SBC: Lots of I/O on single board computer for data acquisition

Single board computer offers high integration, scalability for industrial computing.
By Control Engineering Staff March 12, 2008

Nuremberg, Germany

Diamond Systems Corp

., a supplier of PC/104 I/O modules and highly integrated single board computers (SBCs) with on-board data acquisition, has launched the

Neptune SBC

,

Neptune’s modular CPU architecture offers wide processor performance ranges and packs an “unprecedented” amount of I/O into a 4.5-in. x 6.5-in. EPIC footprint. Incorporating the equivalent of five PC/104 I/O modules on one board, Neptune features processors ranging from 500 MHz AMD Geode LX800 to 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium M 738 CPU. The modular CPU enables easier product lifecycle management and gives OEMS and integrators a way to offer a family of products through a range of price-performance points with the same I/O baseline, the company says.

“With Neptune, designers can take advantage of a new level of I/O functional density, while improving flexibility and mitigating CPU and chipset obsolescence,” says Jonathan Miller, president, Diamond Systems. “Increased functional density reduces board count, improves reliability, shrinks system volume, simplifies assembly and cabling, and reduces overall system cost. As performance needs change, OEMs can simply unplug the current CPU module and replace it with the new one. This greatly eases product updates and technology insertions, especially where time-consuming and expensive regulation processes such as FDA and FAA certification are involved.”

Neptune uses a standard ETX module interface to support CPU modules, with a choice of the following installed on the carrier board: 500 MHz Geode LX 800, 1.0 GHz Celeron M 373, and 1.4 GHz Pentium M 738. Neptune includes I/O such as four USB 2.0 ports, Serial ATA (S-ATA), and EIDE hard drive interfaces including CompactFlash socket and IDE Flashdisk interface, 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet controllers, six RS-232 serial ports, AC’97 audio, legacy keyboard and mouse interfaces, and a PC/104-Plus expansion interface. Graphics engines drive independent CRT and LVDS flat panel displays according to the chipset of the installed ETX module. Memory sizes range from 512 MB of 333 MHz DDR RAM to 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SODIMM RAM installed onto the ETX module.

Prices start under $900.

Control Engineering News Desk
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