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Data acquisition SBC supports embedded Linux

Aug 26, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Diamond Systems has announced a new PC/104-expandable single board computer (SBC) with an on-board 16-bit data acquisition subsystem. The Athena SBC is based on VIA's low-power Eden processor, and supports Linux and several other embedded operating systems.

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The built-in data acquisition system is said to provide high-accuracy, stable 16-bit analog-to-digital conversion performance with 100KHz sample rate, wide input capability, and programmable input ranges. It also includes four 12-bit digital-to-analog conversion channels, 24 programmable digital I/O lines, and two programmable counter/timers. A/D operation is enhanced by an on-board FIFO with interrupt-based transfers, internal/external A/D triggering, and on-board A/D sample rate clock. Placement of the analog circuitry away from the high-speed digital logic ensures low-noise performance for critical applications, Diamond says.

Other built-in functions and interfaces include four RS-232 ports, four USB ports, LCD and CRT video, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, AC97 audio, IDE port (for hard disk or board-mountable Flash disk modules), and watchdog timer.

The Athena was originally designed and utilized for a harsh-environment military vehicle application, according to Diamond. All components, including memory, are soldered directly on board for maximum immunity to shock and vibration. Configuration jumpers can be optionally replaced with zero-ohm shunts for additional ruggedness. The unit dissipates 10 watts and operates over the -40 to +85 degree C extended temperature range.

Measuring 4.2 x 4.5 inches, the Athena is slightly larger than the 3.6 x 3.9-inch PC/104 form-factor. However, Diamond has fitted the Athena with the same I/O connector types, locations, and pinouts as its “low-cost” PC/104-format Prometheus SBC, in order to enable its Prometheus customers to upgrade to higher performance without having to make major changes to software, hardware, or cabling.

The Athena SBC is available in two configurations — 400MHz fanless with 128MB RAM, and 660MHz fan-cooled with 128MB RAM — for $825 and $925, respectively (qty. 1). Models without data acquisition are also offered.

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