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Embedded micro-ATX board runs quad-core Xeons

Sep 23, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 27 views

Trenton Technology announced an embedded motherboard that accepts the “Jasper Forest” Xeon processors introduced by Intel earlier this year. The JXM7031 supports up to 192GB of RAM, includes six SATA ports with RAID support, and offers three PCI Express slots and one 32-bit PCI slot, the company says.

A veritable shark in a world of Atom-powered minnows, Trenton's JXM7031 employs the 9.6 x 9.6-inch micro-ATX form factor not often found on "embedded" devices. Offered with a five-year warranty, the board is said to use any of the Xeon C5500 processors detailed in the chart below, with dual or quad cores and TDPs ranging from 48 Watts to 85 Watts.

Trenton's JXM7031 supports the Xeon C5500 CPUs listed in this table
Source: Intel
(click to enlarge)

These embedded-specific Xeons (right), announced under their "Jasper Forest" code name last September and then formally introduced in February, are a manifestation of Intel's "Nehalem" microarchitecture. While they're still 45nm parts, they nonetheless represent a breakthrough, says Intel, because they include an I/O hub integrated via PCI Express. This integration saves valuable board real estate and lowers system power consumption by 27 Watts compared to the previous Xeon 5500 CPUs, the chipmaker says.

The Xeon C5500s — along with the Xeon C3500 and Celeron P1053 also shown in the chart above — are designed to work with the 3420 Platform Controller Hub (block diagram here). This is a 27 x 27mm chip used to add eight PCI Express x1 ports (configurable as x2 and x4), six SATA 3Gb/sec. ports, 12 USB 2.0 ports, and "Matrix Storage Technology," according to Intel.

Trenton's JXM7031 leverages the 3420 to support up to 192 of ECC-registered, DDR3 RAM, according to the company. When 8GB DDR3 DIMMs are employed, the maximum memory is 48GB of RAM, while 4GB parts naturally result in a 24GB total, the company adds.

Trenton's JXM7031

Pictured above, the JXM7031 is further said to offer six SATA ports, with data transfer rates up to 300Mb/sec. Both independent drive operation and RAID (0, 1, 5, and 10) array configurations are possible, according to Trenton.

According to Trenton, connectors on the JXM7031's coastline include two PS/2 ports, audio I/O, a DVI-I video connector (resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels), four USB 2.0 ports, and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Headers, as delineated in the block diagram below, include two additional USB 2.0 ports and two RS232 ports.

A block diagram of Trenton's JXM7031
(Click to enlarge)

Trenton says the JXM7031 has one PCI Express x16 slot and two PCI Express x8 slots, as well as a 32-bit PCI slot. The device also includes an Atmel ATC97SC3203 TPM (trusted platform module), the company adds.

Features and specifications listed by Trenton for the JXM7031 include:

  • Processor — Intel Xeon C5500 processors ranging from 1.73GHz to 2.53GHz
  • Chipset — Intel 3240, plus XGI Volari Z11M for graphics
  • Memory — up to 192GB of RAM via six DIMM slots
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI Express x16
    • 2 x PCI Express x8
    • 1 x PCI
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 6 x USB 2.0 (4 external, 2 internal)
    • DVI-I
    • 6 x SATA
    • 2 x PS/2
    • audio — mic in, line in, headphone/speakers out
    • 2 x RS232 (internal)
  • Operating range — 32 to 122 deg. F (0 to 50 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 9.6 x 9.6 inches

Further information

Trenton did not detail pricing or operating system support for the JXM1031, but the RoHS-compliant device appears to be on sale now. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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