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Article: COM Express module takes the heat

Jan 21, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

MSC Vertriebs announced a COM Express computer-on-module (COM) that's available with extended-temperature versions of Intel's Atom processor. The MSC CXC-US15WP supports -40 to 185 deg. F temperatures, and offers PCI/PCIe expansion, dual SATA2 connectors, LVDS and SVDO interfaces, gigabit Ethernet, plus eight USB 2.0 ports, says MSC.

The MSC CXC-US15WP is particularly suited for visualization and HMI (human-machine interface) applications in extended temperature environments that require low power consumption, says Stutensee, Germany-based MSC Vertriebs. Target markets are said to include transportation, automotive, industrial automation, and medical applications.

Packaged in the 3.74 x 3.74-inch (95 x 95mm) COM Express form factor, the module is available with Intel Atom Z530P, Z520PT, Z510PT, or Z510P CPUs, clocked at speeds ranging from 1.6GHz down to 1.1GHz. As usual, the CPUs are paired with the SCH US15W companion chip, which combines northbridge and southbridge functionality and offers GMA500 graphics acceleration.


Intel's P and PT Atoms are architecturally identical to the chipmaker's earlier Z5xx parts, with the same clock speeds, second-level cache, and TDPs. Their larger 22 x 22mm packaging and 1.0mm ball pitch, however, allows them to include integrated heat spreaders, making them more suitable to thermally constrained fanless applications.

The PT versions, employed by MSC Vertriebs with 1.33GHz or 1.1GHz clock speeds, are rated for an industrial operating range of from -40 to 85 deg. C (-40 to 185 deg. F). The P versions, offered here in 1.6GHz or 1.1GHz speeds, have a "commercial" operating range of from 0 to 60 deg. C (32 to 140 deg. F).

The MSC CXC-US15WP is equipped with up to 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and offers a microSD slot. The system can optionally boot from an SD card or from an optional integrated flash disk, says MSC Vertriebs.

Intel's SCH US15W chipset offers support for 18/24-bit LVDS displays with up to 1366 x 768 resolution, and SDVO displays at up to 1920 x 1080, says the company. High-definition audio is also said to be available.

Expansion capabilities include PCI Express, PCI, and LPC interfaces, as well as dual SATA2 connectors and an Enhanced IDE port, says MSC Vertriebs. In addition, the module offers eight USB 2.0 ports and a gigabit Ethernet port.

Specifications listed for the MSC Vertriebs MSC CXC-US15WP include:

  • Processor
    • Intel Atom Z510 or Z510PT at 1.1GHz
    • Z520PT at 1.33GHz
    • Z530P at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — Intel SCH US15W
  • Memory — Up to 2GB DDR2-533 SDRAM, soldered
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x COM Express Type 2 interface
    • 1 x PCI Express (dual-channel)
    • 1 x PCI (32-bit, 33MHz)
    • 1 x LPC
  • Storage:
    • 1 x microSD interface
    • 2 x SATA2 channels
    • 1 x EIDE port
    • Optional on-board SSD, up to 4GB
  • Display:
    • Up to 384MB of shared video memory
    • LVDS 18/24-bit at up to 1366 x 768
    • SDVO/VGA at up to 1920 x 768
  • Networking — 1 x gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82574L)
  • USB — 8 x USB 2.0
  • Other features:
    • High-definition audio
    • Watchdog timer
    • System monitoring
    • 3-pin fan header
    • Infineon Trusted Platform Module
  • Power:
    • +12 V +/- 10%
    • 5 V standby optional
    • 7 W consumption typical with Z530PT
    • External battery support
    • ACPI power management with suspend-to-RAM
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C) for ext. temp.; 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C) for commercial version
  • Dimensions — 3.74 x 3.74 inches (95 x 95mm); COM Express
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows XP Embedded

MSC Vertriebs offers evaluation baseboards for the MSC CXC-US15WP, with PC-type connectors. The module and board support Linux and Windows XP Embedded, and a "special starter kit" for Linux is available on request, says the company.


MSC Vertriebs did not offer pricing or availability information on the MSC CXC-US15WP or its evaluation board. More information may be found here.

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