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COM Express module gets 32nm Core CPUs

Jan 21, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Adlink announced a COM Express module featuring Intel's embedded-specific Core i5 or i7 processors along with the QM57 Express chipset. The Express-CB features up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, CRT and LVDS display support, an optional SSD (solid state disk), and PCI Express Graphics (PEG) or PCI Express expansion, the company says.

As we've previously reported, earlier this month Intel announced 12 new processors specifically aimed at embedded devices. Additions to the chipmaker's Core i3, i5, i7, and Xeon families, the CPUs have two or four cores and incorporate "Turbo Boost" technology that can temporarily bump up their basic clock speeds. All of the CPUs also include onboard graphics, rated by Intel as adequate for "mainstream and casual 3-D gaming."

A block diagram of the Intel QM57 Express chipset used by Adlink's Express-CB
Source: Intel (Click to enlarge)

In addition to onboard graphics, the new 32nm CPUs have integral memory controllers for DDR3 RAM. Therefore, the accompanying QM57 Express chipset — used on Adlink's new COM Express module — only needs to handle I/O, as illustrated above.

According to Adlink, the Express-CB (below) supports both Core i5 and i7 CPUs, though because a data sheet hasn't yet been released, we're unable to say exactly which. The company does state that its module is compatible with dual-core versions, implying that it accepts all except the quad-core models (Core i5-750 and Core i7-860).

Adlink's Express-CB

Adlink says the 4.9 x 3.7-inch Express-CB accepts up to 8GB of DDR3 memory via two SODIMM sockets. According to the company, the device includes eight USB 2.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, and four SATA ports that can support RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10. Additional storage interfaces are said to include an IDE channel and an optional SSD (solid state disk), available in 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB capacities.

The Express-CB supports both CRT and 18/24-bit LVDS video outputs, which, like the device's other interfaces, have to reach the outside world via its COM Express connectors and an application-specific baseboard. The module incorporates a PCI Express Graphics x16 bus for discrete graphics expansion; this may also be configured for general-purpose PCI Express x8, x4, or x1 connectivity, according to Adlink.

Henk van Bremen, product director for Adlink's embedded product center, stated, "The Express-CB delivers faster multi-core processor technology that embedded applications require. For customers who are searching for a fast time-to-market solution, the Express-CB offers them accelerated development process with high performance and long product life." 


Intel's new Core i5 and Core i7 processors have already featured on a variety of other COM Express modules, previously covered by These include Advantech's SOM-5788, Congatec's Conga-BM57, and Eurotech's Adbc8031.

Adlink did not release pricing for the Express-CB, but said the device will begin sampling next month, and ship in production quantities during the second quarter. Operating system support was also not cited, but the company's previous COM Express modules have been said to be compatible with Linux 2.6, Windows XP, Windows CE, and Windows Vista, among others.

More information on the Express-CB may be found on the Adlink website, here.

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