RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. The Colt II V156 VMEbus single-board computer (SBC) from General Micro Systems boasts a price tag below $2,000 in single quantities. According to company president Ben Sharfi, the board delivers a "price/performance and integration level" that's hard to beat.
Based on a 350-MHz AMD K6 microprocessor with MMX extensions, the V156 contains a full complement of memory, peripheral control and I/O. It has 512 kbytes of L2 cache, 256 Mbytes of 10-ns SDRAM, 512 kbytes of flash memory and 72 Mbytes of disk-on-chip flash memory, supported by M-Systems' TrueFFS hard-disk emulation software.
The board also sports an autosensing 10/100-Mbit/second Ethernet port based on Intel's 82558 Ethernet controller, a 40-Mbyte/s Fast/UltraWide SCSI interface based on the LSI Symbios 53C875 controller and dual 33-Mbyte/s Fast IDE interfaces. Its high-performance graphics engine is based on a Cirrus 5446 64-BLT graphics processor, supported by 2 Mbytes of video RAM. A PMC expansion site, two USB ports, a pair of comm ports, a floppy port and a printer port are also provided.
Sharfi praised the Intel-compatible path to embedded-computer design as "an excellent alternative to the PowerPC, particularly for 680X0/VxWorks designers who prefer a Windows development environment. PowerPC SBCs may be cheap," he said, "but development support is weak, as is the future road map." By contrast, he said, the "well-established Intel/AMD upward migration path and instant access to the familiar Windows development environment" are a plus for designers.
The Colt II consumes 28 W, "making it ideal for embedded environments with tight power constraints or thermal requirements," Sharfi said. Operating-system support is available for Windows NT 4.0, Solaris x86, QNX, VxWorks and Real/IX.
The board is available immediately, priced at $1,994. Versions are also offered with either a 266-MHz Intel Tillamook Pentium processor or a 400-MHz AMD K6.
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EETInfo No. 643