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Atom E3800 reboots aging ETX COM standard

Oct 7, 2014 — by Eric Brown 781 views

Adlink announced a rugged, ETX form-factor COM with an Atom E3800, Linux support, and legacy interfaces like parallel ports, PATA (IDE), ISA, and PCI.

These days, you rarely see new computer-on-modules featuring the 16-year old, 114 x 95mm ETX form factor. Like Adlink’s circa-2008 ETX-AT, its new ETX-BT module features an Intel Atom processor and adopts the ETX 3.0 standard introduced by Kontron back in 2006. In this case, however, it’s the latest Atom E3800 instead of the Atom N270. You get a choice of all five models, including a 1.91GHz quad-core Atom E3845, and you can also choose the related Celeron N2930 or Celeron J1900.

ETX-BT, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The ETX-BT is designed as a more powerful drop in replacement for older ETX modules now reaching end of life, extending their service life for another seven years, says Adlink. Thanks to the use of low-profile flat cable connectors on the ETX-BT, customers of ETX modules such as the ETX-AT can even use the same carrier board, says the company.

“The ETX-BT is the last ETX module you’ll ever need,” stated Henk van Bremen, director of Adlink’s Module Computing Product Segment.


Not only is the Atom E3800 much faster than the N270, but you can load up to 4GB non-ECC 1333/1066MHz DDR3L memory, compared to 2GB of DDR2 on the ETX-AT. You also now get gigabit Ethernet instead of 10/100. The dual 3Gbps SATA interfaces support an optional onboard SSD of up to 64GB.

ETX-BT from two angles
(click images to enlarge)

Otherwise this is all about honoring the legacy. In addition to SATA support, the ETX-BT supports old-school interfaces like dual PATA (aka IDE) storage with master/slave support. It also provides four USB 2.0 ports, and a Parallel port in addition to a pair of serial ports.

As before, displays are handled with analog VGA and LVDS, but in this case the latter supports dual-channel 24-bit communications. Additional I/O includes IrDA, PS/2, audio, and debug connectors. The ETX-BT is further equipped with ISA, PCI, SMBus and I2C expansion buses.

ETX-BT block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The ETX-BT provides Adlink’s Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) remote monitoring board controller technology. SEMA offers access to voltage/current monitoring, power sequence debug support, AT/ATX mode control, logistics and forensic information, and a watchdog timer. The rugged ETX-BT module offers “SmartFan”control, shock and vibration resistance, and optional -40 to 85°C temperature support

Summary of ETX-BT specs

Specifications listed for the ETX-BT include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E3800 or Celeron (Bay Trail) with 7th-gen. Intel graphics
  • Memory — Up to 4GB of DDR3L DRAM (1333/1066MHz non-ECC) via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage:
    • 2 x SATA (3Gbps)
    • 2x PATA (aka IDE) with master/slave
    • Optional SATA SSD (2-64GB) occupying 1x SATA port
  • Display — VGA at up to 2560 x 1600; single/dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS from eDP (2-lane)
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x RS-232
    • PS/2
    • Parallel (with SPP, ECP, and EPP support)
    • IrDA (supports IrDA 1.0 SIR or Sharp ASK-IR)
    • 4-channel HD audio (Realtek ALC 262)
    • Debug (40-pin multipurpose flat cable connector)
  • Expansion:
    • PCI 32-bit rev. 2.3 @ 33MHz supporting 4x bus masters
    • ISA 16-bit (through LPC-ISA bridge), no DMA support
    • SMBus (system)
    • I2C (user)
  • Other features — SEMA monitoring; SmartFan control
  • Power — 5V, ATX; ACPI 4.0 compliant; smart battery support
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 3.7 inches (114 x 95mm); ETX 3.02
  • Operating temperature:
      0 to 60 deg. C
      Optional -40 to 85°C
      Optional heatspreaders and heatsinks
  • Shock and vibration resistance — per IEC 60068-2-64 and IEC-60068-2-27
  • Operating system — Linux (32/64-bit); Windows 7/8 (32/64-bit); ext. support for WES 7/8, WEC 7/8, and VxWorks

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the ETX-BT. More information may be found in ETX-BT product page.

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