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Networking platforms run Pentium M SoCs

Oct 27, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Yet another embedded system vendor has jumped on Intel's EP80579 system-on-chip (SoC), previously code-named “Tolapai.” Win Enterprises announced its EP80579-based PL-10540 and PL-10550 desktop networking platforms, both of which are designed for SOHO/SMB network management and network security applications, says the… company.

(Click for larger view of the PL-10550)

The PL-10540 and PL-10550 provide the hardware component for custom firewalls, VPNs, and anti-spam, anti-virus, and intrusion detection/prevention appliances, says the company. They are identical except that the latter offers one more gigabit Ethernet port, for a total of five, says Win Enterprises.

Both systems offer the Intel EP80579 in versions clocked to 600MHz, 1.066GHz or 1.2 GHz, with or without the chip's optional “QuickAssist” FPGA (field programmable gate array) interface. Announced in July, the EP80579 integrates typical northbridge and southbridge functions with a Pentium M core clocked up to 1.2GHz. The SoC includes a memory controller hub (MCH) supporting DDR2 RAM up to 800MHz.

Intel EP80579 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The PL-10540 and PL-10550 support up to 2GB of DDRII memory. Storage options include an SATA hard drive, or CompactFlash (using it disables the SATA interface support). Storage can be expanded using USB-connected NAND flash, according to the company.

I/O includes USB and serial ports. The system can be expanded via a MiniCard PCIe riser. The systems measure a compact 9.0 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches.

Specifications listed for the PL-10540 and PL-10550 include:

  • Processor — Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor (600MHz, 1.066GHz, or 1.2GHz); optional QuickAssist support
  • Cache — 256KB of L2 coherent cache
  • Memory — up to 2GB DDRII 400/533/667/800Mhz
  • Flash — 1 x USB 2.0 NAND flash module connector
  • SSD — 1 x 50-pin CompactFlash Type II socket for SSD (disables a SATA port when populated)
  • Expansion — 1 x MiniCard PCIe riser (disables USB function on MiniCard when used)
  • Storage — 2 x SATA HDD connectors
  • Networking — 4 x (PL-10540) or 5 x (PL-10550) 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
  • USB — 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • Serial — 1 x RJ45/RS-232 COM port
  • LEDs — dual color programmable LEDs
  • Dimensions — 9.0 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 104 degrees F (0 to 40 degrees C)
  • Power — 60W + 12V DC In adapter; RoHS compliant
  • Operating systems: Linux, Windows Embedded XP, FreeBSD

Stated Chiman Patel, CEO/CTO of Win Enterprises, in reference to the Intel EP80579, “By combining the functions of four chips into one, Intel has simplified and sped up platform design while bringing the benefits of smaller footprint, lowered power consumption, enhanced performance, and comprehensive I/O to the device.”


The PL-10540 and PL-10550 platforms will be available in mid-December, 2008, with four to six weeks required for delivery, says Win Enterprises. Per-unit pricing in OEM quantities is $425 (PL-10540) and $455 (PL-10550) respectively. More information on the PL-10550 should be available here (PL-10540) or here (PL-10550).

Other Linux-compatible networking systems based on the Intel EP80579 SoC have included Lanner's FW-7570 1U network appliance device and NS04-5130 network-attached storage (NAS) appliance, as well as Habey's BIS-7750 network appliance, which supports security, communications, and NAS. More recently, Portwell announced its EP80579-based CATO-3000 network security appliance.

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