San Francisco, Calif. - congatec AG has announced conga-QA6, an extended temperature range small form factor module. The conga-QA6 is based on the Qseven mobile standard and is equipped with the new Intel Atom processor E6xx Series as well as the Intel Platform Controller Hub EG20T. The new congatec-QA6 module offers processing speeds of 600 MHz, 1.0 GHz and 1.3 GHz combined with 512K L2Cache, and features up to 2 gigabytes of onboard DDR2 memory. All components of this design are specified for an industrial temperature range of -40°C to +85°C.
The Qseven standard has been specifically developed to utilize the latest low power consuming technology and to meet the demand for small form factors. It has a typical power consumption of <5 watts, is barely larger than a credit card and has integrated functions for battery and ACPI 3.0 power management. With these specifications, the conga-QA6 is optimized to enable all mobile applications.
Photo of the conga-QA6 board from IDF showfloor
Qseven is the first standard for embedded modules that defines a single software interface. This Application Programming Interface covers important functions in many professional applications such as Watchdog Timer, I²C Bus, LCD brightness control, BIOS user memory fields, and the readout of system temperatures. Qseven modules from different manufacturers can therefore be flexibly used and replaced without the need for any software or hardware changes.
The conga-QA6 features fast serial differential interfaces such as PCI Express and Serial ATA, but omits support for legacy interfaces like EIDE and PCI. In total, it supports 6x USB 2.0, 2x SATA, 1x SDIO, 3x PCIe, LPC bus, I²C bus, Gigabit Ethernet, High Definition Audio, SPI and CAN bus interfaces. The CAN bus and SPI interfaces are new additions to the Qseven standard and utilize previously unused pins.
As an option, up to 32 gigabytes of robust onboard Flash memory can be provided via the SATA interface. Cheaper memory, in the form of SD-Cards, can also be used with the flexible SDIO interface. The 8-bit data width means that faster MMC 4.0 cards with a data transfer rate of up to 52 megabytes per second can be implemented. The SDIO standard supports WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID, and others.
Random access memory (RAM) and graphics are embedded in the processor as specified by the new Intel architecture. The performance of the new embedded 3D-capable graphics engine has been improved by 50 percent, and uses a frame buffer of up to 256 megabytes. The graphics support DirectX 9.0E and OpenGL 2.0, while video applications are supported with MPEG2 and MPEG4 decoders. Graphics output is available via either a 1x24-Bit LVDS channel or an SDVO port. The conga-QA6 module uses the DisplayID VESA standard for the automatic recognition of connected flat panel displays.
All congatec boards are equipped with the congatec embedded BIOS. A board controller is also utilized and carries out part of the embedded BIOS extensions. The autonomy of x86 processors means that functions such as system monitoring, as well as the I²C bus, are faster and more reliable even when the system is in standby mode.
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