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Rugged CompactPCI SBC runs Linux

Sep 16, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Aitech Defense Systems has released a rugged 3U single-slot CompactPCI single-board computer (SBC). Targeting embedded and harsh environment applications, the Linux-compatible C800 SBC offers an Intel Core 2 Duo clocked at up to 2.2GHz, 8GB of SATA flash, plus dual gigabit Ethernet and serial ports, says the company.

The C800 is designed for deeply embedded, stand-alone, real time, rugged controller subsystems, "smart grid" power management, and intelligent vehicle power distribution, says Aitech. Other applications include use in networked compute-node clusters with optional man-machine (display/keyboard/mouse) interfaces, says the company.

Aitech C800
(Click to enlarge)

Customers can choose between an Intel Core 2 Duo clocked to 1.67GHz or 2.2GHz, both mated with Intel's GM965 northbridge and ICH8M southbridge. The 1.67GHz version of the Core 2 Duo draws as little as 30 Watts, says Aitech.

The C800 SBC supports up to 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM (667MHz) and includes an onboard, 8GB SATA flash solid state disk (SSD). Other SATA SSDs can be added via the board's onboard PMC/SATA site, or by way of the dual USB ports, says the company.

C800 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Additional I/O includes two gigabit Ethernet ports, two serial ports, two USB 2.0 interfaces, and a SATA II interface. The SBC also offers HD stereo audio output, and up to eight single-ended general purpose discrete I/O channels that are independently configurable, says Aitech. A PMC slot is offered for expansion.

Aitech sells five different, software-compatible versions of the C800, including a commercial air-cooled version for lab development, two PICMG 2.0 Rev. 3.0-compliant extended temperature air-cooled formats, and two extended temperature, rugged conduction formats that comply with ANSI/VITA 30.1-2002. The conduction-cooled versions are said to be equipped with a metal thermal management frame, as well as a custom heat sink and dual temperature sensors.

Two views of the C800
(Click to enlarge)

OS-specific device drivers for the C800 are said to be provided for Linux, Windows Embedded, Windows XP Professional, Wind River VxWorks, and Green Hills Integrity.

Specifications listed for the C800 include:

  • Processor — Intel T7500/L7500 Core 2 Duo @ 2.2GHz or 1.67GHz; 800MHz FSB
  • Cache — L1 with 32KB data, 32KB instruction; L2 with 4MB
  • Chipset — Intel GM965 Express Graphic Chipset with ICH8M
  • Memory — Up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM; 2MB flash BIOS
  • Flash — 8GB SATA SSD
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x RS-232/422/485 serial ports
    • 2 x USB 2.0 interfaces
    • 1 x SATA II interface
    • 8 x discrete I/O lines
    • Video and audio out
  • Other features:
    • Auto system/peripheral detection
    • HD audio
    • 2 x temperature sensors
    • Real Time Clock
    • Avionics windowed Watchdog timer
    • PICMG 2.0, Rev. 3.0 compliant
  • Ruggedization:
    • Vibration and shock resistance
    • Commercial, Rugged, or Military levels
    • Conduction (ANSI/VITA 30.1-2002) and air-cooled versions
    • Extended temperature versions (range not stated)
  • Expansion — 1 x PMC slot; CompactPCI backplane
  • Power — Via CompactPCI; +5.0V, +3.3V, and ±12V as defined by the PICMG 2.0 R3.0; consumption ranges from 30.6 W (1.67GHz) to 46.1 W (2.2GHz)
  • Dimensions — 3U CompactPCI, single slot
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows Embedded, Windows XP Professional, Wind River VxWorks, and Green Hills Integrity


The C800 is available now (6-8 weeks ARO) with OEM quantity pricing starting at $4,985, says Aitech Defense Systems. More information may be found here.

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