The Qseven[tm] consortium presented at electronica 2008 the Qseven[tm] Design Guide, the Board Support Package for the Embedded Application Software Interface (EASI) and the Qseven[tm] Reference Platform designed by MSC. The Qseven[tm] consortium, which by now has been joined by 18 leading embedded computing companies, actively supports the compact small form factor 70 mm x 70 mm for highly integrated computer-on-module.
The Design Guide is available to all interested parties. It contains detailed circuit diagrams and interface descriptions placing system designers in a position to immediately begin with the design of Qseven[tm] motherboards. The complete module specification, which provides all information for manufacturers to design modules to be mounted on these motherboards, has already been available since July. With the Qseven[tm] Reference Platform, customers as well as manufacturers can verify their module interoperability and perform compliance tests. The Embedded Application Software Interface (EASI) defined in the Qseven[tm] standard covers functions like watchdog timer, I²C bus, LCD backlight control, BIOS user storage area and temperature control.
Reference Platform, Design Guide and a well defined software application interface are important elements of a standard designed for complete openness and easy interchangeability of computer-on-modules from different vendors. To the user it guarantees the availability of a second source and helps to protect the investments into hardware and software development.
The scalable Qseven[tm] platform was specifically developed for power saving processor technologies of the new MID generation. First implementations use Intel® Atom[tm] and VIA Nano processors. Because the Qseven[tm] standard limits the system power dissipation to a maximum of 12 W, the scalable modules are ideally suited for mobile, battery-operated and fanless systems. The powerful boards require only one simple 5 V power supply thus making additional power circuits on the Qseven[tm] module unnecessary.
In order to fulfill the requirements of modern embedded applications, the Qseven[tm] specification defines fast serial interfaces such as PCI Express and SATA, but omits older legacy interfaces and analog VGA signals.
The Qseven[tm] initiative utilizes MXM connector technology. This technology has already been proven hundred thousand fold in notebooks and has been specifically designed for high transmission speeds. Since MXM only requires one connector mounted on the carrier board and not a connector pair common in other COM standards cost for the connectors is significantly reduced and modules can be manufactured in a fully automatic cost effect process.
The first Qseven[tm] embedded products will be presented by consortium member companies at electronica 2008 or two weeks later at SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2008.
The Qseven[tm] consortium
The Qseven[tm] consortium, which has been founded by congatec AG, SECO s.r.l. and MSC Vertriebs GmbH at the beginning of this year,now consists of the companies Advantech, ASEM, DAVE, Grossenbacher Systeme, Hectronic, IEI, Netio Technologies, Portwell, TQ (TQ-Systems/TQ-Components) and Transquil PC. The Qseven[tm] standard is supported by Contradata, Elektrosil, HSM Zamecki, Matrix Electronica and MCS MICRONIC Computer Systeme. The members invite all manufacturers and users of embedded computing modules to join the open Qseven[tm] consortium.
Intel and Intel Atom are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US and other countries.