Plug & Evaluate
Kontron Embedded Modules introduces three new SBC starter kits for Windows CE-based applications. There is a choice of either EPIC-based SBCs with 400 MHz ULV Intel® Celeron® processors for full PC/104plus support, including ISA bus, or 3.5 JRex SBCs, likewise with ULV Intel Celeron or Intel® Pentium® M processors. Thanks to Windows® CE 5.0 pre-installed on the CF card, applications can be tested on the platforms immediately. The software license, RAM, power supply, and cables are included in the delivery. I/O interfaces that are not supported on-board can be obtained from Kontron via Certified I/O partners as needed. A list of certified PC/104plus and JFLEX I/O assemblies can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starter kits with Intel processors on the smallest embedded single board computers (other than original PC/104) for Windows CE 5.0 are attractive for developers of embedded systems because the license model from Microsoft® is significantly more economical that for standard operating systems. The source code (shared source) is also available and can be modified as necessary. Licensees retain ownership of their code and do not have to share it with either Microsoft or competitors.
Depending on whether PC/104 or JFLEX expansion assemblies with wireless connections to the external interface panel are required, developers can choose between the EPIC CPU board standardized by the PC/104 consortium, or the open 3.5 board JRex standard. Pentium M-based EPIC starter kits are planned for April, 2006.
EPIC/CE in detail
The passively cooled EPIC/CE with 400 MHz ULV Intel® Celeron® processor and 815/ICH4 chipset offers full PC/104(plus) support with ISA and PCI bus, and a uniform physical concept for all relevant internal and external connections. Four USB 2.0 ports, two 10/100 BaseT Ethernet interfaces, keyboard, mouse, CRT, sound, LPT, and a serial port are all accessible from the front side. There is also a CompactFlash slot on the front side. Other interfaces that can be implemented as needed are two more USB 2.0 ports, three additional COM ports, 25 GPIO interfaces, and the usual interfaces for EIDE hard drive, removable storage media, and power supply. CRT and LCD support is provided by the Intel Graphics Engine integrated into the chipset with up to 12 MB of graphics memory. DVO support and interfaces are also offered. The panel interface is also standardized by the choice of JILI. JILI is a universally functional adapter available for all standard panels off the shelf. Thus, OEMs can choose the appropriate display for the application without having to worry about the compatibility of the panel interface. Watchdog, real-time clock, LanBoot, and DarkBoot round out the feature set.
JRex-CE and JRex-PM in detail
The 3.5 JRex boards with Intel Pentium M or ULV Celeron processors also have identical interfaces always implemented in the same place: 2xUSB, LAN, CompactFlash, keyboard/mouse, VGA, and COM1. This enables system integrators and OEMs to develop systems with scalable performance, without the need to modify enclosures or connectors for different CPUs. Moreover, the JRex-PM uses the Intel 855GMe/ICH4 chipset, with 400 MHz front-side bus, the fastest IDE with UDMA-100 and USB 2.0. The DDR-RAM-DIMM slot, with room for up to 1 GB, accepts standard desktop memory modules. The Intel® Extreme Graphics 2 Engine, with up to 2x 32 MB of video RAM UMA (Dual Screen), supports DVO, LVDS, and CRT, among others. The connection of different display types is even easier with the JILI interface: JILI automatically recognizes which display is connected and independently sets all necessary video parameters. All JRex modules are delivered as plug and work in order to reduce the time to market.