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X86 module draws under Two Watts

Aug 3, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

Icop has released a 3.1 x 2.0-inch processor module based on an x86-compatible VortexDX system-on-chip (SoC). The tiny VDX-6317-X draws under two Watts, and connects to an optional VGA/LCD development kit, says Icop.

Icop's VDX-6317-X employs the Vortex86DX (right), announced in November of last year by sister company DMP Electronics. This SoC is built using a 90nm process, comes in a 27 x 27mm package, and is said to use under two Watts while running at up to 1GHz. According to DMP Electronics, the Vortex86DX offers the complete 486SX instruction set, plus floating point support.

Unlike DMP's earlier Vortex86SX, the 800MHz SoC offers 256MB of embedded L2 cache, and supports up to 1GB of 33MHz DDR2 memory, according to DMP.

Since its release, the Vortex86DX has already been put into a wide variety of products by Icop, including a PC/104 module, a tiny panel PC, and more. It has also been adopted by a third party, the German company SSV, which put the VortexDX into its own tiny processor module, the eSOM/2586 (right).

Icop's VDX-6317-X
(Click to enlarge)

Icop's new VDX-6317-X interestingly offers the same 3.1 x 2.0-inch (80 x 50mm) footprint as SSV's processor module, though it appears to be an otherwise unrelated design. In addition to DMP's Vortex86DX SoC, the device includes an RJ45 Ethernet port, an EIDE interface, and a 16-bit GPIO port, according to the company.

Icop says that in addition to two power terminals, the VDX-6317-X has a 10-pin header for an RS232 serial port, a header for one USB 2.0 port, a six-pin header for a JTAG interface, and a five-pin header for a PS/2 keyboard. The module also has an x-ISA expansion connector, the company says.

The Vortex86DX does not support VGA all on its own — though DMP's even-newer Vortex86MX does — but Icop offers the optional ICOP-2820 "VGA/LCD development kit" pictured below. Again using a 3.1 x 2.0-inch footprint, the ICOP-2820 connects to the VDX-6317-X's x-ISA connector, features a Topro TOP65081Q VGA controller, and supports VGA or LCD displays via 10- and 44-pin headers, respectively.

Icop's ICOP-2820 board adds video to the VDX-6317-X

The VDX-6317-X comes with 256MB or 512MB of onboard DDR2 RAM (apparently soldered on), plus 4MB of flash storage. Icop says users can add more storage using an optional 44-pin IDE-to-microSD cable, or via an EmbedDisk module from MSTI (another affiliate company).

Features and specifications listed by Icop for the VDX-6317-X include the following:

  • Processor — 800MHz Vortex86DX
  • Memory — 256MB or 512MB of DDR2 RAM and 4GB of flash storage
  • Display support — VGA and LCD up to 1024 x 768 pixels (requires optional ICOP-2820 board)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet with RJ45 connector
  • Other I/O:
    • EIDE
    • JTAG (6-pin wafer)
    • EIDE (44-pin header)
    • 1 x USB (header)
    • 1 x RS232 (10-pin header)
    • PS/2 (5-pin header)
    • 1 x 16-bit GPIO (20-pin header)
  • Expansion — x-ISA bus
  • Power requirements — 5VDC @ 320mA
  • Operating range — -4 to 158 deg. C (-20 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 3.14 x 1.96 inches (80 x 50mm)
  • Weight — 1.48 ounces (42g)


Icop did not release pricing for the VDX-6317X but said the device will be available during the third quarter of this year. The company currently lists only Windows CE, Windows XP Embedded, Windows 2000, and Windows 98 drivers for the device, but previous Vortex designs have also supported Linux.

For further information on the VDX-6317-X and ICOP-2820, see the company's website, here and here, respectively.

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