Custom Motherboard Designs using Computer on Module

Mezzanine modules have existed in different guises almost as long as board level products have been in existence – PMC modules, IndustryPacks, PC/104, ETX, Com Express, Q7 to name but a few.

ETB-ITX1 – ETX Carrier / Mini-ITX Baseboard

CES-471 – COM-Express – Core 2 Duo Mobile CPU Module

The  BT700 – Qseven – Intel® Atom™ E3800 Series CPU Module

It is the reasoning behind the choice of modules that has changed over the years. The selection of PMC modules to provide say a serial interface controller, will speed up the design process because it is the only practical choice. With the advent of the advanced Computer on Module such as COM Express or Q7, the system designer can now overcome a number of issues.

For example, if he tries to design the full PC from scratch using a conventional process, a number of difficulties present themselves. First, the technology tends to be a closely guarded secret – unless you’re one of the major PC manufacturers signed up to all the latest NDA requirements and well connected with the manufacturers applications. Engineer’s data is difficult to obtain. Following closely, is component availability. Small volumes of state of the art chips can be difficult to come by and by small – I mean a few hundred pieces. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, modern PCs need a BIOS of some description with the inherent high cost of entry to get started. This needs licensing and has its own set of skills required to get is running and then maintain.

In so many applications the real requirement for a computer is the need for a motherboard design that doesn’t quite fit the standard off the shelf units.  Due to prohibitive costs of developing and supporting a truly custom design the standard item has to be shoe horned into the design for financial reasons, unless of course the project is very large and can fund the custom design.

There is however another solution, the use of a Computer on Module!  There are a number of different formats of these modules but they do conform to a standards specification and allow selection from a number of different manufacturers.  

At BVM we have developed the skills of baseboard design and can provide the customisation services of board design component procurement, manufacture and test.  By doing so, a finished carrier board can be produced to the exact shape that is required, with the compulsory interfaces and connector types needed, to fit into the product.

BVM’s skills in board design go back a long time and the processes have been honed over the last 20 years to provide a smooth process from start to finish under control of the company’s ISO9001 Quality Management System.

Call our sales team today to discuss how a custom baseboard design could enhance your next product and ensure it stays at the leading edge that much longer.

 

Fanless low power embedded box PC based on Intel Baytrail SoC 

The ASRock iBOX-210 is a self-contained small form factor (200 x 135 x 39mm) embedded PC that features a very low power consumption, fanless operation and high performance and is available with either the E3826, J1900 or N2930 22nm Intel Atom Baytrail System on Chip dual and quad core processors with up to 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz in a single slot. It also supports Linux and Windows 7 and 8 OS.

As a highly integrated Baytrail SoC, the iBOX-210 provides a powerful computing engine for applications where high resolution display or image capture is required and supports VGA or HDMI displays up to 1900 x 1220 @ 60 Hz.

Its graphics and media engine is based on the Intel Gen7 HD graphic processor, which supports graphics burst, Open GL ES 3.3 and hardware video codec acceleration of multiple media formats.

The device’s rugged construction of the aluminium body gives good protection when the unit is embedded in applications such as mobile computing, where shock and vibration are likely to be present.

Its power is supplied from an external 9 – 36 VDC supply but interestingly the body also acts as an efficient heatsink when the system is used in less mechanically demanding Point of Sale, kiosk, and automation applications.

HDD or SSD mass storage can also be added if required in the single 2.5” drive bay.

Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB3.0 and two USB2.0 ports and two serial ports are provided too, as well as two mini PCIe expansion slots, which enable additional functionality such as WiFi to be implemented.

Alternatively, one of the slots can be specified as an mSATA interface to provide an alternative storage device. 

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