COTS Journal

COTS Products

Controller Adds Graphics to StackableUSB

USB for years went underutilized in military embedded applications. That’s starting to change as uses from the technology present themselves. Using USB as a link for stacked embedded boards is the whole idea behind StackableUSB. Micro/sys satisfies the demand for graphical user interfaces in low-power, space-constrained embedded applications with the introduction of its new USB3201, a graphics controller and a compact 2.8-inch (320x240 pixel) color LCD, which comes with a highly modular, easy-to-use software package. Using StackableUSB, the USB3201 easily mates with small, energy-efficient microcontrollers operating off a 9V battery, as well as x86 and ARM SBCs, to provide OEMs complex 2D and simple 3D graphics within the popular 104 form factor. The USB3201 exemplifies USB’s ability to enable sophisticated, low-power systems across all CPU platforms.

Powered by the Microchip PIC32 and the Microchip Graphics Library, the USB3201 can support multiple input devices. The user-friendly software package has an open documented interface for LCD driver support making it easy to interface to any LCD with the creation of a single low-level C file. With both a CPU and RGB interface, it is easy to accommodate an LCD with a maximum 480x272 WQVGA resolution. The USB3201 set including the controller and LCD touchscreen starts at $265 in single quantity.

Micro/sys, Montrose, CA. (818) 244-4600. [www.embeddedsys.com].

Compact, Rugged PC/104-Plus SBC Rolls

Fans are frowned on in harsh environment military applications. They represent a single point of failure that’s not worth the risk. Offering its latest fanless SBC solution, VersaLogic began shipping a new PC/104-Plus SBC called the “Manx”–a mid-range SBC featuring a highly efficient AMD Geode LX 800 processor. The product is function and pin-out compatible with VersaLogic’s older Puma SBC, offering customers a higher performance migration path from that popular product. The new Manx incorporates mid-range processing speed (500 MHz) with very low power consumption (less than 5W). The ACPI suspend-to-RAM state feature reduces power draw to an incredible 0.2W between active sessions.

This high-reliability fanless design is available in both standard (0° to +60°C) and extended (-40° to +85°C) temperature versions. The Manx has standard onboard features that include 256 Mbytes of soldered-on DRAM, 10/100 Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, LPT port, IDE interface, three COM ports, and analog audio. A CompactFlash socket provides reliable, high-capacity onboard storage with no moving parts. The PC/104-Plus expansion interface supports both ISA and PCI add-on modules. The Manx will be available in production quantities in June. Pricing is about $550 in OEM quantities.

VersaLogic, Eugene, OR. (541) 485-8575. [www.versalogic.com].

Rugged Box System Supports Wireless Connectivity

The stand-alone rugged box trend is perhaps the most significant new area of embedded military product development. Octagon’s latest offering adds the twist of wireless connectivity. The RMB-C1 is a rugged mobile server designed for applications where severe environments and high performance meet. The unit tightly integrates the electrical, thermal and mechanical components into a complete system with no compromise to any one segment.

The RMB-C1 can be used as a central server, a stand-alone CPU, or a remote terminal. A full complement of I/O is provided; USB, CAN Bus, VGA, serial, video, audio, odometer and digital I/O ports. Additional functionality can be implemented via expansion cards in the PC/104 and Mini PCI formats. The RMB-C1’s modularity enables custom functionality with COTS convenience without large up-front costs. The device supports 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi: FCC part 15.247 and is CE certified with Mini PCI interface. The unique thermal design allows for fanless operation over a -40° to 75°C range.

Octagon Systems, Westminster, CO.
(303) 430-1500. [www.octagonsystems.com].

BGA Adapters Enable Smaller Pitch Device Use

A classic military obsolescence problem is that of making legacy board designs work with cutting-edge small pitch component packages. In order to solve this issue, Aries Electronics has added a unique adapter series to its extensive line of Correct-a-Chip adapters. The new BGA Switch-A-Pitch Adapters enable the use of smaller pitch devices with larger pitch boards. The first Switch-A-Pitch adapters in the series have tops where the BGA “landing pads” (on the top of the adapter) are on a 0.5 mm, while the adapter bottoms are populated with BGA balls on a 1.27 mm pitch.

Switch-A-Pitch boards are 0.062 inch (1.57 mm) thick FR4 or Rogers 370 HR, with 1/2 oz. copper traces on both sides. The non-solder mask defined (NSMD) pads are finished with electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) and have solder spheres of 63/37 lead/tin or of lead-free SAC305 alloy. Switch-A-Pitch adapters are available in panelized form, as an adapter only, or as a turn key solution with mounted devices. Specializing in custom design and production, Aries offers standard products as well as special materials, platings, sizes and configurations upon request. Switch-A-Pitch adapters are custom made to customer requirements. A typical adapter with 64 positions is priced at $25 each for a quantity of 300 adapters.

Aries Electronics, Bristol, PA. (215) 781-9956. [www.arieselec.com].

ESMexpress Modules Serve up Intel Core 2 Duo

The multicore trend has hit the embedded board realm with full force. MEN Micro now offers the next generation of ESMexpress products with the new XM2, based on the latest Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor with a clock frequency of up to 2.26 GHz. The XM2 provides levels of processing speed and data integrity previously unobtainable by other system-on-modules (SOMs).

The XM2 is also equipped with the new Intel GS45 graphics controller that provides a x16 PCI Express graphics link or up to two SDVO interfaces, a DisplayPort or two HDMI ports. The new Core 2 Duo-based module also features a host of I/O functions, including four x1 or one x4 PCI Express links as well as two Gigabit Ethernet ports, eight USB ports, three SATA ports and one HD audio port. The XM2 dissipates up to 40W via the advanced fanless cooling system defined by the ESMexpress standard. All ESMexpress modules support a single 95 mm x 125 mm form factor. Pricing for the XM2 ESMexpress module starts at $ 1,911.

MEN Micro, Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. [www.menmicro.com].

ATCA Carrier/Hub Has 26-Port 10GbE Switch

ATCA is finding a niche in the defense market. Applicatons heavy on network reliability and bandwidth find themselves looking to this form factor. JumpGen Systems announced the PSA-100, an AdvancedTCA (ATCA) Carrier/Hub blade featuring the Fujitsu MB86C69RBC 26 port 10GbE switch IC together with an Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor and up to 4 Gbytes of ECC DDR2 memory for switch management and/or control plane functions. The PSA-100 supports three mid-size B+ AMC bays each with two 10GBase-KX4 Fat Pipe and two 1000Base-KX Base interfaces.

The Fujitsu switch connects the three AMC sites to the ATCA backplane fabric and base channels. The PSA-110 may be deployed with 600 MHz, 1.066 GHz, or 1.2 GHz processors, with or without QuickAssist Technology. The PSA-100 may also serve as an ATCA Hub in systems up to 7 slots (such as a 5U ATCA Chassis). The PSA-100 is shipping to select customers in Q2, 2009 and will be generally available in Q3, 2009.

JumpGen Systems, Carlsbad, CA. (760) 931-7800. [www.jumpgen.com].

Digital Delay Generator Boasts High Resolution

Applications like laser timing, radar simulation and ultra-high-speed imaging require complex digital delay functionality. Feeding such needs, Highland Technology has released the T564, the latest in its series of mini embedded digital delay generators. Starting with an internal or external trigger, the module produces four output pulses programmable for delay and width, with nanosecond-to-second range and picosecond jitter and resolution.

The T564 introduces three unique features to digital delay generation: “Queued Updates” allow time settings to be changed without corrupting ongoing timings; a “Train” function allows multiple pulses to be generated from each trigger; and the “Frames” feature allows complex delay sweeps and pulse scenarios to be preloaded and rapidly executed. Because of its low 20 ns insertion delay, the T564 is ideal for timing and gating laser, Q-switch, ICCD and other electro-optical devices, and for applying picosecond-resolution time trims to nuclear, radar and sonar cabling and instrumentation.

Highland Technology
San Francisco, CA.
(415) 551-1700.
[www.highlandtechnology.com].

Module Links USB to Four RS-232/422/485 Ports

In many military systems–UAVs for example–there are never enough serial ports to communicate with legacy devices. ACCES I/O Products has rolled out is next-generation of serial communications adapters–Model USB-FLEXCOM4. The unit offers users the choice of four field-selectable RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485 protocols per port. The USB-FLEXCOM4 conforms to the USB/104 form factor for flexible mounting either in PC/104 or USB/104 stacks. The device is available either packaged in a small, rugged, industrial enclosure or as an OEM board (no enclosure).

This USB device is an ideal solution for adding portable, easy-to-install serial ports to any PC or embedded system with a USB port. It is fully compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports. Hot-plug functionality allows for quick connect/disconnect whenever you need additional I/O on your USB port. The low-profile enclosure was designed to occupy less space overall and allow access to the four DB9M connectors, two per side for interfacing with communication cabling, and includes adjacent LEDs indicating serial port activity. The Model USB-FLEXCOM4 is priced at $254.

ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA. (858) 550-9559. [www.accesio.com].

Board Pair Blend Atom and I/O Variety

Non-backplane, stand-alone board form factors continue to expand their acceptance among military developers. Riding that wave, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms announced the bCOM2-L8000 COM Express module (shown) and the mITX-945S-ED motherboard. These new platforms–the first from GE Fanuc to feature the Intel Atom processor–can provide the foundation for systems builders, whether integrators or end users, to create embedded solutions that provide PC functionality in a broad range of applications where low power consumption and minimal heat dissipation are key requirements, but where the system designer cannot compromise on I/O capability.

The bCOM2-L8000’s extensive I/O capability includes one Gigabit Ethernet port, two Serial ATA interfaces, support for up to two IDE devices and eight USB 2.0 ports, while expansion can be achieved via three PCI Express lanes. The mITX-945S-ED is equally well provided with I/O functionality, and includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, PCI Express and PCI expansion slots, a COM port, two Serial ATA ports, support for up to two IDE devices and four USB 2.0 ports. Support for graphics (up to SXGA+ resolution) and audio is also provided. Importantly, the mITX-945S-ED features a 12-volt DC input, eliminating the need for an ATX power supply.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [www.gefanucembedded.com].

Clock Synthesizer Delivers Signal Quality

The clock source is one of the most important components of any digital signal processing, data acquisition or recording system. In these applications, accuracy and purity of the sample clock are critical and the connection to a very high-precision source is essential. Feeding exactly such needs, Pentek has introduced the Model 7190 Multifrequency Clock Synthesizer–a high-performance, highly precise source of clock signals in an unusually small PMC format. For larger, multichannel radar and beamforming systems, synchronous sampling is mandatory. In addition, as new A/Ds achieve 16-bit resolution and exceed sampling rates of 200 MHz, a far more functional, flexible and precise clock is required.

A key feature of the 7190 is that all eight output clocks are phase locked to an external frequency reference, typically 5 or 10 MHz. It uses four TI CDC7005 Clock synchronizers, each controlling a quad frequency voltage controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO). Up to five different frequencies from this set can be delivered to the eight front-panel SMC output connectors, or a single identical clock can be sent to all eight outputs. The price of the Model 7190 Multifrequency Clock Synthesizer is $2,495.

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, (201) 818-5900. [www.pentek.com].

PC/104-Plus SBC Sports 1.60 GHz Atom CPU

The Atom processor is quickly pushing aside the idea that PC compatibly means suffering with high power consumption. Advanced Digital Logic has released its ADLS15PC, which is based on the Intel Atom (Z510, Z530) and the IntelUS15W (Poulsbo) chipset. The Intel Atom is a single core processor built on a 45nm process that boasts an impressive 2.0 watts TDP (Intel) for the CPU. This processor delivers the benefits of genuine Intel architecture to a small form factor for low-power, thermally and space-constrained markets.

The ADLS15PC takes advantage of these features by delivering high performance and low thermals in a compact, single board PC/104-Plus form factor. Memory is added via an SODIMM200 socket that will accept up to 2 Gbytes of DDR2-400/533 DRAM. In addition to ACPI/APM functions, the ADLS15PC provides EIDE, 8xUSB 2.0, 2xRS232 COM ports, PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse, LPT, 7.1 HDA Audio, 10/100/1000MBit LAN and more are provided. The ADLS15PC can also come equipped with an onboard Solid State Disk (SSD) of 2 or 4 Gbytes. With the use of ADL’s advanced conductive and convective thermal solutions engineered for the Atom design, the boards can be placed in nearly any application under environmentally demanding conditions.

Advanced Digital Logic, San Diego, CA.
(858) 490-0597. [www.adl-usa.com].

Gbit Ethernet Cube Boasts Rich I/O Support

The military is all in with the idea of using Ethernet for both networking and as a data interconnect. United Electronic Industries has released its new PowerDNA PPCx-1G Gigabit Ethernet I/O Cube. Available in two basic models–a 3-I/O layer (5-slot PPC5-1G) or a 6-I/O layer (8-slot PPC8-1G)–the new GigE Cube offers higher speed and greatly enhanced diagnostics capability relative to the standard Cubes but remains compatible with all 30+ UEI I/O board types.

The 6-layer model (PPC8-1G Cube) can provide up to: 150 analog inputs, 192 analog outputs, 288 digital I/O, 48 counter or quadrature channels, 72 ARINC-429 channels and/or 24 Serial or CAN-bus ports. Software for the GigE Cube is provided in the UEIDAQ Framework. The Framework provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use API that supports all popular programming and operating systems such as Windows, Vista, Linux and most real-time operating systems. In addition, the product is fully supported by LabVIEW, MATLAB/Simulink, DASYLab, or any application that supports ActiveX, OPC or Modbus TCP control.

Pricing for the DNA-PPC8/PP5-1G ranges from $1,395 to $1,595 depending on configuration.

United Electronic Industries, Walpole, MA. (508) 921-4600. [www.ueidaq.com].

Rugged Ethernet Switch Ready for Aircraft Duty

Looking for a faster solution than 1553, aircraft system integrators are looking for an easy way to implement Gbit Ethernet to handle high bandwidth elements such as multifunction displays, moving maps and multiple full rate video feeds. With just that in mind, the Aeronix GES provides twelve Gbit Ethernet ports in a rugged package designed specifically to address this problem. At less than 3 pounds and with dimensions of 8.25 x 5.1 x 1.38 inches, the GES is very compact. With an average power consumption of 16W with all 12 ports active, the GES is very low power, which allows for ambient air cooling.

The GES meets MIL-STD-704A power specifications and shock/vibration qualification to aircraft gun fire levels. The small footprint of the GES is not at the cost of functionality. At the heart of the GES is a fully manageable switch fabric that includes support for VLANs, QoS, Link Aggregation, IPv6 and Ingress/Egress monitoring. The GES contains an in-band ARM9 management processor, which will allow custom management functions as required by the integrator. A serial port is also available in the form of an Ethernet to serial bridge, which allows control of legacy equipment from anywhere in the network.

Aeronix, Melbourne, FL. (321) 984-1671. [www.aeronix.com].

All-in-One PC/104-Plus SBC Offers Long Life Cycle

Obsolescence continues to vex military system designers. PC and consumer processor silicon goes end-of-line so fast it can make your head spin. WinSystems eases that burden with their PPM-LX800-G, a highly integrated, PC/104-Plus-compatible, 500 MHz Pentium-class SBC. This SBC is based on the low-power AMD LX 800 at 0.9W CPU, which has product availability through at least 2015. The board includes the CPU, video, Ethernet, USB, COM ports, EIDE controller, digital I/O, mouse, PC 97 audio and keyboard controllers on one board that measures only 3.6 x 3.8 inches (90 x 96 mm).

The PPM-LX800-G can be populated with up to 1 Gbyte of system DRAM plus onboard CompactFlash. A high-resolution video engine is on board that supports displays with resolutions up to 1920 x 1440 for a CRT or up to 1600 x 1200 for a flat panel. An Intel 82551ER 10/100 controller supports Ethernet networking. Further I/O support includes two USB 2.0 ports (with in-rush and over-current protection), four independent full-duplex serial UARTs, 16-lines of TTL-compatible digital I/O and AC97 audio. The PPM-LX800-G contains the core logic to provide PC compatibility for the I/O and bus interface logic including the Ultra DMA100 controller for hard drives, keyboard/mouse controller, LPT interface, interrupt controller and real-time clock. The PPM-LX800-G is priced at $495.

WinSystems, Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [www.winsystems.com].

1U Net Appliance Marries Core 2 Duo and Ethernet

Designed around the Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Intel Q35 chipset, the PL-10570, a new 1U rackmount network appliance from WIN Enterprises, offers a solution for military networking applications. The Q35 chipset features on-chip PCI Express x4 and x1 lanes. The highly efficient 45nm Intel Core 2 Quad/Duo processor supports a maximum 1,333 MHz front-side bus speed and 800 MHz dual-channel DDRII memory. Designed for a broad range of networking applications, the unit can support UTM network management, load balancing, WAN acceleration and VoIP gateway uses.

The device features a maximum of 10 x GbE. There are 6 PCIe x1 GbE copper 82573L LANs on the board, and the option of one of two expansion modules. One module has 4 GbE copper LANs using two 82571EB PCIe chips. The other module has 2 GbE copper LANs and 2 SFP GbE LANs using two 82571EB PCIe chips. Linux, Windows Embedded XP and FreeBSD are supported. PL-10570 is available as a commercial, off-the-shelf platform or it can serve as the basis for a custom OEM design. Unit pricing begins at $1,033 in OEM quantities.

Win Enterprises, North Andover, MA.
(978) 688-2000. [www.win-ent.com].

Intelligent Power Monitor and Control Unit Is DSP-Based

How power is managed can make a significant impact on the functionality of a system. Feeding that need, North Atlantic Industries (NAI) has announced the availability of a next-generation DSP-based intelligent power monitor and control unit. The model iPM monitors 1-phase or 3-phase wye or delta connected power lines for voltage, frequency, phase sequence, THD and DC component. When any of these parameters are outside of their pre-programmed limits, the iPM internal 10 amp relay opens and disconnects the power from the load. The iPM has a universal input voltage range of 80 Vrms to 230 Vrms and a universal input frequency range of 47 Hz to 800 Hz. It includes a background self-test capability that constantly monitors the health of the unit.

With its full feature set, serial interface and rugged compact design, the iPM is ideally suited for military and aerospace programs, including airborne, shipboard and ground applications. The unit is designed to meet the environmental requirements of MIL-STD-810C, the EMI requirements of MIL-STD-461 and the Input Transient requirements of MIL-STD-704E, when installed within the system. The iPM is hermetically sealed and operates over a temperature range of -55° to +100°C.

North Atlantic Industries, Bohemia, NY. (631) 567-1100. [www.naii.com].

1U Box Offers Seamless PCIe Express Expansion

The 1U form factor has secured its own special niche in defense system designs. The format is compatible with a variety of off-the-shelf gear such as network routers. Magma’s ExpressBox2 (EB2) is a 1U solution that can provide up to 2 PCI Express slots for plugging in graphics or other I/O cards to attach to laptops via an ExpressCard interface. Magma’s EB2 allows the extension of a system’s backplane and/or I/O fabric via cable to an external chassis that can take 2 PCI Express I/O cards. This chassis allows for space and power to accommodate up to four hard drives. Further, the chassis can be daisy-chained to allow for the extension of two PCI Express slots per chassis.

Key features include a communication bandwidth supported between host and EB2 chassis that is up to 20 Gbits/s in each direction, in simultaneous transmit and receive mode, and the ability to daisy-chain as many slots as the host configuration will allow. The EB2 supports automatic power-up control of the chassis by the host as well as hot-swappable PCI Express slots.

Magma, San Diego, CA.
(858) 530-2511. [www.magma.com].

Carrier Blends AMC with Hot Swap PMC

AMCs have found their place as a highly capable mezzanine form factor designed to work with ATCA and MicroTCA. The military still has a rich and long tradition in the older PMC form factor. Blending those two worlds is a double-width, full-size PMC carrier for AMC that supports one single-width PMC module. The TAMC260 from Tews Technologies is a solution to upgrade well-known legacy PMC I/O solutions to the high-performance AMC form factor. PMC modules provide modular, cost-effective I/O solutions for applications in aerospace and defense.

32-bit PCI accesses are supported on the PCI bus at both 33 MHz and 66 MHz. The PLX8112 PCIe-to-PCI bridge provides the real connection between the primary PCIe link and the secondary PMC slot. The bridge controls all PCI accesses and sets the frequency for the PMC access. The TAMC260 supports front panel I/O, and additionally a 68pin SCSI-V type connector provides access to the PMC P14 back I/O lines. In compliance with specification AMC.0, the TAMC260 provides an IPMI-compliant Module Management Controller (MMC) with temperature monitoring and hot-swap support.

TEWS Technologies, Halstenbek, Germany.
+49 (0) 4101 4058-0. [www.tews.com].

Atom-Based Qseven Module Is 70 mm x 70 mm

As processors and other chips get smaller and more integated, it’s the I/O connectors on an embedded board that are looking like the big space hogs. With that in mind, the Qseven module form factor was initiated by congatec AG and SECO, and enhanced by Portwell. Portwell’s latest Qseven family of embedded system solutions is based on Intel’s Atom processor. With a power consumption under 12W (+5V input), the Qseven is an appropriate module form factor to implement the Intel Atom processor Z5xx series and Intel System Controller Hub (SCH) US15W in terms of space, power consumption and thermal and expansion interfaces.

The interconnection between the Qseven module board and the carrier board is the MXM (Mobile PCI Express Module) edge connector. Common signals between the two boards include PCI Express x1, LVDS, SATA, SDVO, HAD, Gigabit Ethernet, Low Pin Count bus, Secure Digital I/O, SMBus and I2C bus. The Qseven module board is installed on top of the carrier board for improved mechanical stability. This means a small keep-out zone that leaves more space on the carrier board for additional devices. It also means that the carrier board itself can be smaller.

American Portwell Technology, Fremont, CA.
(510) 403-3399. [www.portwell.com].

Boundary Scan Platform Supports Universal Fixtures

As embedded systems get ever more complex, military system developers are more dependent than ever on powerful test and debug tools. With that in mind, Goepel offers a series of universal board fixtures for the Boundary Scan hardware platform called Scanflex Board Grabber, which is comprised of three models in different sizes that are compliant with IEEE Std. 1149.x. Especially with complex boards, the professional mechanical handling of the design verification in the stage of development is often difficult. The Scanflex Board Grabber from not only solves this problem but offers the possibility of easily and reliably generating signal probing.

The Scanflex Board Grabber was specifically designed for the support of laboratory verification and programming of prototypes; it is also applicable at military repair stations. It brings along a width adaptable fixture, which can hold PCBs of different sizes. While the L-version can hold boards of 300 x 300 mm, the XL-version allows dimensions of 495x340 mm and the XXL-version dimensions of 555 x 440 mm. Due to the integrated pivoting mechanism it is easily possible to reach the top side and bottom side of the board.

Goepel Electronic, Jena, Germany.
+49 3641-6896-739. [www.geopel.com].

PCIe Digital I/O Interface Has Optically Isolated Inputs

PCI Express wasn’t the first switched fabric to enter the game, but it’s got the staying power that the military likes. A PCI Express digital I/O interface adapter provides 16 optically isolated inputs and 16 Reed relay outputs. The DIO-32.PCIe from Sealevel Systems can be applied to control and automation of equipment including sensors, switches security control systems and other net-centric military applications. Sealevel PCI Express serial boards are designed for computers with x1 PCI Express slots. Software for standard PCI boards will also work with PCI Express boards, simplifying your transition to this next-generation PCI bus.

The isolated inputs protect the PC and other sensitive equipment from the voltage spikes and ground loop currents that are common to industrial environments. The board is available in two versions with inputs rated for 3-13V or 10-30V. Socketed dip resistors allow user-configurable input ranges from +2V to +30V. The outputs provide high-quality, long-life, dry contact switch closures suitable for low-current applications. The highly reliable 10VA Reed relays are normally open and close when energized. The DIO-32.PCIe is available immediately from stock priced at $479.

Sealevel Systems, Liberty, SC. (864) 843-4343. [www.sealevel.com].

Atom-Based Mini-ITX Board Runs on 15W

Intel PC compatibility and low power were always conflicting ideas for military portable system designers. That’s changed with the emergence of the Atom processor. The NP101-D16C from Itox Applied Computing is a Mini-ITX motherboard based on the 45nm 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 processor with Intel 945GSE Express chipset and ICH7M I/O controller hub. Exhibiting a total system thermal design power (TDP) of less than 15W, it provides higher performance-per-watt than previous mobile platforms. A single energy-saving 12 VDC power input further reduces overall system configuration and operating costs.

In addition, this motherboard utilizes one 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket supporting up to 2 Gbytes of economical DDR2 400 or 533 MHz memory. Other significant NP101-D16C features include an 18-bit LVDS display interface, VGA graphics interface and an SDVO connector for optional DVI or 24-bit LVDS display interfaces. This mini-ITX motherboard also provides 2 SATA ports, 8 USB 2.0 ports, 2 Serial COM ports, 2 PCI Express Gbit LAN controllers, 1 PCI Express x1 slot and 1 PCI slot. A standard ATX power input model, NP100-N16C, is also available with the same features as the NP101-D16C. In addition, the NP100-N16C Mini-ITX board includes an onboard DVI graphics port and CompactFlash socket.

ITOX Applied Computing, East Brunswick, NJ.
(732) 390-2815. [www.itox.com].

Atom-Based COM Express Board Boosts Graphics Performance

The Atom processor seems likely to win the distinction of the most designed-in CPU for new embedded board products this year. Riding that wave, Congatec has introduced the conga-BA945, a COM Express module with type 2 pinout that conforms to the specified COM Express basic size of 95 x 125 mm-squared. The Intel Atom processor N270 has a clock speed of 1.60 GHz, as well as 512 Kbyte cache and a 533 MHz front side bus speed. Despite the high processing power, the processor gets by with a maximum power dissipation of 2.5W.

The congatec conga-BA945 supports Intel Hyper Threading Technology, which means with the appropriate software it has the capability of running two operating systems in parallel and completely independent of one another. The 945GME chip set facilitates the parallel use of two memory modules, which allows the memory to be expanded to a maximum of 4 Gbytes and makes dual channel memory access possible. In order to allow rapid system expansion, five PCI Express lanes, a PCI Express graphics slot (PEG 1x16), eight USB 2.0 ports, two serial ATA ports and the signals for two ExpressCards are provided. The conga-BA945 is available now with evaluation unit pricing of $362 each.

Congatec, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA.
(760) 635-2600. [www.congatec.us].

VPX SerDes Test Module Sports 16 Channels

Even though the world has moved from parallel to serial interconnects, placing many serial links in parallel is a powerful notion. A new 16-channel version of SerDes Test Modules for VPX systems allows testing and pre-emphasis of the SerDes signals to ensure signal performance of the system. The 16-channel SerDes modules from Elma Electronic are designed to plug into VPX backplanes and directly test the channel compliance. They can be used to test VPX switch and node cards and/or the backplane channels without requiring external equipment or special test fixtures. The modules provide a quick and efficient look at the “vital signs” of the signals in the VPX system.

The SerDes test modules also allow pre-emphasis tuning of VPX cards. The modules allow the user to measure the initial performance of the VPX boards and fine-tune them for optimum performance. Plugging directly into the backplane/chassis, the modules allow quick and easy characterization of the signals and eliminate the need for SMA connectors, cables and capital-intensive measurement hardware. Pricing for the 16-channel SerDes test modules starts under $30,000 depending on configuration.

Elma Electronic, Fremont, CA.
(510) 490-7388. [www.elma.com].

© 2009 RTC Group, Inc., 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673