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Automation computer runs Linux from flash

Apr 15, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Moxa has announced a 19-inch rackmount computer that is intended for power substations and other industrial automation applications. The DA-681 runs Linux from flash storage and includes a 1GHz Celeron processor, four RS232 ports, eight RS485 ports, six Ethernet ports, and dual power inputs, says Moxa.

(Click here for a larger view of the Moxa DA-681)

According to Moxa, the DA-681 is suitable for “harsh industrial environments,” and includes isolation protection for its many serial and Ethernet ports, plus the option of dual power inputs. The 1U device fits into a standard 19-inch rack, operates on AC or DC power ranging from 100 to 240 Volts, requires 26 Watts, and can be used from -10 to 60 deg. C (14 to 140 deg. F), the company says.

The device's rear panel, shown below, is packed with connectors, including four RS232 ports with DB9 connectors, eight RS485 ports with terminal blocks, and six 10/100 Ethernet ports. The DA-681, which supports baud rates from 50bps to 921.6kbps, also has a PS/2 connector for a keyboard and mouse, two USB ports, and a VGA output compatible with displays boasting up to 2048 x 1536 pixels, the company says.

Moxa's DA-681
(Click to enlarge)

All this connectivity is supported by underpinnings such as a 1.0GHz Intel Celeron M processor, with 910GMLE northbridge and 1CH6M southbridge, plus a 200-pin SODIMM socket that accepts up to 1GB of DDR2 memory. The DA-681 additionally includes a 1GB SSD (solid state disk) for operating system storage, a CompactFlash socket, and both IDE and SATA connectors for potential HDD (hard disk drive) expansion, Moxa says.

The DA-681 has a RTC (real-time clock) backed by a lithium battery, a watchdog timer, built-in buzzer, and an automatic reboot trigger. According to Moxa, the device is supplied with Debian Etch 4.0, and system utilities include bash, busybox, login, telnet, ftp, ssh, openbsdinetd, apt, apt-utils, dpkg, grub, and udev.

Features and specifications listed by Moxa for the DA-681 include the following:

  • Processor — 1.0GHz Celeron M
  • Memory — Up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM socket
  • Storage — 1GB SSD, plus SATA and IDE connectors for HDD
  • Networking — 6 x 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x RS232, with DB9 connectors
    • 8 x RS485, with terminal blocks
    • 1 x VGA
    • 1 x PS/2
    • 2 x USB 2.0

  • Expansion — CompactFlash socket
  • Operating temperature — -10 to 60 deg. C (14 to 140 deg. F)
  • Power — Single or dual inputs, accept 100 to 230 VAC/VDC, auto-ranging from 47 to 63Hz; uses 26 Watts
  • Dimensions — IU rack height, 17.3 x 9.96 x 1.77 inches (440 x 253 x 45mm)
  • Weight — 9.92 pounds (4.5kg)


Moxa did not provide pricing or availability information for the DA-681, but the device appears to be available now. More information may be found on the company's web site, here.

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