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Fanless system uses EPIC SBCs

Sep 20, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Ampro has introduced a fanless computer based on either of two EPIC form-factor single-board computers (SBCs). With CPU power up to a 1.4 GHz Pentium, the ReadySystem Fanless targets “harsh environments that are dusty and dirty, or require … noise free operation.”

The ReadySystem Fanless is packaged in a compact housing measuring 10.2 x 9.3 x 3.4 inches (261 x 236 x 85 mm). This is equipped with the purchaser's choice of SBC: Ampro's ReadyBoard 800 or ReadyBoard 820.

According to the company, the ReadySystem Fanless enclosure allows room for a 2.5-inch Serial ATA hard drive, supported when the ReadyBoard 820 is installed. As shown below, it also includes a DB-15 VGA output, two USB ports, two serial ports, and up to two Ethernet interfaces.

The ReadySystem Fanless is cooled by heatsinks on both sides
(Click to enlarge)

The ReadySystem Fanless allows integrating up to two PCI-104 or PC/104-Plus cards. Ampro says this makes it suitable for applications such as automation, digital signage, control, acquisition, and gaming devices.

Ampro CEO Joanne Mumola Williams says that the system's overall mechanical design and high-quality SBCs used brings a high level of reliability.

ReadyBoard 800
(Click to enlarge)

ReadyBoard 820
(Click to enlarge)

In addition to its ULV Pentium M processor, the previously introduced ReadyBoard 800 features an Intel 82855 chipset and up to 1 GB of DDR 333 SODIMM RAM, along with an extensive suite of peripheral interfaces including AGP 128-bit 3D video interface with built-in dual-channel LVDS. Additionally, it sports CompactFlash and PCI-104 expansion.

The ReadyBoard 820, proclaimed on its debut one year ago as the “world's smallest PCI Express motherboard,” is offered with processors ranging from a 1 GHz ULV Celeron M 373 to a 1.8 GHz Pentium M 745, though the requirements of fanless operation apparently limit CPU frequency to 1.4 GHz in this application. The board is additionally equipped with an Intel 915GM chipset and up to 1 GB DDR2 400 SODIMM RAM, and its onboard display controller can support both CRT and LVDS video formats (resolution not specified). Bus expansion includes three lanes of x1 PCI Express, and it offers a pair of Ethernet ports, one supporting Gigabit transfers and the other limited to 10/100 Mbps.

Other interfaces supported by both embedded SBC options include USB, serial, IDE and Serial ATA, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, audio, parallel, and GPIO.

Availability and support

Ampro says it supports both EPIC SBCs mentioned — and thus the ReadySystem Fanless — a “full Linux 2.6 distribution,” as well as drivers and BSPs (board-support packages) for Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, and Windows CE.

The ReadySystem Fanless is said to be available in 60 days in the ReadyBoard 800 version, whereas the first quarter of next year will bring the ReadyBoard 820 version. Pricing was not disclosed.

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