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Tiny SBC boasts latest Intel mobile multimedia CPU

Aug 25, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 32 views

Strategic Test has spun a tiny SBC (single board computer) using Intel's latest embedded processor chip for mobile wireless multimedia applications. The DIMM200-sized Triton-270 will be powered by a 512MHz Intel PXA270 (formerly “Bulverde”) processor, and will come with Linux 2.6 as well as Windows CE 5.0.

(Click for larger view of Triton-270)

Intel announced the PXA270 processor in April, and began shipping the chip in June. According to Strategic Test, the PXA270 is the first in Intel's ARM-based XScale line to include:

  • Intel Wireless MMX technology, said to enable high-performance multimedia acceleration based on the Pentium instruction set
  • Quick Capture, said to offer a flexible and powerful camera interface for capturing digital images and video

The PXA270 also includes Wireless Intel SpeedStep Technology, which is claimed to deliver exceptionally low-power operation. Strategic Test says it has augmented the PXA270's power saving features with an on-board Programmable Core Voltage Generator that allows the user to vary the PXA270's supply voltage from 1.1 to 1.3V.

The Triton-270 measures 2.6 x 1.2 x 0.16 inches, and will come standard with a 512MHz PXA270 processor, 64MB of low-power mobile SDRAM (1.8V), and 16MB of wireless Flash memory (1.8V). There will be options for 312MHz and 416MHz CPU's, 32MB SDRAM, and 8MB Flash.

The Triton-270 uses a 200-pin DIMM connector to bring out all of the PXA270's internal signals, according to Strategic Test. These include:

  • Integrated LCD controller for direct connection to displays
  • PCMCIA interface
  • Bluetooth UART
  • Baseband/Multimedia interface
  • USB 2.0 “On the Go” interface
  • Memory Stick controller
  • MMC/SD/SDIC interface
  • I2S and AC'97 interfaces
  • Three SSP and three Asynch serial interfaces
  • Keypad interface
  • GPIO and four PWN interfaces

Additionally, the board offers two 100-pin surface-mounted connectors that “for the first time allow the full 32-bit memory address range to be accessed,” Strategic Test says.

Strategic Test also offers a number of DIMM-shaped SBCs, including the Triton-Eco, that are based on the Intel PXA255. The company says that the new PXA270 offers additional features over its PXA255-based boards, including:

  • 256KB internal SRAM
  • USB 1.1 host controller
  • Baseband/Multimedia Interface
  • Memory Stick host controller
  • Keypad interface
  • Universal SIM interface

The new PXA270 also improves upon various features in the earlier PXA255, according to Strategic Test, including:

  • Power management (Wireless SpeedStep)
  • Wireless MMX
  • More advanced LCD controller
  • 3 instead of 1 SSP
  • USB 2.0 device controller instead of USB 1.1
  • RTC now can be used with a backup battery
  • 4 instead of 2 PWM outputs

Strategic Test expects to ship the new Triton-270 in mid-September, priced at $299 in quantities of 1,000. The minimum order for versions with slower processors, less memory, or extended temperature ranges is 100 units.

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