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Board-and-chip combo touts performance

Posted: 10 Oct 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intel? zt 5524? system master processor board? netstructure?

Intel Corp.'s NetStructure ZT 5524 System Master Processor Board features the company's new low-voltage Pentium III, 933MHz processor, which combines high performance with low heat dissipation.

The board-and-processor pair, aimed at high-density blade servers, operates at a maximum of only 12.2W, making it suitable for embedded applications with tight packaging constraints.

"The low-voltage design gives engineers the right balance of performance and power," said Ron Sluder, communications marketing manager for the Embedded Intel Architecture Division. "It allows them to meet their thermal constraints and still fit in a 1U appliance, or in a single-slot PICMG 2.16-compliant chassis."

The combination of low heat and high performance is significant for OEMs, many of which have used proprietary solutions that operated at peak powers in excess of 20W. "Engineers have traditionally gone through a lot of gyrations to get the thermals out," Sluder said. "There have been a lot of proprietary solutions and no one standard way of doing it."

The new 933MHz processor is featured on a high-density, single-slot Intel NetStructure board. Available in either single- or dual-processor configurations, it complies with the PICMG 2.16 packet-switched board specification.

With dual-Gigabit Ethernet ports and an optional dual-PCI mezzanine card, the ZT 5524 is aimed at telecom servers, broadband access servers, telecom switches, and mobile-basestation controllers. Intel said it is also offering board vendors the schematics for building standards-based PICMG 2.16-compliant boards with the low-voltage Intel Pentium III processor, at no cost.

Intel engineers said the low-voltage Pentium III processor on the board is capable of running such embedded applications as security, telephony, storage and wireless-basestation controllers. It contains 512KB of on-chip level-two cache memory and supports a 133MHz system bus.

The processor is produced on Intel's 0.135m manufacturing process, which enables its 1.15V operation. The processor is validated with the Intel 815E2 chipset and can be configured with third-party chipsets for dual-processing applications.

Intel engineers said the new microprocessor is not the fastest embedded unit, nor the one with the lowest power. But it fills a need for embedded applications that require a precise combination of power-performance features. "It hits the sweet spot between high performance, low thermals and low-power requirements," Sluder said.

Prices for the ZT 5524 board start at $2,695. Prices for the low-voltage Intel Pentium III processor at 933MHz start at $273 in 1,000-unit quantities.

- Charles J. Murray

EE Times





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