DIGITAL-LOGIC Introduces New smartCoreP5/P3-CPU Based Board

3/3/2003 - The Swiss company DIGITAL-LOGIC AG has succeeded, on the basis of its many years of experience in the design of single board computers (SBC) and customer-specific boards, in developing an advanced and highly efficient hardware platform for system integrators. These embedded computer specialists have integrated all the relevant periphery units, plug-in connectors and a long-range power supply on a single board having a footprint of only 200mm x 110mm and, in doing so, have created a platform that leads to a significant reduction in the time-to-market, costs, and error rates. The board marketed under the name MAS2 (MICROSPACE Application Solutions) uses a high-speed smartCoreP5/P3-CPU (up to 700 MHz) and is available in two versions: MAS2M (mobile) and MAS2S (system).

The MAS2M board is predestined for battery-operated portable computers such as WEB pads, tablet PCs, notebooks, etc. and convinces with many features that are significantly important in mobile applications. This includes an 18-bit LVDS connection for LCDs, a smartBattery charge regulator for NiMH and LiION batteries, plus two USB (universal serial bus) ports. In addition, the board incorporates COM and printer ports, a PC card slot, an IrDA interface, a 5-key mouse emulation and controllers for an 8x16 key matrix and a touchscreen. To set up a wireless data connection with the Internet, for example, it is possible to equip the board with a GSM/GPRS tri-band module (900, 1800 and 1900 MHz). The board also features a docking port. To realise a mobile PC application, manufacturers of tablet PCs merely require a case, an LCD, a hard disk and a battery.

The MAS2S version is the ideal solution for stationary computer systems. It features a CompactFlash (Type II) and a 16/32-bit PC card (one Type III or two Type II) slot, a TV input/output (NTSC/PAL) and one to three 100/10Base T-LAN interfaces. The board also incorporates universal ports such as four COM, one printer, two USB and two firewire ports in addition to a 36-bit LCD connection. A GSM/GPRS module can also be integrated as an optional feature. Four digital inputs/outputs are available for controlling shop tills or similar devices. To set up a complete system, the integrator merely requires a hard disk, CD, case and an AC mains power supply. Apart from the hard disk connecting cable, no further wiring is necessary, as all the connectors and holders are practically arranged on the edge of the PCB.

Both MAS2 versions incorporate extensive memory facilities such as the 256 KB L2 cache and a large RAM, which can be extended with SODIMM components from 32 MB to a maximum of 256 MB SDRAM. The boards are equipped with an SMI721 graphics controller with 4 MB video RAM and support resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024 pixels with 256 colours. Further technical features include a watchdog, an integrated RTC battery (3.6V/400mA), EEPROM support up to 1k, a PC/104 expansion bus and the ESS1988 PCI audio function.

These state-of-the-art boards run under operating systems such as Windows 98/ME/2000/CE/XP/NT4, QNX and Linux and stand out thanks to their advanced power management functions such as suspend-to-disk, APM, ACPI and resume. In addition, they offer the advantage that they can be booted via hard disk, floppy disk, CompactFlash and via the USB port both from CD and floppy disk. The MAS2 boards operate in the standard temperature range of 25C to +60C. They are also available in the extended temperature range of 40C to +85C upon request. An MTBF (mean time between failure) value of over 200,000 hours confirms the high level of reliability and longevity of these boards.

With these new MAS2 boards, DIGITAL-LOGIC is further extending its proven MICROSPACE application solutions line. As such, this line is now available with CPU performances of 166 to 266 and 300 to 700 MHz. The basis for this is provided by the smartCore concept, which permits the problem-free implementation of low-power Pentium or low-power Pentium III modules. The key advantages of these hardware platforms is that they enable manufacturers of industrial PCs to deploy advanced hardware that is optimised in terms of its costs, compact design, power consumption, performance and reliability.

Luterbach/Switzerland-based DIGITAL-LOGIC, one of the worlds leading companies in the embedded computer market, was established in 1992 and is involved in the development, manufacture and international marketing of highly-integrated embedded PCs. The group has subsidiaries in Germany and France, and currently employs around 100 specialist staff world-wide. DIGITAL-LOGIC has received many awards and knows how to be at the cutting edge of technology with innovative, reliable products and realises economical PC solutions for demanding applications. The ISO9001 certified company develops miniature computer systems based on the Intel architecture with x86 and Pentium processor performance. The product range comprises the standard products with embedded computer modules (smartModules) and boards (PC/104, EBX, Slot-PC), as well as customised embedded computers and MICROSPACE computer systems.

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