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Mini-ITX board builds on low-power AMD chips

May 20, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

Avalue announced a Mini-ITX motherboard that uses AMD's RS780E chipset and supports low-power AM3 socket processors, including the Phenom II XLT Q54L and Athlon II XL CPUs. The EMX-780E is equipped with up to 4GB DDR2 memory, dual gigabit Ethernet ports, USB and serial I/O, and PCIe expansion, and consumes 7 to 15 Watts, claims the company.

The EMX-780E is designed for a variety of embedded applications, including home automation, gaming, and medical equipment, says Avalue. The board's RS780E chipset, which is accompanied by the SB710 companion chip (PDF datasheet, here), supports a number of single-, dual-, and quad-core processors that are compatible with AMD's AM2, AM2+, and AM3 sockets. All these processors are said to feature TDPs of 65 Watts or less.

Avalue EMX-780E

(Click to enlarge)

Avalue seems to recommend the newer, low-power AM3 socket processors (see chart below). These are said to include the quad-core Phenom II XLT Q54L (2.2GHz, 65W TDP), dual-core Athlon II XL V66C (2.8GHz, 45W), dual-core V64L (2.7GHz, 45W), and dual-core V50L (2.2GHz, 25W), all of which offer at least five years longevity.

Other options include sub-65 Watt processors such as the dual-core AMD Athlon IIx2 B24 (3GHz) and quad-core Phenom II x4 905e (2.5GHz) CPUs, Avalue says. (AMD's PDF datasheet on its AM2, AM2+, and AM3 processors may be found here.)

AMD's AM3 socket processors
(Source: AMD)
(Click to enlarge)

The EMX-780E supports DDR2 memory up to 4GB via dual SODIMMS, says Avalue. A CompactFlash socket is supplied along with dual SATA ports for storage, and both PCI Express (PCIe) x16 and Mini-PCIe slots are provided for expansion, says the company.

The PCIe slot may optionally be populated by Avalue's AD-8001 AMD M72 3D graphics card (right), offering support for CRT, HDMI, and DVI. Built around the IGP ATI Radeon HD3200 display controller, the card supports CRT resolution up to 2560 x 1600, as well as dual-channel 24-bit LVDS, says the company.

EMX-780E port detail

(Click to enlarge)

Dual gigabit Ethernet ports are provided along with I/O including eight USB 2.0 ports and four COM ports, says Avalue. AC97 Codec 5.1 channel audio is said to be available, as well as audio I/O.

Specifications listed for the EMX-780E are said to include:

  • Processor — AM2/AM2+/AM3 socket processors, including Phenom II XLT Q54L and various Athlon II XL CPUs; FSB 400MHz
  • Chipset — AMD RS780E with SB710 chipset
  • Memory — Up to 4GB DDR2 800MHz SDRAM via 2 x SODIMMs
  • Flash expansion — 1 x CompactFlash Type I/II socket
  • Storage — 2 x SATA ports
  • Expansion — 1 PCIe x16 (occupied); 1 x Mini PCI
  • Graphics/display:
    • Avalue AD-8001 AMD M72 3D graphics card
    • IGP ATI Radeon HD3200 chipset
    • 2560 x 1600 CRT resolution
    • Dual display (CRT/HDMI or CRT/LVDS)
    • 2-ch 24-bit LVDS
    • 1 x external HDMI port (HDMI 1.3)
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8111D)
  • Other I/O
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • 4 x RS-232 (COM1 on Edge, COM2/ 3/ 4, 10-pin 2.0 pitch box header)
    • 1 x keyboard
    • 1 x mouse
    • 8-bit GPIO
  • Audio:
    • Realtek ALC888 for 5.1-CH
    • Mic-in
    • Line-in
    • CD Audio-in
    • Line-out
    • TPA A3005D2 Stereo amplifier (5W per channel)
  • Other features — S3/S4; smart fan control; watchdog timer
  • Power — ATX (5V/ 12V), 5Vsb; 7 to 15 Watt consumption
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.69 x 6.6 inches (170 x 170mm); Mini-ITX format


No information was provided on pricing, availability, or operating system support for the EMX-780E, although both Linux and Windows support are likely. More information may be found here.

An AMD page on Linux support for its processors and chipsets may be found here.

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