Electronic Design

Motherboard Simplifies Design Of Kiosk Or Point-Of-Sale System

Pick an LCD, an ELO resistive touch screen, and a motherboard. Have them delivered in a compact chassis. Add any necessary PCI or ISA adapters and a standard 3.5-in. IDE hard disk. Install software.

The system is now ready to be mounted in a kiosk or POS terminal. This is a rather simple recipe for a robust Micro Industries system.

Central to this type of configuration is a POS51 or POS61 motherboard. Each incorporates a 512-kbyte flash-memory BIOS, an Intel 82599 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet controller, and an Intel CHIPS 69000 HiQVideo accelerator that drives an LCD. The CHIPS 69000 graphics controller comes with 2 or 4 Mbytes of SDRAM. Multiple systems can be tied to a central host by the network controller. The motherboards support Wake-On-Lan and Wake-On-Modem for on-demand management.

LCDs range from a compact 640-by-480 10.4-in. unit to a large 1280-by-1024 18.1-in. display. The AcuTouch touch screens are optional.

Offering many standard components, the motherboards come with two parallel ports, a PS/2 keyboard, and a mouse port. They also include two on-board IDE controllers, a floppy-disk controller, and USB and IRDA support. One of the four 16550 serial ports is reserved for touch-screen support.

Complementing the POS51 are a Pentium processor and 32 Mbytes of on-board SDRAM. A single DIMM socket supports up to a 256-Mbyte DIMM. In addition, users can choose to equip their systems with an on-board 512-kbyte cache.

An IEEE 1394 Firewire adapter is optional on the POS51. Another useful accessory is an M-Systems DiskOnChip 2000 with capacities ranging from 2 to 72 Mbytes. The POS51 can boot from the DiskOnChip.

One of the benefits of the POS61 is that it provides access to higher-performance Intel Celeron and Pentium III processors that plug into a 370-pin PPGA socket. Although it lacks the IEEE 1394 and DiskOnChip options, it adds a standard ESS AudioDrive sound controller that's SoundBlaster Pro-compatible. As a result, this processor offers sufficient performance to audio-conferencing applications. The POS61 has a 128-kbyte or 256-kbyte level-2 cache and two DIMM sockets. Either 66- or 100-MHz SDRAM DIMMs can be used, providing up to 512 kbytes of memory.

A riser card incorporates one PCI and one PCI/ISA slot. It's essential for certain connectors such as the secondary IDE, USB, and floppy-disk controllers. This card also is required for the audio option found on the POS61.

The system case provides room for up to two adapter cards that mount on the riser card. It also contains two 3.5-in. drive bays. IDE hard-disk drives, floppy drives, and LS-120 drives can be supplied by Micro Industries.

Popular PC-based and embedded operating systems are supported. Drivers are available for touch-screen support.

Systems incorporating a POS51 motherboard with a Pentium processor and a 10.4-in. LCD start at $2000 in OEM quantities. Together with a Pentium III processor and a 12.8-in. LCD, the POS61 is priced at $2500 and above.

Micro Industries Corp., 8399 Green Meadows Dr. N, Westerville, OH 94019-6762; (800) 446-6762; fax (740) 548-6184; www.microindustries.com.

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