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SODIMM module gets baseboard

Apr 14, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

E-con Systems announced a baseboard to accompany the eSOM300, a Marvell PXA300-based processor module it announced last month. The “Alioth” development board includes an Ethernet port, three USB ports, a VGA output, a RS232/RS485 port, microSD slot, plus the option of touchscreen displays and a GPRS/GPS module, the company says.

E-con's Alioth measures 6.3 x 4.13 inches (160 x 105mm) and is designed to house the eSOM300, a SODIMM-sized processor module. The 2.63 x 1.61 inch module, about which background information is provided later in this story, includes a 624MHz Marvell PXA300 processor, up to 256GB of soldered-on RAM, and up to 1GB of flash storage.

Econ's Alioth (top)
(Click to enlarge)

The Alioth's purpose obviously is to bring the module's interfaces to and from the outside world. The baseboard includes not only a 204-pin connector for the eSOM300, but also an Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 host ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a VGA output that supports resolutions up to 640 x 480 pixels, according to E-con.

Econ's Alioth (bottom)
(Click to enlarge)

The Alioth additionally sports two DB9 connectors for serial ports — one RS232 and one RS 232/485 — and a CAN port. It's said three additional serial ports are also included, terminated to headers for optional GPRS/GPS and WiFi/Bluetooth modules.

E-con says the Alioth supports optional touchscreen displays (4.3-inch, with 480 x 272 pixel resolution, or seven-inch, with 800 x 480 pixels) via its LCD module connector. The board also has a microSD slot and a connector for optional camera modules, available in 1.3-, two-, or three-megapixel versions, the company adds.

A block diagram for Econ's Alioth
(Click to enlarge)

According to E-con, the Alioth is available with a preinstalled Windows CE image and a Windows CE 6.0 R3 BSP (board support package). However, a Linux BSP will be available in June, says the company. Reference schematics and DXF files are also said to be available.

Features and specifications listed by E-con for the eSOM300/Alioth combo include:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA300 clocked at 624MHz
  • Memory — Up to 256MB of RAM and 1GB of flash storage
  • Display — Supports touchscreen displays up to 800 x 600 pixels; VGA port supports 640 x 480
  • Expansion:
    • Expansion bus connector
    • microSD slot
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet port
    • WLAN — WiFi (optional)
    • PAN — Bluetooth (optional)
    • WAN — GPRS (optional) also includes GPS receiver
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x RS232 and 1 x RS232/485
    • CAN
    • JTAG
    • 2 x USB 2.0 host and 1 x USB 2.0 client
    • VGA port
    • LCD module connector
    • ADC input
  • Power — 9V to 32VDC
  • Dimensions — 6.3 x 4.13 inches (160 x 105mm)


According to E-con, the eSOM300 is aimed at applications including industrial control, telematics, test and measurement, and mobile devices. Advantages of the eSOM300 over the company's previously released ESOM270 are said to include not only a faster processor, but also:

  • Higher memory bandwidth
  • Support for flash up to 1GB
  • Support for RAM up to 256MB
  • USB 2.0 device support
  • 2D graphics acceleration
  • Battery charger support (optional)
  • Ethernet support (optional)
  • Audio and touch screen support (optional)
  • Real-time clock support (optional)

In addition, the company says, the eSOM300 has a new local bus expansion connector. Customers can potentially use this connector (visible on the top left of the module, below) for daughterboards that interface directly to the processor bus, says E-Con.

E-con's eSOM300

As the above list suggests, the eSOM300 is said to be available with 64MB, 128MB, or 256MB of soldered-on RAM, plus from 128MB to 1GB of NAND flash storage. Fast Ethernet is also present, though using it requires an optional connector and magnetics, the company says.

Like other such modules, the eSOM300 is designed to plug into an application-specific carrier board, relaying all signals to and from the outside world via its 204-pin SODIMM connector. According to E-Con, the module's interfaces include two USB 2.0 hosts, a USB 2.0 client, three serial ports, two SPI interfaces, two MMC/SDIO interfaces, and I2C.

A block diagram of E-Con's eSOM300
(Click to enlarge)

E-con says the eSOM300 also provides an 800 x 600 LCD controller with 2D acceleration, a 6 x 5 keypad interface, and a camera interface. A touchscreen interface and AC'97 audio are optionally available, the company adds.

According to E-con, the eSOM300 uses as little as 100mW in its low power modes. Operating range is said to extend from -13 deg. F on up to 158 deg. F.

Features and specifications listed by E-con for the eSOM300 include:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA300 clocked at 624MHz
  • Memory — Up to 256MB of RAM and 1GB of flash storage
  • Display — LCD controller supports displays up to 800 x 600 pixels; touchscreen support optional
  • Expansion — local bus expansion header
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0 host
    • 1 x USB client
    • 3 x serial
    • 2 x MMC/SDIO
    • 4 x PWM
    • 6 x 5 keypad interface
    • Camera interface
    • I2C
    • 2 x SPI
  • Power consumption — 100mW in low-power modes
  • Operating temperature — -13 to 185 deg. F (-25 to 85 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 2.63 x 1.61 inches (67 x 41mm)


E-con did not release pricing for the Alioth, but says the device is currently sampling. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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