An 'EPIC' standard announced for embedded SBCs

Apparently a market need exists for another physical platform for embedded single-board computers (SBCs), with dimensions smaller than EBX and larger than PC/104 boards.

04/08/2004



EPIC’s form factor (measuring 29.4 sq in.) strikes the near exact midpoint of 29.7 sq in. between EBX and PC/104 formats.

Apparently a market need exists for another physical platform for embedded single-board computers (SBCs), with dimensions smaller than EBX and larger than PC/104 boards. And five leading SBC manufacturers— Ampro Computers Corp ., Micro/Sys Inc ., Octagon Systems Corp ., VersaLogic Corp , and WinSystems Inc .—have collaborated to define and create such a standard. Called " Embedded Platform for Industrial Computing " (EPIC), the development was announced at electronicaUSA/ESC 2004.

The EPIC platform focuses on providing more space for faster processors and more I/O points needed for complex functions in many industrial and commercial applications. It fits in where an EBX format is larger than needed or where a PC/104 is too small to accommodate the necessary I/O connectors and cabling. EPIC offers three I/O zones for implementing numerous general-purpose and application-specific I/O devices. PC/104 expansion modules provide further I/O options.

The new platform is "based on open industry standards that could be administered by an independent technical standards body," according to the developers. EPIC has published a governing specification, downloadable from its Web site. As for products, Ampro’s ReadyBoard 550 already exists, WinSystems plans to have EPIC SBCs "soon," others can be expected in 2Q and 3Q 2004.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com





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