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Advanced mezzanine card runs Linux

Dec 12, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

Concurrent Technologies has introduced a processor module that employs the AMC (advanced mezzanine card) form-factor and runs Linux. The AM 110/10x supports Core 2 Duo processors and uses Intel's “server-class” 3100 chipset, according to the company.

(Click here for a larger view of the AM 110/10x)

The AM 110/10x supports the PICMG's Advanced TCA architecture, intended to allow telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) to use off-the-shelf hardware and software based on embedded PC architectures to build interoperable devices. (The PICMG 3.0 specification, to which the AM 110/10x is said to confirm, is available in PDF format, here). The AM 110/10x offers full hot-swap and Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) capabilities, according to Concurrent.

Intel's 3100 chipset, used here, combines memory and I/O controller functions into a single component, specifically optimized for embedded, communications, and storage applications. By replacing a separate memory controller hub and I/O controller hub, it significantly conserves board real estate and power consumption, and offers 3.2Gb/sec peak memory bandwidth, according to Intel.

On the AM 100/10x, the chipset is used to support either the 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo T7400 or 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo L7400, each with 4MB of second-level cache (shared between the cores), according to Concurrent. The module accepts up to 8GB of DDR2-400 DRAM, which, it's claimed, makes it one of the first products in the AMC market to squeeze this amount of memory into a single slot.

As the block diagram below illustrates, the AM 100/10x offers a wide variety of interfaces, including three Gigabit Ethernet ports, four SATA-150 ports, and an IPMI connector. It also has an eight-lane PCI Express fabric connection.

A block diagram of Concurrent Technologies' AM 110/10x

Features and specifications cited by Concurrent for the AM 110/10x include:

  • Processor — 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo T7400 or 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo L7400
  • Memory — 4MB of second-level cache, up to 8GB of DDR2-400 ECC SDRAM
  • Networking — 3 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • AMC interface, hot-swap compliant with AMC 3.0 specification
    • 8-lane PCI Express fabric connection; can also be used as two x4 interfaces in dual redundant fabric systems
    • 4 x Serial ATA150 interfaces, with transfer rate up to 150Mbytes/sec
    • 2 x RS232, one via RJ45 front panel connector, one via AMC connector
    • 4 x USB 2.0, one via front panel connector, two via AMC connector, one supporting USB 2.0 flash disk module
    • watchdog timer
    • 1 x 35 bit long duration timer with processor interrupt capability
    • CPU temperature and voltage monitor, accessible via IPMI
  • Dimensions — AMC single-width, full-height form-factor, 7.1 x 2.9 inches (181 x 73.5 mm)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 55 deg. C

Pricing and availability for the AM 110/10x were not released, but the module appears to be on the market now. Operating system support is said to include Linux, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and QNX.

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