond ruggedization, the I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake packs in a ton of additional features and tools that allow it to keep pace with the ongoing evolution of industrial IoT applications. These start with the security capabilities of the Atom processor such as Intel® Secure Key, which contains a random number generator meaning it can be used to generate cryptographic keys and create hardware-based chains of trust between systems as well as within the system when coupled with technologies like Intel® Boot Guard and Intel® OS Guard.

The AES-NI cryptographic instructions are built into the processor, and there’s also the option to add a TPM 2.0.

All of that hardware-based security frees the host processor cores to remain as fast as possible while taking on new advanced workloads, but software can help on this front, too. For example, the I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake development kit supports the Intel® Distribution of the OpenVINO™ toolkit that optimizes edge inferencing models for execution on Intel CPUs and integrated graphics units.

OpenVINO’s runtime inference engine allows users to assemble optimized networks and manage inference operations, and its most recent release also enables load balancing, automatic device discovery, and dynamic inferencing parallelism across the CPU and GPU to provide performance boosts to your devices and systems.

If you’re prototyping a computer or machine vision system, OpenVINO helps accelerate your development time, too, with pretrained deep learning models and a Model Optimizer API available through the Open Model Zoo.

If you’re interested in keeping your Industrial IoT systems on the move, I’d suggest prototyping with an ADLINK I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake development kit that will help keep your IIoT systems functioning at the safe, secure, and speedy levels they’re supposed to.


You can purchase one on the I-Pi website ( for 324$, and use the discount code "DevKitWeekly" through December 31st to get $20 off your first purchase (other limitations apply).

However, if you would prefer free over discounted, you can enter this week’s raffle, linked below, for a chance to win one for free. If you do win, we’ll even ship it right to your doorstep without charge. Good luck!

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