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Nano-ITX board saves power with single-core Atom

Jul 18, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

BCM announced a Nano-ITX motherboard that includes a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor and supports dual displays. The NX450N has Mini PCI Express and CompactFlash slots, two SATA ports, gigabit Ethernet, plus an optional TPM (trusted platform module), the company says.

BCM's new NX450N uses the 4.7 by 4.7-inch Nano-ITX motherboard format that was first unveiled by Via back in 2003. A previous such offering was the company's NX510D, which we covered last September, but that was built around Intel's dual-core, 1.66GHz Atom D510, while the NX450N downgrades to the single-core N450.

Why would you go for the single-core CPU? Well, we don't see overall power consumption claims from BCM, but the D510 has a TDP of 13 Watts, according to Intel. The N450, in contrast, has a TDP of just 5.5 Watts, the chipmaker says.

Both chips are "Pineview" Atoms with on-chip graphics support, and are accompanied by the ICH8M I/O controller. According to BCM, the NX450N has a VGA port (1400 x 1030 pixels maximum resolution) on its coastline (pictured below), and also features an 18-bit LVDS connector that allows attaching a secondary display up to 1280 x 800 pixels.

BCM's NX450N
(Click to enlarge)

Other coastline connectors include a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 connectors, a gigabit Ethernet port, a line audio output, and a 12VDC input, according to BCM. On the back of the NX450N, and hence not visible above, are a SODIMM slot for up to 2GB of RAM, plus a CompactFlash socket, for persistent storage.

In addition to dual SATA ports, there are headers on top of the board for four additional USB 2.0 ports, two RS232 ports, audio inputs (mic and line), and digital I/O. There's also a Mini PCI expansion slot that could be used for a wireless networking card, according to BCM.

The NX450N, which operates from 32 to 140 deg. F, is said to incorporate a watchdog timer and hardware status monitoring of temperature, voltage, and cooling fan status. An Infineon SLB9635 TPM is listed as an available option.

Features and specifications listed by BCM for the NX510D include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N450 clocked at 1.66GHz
  • Chipset — ICH8M
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM socket
  • Expansion:
    • CompactFlash slot
    • Mini PCI Express slot
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • External:
      • 2 x USB 2.0
      • 1 x VGA
      • 1 x PS/2
      • line output
    • Internal:
      • 4 x USB 2.0
      • 1 x LVDS
      • 2 x RS232
      • 1 x digital I/O
      • 2 x SATA
      • audio — mic in and line in
  • Power — 12VDC input; consumption n/s
  • Operating range — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — Nano-ITX; 4.72 x 4.72 inches

Further information

According to BCM, the NX450N is available now, aimed at "select OEM customers that can support the minimum order requirements." Operating system support was not detailed.

More information may be found on BCM's NX450 product page.

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

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