Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has been pushing its 64-bit processors into realms previously reserved for its 32-bit embedded processor line. Two things have made chips like the dual-core Athlon and Opteron more interesting—a minimum of seven-year availability and low-power, 33-W single-core versions.
As a result, Performance Technologies' CPC5564 6U CompactPCI singleboard computer offers a range of Opteron processor options, from the 2.2-GHz single core to the 1.8-GHz dual core (see the figure). Systems come with 2 or 4 Gbytes of PC3200 SDRAM memory with error-correction-code support expanable to 8 Gbytes.
The on-board, eight-port Gigabit Ethernet (GE) switch supports PICMG 2.16 fabrics as well as two GE ports and the single XMC/PMC slot. The XMC/PMC slot also supports PCI Express and PCI-X mezzanine cards. The switch connects to the front-panel port, making it easy to connect external devices to the backplane fabric.
The board's Enhanced Integrated Drive-Electronics (EIDE) controller can support an on-board 2.5-in. hard disk. Four additional Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces are on the backplane, along with another EIDE port, two USB 2.0 porrts, two serial ports, and on-board video.
Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) support is included as well.
The board complies with the European Union's Restrictions on Hazardous Substances and with the Network Equipment Building Standards. Rear transition modules are available for IDE and SATA drives. The board also supports 32- and 64-bit operating systems like Linux, Windows XP, and Solaris.
Intel has had great success in the embedded space with its Pentium M processor. It will be interesting to see how the landscape changes now that there are more options in the embedded x86-space.