Tiny, low-power COM leaves legacy interfaces behind

Primary target applications: Portable and battery-powered devices for industrial automation and control, Point-Of-Sale (POS), Point-Of-Information (POI), mobile health care, traffic control and automotive electronics, machine vision, communication systems (mobile servers, switches, and routers), robotics, logistics, and other mobile embedded computing applications

Sponsor: LiPPERT Embedded Computers

Year of concept release: 2008

Specification information: www.CoreExpress.com

Dimensions: 58 mm x 65 mm

Mounting: Carrier board via a 220-pin connector (see drawing)

Power input: +5 V only at 5 W max with 1.6 GHz CPU

Interfaces:

  • 5x PCI Express x1 (optionally 1x PCI Express x4 and 1x PCI Express x1)
  • 8x USB 2.0 host (alternatively 1x client)
  • 4x SATA 2.0 (alternatively 1x PATA)
  • 2x graphic ports (SDVO and LVDS)
  • 8-bit SDIO/MMC port
  • 1x Gb MAC/GLCI port for Ethernet
  • 1x SMBus
  • 1x SPI port
  • 1x CAN port for fieldbus connectivity
  • 1x HD audio port
  • 1x LPC 1.0 port

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Figure 1
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Tiny, low-power COM leaves legacy interfaces behind

By Matthias Fellhauer, LiPPERT Embedded Computers

CoreExpress is a Computer-On-Module (COM) implementation in a 58 mm x 65 mm format based on the CoreExpress specification. The module is legacy-free, meaning that it comes with digital interfaces only. Applications requiring analog signals can be implemented easily using the carrier board. Todayís advanced chipsets make the moduleís miniature size possible, and its metal cover serves as a rugged enclosure, heat sink, and EMI barrier.

The first CoreExpress model, the CoreExpress-ECO, utilizes an Intel Atom processor and related system controller hub. Models with different low-power processors will be offered in the future. The module comes with soldered memory, graphics, MPEG-2/4 support, LVDS and SDVO display ports, and HD audio. Two PCI Express lanes are available for external I/O and graphics, and eight USB 2.0 ports, IDE, an SDIO/MMC interface, SMBus, and an LPC bus allow for even further expansion.

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Figure 2
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The CoreExpress-ECO features LiPPERT Enhanced Management Technology (LEMT) based on an integrated system management controller. In addition to handling power sequencing, condition monitoring, and other management tasks, LEMT provides a protected flash area for miscellaneous user information. Modules are available in an optional -40 ∞C to +85 ∞C extended temperature range with long-term availability of seven years or more.

LiPPERT Embedded Computers and their licensees (cooperation partners) provide test procedures for interoperability testing. Although the CoreExpress license is free of charge, products that carry the CoreExpress name and/or logo must be tested and certified. This ensures interoperability not only at initial installation, but also later in the productís lifetime when add-ons or replacements are needed.