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Low-profile PC runs OS from CompactFlash

Oct 24, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Contec announced a fanless box PC intended for embedded applications, with a height of just 1.4 inches. The BX-956 includes an Intel Atom D510 processor, two CompactFlash slots, two gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB 2.0 ports, plus a VGA port and a serial port, according to the company.

New to our pages, Osaka-based Contec announced this low-profile embedded box PC Oct. 24. The device is not only fanless but, thanks to the lack of openings in its case, is also dustproof, according to the company.

Contec's BX-956
(Click to enlarge)

Contec says the BX-956 measures just 7.2 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches, and may be shoved into any aperture that's approximately two inches high. All the PC's ports and connectors are sited on its front panel, as pictured above, except for its second serial port, which can just be seen protruding from the right-hand side.

According to Contec, the BX-956's front panel features, from left to right, a DC power input (accepts from 10.8~31.2VDC), audio I/O (mic in, line out), four USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels), two gigabit Ethernet ports, and an RS232 port. That second serial port also offers RS232 only, while all cables may be secured by locking connectors (pictured below on what, since it has a DVI connector instead of VGA, appears to be a different product).

Contec's BX-956 comes with locking cable connectors

The BX-956 also has two externally accessible CompactFlash slots, which, again, may be secured via supplied "removal prevention fittings." On model BX-956-DC6000, both slots are empty, and ready to accept one's choice of x86 operating system, such as Linux; BX-956-DC6311 comes with two 2GB CompactFlash cards, one featuring a preinstalled Windows Embedded Standard 2009 image.

Both BX-956 models use Intel's dual-core Atom D510, which is clocked at 1.66GHz and has a 13-Watt TDP. Also fitted with Intel's ICH8M I/O controller and a single 200-pin SODIMM slot, the devices accept up to 2GB of DDR3 memory.

According to Contec, the BX-956 tolerates operating temperatures from 32 to 122 deg. F when mounted horizontally, or 32 to 113 deg. F when mounted vertically. Using gigabit Ethernet lowers the maximum temperatures to 113 and 104 deg. F respectively, the company adds.

Specifications listed by Contec for the BX-956 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.66GHz
  • Chipset — Intel ICH8M
  • Memory — up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM slot
  • Storage — 2 x CompactFlash slots (model BX-956-DC6311 comes with 2GB Windows Embedded Standard 2009 image and 2GB data card)
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • VGA
    • 2 x RS232
    • audio — mic in, line out
  • Power — accepts from 10.8 to 31.2VDC
  • Operating range:
    • horizontal — 32 to 122 deg. F, or 32 to 113 deg. F when gigabit Ethernet is used
    • vertical — 32 to 113 deg. F, or 32 to 104 deg. F when gigabit Ethernet is used
  • Dimensions — 7.2 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight — 4 pounds approx. (1.8kg)

Further information

According to Contec, the BX-956 is available now, though pricing was not mentioned. More information may be found on the BX-956 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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