MODULES: Congatec intros conga-QA Intel Atom-based compact module - Embedded.com

MODULES: Congatec intros conga-QA Intel Atom-based compact module

Munich, Germany – At Electronica here, Congatec AG introduced its conga-QA, its first computer module based on the new Qseven form factor. The module is fitted with the latest Intel Atom Z5xx range of processors and the Intel S15W system controller hub.

With a typical power consumption of < 5 Watts, mechanical dimensions which are scarcely bigger than a credit card, integrated battery management and ACPI 3.0 power management functions, the conga-QA is ideal for all mobile applications.

The new module provides fast, serial differential interfaces such as PCI Express and SATA, although it consistently avoids old “legacy” interfaces such as EIDE and PCI to ensure that future generations of CPUs and chipsets can also be used without problems.

It provides 8x USB 2.0, 1x SATA, 1x SDIO, 1x PCIe, LPC bus, IC bus as well as gigabit Ethernet and high definition audio. The new module further offers up to 4 GByte onboard flash storage as an option for robust mass storage. The flexible SDIO interface means that SD cards can also be used as easy and robust mass storage.

Thanks to the 8 bit bandwidth, MMC 4.0 cards can be used with a data transfer rate of up to 52 MByte/s. As well as storage media, cards with functions such as WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID, etc. are also available for the SDIO standard.

The conga-QA is available in two CPU variants. The economical version is based on the Atom Z510 processor with 1.1 GHz core frequency and 400 MHz front-side and memory bus. In contrast, the high-end version contains a 1.6 GHz Atom Z530 (with 533 MHz front-side and memory bus). Both versions have a 512k L2 cache and can access 512 MByte on-board DDR2 storage.

The US15W system controller hub contains the Intel' GMA500 graphics engine. The 3D-capable on-board graphics use a frame buffer of up to 256 MByte and support DirectX 9.0E and OpenGL 2.0. Video applications are accelerated by MPEG2 and MPEG4 decoding in hardware. Graphics output is either via a 1×24 bit LVDS channel or an SDVO port. The conga-QA module uses VESA standard “DisplayID” to automatically recognize any flat displays connected.

All congatec boards are equipped with the congatec embedded BIOS. They also contain a board controller, which implements some of the embedded BIOS expansions. The independence from the x86 processor means functions such as system monitoring or the I2C bus are faster and more reliable, even when the system is in standby mode.

Qseven incorporates an API (Application Programming Interface) covers functions which are important to many professional applications such as watchdog timer, I2C bus, LCD brightness control, BIOS user storage areas or monitoring system temperatures.

The conga-QA will be available in April, with volume pricing at $150 per unit. To learn more, go to www.congatec.us.

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