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Rackmount computer includes dual quad-core Xeons

Oct 18, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Trenton Technology announced a 3U rackmount computer designed for shipboard and control room applications. The TCS3502 includes dual Intel Xeon processors, two externally accessible, hot-swappable hard disk drives along with internal storage, a DVD-RW drive, three PCI Express slots, and one PCI slot, the company says.

Trenton's TCS3502 is designed for mounting in a 19-inch rack, with 3U (5.25 inches) height and a 15.7-inch chassis depth. It's touted for applications such as medical imaging, shipboard navigation, and MIL-COTS command and control.

The front of Trenton Technology's TCS3502
(Click to enlarge)

According to Trenton, the TCS3502 (above) is built around the JXM7031, an embedded micro-ATX motherboard the company released last month (see later in this story for background). The built-up PC is offered with either dual Intel Xeon EC5549 CPUs or dual Xeon EC5509s, the company says.

While both of these "Jasper Forest" Xeons have quad cores and 85-Watt TDPs, the EC5549 has a 2.54GHz clock speed, a turbo frequency of up to 2.93GHz, and hyperthreading, according to Intel. The EC5509, meanwhile, runs at a fixed 2.0GHz speed and doesn't provide hyperthreading, the chipmaker adds.

The dual CPUs are apparently provided with up to 96GB of DDR3 RAM apiece via the JXM7031's six DIMM slots, though Trenton neglects to specify this on the TCS3502's data sheet. There's also plenty of mass storage: the PC sports two front-accessible, hot-swappable bays for 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives, plus two 3.5-inch bays internally, the company says.

According to Trenton, the TSC3502 normally comes with dual 120GB HDDs (hard disk drives) mounted up front, plus a 500GB, 7200rpm drive in one of its internal bays. A DVD-RW drive is standard, but may be replaced either by a Blu-Ray burner or by a module that accepts four additional 2.5-inch HDDs, the company adds.

The back of Trenton Technology's TCS3502
(Click to enlarge)

Trenton says the TCS3502's front panel also includes two USB 2.0 ports. The rear panel (above), meanwhile, has all the ports deriving directly from the JXM7031's coastline: two PS/2 ports, audio I/O (mic in, line in, headphone/speakers out), a DVI-I video output (resolutions up to 1900 x 1200 pixels), four more USB 2.0 ports, and dual gigabit Ethernet ports.

Further accessible from the rear panel are the TCS3502's expansion slots, which include one PCI Express x16 slot, two PCI Express x8 slots, and one 32-bit PCI slot. Internally, the TCS3502 includes an Atmel ATC97SC3203 TPM (trusted platform module), the company adds.

Features and specifications listed by Trenton for the TCS3502 include:

  • Processor — dual Intel Xeon EC5539 processors clocked at 2.0GHz, or dual Xeon EC5549 processors clocked at 2.53GHz
  • Chipset — Intel 3240, plus XGI Volari Z11M for graphics
  • Memory — up to 192GB of RAM via six DIMM slots
  • Storage:
    • 2 x internal bays for 3.5-inch SATA HDDs
    • 2 x external bays for hot-swappable 2.5-inch SATA HDDs
    • optical bay which accepts either DVD-RW drive, Blu-Ray burner, or module for four additional hot-swappable 2.5-inch HDDs
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI Express x16
    • 2 x PCI Express x8
    • 1 x PCI
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 6 x USB 2.0 (2 front, 4 rear)
    • DVI-I
    • 6 x SATA
    • 2 x PS/2
    • audio — mic in, line in, headphone/speakers out
  • Power — includes 600 Watt power supply (96~264 VAC input range)
  • Operating range — n/s, but main board was said to operate from 32 to 122 deg. F (0 to 50 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 19.0 x 15.7 x 5.2 inches
  • Weight — 31.64 pounds


When the JXM7031 motherboard used in the TCS3502 was introduced last month, we described it as a "veritable shark in a world of Atom-powered minnows." That's because it uses the 9.6 x 9.6-inch micro-ATX form factor not often found on "embedded" devices, using it to make room for single or dual Intel Xeon 5500 processors.

These embedded-specific Xeons (right), announced under their "Jasper Forest" code name last September and then formally introduced in February, are a manifestation of Intel's "Nehalem" microarchitecture. While they're still 45nm parts, they nonetheless represent a breakthrough, says Intel, because they include an I/O hub integrated via PCI Express. This integration saves valuable board real estate and lowers system power consumption by 27 Watts compared to the previous Xeon 5500 CPUs, the chipmaker says.

The Xeon C5500s, which have one, two or four cores and clock speeds ranging from 1.73GHz to 2.53GHz, are designed to work with the 3420 Platform Controller Hub (block diagram here). This is a 27 x 27mm chip used to add eight PCI Express x1 ports (configurable as x2 and x4), six SATA 3Gb/sec. ports, 12 USB 2.0 ports, and "Matrix Storage Technology," according to Intel.

Trenton's JXM7031 leverages the 3420 to support up to 192 of ECC-registered, DDR3 RAM, according to the company. When 8GB DDR3 DIMMs are employed, the maximum memory is 48GB of RAM, while 4GB parts naturally result in a 24GB total, the company adds.

Trenton's JXM7031

Pictured above, the JXM7031 is further said to offer six SATA ports, with data transfer rates up to 300Mb/sec. Both independent drive operation and RAID (0, 1, 5, and 10) array configurations are possible, according to Trenton.

According to Trenton, connectors on the JXM7031's coastline include two PS/2 ports, audio I/O, a DVI-I video connector (resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels), four USB 2.0 ports, and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Headers, as delineated in the block diagram below, include two additional USB 2.0 ports and two RS232 ports.

A block diagram of Trenton's JXM7031
(Click to enlarge)

Further information

Trenton did not detail pricing or operating system support for the TCS3502, but the device appears to be on sale now. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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