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Car PCs mount in dashboards, run Linux

Oct 30, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Hong Kong based mini-PC manufacturing specialist SD-Omega has added a pair of high-end models to its extensive line of more than 20 Linux-friendly car PC models. The SD631C and PCI-slot-equipped SD631CH support Intel Pentium M and Celeron M processors at over 2GHz, and include car-specific features.

(Click for larger view of SD631-series mini-PCs)

Car-specific features touted by SD-Omega include:

  • Input voltages from 10 to 16 VDC
  • Car start delay timer (delay the PC start time)
  • Key removed delay time (delay the PC shutdown)
  • Hardware shutdown (shutdown the PC when the operating system was unable to perform the shutdown)

Both systems are based on Intel's 915GM northbridge and ICH6M southbridge. The SD631C is available with Pentium M and Celeron processors clocked at up to 2.13GHz. The PCI-slot-equipped SD631CH supports socket-479 Pentium M and Celeron M chips up to 2GHz.

The SD631C supports up to 2GB of RAM, using 0.8-inch low-profile DDR 333/266 DIMMs. The SD631CH supports SODIMM DDRII 400/533 RAM.

Both systems support 400Mbps FireWire, although the SD631C is limited to devices with their own external power supply (OHCI 1394a 1.1 compliance). Both have a single EHCI USB 2.0 port; the SD631C has three USB 1.1 ports, while the SD631CH has four.

Additional touted features include:

  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
  • Software AC '97 Audio CODEC
  • Built-in high speed Ethernet 100/10Mbps LAN controller
  • ACPI power management
  • Supports 2.5-inch SATA drives, and SATA CD-ROM

The SD631C measures 5.8 x 10 x 1.7 inches (14.5 x 25.5 x 4.3cm) — easily within standard DIN dashboard radio mounting size of 7.25 x 10 x 2 5/8. Dimensions for the SD631CH were not provided.


The SD631C appears to be available now, with the SD631CH possibly nearing production.

SD-Omega additionally offers more than 40 mini-PC models, targeting home-theaters as well as car PCs. Its “SD625” car PC series comprises some 20 different active and passively cooled models, all based on Dothan or Banias Pentium M and Celeron M processors.

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