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Fanless controller has ten serial ports

Jul 25, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Aaeon has added to its line of fanless embedded controllers with a model sporting ten serial ports. The AEC-6872 has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, two Ethernet ports, a CompactFlash slot, four USB ports, and a slot that can hold a PCI or PCI Express card, the company says.

Aaeon's AEC-6872 is the latest in a long line of fanless embedded controllers from this company. The one we most recently covered is the AEC-6924, released at the end of April with a Core 2 Duo SL9400 processor.

Aaeon's AEC-6872

The AEC-6872 returns to a more typical Atom CPU (specifically, the dual-core D510, which has a 13-Watt TDP). It's exceptional, however, in including a total of ten serial ports.

As seen below left, eight RS232 ports are lined up on the device's front panel, along with a 25-pin parallel port. There are two more serial ports (1 RS232, 1 RS232/422/585) on the rear panel (below right), along with two gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a VGA output, two PS/2 ports, audio I/O (mic in, line out) and a power input, says Aaeon.

Aaeon's AEC-6872
(Click either to enlarge)

Aaeon says the AEC-6872 accepts up to 4GB of RAM via two SODIMM slots, while fixed storage is via a bay (2.5-inch, we presume, though this wasn't stated) and an internal CompactFlash slot. The device also has a Mini PCI slot and a "mini card" (Mini PCI Express?) slot, according to the company.

There are four different SKUs for the AEC-6872, Aaeon notes. For example, the device is available with a choice of externally accessible expansion slots — either PCI or PCI Express x 1. Apart from this, it's orderable either in a version that uses 12VDC input power, or one that accepts voltages ranging from 9 to 30VDC.

According to Aaeon, the AEC-6872 may be operated in temperatures ranging from 14 to 131 deg. F. When employing only CompactFlash storage, it resists shocks of up to 5G while in operation, the company adds.

Specifications listed by Aaron for the AEC-6872 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — ICH 8M
  • Memory — up to 4GB DDR2 RAM in two DIMM slots
  • Storage — CompactFlash slot (internal) and bay for SATA hard disk drive
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI or 1 x PCI Express x1
    • 1 x Mini PCI
    • 1 x "mini card"
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 9 x RS232 (8 front, 1 rear)
    • 1 x RS232/422/485 (rear)
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • VGA
    • 2 x PS/2
    • 1 x parallel
    • audio — mic lin, line out
  • Power — 12VDC or 9~48VDC; consumption n/s
  • Operating range — 14 to 131 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 9.4 x 8.4 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight — 12.8 pounds (5.8kg)

Further information

Aaeon did not cite pricing or operating system support for the AEC-6872. More information on the device, which appears to be available now, may be found on the company's AEC-6924 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be followed at

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