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Pico-ITXe and Pico-I/O Specifications for Smaller Stackable Embedded Systems

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The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG), a collaboration of suppliers of embedded component, board and system technologies, has announced the availability of revision 1.0 of both the Pico-ITXe and Pico-I/O Specifications for small, rugged, stackable embedded systems.

The Pico-ITXe Specification builds on the momentum of the popular, but de facto and unexpandable Pico-ITX standard, to enable stackable I/O expansion using SFF-SIG’s flexible Stackable Unified Module Interface Technology (SUMIT) interface. Pico-ITXe boards are the same size (72 x 100 mm) and have the same mounting hole placement as Pico-ITX boards, allowing easy migration to support SUMIT-based, stackable I/O modules. To speed and simplify the design of tiny Pico-ITXe SBCs, the Pico ITXe Specification offers a  high level of flexibility in comparison to other stackable SBC specifications by allowing the Pico I/O module stack to be placed anywhere within the outline of the Pico-ITXe SBC. Two example placements are shown in the specification.

The Pico-I/O Specification defines small 60 x 72 mm stackable I/O expansion modules for use with Pico-ITXe or, in fact, any other SBC form factor that incorporates SUMIT expansion with Pico-I/O mounting holes. Through the inclusion of one or two 52-pin SUMIT connectors, a Pico-ITXe SBC can provide PCI Express (up to five x1 lanes or two x1 and 1 x4 lanes), four USB 2.0, LPC, I2C and/or SPI interfaces to the Pico-I/O modules. The Pico-ITXe designer has the flexibility to provide all or any subset of these interfaces. A Pico-I/O module may be implemented using any one or more of these interfaces.

In anticipation of the release of these Specifications, a Pico-ITXe SBC is already available from member company Via Technologies, and Pico-I/O modules are available from member companies Acces-I/O and WinSystems as well as Via. Both Specifications are free and available online at the SFF-SIG’s website. The Pico-ITXe and Pico-I/O Specifications may be downloaded from www.sffsig.org/picoitx.html.