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EPIC board taps low power Atom E620

Dec 2, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Norco announced an EPIC form-factor SBC (single-board computer) aimed at low-power embedded applications. The EMB-4670 is equipped with an Intel Atom E620 processor — with a lowly 600MHz clock rate, but a TDP of only 2.7 Watts — and offers Mini PCI Express, PCI Express, and PC/104 expansion, plus a wide range of I/O that includes CANbus.

The EMB-4670 substantially upgrades the EMB-4650 SBC announced in April by Norco's Habey subsidiary. (That earlier board was featured in a robot that performed traditional Chinese shadow puppet plays, and featured the 2010 Intel Cup Embedded System Design Contest in China.)


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The EMB-4670 moves up to the Intel Atom E620. With its 600MHz clock rate and 2.7-Watt TDP, it's the lowest-powered of the "Tunnel Creek" Atoms announced in September 2010 as the heirs to the original Z5xx Atom processors. Optionally, customers can select the Atom E640, which boosts the clock rate to 1GHz and the TDP power draw to 3.3 Watts.

Like the EMB-4650, the new board adopts the 6.5 x 4.5-inch EPIC form factor, but there are numerous differences among the boards. The EMB-4670 offers fewer USB ports, but it doubles the RAM, doubles the number of gigabit Ethernet ports, triples the number of serial interfaces, and adds CANbus, among other differences.

It also switches the PCI and Mini PCI slots to PCI Express (PCIe) and Mini PCIe slots, while maintaining the earlier PC/104 connector (see spec list farther below).

EMB-4670 internal detail

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The EMB-4670 is equipped with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, an SD slot, and dual SATA II ports, says Norco. In addition, the Mini PCIe slot is said to support a solid state drive (SSD). Dual display support is available via the coastline VGA port and the internal LVDS interface, says the company.

Dual gigabit Ethernet ports are provided on the coastline along with two of the four available USB 2.0 ports, says Norco. The motherboard also offers one of the six available serial ports on the coastline, although Norco does not say if that's the same as the one RS232/422/485 port listed.

EMB-4670 coastline ports

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Aside from the SD slot, the rest of the I/O is internal. This includes the CAN bus, 8-bit digital I/O, a parallel port, and PS/2 and audio I/O connections, says the company.

Specifications listed by Norco for the EMB-4670 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E620 processor (600MHz, 2.7-Watt TDP); optional Atom E640 (1GHz, 3.3-Watt TDP)
  • Chipset — Intel E620+EG20T
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 667/800 RAM
  • Storage — SD slot; 2 x SATA II
  • Expansion:
    • PC/104 connector
    • PCIe
    • Mini PCIe (supports SSD)
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA
    • LVDS
    • 5 x RS232
    • 1 x RS232/422/485
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 x coastline)
    • 1 x parallel (LPT)
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • audio — mic in, line in, line out 
    • CAN interface
    • 2 x PS/2
  • Power — 12VDC
  • Operating range — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.5 x 4.5 inches (165 x 115mm); EPIC form factor


No pricing, availability, or operating system information was provided for the EMB-4670. More information may be found on the Norco EMB-4670 product page.

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