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BCM unveils Mini-ITX boards running old and new Core CPUs

Jan 17, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 37 views

BCM Advanced Research announced an “MX57QM” Mini-ITX board based on last year's Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors. The company also announced two Mini-ITX boards based on the recently announced “Sandy Bridge” versions of the Intel Core — the ATX-powered MX67QM and DC-powered MX67QMD — as well as an RX67Q Micro ATX board, but offered few details.

Before we get to the MX57QM, we'll review the basic information BCM provided on the two "Sandy Bridge" Mini-ITX boards and Micro ATX board. No photo or spec sheets were provided for the MX67QM and MX67QMD, which are the second and third Mini-ITX boards to be announced based on Intel's new "Sandy Bridge" Core processors, following Ibase's MI956F.

As we await clarification from BCM, we'll speculate that the MX67QM and MX67QMD boards are based on the MX57QM.

The MX67QM and MX67QMD incorporate the Intel QM67 Express chipset, says BCM. The key difference between these Mini-ITX boards is that the MX67QM runs on ATX power while the MX67QMD uses DC power input ranging from 12-24V, says the company.

BCM also announced a Micro ATX board based on the "Sandy Bridge" Core processors called the RX67Q (pictured at right). The board uses the Intel Q67, and supports Intel Core i7, i5, and i3 versions of the new CPUs, says BCM.

Like the "Sandy Bridge" Mini-ITX boards, the RX67Q supports DDR3 memory, and offers the same firmware/software stack, including Intel vPro Technology "for secure business platforms," as well as Blu-ray HD capability. In addition, the three "Sandy Bridge" motherboards provide Intel Rapid Storage technology, says BCM. Other common features are said to include Intel Active Management 7.0 for remote system upgradability, and Intel Trusted Execution for hardware-based protection against software-based attacks.

The "Sandy Bridge" processors feature a new microarchitecture, a 256-bit instruction set known as AVX (advanced vector extensions), and enhanced GPUs (graphics processing units). In addition, they are said to support 3D HD video and provide dedicated silicon for tasks such as transcoding video from one format to another.

BCM MX57QM

Instead of using the "Sandy Bridge" processors, the MX57QM Mini ITX board supports Intel's "Westmere" Core i7, i5 and i3 processors, which were announced a year ago. In place of the new Intel QM67 chipset, the MX57QM features the Intel QM57 Express, says BCM. The board also offer two sockets that support up to 8GB of dual-channel DDR3, says the company.

BCM MX57QM
(Click to enlarge)

The MX57QM supports dual-display capability using HDMI, DVI, 18/VGA, and 24-bit dual channel LVDS interfaces, according to BCM. The board is said to support uncompressed HD video and multi-channel audio in 720p, 1080i, and 1080p formats.

Expansion is served via a PCI Express (PCIe) x16 slot, as well as a Mini-PCIe slot with SATA SSD (solid state disk) support. In addition, the board offers five SATA ports, a CompactFlash slot, 16-bit GPIO, and dual onboard USB connectors that support a total of four USB ports, says BCM.

Four more USB ports are said to be available on the rear I/O panel coastline, for a total of eight. Other rear I/O includes dual gigabit Ethernet ports, a PS/2 port, and a selectable RS-232/422/485 port, with five more RS232 connections available onboard, says BCM. In addition, rear coastline ports are available for HDMI, DVI-D, and VGA video, as well as three audio jacks, says the company.

MX57QM coastline
(Click to enlarge)

The aforementioned Intel Rapid Storage technology is supported, as is Intel Trusted Execution Technology (iTXT) and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 for security. The latter two features are said to be especially useful for secure public kiosk applications such as ATM machines and airline check-in kiosks. Other applications supported by the MX57QM include Point-of-Sale (POS), industrial automation, HMI, and digital signage, among others.

OS support was not listed, but both Linux and various Windows flavors are highly likely.

Stated Tom Skibinski, vice president of sales for BCM Advanced Research, "By launching three industrial motherboards using the Intel Q67/QM67 chipsets we will be able to meet the requirements of many different embedded applications looking to capitalize on the advanced technology these platforms will provide."

Availability

BCM Advanced Research is now accepting production volume orders for the MX57QM at an undisclosed price. More information on the board may be found at BCM's MX57QM page.

More information on the MX67QM, MX67QMD, and RX67Q motherboards should eventually appear on this BCM product index page.


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



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