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Automation computer runs fanless Core 2 Duo

Nov 6, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Axiomtek announced a fanless, aluminum-cased embedded computer that targets industrial automation, DVR (digital video recorder), and digital signage applications. The eBOX830-831-FL runs Linux, while offering dual gigabit Ethernet ports, six USB ports, four COM ports, and two IEEE 1394a ports, says… Axiomtek.

(Click here for a larger view of Axiomtek's eBOX830-831-FL)

As Axiomtek straightforwardly acknowledges, the eBOX830-831-FL is the result of a building-block approach to creating embedded computers. In others words, the company's previously introduced mini-ITX motherboards are combined with standardized cases.

The eBOX830-831-FL, for example, shares its 11.81 x 8.27 x 4.11 inch aluminum case with the eBOX832-831 and eBOX832-840, both introduced in July. And, it shares with the first of these earlier computers the SBC86831 mini-ITX motherboard, on which we provide additional background information below.

So what's new here? Well, unlike the other two computers mentioned above, the eBOX830-831-FL is designed to run fanlessly, accepting a choice of Intel processors clocked at up to 1.5GHz. Axiomtek says the computer accepts either Celeron M CPUs or the Core 2 Duo L7400. The latter is a 65nm “Merom” CPU that has a 4MB second-level cache, 667MHz bus, and a 17-Watt TDP, according to Intel.

The eBOX830-831-FL is said to use Intel's familiar 945GME northbridge and ICH7M southbridge. It provides two 240-pin DIMM slots, accepting up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, according to Axiomtek.

For mass storage, there's room for a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive, says Axiomtek. The enclosure also provides room for an optical disk drive, but should one be installed, the computer's PCI expansion slot is blocked, the company warns.

Axiomtek's eBOX830-831-FL

The eBOX803-813-FL's interfaces are apparently all available via real-world connectors on the back of the device (above). They include four serial ports, a VGA port, two IEE 1394a ports, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, six USB 2.0 ports, and PS/2 connectors for a keyboard and mouse, says Axiomtek.


As mentioned above, the eBOX830-831-FL is built around the SBC86831 Mini-ITX motherboard (below), first introduced in May of last year. Axiomtek cites a PCI Express x16 expansion slot for the motherboard, and says that the board accepts two PCI expansion slots via a riser card arrangement.

Axiomtek's SBC86831 motherboard

Since the eBOX830-831-FL's spec sheet doesn't list the PCI Express x16 slot or the second PCI slot, it's likely that the computer's case prevents accessing these motherboard features. Additionally, two of the SBC86831's eight USB 2.0 ports are provided via box headers, and accordingly not specified as being available on the eBOX830-831-FL.

Features and specifications cited by Axiomtek for the eBOX830-831-FL include:

  • Processor — Intel Socket M (Celeron M, or Core 2 Duo L7400), with clock speeds up to 1.5GHz
  • Memory — up to 4GB of DDR RAM via dual 240-pin DIMM sockets
  • Storage (optional) — 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive, and optical disk drive (sacrifices PCI slot)
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet (RJ45 connectors)
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x 9-pin COM1 serial port (RS232/422/485)
    • 3 x 9-pin serial ports (COM2, COM3, COM 4, RS232 only)
    • 1 x SATA
    • 1 x VGA
    • 2 x IEEE 1394a ports
    • 2 x audio (mic in/line out)
    • 2 x PS/2

  • Expansion — 1 x PCI slot
  • Dimensions — 11.81 x 8.27 x 4.11 inches
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 45 deg. C (32 to 113 deg. F)
  • Power requirements — 90 to 264 VAC, 100W power supply, or 10 to 30 VDC power supply

The eBOX830-831-FL runs Linux, Windows XP Embedded, or Windows CE. The RoHS-compliant device will be available in early December, according to Axiomtek, though pricing was not provided.

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