April 2011

CompactPCI Serial SBC Brings Serial Interfaces to Rugged Computing

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A new single-board computer is based on the newly ratified PICMG CPCI-S.0 CompactPCI Serial specification that was announced at Embedded World 2011. The G20 from Men Micro uses the 64-bit Intel Core i7 processor with a base processing speed of 2.53 GHz that supports Intel Turbo Boost Hyperthreading technology to provide a maximum speed of 3.20 GHz. In addition to the standard, fast 8 Gbyte DDR3 ECC SDRAM soldered against shock and vibration, a CompactFlash and a microSD card slot are connected to the G20 via one USB interface can extend memory capacities. 

A CPU-independent microprocessor in the G20 based on the Intel Advanced Management Technology (AMT) allows remote access via an integrated Ethernet controller, even when the computer is in soft-off or stand-by state. This is especially useful in systems where the operating system has crashed or the hard disk is defective, since an error diagnosis with repair can be carried out remotely as long as the system has standby voltage. AMT also enables users to remotely access different functions such as reading status information, changing configurations, switching the PC on and off as well as forwarding or redirecting I/O devices like hard disks and CD-ROM (Serial Over LAN) via keyboard, video or mouse.

Standard front I/O includes two PCIe-driven Gigabit Ethernet and two USB 2.0 interfaces as well as two DisplayPorts that can be used as an HDMI or DVI connection via an external adapter.  A total of eight PCI Express links in the front and back of the G20 enable fast communication. For user-specific applications, the rear I/O also provides eight USB ports, six SATA ports, a Display or HDMI port as well as a PEG x8 port and five PCI Express x1 links. 

MEN Micro also offers the GM1 CompactPCI Serial mezzanine module that leads four of the possible eight Ethernet interfaces specified in the standard to the backplane where they are implemented on CompactPCI Serial connector P6 assembled on the GM1, saving costs and increasing system flexibility.

The G20 includes an InsydeH2O EFI BIOS specially developed for embedded applications. Different watchdogs for monitoring the processor and board temperature complete the functionality of the SBC, which is shipped with board support packages for Windows and Linux.  VxWorks and QNX are available upon request. The rugged board holds DIN, EN and IEC certifications to enable its use in harsh environments. It comes coated for use in humid and dusty environments and has a guaranteed minimum standard availability of seven years. Pricing for the G20 is $2,097.  

MEN Micro, Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. [].