Intel and Ecosystem News

By Craig Szydlowski

Advantech Enables Smaller Portable Devices with COM Express ‘Micro’ Form Factor Boards

Shrinking CPU modules further, Advantech unveiled its COM-Express SOM-5775 board measuring only 95mm x 95mm (3.74” x 3.74”). This ‘Micro’ form factor performs the same functions as ‘Basic’ COM (computer-on-module) Express modules, but is about 24 percent smaller. These boards can be used in ultra compact devices that require substantial computing performance and low power consumption.

The SOM-5775 is equipped with the new Intel® Atom™ processor Z5xx series that delivers the benefits of Intel® architecture for small form factor, thermally constrained and fanless embedded applications. While running at 1.6 GHz core speed, this processor consumes about 2.2 watts (thermal design power) in an ultra-small 13x14 mm package.

The Intel Atom processor employs enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology to reduce average system power consumption and increase battery life. It is paired with a single-chip controller hub supporting integrated graphics.

The pin definitions of SOM-5775 are the same as a standard COM Express board and can work directly with existing carrier boards, providing a seamless upgrade path for those customers who are considering moving to the new Intel Atom platform. The SOM-5775 supports DDR2 memory up to 1 Gbyte, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, 8 USB 2.0 ports and a PCI Express™ interface. In addition, the integrated graphic engine supports CRT and 24-bit LCD display modes. The target operating systems will be Windows® XP Embedded and Vista.

Advantech SOM (System On Module) series is backwardly compatible with existing hardware and software systems. These boards feature long life support and are fully scalable, allowing developers an easy path to address upgrades or changing application needs. Advantech’s own SUSI (Secure and Unified Smart Interface) API library provides a set of user-friendly, intelligent and integrated interfaces, which speeds development and enhances security. The SOM-5775 will be available in Q2, 2008.

3U VPX Form Factor SBC Addresses Demanding Embedded Applications

Expanding its support of VPX, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms launched the VPXcel3 SBC320, the first 3U VPX single board computer (SBC) to feature Intel® Core™2 Duo processor technology combined with a server class memory controller. VPX (previously known as VITA 46) brings switched fabrics to VMEbus-based systems. VPX was specifically created with the defense community in mind, and it retains the existing 6U and 3U form factors, supports existing PMC and XMC mezzanines and maintains the maximum possible compatibility with VMEbus. With this latest product launch, GE Fanuc supports a total of leven VPX products.

Figure. VPXcel3 SBC320 Single Board Computer

The SBC320, available in five air- and conduction-cooled ruggedization levels, is designed for demanding spaceconstrained embedded computing applications that require high compute performance and low heat dissipation. This SBC incorporates the low-voltage Intel Core 2 Duo processor L7400 running at 1.5 GHz and the Intel® 3100 chipset, which combines server-class memory and I/O controller functions into a single component. The system supports up to 2 GBytes of DDR2 ECCenabled SDRAM and 128 Mbytes of user Flash memory.

The board routes two 4-lane PCI Express ports running at 2.5 GHz to the backplane, which provides a high level of system throughput to the serial switched fabric VPX architecture. The SBC320 has many connectivity options including two USB 2.0 ports, two SATA 150 ports, two 10/100/1000BaseT Gigabit Ethernet ports, two UART (RS232) ports and a PCI-X compliant PMC site. Developers can choose among a comprehensive set of operating systems (e.g., Linux®, VxWorks and Windows®) and test software support including built-in test (BIT) and background condition screening (BCS). Covers for the SBC320 are optionally available to allow 2-level maintenance.

Craig Szydlowski is a regular contributing editor to Embedded Intel® Solutions magazine. He is a writer specializing in business and technology. He has over 20 years of engineering and marketing experience with embedded and communications systems at IBM and Siemens.