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ETX module offers SATA, supports Linux

Dec 7, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Kontron has announced the latest in its series of ETX 3.0-compatible computer-on-modules (COMs). The ETX-PM3, touted as a “long life” product, supports Pentium M or Celeron M processors, and is compatible with Linux, according to the company.

(Click here for a larger view of the ETX-PM3)

Like other ETX COMs, the ETX-PM3 is a module supplying core CPU, memory, display and networking subsystems, and I/O. It plugs into an application-specific baseboard, which can include standard PC-style connectors for testing purposes.

ETX 3.0, introduced by Kontron in 2006, adds two serial ATA (SATA) ports without changing any of the ETX board-to-board pins, keeping new modules 100 percent pin-compatible with previous versions. Since the SATA ports employ “slim line” connectors on the top-side of the module, rather than sending signals through the ETX connectors on the bottom, the modules remain compatible with any ETX carrier board.

Positioned in the middle of Kontron's ETX line — which ranges from Via C7 based COMs on the low end to Intel Core 2 Duo based devices on the high end — the ETX-PM3 supports Intel Pentium M processors clocked at 1.8GHz or Intel Celeron M processors clocked at 600MHz or 1GHz. It uses Intel's 852GM chipset, which includes the 82855GME graphics controller. The ETX-PM3 can provide resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 on CRTs or 1600 x 1200 on LCDs, according to Kontron.

The ETX-PM3 includes 1GB of DDR SDRAM as well as four USB 2.0 interfaces, two serial interfaces, and 10/100 Ethernet. Also included, of course, are the SATA ports already mentioned, plus two enhanced IDE ports.

Kontron notes that the COM can be used in mobile applications, thanks to support for “extended sleep state” modes. A “suspend to RAM” feature keeps RAM powered up while other system components are idled, for example.

Features and specifications cited by Kontron for the ETX-PM3 include:

  • Processor — Pentium M running at 1.8GHz, and Celeron M running at 600MHz or 1GHz.
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR 2 DRAM
  • Display — LVDS flat panel and CRT output with up to 32MB of shared video memory, resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 on CRT or 1600 x 1200 on LCD
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:

    • 2 x SATA with VT6421A controller, RAID 0/1 support
    • 2 x IDE
    • 2 x serial (16550 compatible)
    • IrDA support
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • parallel port shared between floppy/LPT
    • line input/output and microphone input

  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 3.7 inches (114 x 95 mm)
  • Power consumption — typical 13.9W @ 5V
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60 deg. C

Kontron did not provide pricing and availability information for the ETX-PM3. However, operating system support is said to include Linux, VxWorks, Windows XP and XP Embedded, and Windows 2000 and CE.

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