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Extra-rugged COM Express module runs Linux

Apr 9, 2008 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Ampro has announced an “extreme rugged” computer-on-module (COM) using the COM Express form-factor. Targeting avionics, military, and medical applications, the COM 840 operates from -40 to 185 deg. F, has a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and accepts up to 4GB of RAM, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Ampro's COM 840)

The COM 840 is expected to ship in 45 days. By then, Ampro has promised to begin distributing a free Ubuntu-derived Linux 2.6 distribution with all its board-level system products.

Similar to other COM Express modules, the COM 840 is designed to attach to a separately available baseboard. As a “Type 2” COM Express card, it has a 440-pin connector that carries 32-bit PCI and LPC (low pin count expansion), as well as PCI Express.

The COM 840 uses a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo L7500 CPU, along with Intel's 965GME northbridge/video controller and ICH8M southbridge. Its gigabit Ethernet controller uses Intel's 82556PHY chip.

There are two 200-pin SODIMM sockets, one on each side of the board, with each supporting up to 2GB of DDR SDRAM. Intel's integrated GMAX3100 graphics offer up to 384MB of shared memory, eight fully programmable execution cores, and full DirectX 10 compliance. Ampro says this makes the COM 840 “suitable for ultra-high-performance applications that require high-end graphics.”

The COM 840 boasts a variety of expansion capabilities, including eight USB ports, two SATA II ports, EIDE, and AC '97 audio. In addition to supporting 32-bit PCI, it offers five one-lane PCI Express interfaces and one 16-lane interface.

According to Ampro, the COM 840 has an extended operating range from -40 to 185 deg. F. The northbridge and CPU chips both require heatsinks, but the CPU only requires a fan at over 150 deg. F, according to the company's data sheet.


A block diagram of Ampro's COM 840
(Click to enlarge)

Specifications for the COM 840 include:
  • Processor — Core 2 Duo L7500 clocked at 1.6 GHz
  • Memory — 4GB maximum, standard complement not specified
  • Video:
    • Intel GMAX3100, with up to 384MB of shared memory
    • 3-D and 2-D engine with hardware rotation
    • MPEG-2 and WMV9 hardware acceleration and decoding
    • Dual-panel display support with independent pipes
    • HDTV support
    • Supports PCIe x 16 graphics
    • CRT resolution up to 2048 x 1546 pixels
  • Audio — AC '97
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Other I/O ports:
    • 1 x Enhanced UltraDMA 66/100 IDE interface, supports two drives
    • 2 x SATA II ports
    • 8 x USB 2.0
  • Expansion — PCI Express:
    • 5 x 1-lane
    • 1 x 16-lane
    • PCI and LPC (low pin count) interface
  • Power requirements — uses ATX power supply, with 10W idle power consumption
  • Dimensions — 3.7 x 4.9 inches (95 x 125 mm) COM Express form-factor, Type II pinout
  • Operating temperature: -4 to 158 deg. F
Ampro's COM 840 will be shipping within 45 days, though pricing was not announced. In addition to Linux, it will support Windows CE 6.0, Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP, and VxWorks.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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