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Qseven module works up to 176 deg. F

Jul 14, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Portwell announced a COM (computer on module) that's based on the Qseven form-factor and uses Intel's Z510PT and Z530PT processors. Targeting medical, industrial, and military markets, the PQ7-M102XL features gigabit Ethernet, eight USB ports, dual display support, and operates up to 176 deg. F, says Portwell.

Qseven is a COM standard released in January 2008 by a 14-member consortium, led by Congatec, MSC Vertriebs, and Seco. Promoted as ideal for mobile devices, the 2.75 x 2.75 inch (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.

Portwell's PQ7-M102XL

(Click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, Intel's 1.1GHz Z510PT and 1.33GHz Z520PT are processors that include integrated heat spreaders, giving them an industrial operating range of -40 to 85 deg. C (-40 to 185 deg. F), according to the chipmaker. The original Z510 and Z520 were 14 x 13mm chips, whereas the PT equivalents measure 22 x 22mm. A related SCH US15WPT northbridge/southbridge is identical architecturally to the original "Pouslbo" chip, but instead of measuring 22 x 22mm, it takes up 37.5 x 37.5mm.

Portwell, which previously created an Atom-based Qseven module in the form of the PQ7-M100G, has adopted the parts mentioned above to create a new module, said to operate fanlessly from -40 to 80 deg. C (-40 to 176 deg. F). In addition to the Intel chipset, the PQ7-M102XL includes 512MB of soldered-on DDR2 memory, plus a Realtek 8111B gigabit Ethernet chip, the company says.

Interfaces on the module, all provided via the MXM connector (more on MXM below), include LDVS or SDVO graphics, two SATA ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, PCI Express, LPC, SDIO, and HD audio. According to Portwell, the PQ7-M102XL supports both LVDS and SDVO video interfaces, offering the possibility of dual independent displays.

Portwell's PQ7-C100XL Mini-ITX carrier board

(Click to enlarge)

Portwell also offers a Mini-ITX carrier board, the PQ7-C100XL pictured above, that measures 5.75 x 4.13 inches (146 x 105mm). Designed to work with the PQ7-M102XL over the same wide range of temperatures, the carrier board provides real-world interfaces such as a VGA output, a RS232/422/485 serial port, a gigabit Ethernet port, and four USB ports. The PQ7-C100XL also offers a Mini PCI Express connector, two SATA ports, headers for three additional USB ports, and a bootable SD expansion slot, the company says.

Features and specifications listed by Portwell for the PQ7-M102XL include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z510PT clocked at 1.1GHz, or Z520PT clocked at 1.33GHz
  • Memory — 512MB of soldered DDR2 RAM
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x SATA
    • HD Audio
    • SDVO and LVDS video, with support for dual independent displays
    • LPC bus
  • Expansion:
    • PCI Express
    • SDIO
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 80 deg. C (-40 to 176 deg. F)
  • Dimensions — 2.75 x 2.75 inches (70 x 70mm)


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)

As far as we know, the first Qseven product to ship was Congatec's conga-QA, announced in December 2008. Other COMs have used MXM connectors, however: Embedian first pressed MXM into service in 2007 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 2008 by Embedian's MXM-8310 and MXM-8110, with Marvell PXA320 processors onboard.


Portwell did not release information about availability, pricing, or operating system support for the PQ7-M102XL. Due to the standard Intel chipset used, however, the device should be compatible with Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, and Windows CE.

More information on the PQ7-M102XL and PQ7-C100XL may be found on the company's website, here and here.

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