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Em-ITX board gets dual-core processors, chassis kit

Nov 2, 2011 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Via Technologies announced a board featuring its 170 x 120mm Em-ITX format and a choice of dual-core processors. The EITX-3002 features HDMI, VGA, and LVDS video outputs, gigabit Ethernet, a touchscreen interface, and a CFast expansion slot, among other features.

Announced in February 2009, Via's "open industry standard" Em-ITX format offers dual I/O "coastlines," plus an "Em-IO" expansion bus that supports optional add-on modules. (Background information on Em-ITX and previous products using the format can be found later in this story.)


Via EITX-3002
(Click to enlarge)

The new EITX-3002 (above) is Via's first Em-ITX board to offer dual-core processing power. It comes in the form of either a 1.0GHz Eden X2 processor or a 1.2GHz Nano X2 E, according to the company.

As far as we're aware, Via has never publicized TDPs for either of these CPUs, though it has naturally made all the usual noises about low-power operation. The company does, however, reveal that the overall EITX-3002 uses 24.86 Watts with the Eden X2, and 27.67 Watts with the Nano X2.

Both processors are supported by the VX900H chipset and a single SODIMM slot that accepts up to 4GB of RAM, Via says. Persistent storage is catered for by SATA ports and a CFast expansion slot, adds the company.


The coastlines on Via's EITX-3002
(Click to enlarge)

According to Via, the EITX-3002's "front" coastline (above left) includes two USB 2.0 ports and two RS232/422/485 ports with DB9 connectors. The "rear" coastline (above right) delivers a VGA port, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports (optional), two gigabit Ethernet ports, and access to the CFast slot.

Via says the EITX-3002 supports dual independent displays, which can include LVDS (via a header) in addition to the types already mentioned. The board also sports an EETI ETP-CP-S5XU that allows connecting resistive 4- or 5-wire touchscreens, the company says.


Details of Via's EITX-3002
(Click to enlarge)

Headers on the EITX-3002 further add four additional USB 2.0 ports, audio (mic in, line in, speaker out), a parallel port, and 8-bit digital I/O. There are no standard Mini PCI or PCI Express expansion connectors, but Via notes that the Em-IO interface itself relays PCI Express x 8, LPC, SMBus, and GPIO signals.

Specifications listed by Via for the EITX-3002 include:

  • Processor — 1.0GHz Via Eden X2 or 1.2GHz Nano X2 E
  • Chipset — Via VX900H
  • Memory — 1 x SODIMM socket accepts up to 4GB of memory
  • Expansion — Type I/II CFast slot
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • Displays:
      • 1 x VGA connector for 2560 x 1600 resolution
      • 1 x 24-bit LVDS connector for up to 1366 x 768 resolution
      • HDMI port
    • audio — mic in, line in, line/speaker out with six-Watt amplifier
    • 1 x SATA (3gps)
    • 6 x USB 2.0 (2 on coastline; 4 via pin header)
    • 2 x USB 3.0 (optional)
    • 2 x RS232/422/485
    • 1 x parallel (via header)
    • 8-bit GPIO via 2 x 6 pin header
    • touchscreen interface supports 4- or 5-wire displays
  • Power — DC 7V ~ 36V via built-in DC-to-DC converter; 24.86 Watts for Eden X2 and 27.6 Watts for Nano X2
  • Operating temperature — 14 to 149 deg. F (-10 to 65 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 4.7 inches (17 x 12cm); EM-ITX format
  • Operating system support — Linux (Debian), Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP, Windows 7

The EITX-3002's power consumption is a little higher than we normally associate with fanless operation. However, Via says the board can provide precisely that — over a range of -4 to 131 deg. F — when it is installed in the separately available AMOS-5002 chassis kit.


Via AMOS-5002
(Click to enlarge)

Pictured above, the AMOS-5002 is equipped with blade-style thermal fins. It provides access to both of the board's coastlines as well as its CFast slot, is VESA-mountable, and provides shock resistance up to 50G, according to Via.

No claim was made that the AMOS-5002 can also accommodate Em-ITX expansion modules (detailed further below). Judging by the case's slim profile, we suspect it cannot.

Background

Measuring about 6.7 x 4.7 inches, the Em-ITX format offers the same width as Mini-ITX, but with the height of Via's smaller (120x120mm) Nano-ITX format. The rectangular shape (below) allows dual "coastlines," providing 19 percent more room for real-world connectors than if a square had been utilized, according to Via.


Em-ITX is 30 percent smaller than Mini-ITX, but has twice the coastline, Via says
(Click to enlarge)

Via's first Em-ITX board was the EITX-3000 (pictured), introduced in March 2009. The device was based on Via's 1.0 or 1.3GHz Nano processor and VX800 media system processor, both said to have been located on the reverse side of the board in order to make more room for heat sinks or other passive cooling hardware.

The later EITX-3001 (below) was a June 2010 release featuring the 1.3GHz Nano U3100, one of the revised Nano E-Series processors Via had announced earlier that year. The revisions added extended longevity support, VT virtualization technology, and SSE4 instruction set extensions, Via said at the time.


Via's EITX-3001
(Click to enlarge)

Em-ITX boards feature a proprietary "Em-IO" expansion bus, capable of supporting optional add-on modules that stack horizontally on top of the main board, as pictured. (It appears that Em-IO does not include any pass-throughs, limiting expansion to one module at a time.)

In April 2010, we covered Via's EMIO-3110, EMIO-3210, and EMIO-3430 Em-ITX expansion modules. You'll find complete details and images in our previous coverage, but briefly:

  • The EMIO-3110 targets digital signage, adding an S3 4300E graphics processor, two HDMI ports, two DVI ports, and a VGA port
  • The EMIO-3210 targets factory automation, adding two parallel ports and six RS232/422/485 ports
  • The communications-oriented EMIO-3430 offers a PC card slot, plus support for a GPS receiver, Bluetooth, and wireless networking add-ons

Not long after, Via released three "device development kits" in the form of cases designed to hold the EITX-3000 motherboard along with one of the above three modules. The resulting AMOS-5110, AMOS-5210, and AMOS-5430 were complete PCs that respectively focus on digital signage, factory automation, and GPS functionality.

Further information

According to Via, the EITX-3002 is available now, though pricing was not disclosed. More information may be found on the company's EITX-3002 product page and AMOS-5002 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense.



This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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