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Via announces COM Express modules

Apr 15, 2008 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The COM Express computer-on-module specification has gained a high-profile advocate, as Via announced it will begin producing its own products compatible with the format. The Eden- and C7-based modules will target “larger OEMs only” in gaming, healthcare, and industrial automation, says Via.

Via says its COM Express modules will offer Eden or C7 processors ranging from 500MHz to 2GHz, plus the option of soldered system memory. The modules will sport a wide range of I/O and be offered with an evaluation baseboard. “Extensive technical support” will be given to customers who want to produce their own custom baseboards, the company adds.

The 4.5 x 3.7-inch COM Express form-factor allows for a substantial complement of I/O controllers and ports, thanks to the COM Express Type 2 pinout, which makes conventional I/O connectors unnecessary. With Type 2, I/O and bus signals, including high-speed point-to-point PCI Express lanes, are passed to the baseboard via two high-density surface-mount connectors.

While Via has not released any specifications for its new COM Express modules, the PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) standard includes support for:

  • Up to 32 PCI Express lanes with 80Gbps aggregate bandwidth
  • External x16 PCI Express graphics
  • Up to four SATA-150 links with 600Mbps aggregate bandwidth
  • Up to three gigabit Ethernet ports, with provision for 10-Gbit Ethernet in the future
  • Up to eight USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to two channels of LVDS
  • Up to two channels of Serial DVO

Previous COM Express modules using Via chipsets have been somewhat rare, compared to those based on Intel. One example is Kontron's ETXexpress-CN8 and microETXexpress-CN8, based on the C7 processor and CN896/VT8251 chipset. Functionally identical to COM Express, ETXexpress was originated by Kontron.

Further information

The first samples of Via's COM Express modules are available now, but, as mentioned above, the company has not released specifications. Large OEMs are requested to contact Via directly at [email protected] for further details.

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