PC/104 and Small Form Factors
RSC# @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
RSC# @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
w w w. s m a l l f o r m f a c t o r s . c o m
w w w. p c10 4 o n l i n e . c o m
Volume 10 • Number 5
8 PC/104 Embedded Consortium
H ARDWARE: Storage and networking
16 Net-centric
military operations connect with PC/104, 10 Fundamentals 101
14 European Technology
Runaway technology threatens our future
By Jonathan Miller
Choices, choices, choices
By Joel Huebner
Mobile IP
20 Surviving
oil pipeline pigging operations with E-Disk SSDs
Speeders busted on film
By Hermann Strass
By Mike Southworth, Parvus
By Jun Alejo, BiTMICRO
54 Editor’s Insight
24 What’s
big in small storage
By Don Dingee
Rugged SFFs ... Windows ate my homework ...
and why I won’t buy another iPod
By Chris A. Ciufo
13,36,50 Editor’s Choice Products T ECHNOLOGY: Taking the heat
26 Micro
thermofluidic technology cools rising heat
By George Meyer, Celsia Technologies
By Don Dingee
53 Advertiser Index
MicroTCA – A Powerful New Standard for Cost Effective
Carrier Grade Equipment
November 16, 2 p.m. EST
S PECIAL: Small form factors in outer space
32 SPACE-104:
A stackable solution for space electronics By Dr. Robert Hodson, NASA
38 2007
PC/104 and Small Form Factors Buyer’s Guide
Winter: www.smallformfactors.com/eletter
 XTX versus COM Express – the gloves come off
By Colin McCracken, Ampro Computers
November 14-17
New Munich Trade Fair Centre Munich, Germany
On the cover:
The Gecko EPIC-format SBC from
VersaLogic Corp. coordinates
communication with the central server
and GPS system inside a futuristic media
display module that changes advertising
messages to correspond with the location
of the taxi it’s mounted on.
Pictured: Vert Intelligent Display
courtesy of Vert Inc.
 Cooling takes on smaller forms
By Martin Mayer, Advanced Digital Logic
Published by:
© 2006 OpenSystems Publishing © 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
All registered brands and trademarks in PC/104 and Small Form Factors are property of their respective owners.
/ Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Subscribe to the magazine or E-letter at:
Industry news:
Read: www.smallformfactors.com/news
Submit: www.opensystems-publishing.com/news/submit
Submit new products at:
p e n
y s t e m s
u b l i c a t i o n
Military & Aerospace Group
RSC# 01 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
DSP-FPGA Product Resource Guide
DSP-FPGA.com E-letter
Military Embedded Systems
Military Embedded Systems E-letter
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
PC/104 and Small Form Factors E-letter
PC/104 and Small Form Factors Resource Guide
VMEbus Systems
VMEbus Systems E-letter
Group Editorial Director
Contributing Editor
Associate Editor
Senior Editor (columns)
Assistant Editor
European Representative
Art Director
Senior Web Developer
Graphic Specialist
Circulation/Office Manager
Chris Ciufo
[email protected]
Don Dingee
[email protected]
Jennifer Hesse
[email protected]
Terri Thorson
[email protected]
Sharon Schnakenburg
Hermann Strass
[email protected]
Steph Sweet
Konrad Witte
David Diomede
Phyllis Thompson
[email protected]
OpenSystems Publishing
Editorial/Production office:
16872 E. Ave. of the Fountains, Ste 203
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Tel: 480-967-5581 n Fax: 480-837-6466
Website: www.opensystems-publishing.com
Publishers John Black, Michael Hopper, Wayne Kristoff
Vice President Editorial Rosemary Kristoff
Communications Group
Editorial Director
Assistant Managing Editor
Senior Editor (columns)
Technology Editor
European Representative
Joe Pavlat
Anne Fisher
Terri Thorson
Curt Schwaderer
Hermann Strass
Embedded and Test & Analysis Group
Editorial Director
Editorial Director
Technical Editor
Associate Editor
Special Projects Editor
European Representative
Jerry Gipper
Don Dingee
Chad Lumsden
Jennifer Hesse
Bob Stasonis
Hermann Strass
ISSN Print 1096-9764, ISSN Online 1550-0373
Publication Agreement Number: 40048627
Canada return address: WDS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 615
PC/104 and Small Form Factors is published five times a year by OpenSystems
Publishing LLC, 30233 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48082. Subscriptions are
free upon request to persons interested in PC/104 and other small form factor single
board computer technology. For others inside the US and Canada, subscriptions are
$35/year. For 1st class delivery outside the US and Canada, subscriptions are
$50/year (advance payment in US funds required).
RSC# 02 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
/ Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PC104 and Small Form Factors
16872 E. Ave. of the Fountains, Ste 203, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
RSC# @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
RSC# @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Runaway technology threatens our future
Praise the good old days of PC/104!
The ISA bus was the expansion method
of choice, processors consumed modest
power levels, and chips boasted long life
cycles. Board developers and their customers could count on a stable technology base, so they designed products with
the confidence that they could recoup the
cost of their investment and not spend too
much time in redesign or requalification.
Then a certain pair of companies had a
big idea: Advance technology as fast
as possible to outrun the competition
and keep customers coming back every
two years when their current products
become obsolete. In the consumer and
office market, this concept caused enough
headaches, with nonhomogeneous in-
stalled bases making it difficult to keep
track of who had what, who needed to
upgrade, and how to make everything
work together. In the embedded market
where longevity was critical to companies’ product life cycles and regulatory
requirements such as FDA, this runaway
technology philosophy spelled disaster.
Board developers have done a good job
of keeping up by providing reasonable
migration paths from old products to new.
And to be fair the core technology suppliers (processors and operating systems)
have done their share to make their new
products largely backwards compatible
with the old ones, minimizing upgrade
difficulties. But today the situation is getting out of hand. By the time a CPU company comes to market with the latest Intel
chipset, they are two generations behind.
Core Duo, and now Core Quattro (what’s
next: Core Centennial?) chips are already
on the market, while many (if not most)
PC/104 and PC/104-expandable CPU
suppliers are still in the early stages of
introducing their Pentium M/945 products. How can board suppliers keep up?
And should they even try?
The beauty of PC/104 was that it isolated
the system designer, and to a great extent
/ Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
the board designer as well, from changes
in the underlying CPU technology. By
designing to a common bus interface
(ISA), I/O board makers could avoid worrying about what CPU would drive the
system, and system designers could rely
on the fact that virtually all I/O boards
would work on virtually all CPUs. ISA
was easy and cheap. A simple $1 PAL
device was enough to implement a basic
register-map interface for many I/O boards.
Then came PCI with its higher bandwidth
and corresponding complexity. PC/104
responded by adding a new connector for
the new bus. But the interface required a
larger and significantly more costly logic
device. Now board vendors and customers had to choose between two buses, and
the situation started to get more complex:
My PC/104-Plus Ethernet card won’t
work with your PC/104 CPU.
This two-bus complexity could be managed, but it was only a sign of things to
come. Now, as technology vendors con-
tinue their push into the stratosphere,
ISA and PCI are disappearing and a third
bus, PCI Express, is taking their place. But
the extremely high-frequency signaling
of PCI Express places serious constraints
on connector choices and board layout
and interface logic design. Furthermore,
with two connectors on the PC/104 board
already, there isn’t room to add a third
connector. In any case, why should we?
Since when must PC/104 serve all customers in all applications and be compatible
with all existing products?
And who needs PCI Express anyway,
with its added cost in complex board
design and layout as well as powerhungry processors that prevent I/O boards
from being stacked on top due to the need
for larger heat sinks and fans? Yes, many
applications can use the higher bandwidth
and processing power, but a huge market
still exists of down-to-earth applications where an 8 MHz bus clock is more than
enough still. (I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t someone once say, “Who
could ever need more than 640K?”) Yes,
but even on today’s latest processors we
see the LPC bus, a de facto admission
that PCI and PCI Express are not one size
fits all. A low-cost, low-speed, simple
address/data bus is still optimal for many
functions on a CPU board.
A new approach
is needed to
incorporate the latest
bus technology into
a common platform
for the future that can
match PC/104 in its
simplicity, reliability,
and proliferation
of vendors and
So where does this line of inquiry lead
us? Two conclusions:
First of all, as ISA disappears from almost
all new processors, the very existence of
PC/104 is threatened. A long-term solution is needed now to maintain the viability of this hugely successful market and
integrate products that we have developed
for the past 15 years. The PC/104 industry must consider how to address this
threat head on to ensure the survival of
PC/104, or we risk losing the momentum
and spotlight we have justifiably earned.
Secondly, a new approach is needed to
incorporate the latest bus technology
into a common platform for the future
that can match PC/104 in its simplicity,
reliability, and proliferation of vendors
and products.
These two goals do not necessarily coincide. The best response to the current
situation may be to split the market into
two segments: Legacy and New Technology. The various proposals to combine
ISA, PCI, and/or PCI Express on to a
PC/104-like form factor all come with
their own ideologies and corresponding
trade-offs. We can argue day and night
about which features are more important
than others, and which compatibility
must be maintained and which can be
sacrificed. However the key issues to
focus on are reliability (so that customers
will accept the new technology), availability (multiple vendors designing to
the same standard so that customers
have a wide enough choice of products
to attract them to the technology), and
affordability (so that the concept of a
mix-and-match multiboard solution is
economically competitive).
That reminds me of another famous
saying: “United we stand, divided we
fall.” In reality the number one benefit
of PC/104 was the fact that it was universal. All vendors designed to the same
standard. The resulting selection of
compatible products was so large that it
provided a compelling reason to select
PC/104 in spite of its many drawbacks.
We will never have the perfect solution.
But in order for any solution to succeed,
we need unity.
Some people argue for evolution: Let the
various solutions enter the market, and
may the best one win. But evolution takes
too long. I prefer intelligent design – vendors actively work together to create the
best approach from day one, avoiding the
cost and time that evolution exacts on us
all. Isn’t that, after all, the true meaning of
that term? And isn’t that one of the core
purposes of the PC/104 Consortium?
For more information, contact the consortium:
PC/104 Embedded Consortium
505 Beach Street, Suite 130
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: 415-674-4504
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.pc104.org
RSC# @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / Internal system cabling 101
By Joel Huebner
Choices, choices, choices
Today’s embedded design engineers face
a multitude of decisions during the design
of an embedded system that determines
the final success or failure of a project.
But it is the initial selection of the processor type to be utilized that will have
the most dramatic impact on the overall
system design.
All embedded system designs require
some type of central processor to control
the inputs, outputs, and internal com-
putation of the entire system. Some
embedded systems may only require a
signal internal processor or potentially
multiple processors. An embedded
design engineer can choose a microprocessor (CPU), microcontroller, DSP, or
FPGA as the processor for an embedded
system. Table 1 compares the pros and
cons of each processor.
The first step
The absolute first decision that must be
made at the beginning of a system design
is what type of processing unit will be
employed. The system design team’s
familiarity and background experience
heavily influences this decision. Certain
performance or systems requirements
will automatically dictate which type of
processor must be utilized. But in many
embedded designs, the decision of which
type of processor is the best choice is not
that obvious. The risk of the embedded
design team selecting the wrong processor for a particular application can be
detrimental to the project. Typically, when
this realization occurs during design it
cannot be corrected and can jeopardize
the overall success of the project.
Microprocessor or CPU
The microprocessor is by far the most
popular variant of the processor choices.
The system design requirements for an
embedded operating systems such as
Windows, Linux, DOS, and VxWorks
(just a name a few) will automatically
require a microprocessor. The micro-
processor also is the most versatile for
the amount of programming languages
available to the software engineer. All of
today’s high-level computer languages
can be compiled to just about any variation of microprocessor. This software
selection capability and the fact that the
microprocessor is the most familiar of
the processor choices makes it the most
popular choice for embedded systems.
The microcontroller is a basic version of
the microprocessor. As the clock speeds
and internal capabilities of the microprocessor became more advanced over
time, a market demand for the simplistic,
straightforward processor capabilities of
the original 4- and 8-bit microprocessors
remained. The microcontroller meets this
need. The master clock speed, processing
capabilities, and maximum internal/
external memory access typically limits
the type of embedded systems that microcontrollers are ideally suited for.
Processor type
• The most popular, most understood type of processor
• Multiple types of OSs are available
• Can be programmed from a multitude of high-level languages
• Generational advancements in OSs and updated drivers can lead
to difficulty supporting legacy products
• Microprocessor families can be the most prone to obsolescence
• OS typically prevents signals from being processed in real time
• The most simplistic type of processor
• The most cost-effective type of processor
• Typically has the most abundant online programming hardware
support information
• The clock and memory access limitations target this processor
for only low-end embedded system usage
• Very minimal, if any, OSs available
• Programming languages are custom to each microcontroller
• Extremely efficient in processing math-intensive functions
• Is ideally suited for performing digital signal processing in
real time
• Versatility and capabilities are continuing to advance
• Embedded applications that truly benefit from a DSP can
be limited
• OS utilization within a DSP is custom and limited
• An in-depth knowledge of digital signal processing is required to
get the full potential of DSP ICs
• Multiple instances of all other types of processors can be
replicated within the FPGA
• The individual signal and processor routing within the FPGA is
completely user configurable and reprogrammable
• Can be programmed with a graphical schematic representation,
state-machine diagram, and/or a text-based programming
• FPGA text-based programming languages are limited to VHDL
or Verilog
• Power-supply requirements for embedded applications can
be steep
• The choice of OS for virtual microprocessors programmed within
an FPGA is limited
Table 1
10 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
RSC# 11 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 11
RSC# 12 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
fa c
Digital media processing is now critical to many applications beyond entertainment, including
medical, simulation, security, and others. Compression rates in standards such as MPEG-4
and H.264 call for processing suited for the task. But assembling the hardware and software
necessary to get started can be a complicated task.
Combining a Texas Instruments TMS320DM642 DSP-based digital media processor at
720 MHz and a Xilinx Virtex-4 FX-60 FPGA, the SMT339 packs huge compute power into a
small development board. Software support includes TI’s Code Composer Studio Integrated
Development Environment (IDE) and 3L’s Diamond FPGA. Interfaces include serial ports or the
sm a l l f o r
Rocket Serial Link. Used with a TIM carrier such as the SMT130 for PCI-104 or stand-alone,
EDITOR’S CHOICE designers can be up and running quickly.
Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd. www.sundance.com RSC# 32034
fa c
pc /104
The FPGA is the most versatile of all
processor types. Single or multiple
instances of all the previously defined
processor types can be replicated within
an FPGA. The reconfigurability of the
FPGA allows it to be utilized in the most
diverse of embedded applications. The
FPGA allows for customized parallel digital signal processing and can be adapted
to almost any digital application. Today’s
FPGA can be configured with advanced
DSP functions or programmed with 4,
8, 16, or 32-bit virtual microprocessors.
The advantage of the FPGA is the capability of being a user-configurable digital
system on chip. For example, a single
FPGA can be programmed with multiple 32-bit microprocessors performing
parallel processing and separate DSP
signal manipulation in addition to custom
digital signal manipulation.
Digital media: It’s all in the image
The DSP is a variation of the microprocessor developed specifically for digital
signal processing applications. DSP’s
true strength is processing math-intensive
applications in real time. Processing
video signals, audio signals, signal filtering, data compression, and artificial
neural networks in real time are all prime
examples of the types of digital signals
and signal processing optimally suited
for a DSP.
sm a l l f o r m
Ensuring success
In today’s embedded market, having
design experience with all processor
variations and knowing their individual
strengths and weaknesses based on previous successful embedded system designs
is crucial. Customers rely on the embedded design team’s expertise to select a
processor that provides the most efficient
signal processing and ensures success in
a system design.
Joel Huebner is president of
Jacyl Technology, Inc. and can be
reached at [email protected]
Visit the Jacyl website at
RSC# 13 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 13
Speeders busted on film
ESM drives vehicle-monitoring
Drivers do not always obey speed limits.
This is not just a peccadillo, especially
near schools and dangerous crossings or
under bad road conditions. Obeying the
speed limit helps utilize available road
space more efficiently if every car travels at the same speed. Authorities are
using permanently installed and mobile
speed camera systems to catch offenders and warn other drivers to heed traffic
signs and general speed limits. Today, if
a driver gets caught violating the speed
limit, it may be due to a sophisticated
speed control digital camera operated
by an Embedded System Module (ESM)
made by MEN, Germany (MEN Micro in
the United States).
sophisticated algorithms. Data about
offenders are compressed, encrypted
to become tamperproof, and then automatically downloaded to the office of the
law-enforcing authority. Violators are
sent an appropriate letter and invoice for
a fine. In Europe, the face of the driver
must be identified in addition to the
In this system, the first camera controlled by an EM4N takes time-stamped
pictures of passing cars at a point on
the road, while the second camera takes
time-stamped pictures at another point
about 500 m (1,600 feet) to 100 km
(60 miles) farther down the same road.
Figure 1, courtesy of MEN, Germany,
shows a speed control camera taking
pictures of oncoming traffic.
to a sophisticated
Today, if a driver
gets caught
violating the speed
limit, it may be due
speed control digital
camera operated by
an Embedded
System Module ...
license plate number on the car because
it is not legally possible to fine a car or
its owner without facial and license plate
identification. The driver at that point in
time must be identified.
The EM4N uses an MPC8245 PowerPC
microprocessor because it must operate
reliably under adverse environmental conditions. Conformal coating and extended
temperature versions (between -40 °C
and +85 °C) can be supplied if required
by the application. The CPU includes a
floating-point unit and a memory management unit. Two Fast Ethernet and two
COM ports standard on this ESM board
communicate with the outside world.
IP loaded into an FPGA generates other
I/O and specific functions (for example,
camera control, separate watchdog, and
interrupt controller). The FPGA on the
EM4N implements the camera interface,
frame grabbing, compression, and encryption without loading the processor.
The EM4N complies with a long list of
environmental standards (EN, IEC, CE,
UL, and so on). ESM boards are very
small 149 mm x 71 mm (5.8" x 2.8")
to fit inside the camera housing. ESMs
are complete computers based on PCI
A driver may have slowed down when
seeing the first camera and accelerated
again after passing it. Even if drivers
slowed down again after seeing the
second camera, they may have been
driving too fast between these two points.
The vehicle arrived too early at the second
camera, considering the specific speed
limit in place between the two points.
This type of monitoring has been used
for many years in Australia, where traffic officials observe trucks driving to and
from major cities or towns with hundreds
of miles of flat, desert-like countryside
in between without ever leaving their
air-conditioned office.
The cameras can monitor several lanes in
parallel day and night. Control software
in the back office automatically compares pictures of the two cameras using
14 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Figure 1
that operate stand-alone (busless) or as
processor modules on popular platforms
like CompactPCI or VME. ESM spe-
cifications are available for download
at the MEN websites www.men.de and
Other European small form
factor news
Kontron has received UL 60950 certification from the United States and
CSA C22.2 No. 60950 certification
from Canada for their COM board families, which include boards for the ETX,
ETX 3.0, ETXexpress/COM Express,
DIMM-PC, microETXexpress, and
X-board platforms. Kontron believes itself
to be the first company to receive UL certification for COM-type module products.
Listings are available at www.ul.com. The
company achieved European certification
under EN 60950 some time ago.
Digital-Logic, Switzerland has developed
a waterproof mini PC for outdoor usage
available in IP54 or IP65 protection versions. A Pentium M 738 powered CPU
with all the typical PC I/O interfaces and
additional galvanically isolated digital
and analog I/O is inside the waterproof
enclosure. Either a 2.5" hard disk or two
CompactFlash memory cards can be
installed. Expansion is available via a
PC/104-Plus socket. The computer works
within a temperature range between 0 °C
and +50 °C. With an optional preheat
function, the unit can start working at
temperatures of -40 °C and higher.
For more information, contact Hermann
at [email protected]
RSC# 1501 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
RSC# 1502 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 15
Storage and networking
Net-centric military operations connect with PC/104,
Mobile IP
By Mike Southworth
The Mobile IP specification allows IP networks to be much more flexible,
not only wireless, but also roaming – a key requirement of the networkcentric operations environment. Combined with commercial PC/104
networking equipment and transformed into rugged equipment able to
survive transportation, easier IP communications has become a reality.
Mike explains the background of the rugged Mobile IP system.
The military’s trend toward net-centric
operations – linking field resources to-
gether using Internet Protocol (IP) based
networking – requires that ruggedized
IP nodes and routers be available for
constructing the network. Further, these
units must be portable and capable of
utilizing many different communications
channels. Fortunately, a Commercial OffThe-Shelf (COTS) solution to mobile
networking that provides rugged IP networking elements for mobile applications
has arisen.
The U.S. military services see net-centric
operations as a compelling mechanism
for coordinating diverse resources in field
operations. Using IP-based communications, virtually every vehicle, plane, and
soldier becomes a node in the network
and can share data. This massive data
sharing could allow field and strategic
commanders to obtain real-time situation
awareness for tactical planning, give
deployed units immediate access to intelligence information, and allow the tracking of both troop and enemy movement
across an entire battlefield. It would
also allow for direct, secure Voice over
IP (VoIP) between any two members of
the network despite differences in the
communications platforms being utilized.
wire-line, spread-spectrum Radio
Frequency (RF), optical, and satellite
n Be based on COTS technology to
meet budget constraints of the modern
As a result, the distinctive advantages of
PC/104 – its compact size, PC compatibility, strong vendor support, stackable
design, low-power requirements, environmental durability, and simple main-
tenance – make it an ideal foundation for
Mobile IP networking.
Untethering with Mobile IP
The beginnings of the COTS solution to
net-centric applications arose with the
2002 introduction of the Mobile IP specification (RFC 2002) by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Prior to the
introduction of RFC 2002, when a mobile
node moved from one local network into
another, the node’s IP communications
channel with the wide area network terminated. The new network’s router then
had to establish its own communications
channel and assign a new IP address to
the node. This not only interrupted the
mobile node’s communications through
the network, it changed the return path
address so that other nodes on the wide
network could no longer find the mobile
node. All such links had to be reestablished each time the mobile node changed
local networks.
Mobile IP allows for a mobile node to
roam across multiple local networks
while maintaining continual communications with and a consistent IP address
for the wide network (see Figure 1). This
attribute greatly facilitates communications among nodes by giving each node
a unique address that does not change
with movement. It prevents the continual
breaking of and need to reconnect links
between nodes. The mobile node thus can
roam seamlessly across networks, effectively behaving as though stationary.
Not an easy task
Networking equipment that can meet the
demands of battlefield deployment must
satisfy several criteria:
n Ruggedness; able to handle
temperature extremes as well as
severe mechanical shock and vibration
n Portability; both space and weight
are significant concerns in military
n Compatibility with a wide range of
communications platforms, including
16 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Figure 1
Storage and networking
Packing it into PC/104
The creation of the Mobile IP specification allowed Cisco Systems to develop
the Cisco 3200 Series Wireless and
Mobile Router for mobile applications.
Collaborating with NASA, Cisco originally invented this mobile router platform
using VME hardware in 2000. They then
pursued a redesign to the PC/104-Plus
form factor to provide a rugged, more
compact, and lower-cost version of this
miniature router launched in late 2002.
Cisco 3200 Series routers (Figure 2)
run Cisco IOS Software and allow the
networking of multiple wireless devices
running any variety of communications
links. The routers, for instance, can tie
nodes using cellular telephony, Wi-Fi
(IEEE 802.11 wireless Ethernet), and
satellite communications into a single
network. The nodes are free to roam
anywhere these links provide coverage,
switching links as needed without losing
their unique IP addresses.
Figure 2
These PC/104 components from Cisco
are well suited to the unique requirements of Mobile IP networking where
shock, vibration, and other environmental extremes would otherwise destroy a
system based on open desktop technology.
Its PC/104-Plus form factor easily
accommodates specialty add-on modules
to enable customizable functionality
such as the stringent military communications standards imposed by the National
Security Agency.
“We wanted a product that met our
requirements for power, volume, and
mass while maintaining full compliance
with open standards to ensure interoperability with existing network devices,”
says Phillip E. Paulsen, project manager
in the Space Communications Office
at the NASA Glenn Research Center in
Cleveland, Ohio.
“The value of this technology is that it can
be deployed wherever there is a need for
mobile data communications. That could
include commercial and military aircraft,
ground vehicles such as tanks, ambulances,
and police cars, and of course spacecraft. This software-based technology
also addresses the need for flexibility.
Network-centric operations must allow
diverse elements to tie in and exchange
data. These elements could include sensors, video, VoIP devices, and computers
– anything that’s input or output.”
Rugged, outdoors types
The next stage in enabling ruggedized IP
communications came when Parvus took
Cisco’s PC/104 modules and packaged
them in an enclosure designed for the
hostile environment that equipment faces
in public transportation installations.
This ruggedized Mobile IP access router,
known as the DuraMAR (Figure 3), is
based on PC/104 stacking architecture
and includes an internal 150 W power
supply that accepts a wide range of input
DC and provides isolation against voltage spikes and transients. While created
for use in transportation equipment such
as metro commuter trains, it is equally
applicable to use in military transport.
Because a router by itself is not enough
to provide a network link, the ruggedized
system features a distributed architecture
that enables the connection of peripheral
devices to provide the radio and other
communications links as well as end
user nodes. This architecture uses Power
Over Ethernet (POE) and Power with
Serial (PwS) to supply power to these
peripherals, otherwise known as nodes,
simplifying their installation and use in a
RSC# 17 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Figure 3
variety of configurations. A node can be
a long-range communications channel to
the main network, a LAN controller for
creating a local wireless network, or a
piece of peripheral equipment that needs
a network connection.
This ruggedized Mobile IP networking
is a proven concept. These systems have
seen field trials with a major metropolitan
transit authority for linking trains into a
network. The systems replace a modem
connection on the train and provide
connections to sensors and monitoring
systems in the train. This allows central
dispatch to monitor the trains’ conditions
in real time as they move through the rail
network, helping ensure passenger safety
and providing early warning of maintenance requirements.
Industry-standard environmental tests have
been conducted, including temperature,
shock, and vibration, as well as shallow
immersion. Through conductive cooling
and the elimination of all moving parts, not
only will the system withstand these harsh
environments, but also the Mean Time
Between Failure (MTBF) will be considerably higher than previous solutions.
Ready for military service
The availability of COTS-based rugged-
ized Mobile IP networking opens a wide
range of possibilities for military applications. For example, the DuraMAR is
being deployed aboard U.S. Army helicopters for equipment monitoring and
secure communications using IPSEC
and other encryption modes. Shipboard
applications are also under evaluation.
Other potential applications include:
n A vehicle such as a Humvee can be
outfitted to provide a mobile Wi-Fi
hotspot for field communications,
giving human-transported field
equipment the opportunity to use
Wi-Fi as its basic link and connect to
the network through satellite or other
long-range links the vehicle may be
offering. This eliminates the need for
equipment to be retrofitted as longrange links change and prevents the
field equipment from being burdened
with multiple communications
n Aircraft can use VoIP for voice
communications with central
command, utilizing whatever radio
18 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Storage and networking
links it currently has available. The need to break communications to switch channels or to another type of equipment is eliminated.
n Central facilities can use the network to monitor the status of field equipment in order to provide
just-in-time support as needed, such as scheduling refueling for
vehicles and aircraft.
n Remotely piloted and autonomous
surveillance vehicles can broadcast
their data to the network, allowing
field troops to access real-time
intelligence about battlefield
conditions, including live video, as they need it.
With its modular architecture, PC/104
enables the use of application-specific
functionality such as a wireless modem,
Ethernet switch, Wi-Fi interface, or
MIL-STD-1553 interface card to create
a distributed architecture for mobile networking that supports a wide variety of
“PC/104 enables
the use of applicationspecific functionality …
to create a distributed
architecture for
mobile networking
that supports a
wide variety of
All about the IP network
Because all equipment connects together
over the IP network, it does not have to be
directly compatible. Thus, a Wi-Fi laptop
can serve as the communications instrument connecting command to field troops,
regardless of the type of radio being used
in the field as long as each can connect to
the network in its own way.
provide the nucleus of systems that can
then link that equipment to the network
through any of the multiple communications channels and maintain that connection while moving. Both field and base
units remain connected in a network
that can flex and range across the battlefield, but structurally remains intact and
unchanged. ➤
Eliminating the need for direct compatibility also allows ruggedized Mobile IP
networking to support legacy systems by
creating a bridge device. Systems using
buses such as CAN, MIL-STD-1553,
and LonWorks can then connect through
the IP network, reducing the need for
cabling and extending the useful system
lifetime. Connection through the Mobile
IP network also extends the legacy system’s flexibility by providing data and
being controlled by remote operators and
other, previously incompatible information systems.
Mike Southworth
serves as director
of marketing for
Parvus Corporation,
where he oversees
the company’s
product management and marketing
communications programs. He holds a
BA in Public Relations from Brigham
Young University.
To learn more, contact Mike at:
With IP-based equipment offering seamless roaming across networks, Mobile IP
sets the stage for net-centric operations in
military applications. Using IP as the base
protocol, any equipment that can connect
to the network can then connect with any
other equipment on the network. Rugged-
ized mobile routers, such as DuraMAR,
Parvus Corporation
3222 South Washington Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Tel: 801-483-1533
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.parvus.com
RSC# 19 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Storage and networking
Surviving oil pipeline pigging operations with E-Disk SSDs
By Jun Alejo
Industrial applications often put disk drives in harm’s way, but with flash
Solid-State Disks (SSDs) data can be kept safe. Jun shares some examples
of flash SSDs at work in oil pipeline operations and discusses where
technology for flash SSDs is heading in the near term.
With no moving parts that can lessen a
device’s reliability and durability, nonvolatile flash SSDs are by far the best storage
solution for industrial applications. This
case study shows a messy application
where SSDs excel – pigging an oil pipeline – and offers a peek into the future of
solid-state storage.
Electromechanical pigs at work
Pipeline inspection equipment, known
as pigs, is subjected to some of the most
extreme operating environments on land.
In gas pipelines, pigging operations have
been performed under high-pressure (up
to 1,000 psi) and high-temperature conditions. In addition, data recorders inside
pigs are subjected to severe shock and
vibration. Pigging equipment uses an
onboard power supply and data acquisition system to record hours’ worth of data
while being transported throughout the
pipeline using the moving product (gas
or oil) for propulsion. In-line inspection
tools, or smart pigs, are essential in ensuring the integrity and safety of pipelines
against mechanical damage and corrosion
(see Figure 1, courtesy of the National
Grid Transco).
Figure 1
Established in 1991, Spetsneftegaz Scien-
tific & Production Association (NPO)
Joint Stock Company is one of the leading in-line inspection service companies
in Russia. The company develops and
produces high-resolution magnetic flux
leakage and transverse flux inspection
20 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
intelligent pigs, electronic caliper logging
tools, and cleaning pigs (bidirectional
pigs, caliper cleaning pigs, magnetic
preparation pigs, magnetic cleaning pigs,
and universal pigs) for the inspection
of oil and gas pipelines up to 56 inches
in diameter.
Spetsneftegaz performs defect assessment, repair prioritization, and overall
pipeline fitness evaluation according to
international standards. The company
executes up to 16,000 km of magnetic
in-line inspection per year. Spetsneftegaz
claims that its proprietary inspection
technology makes it possible to detect
and locate all types of defects in main oil
and gas pipelines.
After evaluating various storage options,
Spetsneftegaz identified SSDs as the best
storage solution for these applications
because the ruggedness of SSDs eliminates the need to conduct second or third
runs through the pipe, thereby minimizing operating costs. Spetsneftegaz relies
on BiTMICRO’s E-Disk flash SSDs (see
Figure 2) to store information gathered
by its pig units. Two incidents validate
the E-Disk SSD’s reputation for dura-
bility and reliability.
SSDs survive squeezing, smashing
In one instance, the airtight seal of the
instrumentation compartment in one
of the pig units was damaged. At that
time, company engineers estimated the
gas pressure inside the compartment at
about 60 atmospheres. After recovering
the pig, engineers discovered the battery was completely squeezed, and the
power supply module and other com-
ponents were crushed. Moreover, the
pig’s central computer failed to boot after
the accident.
However, the engineers were amazed to
discover that the installed E-Disk SSD
(a 2.5-inch ATA model with 17.4 GB
capacity) remained operational. Although
Figure 2
the drive booted normally after it was connected to a desktop PC, two bad sectors
were found. Upon performing a low-level
format operation using the BiTMICRO
Specific Erase Command and restoring
the data, the drive was recommissioned
and has worked flawlessly ever since.
In a separate incident, one of Spetsneftegaz’s experimental pigs featuring an
active moving control function got
stuck in the pipeline and was struck by
another piston pig. The force of impact
was so strong that all of the mechanical
parts were broken despite the presence of
shock absorbers. A 3.5-inch single board
computer was dislodged from its mounting after all of its corners broke off.
Engineers found that the installed E-Disk
flash drive (a 2.5-inch ATA model with
9 GB capacity) also tore off its fastenings,
broke out of the surrounding aluminum
frame and electronic assembly, slamming
directly into the pig’s explosion-proof
external steel casing. The E-Disk drive
survived the incident with just minor
dents and scratches. All of the data stored
in the drive remained completely intact,
and not a single bad sector was found.
“In both instances, the E-Disk drives that
survived the accidents have been installed
in other equipment and continue to
remain in operation,” says Sergey Yartsev,
a Spetsneftegaz executive.
Revolutionizing industrial storage
Data recorders are not the only industrial application that would benefit from
the rugged capabilities of flash SSDs.
Like a proverbial last piece in a jigsaw
puzzle, rugged mobile computers need
flash SSDs to create a robust, 100 percent solid-state computing solution for
RSC# 21 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
RSC# 22 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
industrial users. This fact is bolstered
by a recent In-Stat study that reveals the
high level of value mobile computer users
assign to SSDs. When respondents were
asked to rate improved durability, battery
life extension, and faster boot times with
SSD, at least 60 percent rated SSDs’ differentiating factors a 4 or 5, with 5 being
the highest/most important.
By 2010, In-Stat forecasts SSDs to be
deployed as main storage devices in
about 14 percent (24.3 million units) of
mobile computers. By 2014, the market
research firm expects market share to
gobble up half of the market. This is considered very strong industry performance
for a four-year period, though Hard Disk
Drives (HDDs) will still control half of
the market thanks to users who require
high-capacity storage.
Though industrial-grade storage leans
more toward ruggedized features, high
storage capacity brings a host of benefits
to data recorders and rugged computers.
High capacity means fewer reconnaissance flights for unmanned aerial vehicles
and longer runs for pipeline inspection
pigs. Hard drives seem to have an advantage in this aspect, especially following
the release of perpendicular recording
drives from Toshiba and Seagate, which
further increased storage capacity in
magnetic disks.
SSDs getting denser, faster
BiTMICRO Networks, a major SSD
player since the 1990s, is pioneering
Research and Development (R&D)
efforts that seek to meet cost and capacity issues head on. The company is
in the process of developing a major
enhancement to its current-generation
products, in particular the fabrication of
the EDSA DMC ASIC, a chip that will
allow BiTMICRO’s current-generation
E-Disk architecture to support highdensity semiconductor memory and
faster sustained transfer rates. EDSApowered drives are projected to carry
about a terabyte of capacity in a standard
low-profile 3.5-inch drive, much bigger
than the current record holder in the HDD
segment, Seagate’s 750 GB Barracuda
7200.10. In addition, increased bandwidth in EDSA may even lead to further
improvements in sustained transfer rates.
HDD R&D may have already reached its
pinnacle with perpendicular recording
technology, while SSDs are expected to
get even denser (and better) as memory
wafer fabs implement finer manufacturing technologies. With higher capacity,
better transfer speeds, affordable cost,
and rugged features expected to be implemented in the near future, SSD makers
such as BiTMICRO seem to have the
bases covered with regard to the needs of
industrial storage. ➤
Jun Alejo is
marketing communications officer
Networks, Inc.
Prior to joining
was news editor for
Electronic Engineering Times-Asia and
Global Sources Electronic Components.
He received his MBA from De La Salle
To learn more, contact Jun at:
BiTMICRO Networks
47929 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538
Tel: 510-623-2341
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.bitmicro.com
Editor’s note: This article
was originally published in the
October edition of our sister
magazine electronic newsletter,
Industrial Embedded Systems
E-letter. Deployed in gas pipeline
pigs, nonvolatile flash SSDs
demonstrate the resilience of
small storage devices in extreme
operating environments.
RSC# 23 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 23
BIG in Small Storage?
By Don Dingee, Contributing Editor
Electronic media storage can be added to a small form factor board or system, or even
yourself – without having to sacrifice size for performance. In devices ranging from chip-level
to personal data storage products, technologies such as Perpendicular Magnetic Recording
(PMR) and package-on-package are allowing more and more data to be stored in smaller
sizes. This is just a sample of a few devices we found.
Spansion flash
mobiBlu Q-Bling
Package-on-package stacks flash
on other devices
Uniquely styled Cube MP3 player
is both storage and jewelry
Seagate ST1.3
A 1" hard drive with big
12 GB capacity via PMR
Sony Compact Vault
8 GB of capacity on a
CompactFlash Type II hard drive
SanDisk mini SD HC
SimpleTech Bonzai
Upgradeable USB 2.0 storage
using SD flash cards
Breaking the limits, SD 2.0 highcapacity devices are now at 4 MB
Micron Managed NAND
Flash with MultiMediaCard
controller integrated for
simpler interfacing
Microsoft Zune
The long-awaited Microsoft entry
into portable media devices
Toshiba 0.85" HDD
Smallest commercial hard disk drive
yet at 0.85" diameter using PMR
24 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
MemTech AT1830 Mustang
Solid-state flash drive in a very
small 1.8” IDE form factor
iRiver H10
MP3 player using the Seagate
ST1 hard drive
Swissbit s.valigetta classic
8 GB of portable hard disk with
a USB interface
msystems mDOC G3
512 MB embedded flash drive
mounts directly to boards
Hitachi 3K8
An 8 GB, 1" hard drive with ZIF
connector for direct board mounting
Adtron I25FB Flashpak
2.5" IDE solid-state flash drive
directly replaces hard disks
Imation Micro Hard Drive 4GB
Wearable USB hard drive based
on Toshiba 0.85" disk
SiliconSystems SiliconDrive Module
Up to 4 GB of storage on a vertical 40-pin module
Cornice Dragon Series
Thin 1" hard drive with 10 GB
capacity and Crash Guard features
Lexar LDP-200
Economical MP3 player
uses SD card storage
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 25
Taking the heat
Micro thermofluidic technology cools rising heat
By George Meyer
Small form factor designs don’t leave much room for cooling, but it’s
an essential element to get the most performance. A cooling solution
that helps minimize size and weight would be welcome. Enter new
technology: nano and microscale thermofluidic heat spreaders that
transfer heat more efficiently while reducing size and weight.
Here’s a question: How much design
energy do most engineering teams put
into cooling their product? Thermal
management is one of the most pressing
problems in small form factor designs,
yet the average cooling solution accounts
for just 2 percent of the product cost. And
the problems designers face are getting
more complex; for instance, many graphics processors now have greater thermal
output than the microprocessor driving
the system.
Cooling solutions require much more
attention, but until now the technology
has not kept pace with the scope of the
problem. Conventional cooling designs
for small form factors often fall short.
Active cooling devices such as fan sinks
add size and weight, and the required
airflow may not be available in the
system. Exotic spray-cooling and liquidcooling techniques also tend to run large
and heavy.
With continuing increases in thermal
power density and decreases in the size
of electronics, a new breed of technology
is needed to tackle the cooling essential
for delivering fast, reliable systems.
More than just a phase
Thermofluidic technology puts liquid
phase-change properties to work in nano
or microscale structures. With no moving
parts, a thermofluidic heat-spreader
design sandwiches alternating liquid
and vapor channels together to form a
three-dimensional heat transfer structure,
shown in Figure 1.
“... a thermofluidic
design sandwiches
alternating liquid
and vapor channels
together to form a
three-dimensional heat
transfer structure ...”
With no mechanical parts, thermofluidic
heat spreaders are noise and vibration
free, eliminating the need to reconfigure product design to accommodate the
cooling device. Within the plate or tube is
an extensive network of micro channels
through which pure water moves rapidly,
changing from water to vapor and back to
water, removing excess heat. The spreaders can be attached directly to the heat
source to enhance cooling capability.
RSC# 26 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
26 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
A heat spreader built using a thermofluidic sandwich approach can be constructed very thin and very light. The
scale of the sandwich shown in Figure 1
starts at just over a millimeter of thickness. Thermofluidic structures can be
adapted to the size and shape of the area
to be cooled, as the razor thin plates or
tubes can be fabricated to fit a variety of
small and large devices. They can also be
shaped to work with other cooling solutions such as fans and fins. The structures
can bend with a minimum radius on the
order of 10 mm.
The construction of the thin slices of
material with capillary structures in
the sandwich substantially reduces the
weight of a heat spreader made with this
approach. Compared to a solid copper
structure at 8.9 g/cm3, these heat spreaders average 3.6 g/cm3 but deliver better
thermal performance than higher mass
solid structures.
Cooling results
With this clear size and weight advantage,
designers may wonder about cooling effectiveness. Thermofluidic heat spreaders are
very efficient conductors of heat. Demonstrations have shown thermal conductivity
of more than 5,000 watt per meter Kelvin
(W/mK). This gives them a heat transfer
capacity 25 times greater than aluminum
and 13 times greater than copper, the two
most commonly used metal heat conductors, as illustrated in Figure 2.
Figure 1
RSC# 27 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Figure 2
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 27
RSC# 28 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Taking the heat
With this type of efficiency, thermofluidic heat spreaders in a given application
can increase the cooling system’s performance by 25 to 60 percent over other
industry solutions.
Putting it to work
The electronics industry needs effective,
compact, and inexpensive cooling solutions to keep pace with increasingly small
and mobile electronic devices. Celsia’s
patented micro thermofluidic design
(Figure 3) shows potential for increasing
a computer’s processor speed and cutting
lighting energy costs by an order of magnitude. Initial products measure as small
as 1.4 mm thick and weigh only 25 g,
creating a heat spreader with a 28 percent
reduction in thickness and 33 percent
reduction in weight over conventional
heat-sink solutions for a comparable
Besides the obvious application of cooling CPUs, thermofluidic heat spreaders
also can apply to graphics processors
and DLP projection devices, reducing or
eliminating the need for bulky and noisy
fans by improving cooling efficiency. An
Figure 3
example of coupling with fan technology
to provide powerful cooling solutions,
the new Iceon1000C (Figure 4) is one of
the first high-volume commercial applications for thermofluidic heat-spreader
LEDs are now commonly used in areas
such as architectural lighting and large-
RSC# 30 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
30 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Figure 4
format signage, reducing energy usage
by 80 percent compared to incandescent
and 50 percent compared to fluorescent bulbs. These savings can add up
quickly. Beginning in 2001, the California Department of Transportation
installed more than 160,000 LED modules, creating 8 MW of energy savings
and reducing energy costs by more than
$5 million. When cooled with thermofluidic heat spreaders, LED device life can
be improved by 10 to 15 times. Figure 5
shows an LED utilizing a thermofluidic
heat spreader.
George Meyer
is Celsia
Technologies’ chief
marketing officer
for the Americas
and Europe and
director. He is a
proven thermal management industry
veteran with nearly three decades of
experience driving global growth at
Thermacore International, Inc. He
has extensive in-depth market and
technical knowledge and holds eight
patents in the field of electronics
thermal management. George
graduated from Penn State University
with a degree in Communications
and holds an International Business
Certificate from Franklin and
Marshall College.
To learn more, contact George at:
Celsia Technologies
1395 Brickell Avenue, Suite 800
Miami, Florida 33131
Tel: 305-529-6290
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.celsiatechnologies.com
Figure 5
The future is cool
In the near term, Celsia is focused on
applications in the PC, graphics, and
lighting markets. But the potential for
thermofluidic heat spreaders extends into
a number of markets, such as telecommunications, defense, home appliance, and
automotive markets.
The thermofluidic heat spreader represents new cooling technology that is
compact, inexpensive, efficient, silent,
and vibration free. These heat spreaders
not only improve cooling efficiency and
reduce weight and complexity compared
to conventional cooling solutions, but
also improve system costs and extend
system life. As designers continue to
innovate with these structures, more
advanced applications will continue to
emerge. ➤
RSC# 31 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 31
Small form factors in outer space
SPACE-104: A stackable solution for space electronics
By Dr. Robert Hodson
Space may be the final frontier for stackable
electronic modules, but no industry standards
support challenges of the environment. Dr. Hodson
describes an effort at NASA that looked at current
stackable technologies and made some unique
choices to extend capability, making stacks suitable
for space electronics. Based on PCI-104, the
proposed SPACE-104 form factor is a noteworthy
The launch and space environments present unique challenges
for avionics. Many existing avionics designs are modified
3U or 6U CompactPCI systems. Stackable technologies are rare
for space systems, in part due to the lack of a standard that sufficiently addresses space environment issues. This is strange given
the acceptance of stackable systems in the embedded computing
community. Stackable systems have demonstrated ruggedness
in harsh terrestrial environments but have not been extended for
space applications.
To address the technology gap between terrestrial and space
stackable avionics systems, a team at NASA’s Langley Research
Center has extended the PCI-104 standard to meet the needs of
the space community. This new stackable form factor, internally
dubbed SPACE-104, adds structural support, conduction cooling, venting, and other features to help overcome the challenges
for NASA’s future missions.
Obstacles for avionics in space
The first order of business for space avionics is to arrive in orbit
or on some celestial body in one piece. Avionics are subjected to
acoustic shock, pyrotechnic shock (due to rocket stage separation),
and vibration. These loads are significant; for example, an average
random vibration load in excess of 10 g is not uncommon. Circuit
boards can flex and sometimes oscillate, causing cracked traces
or devices to lift pads. Additionally, as a rocket leaves the atmosphere and moves from the pressurized surface atmosphere of the
Earth to the vacuum of space, undesirable pressure can build up
in a sealed enclosure. This can cause an oil canning effect if not
properly addressed through avionics packaging.
If the avionics system makes it to space in one piece, it won’t run
for long in the vacuum of space without proper cooling. The typical finned heat sink or processor fan does no good without air to
carry the heat away. A thermally conductive path must exist from
power dissipating ICs on the circuit board to somewhere outside
of the avionics. Excess heat is then typically radiated away from
the spacecraft into deep space.
Space radiation due to galactic cosmic rays, solar flares, or
trapped particles in the Earth’s magnetic field can cause a variety of undesirable effects on avionics. These effects range from
transient functional failures to permanent device failure. Adding
shielding to an enclosure design can reduce the Total Ionizing
32 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Dose (TID) that changes the transistor threshold voltage in
semiconductor devices. This same shielding, which is often aluminum, can also be used as an EMI shield if designed properly.
Other considerations when designing and choosing materials for
space include effects such as:
n Material out-gassing. In a vacuum, materials can outgas and leave residue on surrounding objects. Consider the effect
of residue on a neighboring object, such as the lens of a $100 million telescope.
n Tin whiskers. These electrically conductive crystalline
structures grow from surfaces where tin is used as a final
finish. Whiskers can cause shorts, arcing, and/or debris
contamination. For more information, visit http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker.
“This new stackable form factor ... adds
structural support, conduction cooling,
venting, and other features to help overcome
the challenges for NASA’s future missions.”
Meeting the challenges of space
Engineers at NASA wanted to leverage terrestrial stackable
technologies to address these challenges while targeting the
shortcomings of existing solutions for space systems. They
deemed backwards compatibility with existing standards such as
PCI-104 desirable. This would reduce the cost of ground support
equipment that could be used for space system test and development. Choosing PCI as the interconnect lets engineers implement
PCI interfaces with existing radiation-hardened FPGAs that tend
to run slower than commercial parts but still meet performance
The SPACE-104 form factor, like the EPIC and EBX form
factors, is larger than PC/104. This choice was made to accommodate larger devices and additional I/O. It is not uncommon
for space-qualified parts to be in relatively large packages such
as ceramic quad flat packs or ceramic
column grid arrays.
Additional board area
is also required to
remove heat from the
system, as discussed
later in the thermal de-
sign section. For these
reasons a form factor of
112 mm x 156 mm was
selected with support for
PCI-104 compatibility
(see Figure 1).
Figure 1
RSC# 33 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Mechanical design
The mechanical design for SPACE-104
consists of several elements to make up a
rugged stack, seen in Figure 2. The circuit boards are supported by aluminum
frames that provide structural support,
a conductive path for removing heat,
and a shield for both electromagnetic
radiation and TID from the space
Small form factors in outer space
sectional area should be used throughout the thermal path. Copper,
used in the circuit board, and aluminum, used in the frame,
retainer, and end caps, are both excellent thermal conductors. To
further reduce the thermal resistance between electronic devices
and the stack’s base plate, unused areas in the circuit board’s
copper layers are flooded. Also on the top and bottom layers of
the board, a copper band is laid out under the frame edge and the
retainer, serving as both a thermal connection for heat transfer and
an electrical connection to ground the board frames.
Figure 2
Circuit boards with their associated frames stack
together as shown in Figure 3. The boards
are held to the frames by a retainer
(shown in red). The edges of the
aluminum frames are stepped
to provide an interlock be-
tween neighboring frames
that serves as an EMI gasket.
The frames have vent holes,
which are also stepped for EMI
protection. The venting holes
serve two purposes:
Figure 3
A worst-case steady-state thermal analysis was performed
on an 18 W board and an integrated SPACE-104 stack (see
Figure 4). Devices with significant power dissipation were
modeled directly, and the power of other components was
accounted for through even distribution across the board.
Assumptions central to the analysis were that conduction was
the only form of heat transfer in the system and that the base
plate would be held to 40 °C. Taking a conservative approach,
NASA engineers modeled the system with relatively low contact
pressures at the frame/board, frame/frame, and frame/end cap
connections. The results of this analysis show that even in the
case of maximum power output, none of the components exceed
their maximum operating temperature of 125 °C.
n To vent pressure on the ascent phase of space missions
n To serve as an attachment point for a disassembly tool
The circuit board frames and end caps form an enclosure for the
stack. Bolts pass through the stack and are threaded into the end
caps, holding the assembled stack together. The end caps have
tabbed feet for mounting the assembled stack to a base plate. One
end cap also serves as a mounting surface for power converters.
To ensure rigidity of the stack, NASA engineers performed
finite element analysis at both the board and stack levels. Loads
that envelope the Delta II and Delta IV launch environment with
margins for safety were applied to the model. Engineers modeled loads of 45 g on all axes to determine maximum deflections
and Von Mises stress. In all cases, deflections were small enough
to eliminate risk of any problematic contact. Calculated stresses
were consistently well within the tensile strength of the material. Modal analyses performed on a board and stack revealed
the first mode for the board was 140 Hz, while the stack level
analysis calculated a first mode of 194 Hz. Typically in space
systems, a fundamental frequency above 100 Hz will not affect
surrounding systems.
Thermal design
In the vacuum of space, heat energy generated by avionics can
be removed through conductive and/or radiant transfer. Within a
SPACE-104 stack the primary method of thermal management
is conductive cooling. The power dissipated by electronics will
generate excessive temperatures that may damage electronics
or reduce device life if not conducted away. Devices mounted
to circuit boards are the heat sources in the stack. A thermally
conductive circuit is created from device die to package, circuit
board, board frame, and eventually the base plate, which must
be maintained at a temperature low enough to ensure device
temperatures do not exceed manufacturer ratings.
To improve the heat flow within the stack, materials with high
thermal conductivity and preferably a large thermal cross-
34 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Figure 4
Electrical and power design
The electrical standard for SPACE-104 is the same as PCI-104 with
only minor modifications. The 32-bit PCI bus running at 33 MHz
is supported. An optional second 120-pin connector can be added
to support 64-bit bus transfers if desirable. The second connector
can also provide additional interstack user-defined I/O. A serial
I2C bus is also defined for low rate system health and status.
The power module converts an external supply voltage, typically 28 Vdc for spacecraft, to PCI-supported levels (3.3 V, 5 V,
±12 V). Space for power conversion and conditioning is provided
by an end cap, where converters are mounted, and
the adjacent circuit board. A power connector is used to bring down-converted
voltages into the conditioning
board, and then the standard PCI connector is
used to drive the power
rails for the PCI bus.
Figure 5 shows the end cap
of a power module design.
The adjacent power conditioning board is not pictured.
Figure 5
Next steps in development
Initial SPACE-104 hardware has been developed at NASA and
continues to mature as additional analysis and testing proceed.
Figure 6 shows a completed SPACE-104 stack. Mechanical
designs, structural models, and thermal models have validated a
stackable solution for space systems. The next step is disseminating information about SPACE-104 to a broader community for
feedback and then formally documenting this approach through
a public standard. It is also envisioned that the avionics community can share the engineering effort, designs, and models used to
develop SPACE-104 to reduce nonrecurring engineering costs on
future government and commercial projects. Finally, a standard
for space avionics will facilitate interoperability among vendors,
allowing system designers more flexibility in the design of future
space systems. ➤
The ongoing SPACE-104 development has been successful through
the efforts of Kevin Laferriere, Kevin Somervill, Charles Boyer,
Kevin Kempton, Kaitlin Keim, Benjamin Nesmith, and others at
the NASA Langley Research Center. NASA’s Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate (ESMD) provided the initial funding for this
effort through the Reconfigurable Scalable Computing (RSC)
project. Dr. Robert F. Hodson is the chief
engineer of the Electronic Systems Branch
at NASA Langley Research Center. He is
the principal investigator on the Reconfigurable Scalable Computing project,
which developed the SPACE-104 form
factor. Robert’s expertise is in computer
architecture and avionics. He holds a
dual BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer
Science from the University of Connecticut, an MS in Computer
Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and a
PhD in Computer and Information Science from Florida
State University.
To learn more, contact Robert at:
Figure 6
RSC# 3501 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
NASA Langley Research Center
M/S 488
Hampton, VA 23681
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.larc.nasa.gov
RSC# 3502 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 35
fa c
pc /104
MEMS accelerometers get smaller and smaller, targeting
devices such as microdrives and handheld consumer electronics. Predictions
indicate more than 1.5 billion devices will ship by 2010. A new generation
of devices is combining small size, light weight, and low power with better
The LIS302 sensors provide three axis motion sensing in a tiny 3 mm x 5 mm
x 0.9 mm plastic package. With power consumption around 1 mW, these devices
measure acceleration of ± 8 g, and feature an SPI/I2C digital interface and
two independent programmable
sm a l l f o r m
interrupt signals. With these
interrupts, either two different
states or two different thresholds
can be monitored, giving the
device more flexibility for
designers to distinguish between
states such as free fall and rolling.
www.st.com RSC# 32036
fa c
sm a l l f o r m
RSC# 3601 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
36 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
RSC# 3602 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
fa c
fa c
pc /104
sm a l l f o r m
pc /104
Packing more processing in a
smaller space is vital to success
for many applications. Mini-ITX
motherboards continue to increase
in density and processing power,
while still offering a small
footprint for embedded designs.
The G5C100-N-G Mini-ITX motherboard
utilizes the Mobile Intel 945GM Express chipset supported under
Intel’s Embedded Architecture program. It accepts a wide performance range
of Intel mPGA 479 packaged processors including the Intel Core Duo processor,
giving it dual core processing power without an increase in footprint. With other
onboard features including dual GbE ports, eight USB
2.0 ports, two SATA ports, and graphics and audio, it
packs the right performance punch for many embedded
sm a l l f o r
EDITOR’S CHOICE ITOX www.itox.com RSC# 31471
Falling or rolling? Here’s how to tell
Dual core packs Mini-ITX with punch
RSC# 37 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Applied Data Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
COM Express
Congatec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
EEPD North America, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Development Environment
Freescale Semiconductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Arcom Control Systems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Diamond Systems Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Kontron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Lanner Electronics Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Micro/sys, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
WinSystems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
General Standards Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Mesa Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Micro Technic A-S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Micro/sys, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
MOXA Technologies, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Octagon Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
PEAK-System Technik GmbH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44, 45
RAF Electronic Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45, 46
SCIDYNE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
SECO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Signal Forge, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Signalogic, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Technologic Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
WinSystems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Woodhead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Zendex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
ACCES I/O Products, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Aaeon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Asine Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Axiomtek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
DIGITAL-LOGIC AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
EMAC, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
VersaLogic Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Western DataCom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Zendex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
ADLINK Technology, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
AEWIN Technologies Co., Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Congatec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Kontron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Ampro Computers, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Mini PCI
Evalue Technologies Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
ITOX Applied Computing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
ACCES I/O Products, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Advanced Digital Logic, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Aprotek, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Arcom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Diamond Systems Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
38 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Acrosser Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Ardence, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
iWave Systems Technologies Pvt Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Agilent Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Congatec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Development Environment
Applied Data Systems
Freescale Semiconductor
Model: BitsyXb
RSC No: 31775
Model: DEMO9S08QD4
32-bit, 520 MHz Intel
PXA270 RISC processor
• Graphics: video interface
up to XGA (1024 x 768) color LCD interface
(driven by the PXA270) • Backlight connector
with PWM + ON/OFF controlled by software
• 4- or 5- wire resistive touch screen interface (Burr Brown chip, 10 bits) • BitsyXb with
Intel PXA270, power-stingy product provides
dynamic (variable) speed and voltage regulation, five low-power modes, and is ideal for
handheld, wearable, and unmanned apps
• Five low-power modes • Intel PXA270
processor • Dynamic speed • Power-stingy
• Windows CE or Linux, software up to API
• Quick capture vision sensor interface
COM Express
Model: conga-B945
RSC No: 32045
Dual Core COM Express
module with dual-channel
memory support • The conga-B945
features the latest Intel Core Duo processors
up to 2x 1.66 GHz with 2 MB shared cache
• It offers a rich feature set including 3x1
PCI Express and 1x16 PCI Express graphic
lanes • Dual-channel memory support provides top of the line DRAM performance • The
“basic” version, based on the COM Express
type 2, measures only 95 mm x 125 mm
• Pins and mechanics are defined at the
PICMG COM Express specification • The
conga-B945 features Gigabit Ethernet via
the COM Express connectors to enable fast
communication links • RoHS • Two serial ATA
drives can be connected as fast mass storage
devices • 8x USB 2.0, 2x SATA, 3x PCI Express
lanes, PCI Express graphic, PCI, I2C
Arcom Control Systems, Inc.
Diamond Systems Corporation
Model: Zeus-PXA270 SBC
RSC No: 30044
Model: Poseidon EPIC SBC
RSC No: 31795
An ultra-low-power,
EPIC-size single board
computer based on the Intel 520 MHz
PXA270 XScale RISC processor • Is an implementation of the ARM-compliant, Intel XScale
microarchitecture combined with a comprehensive set of integrated peripherals, including
a flat-panel graphics controller, multiple highspeed serial ports, USB controller, interrupt
controller, and real-time clock • Up to 128 MB
of soldered SDRAM • 64 MB of flash • 256 kB
of battery-backed SRAM • Display controller:
TFT/STN/LVDS flat-panel support up to 800 x 600
in 24-bit color • Network: Dual 10/100BASE-TX
Ethernet controller (Davicom DM9000A) • USB:
Dual USB host ports – v1.1 and USB v1.1 client
port • Serial ports: seven serial ports – three
RS-232 (one RS-485), one RS-422/485 port
for wireless modem, port for GPS and IEEE
802.15.4/ZigBee • Expansion: PC/104, SDIO, and
CF+ (CompactFlash) • I/O: Eight buffered digital
inputs/eight buffered digital outputs (+5 V
tolerant), CANbus, and I2C • PSU: Wide-input
DC power supply (10-30 V) • Industry-standard
EPIC form factor with easy-to-use connectors
Poseidon is a highperformance EPIC single board
computer combining a state-of-theart CPU and peripheral technology with high
accuracy data acquisition on a single board
• Low-power PC/104-Plus expandable SBC
with choice of 1.0 GHz VIA Eden ULV or
2.0 GHz VIA C7 CPUs • 400 MHz FSB with up to
512 MB DDR2 DRAM • Fully featured, including
Gigabit Ethernet, CRT, and LVDS support,
USB 2.0, 4 serial ports, and SATA/IDE • Data
acquisition features include 32 16-bit A/D
with autocalibration, 4 12-bit D/A, 24 DIO and
two counter/timers • Extremely rugged, with
soldered RAM and fanless -40 °C to +85 °C
operating temperature at 1.0 GHz
EEPD North America, Inc.
Model: P45 COM Express
RSC No: 30231
A COM Express module • Intel Core Duo processor T2500 and the Mobile
Intel 945GM Express chipset • Integrates graphic functions to support TV, analog
VGA, serial DVO interfaces, and LVDS display interfaces • Ethernet connectivity options • Six x1
PCI Express lanes • Up to 4 GB memory • High-definition AC’97 audio with S/PDIF output, line in, line out,
mic in, CD in, and headphone out • Two serial ATA interfaces, one parallel ATA interface, and eight
USB 2.0 ports • Customized and OEM versions available upon request • Lead-free design
Lanner Electronics Inc.
Model: EM-9761
RSC No: 31779
EPIC Via Luke
single board computer with VGA, LCD, Audio,
Mini PCI, USB, COM, Ethernet, and
CompactFlash • Onboard VIA Luke/Luke-lite
processor with integrated graphics controller
• Supports 2-channel 24-bit LVDS LCD
• 10/100M BASE-T Ethernet and AC’97 Audio
• Type I/II CompactFlash socket • 4 COMs/1
parallel / 4 USBs/1 IrDA • PC/104-Plus and
Mini PCI expansion slot
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 39
BitsyX • COM Express • Development Environment • EPIC
RSC No: 32005
The DEMO9S08QD4 is a demo board for the MC9S08QD4 8-bit MCU featuring
a high level of integration and 5 V support within a compact, 8-pin package
for a variety of small appliances • Application development is quick and easy with
the integrated programmer/debugger tools (USB-BDM) and software (CodeWarrior)
included • A 32-pin connector allows connecting the DEMO9S08QD4 board to an
expanded evaluation environment • MC9S08QD4 MCU, 8 PDIP Socketed • 4 kB flash • 256 bytes
RAM • 4 kB inputs • 4 GPIO, 1 input only, 1 output only • Internal Oscillator Trimmable to 0.2 percent
• 1-channel, 16-bit, timer/pulse width modulator • 2-channel, 16-bit, timer/pulse width modulator
• 4-channel, 10-bit analog to digital converter • 32 kHz, internal clock source • Low-voltage detect
with reset or interrupt • Integrated USB-BDM • BDM_PORT header for BMD cable support (not
installed) • 5 V or +3.3 V operation
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
WinSystems, Inc.
Micro/sys, Inc.
Model: EPIC/PM
RSC No: 30248
Model: Low Power EPIC SBC RSC No: 25683
Model: SBC4685
RSC No: 30134
A member of the Kontron EPIC
SBC family • Intel Pentium M 745 1.8 GHz,
2 MB L2 (Dothan) • Intel ULV Celeron M 373
1.0 GHz, 512 kB L2 (Dothan) • Intel Mobile
Celeron processor 600 MHz, 0 kB L2
• Intel 855GME/ICH4 chipset with integrated
Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine 2 x 32 MB
VRAM UMA – driving independent panel
• 2 x DDR RAM SODIMM for up to 2 GB
• 4 x COM (1 x RS-232/DSUB and 3 x RS-232
interface with 1 x RS-422/485) • 6 x USB 2.0
(4 x external, 2 x internal) • Dual 10/100BASE-T
Ethernet and 9 x GPIO • CRT and LCD/LVDS
and DVO interfaces • Motherboard-type
front with 5.1 sound, keyboard, mouse, LPT,
4 x USB, 2 x LAN, COM, VGA • PC/104 (ISA)
and PC/104-Plus (PCI) expansion • Long-life
The EPX-C3 single board
computer provides a processorand I/O-intensive solution for demanding
applications in robotics, COTS/military,
transportation, pipeline, and machine control
• AMD Geode GX500 @ 1.0 W processor
• x86-compatible, EPIC-compliant (4.5" x 6.5")
SBC • 32 to 512 MB of system PC2700DDR
SDRAM supported in a 200-pin SODIMM
socket • 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and two
USB 2.0 ports • 4X AGP, video controller with
CRT and LVDS flat-panel support • 48 bidirectional TTL digital I/O lines • Four RS-232
serial ports with FIFO, COM1, and COM2 with
optional RS-422/485/J1708 support • Two dual
Ultra DMA/100 EIDE hard drive connectors •
Bidirectional LPT port supports EPP/ECP
• Supports Windows CE, Windows XP embedded, Linux, and other x86-compatible operating
systems such as VxWorks and QNX • -40 °C to
+85 °C operating temperature range
A Celeron EPIC computer for GUI applications
• Ready-to-run Celeron/Pentium III multimedia
computer • 400, 650, or 700 MHz • Color flatpanel support; AC’97 audio interface • Quad
serial ports • Dual 10/100BASE-T Ethernet •
Dual USB • CAN bus interface • CompactFlash
connector • EPIC form factor • PC/104 and
PC/104-Plus expansion • Boots DOS, Windows
XP/CE, VxWorks, and Linux
ADLINK Technology, Inc.
Model: ETXexpress-IA533
RSC No: 25297
A Pentium or Celeron M ETX module
• Intel 915GM chipset • PCI Express/PCI/LPC
• Gigabit LAN, SATA, USB2.0 • LVDS/SDVO/
TV-out • Dual-channel DDR2-533
RSC# 40 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
40 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
AEWIN Technologies Co., Ltd.
Model: CM-6120 RSC No: 31613
An AMD Geode-based
module with SOM-ETX form
factor • Contains an AMD
Geode LX800 500 MHz processor
and AMD Geode CS5536 companion
device • One 200-pin DDR SODIMM socket
supports up to 1 GB • 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
interface • Supports CRT, TTL TFT/LVDS LCD,
and TV-out interface • AC’97 audio • 2x SATA,
1x Ultra ATA-133, 1x CompactFlash
ACCES I/O Products, Inc.
Model: NANO I/O ServerRSC No: 30354
A small embedded motherboard for industrial I/O using both ETX CPUs and PC/104
modules • Wide range of CPUs up to 1.8 GHz Pentium M • Small size – 120 mm x 125 mm
(4.72" x 4.92") • Full PC/104-Plus I/O expansion • Four rear-mounted USB 2.0 ports • VGA, PS/2 mouse
and keyboard • One RS-232 and one RS-232/422/485-selectable COM ports • 10/100 Ethernet LAN
• Flat-panel, IDE, and CompactFlash support
Ampro Computers, Inc.
Model: XTX and ETX COMs
Model: conga-E855
RSC No: 32038
Mini PCI
Evalue Technologies Inc.
Model: ECM-3711
RSC No: 31778
3.5" VIA CN700 Eden V4 1 GHz micro module • Onboard VIA Eden V4 1 GHz CPU
• VIA CN700 VT8251 chipset • One SODIMM up to 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM • 2-channel
LVDS, dual view • 5.1 channel audio • Dual Realtek RTL8111B PCIe Gigabit LAN • 1 Mini PCI,
type I/II CF • 2 SATA, 2 COM, 4 USB 2.0, 16-bit GPIO • Single power input
• Fanless operation
Model: ETXexpress-CD
RSC No: 30225
ETXexpress is the module
concept of the new open standard
COM Express by PICMG • With Intel
Core Duo processor and Intel Core Solo processor • Two serial ATA for high-speed drives,
eight USB 2.0 for fast peripherals • Up to five
PCI Express x1 lanes and PCI Express graphic
x16 lanes • GbE for high connectivity
ITOX Applied Computing
Model: G5C100-N-GRSC No: 31797
G5C100-N-G Mini-ITX motherboard with Mobile Intel 945GM Express chipset supporting
the Intel Core Duo and Solo processors, as well as the Intel Celeron M processor in
PGA479 • Optimized for the Intel Core Duo processor featuring dual core architecture • Up to 4 GB
of DDR2 533 MHz or 667 MHz dual-channel memory in two 200-pin SODIMM sockets • Dual onboard
PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller • VGA (2048 x 1536) and LVDS digital flat-panel (1600 x 1200)
interfaces featuring Intel GMA 950 graphics • Two serial ATA interfaces and one Ultra ATA 100
interface • CompactFlash Type II socket
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 41
ETX • ETX-PC/104 • ETX/XTX • Mini PCI • Mini-ITX
The conga-E855 is based on
ETX spec 2.7 and can be easily
integrated into any existing ETX design
• Intel Celeron M 600 MHz up to Intel
Pentium M 745 1.8 GHz, 2 GB memory
• Intel Celeron M 600 MHz up to Intel
Pentium M 745 1.8 GHz • Max 2 GB DDR333
• 2x EIDE • PCI, ISA, I2C • 10/100BASE-T
• 4x USB 2.0 • Floppy/LPT • 2x COM (TTL)
• Keyboard/mouse • Integrated graphics, EPI
support • CRT/LVDS 1x18/TTL/TV-out • Max
1024x768 • AC’97 Rev. • Line in, line out, mic
• ACPI 2.0 • Board controller • TPM 1.1 option
RSC No: 30219
Rugged and nonrugged ETX and XTX modules • ETX 802 is for rugged,
high-performance applications that require full notebook-style power management
• ETX 700 is a rugged, mid-performance processor module with networking and high-performance
graphics in a modular format • ETX 610 is a low-cost, low-power Geode LX 800 module with ACPI
support for nonrugged applications • XTX 800, a new form factor, is a modular, ultra-high-performance
COM that plugs into the existing ETX baseboard • XTX 820 is a small, ultra-high-performance product
for applications requiring full notebook-style power management • XTX 830 is a small, ultra-highperformance dual core processor module • A choice of CPUs ranging from 1.8 GHz Pentium M 745 to
500 MHz Geode LX 800 to CoreDuo T2500 2.0 GHz • Either ISA and PCI or PCI Express 4 x 1, PCI and
LPC (XTX 820, XTX 830) • Choice of four USB 1.1 (ETX 700), four USB 2.0 (ETX 610, ETX 802), or six
USB 2.0 (XTX 800, XTX 820, XTX 830) • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet; excellent OS support • Both rugged
and nonrugged modules available
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
ACCES I/O Products, Inc.
Model: USB-CTR-15
Diamond Systems Corporation
RSC No: 31344
USB/104 digital module provides 15 independent counter/timers • High-speed
USB 2.0 device, USB 1.1 compatible • 15 independent 16-bit counter/timers
(5 x 82C54-10) • Clock, gate, and output signals from all 15 channels buffered and
accessed via one connector • PC/104 module size (3.550" x 3.775") and mounting compatibility
• Standard configuration adapter preconfigured for event counting, frequency measurement, pulse
width measurement, or frequency generation • Removable screw terminal board for easy wiring • User
wiring adapter card provided for flexible yet easy counter concatenation/configuration • Rugged,
small-sized (4" x 4" x 1.25") steel industrial enclosure • OEM (board only) version available
Aprotek, Inc.
Model: #8XX0 Series Modems RSC No: 30221
Data/fax modems deliver performance and quality for applications that require dial-up
modem functions • Conexant chip technology assures the highest connect speeds over
varying line conditions • 8-bit PC/104 bus • Full AT command set/S registers • Caller ID • +5 V-only
operation • Four industry-standard COM ports, jumper-selectable, with IRQ 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 9 • Two-year
warranty • Lifetime customer support
General Standards Corporation
Model: PC104P-24DSI12
A highly flexible and
reconfigurable PC/104 digital
I/O module based on a Xilinx
Spartan II FPGA • Provides
64 digital I/O signals, 10 16-bit counter/
timers, and the ability to reconfigure in the
field • Uses onboard flash memory to store
FPGA code • Memory may be reprogrammed
using a JTAG interface • Initial release of
the module includes FPGA code to configure
GPIO-MM with 48 programmable-direction
digital I/O pins based on 8255 cores, eight
fixed-input signals, eight fixed-output signals,
and 10 16-bit counter/timers based on 9513
cores, supported by a 40 MHz clock • Three
pin headers provide a total of 100 I/O pins
• Onboard EEPROM provides 256 bytes of
user-accessible storage, typically used for
configuration information • Extended operating
temperature range of -40 °C to +85 °C
Diamond Systems Corporation
RSC No: 32074
12-channel 24-bit delta-sigma PC104P analog input board • 12 differential 24-bit analog
input channels • Delta-sigma converter per channel, with linear phase digital antialias
filtering • Sample rates from 2 kSps to 200 kSps per channel • 100 dB dynamic range to 100 kSps
• 93 dB SINAD • Low power consumption – 6 W typical • Only +5 Vdc required from PCI bus • Also
available on PMC, PCI, and CompactPCI
Model: Viper PXA255 SBC
Model: GPIO-MM
RSC No: 30419
RSC No: 31783
The VIPER is an ultra-low-power PC/104-compatible SBC based on the Intel 400 MHz
PXA255 XScale RISC processor • Low-profile, industry-standard PC/104 form factor • All soldered
memory for improved reliability • Battery-backed SRAM for high-speed nonvolatile storage • Available
in standard and wide operating temperature versions • Available with ready-to-run operating system
development kits • Ultra-low-power for battery operation
Model: Janus MM
RSC No: 30420
An expansion module that
incorporates dual CAN bus
interfaces and optional GPS
and/or wireless modem capability on a single board • Utilizes
only a single slot in a PC/104 stack • Enables
the creation of compact, vehicle-based
applications that can communicate on the
vehicle network, determine the vehicle’s location, and exchange information with a central
location • Applications can be found in trucks,
buses, trains, delivery vehicles, police cars,
ambulances, and fire trucks • Can be used
with a Diamond Systems Prometheus, Athena,
Hercules, Morpheus, or Poseidon CPU card or
any of the dozens of PC/104-expandable single
board computers available today in PC/104,
EBX, EPIC, or other form factors
Advanced Digital Logic, Inc.
Model: MSM800SEV
RSC No: 25331
An embedded computer board based on the new AMD processor Geode LX800 on a PC/104 board size
• Runs with a fanless AMD Geode-LX800 CPU • 500 MHz • 256 MB DDR RAM, max. 1 GB • Incorporates
USB V2.0, graphic, LAN, and the possibility of expandable functions via PC/104-Plus (ISA and PCI)
• Up to three parallel displays (VGA, DVI, LVDS) may show three similar or two different pictures
• Two serial interfaces available as V24/RS-232C • Video controller supports 240 x 320 quarter-TFT-VGA
up to high-definition resolution 1080i • Maximal 16 MB video memory is UMA shared with DDR-RAM
• 10/100BASE-T LAN-Ethernet • COM1, COM2, LPT1 • RTC and watchdog timer • AC’97 sound interface
(in and out) • Single 5 Vdc power supply • PC/104-Plus bus connector
42 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
RSC# 43 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Mesa Electronics
Octagon Systems
Model: 4C81 PC104-PCI CPU
RSC No: 31108
A low-cost, low-power ARM-based PC104-PCI CPU • Designed for networked
applications, features two 10/100base-T Ethernet interfaces and a slot for a Wi-Fi card
or other Mini PCI device • Type 3 Mini PCI for wireless/modem • Optional Spartan 3
FPGA for custom I/O • 32 MB RAM, 32 MB flash, Linux, or NetBSD
Micro Technic A-S
Model: Blackbird RTU
RSC No: 30228
A unique combination of GSM/GPRS modem and I/O signals in one basic low-power
PC (386 to Pentium) system • RTU/data-logger with GSM/GPRS modem • SMS messages,
alarms, and inquiries • TCP/IP over GPRS – always online • Control via AT commands
• Free data-logger software, EagleLog • One RS-232 port (standard COM port) • CPU available
from 386 to Pentium class • DIN rail mountable sheet metal chassis • Integrated I/O: Eight
digital inputs, opto-isolated; seven digital outputs, opto-isolated; eight isolated analog inputs,
12-bit • Wide temperature range: -20 °C to +70 °C • PC/104 architecture system • Low power
consumption, low cost
Micro/sys, Inc.
Model: SBC1491ET
RSC No: 30722
Model: SBC1586
RSC No: 15979
Ready-to-run 486/586 computer
• Small PC/104 format • DiskOnChip,
64 MB RAM • Onboard accelerated VGA
• COM1, COM2, KBD, mouse • 10BASE-T
Ethernet port • PC/104 expansion • -40 °C to
+85 °C operation available
Compact PC/104 footprint
• Low-Power Pentium, 166 or
266 MHz • Up to 256 MB SDRAM
• CompactFlash connector • Four serial
ports • One USB port • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
• PC/104 expansion
MOXA Technologies, Inc.
MOXA Technologies, Inc.
Model: CA-104 RSC No: 31784
Model: CA-132/132I RSC No: 31785
CA-104 is a 4-port RS-232 PC/104
multiport serial board that meets the
embedded PC standard • Works with PC/104
CPU boards that accept the PC/104 expansion
interface • Four RJ-45 ports and optional
DB9 or DB25 connection cables • Built-in
15 kV ESD surge protection • Jumper and
DIP switch selectable IRQ, I/O settings
• Onboard Tx, Rx LED indicators for each port
• Works perfectly with all major operating
systems • Drivers provided for all major
operating systems
PC/104, 2-port RS-422/485 multiport
serial boards • Works with PC/104 CPU boards
that accept the PC/104 expansion interface
• Two RJ-45 ports and optional DB9 or DB25
connection cables • On-chip hardware flow
control • Built-in 15 kV ESD surge protection
• Jumper and DIP switch selectable IRQ,
I/O settings • Onboard Tx, Rx LED indicators
for each port • Supports RS-485 ADDC
(Automatic Data Direction Control) intelligence • Built-in termination resistors
enabled by DIP switch
44 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Rugged computer with expandable
I/O and fanless operation • CPU: VIA Eden
ESP • COM 1: RS-232, 8-wire • Processor
speed: 733 MHz or 1.0 GHz • COM 2: RS-232
8-wire, RS-422/485 4-wire • BIOS: General software, AT compatible • LPT1: no
• Watchdog timer: 10, 60 sec • USB ports:
4, rev. 2.0 compliant; 2 internal rev. 1.1 • Boot
flash (BIOS): 512 kB • Digital I/O: 24 lines,
bit programmable • SDRAM supplied: 128, 256,
or 512 MB • Ethernet: Two 10/100BASE-T
• PCI bus: 33 MHz • PC/104 • ISA bus: 8.33 MHz
• PC/104-Plus • Front side bus: 133 MHz
• Power: 8-36 Vdc input, 2.5 A max. @ 24 V
• OS included: no • Temp. range: -40 °C to 85° C
• Embedder kits: Linus and XPe • Shock: 40 g,
3 axis • EIDE hard drive: 2 • Vibration 5 g, 3
axis • CompactFlash: 1 or 2 GB option • Size
(inches): 6" (W) x 4.2" (H) x 10.8" (D) • CRT:
1920 x 1440 • Size (mm): 152.4 x 106.68 x 274.32
• Flat-panel: LVDS • Mini PCI: 1 • Keyboard/
mouse • PS/2
Micro/sys, Inc.
Model: XMB-1
RSC No: 31692
PEAK-System Technik GmbH
Model: PCAN-ISA-PC/104
RSC No: 30247
An adapter that makes it
possible to use and operate
PC/104 cards in PCs with an ISA
slot • Can be used to operate multiple
PC/104 cards by plugging them in one above
the other • Screw terminals can be used to
tap into the various voltage supplies on the
card (±5 V, ±12 V, and GND), while four control
LEDs display the status • Contacts for the
multipoint connector on the PC/104 bus are
also fed out on the underside of the motherboard • A PCI to PC/104-Plus version available
• Two-layer motherboard with gold-plated
ISA contacts • PC voltages may be tapped via
screw terminals • LED status display • PC/104
contacts fed out on motherboard backplane
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
PEAK-System Technik GmbH
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: PCAN-PC/104 CAN
RSC No: 24818
Model: Autonomous SmartCal and Analog I/ORSC No: 30242
PC/104 CAN card • 1 or
2 channel including drivers
for Win98SE/ME/NT/2000/XP/
LINUX • LabVIEW driver, QNX
optional • Baud rate settings up to 1 Mbaud
• Two can be configured totally independently
SJA1000 CAN controller with 16 MHz clock
frequency • 82C251 CAN transceiver • CAN bus
connection via Sub-D, 9-pin (to CiA DS102-1)
• Hardware can be reset via software • Multiple PC/104 cards can be operated in parallel
(interrupt sharing) • Choice of 14 different
port addresses and eight different interrupt
addresses • Optional: electrical isolation to
500 V • The card package includes software
and sources for in-house programming
• Samples in VB, C, C++, C#, VB.NET, DELPHI
SmartCal dataModules and analog I/O • 12-bit or 16-bit resolution A/D and D/A
converters • Fast operating system and driver-independent, multirange autocalibration
by onboard DSP (< 300 bms) • 1 k/8 k FIFOs for data buffers and channel-gain table • 16/32 single-ended
or 8/16 differential inputs with programmable gains of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64 • Versatile triggering for
advanced sampling, including SyncBus for multiboard simultaneous sampling • Analog input ranges:
±5, ±10, +10 V; analog output ranges: ±5, +5, ±10, +10 V • High-speed McBSP serial port interface to
dspModules • aDIO with event and match interrupts and three 16-bit user timer/counters • Critical
analog layout and precision low-drift parts yield excellent low-noise characteristics • Windows,
Windows CE, DOS, Linux, and various RTOSs • Architecture: PC/104, PC/104-Plus, and PCI-104
• Operating temperature: -40 °C to +85 °C
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: Communications Modules
RSC No: 19361
10 Mbps and 10/100Base-T Ethernet adapters • Single- and dual-channel
boards available • Supported connections: RJ-45 twisted pair, MT-RJ fiber,
10Base-2, and AUI • Most Ethernet utility modules also support network booting for
diskless environments
PEAK-System Technik GmbH
Model: PCAN-PC/104 Power
RSC No: 24819
PC/104-compatible power
packs • PC/104 switch-mode
power pack with max. 5 A output
current at an output voltage of 5 V • Input
voltage range: 9 - 35 V (9 - 55 V for the PC/104
Power II versions) • Integrated protective
circuit in the event of defective output voltage
• Integrated, temperature-dependent PWM
output for ventilator fan hookup • Choice of
two different startup modes • Digital versions
only: software-driven power-down available,
temperature monitor and six digital inputs
RAF Electronic Hardware
Model: Male-Female Stacking
RSC No: 30218
Male-female stacking
spacers that help overcome
space limitations that may occur
when PC/104 or PC/104-Plus bus drives are
installed • Nylon or aluminum (mating screw
and hex nut available for either material)
• Length: 0.600"; diameter 3/16"; round and
hexagon profiles • 3/16" long, 4-40 male thread
on one end • 1/4" deep, 4-40 internal thread
depth • Precision manufactured for perfect fit
RSC# 45 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 45
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: cpuModules
Model: Frame Grabbers
and Video Controllers and
Video Input/Output
RSC No: 30241
RSC No: 19384
Intel Celeron, VIA Eden, AMD Geode, and Intel 486DX processors operating
from 66 MHz to 1.0 GHz • Up to 512 MB onboard, surface-mount SDRAM, real-time
clock, and watchdog timer • Power consumption as low as 4.5 W • RTD Enhanced
AMI BIOS with Fail Safe Boot, USB boot, quick boot, ACPI 1.0, APIC, and nonvolatile CMOS settings
without battery • MultiPort – BIOS selectable parallel port, floppy, 18-bit aDIO with match/event/
strobe interrupts and bit masking • SVGA display controller supporting TTL or LVDS flat panel
• BIOS-selectable USB 2.0, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, RS-232/422/485 serial, AC’97 audio, keyboard/
mouse, EIDE controller supporting UltraDMA 100 • Two-pin socket for DiskOnChip, SRAM, flash,
EPROM, or ATA/IDE Flash Disk Chip • Advanced thermal management with thermal throttling, auto fan
control, and temperature monitor for CPU and board temperature • Windows, Windows CE, DOS, Linux,
and various RTOSs • Architecture: PC/104 and PC/104-Plus • Operating temperatures: • -40 °C to +85 °C
– IDAN, HiDAN, HiDANplus • -40 °C to +85 °C – 400, 733, 1,000 MHz • -40 °C to +80 °C – 650 MHz
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: Digital I/O Controllers
RSC No: 30238
Bit or byte programmable advanced digital I/O • Digital I/O with advanced interrupts
• Pattern match interrupt and bit change interrupt • 16-bit counter/timers • Pulse width
modulator • Incremental encoder • MOSFET, opto-isolated, and relay I/O • High-voltage/
high-current I/O • Drivers and example programs • Windows, Windows CE, DOS, Linux, and
various RTOSs • Architecture: PC/104 and PC/104-Plus • Operating temperature : -40 °C to +85 °C
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: dspModules
DSP accelerators/coprocessors with RTD dspFramework SDK • 500 MHz /1 GHz
TMS320C6416 at 4000/8000 MIPS • 250/300 MHz TMS320C6202 at 2000/2400 MIPS
• 200 MHz TMS320C6713 at 1600 MIPS/1200 MFLOPS • JTAG emulator connector • All
DSP resources accessible from PCI bus • Watchdog timer • Boot from PCI or onboard flash • 32, 128, or
256 MB SDRAM • 2 MB flash • PCI-104 or PC/104-Plus compliant form factor • Rugged passive heat sink
• Operating temperature -40 °C to +85 °C
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
RSC No: 20930
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: Power Supply and UPS Modules
RSC No: 20984
Model: Wireless Telematics
RSC No: 20933
High power capacity of
30 W to 100 W • Wide input
voltage range • Reverse polarity,
transient, short circuit, and overload protection • High efficiency at full
load with models that exceed 90 percent
• Low input ripple current for enhanced
reliability • Filtered avionics power supplies
• Remote ON/OFF operation • Low output ripple
voltage • Input ranges: 8-32, 18-36, 33-72, and
16-50 Vdc • Available output voltages are
+5, -5, +12, -12, and +3.3 Vdc • Available output
power is 30 W, 50 W, 75 W, 83 W, and 100 W
• Operating temperature -40 °C to +85 °C
Siemens MC35 dual-band
900/1800 MHz GSM engine
• Siemens MC45 tri-band 900/
1800/1900 MHz GSM engine
• Triorail TRM:1 tri-band GSM-R/900/
1800 MHz engine for railway systems
• GPRS multislot class 8/class 10, mobile
station class B • 12-channel Fastrax iTrax02
GPS receiver • SMS and SMS cell broadcast
• NMEA and binary protocols • 4G Atherus
AR5004 WLAN chipset • 3.3 V and +5 V antenna
support • Up to 85.6 kbps downlink speed •
2.4, 4.8, 9.6, 14.4 kbps data rate • Output power
class 4 (2 W) GSM900, class 1 (1 W) GSM 1800
46 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Frame grabbers and video controllers
• Philips SAA7133HL video decoder with
Philips SAA6752HS MPEG encoder • Philips
SAA7146A multimedia bridge with Samsung
S5D0127 video decoder • 30 FPS video capture
with NTSC input and 25 fps with PAL/SECAM
inputs • Fully licensed hardware MPEG-2
compression • Stereo audio input and output
channels • Dual independent channels support
capture of simultaneous A/V input streams
with opto-isolated digital I/O for camera control • PCI video controller with 4 MB integrated
video memory and ISA video controller with
1.5 MB integrated video memory • TTL digital
flat panel, DVI, or analog VGA interfaces
with 1600 x 1200 maximum output resolution
• BIOS support for broad range of flat-panel
types • Windows, Windows CE, DOS, Linux,
and various RTOSs • Architecture: PC/104 and
PC/104-Plus • Operating temperature: -40 °C to
+85 °C video controllers; 0 °C to +70 °C frame
Model: Rugged Systems RSC No: 30240
and FieldPad systems and
computers with standard PC or
user-defined MIL-C-38999 I/O
connectors • Structural heat sinks and
heat pipes for fanless operation • High impactresistant milled aluminum construction using
6061 Temper-T6 alloy with clear chromate
coating • Integrated tongue and groove ORing
for environmental sealing and EMI suppression • Breather valve to equalize internal
and external pressure • 100-pin stackable
board-to-board I/O signal raceway • Quick
interchangeability using any combination of
RTD PC/104, PC/104-Plus, and PCI-104 modules
• Custom wire harnesses and customerdefined I/O connectors • Many mounting
options for customized integration • Optional
MIL-SPEC paint, shock-mount, and cooling
fins • Windows, Windows CE, DOS, Linux, and
various RTOSs • Operating temperatures:
-40 °C to +85 °C IDAN, HiDAN, and HiDANplus
systems; -20 °C to +70 °C industrial and tactical
FieldPad with panel
RSC# 47 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Signalogic, Inc.
Model: GPIO-104
RSC No: 23534
Model: SigC641x-PTMC
Analog I/O and digital I/O in a single
low-cost module • Eight 12-bit multirange
analog inputs (±10 V, ±5 V, +5 V, +10 V) • Up
to 100 kSps throughput • Self-timed or usercontrolled acquisition • Four 12-bit multirange
analog outputs (±5 V, +5 V, +10 V) • 24 digital I/O
channels using familiar 82C55 chip • Interrupts
fully support sharing and access to all PC/104
bus IRQs • Single +5 V power requirement
Model: M685R CM&PM-ATI M9
RSC No: 31776
ETX Celeron M and Pentium M
with ATI M9 graphic controller for
high graphic performances • Chipset:
Intel 855GME • DRAM: up to 1 GB DDR RAM
on SODIMM modules supporting 200, 266,
333 MHz • Graphic controller and video:
ATI M9 controller with 64 MB integrated
video DDR memory • VGA video output
• LVDS double-channel video output • USB:
4 x USB 2.0 serial ports: 2 x RS-232 full modem
(TTL signals) • Parallel: LPT bidirectional EPP
or ECP • Ethernet: Fast Ethernet 10/100BASE-T
• IDE interface: ATA-133 channels
RSC No: 31493
PMC form factor • Adds modular functionality to PCI, CompactPCI, or VME boards
• 4" x 6" • PICMG 2.15 compatible, including GbE port on PN4 • 10/100 front-panel interface
• PCI 32/33 interface directly to processors • Support for PTMC configurations 2, 3, and 5 • Scalable,
including processors and power consumption • Stand-alone capability, including boot flash EEPROM
• Flexible reprogrammable logic options
Technologic Systems
Model: TS-7300
RSC No: 31792
TS-7300 high-security Linux FPGA SBC with 1.69 seconds fast bootup to Linux
• 200 MHz ARM9 CPU with 32-128 MB SDRAM • User-programmable Altera 2C8
Cyclone II FPGA with reprogram Linux utility • 10 RS-232 serial ports (more possible if
TTL only) • 55 DIO ports (up to 35 TS-XDIO capable on FPGA) • Two 10/100 Ethernet ports, 2 USB
2.0 compatible OHCI ports (12 Mbps max) • TS-VIDCORE VGA video-out wit 8 MB dedicated video RAM
• Matrix keypad and text mode LCD support • Two SD card flash sockets • Optional Linux-supported
USB 802.11g Wi-Fi transceiver, optional battery-backed real-time clock • 1.8 W power (CPU/SDRAM full
speed, Ethernet on but unplugged, all serial ports on, and with default FPGA bitstream) • OS bootloader
starts in under half a second, 1.69 seconds boot time (to Linux shell prompt)
WinSystems, Inc.
Model: PCM-MIO RSC No: 30336
A high-density analog and digital PC/104 I/O card that operates from -40 °C to
+85 °C • Two standard configurations available: 16-bit A/D, 12-bit D/A, 48 DIO or
12-bit A/D, 12-bit D/A, 48 DIO • No adjustment potentiometers or calibration needed • Softwareprogrammable interrupt configuration • Free software drivers in C, Windows, and Linux • Conversion
speed: up to 100 kSps, throughput about 85 kSps (processor dependent) • Analog input ranges:
0-5 V, 0-10 V, ±5 V, and ±10 V • 48 bidirectional TTL-compatible DIO lines with 24 capable of event-sense
interrupt generation
Signal Forge, LLC
Model: Signal Forge 1000
RSC No: 31492
A signal generator that provides the
capabilities of a sweep generator and a
function generator • 1 GHz Frequency Range
• AC-coupled output for RF testing • Differential
and digital outputs for testing clock-based
systems such as serial interface ICs • Sine
and square wave generation • Waveform
modulations include: FM, AM, frequency
sweep, FSK, ASK, OOK, arbitrary • Small form
factor (8.5" x 5.6" x 1.5")
Model: SST Profibus PC/104
RSC No: 31782
Brad Communications SST PC/104 card connects a PC/104-based application
(PC control, HMI/OI/SCADA) to PROFIBUS DP • OPC Server, DLL driver, and diagnostic
software • Supports PROFIBUS master DP-V1 class 1 and 2, PROFIBUS master DP-V0 class 1 and 2,
PROFIBUS slave DP-V0 and FDL Layer 2 protocols • Connect a PC/104-based application to PROFIBUS
DP • 9.6 kbps to 12 Mbps supported • PC/104 cards available for other industrial networks including
DeviceNet, Control, and DH+/RIO • Other bus formats supported including PCI, CompactPCI, PCMCIA,
USB, and VME
Model: ZXE-855
RSC No: 31986
The ZXE-855 is a multipurpose full-function single board computer aimed at the high-performance embedded market, designed to deliver the rich
visual multimedia experience • Intel P4 M or Celeron M up to 2 GHz with the Intel 855 chipset • 6x USB 2.0 USB ports, 10/100 Ethernet • 2 XGA video ports • Full
passive I/O backplane • Supports Windows XP, 2000, XP Embedded, and Linux • Low profile, low noise, low power, and a fully passive backplane
48 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Model: PFM-550s
RSC No: 32076
Model: MPCX47 Onboard VIA Mark processor • Supports 18-bit TTL and 18/36-bit LVDS TFT LCD • 2 COM/
4 USB ports • 10/100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet • Supports Type I CompactFlash • PC/104-Plus
expansion bus • +5 V only operation
RSC No: 25105
Waterproof Mini PC suitable for applications in vehicles, ships, trains, and airplanes, in the outdoor area (sports, military, construction, tunneling, surveying, and alignment) for multimedia
PCs and multidisplay systems (vending desks, advertising panels, checkout systems, POS, and POI)
• 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium M 738 processor • i855GME chipset • 2,045K L2 cache • 512 MB DDR RAM
(optional 1 GB) • Two PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, and interfaces for printer, COM1, and COM2 • Stereo line in/outputs • Microphone and headphone connector • 20 GB 2.5-inch hard disk • 10/100BASE-T (RJ-45) or WLAN 802.11b/g • PC/104-Plus extension socket • CompactFlash Type II slot • Offers a series of opto-isolated input/output ports • Available with GPS and GSM option • Windows XP, QNX, and Linux • 10 Vdc to 30 Vdc • 0 °C to +50 °C standard operating temperature, -40 °C to +50 °C extended • 300 mm x 160 mm x 66 mm
Asine Ltd.
Model: ASR3104
RSC No: 31786
Rugged PC/104-Plus system • Pentium M • Full MIL-STD airborne and automotive • USB 2.0, RS-232/422/485, 1553, ARINC 429,
CAN • Fibre Channel, 1 GbE, FireWire 1394 • Windows 2000/XP/9X/CE, Linux/RT/
Embedded, VxWorks, RT kernels • Up to 180 GB removable flash disk
EMAC, Inc.
Model: PCM-3116 Dual Slot MiniPCI Module
RSC No: 22976
Model: ZXE-UFE/104P
RSC No: 31985
Model: AX12270
RSC No: 32017
A PC/104-Plus form factor CPU module with low power and fanless VIA V4 Eden CPU
• PC/104-Plus form factor • Low power and
fanless VIA V4 Eden CPU • 256 MB of onboard
DDR2 memory • USB Disk on Module • +5 V
only power input
A high-performance PC/104-Plus SBC featuring the 1.6 GHz Pentium M • Extreme Graphics 2 video: high-speed
rendering and MPEG-2 support • SODIMM
Memory Socket accommodates up to 1 GB of
DDR RAM • Onboard sound, two USB 2.0 ports,
two COM ports (one 422/485/232 configurable),
IDE interface • TVS protection, which provides
enhanced ESD resistance • CompactFlash
socket • Embedded BIOS • 400 MHz processor-side bus provides improved system throughput
VersaLogic Corp.
Model: Puma
RSC No: 30337
New low-power draw, RoHS-compliant
PC/104-Plus single board computer featuring
the AMD GX500 • High-performance video:
analog and LVDS flat-panel outputs for 18- and
24-bit displays • Network support: 10/100
Ethernet • Four USB 2.0 ports • CompactFlash
socket • Fanless operation: no moving parts
required for CPU cooling • Watchdog timer
provides hardware-level safety control for
application runaway conditions • Three COM
ports (1-RS-232, two RS-422/485) and one LPT
port with SPP and enhanced modes
Acrosser Technology
Model: AR-B1622
RSC No: 31787
Low-power PCI-104 AMD LX800 CPU with CRT/LCD, LAN, PCI-104, 4 x COM, 4 x USB (2.0) • Low-power PCI-104
500 MHz CPU • Supports 24-bit and 18-bit LVDS LCD • LCD inverter power connector • Supports 3.3 V and 5 V LCD • 4x RS-232, 4x USB 2.0, PCI-104 expansion
Western DataCom
Model: MobileCom XE
RSC No: 31777
EVDO CDMA cellular modem • PC/104-Plus design operates on Sprint, Verizon, or any cellular carriers supporting speeds of 3.1 Mbps down and 1.8 Mbps speeds up • Cisco 3200 compatible • CDMA WVDO Rev. A data throughput 1.8 Mbps to 3.1 Mbps • Power requirements 4 Vdc to 40 Vdc • Environmental operating temperature -40 °C to 85 °C
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 49
PC/104-Plus • PCI-104
VersaLogic Corp.
Model: Cheetah
RSC No: 30338
The Zendex ZXE-UFE/104P is a PC/104-Plus add-on card that provides high-speed USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 FireWire, and
10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections for any
PC/104-Plus application • Four USB 2.0 ports
• Two IEEE 1394 FireWire ports • One 10/100
Ethernet port • PCI interface (master) for fast
connectivity • Standard 0.1" headers optional
for all ports • Fully PC/104-Plus compliant
Supports two Mini PCI devices • High-performance PC/104-Plus • Compliant with PCI version 2.1 • Ideal for wireless and
wired network expansion • For use with
Linux, Window 98, XP, 2000, and CE operating
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.
Model: RTD Pentium M
iWave Systems
Technologies Pvt Ltd
RSC No: 32009
Pentium M and 1.0 GHz Celeron M processors – Pentium M internal L2 cache:
2 MB – Celeron M internal L2 cache: 512 kB • 256 or 512 MB 333 MHz surface-mount
DDR SDRAM with single-bit error correction and double bit error detection (ECC) • RTD enhanced
AMI BIOS with USB boot, quick boot, APIC, and nonvolatile storage of CMOS settings without battery
• MultiPort – BIOS selectable parallel port, floppy, 18-bit a DIO with match/event/strobe interrupts and
bit masking • BIOS-selectable USB 2.0, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, RS-232/422/485 serial, AC’97 audio,
keyboard/mouse, EIDE controller supporting UltraDMA 100 • LVDS flat-panel and analog SVGA controller with 3D accelerator and 64-bit AGP graphics accelerator • 32-pin socket for onboard ATA/IDE flash
drive • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology reduces CPU speed and core voltage when idle • ACPI
2.0 power suspend modes featuring wake from aDIO, Ethernet, power button, USB, or RTC • Advanced
thermal management enabling thermal throttling, auto fan control, and temperature monitor for CPU
and board • Windows, Windows CE, DOS, Linux, and various RTOSs • Operating temperatures: -40 °C to
+85 °C IDAN, HiDAN, HiDANplus; -40 °C to +85 °C, 1 GHz; -40 °C to +75 °C, 1.4/1.0 GHz
Model: iW-86SOC
RSC No: 31796
iW-86 SoC design
provides instruction set
compatibility to 80186
type design with multiple
peripherals fit in to a single
Spartan-3 series FPGA • Multiprotocol serial
controller equivalent to Z8530 • 8254 programmable timer • PCI Host/Master/Target controller with on-chip memory • Peripheral/Memory
bus interface • iW-86 CPU core with bus interface unit, bus arbitration unit, wait control unit,
refresh control unit • CPU on-chip peripherals
• Programmable 16-bit timer similar to 8254 •
Serial controller unit similar to 8251 • Interrupt
controller unit similar to 8259 • DMA controller
unit similar to 8237
Ardence, Inc.
RSC No: 24196
The Phar Lap ETS real-time operating system provides system designers
with the most reliable, highest performing, and easy to deploy hard real-time
development environment • Based on x86 architectures, ETS offers a comprehensive suite of tools that smoothly integrate into the well-known Microsoft
Visual Studio IDE – minimizing development and debugging time • With support for all standard
BIOS implementations and the industry’s smallest operational footprint, the Win32 API compliant
Phar Lap ETS RTOS enables developers to install, configure, and start developing within 2-4 hours
• ETS has proven itself in thousands of demanding environments, such as: multimedia streaming
solutions, ocean vessel location systems, submicron scanning systems, and RFID products • Real-time
File System: high-speed media access with FAT16 and FAT32 support • Fully Win32 compliant: no need
to use code wrappers for API mapping • Complete IA32 x86 support: 386, 486, Pentium I, II, III, 4, 4 Multicore, M, Xenon, as well as AMD CPUs • Smallest operational footprint: < 500 kB with I/O graphics and
TCP/IP • Support for all standard BIOS implementations: including ACPI compliant PIC and uniprocessor APIC • Integrated WinSock compliant real time TCP/IP stack: fully Windows independent
Agilent Technologies
Model: N4903A
RSC No: 30432
A serial bit error ratio tester
• Performs jitter-tolerance
testing, J-BERT, at rates up to 12.5 Gbps
• Provides built-in and calibrated jitter
composition for stressed eye testing of
receivers with sources for PJ, RJ, BUJ, ISI,
and sinusoidal interference • Complex serial
patterns can be analyzed, and multiple line
training sequences can be simulated • Built-in
clock data recovery • Spread-spectrum clocking • Accurate characterization evidenced by
supporting and displaying the cleanest eye
diagrams, with 20 ps transition times and
50 mV analyzer sensitivity • Supports
PCI Express, SATA, Fibre Channel, FB-DIMM,
CEI, GbE, and XFP
Saving power with suspend-to-RAM
Designers are being pressed more and more to find and implement
energy-saving solutions. Too many embedded systems spend time idling when they should be saving power by
sleeping. While some boards implement power-saving functions, without the right software, they can be difficult
to access and manage.
VersaLogic’s Puma PC/104-Plus platform with the AMD GX 500 has recently been enhanced with the addition of
General Software’s Embedded BIOS2000. Features include a very fast 85 ms POST, which minimizes boot time,
and suspend-to-RAM (ACPI S3), which manages creation of a RAM image allowing the
system to sleep, wake up, restore power to all onboard components, and resume exactly
where it left off. The Puma consumes less then 1 W of power in Suspend-to-RAM mode
– fantastic news for battery-operated and low-power applications.
sm a l l f o r m
Software, Inc.
fa c
PCI-104 • RTOS • SoC • Testing • XTX
Model: Phar Lap ETS 50 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Model: conga-X945
RSC No: 32043
Dual Core XTX embedded CPU module with
four PCI Express lanes and SATA – XTX
module with Intel Core Duo processor • The
conga-X945 features the latest Intel Core Duo
processors up to 2x 1.83 GHz with 2 MB shared
cache • It offers all XTX features including
4x x1 PCI Express lanes
RSC# 51 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Winter 2006 / 51
RSC# 52 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
OpenSystems Publishing
Advertising/Business Office
30233 Jefferson Avenue
St. Clair Shores, MI 48082
Tel: 586-415-6500 n Fax: 586-415-4882
Advertiser/Product Description
30Acces I/O Products, Inc. – Analog, Digital, Relay and
Serial I/O Products
Vice President Marketing & Sales
Patrick Hopper
[email protected]
Business Manager
Karen Layman
Sales Group
Advantech Corporation – SOM Modules
Ampro Computers, Inc. – Embedded Solutions
Aprotek, Inc. – PC/104 Modems
Arcom Control Systems, Inc. – ZEUS
Axiomtek – Embedded Small Form Factors
Diamond Systems Corporation – Poseidon EPIC SBC
DIGITAL-LOGIC AG – Microspace PC/104-Plus Family
Embedded Planet – AMCC PowerPC 405 Processor
Excalibur Systems, Inc. – Avionics Communications
GE Fanuc Automation Americas, Inc. – Embedded Systems
ICP America, Inc. – GoPC-Mobile
Jacyl Technology Inc. – PC/104 FPGA Circuit Boards
Kontron – ETXexpress Modules
LiPPERT Automationstechnik GmbH – Embedded PC’s
Micro/sys, Inc. – CPU Boards
Microbus Inc. – Elcard Wireless LAN Modules
Regional Sales
MPL AG – MIP470 PowerPC Board
MPL AG – MIP405T PowerPC Board
Jane Hayward
Regional Manager – California
[email protected]
Radian Heatsinks – EZ Snap Mounting Clips
Radicom Research, Inc. – PC/104 Modem
RAF Electronic Hardware – Electronic Hardware
28RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. – HighRel PC/PCI-104
Modules and Systems
Dennis Doyle
Senior Account Manager
[email protected]
Tom Varcie
Account Manager
[email protected]
Doug Cordier
Account Manager
[email protected]
Barbara Quinlan
Account Manager
[email protected]
Andrea Stabile
Advertising/Marketing Coordinator
[email protected]
Christine Long
E-marketing Manager
[email protected]
Phil Arndt
Regional Manager – East Coast
[email protected]
Richard Ayer
Regional Manager – West Coast
[email protected]
SCIDYNE – PC/104 Peripherals
Sealevel Systems, Inc. – PCI and PC/104 Serial Solutions
Sensoray Co., Inc. – PC/104, PC/104-Plus Solutions
Servo Halbeck GmbH – POSYS Motion Controllers
Technologic Systems – Tiny WiFi Controller
Toronto MicroElectronics, Inc. – Embedded Computer Solutions
Toronto MicroElectronics, Inc. – Peripherals/5831
Toronto MicroElectronics, Inc. – DVR301
Reprints and PDFs
Tri-M Systems Inc. – PC/104 Multitech Socket Module Carrier Board
Call the sales office: 586-415-6500
Tri-M Systems Inc. – Two-channel, Multi-protocol Adapter
VersaLogic Corp. – Embedded Applications
WDL Systems – Embedded Products Source
WinSystems, Inc. – Fanless EBX 733 MHz P3
International Sales
Stefan Baginski
European Bureau Chief
[email protected]
Dan Aronovic
Account Manager – Israel
[email protected]
Rugged SFFs ... Windows ate my
homework ... and why I won’t buy another iPod
I hate seeing good technology tossed out,
so four years ago I purchased a used IBM
233 MHz Pentium 2 MMX PC for use
as a home music server. At the time, the
machine was already surplus, so this tower
is now about 8 years old – an eternity in
PC years. In fact, the machine originally
shipped with a unique-to-IBM version of
Windows 98, but I had upgraded it to a
bare-bones version of Windows XP and
while it was sluggish, it still ran well
enough for remote desktop to manage
the disks. It’s a tank-like machine, with a
key locking case, and PCI slots and bays
Of course, the stable XP Pro on this
machine was way before Windows XP SP2,
widespread malware, zombie computers, Windows Genuine Advantage, and
monthly OS updates.
Unused for a while, I recently decided to
boot it to see if it even worked anymore.
After scrounging around for peripherals
(who uses PS/2 keyboards and mice these
days?) it booted “headless” and I could
navigate across the LAN to the 200 GB
worth of four shared drives via Network
Neighborhood. I was so excited at the
prospect of bringing these disks back
online and hearing some forgotten tunes
that I decided to play it safe and update
XP to SP2 et al before I connected it to
the Internet for good. Bad decision.
After downloading some 56 Microsoft
updates since 2004 it was clear that my
then-massive 4 GB “C” drive could no
longer hold the OS. Think about it: the
upgrade from Win98 to XP (SP1) had run
fine within some 2 GB, but the upgrades,
patches, and fixes to obtain XP SP2 – and
all the other patchware for things like
Outlook Express and Windows Media
Audio – exceeded the original OS plus
all of the applications on the disk.
54 / Winter 2006 PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Rugged SFFs: an iPod’s not a good choice
On pages 24 and 25 you’ll note our snapshot of Small Form Factor (SFF)
storage doodads. Of course, an iPod can also store stuff – in either flash
(Shuffle, Nano) or disk (Mini, G4 Photo, G5 Video) versions. And according to
the commercials, they’re pretty rugged. All offer a disk mode so you can save
regular files on the device plus music. But my year-old, just-out-of-warranty
$400 G4 Photo iPod recently died at my desk, taking all my files with it. I used
it as a backup device, taking home critical files just in case the office PC erupted
in flames some day.
But an iPod is not a “regular” disk. It has an OS, firmware, a boatload of Apple
proprietary code, and an impenetrable plastic case – so nix the idea of yanking the hard disk and using SpinRite or other recovery software. Worse, I had
failed to encrypt the files so sending the unit out for repair would expose all
our corporate files to the repair shop. Sadly, my iPod is a write-off. Word to the
wise: don’t use an iPod as a rugged SFF disk. I didn’t find it very rugged, nor
recoverable when something went terribly wrong.
Madly trying to delete unnecessary
programs during the install like a brush
firefighter with too small a shovel, I could
tell it was a losing battle. The updates
would soon exceed the disk size (couldn’t
Microsoft have figured that out before
it started downloading?). I was forced to
abort the process mid-install, for fear I
would trash the OS entirely and lose access
to the shared disks. So much for winning
the battle; clearly I was losing the war.
Of course, this isn’t Microsoft’s fault,
though some readers would rush to blame
the good folks from Redmond. In the two
and a half years since I last updated this
machine the Internet has moved – as a
recent Consumer Reports article stated –
from the Old West to more like gangland
Chicago in the Al Capone era. All these
updates and patches are required and part
of doing business on the Internet with a
PC. Even Apple has released an unprecedented number of updates to OS X this
year, so evidently the Mac isn’t a much
safer option either. (But just in case, I have
a Mac server, too.)
As I write this, I’m frantically moving
files across the LAN from the old IBM
to one of my other machines for fear the
Windows Update process will soon cripple the machine. Sure, I could remove
the disks or even reinstall Windows XP
on a bigger disk, but I’d still have a slow
CPU trying to cope with an OS in an era
it wasn’t designed for.
I think this is finally the excuse I need to
give Linux a try. I’ve been studying SUSE
and Ubuntu Linux distributions for months
and know how efficiently Linux runs on
an older, low-resource machine. As soon
as I finish emptying those disks across the
LAN, I’ll feel comfortable saying goodbye to the old Windows-based IBM, and
hello to a “new” Linux-based machine.
Like I said, I hate throwing things out.
Chris A. Ciufo
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
[email protected]
RSC# 55 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
RSC# 55 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
RSC# 56 @ www.smallformfactors.com/rsc
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF