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PCI-104 SBC tackles embedded video apps

Jul 21, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Advanced Micro Peripherals announced a rugged, Linux-compatible single board computer (SBC) using the 4.0 x 3.7-inch PCI-104 form factor. Powered by a 500MHz AMD Geode LX800 CPU, the video-ready Tiny-LX board offers a 32 bit PCI expansion bus, interfaces including Ethernet, USB, and E-IDE, plus fanless operation even in extended temperatures.

Cambridge, U.K.-based Advanced Micro Peripherals (AMP) specializes in developing embedded video solutions on formats including PC/104-Plus, CompactPCI, PCI, and mini-PCI. The Tiny-LX has a wider focus, but still primarily targets video tasks in "challenging" environments, says the company.

Applications for the 4.0 x 3.7-inch board are said to include thin server/client applications, video IP streamers, video surveillance equipment, digital video recorders, vehicle/airborne embedded controllers, medical instrumentation, portable test equipment, and industrial automation.


The Tiny-LX SBC is based on the venerable, low-power AMD Geode LX800 processor clocked to 500MHz, and is further equipped with 512MB to 1GB of DDR SDRAM, says AMP.

The entire Geode line is gradually being discontinued by AMD, but the Geode LX800 is nonetheless in widespread use in the embedded world, especially where an x86 processor is needed in a low-power environment. The Geode LX800 typically draws 1.8 Watts and has a TDP of 3.6 Watts, according to AMD.

The Tiny-LX adopts the PCI-104 form-factor. Consequently, it offers a 32-bit PCI expansion bus that supports connections to video encoders, frame grabbers, FireWire interfaces, and additional video graphics and overlay controllers, says the company.

Tiny-LX block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

The Tiny-LX supplies a 10/100Mbps Ethernet controller, as well as standard peripheral controllers for two serial ports and two USB ports, says AMP. Controllers are also said to be provided for a keyboard and mouse, as well as E-IDE and CompactFlash storage.

An integrated display controller can drive analog VGA and TTL digital flat panel TFT displays simultaneously, with a range of display resolutions up to 1600 x 1200, says AMP. The Tiny-LX is also said to feature an integrated audio codec with stereo inputs and outputs.

The Tiny-LX SBC operates from a single 5-Volt DC supply, and runs fanlessly at temperatures ranging from 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C), says AMP. An extended-temperature version is said to extend from -40 to 176 deg. F (-40 to 80 deg. C). An optional conformal coating supports high humidity applications, adds the company.

Tiny-LX is compatible with Linux, Windows XP/CE/XP Embedded, as well as real-time operating systems including VxWorks and QNX Neutrino, says AMP.


Advanced Micro Peripherals did not offer details on the pricing or availability of the Tiny-LX module, but the device appears to be available for ordering. More information may be found here, with a datasheet available in PDF format, here.

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