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Nano-ITX board uses new E6xx Atoms

Sep 16, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 20 views

Emerson Network Power announced a Nano-ITX motherboard that uses Intel's new E6xx Atoms in 600MHz and 1GHz versions, and runs MeeGo Linux. The NITX-300 includes four serial ports, an SSD (solid state disk) connector, plus slots for microSD, PCI Express x1, and PCI Express Mini devices, the company says.

Emerson Network Power's NITX-300 uses the 4.7 by 4.7-inch Nano-ITX motherboard format that was first unveiled by Via back in 2003. The device is offered with two of the Atom E6xx processors Intel announced earlier this week: either the 600MHz Atom E620 or the 1.0GHz Atom E640.

These CPUs have rated TDPs of 2.7 Watts and 3.3 Watts, respectively, according to Intel. While Emerson didn't quantify the overall power usage of the NITX-300, it says the device operates fanlessly and is suitable for applications such as embedded instruments, medical carts, and A/V display systems.

A block diagram of Emerson's NITX-300
(Click to enlarge)

According to Emerson, the NITX-300 has 512MB or 1GB of soldered-on DDR2 memory. Like others in the initial wave of E6xx devices, it includes Intel's own EG20T platform controller hub, as pictured in the block diagram above. (An advantage of the E6xx is said to be its compatibility with third party I/O hubs, but as far as we're aware, none is yet available.)

The NITX-300's external connectors include a 12VDC input (permitting the device to be run either via batteries or an AC adapter), two USB 2.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a VGA output. Two 3.5mm jacks are provided, one said to be capable of handling either mic- or line-level inputs, and the other offers either line or headphone output.

Emerson's NITX-300
(Click to enlarge)

While its coastline (above) might be simple, the NITX-300 packs a high degree of expansion internally. For a start, there's an LVDS connector that's said to provide resolutions of up to 1280 x 768 pixels (the VGA output supports 1280 x 1024), plus headers for four serial ports, four additional USB 2.0 host ports, and one USB client.

The NITX-300 further includes headers for GPIO, LOC, CAN, and audio. For persistent storage, there's a microSD slot, an SATA connector, and a "slim-lite" SSD connector, Emerson says.

Finally, the NITX-300 includes a PCI Express Mini Card slot (primarily intended for adding Wi-Fi or WiMAX, the company says) and a PCI Express x1 expansion slot.

Operating system support is said to include MeeGo Linux, making it the first embedded board we've heard of to support the embedded consumer electronics-oriented Moblin- and Maemo-based OS. It also supports Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows Embedded Standard, says the company.

Features and specifications cited by Emerson Network Power for the NITX-300 include:

  • Intel Atom E620 clocked at 600MHz or E640 clocked at 1.0GHz
  • Chipset — EG20T
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB of soldered-on DDR2 memory
  • Expansion:
    • microSD slot
    • PCI Express Mini Card slot
    • PCI Express x1 slot
    • slim-lite SSD connector
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • On coastline:
      • 1 x VGA
      • 2 x USB 2.0
      • audio — mic/line in and line/headphone out
    • Via headers or internal ports:
      • 4 x USB 2.0 host
      • 1 x USB client
      • GPIO
      • LVDS
      • 4 x serial
      • CAN
      • LPC
      • SATA
  • Power — 12VDC
  • Operating range — -4 to 158 deg. F (-20 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 4.7 by 4.7 inches

Further information

Emerson Network Power did not announce pricing or availability for the NITX-300. The company's product page for the device may be found here.

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