IEI Technology Rolls Out PICOe-GM45A Half-size CPU Card

IEI Technology Corp. (IEI), a global industrial PC innovator, announced the launch of the PICOe-GM45A half-size CPU card. The PICOe-GM45A is a unique 45 nm Intel® Core[tm]2 Duo processor platform because it combines both PCI Express (PCIe) and PCI edge connectors on a half-size form factor. Half-size CPU cards are commonly used in space-restricted industrial computing applications. However, most half-size CPU cards don’t provide simultaneous support for both the PCI Express (PCIe) and PCI communication buses. Supporting only one of these communication buses restricts the expansion options available to system integrators and developers and inhibits their ability to create comprehensive systems. Previously the only solution was to either use a larger form factor CPU card (full-size) and sacrifice space or accept the design limitations and create limited systems that only supported a PCIe or PCI interface exclusively. IEI’s proprietary half-size PICOe form-factor simultaneously supports both the PCIe and PCI communication buses.

IEI Technology PICOe-GM45A Half-size CPU CardThe PICOe-GM45A is a 45 nm Intel® socket P Core[tm]2 Duo processor platform and is the latest half-size PICOe CPU card from IEI. The 45 nm Intel® Core[tm]2 Duo is a low power processor with a 6.0 MB L2 cache.

The 45 nm Intel® Core[tm]2 Duo processor on the PICOe-GM45A is interfaced to the powerful Intel® GM45 graphics and memory controller hub (GMCH) through a front side bus (FSB) with a maximum speed of 1066 MHz. Two 800 MHz 2.0 GB dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM DIMM (system max. 4.0 GB) are supported by the PICOe-GM45A, which also supports VGA displays, 18-bit or 24-bit dual-channel LVDS displays and HDTV-out in single or dual-display format.

The PICOe-GM45A also features an Intel® ICH9M input/output controller hub (ICH). Four 3.0 Gb/s SATA drives are supported with support for SATA RAID being a customized option. Two PCIe gigabit Ethernet (GbE) controllers are also interfaced to the PICOe-GM45A through two of the PCIe lanes. Dual LAN connections ensure redundant network connections can be setup and the integrity of the network links to the system preserved if one link should fail. The PICOe-GM45A also has two RS-232 serial port connectors and supports seven high-speed USB 2.0 devices. The Intel® ICH9 also supports high-definition audio and this is implemented on the PICOe-GM45A through a peripheral audio kit.

Four PCIe and four PCI lanes are interfaced from the Intel® ICH9M to edge connectors on the bottom of the PICOe-GM45A thereby facilitating PCIe and PCI expansion on the backplane. Although IEI already has a wide range of backplanes compatible with the PICOe form-factor, IEI can customize backplanes according to the application requirements of the end user.

The PICOe-GM45A half-size CPU card is an ideal platform for high I/O throughput industrial computing applications that require high-performance, flexible expansion options, low power usage and a smaller footprint. However the support for multiple display formats combined with the high-performance, low-power 45 nm Core[tm]2 Duo processor and compatibility with a wide range of motion detection cards makes the PICOe-GM45A ideal for machine vision applications. HD audio support also makes the PICOe-GM45A suitable for high-end multi-media applications where the video and audio outputs are both critical performance parameters.

IEI Technology is able to assist integrators and developers in designing their own systems from scratch. IEI has ready-made PICOe form-factor compatible backplanes and chassis. However, IEI can customize both the backplanes and chassis or develop new ones according to the specific needs of the embedded application.