ETX®-LX: Kontron's first ETX 3.0-compliant, energy-saving Computer-On-Module

ETX®-LX: Kontron's first ETX 3.0-compliant, energy-saving Computer-On-Module

2 x SATA implemented with 100 percent backwards compatibility

Eching/Germany, June 28, 2006 − Following the official approval of the ETX® 3.0 specification, Kontron introduces the first ETX® module with an enhanced feature set: the ETX-LX. 2 x SATA have been implemented as a significant enhancement for ETX 3.0 Computer-On-Modules (COMs) that are 100 percent backwards compatible with previous ETX specifications. SATA is implemented by additional on-board PINs, in accordance with ETX 3.0, so existing ETX carrier board designs do not have to be changed in order to use SATA. With these new features, ETX COMs, the world’s leading standard for customizable designs that was introduced in 2000, meets all the state-of-the-art requirements for contemporary embedded designs with medium to high performance demands.

Designed in accordance with ETX 3.0, the Kontron ETX-LX is RoHS-compliant, comes equipped with an energy-saving AMD Geode™ LX800 @ 0.9W processor, and is the added-value alternative for designs that were previously based on the Geode GX1: For the first time in this performance class, the ETX-LX offers 4 x USB 2.0, graphics integrated in the AMD GEODE CS5536 chipset, and supports the economical DDR SODIMM storage module. The Kontron ETX-LX module offers more performance, but is still as reasonably priced as its predecessor. This passively cooled COM with heat-spreader uses approx. 5 watts of power and is extremely compact – a mere 10 mm high. As with all ETX modules, PCI and ISA are fully supported. Conversion from the ETX-MGX with Geode GX1 to ETX-LX with 500 MHz AMD LX800 processor is possible without any need to redesign or adapt of hardware. The components, CompactFlash slot, and memory slot are positioned in exactly the same places making the ETX-LX a true drop-in replacement.

In addition to the highly sought-after four USB 2.0 ports, the carrier board interface of the new ETX-LX module also offers a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port and two serial TTL interfaces. Thanks to the onboard CompactFlash slot, non-rotating storage media can be integrated, currently up to 8 GB. Additional Ultra-ATA66 DMA storage media are connected via two IDE ports. For graphics, CRT (SXGA), LCD (UXGA), and optional TV-out are supported. The other pinouts on the module are keyboard, mouse, AC97 sound and parallel port. Application-specific interface variations are controlled via PCI and ISA bus. Up to 1 GByte DDRAM is available. Software support is offered for all previously supported operating systems as well as Linux, Windows XP embedded, and Windows CE.Net.

Like all other Kontron ETX modules, the Kontron ETX-LX module is fanless and cools the processor using an innovative concept: a heatspreader plate thermally couples the ETX module to the target system identically in each board variant. Thus, mechanical redesigns are not necessary when modules are exchanged. The ETX concept offers free scalability without mechanical changes. In order to vary performance smoothly, Kontron’s ETX modules are optionally available with VIA, AMD and Intel processors.

Baseboard designs inclusive as needed
OEMs that not only use COMs from Kontron, but also want to outsource all the hardware design can also rely on carrier board designs from Kontron. Here, experienced developers are busy implementing the latest interface technology on baseboards for COMs and developing customized single board computers. Hundreds of layouts have already been successfully implemented and mass-produced in recent years, so that in many cases design risks can be avoided in advance, and customer-specific designs can be made ready for serial production significantly faster. For example, confident familiarity with COMs, for instance in signal sequencing on the baseboard, is as much a matter of course for the developers as the implementation of economical designs in the smallest space, or consistent use of components with long-term availability. Professional project management from specifications to serial production and redesigns, partly at no cost, within the framework of lifecycle management round out the range of offers.

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