Developing Intel® EP80579 Integrated Processor-Based Embedded SBC

By IEI Technology

System-on-Chips (SoC) are the future engines of industrial embedded computing platforms where both single-board computer (SBC) sizes and speed-to-market are critical for industrial PC system developers and integrators. The SoC integrates an entire system, including both the processor and the chipsets, onto a single chip. The integration of the entire system on a single chip reduces both the overall SBC development time and the footprint of the embedded SBC on which the SoC is installed.

A smaller footprint enables industrial PC system developers and integrators to create systems for applications in space-restricted environments. The reduced board development time helps system developers increase their speed-to-market and can help them gain an important product lead-time, a critical strategic imperative for all technology companies.

Intel’s latest Intel® EP80579 Integrated Processor (Intel® EP80579) SoC is a powerful embedded PC processing engine. The Intel® EP80579 SoC architecture is based on the Intel® Pentium® M processor ensuring high-frequency clock cycles. The Intel® EP80579 also supports the latest PCI Express (PCIe) communications bus ensuring fast data transmission between system components. Additionally, the Intel® EP80579 incorporates three gigabit Ethernet (GbE) MAC and two controller area network (CAN). The Intel® EP80579 also has 37 general purpose input/output ports and comes with two UART controllers for serial communication.

The implementation of IA-32 on the Intel® EP80579 SoC combined with the features listed above makes embedded systems suitable for integration into a wide-range of industrial devices. Potential application markets include industrial automation and embedded systems, IP telephony applications, small and medium business (SMB) security gateways, storage applications and aerospace systems. To fully leverage the performance advantages offered by the SoC processor, advanced customized SBC need to be developed for target applications.

IEI Technology Corp. (IEI), a leading industrial PC and systems developer, has already developed an EPIC form-factor Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor-based SBC that leverages many of the features on the SoC processor. Some features include support for PCIe x4 and PCIe x1 lanes, support for one 2.0 GB DDR2 200-pin SO-DIMM and the implementation of two of the GbE MAC with one left in reserve. The EPIC SBC from IEI also supports one SATA drive, one CompactFlash® card and one Mini-PCIe expansion device.

Although IEI’s EPIC platform is a flexible and robust system, integrators may want to add and remove features from the board to match specific application needs and sizes. IEI has a worldclass R&D design team able to rapidly develop embedded Intel EP80579 SoC-based systems leveraging as many or as few of the Intel EP80579 SoC features as required on any SBC form-factor according to OEM specifications. The OEM systems are designed in full partnership with the OEM and their needs and concerns are always carefully considered. Developing the SoC platforms in this way ensures the OEM gets the system they want with the functions they need on the desired form-factor.

When the Intel® EP80579 SoC was launched, IEI CEO Teddy Kuo said, “IEI is excited to be [part of the Intel® ecosystem]”. The Intel® EP80579 SoC enables us to develop powerful, high-performance SBC with smaller footprints. IEI is already developing an EPIC form-factor Intel® EP80579 Integrated Processor-based SBC and can easily scale the design of these systems according to the specific requirements of our clients. The Intel EP80579 SoC is an exciting product that we expect will have a significant impact on the next generation of industrial platforms.”


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