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Via C3-based EPIC SBC runs Linux

Sep 16, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 14 views

WinSystems, one of the originators of the 4.5 x 6.5 inch EPIC standard for embedded single board computers (SBCs), has unveiled its first SBC in the EPIC format. The EPX-C3 is based on an x86-compatible 733MHz Via C3 processor, and supports embedded Linux.

WinSystems has done a great job demonstrating how well the new EPIC standard works, cramming a full PC's worth of functionality into the form-factor — including processor, graphics, networking, extensive I/O, and PC/104-Plus expansion.

The EPX-C3's onboard interfaces include:

  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • Four COM ports
  • 24 digital I/O lines
  • 4x AGP Video with CRT, flat panel, and LVDS interface
    • Color panels up to 36-bits/pixel
    • Resolutions up to 1920 x 1440
    • Simultaneous CRT and LCD operation
    • Backlight power supported
  • Keyboard controller
  • PS/2 mouse support
  • Bidirectional parallel port
  • AC 97 audio

Photo and layout of the EPX-CE
(Click each to enlarge)

The EPX-C3 also includes controllers for floppy and UltraDMA 33/66/100 IDE hard drives, a slot for bootable Type I/II CompactFlash, and a socket for bootable M-Systems DiskOnChip (up to 1GB).

WinSystems notes that the board's ESP7000 (C3) processor will operate from -40 to +85 deg. C without a fan, a temperature range supported by the entire board. The processor also includes Via's Padlock Hardware Security Suite, including a random number generator and AES cryptography accelerator.

The board runs from a single +5V DC supply, drawing 3.1 Amps (typ.) with 256MB of SDRAM installed, WinSystems says.

The EPX-C3 is priced at $590 in “moderate volumes,” and is available now.

SBCs based on the EPIC standard have previously been launched by Octagon, Ampro, Micro/sys, and VersaLogic.

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