MEN Micro's D6 SBC Targets Rugged Communications Applications

The new D6 single board computer (SBC) from MEN Micro featuring a Pentium M or Celeron M processor and 24 PCI Express (PCIe) lanes is well suited to communication and control applications in rugged environmental conditions. With CPU frequencies up to two GHz, the 6U D6 is a 64-bit/66-MHz CompactPCI (cPCI) System Controller board.

“Compute bandwidth and I/O throughput are critically important in blade servers but we’re seeing that many system designers are just as interested in the rugged operational characteristics of the D6,” said Ernest Godsey, president of MEN Micro. “And of course, the I/O versatility and flexibility provided by the on-board field programmable gate array (FPGA) accelerates a new system’s time-to-market and reduces its design risks.”

The D6 is well suited to a wide range of telecommunications and data communications applications, including wireless base stations, routers, switches, gateways and others. In addition, it can be used in medical systems as well as transportation, aviation and defense systems.

Sixteen of the D6′s 24 PCIe lanes are devoted to the board’s two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. The eight remaining PCIe lanes are devoted to one (or two) XMC modules. As a result, the D6 can support as many as 12 Gigabit Ethernet connections without sacrificing data throughput or performance. The D6′s 7520 Intel server chipset also has two serial ATA (SATA) interfaces for high-speed connections to mass storage devices. An on-board Parallel ATA (PATA) interface is also available for a hard disk or CompactFlash storage.

Memory resources on the D6 include up to two gigabytes (GB) of Double Data Rate2 (DDR2) DRAM with error correction code (ECC) checking as well as nonvolatile FRAM and SRAM memory for applications.

I/O Versatility with Onboard FPGA
With an onboard FPGA available to the system designer, the D6 can support a wide range of application-specific I/O like graphics, serial interfaces, field buses, digital I/O and others, in addition to the typical PC-related interfaces such as USB, UARTs, GPIO and others. The graphics capability of the D6 is an example of the long term availability that has been designed into the D6. Rather than depend on a graphics chip that might soon be out of date, the D6′s graphics controller is implemented in its FPGA, which comes with a standard 2D graphics core with resolutions up to 1280 x 1024. The graphics controller can be routed to the D6′s front panel via VGA or to the rear by way of an LVDS channel.

For safety-critical applications the D6 includes an Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) for monitoring and controlling critical onboard parameters such as temperature, voltages, enclosure intrusions and others. A D6 with a Celeron M processor and a specially designed heat sink can operate over the industrial temperature range (0 to 60 degrees C).

For improved shock and vibration resistance there are no socketed components on the D6. And for added protection in humid, dusty or corrosive environments the D6 can be delivered with a conformal coating.

Pricing and Availability
The D6 is available now from MEN Micro, Inc. Pricing for the version with a 2GHz Pentium M and two XMC sites starts at $2,994 for single units. In the United States, MEN Micro products are sold through a national network of technical manufacturer’s representatives. For sales information, call 512-267-8883, send faxes to 512-267-8803 or email

About MEN Micro, Inc.
MEN designs, manufactures and sells board-level industrial real-time and embedded computer products. The flexibility inherent in MEN’s standard products allows system platforms to be custom configured for a wide range of applications. In addition, the company develops custom boards and systems for OEMs, end users and system integrators. MEN’s products include Embedded System Modules (ESM), VMEbus and CompactPCI compute platforms with Intel Pentium, Motorola 68000 or PowerPC processors, and a wide selection of M-Module or PC·MIP mezzanine I/O modules. The MEN product lines support the most widely used operating systems, including Windows NT, VxWorks, OS-9, QNX and Linux.

MEN was founded in 1982 in Nürnberg, Germany, as MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH. Today the company has subsidiaries in France, MEN Mikro Elektronik SA; the United Kingdom, MEN Micro, Ltd., and the United States, MEN Micro, Inc. A network of technical distributors services and supports the rest of the world.

Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OS-9 is a trademark of RadiSys Corporation. VxWorks is a trademark of WindRiver Corporation.