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Single board computer

SBC with high feature density

Diamond Systems has unveiled its rugged Helix PC/104 single board computer based on the DMP Vortex 86DX3 system-on-chip processor. The SBC is targeted for low price, low performance applications.

Helix supports stackable I/O expansion with PC/104 I/O modules (Photo: Diamond Systems)

Diamond Systems’ Helix SBC (single board computer) has low to mid-range CPU performance, more than double that of the AMD LX800. It is a low cost SBC offering high feature density and providing optional integrated data acquisition circuitry, PCIe Mini Card I/O expansion, and rugged construction. With a processor lifetime of ten years or more, Helix is suitable for applications needing a stable, low cost SBC platform with many years of availability.

Two Helix models are available off-the-shelf; one aimed at low-cost basic applications and the other targeting data acquisition applications. The data acquisition model expands on the features of the basic model by adding a data acquisition circuit as well as other I/Os. A variety of customization options are also available, allowing customers to match the specific needs of their application with on-board features of the SBC.

Using an expanded PC/104 form factor measuring 102 mm x 102 mm, the SBC’s rectangular shape provides more coastline for I/O connectors, enabling a high level of feature integration onto a single board its size. In this form factor, the SBC includes a range of system I/Os plus optional on-board data acquisition, meeting many connectivity requirements in a single board.

The SBCs combine the 1 GHz DMP Vortex 86DX3 dual core SoC (system-on-chip) with a range of PC I/Os and on-board data acquisition circuitry. VGA and LVDS displays are supported and the available PC I/Os include up to 6 USB 2.0 ports, 2 EIA-232/422/485 and 2 EIA-232 ports, 1 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet port, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, and 1 SATA port that supports both on-board SATA DOM and off-board SATA devices.

The optional integrated data acquisition circuitry includes 16 16-bit A/D channels with 100 KHz sample rate, 4 16-bit D/A channels with voltage outputs, and 11 additional programmable digital I/O lines for a total of 27 lines, all supported by the company’s data acquisition programming library. An interactive graphical control panel for Windows and Linux is provided to control data acquisition features.

Helix SBCs are customizable – customization options include: 1 CAN port, 2 GiB on-board RAM instead of 1 GiB on D model, an mSATA interface shared with the PCIe Mini Card socket. The computers support stackable I/O expansion with PC/104 (ISA) I/O modules and also provide a PCIe Mini Card socket for additional I/O expansion. PCIe Mini Card I/O modules featuring CAN, WiFi, Ethernet, analog I/O, and digital I/O, are available from Diamond Systems and other vendors, enabling expandability without increasing the total height of the system.

The SBC was designed with rugged applications in mind. With an operating temperature of -40 °C to +85 °C and memory soldered on board, it is a suitable choice for rugged applications including industrial, medical, on-vehicle, and military.


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Diamond Systems