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ETX 3.0 COM likes it frozen or fried

Sep 25, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Diamond Systems is shipping an ETX 3.0-compliant computer-on-module designed to withstand temperatures between -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 86 deg. C). The ETX-945 incorporates Intel's Core 2 Duo, Core Duo, or Celeron processors, and can be bought with preconfigured ETX and EPIC baseboard modules incorporating PC/104-Plus expansion interfaces.

Measuring 4.5 x 3.7 inches and compliant with the ETX 3.0 format, the ETX-945 computer-on-module (COM) targets a wide variety of extended-temperature applications ranging from transportation to industrial automation. Like others of its type, the module is intended to be plugged into system baseboards containing application-specific circuitry, interface buffering, I/O connectors, and other components. Both 32-bit PCI and 16-bit ISA expansion buses are available on the ETX-945's ETX 3.0-compliant interface, Diamond notes.

ETX-945, top and bottom views
(Click on either to enlarge)

Like Diamond's recently released "ETX-N270" ETX COM, which is based on an Intel Atom N270, the ETX-945 can be bought with baseboards supporting PC/104 interfaces and various real-world ports. These products include Diamond's ETX-format Pluto board and its EPIC-based Neptune. More on the ETX 3.0 format, the ETX-N270, and the Neptune and Pluto boards (see images below) may be found in our previous coverage, here.

Diamond's Pluto (left) and Neptune (right) baseboards are compatible with the ETX-945

(Not to scale; click either for further information)

Built around Intel's 945GME and ICH7M chipset, the ETX-945 offers a choice of Core 2 Duo, Core Duo, or Celeron M CPUs in standard, LV, or ULV configurations, says Diamond. The COM also provides an on-board SODIMM for up to 2GB of DDR2 DRAM.

The ETX-945 can drive analog and LVDS-interfaced CRTs and LCDs at resolutions up to 2048 x 1536, and also supports dual independent displays, says Diamond. The COM supports SATA and IDE storage, as well as 10/100Mbps Ethernet, says the company. Other I/O is said to include USB 2.0, audio, serial, parallel, and PS/2 interfaces.

Specifications listed for the ETX-945 include:

  • Processor — Intel Core 2 Duo, Core Duo, or Celeron M, in standard, LV, or ULV formats; up to 4MB L2 cache and 533MHz or 667MHz FSB (both CPU dependent)
  • Chipset — Intel 945GME and ICH7M chipset
  • Memory — Up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM via 200-pin SODIMM socket
  • Storage — 2 x SATA ports; 1 x PATA port (supports 2 x IDE devices)
  • Display/graphics:
    • Intel GMA950 graphics
    • Up to 2048 x 1536 resolution
    • RGB CRT output
    • Dual-channel 24-bit LVDS output
    • Dual independent display support
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
    • 2 x COM ports
    • SPP/EPP/ECP or floppy (shared interface)
    • PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
    • SMbus, I2C, and IrDA serial interfaces
    • PC speaker interface
  • Expansion — 32-bit PCI bus (4x PCI masters); 16-bit ISA bus
  • Audio — AC'97 (Realtek ALC655); mic-in; line-in; line-out
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 3.7 inches (114 x 95mm)
  • Weight — 2.8 oz (79 g)
  • Power consumption — CPU dependent, ranging from 13 W (1GHz Celeron M) to 41 W (2.16GHz Core 2 Duo)
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 86 deg. C)
  • Operating system — Linux 2.6; Windows XP (others on request)


The ETX-945 CPU module is available for about $650 for the ETX-945-CM423 (1GHz Intel Celeron M ULV) and around $850 for the ETX-945-L2400 (1.55GHz Intel Core Duo ULV) in OEM quantities, says Diamond Systems, which did not release pricing on the other CPU configurations.

Supported operating systems include Linux 2.6 and Windows XP, but support for additional OSes and RTOSes (real-time operating systems) is said to be available on request.

More information on Diamond's ETX COMs may be found here.

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