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3.5-inch SBC runs on two Watts at up to 158 deg. F

Dec 5, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 18 views

Datasound Laboratories Ltd. (DSL) announced a 3.5-inch single board computer (SBC) with an 800MHz Vortex86DX processor, 256MB or 512MB of DDR2 RAM, and a PC/104 or PCI-104 expansion interface. The ICOP-6326 also includes three Ethernet ports, a Mini PCI expansion slot, a CompactFlash slot, and an available DOM (disk on module), according to the company.

U.K.-based DSL rebrands products from a variety of manufacturers, but has obviously made no attempt to conceal the ICOP-6326's origin. (Icop itself sells what appears to be the same SBC as the VDX-6326, released earlier this year.)

DSL's ICOP-6326

Like many other Icop products, the ICOP-6326 (above) employs the Vortex86DX, an SoC (system on chip) announced by parent company DMP Group in November 2008. Built using a 90nm process, it comes in a 27 x 27mm package and is said to use under two Watts while running at up to 1GHz (see additional background later in this story).

Previous devices based on the 86DX have included a couple of PC/104 modules, the VDX-6354 from Icop itself and the CPU-1440 from Eurotech. The ICOP-6326 has a PC/104 expansion connector too — or, optionally, PCI-104 — but it uses the "3.5-inch" SBC format that actually measures approximately 5.75 by 4 inches.

Unlike the smaller modules, 3.5-inch SBCs have room for some standard card-edge connectors. That manifests itself on the ICOP-6326 in the form of a VGA port, an Ethernet port, a 9-pin RS232 port, a USB port, and a PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, according to Icop.

DSL's ICOP-6326 top (left) and bottom (right)
(Click to enlarge)

The rest of the ICOP-6326's not inconsiderable expansion capabilities are provided via headers — many of them brightly colored, as the image at left above shows. Headers provide three more RS232 ports, an RS485 port, an IDE interface, an LCD connector, two additional Ethernet ports, and three additional USB 2.0 ports, says Icop. That's not all: a floppy disk interface, printer port, 16-bit GPIO, audio I/O, and a JTAG connector are also listed.

According to Icop, the ICOP-6326's Vortex86DX is clocked at 800MHz and teamed with either 256MB or 512MB of RAM. The SBC also offers 4MB of flash memory and an optional IDE-based DOM, available in sizes of 16MB on up, the company adds.

The ICOP-6326 includes a Mini PCI expansion slot, presumably with a wireless LAN adaptor in mind. It also has a CompactFlash Type I/II slot, as pictured earlier above.

Thanks to the Vortex86DX's modest power needs, the ICOP-6326 runs fanlessly. It also provides a wide operating range of from -4 to 158 deg. F, according to Icop.

Specifications listed by DSL for the ICOP-6326 (and by Icop for the VDX-6326) include:

  • Processor — Vortex86DX clocked at 800MHz
  • Chipset — also includes XGI Volari Z9s for graphics
  • Memory — 256MB or 512MB of DDR2 RAM
  • Storage — 4MB flash; optional DOM (16MB or above); CompactFlash Type I/II slot
  • Expansion:
    • Mini PCI slot
    • PC/104 slot (PCI-104 optional)
  • Networking — 3 x 10/100 Ethernet (1 RJ45 connector; 2 headers)
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA
    • LVDS
    • LCD connector
    • 1 x PS/2
    • 4 x RS232 (1 DB9, 3 headers)
    • 1 x RS485
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (1 Type A connector; 3 headers)
    • IDE
    • floppy
    • printer
    • 1 x 16-bit GPIO
    • 1 x JTAG
    • audio — mic in, line out
  • Power requirements — +5V @ 900mA
  • Operating range — -4 to 158 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 5.75 x 4.01 inches

Vortex86DX background

The Vortex86DX is said to include the complete 486SX instruction set, adding floating point support. Unlike DMP's previous Vortex86SX, the SoC is capable of running Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded, in addition to Linux and Windows CE. In addition, it supports 256MB of embedded L2 cache, and supports up to 1GB of 233MHz DDR2 memory, according to its manufacturer.

The Vortex86DX does not support video output all on its own, though DMP's later Vortex86MX does. Therefore, Icop typically adds this to Vortex-based devices via a separate XGI Volari Z9s chipset, whose presence is confirmed on the ICOP-6326.

Further information

According to DSL, the Icop-6326 is available now, with drivers for Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE 6.0, and Windows CE 5.0. More information is available on DSL's ICOP-6326 product page and Icop's VDX-6236 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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