Electronic Design

Modular Board Architecture Adds RISC Processor Support

Cram a whole system onto a 100- by 140-mm board, and it can be used almost anywhere. MIPS32 support is now available in this form factor with the EnCore M2 board from Ampro Computers. The EnCore M2 uses Alchemy Semiconductor's 400-MHz Au1000 chip. Also, Ampro's EnCore 400 board employs a 133-MHz 486-compatible STPC Atlas. The En-Core 700 uses a 500-MHz Celeron and 850-MHz Pentium III.

The EnCore boards only include headers, as they're designed to plug into a baseboard. Standard header interfaces include IDE, PC-104Plus PCI, video/flat panel, Ethernet, parallel, and serial. The boards feature a SODIMM socket for memory, too.

Additionally, the EnCore M2 incorporates 2 Mbytes of flash memory, a second 10/100BaseT Ethernet interface, two USB ports, a Fast IrDA port, PS/2 mouse/keyboard ports, and AC'97 Sound support. The board has EJTAG support as well. Its dual Ethernet interface makes it ideal for building Internet gateway products. And, the M2 works with VxWorks and Linux.

The 400 and 700 provide similar support, but only one Ethernet port and no EJTAG support. These x86-based boards support VxWorks, Linux, QNX, and Windows.

Available immediately, the EnCore M2 costs $300 in large quantities. The EnCore 400 and 700 cost $300 and $700, respectively.

Ampro Computers Inc., 5215 Hellyer Ave. #110, San Jose, CA 95138-1002; (408) 360-0200; fax (408) 360-0222; www.ampro.com.

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