Smaller, more mobile Computer-On-Module

Primary target applications: Ultra-mobile embedded computing applications

Sponsor: Kontron

Specification release: 2007, with first products anticipated in Q2 2008

Specification information: Download specification for free at: http://emea.kontron.com/downloads/white_papers/nanoETXexpress_whitepaper.pdf

Dimensions: 55 mm x 84 mm

Mounting: Mounts on a standard COM Express carrier board

Power input: Single main power rail of nominal +12 V recommended. Optional +5 V standby power rail and +3 V battery input.

Features identified: Features with a minimum port count are mandatory, with optional support up to the maximum port count.

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Figure 1

Smaller, more mobile Computer-On-Module

By: Christine Van De Graaf, Kontron

Until now, ultra-mobile embedded applications had few options available among the standards-based platforms that could adequately meet their unique requirements. The platforms were just not small enough, lacked the right mix of integrated features, and did not provide an easy means of future migration for next-generation product revisions.

The nanoETXexpress as a COM Express-compatible Computer-On-Module (COM) remedies this situation. As introduced by Kontron at the end of 2007, nanoETXexpress modules target the desired small footprint and mix of integrated features for ultra-mobile application designers.

Key features include smart battery support, multiple PCI Express lanes and USB 2.0 ports, Serial ATA support, advanced graphics capabilities such as dual 24-bit LVDS channels, Gigabit Ethernet, onboard DRAM and flash instead of SODIMM sockets, and more. The footprint measures a mere 55 mm x 84 mm.

The first nanoETXexpress module that will come to market will be a VIA Technologies processor-based module, followed by one based on the Intel Menlow platform due for launch at the end of the first half of this year. The choice of interchangeable modules offers embedded designers the desired scalability that they could not achieve with previous full-custom solutions. The benefits of the COM concept are now fully open for advanced ultra-mobile applications.