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Fanless Pico-ITX SBC runs Linux on Atom E6xx

Sep 23, 2013 — by Rick Lehrbaum 4,577 views

Axiomtek announced a 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX form-factor motherboard based on Intel’s embedded-oriented Atom E6xx processors and EG20T chipset. The Linux-friendly PICO822 SBC provides LVDS display, HD audio, SATA-300, gigabit Ethernet, USB, and serial interfaces, comes with up to 32GB of onboard SSD, runs fanless, and supports -20 to +70° C operation.

Axiomtek says the tiny PICO822 SBC is aimed at space-constrained embedded applications such as vehicle PCs, medical imaging, in-flight entertainment systems, industrial automation systems, and portable devices.

PICO822 Pico-ITX SBC front and back views
(click image to enlarge)


The PICO822 comes in two models, populated with either a 600MHz Atom E620T or a 1.6GHz E680T processor, and it uses Intel’s PCIe-interfaced EG20T Platform Controller Hub as the basis for I/O expansion beyond what’s provided directly by the Atom SoC.


Intel Atom E6xx with EG20T platform
(click image to enlarge)


The Atom E6xx SoC pioneered a new Intel CPU chipset architecture wherein multiple PCIe lanes provide the interface between the SoC and both Intel and third-party platform controller hubs, instead of the proprietary chip-to-chip buses used by previous Intel processors.

Intel’s E6xx/EG20T platform has been used in numerous small-form-factor SBC and COM designs, including Versalogic’s credit card-sized COM, MEN Mikro’s compact SBC, and Intel’s open-hardware MinnowBoard reference platform.

The Axiomtek PICO822 SBC’s I/O features include 3Gb/s SATA, both VGA and single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interfaces with dual-display support, HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, five USB 2.0 ports, eight GPIOs, and a pair of RS-232 serial ports.

Connector locations, top and bottom
(click images to enlarge)


To help meet the rigors of harsh environments, Axiomtek rates the PICO822 for operation over a -20 to +70°C extended temperature range, and offers the SBC with an optional onboard 8-32GB SATA SSD. An I/O expansion board and heatspreader (shown below) are also available for use with the tiny motherboard. The expansion board enables the addition of a Mini PCIe card.

Optional heatspreader and I/O expansion board
(click images to enlarge)


Specifications listed by Axiomtek for the PICO822 include:

  • CPU — Intel Atom E620T (600MHz) or E680T (1.6GHz)
  • Chipset — Intel EG20T platform controller hub
  • RAM — 1GB DDR2-800 onboard RAM
  • Flash — optional 8/16/32GB onboard SATA SSD
  • Video:
    • Controller — integrated Intel GMA 600
    • Interfaces — Single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS; SDVO
    • Dual-display support
  • Storage:
    • SATA-300 (3Gb/s) interface
    • Optional onboard SATA SSD
  • Other I/O:
    • HD audio; mic-in and line-in/out
    • USB — 4x USB 2.0; 1x USB 2.0 client
    • Ethernet – 10/100/1000 Mbps with wake-on-LAN
    • 1x UART (RS-232)
    • 8x GPIO
  • Expansion buses — PCIe x1; SMBus
  • Other features — watchdog timer; LCD backlight brightness control; temperature and voltage monitoring
  • Power input — 12V
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72 mm (3.9 x 2.8 in.)
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70°C

The PICO822 is available now, at an unlisted price. Further details are available on Axiomtek’s PICO822 Pico-ITX SBC product page.

(advertise here)

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