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Geode ETX module runs Linux

Aug 13, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

UK-based embedded device manufacturer Datasound Laboratories (DSL) announced an embedded module based on Kontron's ETX “computer-on-module” form-factor spec. Based on an AMD Geode LX800 clocked at 500MHz, the Linux-compatible LX800-ETX Module supports displays with resolutions up to 1600 x 1200.

(Click for larger view of the LX800-ETX Module)

The “fully ETX-compliant” module measures about 4.5 x 3.7 inches (114 x 95mm), and is designed for fanless operation for use in “any custom embedded system,” says the company. Thanks to its Geode LX800, which has found a home in many an ETX module, not to mention the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) XO, the module is claimed to consume a mere 0.8 amperes.

The LX800-ETX's AMD CS5536 graphics controller supports both CRTs and digital LCDs. Connectivity include a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports, two TTL (transistor-transistor logic) serial ports, and a parallel port. In addition to the v2.2 compliant PCI bus, the module offers an ISA bus, which the company says still has “significant demand” in embedded systems. DSL says it makes its own 8/16-bit ISA design using FPGA (field-programmable gate array) technology, so customers can stay with ISA without fearing obsolescence.

Specs for the LX800-ETX Module are given as follows:

  • Processor — AMD Geode LX800 500MHz with Insyde BIOS (customizable)
  • Memory — supports up to 1GB DDR333
  • Graphics controller — AMD CS5536 companion chip supports CRT or LCDs up to 18-Bit TTL with 1600×1200 resolution
  • Video memory — up to 254MB
  • Bus — 1 x PCI; 1 x ISA (8/16-bit proprietary)
  • IDE — UDMA 33/66/100
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100Mbps with RPL/PXE LAN boot
  • USB — 4 x USB 2.0
  • Serial — 2 x TTL ports
  • Parallel LPT — Uni/ECP/EPP
  • IrDA — 1 x IrDA
  • Input — PS/2; keyboard; mouse
  • Audio — AC'97
  • Watchdog — 1s-255h
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 3.7 inches (114 x 95mm); ETX-compliant
  • Power — +5V; 0.8A typical consumption; external RTC battery
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 158 degrees F (0 to 70 degrees C); extended range optional
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows XP, Windows CE, DOS, and more

(Click for details)

In May, DSL announced four LX800-based open-frame panel PCs intended for incorporation into kiosks. The fanless LX800-LCD models (pictured) are said to offer displays from 6.4 to 15 inches, plus up to 1GB of RAM, 10/100 Ethernet, four USB ports, and optional PCI-104 expansion.


DSL did not provide pricing or availability information on the LX800-ETX Module. More information may be found here.

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