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A tiny platform for custom wireless mobile devices

Oct 10, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

CompuLab has introduced a tiny SBC (single-board computer) aimed at mobile device applications. The EM-X270 is based on a PXA270 processor, and integrates a touchscreen LCD controller, WAN, WLAN, and WPAN wireless, GPS, and an assortment of I/O ports, and is offered with a Linux OS.

EM-X270 top (left) and bottom (right)
(Click each image to enlarge)

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Key features and specs of the EM-X270 module, as listed by the company, include:

  • Processor — PXA270, clocked at 312 or 520 MHz
  • Memory — 128MB SDRAM; 512MB on-board flash
  • Graphics — supports STN and TFT, up to 800 x 600 pixels in 4/8/16-bit color
  • Wireless:
    • WAN — quad-band GSM/GPRS radio; on-board SIM socket
    • WLAN — WiFi
    • WPAN — Bluetooth
    • GPS — NAVMAN Jupiter32 receiver module, based on Sirf III GPS chipset
  • Audio — AC97 codec with microphone input and stereo output
  • Other I/O:
    • USB host/slave port
    • RS232, I2C, and SPI
    • Camera interface
  • Expansion:
    • SDIO/MMC card socket
    • Board-to-board expansion connector (described below)
  • Size — 3.8 x 2.6 inches (97 x 66 mm)
  • Weight — 3.5 ounces (100 gm), without optional LCD and battery
  • Power:
    • Operating — 0.2 to 2 W excluding GPRS; 1-2 W including GPRS
    • Sleep –10 – 50 mW, depending on configuration/mode
  • Operating temperature — available in 0 to 70 deg. C (standard), 20 to 70 deg. C (extended), and -40 to 85 deg. C (commercial) ranges

EM-X270 SBC block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The company points out that the EM-X270's size and mounting hole pattern are intended to facilitates the SBC's integration into the specialized enclosures required for custom mobile device applications.

The EM-X270 is also available with a 3.5-inch VGA touchscreen LCD (shown below), as well as with an on-board 3000mAh Li-polymer battery.

EM-X270 with optional LCD — don't worry, it also runs Linux!

Compulab says the EM-X270's board-to-board expansion connector brings out the full 32-bit local bus, display interface, and other signals, allowing the EM-X270 to be extended by means of either off-the-shelf or application-specific companion boards. One such board (the EB-X270), currently offered by the company, includes a 5V DC power supply, VGA controller, Ethernet, and some general purpose I/O signals. Presumably other standard expansion options will follow.

EM-X270 SBC with optional EB-X270 companion board
(Click to enlarge)

On the software side, the EM-X270 SBC comes with the open-source U-Boot bootloader, and its operating system support comprises Linux (with the GPE mobile device application framework) and Windows CE 6 BSPs (board-support packages).


According to Compulab, the EM-X270 SBC is available now as part of an evaluation kit offered at $2300. The SBC's price drops to $122 for a “basic configuration” at quantities of 1K units, and it can be “configured-to-order” in lots of 100 or more, the company added.

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