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Centrino-like EBX SBC boasts high integration, security, Linux

Apr 29, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Arcom is shipping an EBX format SBC (single-board computer) supporting a range of mobile Intel processors, from a 600MHz Celeron M to a 2.1GHz Pentium M. The Apollo uses Intel's 855GME chipset, and is available with a Linux BSP (board support package). It targets multi-screen gaming displays, high-security systems, optical inspection, low profile fanless servers, and compact machine controllers.

(Click for larger view of Arcom Apollo)

Arcom says it designed to accommodate the largest footprint copper heatsink available for the mobile Intel chips, enabling fanless operation up to 65 degrees Celsius. Another design consideration was exploiting the “Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology” provided by the 855GME chipset, the companys says.

The 855GME chipset supports dual independent or dual simultaneous displays, and display data from the dual graphics pipeline can be interfaced with independent timing requirements to the onboard VGA and LVDS outputs, Arcom says. An expansion connector is also available for use with a variety of graphics boards supporting analog CRT, standard TV-out (S-video) signal, LVDS, and DVI.

Back and front views
(Click either to enlarge)

The board also offers four serial ports (including one RS-422/485 port with automatic RTS control), and a parallel digital I/O port configured to drive a low cost LCD character display — ideal for embedded server racks, Arcom says.

Additional features of the Apollo include one 10/100 Ethernet port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, dual Firewire (IEEE1394a) ports, hot-swap CompactFlash (CF+) socket can function as a boot device, six USB 2.0 ports, and embedded Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security and tamper detection hardware (based Atmel's AT 97SC3201).

Arcom appears to have omitted the PC/104-Plus module expansion headers normally found on EBX SBCs, in order to make room for the Centrino architecture along with the large number of onboard features and associated interface connectors.


The Apollo is shipping now, and is available with BSPs for Linux, Windows XP Embedded, or VxWorks 5.5. A low-profile 1U 19-inch rack mount enclosure is also available for the board.

VersaLogic and Adlink also offer Linux development kits for EBX boards based on Intel mobile processors and the 855GME chipset. Intel added several recently introduced Celeron M and Pentium M chips to its long-term availability embedded program in February.

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