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Multi-core SBC boasts EPIC proportions

Jul 9, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Ampro Computers announced two EPIC-format single-board computers (SBC) that ship with the company's Ubuntu-flavored Linux distro. The Intel Core Duo-based ReadyBoard 830 will ship in August, while the ruggedized ReadyBoard 820 is shipping now, says Ampro.

(Click for larger view of ReadyBoard 830)

The forthcoming ReadyBoard 830 targets applications including gaming, digital signage, video surveillance, and medical imaging. Customers can choose between a 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo L2400 for operation at 15W, or a 1.07GHz ULV Celeron for under-5.5W operation, says Ampro. In either case, the board comes with an Intel GME945 chipset, and two SODIMM sockets supporting up to 4GB of 533MHz DDR2 RAM.

The SBC offers an Intel GMA950 graphics processor, said to support CRTs, flat panels, and wide screen digital TVs at up to 2048×1536 resolution. The ReadyBoard's onboard video encoder adds TV-out for Component, S-Video, and HDTV (420p, 720p, and 1080i).

The ReadyBoard 830's I/O includes two gigabit Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 channels, four serial ports, and more. The board also offers storage interfaces, a CompactFlash socket, a PCI Express Mini Card, and a PCI-104 expansion bus. An optional MiniModule ISA card is said to provide a PCI-to-ISA bridge for compatibility with ISA-bus PC/104 cards.

Specifications for the ReadyBoard 830 include:

  • Processor — 1.66GHz Core Duo L2400 or 1.07GHz Celeron M 423 (Core 2 Duo T7400 or Celeron 440 processors available with optional CPU socket)
  • Chipset — Intel 945GME/ICH7M
  • Memory — 2 x SODIMM sockets for up to 4GB DDR2 533MHz
  • Graphics — Intel GMA 950 processors with HDTV support (1080i/p)
  • Storage — 2 x SATA and 1 x UDMA EIDE interfaces
  • Ultra DMA — single 33/66/100 channel supporting up to two devices
  • CompactFlash — on primary IDE
  • Expansion — PCI Express Mini Card and a PCI-104 expansion bus
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • USB — 6 x USB 2.0
  • Serial — 4 x ports, two of which are RS232/422/485
  • Parallel — 1 x parallel port
  • GPIO — 8 x pins
  • Other features — PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse, AC97 sound ports; ACPI 2.0 power management
  • Dimensions — 4.50 x 6.50 inches (EPIC form factor)
  • Operating systems — Ampro Embedded Linux (Ubuntu-derived, Linux 2.6); Windows Embedded CE 6.0; Windows XP Embedded

The ReadyBoard 820

Ampro has upgraded its ruggedized ReadyBoard 820 (pictured below), which first shipped in late 2006. The SBC features Intel's 1.4GHz Pentium M 738, which can be swapped out for a low-power Celeron M, says Ampro. The ReadyBoard 820 incorporates an Intel 915GM chipset, and offers up to 2GB of 533MHz DDR2 memory. The SBC provides integrated 3D graphics with support for Intel DVMT 3.0 (Dynamic Video Memory Technology), says the company.

ReadyBoard 820
(Click to enlarge)

The ReadyBoard 820 features gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 channels, an AC97 audio controller, two SATA and one UDMA EIDE storage interfaces, CompactFlash socket, four serial ports, a parallel port, and GPIO pins. Unlike the ReadyBoard 830, it supports a wide range of temperatures, from -4 to 158 degrees F (-20 to 70 degrees Celsius), says the company. As with the 830, the SBC comes with the company's own Ubuntu-based Linux 2.6 distro, Ampro Embedded Linux. It also runs Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded.


The ReadyBoard 830 will ship within 45 days at prices starting in the mid-$600's for production quantities, says Ampro. The ReadyBoard 820 is said to be shipping now at prices “starting around the $400s” for production quantities. More information on the ReadyBoard 830 may be found here, and more on the ReadyBoard 820 may be found here.

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