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Geode processor sips power on pico-ITX board

Mar 29, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 11 views

Kontron announced a pico-ITX SBC (single board computer) featuring AMD's 500MHz Geode LX800 processor. The KTLX800/pITX includes up to 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, 10/100 Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, two RS232 ports, and an SATA II interface, the company says.

The KTLX800/pITX is Kontron's second SBC using the pico-ITX form factor (see later in this story for background); the first was the Intel Atom-powered pITX-SP from 2009. Here, the company has turned to AMD's venerable Geode LX800 processor, along with the expected CS5536 companion chip.

The reason for adopting this 2005-era CPU is, of course, saving power in industrial application. According to Kontron, the processor uses an average of under one Watt, though it's elsewhere said the overall KTLX800/pITX requires up to five Watts.

Kontron's KTLX800/pITX
(Click to enlarge)

Dominated at its center by the Geode LX800 — just compare the above with an image of AMD's original, much-larger Geode LX development board — the KTLX800/pITX has a single SODIMM slot that accepts up to 1GB of DDR3 memory, according to Kontron. The board also has a microSD slot and an SATA II port, the company adds.

Real-world ports on the board's little coastline include a 10/100 Ethernet port, a CGA output, and two USB 2.0 ports. Via headers, the KTLX800/pITX further provides an LVDS flat panel interface, two RS232 ports, and two additional USB 2.0 ports, says Kontron.

Specifications listed by Kontron for the KTLX800/pITX include:

  • Processor — AMD Geode LX800 clocked at 500MHz
  • Chipset — AMD CS5536
  • Memory — Up to 1GB of DDR RAM via single SODIMM slot
  • Expansion — microSD slot
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x VGA
    • 1 x LVDS (pin header)
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 via real-world ports, 2 via pin headers)
    • 16 configurable GPIOs
    • 1 x SATA II
    • 2 x RS232
  • Power consumption — 5VDC; 5 Watts typical
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 3.9 x 2.8 inches (100mm x 72mm)

Pico-ITX background

Kontron's KTLX800/pITX uses the little 3.9 x 2.8 inch (10 x 7.2cm) pico-ITX format introduced by Via at the beginning of January 2007. The form factor has approximately half the surface area of Via's already small 4.7 x 4.7-inch (12 x 12cm) Nano-ITX standard, and is considerably smaller than the original 6.7-inch square (17 x 17cm) mini-ITX standard.

Via's incredible shrinking motherboard
(Click for details)

Most of the first pico-ITX boards came from Via itself and, not surprisingly, sported Via processors and chipsets. In 2008, however, the company transferred ownership of Pico-ITX to the SFF-SIG (small form factor special interest group), which is now maintaining it as an open, vendor-neutral standard.

Further information

According to Kontron, the KTLX800/pITX is available now, supporting Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, and Windows Embedded Standard 7. Pricing was not released, but further information may be found on the KTLX800/pITX product page.

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