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COM Express module runs Linux on a 2 GHz Pentium

Feb 23, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Kontron has announced a “computer-on-module” (COM) device based on the upcoming COM Express specification developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG). The ETXexpress-PM supports Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded and is one of the first products based on COM Express, according to the company.

(Click here for larger image)

The ETXexpress-PM board is based on Pentium M series processors ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 GHz, and it incorporates Intel's 915GM Express mobile chipset which provides PCI Express connectivity. The module's onboard graphics function is provided by Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator 900 chipset, which also supports PCI Express.

Kontron lists the following key features and preliminary specifications for the ETXexpres-PM:

  • Processor — Pentium M 720 to 760 with Mobile Intel 915GM Express chipset
  • Memory — up to 2GB DDR2-DIMM RAM
  • Display:
    • Integrated with chipset or expanded via PCI-Express Graphics 1×16
    • Resolution — up to 2560 x 2048 pixels, 32-bit color
    • Dual-channel LVDS at 110 MHz, Dual SDVO
    • CRT output available
    • TV out on a separate connector, either component or composite video
  • Expansion:
    • 4 PCI-Express x1 lanes
    • PCI 2.3, 32-bit at 66 MHz for legacy device support
  • I/O ports:
    • 4 Serial ATA interfaces
    • 1 Parallel ATA interface
    • 8 USB 2.0 ports
    • 1 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN port
  • Power consumption — 40W @ 12V

Sample ETXexpress-PM modules are expected to be available in late Q1 2005. Production pricing is estimated at approximately $600 in small quantities, according to Kontron.

About COM Express

In mid-2003, Kontron began an effort to create a computer-on-module standard based on PCI Express technology. The initial result, called ETXExpress, was announced in November of 2003. Around the same time, the company formed a working group with Intel, Radisys, and PFU that subsequently affiliated with PICMG. The result of this work is the COM Express specification, due to be released soon.

Briefly summarized, COM Express provides support for:

  • Up to 32 PCI Express lanes with 80-gigabit per second (Gbps) aggregate bandwidth
  • External x16 PCI Express graphics
  • Up to four Serial ATA-150 links with 600-megabyte per second (MBps) aggregate bandwidth
  • Up to three 1-Gbps Ethernet ports, with provision for 10-Gbit Ethernet in the future
  • Up to eight USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to two channels of LVDS
  • Up to two channels of Serial DVO

COM Express is also designed to accommodate the next generations of the PCI Express (5 GHz) and Serial ATA (300 Mbps) interfaces, effectively doubling existing data rates to 160 Gbps and 1.2 GBps (gigabytes per second), respectively.

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