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First Atom-based nano-ITX board?

Oct 10, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Portwell is shipping what it claims to be the first nano-ITX board based on an Intel Atom processor. The Linux-friendly Nano-8044 is aimed at portable POS (point-of-sales/service), medical/healthcare, mobile kiosk, mobile gaming, and digital signage devices, says the company.

(Click for larger view of the Nano-8044)

Measuring 4.72 x 4.72 inches, the Nano-8044 conforms to Via's nano-ITX form-factor, which was introduced in 2003. As far as we know, Portwell's claim of offering the first Atom-flavored nano-ITX board appears to ring true, although Axiomtek earlier announced its PICO820, based on Via's even smaller pico-ITX format.

With the Nano-8044, Portwell offers customers a choice between the Z530 (1.6GHz) and the Z510 (1.1GHz) processors, although Portwell does not list the specific clock rates. These Z500-series Atoms are both aimed at embedded applications, and provided with seven-year lifecycle support.

The company touts the board's low power consumption, which it claims to be less than 10 Watts at full loading, making it suitable for battery operation. Heat emissions, meanwhile, are said to be low enough to support a fanless configuration. The board is equipped with up to 1GB of DDR2 memory, and comes with a CompactFlash slot, an SD card, and an IDE interface. Additional features include gigabit Ethernet, six USB 2.0 ports, and a dual-display capability by way of its LVDS and SDVO connectors.

Specifications listed for the Nano-8044 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z530 or Z510 with 533/400MHz FSB and Intel System Controller Hub US15W (Poulsbo chipset)
  • Memory — 1 x 200-pin SO-DIMM socket, supporting up to 1GB DDR2 533/400
  • Memory expansion — 1 x Type II CompactFlash socket; 1 x SD card
  • Storage — 1 x 44 pin IDE
  • Expansion — 1 x PCI-E slot
  • Display — 1 x internal 24-bit LVDS; 1 x Chrontel 7317A transmitter for SDVO to VGA out; 1 x VGA connector
  • Audio — Realtek ALC888; 1 x Line out; 1 x Mic-in
  • Networking — 1 x Intel 82574L PCI-E x1 gigabit Ethernet
  • USB — 6 x USB 2.0 (4 x external; 2 x internal)
  • Serial — 1 x serial port
  • Other I/O — 1 x Winbond W83627THG
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 degrees F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Power — ATX 8-pin connector; 10 Watt consumption at full loading
  • Dimensions — 4.72 x 4.72 inches (120 x 120mm); nano-ITX format

Stated Frank Shen, American Portwell Technology's product marketing director, “When you add in LVDS panel support and longevity support for seven years, the new NANO-8044 is the perfect solution for any embedded application with panel display.”


The Nano-8044 appears to be shipping now. Operating system compatibility was not listed, but Portwell boards typically run Linux, Windows XP, and Windows XP. More information may be found here.

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