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Modules offer Intel Atom processors, onboard flash storage

May 19, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Aaeon announced two COMs (computer on modules) that are available with Intel's 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor. The NanoCOM-LN uses the COM Express Ultra format and has 1GB of soldered-on memory, and the ETX-LN uses the ETX format, has a DIMM slot for up to 2GB of RAM, and is further available with the dual-core Atom D525 or the D425, both clocked at 1.8GHz.

Intel's release of more than 40 Atom processors has frankly made it difficult to know who should buy which one, and for what reason. The N455 — offered in both of Aaeon's new COMs — is a single-core processor that's clocked at 1.6GHz, has integrated graphics, and features a TDP of 6.5 Watts. The D525 and D425 — available on Aaeon's ETX-LN — again provide integrated graphics, are clocked at 1.8GHz (for a massive performance difference?), and respectively have dual- or single-cores as well as 10- or 13-Watt TDPs.

Now that that's out of the way, let's look at Aaeon's modules themselves, both of which employ Intel's ICH-8M I/O controller. The NanoCOM-LN employs the 3.3 x 2.17-inch COM Express Ultra format (which used to be known as nanoETX Express, hence the "Nano" in the name), incorporating a Type 1 COM Express pinout.

Aaeon's NanoCOM-LN
(Click to enlarge)

Like other gadgets of its type, the NanoCOM-LN (above) passes all of its signals through the COM Express pinout, with the exception of what's described (without further explanation) as an SMI (shared memory interface connector). The module includes 1GB of soldered-on DDR3 memory, and it's also available in a configuration with an onboard, 4GB solid state disk (SSD), according to Aaeon.

Aaeon says the NanoCOM-LN provides five PCI Express x1 interfaces, four 32-bit PCI interfaces, plus LPC, SMBus, and I2C expansion. There's also three SATA ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, high definition audio, eight GPIOs (four in, four out), plus dual video outputs (up to 1400 x 1050 pixels for CRT, 1366 x 768 for LCDs), the company adds.

Aaeon's ETX-LN, meanwhile, employs the larger ETX module format, measuring 4.5 x 3.74 inches. The added real estate gives it room for a DIMM slot accepting up to 2GB of DDR3 memory, as well as two SATA ports that in this case have their own on-module connectors, according to the company.

Aaeon's ETX-LN
(Click to enlarge)

The ETX-LN (above) again is available with an onboard SSD (this time, 16GB). Expansion, all destined to reach the real world through an optional carrier board, includes four 32-bit PCI interfaces, an 8/16-bit ISA interface, SMBus, and I2C, according to Aaeon.

Aaeon says the ETX-LN also has 10/100 Ethernet, CRT and LCD video outputs (resolutions are the same as on the NanoCOM-LN), plus four USB 2.0 ports. Audio I/O amounts to mic in, line in, and line out, the company adds.

Specifications listed by Aaeon for the NanoCOM-LN include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N455
  • Chipset — ICH-8M
  • Memory — 1GB of soldered-on DDR3 RAM
  • Storage — 4GB SSD (optional)
  • Expansion:
    • 5 x PCI Express x1
    • 4 x 32-bit PCI
    • LPC
    • SMBus
    • I2C
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA
    • LVDS
    • 2 x SATA
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • audio (presumably mic in, line in, line out)
  • Power — accepts inputs from 4.75 to 14.7VDC (12V nominal)
  • Operating range — 32 to 140 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 3.3 x 2.17 inches

Specifications listed by Aaeon for the ETX-LN include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N455, D425, or D525
  • Chipset — ICH-8M
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR3 RAM via SODIMM slot
  • Storage — 16GB SSD (optional)
  • Expansion:
    • 3 x 32-bit PCI
    • 1 x 8/16-bit ISA
    • SMBus
    • I2C
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA
    • LVDS
    • 2 x SATA (connectors on module)
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • audio — mic in, line in, line out
  • Power — 5VDC; consumption n/s
  • Operating range — 32 to 140 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 3.74 inches

Further information

Operating system support and availability were not spelled out, but the NanoCOM-LN and ETX-LN appear to be on sale now. More information may be found on the NanoCOM-LN data sheet and the ETX-LN data sheet.

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

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