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3.5-inch SBC includes PC/104 interface

Sep 30, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Protech announced a 3.5-inch SBC (single board computer) that offers an Intel Atom N450 processor, up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, and a CompactFlash slot. The EB-821LF also includes two gigabit Ethernet ports, four serial ports, and a PC/104 expansion connector, the company says.

Protech's EB-821LF uses the "3.5-inch" format that, being designed to mirror the size of floppy disk drives (whatever those were!) and other peripherals, actually measures 5.74 x 4 inches. Bubbling under for a number of years, this format seems to be getting more popular lately, perhaps because it provides a balanced amount of room for a DIMM slot, a storage card, and "real-world" interfaces.

Protech's EB-812LF

Like the 3.5-inch Capa800 released by Axiomtek last week, the EB-821LF (above) employs Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N450, which is not the very latest variant — that would be the Atom E6xx, with its ability to use third-party I/O hubs — but does include on-chip graphics. The N450 works with relatively simple I/O controllers too, supplied here in the form of Intel's ICH8-M.

The EB-821F offers an onboard CompactFlash slot (as did the Capa800) and an SATA connector, plus a 200-pin DIMM slot that supports the expected 2GB of DDR2 memory. Rather than the Mini PCI Express interface of the Capa800, the EB-812F offers a PC/104 expansion connector — a rare find on a 3.5-inch board, we believe.

According to Protech, the interfaces provided here as real-world connectors on the edge of the board include a VGA output, two USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Headers, meanwhile, proffer two additional USB 2.0 ports, three additional serial ports, LVDS, and a parallel port, the company says.

Protech's EB-821LF
(Click to enlarge)

A Realtek ALC888 HD audio codec chip supports mic-in, line-in, and line-out headers, Protech says. A watchdog timer is also said to be available.

Specifications listed by Protech for the EB-821LF include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N450 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — Intel ICH8-M
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM slot
  • Expansion:
    • CompactFlash slot
    • PC/104 interface
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x VGA
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 external, 2 internal)
    • 4 x serial (1 x RS232 external; 2 x RS232 internal; 1 x RS232/422/485 internal)
    • 1 x LVDS (header)
    • 1 x parallel (header)
    • audio — mic in, line in, line out (headers)
  • Operating range — 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 5.71 x 4.02 inches (154 x 102mm)

Further information

Protech did not cite pricing, availability, or operating system support, but as usual, the common Intel chipsets should allow running Linux, Windows, and other x86 operating systems. More information on the device may be found on the company's website, here.

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