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UMPC ref design runs Linux

Oct 26, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

iWave Systems of Bangalore announced a Linux-compatible, Intel Atom-based reference design for UMPCs (ultra mobile PCs) or in-car computers. The iW-Rainbow-G6 is equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen, and is available with optional cellular and GPS modules, the company says.

iWave Systems has previously used ARM processors for its reference designs, which have included the Marvell PXA270-based iW-Rainbow-G4, iW-Rugged-PDA, and iW-Rainbow-G1 designs. The iW-Rainbow-G3 used a Freescale i.MX27 CPU, while the iW-Rainbow-G2 was a VoIP add-in card design that used a pair of FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).

The company's first (as far we know) foray into x86 compatibility, the iW-Rainbow-G6 uses Intel's 1.6GHz Atom Z530 or 1.1GHz Z510, along with the expected SCH US15W northbridge/southbridge chip. According to iWave, the Intel chips, plus up to 2GB of soldered-on DDR2 memory, are mounted on the 70 x 70mm Qseven module pictured at right (for more on the Qseven format, see later in this story).

As shown below, the CPU module plugs into the overall iW-Rainbow-G6 board, which, while its dimensions are unspecified by iWave, provides room for a 1.8-inch hard disk drive or SSD (solid state disk), Mini PCI Express slot, and an SD slot. Also included on the main board are line in/out jacks, three USB 2.0 host ports, one USB 2.0 device port, and 802.11b/g/n wireless networking, the company says.

iWave's iW-Rainbow-G6
(Click to enlarge)

According to iWave, optional modules attach to the iW-Rainbow-G6 board, delivering additional features such as a SiRF starIII-based GPS receiver, GSM/GPRS cellular, Bluetooth 2.0, a two megapixel camera, and HDMI, VGA, or DVI video output. A fingerprint sensor and DVB-H television receiver are also available, the company says.

iWave's iW-Rainbow-G6 in its UMPC enclosure

Finally, the iW-Rainbow-G6 is supplied with a plastic UMPC enclosure (above), a seven-inch touchscreen (resolution unspecified), an accelerometer, and a battery. The latter offers "four hours backup" or four hours of continuous video playback, iWave claims.

Features and specifications listed by iWave for the iW-Rainbow-G6 include the following:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z530 clocked at 1.6GHz or Atom Z510 clocked at 1.1GHz
  • Chipset — Intel SCH US15W
  • Memory — Up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM (soldered-on)
  • Display — 7-inch touchscreen (resolution unspecified)
  • Camera — 2 megapixels (optional)
  • Expansion:
    • Mini PCI Express slot
    • SD slot
  • Storage — 1.8-inch hard disk drive up to 80GB, or 16GB SSD
  • Wireless:
    • LAN — 802.11b/g
    • WAN — GSM/GPRS (optional)
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)
    • GPS (optional)
    • DVB-H receiver (optional)
    • RFID reader (optional)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • Line in/out
    • 3 x USB 2.0 host
    • 1 x USB 2.0 client
  • Battery life — Four hours standby or video playback
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — Processor module 70 x 70mm; board and UMPC case n/s
  • Weight — n/s


Qseven is a COM standard released in January 2008 by a 14-member consortium, led by Congatec, MSC Vertriebs, and Seco. Promoted as ideal for mobile devices, the 70 x 70mm format includes "fast serial differential interfaces," including PCI Express and Serial ATA, while skipping support for legacy interfaces like EIDE and PCI. It also supports SDIO, plus newfangled graphics and digital media specs such as DisplayPort and HDMI.

The Qseven form-factor includes a "golden finger" connector originally designed for laptop graphics cards using Nvidia's MXM (Mobile PCI Express Module) format. The connector, re-purposed here as a CPU module interconnect, provides 230 positions, .020-inch pitch, and 5.5mm and 7.8mm height options.


iWave says the iW-Rainbow-G6 runs Linux, Windows Embedded Standard 2009, Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows CE. The device is available now, and (presumably without its UMPC case) has been used to create prototype car computers, according to the company.

More information on the iW-Rainbow-G6 may be found on the iWave website, here.

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