Intel’s latest Atom, the E6xx, can be found in a plethora of embedded platforms. Formally known as Tunnel Creek, it is the first system-on-a-chip (SoC) Atom with four 1x PCI Express links instead of a front-side bus. Most designers also are taking advantage of Intel’s EG20T Platform Controller Hub (PCH), which uses a single PCI Express lane.
Emerson Network Power’s Nano-ITX NITX-300 motherboard mates the other PCI Express lanes to a Marvel 88E1111 Gigabit Ethernet controller, a PCI Express socket, and a PCI Express MiniCard socket. As with most Tunnel Creek platforms, the NITX-300 takes advantage of the on-chip memory, audio, and video controllers. The board can handle up to 1 Gbyte of soldered DDR2 memory. The board exposes the PCH’s peripherals including CAN, SATA, UARTs, USB host and device ports, and SDIO connected to a MicroSD socket.
Advantech’s SOM-7564 COM-Ultra module is only 84 by 55 mm. This module can plug into the SOM-AB5500 3.5-in. carrier board with a built-in smart battery manager.
GE Intelligent Platforms hides its E6xx processor on a rugged ARC301 3U Compact PCI board. The board sports a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports in addition to all the other communication interfaces such as USB and CAN. It’s designed for rugged air and military environments. And, it uses less than 10 W.
Eurotech’s 67- by 100-mm Catalyst TC targets the medical, gaming, and industrial automation markets, among other applications (see the figure). It also supports the Everyware Software Framework (see “Developers Can Expect To See Everyware Everywhere”).
InHand Electronics’ 95- by 114-mm Firefly is designed for mobile applications. It has 1 Gbyte of DDR2 on board plus support for wireless modules and a touchscreen. A daughter card provides access to expansion ports like PCI Express, USB, and LPC. It can support up to a 14.4-V quad cell, Li-ion/Li-polymer smart battery with hot-swap support. And, it uses less than 4.5 W.