News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

AMD spins dev board for embedded processors

Apr 15, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has announced a microATX motherboard designed to promote use of its Athlon, Athlon X2, and Phenom processors in embedded products. The “AM2+DB780E” includes four DIMM slots, gigabit Ethernet, 12 USB ports, five SATA ports, plus PCI and PCI Express expansion, says AMD.

(Click here for a larger view of AMD's AM2+DB780E)

The AM2+DB780E obviously derives the first half of its name from the fact that it includes an 940-pin AM2 processor socket, said to support single-core Athlon, dual-core Athlon X2, and quad-core Phenom X4 processors with TDPs up to 95 Watts. Many Athlon and Athon X2 processors, including the single-core 2000+, 2600+, and 3100+ introduced in September 2007, target the embedded market with “lengthy design and qualification cycles” and availability of at least five years. The quad-core Phenom X4, meanwhile, is not yet part of AMD's AMD64 Longevity Program.

The second half of the board's name comes from the 780E chipset, an embedded version of the previously available 780G chipset. According to AMD, the chipset incorporates ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, and has advantages that include the following:

  • Blu-Ray and HD DVD video playback
  • HDMI, DVI, and Display Port video interfaces
  • DirectX 10 gaming
  • Up to four independent monitors, when systems are equipped with an additional Radeon discrete graphics card
  • PCI Express 2.0
  • Support for up to 12 USB 2.0 connections, six SATA II devices, and multiple RAID configurations
In its data sheet for the AM2+DB780E, AMD doesn't distinguish between real-world connectors and those that may be provided via pin headers. However, as pictured in the photo at the top of our story, the board appears to have VGA and dual-link DVI connectors on board, six USB ports, an RJ45 connector for gigabit Ethernet, and six 3.5mm jacks serving up the cited 7:1 surround sound.

A block diagram of AMD's AM2+DB780E
(Click to enlarge)

The AM2+DB780E also has four DIMM slots, capable of accepting an unspecified amount of DDR2 RAM with ECC protection, five SATA II ports configurable as RAID 0, 1, or 10, two PCI Express x 8 slots, one PCI Express x 4 slot, and a PCI slot, according to AMD. Pin headers apparently provide six additional USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports, a parallel port, and a PATA port.

AMD didn't list operating system specifics for the AM2+DB780E, but the board apparently supports all major X86 operating systems, such as Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, and Windows Vista. Features that will help developers are said to include power and activity LEDs, test points for “key signals,” an interface for an AMD hardware debugging tool, plus diagnostics and development software.

Features and specifications listed by AMD for the AM2+DB780E development board include:

  • Processor — AMD Athlon, Athlon X2, or Phenom X4 via 940-pin AM2 socket
  • Memory — 4 DIMM slots for ECC DDR2 RAM
  • Display — Supports VGA and DVI displays, plus HDMI or DisplayPort via passive adapter cards
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connector
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x VGA
    • 1 x DVI
    • 12 x USB 2.0 (6 external, 6 internal)
    • 7:1 surround audio on 3.5mm jacks
    • 5 x SATA II
    • 1 x PATA
    • 2 x serial
    • 1 x parallel

  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI
    • 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x 8
    • 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x 4

  • Power consumption — n/s
  • Operating temperature — n/s
  • Dimensions — n/s, but microATX maximum is 9.6 x 9.6 inches (244 x 244mm)


AMD did not release pricing or availability information for the AM2+DB780E development board, though the device appears to be obtainable now. More information on the board and the processors that are compatible with it may be found on the company's website, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.