Business | February 02, 2012

ERNI Electronics enters the COM Market

ERNI Electronics announced its entry into the growth market of computer-on-modules (COM).
The portfolio comprises a family of pin-compatible ARM-based mezzanine modules, which differentiate in terms of the CPU performance (clock rate, number of cores, coprocessors) and I/Os and memory capacity. In addition, a fully equipped, adaptable baseboard is available, which can be supplied also with an optional display.

This carrier board is the development platform for the application software and, at the same time, the basis for customer-specific boards. Using four MicroSpeed signal connectors and one MicroSpeed power module, ERNI realises the new standardised interface (WHITEspeed 1.0) of the modules to the baseboard, which supports the following: Ethernet 10MB/100MB/1GB, SATA, PCIe x1/x4, Express Card, UART, USB 2.0 High Speed, CAN, I2C, SMB (system management bus), SPI, LVDS LCD display, SDVO (serial digital video out), HDA (high definition audio), SecureDigital memory card interface, GPIOs, RESET, Watchdog, PWM and optionally a camera interface.

On a credit card format (85mm x 55mm), the new mezzanine boards offer a powerful i.MX537 CPU from Freescale with an ARM Cortex-A8 core. To permit high-speed and reliable connection to the baseboard and I/Os, two-row 50-pin MicroSpeed connectors are available. The MicroSpeed connectors are characterised by the proven dual-leaf spring contact and the effective shielding. This allows high data rates (up to 10Gbps) to be transmitted reliably. This makes extremely compact, high-speed and reliable connections possible also in harsh industrial environments.

The use of MicroSpeed connectors offers decisive advantages with regard to reliability and robustness compared with alternatives using card-edge connectors or connectors with only one contact point. Thanks to the dual-leaf contacts, the MicroSpeed connectors not only offer high contact reliability but also an excellent mating tolerance.

As a CPU option for modules, ERNI Electronics initially offers an i.MX537 with ARM Cortex A8 (up to 800 MHz at -40°C to 85°C). The on-board memories include DDR3-RAM (1 to 2GB), reliable NOR flash (64 to 256MB) for the boot code, NAND flash (2 to 4GB) and I2C-EEPROM with up to 128KB for the configuration data. The CPUs also offer comprehensive power management functions.


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