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Rugged CompactPCI board adopts Atom E6xx, too

Sep 17, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

GE Intelligent Platforms announced a rugged 3U CompactPCI SBC incorporating Intel's new E6xx Atom processors. The ACR301 features 1GB of soldered DDR2 SDRAM and up to 8GB of flash storage, plus four PCIe expansion slots, dual SATA ports, dual gigabit Ethernet ports, and five ruggedization levels, says the company.

The ACR301 single board computer (SBC) is touted for consuming minimal power and  dissipating minimal heat. The board can operate in harsh environments, such as those found in military/aerospace applications and "growing numbers of industrial applications," says GE Intelligent Platforms. Specific applications are said to include unmanned vehicles, where space, weight, power availability and the ability to dissipate heat are often highly constrained," the company adds.

GE Intelligent Platforms' ACR301
(Click to enlarge)

ACR301 customers can choose between all four versions of the recently announced Intel Atom E6xx in 0.6GHz, 1.0GHz, 1.3GHz, and 1.6GHz clock rate flavors. The SBC also ships with the E6xx-standard EG20 "Top Cliff" controller hub chip.

As with the Pineview Atoms, but unlike the original Z5xx Atoms the E6xx aims to supplant, the new processors offer integrated graphics and memory controllers. GE also touts the E6xx for its 400MHz graphics clock.

Five ruggedization levels are said to be supplied for the boards, ranging from 0 to 55 C (32 to 131 deg. F) all the way up to -40 to 85 C (-40 to 185 deg. F). This would suggest that both the commercial and extended temperature "T" versions of the E6xx are supported, as shown in the table below.

Clock speed (GHz) Graphics speed (MHz) TDP (Watts) Temperature range (deg. C)
Atom E620 .6 320 2.7 0 to 70
Atom E620T .6 320 2.7 -40 to 85
Atom E640 1.0 320 3.3 0 to 70
Atom E640T 1.0 320 3.3 -40 to 85
Atom E660 1.3 400 3.3 0 to 70
Atom E660T 1.3 400 3.3 -40 to 85
Atom E680 1.6 400 3.9 0 to 70
Atom E680T 1.6 400 3.9 -40 to 85

Intel's E6xx CPUs

As part of its rugged design, the ACR301 is equipped with 1GB of soldered DDR2 SDRAM and 8GB of flash storage, says GE. The ACR301 features four PCI Express (PCIe) interfaces, with one of them supporting a mezzanine (PMC) site for precise configuration of specific application profiles, says the company.

ACR301 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The board is further equipped with two gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as two USB 2.0 ports that support keyboard/mouse devices, says GE. Other I/O includes two full duplex asynchronous serial ports, two Gen 2 SATA ports, DVI video, and eight GPIO pins, says the company. The ACR301 also supports CAN-bus I/O, as shown on the block diagram above.

The ACR301 power draw is claimed in the announcement to be under 10 Watts, although the datasheet pegs the number at under 15 Watts. As noted, five ruggedization level choices are said to be supplied (see diagram below).

The ACR301's five ruggedization levels
(Click to enlarge)

Supported operating systems for the ACR301 include Linux, VxWorks, and Windows. Deployed Test Software (BIT and BCS) is also provided, says the company.

GE has been building Linux-ready CompactPCI compliant boards since at least 2006 when it released its PowerPC-based C2K board.


No pricing or availability information on the ACR301 was provided by GE Intelligent Platforms. More information may be found here.

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