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Rugged PC/104 module runs Linux on Vortex86DX2 SoC

Aug 13, 2013 — by Eric Brown 1,515 views

Adlink unveiled a rugged x86-based PC/104 SBC with shock and vibration resistance, extended temperature support, and legacy ISA bus support. The 3.6 x 3.8-inch CoreModule1-86DX2 is equipped with a DMP 1GHz Vortex86DX2 system-on-chip, and features I/O including graphics, Ethernet, SATA, USB, serial, and A/D, and offers mini-PCIe and modular PC/104 expansion.

The CoreModule1-86DX2 is designed for embedded applications that require compact design, longevity, ruggedness, and power efficiency. Like Advantech’s new PCM-3356 PC/104 board, Adlink’s single board computer (SBC) offers full ISA bus support. This makes it a good choice as a “performance boost for legacy PC/104 systems that continue to utilize real ISA bus,” says Adlink, citing applications including transportation, automated manufacturing, and aviation.

Adlink CoreModule1-86DX2 top and bottom
(click images to enlarge)


The CoreModule1-86DX2 is an upgrade from the CoreModule 435, a rugged PC/104 board that offers a choice of two DMP x86-based system-on-chips (SoCs): a 300MHz Vortex86SX or an 800MHz Vortex86DX. Compared to the Vortex86DX, the new Vortex86DX2 SoC found in the CoreModule1-86DX2 boosts the clock rate to 1GHz, integrates a 2D graphics processing unit (GPU) on-die, and doubles RAM support, among other changes.


Block diagrams: CoreModule1-86DX2 SBC and Vortex-86DX2 SoC
(click images to enlarge)


The 96 x 90mm (3.78 x 3.55-inch) CoreModule1-86DX2 is primarily notable for its rugged construction. The SBC can withstand 11.95 Grms vibration and 40G shock, and operate at a temperature range of up to -40 to 85°C, says Adlink. Built-in Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) functions are said to include a watchdog timer, temperature monitoring, and fail-safe BIOS support.

The CoreModule1-86DX2 is available in two versions based on the allotment of soldered DDR2 RAM. Compared to the 512MB model, the 1GB model offers several options:

  • 8MB of SPI flash
  • microSD socket
  • HD audio
  • Second Ethernet port, which can be gigabit instead of the standard 10/100Mbps speed
  • Four RS232/485 ports instead of the standard two

Power consumption also differs slightly between the two models, with the 512MB version operating at 6 to 6.5 Watts and the 1GB version rated at about 7 Watts, according to Adlink. Standard ports on both models include three USB ports, and LVDS, VGA, PS/2, GPIO, and A/D interfaces. A SATA or mSATA port is also available.

Specifications listed for the CoreModule1-86DX2 include:

  • Processor — DMP Vortex86DX2 SoC (1x x86 core @ 800/1000MHz); 16K I-Cache, 16K D-Cache, 256KB L2 Cache; integrated 2D GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR2 RAM or 1GB DDR2 models, both soldered; optional 8MB SPI flash (1GB model only); optional microSD slot (1GB model)
  • Display — VGA; 18-bit, single-channel LVDS
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet; optional second 10/100 or 10/100/1000 Ethernet (1GB model)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 2.0
    • SATA 1.5Gb/s or mSATA
    • 2x RS232/485; optional 2x additional RS232/485 (1GB model)
    • PS/2 (keyboard and mouse)
    • LPT
    • 8x GPIO or TTL level COM or PWM
    • 8x A/D input
    • JTAG
    • I2C
  • Expansion — PC/104 (ISA compatible); Mini-PCIe slot
  • Other features — speaker; optional HD ALC886 audio (1GB model); SEMA (timer, temp. monitor, fail-safe BIOS)
  • Power — 5VDC or ATX or Stack; consumption about 6-6.5 W (7W on 1GB model)
  • Ruggedization:
    • Shock resistance (non-operating) — 50G peak-to-peak, 11ms duration, MIL-STD-202G Method 213B
    • Vibration resistance (operating) — 11.95 Grms, 50-2000 Hz, each axis, MIL-STD-202G Method 214A
    • Operating temperature options:
      • standard — 0 to 60°C
      • industrial — -20 to 70°C
      • extended — -40 to 85°C (requires 800MHz operation)
  • Dimensions — 96 x 90mm (3.78 x 3.55 inches); PC/104 form-factor
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows XP/XPe; Windows CE 6.0; DOS

The CoreModule1-86DX2 will ship “very” soon, according to Adlink, priced at $345 (quantity one). More information may be found at the CoreModule1-86DX2 product page.

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