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Atom COM gets carrier board

Nov 11, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Eurotech announced a carrier board designed to support a previously released, Intel Atom-based COM (computer on module). The Catalyst FX includes five USB 2.0 host ports, a RS232/485 serial port, an optional GPS receiver, and available A/V expansion boards, the company says.

Eurotech's Catalyst module (below left) first made its debut in March 2008, using a proprietary 3.9 x 2.8-inch form factor and featuring an Intel Z5xx processor. (Meanwhile, the company's Isis, introduced in August of last year, is a single board computer [SBC] that fits the Catalyst module neatly in between PCI/104 and PC/104-Plus expansion connectors.)

Eurotech's Catalyst (left) and Catalyst XL (right)

Last March, Eurotech updated the Catalyst module as the Catalyst XL (above right), designed to accept Intel's larger, extended-temperature Z5xxPT CPU and SCH US15WPT companion chip. The new "PT" Atom and companion chip are architecturally identical to their Z5xx forebears, with the same 1.1 or 1.6GHz clock speeds, same amount of second-level cache, and the same 2.2 Watt TDPs. But, the new Atoms include integrated heat spreaders, making them more suitable to "thermally constrained fanless applications," and "ideal for designs without small space restrictions," according to Intel.

Eurotech's Catalyst FX

Eurotech's new Catalyst FX (above) is designed to accept the Catalyst XL, placing the COM on a carrier board measuring 5 x 4.33 inches (127 x 110mm). The system's Atom processor and up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM are soldered onto the COM itself, but the carrier board adds up to 8GB of flash storage, includes a CompactFlash slot, and allows connection of a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive, the company says.

A block diagram of Eurotech's Catalyst FX
(Click to enlarge)

The Catalyst FX also provides a gigabit Ethernet port with RJ45 connector, a DB9 connector for a serial port that is software-switchable between RS232 and RS232/RS485, and five USB 2.0 host ports, according to Eurotech. The carrier board additionally has line audio I/O, the company says.

On its own, the Catalyst FX does not provide any video outputs, but available expansion boards can add VGA, LVDS, HDMI, or DVI video outputs, according to Eurotech. A GPS receiver based on U-Blox technology is also available, the company adds.


Eurotech says the Catalyst FX supports Wind River Linux 3.0, Windows CE, and Windows Embedded Standard. For development environments, Java Virtual Machine and Eurotech's Everyware Software Framework provide an "easy-to-use, Java-based development environment that minimizes time to market and allows for easy portability for future expansion," the company adds.

While pricing was not specified, the Catalyst FX is said to be available now. More information may be found on the Eurotech website, here.

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