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EBX SBCs

Mar 9, 2002 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive

The 5.75 x 8.0 in. Embedded Board eXpandable (EBX) specification, which was derived from Ampro's proprietary Little Board form-factor, resulted from a collaboration between Ampro and Motorola Computer Group.

As compared with PC/104 modules, these larger (but still reasonably embeddable) SBCs tend to have everything of a full PC on them, including application oriented interfaces like audio, analog, or digital I/O in many cases. Also it's much easier to fit Pentium CPUs — whereas it's a tight squeeze (or expensive) to do so on a PC/104 SBC. Typically, EBX SBCs contain: the CPU; upgradeable RAM subassemblies (e.g. DIMM); Flash memory for solid state disk; multiple USB, serial, and parallel ports; onboard expansion via a PC/104 module stack; off-board expansion via ISA and/or PCI buses (from the PC/104 connectors); networking interface (typically Ethernet); and video (typically CRT, LCD, and TV).

Motorola Computer Group maintains an EBX information area where you can find an EBX backgrounder and the EBX spec. The EBX spec and related information are also available from Ampro's whitepapers area.

As is the case with PC/104, most EBX SBC manufacturers offer support for embedded Linux on their products — either directly, or via a third-party relationship with one of the embedded Linux software providers.

Here are a few manufacturers of EBX form-factor SBCs that reportedly support Linux: Adastra Systems, Advantech, Ampro, Arcom Controls, Embedded Planet, Lanner Electronics, Octagon Systems, Motorola Computer Group, VersaLogic, WinSystems.

Refer, also, to the PC/104 resources sited earlier in this guide since EBX is, after all, based on PC/104 technology. In addition, try using the LinuxDevices.com search engine with “EBX” as the keyword — check the news, articles, products, and links databases.

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