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Intel’s Atom E6xx makes it onto a 3.5-inch SBC

Sep 23, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Avalue announced a 3.5-inch SBC (single board computer) powered by Intel's Atom E6xx processors. The ECM-QB has 1GB of onboard DDR2 RAM, four USB 2.0 ports, five serial ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, plus microSD, CompactFlash, and PCI Express Mini Card slots, the company says.

Perhaps more than any other company, Avalue is a staunch supporter of the "3.5-inch" form factor that actually measures 5.7 x 4 inches, and was designed to match the dimensions of components such as 3.5-inch floppy disk drives. Some of the company's other boards using this format have included the Atom D510-equipped ECM-PNV, as well as the ECM-945GSE Plus and ECM945GSE, both using the earlier Atom N270.

Avalue's ECM-QB

The new ECM-QB marries the 3.5-inch form factor with Intel's recently announced Atom E6xx processors. Equipped with 1GB of DDR2 memory (apparently soldered-on) and the EG20T I/O controller, it's offered with all the standard and wide-temperature E6xx variants listed in the table below.

Clock speed (GHz) Graphics speed (MHz) TDP (Watts) Temperature range (deg. C)
Atom E620 .6 320 2.7 0 to 70
Atom E620T .6 320 2.7 -40 to 85
Atom E640 1.0 320 3.3 0 to 70
Atom E640T 1.0 320 3.3 -40 to 85
Atom E660 1.3 400 3.3 0 to 70
Atom E660T 1.3 400 3.3 -40 to 85
Atom E680 1.6 400 3.9 0 to 70
Atom E680T 1.6 400 3.9 -40 to 85

Intel's Atom E6xx product line

Power consumption of these CPUs is said by Intel to range from 2.7 Watts to 3.9 Watts, which, combined with the EG20T's TDP of 1.55 Watts, results in a maximum requirement of 5.45 Watts. Avalue doesn't note overall power consumption for the ECM-QB, and in fact says that the board includes "cooling fan status" monitoring; we'd think that the device uses little enough power to be cooled passively, however.

Ports on the edge of Avalue's ECM-QB

Avalue's spec list also doesn't make clear which of the ECM-QB's ports are external and which are offered via headers. It seems clear from a photo (above) of the device's coastline that it sports one serial port, a VGA port, two USB 2.0 ports, and two gigabit Ethernet ports.

That being the case, the port's other cited interfaces must all be provided by headers. This would include two further USB 2.0 ports, an LVDS video output, four more serial ports (two RS232, one RS422, one RS485), CAN bus, eight-bit GPIO, and two SATA ports. The device also has connectors for mic in, line in, CD audio in, and line out, says Avalue.

The back of Avalue's ECM-QB

According to Avalue, the ECM-QB also has a PCI Express Mini Card slot, a microSD slot, and a CompactFlash socket. (The latter two of these are visible on the back of the board, as pictured above.)

Features and specifications listed by Avalue for the ECM-QB itself include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E6xx processors clocked from 600MHz to 1.6GHz (see table earlier in this story for details)
  • Chipset — EG20T
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM (soldered-on)
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI Express Mini Card slot
    • 1 x microSD
    • 1 x CompactFlash
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA (resolutions to 1280 x 1024)
    • LVDS (resolutions to 1280 x 768)
    • 2 x SATA
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 edge connectors; 4 headers)
    • 4 x serial (3 x RS232, 1 x RS422, 1 x RS485)
    • CAN
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • audio — mic in, line in, CD audio in, line out
  • Power — 12VDC input from AT/ATX power supply
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 122 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 5.7 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight — 0.44 pounds (0.2kg)

Further information

Avalue did not cite pricing, availability, or operating system support for the ECM-QB. Regarding the latter point, however, the SBC's use of such a popular chipset should make it compatible with just about any x86 operating system.

More information on the ECM-QB Plus may be found on the manufacturer's website, here.

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