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Pentium M 6U-sized Eurocard handles realtime applications

Posted: 01 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:pci? american eltec? sbc? single board computer? eurocard?

This PCI bus plug-in from American ELTEC is a single board computer (SBC) in a double Eurocard (6U) format. Dubbed the Eurocom 258 it's optimized for realtime applications, and for low dissipation.

Priced at less than $4,000, the Eurocom 258 can run a 1.6GHz intel pentium m microprocessor in conjunction with Intel's 855GME chipset, with a 400MHz FSB (front-side bus). Thanks to a megabyte of on-board L2 (Level 2) cache, the EUROCOM 258's processor can achieve performance comparable to that of a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processorbut at reduced dissipation.

Running at lower power means state-of-the-art Pentiums can now be fitted in rack systems; there are no large fans to obstruct the installation in compact PCI slots. The Eurocom 258 can operate over a -20C to 50Ctemperature range.

Realtime, Windows or Linux

For realtime applications, the SBC can run Wind River's popular VxWorks OS, however the SBC also supports Windows 2000, Windows XP and Linux.

The SBC also has a large main memory (up to 1GB of DDR dual data rate RAM, a watchdog timer, and two programmable 16-bit counters. It's also equipped with an IDE (integrated drive electronics) interface with Ultra133 transfer for the hard disk connection, a floppy interface, an on-board CompactFlash card holder, and a 2KB non-volatile memory.

In addition to the expected PC-oriented standard I/O ports, the SBC includes ports for a PS/2-compatible mouse and keyboard, a COM1 serial port, and two serial channels with hardware handshaking. Additionally, the SBC has two USB 2.0 (Universal Serial Bus) interfaces.

Rounding out the hardware, the Eurocom 258 includes an AC97-V2.2-compatible audio interface, and two 10/100Base-T Ethernet channels. One of the two channels is optionally available as a Gbit Ethernet port.

High-res graphics

The SBC also packs powerful graphics circuitry. Its video controller is integrated in the 855GME chipset, supporting resolution to 1,556 x 1,048-pixels in true color (24 bpp). The graphics interface is also compatible with VGA hardware, at register and BIOS levels, too. Finally, the SBC can be expanded using a PMC (PCI mezzanine card) for functions such as SCSI I/O or network cards.

- Alex Mendelsohn


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