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PC/104-Plus module uses under four watts, tolerates desert heat

May 4, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Eurotech announced a PC/104-Plus module that's based on a 600MHz Vortex86DX SoC (system on chip), tolerates up to 158 deg. F, and uses less than four Watts. The CPU-1440 includes 128MB of RAM, support for VGA or composite video output, four Ethernet ports and four serial ports, a parallel port, plus both PCI and ISA bus expansion, the company says.

The CPU-1440 employs DMP's Vortex86DX (right), announced in November 2008. This SoC is built using a 90nm process, comes in a 27 x 27mm package, and is said to use under two Watts while running at up to 1GHz.

The Vortex86DX is said to include the complete 486SX instruction set, adding floating point support. Unlike DMP's previous Vortex86SX, the SoC is capable of running Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded, as well as Linux, and has 256MB of embedded L2 cache. It also supports up to 1GB of 233MHz DDR2 memory, according to its manufacturer.

Wisely, however, Eurotech is targeting only low-end Windows CE, Linux, or DOS applications with the CPU-1440. The module comes with just 128MB of RAM (soldered-on, we presume), and the Vortex86DX is clocked down to 600MHz, according to the company.

Eurotech's CPU-1440
(Click to enlarge)

It's said the CPU-1440 (above) can operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to 158 deg. F, using less than four Watts at all times. Applications for the long-term-available module include PLC and machine controllers, industrial gateways, and thin clients, according to Eurotech.

The Vortex86DX does not support video output all on its own, but Eurotech has added an unspecified video controller. The module offers an analog VGA interface, TFT and LVDS interfaces, and composite PAL or NTSC TV output, the company says.

Like other PC/104-Plus modules, the CPU-1440 includes stackable connectors for both 16-bit ISA and 32-bit PCI. Other interfaces — supported by onboard headers and an available cable kit — include four serial ports (one RS232, three TTL), a parallel port, and a 10/100 Ethernet port.

According to Eurotech, the CPU-1440 comes with 2MB of onboard flash, though whether this is suitable for a bootable operating system image was not detailed. An IDE/Compact Flash interface is available as an optional accessory, the company adds.

Specifications listed by Eurotech for the CPU-1440 include:

  • Processor — 600MHz Vortex86DX
  • Memory — 128MB of soldered-on DDR2 memory
  • Storage — 2MB of flash storage, with CompactFlash/IDE interface an available option
  • Expansion — stackable ISA and PCI connectors
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA
    • TFT
    • LVDS
    • TV-out (PAL, NTSC)
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • 4 x serial (1 x RS232, 3 TTL)
    • 1 x parallel
    • 2 x PS/2
  • Power — 5VDC, less than 4 Watts
  • Operating range — -40 to 158 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 3.9 x 3.8 inches (100 x 97mm)

Further information

According to Eurotech, the CPU-1440 is available separately or in a development kit that includes the module, a breakout board giving standard peripheral connectors, an integrated display, and a pre-ported version of Linux, DOS, or Windows CE. Pricing was not stated, but further information may be found on the CPU-1440 product page.

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