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Rugged PC/104 SBC taps 1GHz x86 SoC

Sep 24, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 14 views

WinSystems is shipping a rugged, PC/104 single board computer (SBC) running DMP Electronics' x86-compatible, 1GHz Vortex86DX processor. The PCM-VDX-2-512 is equipped with two Ethernet ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and four serial ports, provides an optional SSD (solid state disk), and runs on 5.5 Watts, says the company.

The PCM-VDX-2-512 is designed for headless, fanless, space- and power-limited systems in medical, communications, security, transportation, utilities, Mil/COTS, and industrial test/measurement applications, says WinSystems. The PCM-VDX-2-512 is a PC/104 module, using the typical 3.8 x 3.6 inch (96 x 90mm) form factor.

WinSystems PCM-VDX-2-512
(Click to enlarge)

The SBC is equipped with DMP Electronics' Vortex86DX, a 32-bit x86 system-on-chip (SoC) that was announced in Nov. 2008 and is claimed to run Linux using under two Watts. The Vortex86DX combines a CPU core, northbridge/southbridge, and numerous peripheral functions on a single IC housing.

The PCM-VDX-2-512 offers 512MB of soldered-on DDR2 memory, as well as an optional 512MB solid-state disk (SSD). The device's PATA controller supports both a CompactFlash card and an IDE drive, says the company.

The PCM-VDX-2-512 is further equipped with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and four asynchronous, full-duplex RS-232/422/485 serial channels, says WinSystems. Additional I/O includes 16 lines of general purpose I/O, plus LPT, PS/2 keyboard, and PS/2 mouse controllers.

PCM-VDX-2-512 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Expansion connectors are said to be available for both PC/104 and Mini PCI, offering support for wireless data cards. Other features are said to include status LEDs, real-time clock, a watchdog timer, and a piezo speaker for BIOS status beep codes.

The SBC is claimed to draw only 5.5W, and can operate from -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg C) without a fan. Further ruggedization features include Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) suppressors rated to ±15kV on the USB, Ethernet, and serial ports, says WinSystems. In addition, the USB ports offer in-rush and over-current protection.

Customization services available to OEMs include depopulating features, or adding soldered-on flash memory, a CF card retention clip, and/or a Mini PCI video card, says the company. In addition, processor speed and SDRAM can be reduced on request.


The PCM-VDX-2G-512 is now available for Linux and other x86 operating systems, with downloadable driver support, says the company. OEM quantity pricing is $342, with delivery from stock in three weeks. More information, including a full data sheet, may be found here.

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