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2 Posts authored by: AaronS_advantech

Doing More with Less

Posted by AaronS_advantech Feb 24, 2009

System integrators and embedded system developers frequently need to decide what hardware to use for their projects? Making those decisions requires a careful analysis of features, performance and costs, and how those factors relate both to the project at hand and to clients’ expectations. More is not always better, especially when it comes to embedded and mobile applications.


Since Atom processors are completely compatible with the full Intel Core™ microarchitecture instruction set, developers can use the same compilers and existing software development tools. This means faster time to market. The use of a single processor architecture can eliminate the extra training and support required for multiple processor architecture and proprietary bus systems. This means lower development cost.


Atom supports most popular embedded operating systems, with drivers available for Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE, QNX and various versions of Linux. This allows system integrators to extend their embedded designs for thermally and size-constrained applications and create new ones that were simply not possible before. Innovative embedded systems developers are creating entirely new applications for medical, retail, signage, surveillance, factory floor and many other settings, all made possible by low power systems.


Have you embraced Atom yet?

It is easy to see that small form factor solutions are the market trend of the future; they allow embedded solution providers to make their devices smaller and more portable. The new solutions successfully extend the embedded application from the office to any place that is accessible by people. In the past, small form factors were not easy to achieve because higher performance normally comes from bigger chips and higher power consumption. This really inhibited the implementation of small form factor designs.


The situation is changing now. The Intel® AtomTM platform has removed the limitations previously described and moved the demand for small form factor systems ahead. Based on Intel's 45 nm processor technology, the size of the processor is only 13 x 14 mm, just about 14\% of the size of other processors. With the Intel® System Controller Hub US15W, all functions are integrated into a single chip, including LVDS, USB, HD Audio, a PCIe interface, etc. This allows engineers to reduce the board size without sacrificing features. Apart from the improvements of chip size and functions, the Intel® AtomTM platform brings another innovation for small form-factor applications: extreme low power consumption, less than 5 watts. The result is not only a smaller board, but also a longer battery life and lower thermal output.



Advantech is providing customers with an embedded SOM solution based on the Intel® AtomTM platform; a new 95 x 95 mm form factor which saves 24\% on board size compared to original SOM solutions, with nothing sacrificed. It supports 24-bit LVDS, USB 2.0, and a PCIe interface and processor speed of over 1 GHz. It is definitely the best solution following new market trends in small form-factor applications.

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