Electronic Design
Mini-ITX Motherboard Handles 12V Environments

Mini-ITX Motherboard Handles 12V Environments

Super Micro Computer is well known for high performance servers and high-end embedded systems like the SuperServer 6046T-TUF (see 4U Super Server For Embedded Systems). Super Micro Computer's X9SCV-QV4 Mini-IX motherboard (Fig. 1) targets smaller systems and comes with a 12V version that is ideal for mobile or transportation applications. The motherboard's Socket G2 handles Core i7/i5/i3 Mobile processors. It uses Intel's QM67 chipset that include vPro technology (see Corporate Processors Great For Embedded Chores) that supports remote management. It also handles dual displays including HDMI devices up to 1080p. DisplayPort interfaces can handle resolutions up to 2560 by 1600 pixels.

I use the X9SCV-QV4 in a hands-on project in conjunction with the CFI (Chyang Fun Industry) A7879 Mini-ITX Server Case (see Mini-ITX RAID Case Sports Full Size Slot) available from E-ITX. It supports four hot-swap drives and, not suprisingly, Mini-ITX motherboards. The key is a width and orientation that allows a full size expansion board to be plugged into the X9SCV-QV4 x16 PCI Express expansion slot.

Overall, the X9SCV-QV4 is a very nice motherboard. I tried it with an Intel Core i7 processor that provides plenty of performance for an application server requiring a small cooling fan. The motherboard works equally well with a cooler Core i3 processor that would likely work well in some of the more mobile applications running off a 12V power source. Memorywise, the motherboard supports up to 16Gbytes of DDR3 non-ECC UDIMM 1333/1066MHz using a pair of SO-DIMM sockets. It also has a UEFI BIOS allowing it to handle larger hard drives.

There are lots of multiple interfaces on-board. The dual HDMI interfaces have already been mentioned. The dual display support can take advantage of the VGA interface as well as the LVDS interface.

For storage ther are four SATA2 3Gbit/s ports that support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. There are two additional SATA3 6Gbit/s ports that support RAID 0 and 1. A number of USB headers can also be used for internal flash storage. There is a Disk-on-Module (DOM) power connector.

The communication support includes two COM ports, one on the rear panel and one via a header. Ethernet support includes a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports via Intel 82579LM and 82574L chips. There are 11 USB 2.0 port with 6 on the rear panel. Internally there are four additional ports plus an internal Type-A connection. There is also TPM 1.2 support.

The X9SCV-QV4 has proven to be quite flexible. It provides plenty of storage options as well as nice built-in display and networking capabilities. Just the thing for your next Mini-ITX project.

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