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Qseven module sports Atom

Dec 2, 2008 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

Congatec has announced its first COM (computer on module) based on the Qseven form-factor. Targeting “ultra-mobile applications,” the conga-QA features Intel Atom Z5xx processors, up to 1GB of DDR2 memory, gigabit Ethernet, eight USB ports, and an optional onboard SSD (solid state drive), the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Congatech's Conga-QA)

Qseven is a COM standard released in January by a 14-member consortium, led by Congatec, MSC Vertriebs, and Seco. Promoted as ideal for mobile devices, the 70 x 70mm format includes “fast serial differential interfaces,” including PCI Express and Serial ATA, while skipping support for legacy interfaces like EIDE and PCI. It also supports SDIO, plus newfangled graphics and digital media specs such as DisplayPort and HDMI.


Congatec's conga-QA is little bigger than a credit card

Little bigger than a credit card, the conga-QA uses less than five Watts, Congatec says. The fanless device is available with a 1.1GHz Atom Z510 processor, with 400MHz frontside bus, or a 1.6GHz Atom Z530, with 533MHz frontside bus.

Like all other Z5xx devices, the conga-QA employs Intel's SCH US15W companion chip. Featuring 512KB of second-level cache, it's offered with either 512MB or 1GB of DDR2 memory, apparently soldered on. The module can also be purchased with up to 4GB of SSD (solid state drive) storage, according to Congatec.

The conga-QA is said to include an embedded BIOS and a multi-stage watchdog timer-equipped board controller that implements some of the device's BIOS expansions. The controller's independence from the x86 processor makes functions such as system monitoring faster and more reliable, even when the system is in standby mode, the company claims.

Interfaces on the module, all provided via the MXM connector (more on MXM below), include LDVS or SDVO graphics, eight USB 2.0 ports, an SATA port, PCI Express, LPC, HD audio, and I2C. Gigabit Ethernet is additionally present, courtesy of a Realtek RTL8111 chip.

Features and specifications listed by Congatec for the conga-QA include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z530 clocked at 1.6GHz, or Z510 clocked at 1.1GHz
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Storage — Onboard ATA SSD up to 4GB (optional)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x SATA
    • HD Audio
    • SDVO and LVDS video, with support for dual independent displays
    • I2C
    • LPC bus
  • Expansion:
    • PCI Express
    • SDIO

  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60 deg. C; additional extended temperature version “in preparation”
  • Dimensions — 2.75 x 2.75 inches (70 x 70mm)

According to Congatec, the conga-QA runs Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE 6.0, and QNX operating systems. Also touted by the company is the module's compatibility with Real-Time Systems GmbH's RTS Hypervisor software. The hypervisor lets the conga-QA run any two operating systems in parallel, with exclusively allocated memory, devices, and I/O ports, Congatec says.

Background

The Qseven form-factor includes a “golden finger” connector originally designed for laptop graphics cards using Nvidia's MXM (Mobile PCI Express Module) format. The connector, re-purposed here as a CPU module interconnect, provides 230 positions, .020-inch pitch, and 5.5mm and 7.8mm height options.


Embedian's MXM-8310
(Click image for further information)

While Congatec's conga-QA is the first shipping Qseven product we're aware of, it's not the only COM to use an MXM connector. Embedian first pressed MXM into service last year for its MXM-7110 and MXM-7114, modules that sport Samsung S3C2440A processors and a smaller, 66 x 50mm format. These products were joined in July by Embedian's MXM-8310 and MXM-8110, with onboard Marvell PXA320 processors.

Last week, the Qseven consortium released version 1.11 of its specification, which includes no added functionality, but is said to provide added dimensions and part numbers, as well as modifying several signal descriptions. For further information, see the Qseven website, here.

Further information

According to Congatec, the RoHS-compliant Conga-QA will be available in April 2009. Prices will start at approximately 125 Euros (about $161) for the Z510 version, the company says.

More information may be available from the Congatec website, here.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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