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First CoM with IXP425 runs embedded Linux

Dec 11, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

Kontron announced what it claims is the first Computer-on-Module (COM) based on Intel's XScale IXP42x network processor. The EB425 “E2Brain” module features high integration density, measures 2.95 by 4.33 inches (75 x 115 mm), targets low-power real-time applications, and supports embedded Linux and VxWorks.

Kontron says its standardized “E2Brain” modules will enable developers to concentrate on product design and application-specific software, rather than on implementing their own processor modules for each new product.

Kontron's EB425 module measures 2.95 by 4.33 inches
(Click above image for an even larger view)

The EB425 can serve as a universal computer core for communication-intensive embedded applications with Internet connectivity, according to Kontron. It integrates a 533 MHz Intel XScale IXP425 “network processor,” with a 266MHz cost-optimized variant also available.

Intel's IXP425 network processor supports pure communications applications with a wide range of speech, video, and data options using Universal Test and Operations PHY Interface for ATM (UTOPIA), DSL, High Level Data Link Control (HDLC), and the IEEE 802.11x standard for wireless networks. Integrated voice compression and InfoLAN, InfoWAN, and InfoUSB interfaces is provided.

Kontron's EBC1 carrier board

The EB425 can be used in conjunction with Kontron's EBC1 evaluation carrier board, which provies I/O interfaces. The EB425 supports six serial ports, two Fast Ethernet ports, UTOPIA, and Controller Area Network (CAN). A watchdog timer and RTC are also provided. The board

The EB425's six serial interfaces consist of two terminal interfaces (Rx/Tx), two asynchronous 16550 compatible interfaces, and two synchronous high-speed interfaces that can be used in HDLC applications.

A 32-bit/66MHz PCI bus interface and LPC (Low Pin Count) I/O extension bus enable flexible and customized expansion. Memory options include up to 256 MByte of soldered down SDRAM, up to 32MB of on-board Flash, 1 MB of battery backed-up SRAM, EPROM for user and configuration data, and an interface for CompactFlash memory cards (the socket must be implemented on an external carrier board).

Operating temperature range is from 0°C to 70°C and can optionally be extended to -40°C to +85°C.

The EB425 consumes 3.3V @ 3W with a 533 MHz CPU clock frequency, and it achieves an overall performance of 1.066 MIPS (CPU core + 3 network processor engines). Low heat emissions make the board ideal for passively cooled embedded systems, Kontron says.

Kontron says the EB425 is available now, and supports Linux and VxWorks. Additionally, Kontron says it plans to provide a BSP (board support package) for Windows CE .NET as soon as Intel and Microsoft have completed porting the operating system to the IXP425 network processor. A new model, the EB855, will appear in December 2003.

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