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Intel Pentium-M cPCI board works in harsh environments

Posted: 01 Sep 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intel? pentium m? processor? single board computer? sbc?

Intel Pentium-M processors are proliferating! Here's another example, this time in a single board computer (SBC) from MEN Micro that comes in an operational range suitable for harsh industrial conditions.

MEN's F9 SBC is a one-slot 32-bit cPCI (CompactPCI) system controller based on an Intel Pentium M (LV) that clocks at frequencies up to 1.8GHz. Alternatively, you can order one of these SBCs with an Intel Celeron M (ULV) microprocessor with clock speeds up to 600MHz.

The SBC uses the Intel i855 chipset consisting of an 82855GME Graphics/Memory Controller Hub (GMCH), an 82801D I/O Controller Hub (ICH4) and an 82802 Firmware Hub (FWH). A Phoenix BIOS is supplied.

Combo power

"By combining the low power of the Pentium M (LV) and the Celeron M (ULV) processors with several thermal management techniques we built into this product, the F9 is able to operate in environments that preclude the use of most off-the-shelf SBCs," said Ernest Godsey, president of MEN Micro. "In addition, these Intel processors have a minimum availability of five years, so F9 availability is assured in the future."

The F9 also uses a specially designed heatsink that eliminates the need for fans in many embedded applications. A standard F9 can operate over the temperature range of 0C to 60C, and a version suitable for an extended industrial temperature range can be supplied.

The F9 also packs a significant number of peripherals on-board, but still requires only one slot in a cPCI chassis. Gigabit Ethernet and dual USB ports are available on the front panel. Standard memory resources include 1GB of DRAM. Optional storage is available as a CompactFlash slot for ATA flash memory, or a 1.8-inch IBM Microdrive hard disk.

A DVI-I graphics interface is also provided. It permits digital or analog flat panel displays or CRT monitors to be connected directly to the F9. Additional I/O resources can be configured by way of an expansion module plugged into the F9.

Peripherals such as a PS/2 keyboard or mouse, another USB port, a serial interface, an AC'97-compliant audio codec, or a 2.5-inch HD can be accommodated.

In applications where front-panel I/O can't be supported, a rear I/O transition module is available. This connects to the typical PC peripherals such as a VGA graphics interface, Gigabit Ethernet, PS/2 peripherals or a USB port (all of which are available at the J2/P2 connectors on the F9).

On the software side, the board is also designed to work in a Microsoft Windows or Linux environment. Realtime VxWorks software is also available from WindRiver Systems. To use MDIS4 low-level drivers, you also need one of the MDIS4 system packages available for Windows, Linux, VxWorks, QNX, RTX or OS-9.

MEN said its F9 will be available in September 2004 with pricing starting at about $2,100 each for single units.

- Alex Mendelsohn

eeProductCenter





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