Ampro's New MIPS-Based EnCore M3 Doubles PCI Performance for Embedded Systems

9/17/2002 - Ampro Computers, the inventor and leading supplier of RISC and CISC modules and single board computers for non-back-plane embedded systems, introduced the MIPS-basedTM EnCore M3 which doubles I/O performance while reducing cost compared to an earlier model. Ampro combined the 400MHz MIPS32TM Alchemy Au1500 chip from AMD, which features an integrated 32-bit, 66MHz PCI bus interface, with its standard EnCore features to provide a complete standards-based CPU subsystem on a small form-factor module. The EnCore M3 has a higher I/O throughput at a lower price compared with the EnCore M2, its predecessor.

"EnCore M3 further demonstrates Ampro's commitment to incorporate cutting edge processor technology into standards-based processor modules for embedded systems," said Joanne Williams, president and CEO of Ampro Computers, Inc. "A key benefit of EnCore-based designs is that our OEM customers can easily take advantage of new processors as well as be insulated from chipset end-of-life issues by simply swapping modules since all EnCore modules are pin compatible at the baseboard interface level."

Like all EnCore modules, the EnCore M3 relieves developers of most of the processor-development overhead in creating embedded systems. The EnCore module communicates with a custom logic board via a PCI interface and standardized I/O signals, essentially without regard to processor architecture. Ampro has already taken care of processor integration and operating system BSP development, which shortens OEM product development cycles by up to 40 weeks.

"High levels of hardware integration are crucial for network edge device manufacturers, who insist on high performance, low cost, low power dissipation, small size, and fast time-to-market," said Phil Pompa, vice president of marketing, Personal Connectivity Solutions Group, AMD. "Together, AMD's and Ampro's latest innovations address these OEM requirements by increasing I/O throughput while reducing costs for embedded systems which use PCI."

"Ampro continues to develop MIPS-based products with the outstanding performance required by next-generation systems, driving the user's experience to new levels," said Kevin Meyer, vice president of marketing, MIPS Technologies. "By using the EnCore M3 module, OEMs can fully realize the performance of the MIPS architecture while working within the realities of today's budget and time-to-market constraints."

The EnCore product family provides a choice of a highly integrated MIPS processor, PowerPC, or three Intel Architecture CPUs. Each module provides a processor along with a rich set of standardized peripherals. EnCore I/O includes Ethernet, serial, parallel, USB and sound. Also included is program storage with a choice of flash, IDE or floppy.

The EnCore M3 beta units are available now with production in sixty days. EnCore M3 is priced well under $300 in volume. Best of all, the EnCore M3 is OS-ready to run VxWorksTM and Linux. For more information, contact a local Ampro representative at 1-800-966-5200.

About the EnCore M3
The EnCore M3 is rated at 480 Dhrystone MIPS with a typical power consumption of the entire module less than 2.5 watts. The module features a 32-bit, 66MHz PCI Bus Interface. As with all EnCore modules, the EnCore M3 provides the functionality of a complete embedded CPU subsystem in a small, 100x145mm, format. It includes two 10/100 BaseT Ethernet controllers and an AC97 audio interface. It supports up to 256MB SODIMM SDRAM and provides 2MB Flash, two serial ports, two USB ports, enhanced Ultra 33/66/100 Synchronous DMA IDE interface to two drives, floppy disk controller, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, IrDA port and an ECP/EPP bidirectional parallel port.

About Ampro Computers (
Ampro Computers, Inc. is the leading global provider of modular embedded computing solutions for OEM applications. Ampro's mission is to provide time saving solutions for embedded systems designers that accelerate the product deployment process. Ampro pioneered the embedded PC industry creating the popular PC/104 and EBX standards. The new EnCore family enables designers to obtain all the benefits of an off-the-shelf CPU solution while maintaining the flexibility of a full custom design. In addition to EnCore, Ampro offers three product lines; PC/104-compatible CoreModule CPUs and MiniModule expansion products, and EBX form factor Little Board single-board computers (SBC). Ampro was awarded Electronique magazine's "Electron d'Or 2002" for subsystems for the EnCore M2 product.

AMPRO is a registered trademark and EnCore, Little Board, CoreModule and MiniModule are trademarks of Ampro Computers, Inc. AMD, the Arrow Logo, and combination, thereof, Au1500 and Alchemy are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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