Ampro's New CoreModule 400 Extends Life of 486 in PC/104 Embedded Market

9/30/2002 - Ampro Computers, the inventor and leading supplier of PC/104 and EBX single board computers for non-back-plane embedded systems, announced the CoreModule 400 PC/104 single board computer, the first new 486-based PC/104 CPU in years based on a new processor from a major microprocessor supplier. The announcement means that PC/104 users can count on the availability of 486-based PC/104 systems for the next five to ten years or more. And since the new CoreModule 400 incorporates both 10/100BaseT Ethernet and high performance 2D graphics on the board, developers can economically build new products with the features and capabilities required in modern embedded systems.

"The PC/104 market has been shaken by the recent obsolescence of key 486 processors which account for the bulk of PC/104 CPU shipments", said Paul Rosenfeld, Ampro's CTO. "Thousands of embedded OEMs worldwide have been forced to re-qualify a new CPU solution, or in some cases, redesign products they expected to build unchanged for years. Embedded developers using PC/104 CPUs, particularly in the medical and military markets, depend heavily on long, well-managed product lifecycles. That's why we believe the CoreModule 400 may be the most important PC/104 development of the last five years. Using the new STPC Atlas processor from STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), the first new 486-based CPU in years, Ampro expects to be able to ship the CoreModule 400 throughout this decade and beyond."

"STMicroelectronics is committed to the embedded systems marketplace," said Colin Long, Product Marketing Director for the STPC Family at STMicroelectronics. "We recognize the value of this market, largely abandoned by other x86 architecture microprocessor and system-on chip (SoC) vendors. The need to have a dependable processor source to secure its long product lifecycles and to have high integration SoC devices to enable low-cost small form-factor solutions are the keys to success in this market. That's the reason we have put considerable resources to design, industrialize and support the STPC Atlas SoC device. Ampro's use of it in its classic PC/104 line provides further evidence of their championing the needs of all embedded developers."

Pricing and Availability
The CoreModule 400 will be priced at under $400 in single quantities, and under $300 each in moderate volumes. The CoreModule 400 is available today for evaluation and qualification with production volumes available in 60 days.

About the CoreModule 400
The CoreModule 400 PC/104 single board system is based on ST Microelectronics' STPC Atlas microprocessor running at 133 MHz. CoreModule 400 provides two RS232 serial ports, EPP/ECP parallel port, one USB UHCI port, PS/2 keyboard and mouse interfaces, floppy and Ultra/DMA 33/66 IDE disk interfaces, 10/100BaseT Ethernet interface, and a high-resolution 2D video controller with CRT and TFT flat panel interfaces. CoreModule 400 provides 64MB SODIMM DRAM on board along with a bytewide socket for a DiskOnChip 2000 bootable flash drive and Type II CompactFlash socket.

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, CoreModule, MiniModule, and Little Board are trademarks of Ampro Computers, Inc.

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