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Atom-based COM Express module is “smallest possible”

Apr 30, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 11 views

RadiSys has announced an Atom-based computer-on-module (COM) that runs Linux and targets battery-powered handheld devices. The 3.4 x 2.75 inch Procelerant Z500 is as small as a COM can get while still complying with the COM Express standard's pinout, claims RadiSys.

(Click here for a larger view of RadiSys's Procelerant Z500)

The Procelerant Z500 uses either the 1.1GHz Atom Z510, with 400MHz frontside bus, or the 1.6GHz Atom Z530, with 533MHz frontside bus. It has 1GB of soldered-on RAM. Unlike some Atom-based COMs (see list at bottom), it does not include integral flash storage; instead, a microSD slot is provided so customers can supply their own.

Like other Type 2 COM Express modules, the Z500 has two surface-mount 220-pin connectors, through which it can pass all of its signals to a development board or custom carrier board. Expansion interfaces comprise two one-lane PCI Express interfaces, each suitable for use with a gigabit Ethernet or SATA controller. I/O includes eight USB ports, an LPC interface, SMBus, I2C, and GPIO.

Intel's US15W incorporates the company's Graphics Media Accelerator 500 circuitry, featuring 3D graphics and hardware video acceleration. On the Procelerant Z500, both LVDS (low voltage differential signaling) and SDVO (serial digital video out) graphics interfaces are provided, supporting resolutions up to 1366 x 768 pixels or 1280 x 1024 pixels, respectively.

Features and specifications listed by RadiSys for the Procelerant Z500 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z510 (1.1GHz, 400MHz frontside bus) or Z530 (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus)
  • Memory — 1GB of soldered-on RAM
  • Storage — microSD slot
  • Display — LVDS up to 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, SDVO up to 1280 x 1024
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 x USB
    • LPC
    • SMBus
    • GPIO (four GPI and four GPO)
    • I2C
    • SATA

  • Expansion — 2 x 1-lane PCI Express (Ethernet and SATA each occupy one port, if required)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60 deg. C
  • Dimensions — 3.4 x 2.75 inches

The Procelerant Z500 is compatible with Linux, Windows XP Embedded, and Windows CE 6.0.

Intel's Centrino Atom chipset comprises the Atom CPU and US15W SCH (system controller hub). It was announced at the beginning of this month. Since then, many board makers have announced boards based on the chipset. These include Kontron's nanoETXexpress-SP, Eurotech's Catalyst, Congatech's conga-CA, and Lippert's CoreExpress-ECO COM.

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