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Core i7-equipped CompactPCI board supports hybrid PlusIO

May 24, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

MEN Micro announced a 3U CompactPCI PlusIO single board computer (SBC) that supports both legacy CompactPCI and high-speed CompactPCI Serial connections. The F21P is equipped with the quad-core “Sandy Bridge” 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 processor and QM67 chipset, and it offers up to 8GB of RAM, three gigabit Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 ports, four SATA ports, and numerous expansion options.

The F21P is suitable for graphics-intensive industrial, avionics, medical engineering, and transportation applications, says MEN Micro. It is said to function as both a 32-bit CompactPCI system master board and a standalone SBC.

MEN Micro F21P

(Click to enlarge)

The F21P follows up on earlier MEN Micro CompactPCI boards including the circa 2009 F19P, which ran on an Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300. Structurally it is quite similar, with PCI Express (PCIe) expansion and a good portion of the I/O generated through a rear J2 connector. The rest is divvied up between the front panel and a side-card expansion connector, as indicated in the block diagram and spec list below.

The earlier F19P was said to be the first CompactPCI board to support the PICMG 2.30 PlusIO standard, and the F21P carries on that tradition. The standard defines a pinout for J2 on existing CompactPCI system slots that was previously left free for user-defined I/O.

The new J2 pinout conveys serial functions — compliant with CPCI-S.0 — such as PCI Express x1 links, SATA ports, USB 2.0 ports, and gigabit Ethernet interfaces to the backplane, MEN Micro says. The parallel PCI bus remains unchanged, meanwhile, but is limited to a 32-bit width.

F21P front panel

The F21P moves up to the Intel Core i7-2715QE processor, a quad-core member of this year's "Sandy Bridge" batch of Intel i7 CPUs, and also offers the Intel QM67 chipset. The Core i7-2715QE runs at up to 2.1GHz, with a promise of up to 3GHz speeds in TurboBoost mode.

The F21P is said to take full advantage of the processor's improved AMT (Active Management Technology), second-generation PCIe expansion, and third-generation SATA support. The board also supports the Core i7-2715QE's four "genuine" or eight virtual cores via hyper-threading.

F21P block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

The SBC offers up to 8GB of soldered DDR3 DRAM as well as an mSATA disk and a microSD card connected via a SATA channel and USB interface, respectively, says MEN Micro. I/O totals are detailed in the spec list below, but here we'll break it down by rear (J2), front-facing, and side-card expansion regions.

Standard rear I/O includes four PCIe x1 connections, four USB 2.0 ports, and a gigabit Ethernet port, says MEN Micro. There are also two 3Gbps and two 6Gbps SATA interfaces, says the company.

Front-facing ports include a VGA graphics port, two additional gigabit Ethernet ports, and two more USB 2.0 interfaces. The side-card connector supports DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI connections, as well as optional UART, USB, SATA, and HD audio connections available via extension cards, says MEN Micro.

All components on the 3U board are said to be soldered to withstand shock and vibration. The SBC supports an operating temperature range of -40 to 185 degrees F, says MEN Micro.

Board support packages are offered for Linux and Windows, with VxWorks and QNX BSPs said to be available on request. The F21P has a guaranteed minimum availability of seven years, says the company.

Features and specifications for the Men Micro F21P include:

  • Processor — Intel Core i7-2715QE @ up to 2.1GHz (3GHz max. turbo frequency); up to 6MB last level cache
  • Chipset — Intel QM67 Platform Controller Hub (PCH)
  • Memory — up to 8GB soldered DDR3 SDRAM (1066/1333/1600MHz) with ECC
  • Storage expansion:
    • microSD interface (via USB and mSATA 3Gbps slot)
    • 1 x SATA 3Gbps channel (side-card)
    • 2 x SATA 3Gbps interfaces (front)
    • 2 x SATA 6Gbps interfaces (rear)
    • RAID level 0/1/5/10
  • Expansion:
    • 4 x PCIe x1 (rear)
    • 3 x PCIe x1 dedicated to Ethernet
    • 3 x PCIe x1 (side-card)
    • CompactPCI bus (PICMG 2.0 R3.0); 32-bit/33MHz
    • CompactPCI PCI-Express-to-PCI-Bridge link to processor
  • Display:
    • VGA connector (front)
    • 2 x DisplayPort, HDMI or SDVO ports (side-card)
    • optional additional DVI connector (side car)
    • simultaneous display capability
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet (front) via PCIe x1; 1 x gigabit Ethernet (rear)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0 ports via Series A connectors (front)
    • 4 x USB 2.0 ports (rear)
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (side-card)
    • USB port for connecting microSD
    • HD audio links (side card)
  • Other features — real-time clock; watchdog timer; user LED; reset button
  • Power — +5V (-3%/+5%); +3.3V (-3%/+5%); +12V (-10%/+10%)
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C) typical with 1.5m/s airflow; dependable on configuration
  • Shock resistance — 50 m/s, 30ms
  • Vibration resistance — 1 m/s, 5Hz – 150Hz
  • Dimensions — 3U CompactPCI
  • Weight — 7.1 oz (204 g) w/o optional heat sink


The F21P is available now, with six to eight weeks ARO delivery, for $3,213, says MEN Micro. More information may be found at its F21p product page.

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