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Expandable PC’s meant for power substations

Mar 30, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Moxa announced a device for power automation applications it's calling “the world's most precise timekeeping computer.” The DA-683 includes a dual-core Intel Atom D510 CPU, two SATA connectors, a CompactFlash slot, six gigabit Ethernet connectors, dual bays for PCI-based expansion modules, and configurations sporting dual power inputs, the company says.

Moxa's DA-683 is said to have a variety of industry certifications. For example, the available "DPP-T" dual-power versions comply with IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613 standards, both relevant to networking devices that will be installed in electric power stations.

Moxa's DA-683
(Click to enlarge)

According to Moxa, the device is also IEEE 1588-compliant, allowing it to synchronize time with other devices very accurately via Ethernet. While the DA-683 is available with Windows Embedded Standard 2009 or Linux, the IEEE 1588 certification only applies to Linux, the company says.

The 19-inch rackmountable DA-683 has other unusual features, however. For example, it includes two rear panel slots for PCI-based expansion modules: These include an eight-port RS-232/422/485 module, an eight-port RS-422/485 module, a eight-port 10/100 Mbps LAN module, an eight port 10/100 Mbps switch module, and a universal module for PCI expansion cards, according to Moxa.

Expansion modules available for the DA-683
(Click to enlarge)

Even without these modules, the DA-683 has six gigabit Ethernet interfaces, four digital I/Os, two RS232 ports, a PS/2 port, and four USB 2.0 ports (two front, two rear). A DVI-I video output supports analog displays up to 2048 x 1536 pixels and digital displays up to 1024 x 768, Moxa says.

The rear panel of Moxa's DA-683
(Click to enlarge)

The DA-683 is powered by an Intel Atom D510 CPU, clocked at 1.66GHz and offering dual cores, and its ICH-8M southbridge supports up to 2GB of RAM (1GB comes with the system). An integral 2GB DOM (disk on module) is used to hold the operating system of choice, while storage can be expanded by a CompactFlash slot and by two SATA connectors, according to Moxa.

Moxa says the DA-683 has a built-in watchdog timer and automatic reboot trigger, plus a built-in buzzer. The system has a 134,407-hour MTBF, the company specifies with unusual precision.

Specifications listed by Moxa for the DA-683 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.66GHz
  • Chipset — Intel ICH-8M
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM standard; 2GB maximum
  • Storage — integral 2GB DOM; CompactFlash slot; 2 x SATA II connectors (size of bays not specified)
  • Expansion — 2 x module slots
  • Networking — 6 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x DVI-I
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 front, 2 rear)
    • 1 x PS/2
    • 4 x DIO
  • Power requirements — 100~240VAC; 40 Watts
  • Operating range — available in 14 to 140 deg. F (-10 to 60 deg. C) or (-40 to 70 deg. C) versions
  • Dimensions — 17.32 x 12.4 x 3.54 inches without rackmount ears
  • Weight — 8.8 pounds (4kg)

Further information

While pricing and availability weren't detailed, Moxa's DA-683 appears to be orderable now. More information may be found on the Da-683 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be followed at

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