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COM Express module takes the heat

Mar 17, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Kontron announced a Linux-ready COM Express module that has been redesigned for reliable operation in temperatures ranging from -40 to 185 deg. F. Available with processors up to a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, the ETXexpress-PC-XT offers up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and three SATA ports, the company says.

Kontron's existing range of ETXexpress-PC COM Express modules was recently updated to include ETXexpress-PC PP ("Performance Package") models, which switched to Intel's GM45 or GL40 northbridges and support Core 2 Duo processors as fast as 2.53GHz. The ETXexpress-PC-XT, however, is technically identical to earlier ETXexpress-PC variants, which is to say that it runs only up to 1.8GHz (using the GS45 northbridge and ICH9M southbridge). What's new here is a redesign that makes the module reliable over a temperature range of -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C), according to Kontron.

The hardened ETXexpress-PC-XT (right) has a different board layout, and it employs two extended-temperature SODIMM modules that provide up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, says Kontron. The module is available with a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo SL9400 (with 6MB second-level cache), a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo SU9300 (3MB second-level cache), or a 1.2GHz Celeron M (3MB second-level cache), the company adds.

Kontron says the ETXexpress-PC-XT's storage is provided via three SATA interfaces (offering RAID 0 and 1 configurations) and a PATA interface. Other interfaces are said to include eight USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and high-definition audio.

Expansion, provided via the usual Type 2 COM Express pinouts, includes PCI 2.3, five PCI Express x1 lanes (1 x PCI Express x4 is also possible), and PCI Express x16 (PCI Express Graphics), according to Kontron. Dual SDVO signals are present, enabling both HDMI and DisplayPort output, with resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 pixels, the company says.

According to Kontron, the ICH9M SFF employed by the ETXexpress-PC-XT includes Intel's TPM (trusted platform module) technology. The module is also said to include a watchdog timer, real-time clock, and ACPI 3.0 power management.

Specifications listed by Kontron for the ETXexpress-PC-XT include:

  • Processor:
    • 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo SL9400 (6MB second-level cache)
    • 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo SU9300 (3MB second-level cache)
    • 1.2GHz Celeron M (3MB second-level cache)
  • Chipset — GS45 northbridge and ICH9M southbridge
  • Memory — Up to 8GB of extended-temperature memory via two SODIMM slots
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI 2.3 (32-bit, 33MHz)
    • 5 x PCI Express x1 (1 x PCI Express x4 possible)
    • 1 x PCI Express Graphics x16
  • Storage — 3 x SATA 300 (RAID 0,1); 1 x PATA
  • Display:
    • Single and dual-channel LVDS (18/24-bit)
    • LVDS resolution up to UXGA (1600 x 1200)
    • CRT resolution up to QXGA (2048 x 1536)
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82567)
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • High-definition audio
  • Power — 8.5 to 18VDC; typical idle consumption of 8.13 Watts with SL9400 model
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 4.92 x 3.74 inches (125 x 95mm)
  • Operating systems — Linux, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE, VxWorks


According to Kontron, the ETXexpress-PC-XT is available now, though pricing was not cited. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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