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Tough SBC offered with dual-core Atom and PCI Express expansion

May 5, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Kontron announced a PCI/104-Express SBC (single board computer) with Intel's single-core Atom D425 or dual-core D525. The Microspace MSM-LP includes up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, one IDE port and two SATA ports, LVDS and VGA video, four serial ports, six USB 2.0 ports, and two gigabit Ethernet ports, the company says.

Kontron's Microspace MSM-LP joins the stampede of SBCs using Intel Atom D425 or D525 processors — see our previous coverage for CPU power consumption and other details — but marches to its own drummer as well, with the inclusion of PCI/104-Express expansion. Relatively uncommon, PCI/104-Express is a descendant of the PC/104 (ISA-only), PC/104-Plus (ISA and PCI), and PCI-104 (PCI-only) standards.

Kontron's Microspace MSM-LP

According to Kontron, the 4 x 3.54-inch Microspace MSM-LP includes two downward-facing (hence, not visible in the photo above) expansion connectors, one for PCI Express x16 and one for PCI. The company adds that an optional version includes only the PCI connector (presumably qualifying that version of the SBC as a mere PCI-104 product, though Kontron doesn't use the terminology).

Despite being clocked at 1.8GHz and available with a dual-core processor, the Microspace MSM-LP is said to withstand temperatures from 32 to 158 deg. F, and from -40 to 185 deg. F in an optional extended-temperature version. The SBC is suitable for harsh environments, including applications in the automation and transportation markets, according to Kontron.

Kontron says the MSM-LP accepts up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM via a single SODIMM socket, and is available with an optional onboard solid state disk as large as 16GB. Disk drives may be connected via IDE or one of the SBC's two SATA ports, the company adds.

Like other SBCs of its type, the MSM-LP provides some of its interfaces over its expansion connectors, and the others via headers designed to be used with a cable kit. Kontron did not provide a block diagram or other details of which signals are routed to where, but does say that two USB 2.0 ports are provided via the PCI Express connector, while four USB 2.0 ports are provided via headers.

Other signals that pass to and from the Microspace MSM-LP, one way or another, are said to include LVDS and CRT video, four serial ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, and high-definition audio. The SBC supports Linux, Windows, VxWorks, and other operating systems upon request, Kontron adds.

Specifications listed by Kontron for the Microspace MSM-LP include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom D425 or D525 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — ICH-8M
  • Memory — up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, plus SSD in 4GB, 16GB, or 32GB capacities
  • Expansion — PCI and PCI Express x16 (also available with only PCI)
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 6 x USB 2.0 (2 via PCI Express, 4 via headers)
    • 4 x serial
    • VGA
    • LVDS
    • high-definition audio
  • Power — n/s
  • Operating range — 32 to 158 deg. F or -40 to 185 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 4 x 3.54 inches (102 x 90mm)

Further information

According to Kontron, the Microspace MSM-LP will begin sampling this month, while general availability will be during the third quarter. More information may be found on the Microspace MSM-LP product page.

Jonathan Angel can be followed at

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