PC Engines alix3d2
Why the Alix SBC?
- No VGA -- why use this when you have a console over serial or ethernet? Nobody should be hooking a monitor to a Roomba.
- USB interface
- x86 architecture -- no cross compiling! (unless your machine is 64 bit)
- Compact Flash interface -- easy to load a new OS/files and read off saved logs onto another computer
- Two mini pci slots -- necessary for extra IO and our wifi card
- Atheros chipset wifi -- added to mini pci slot, this is the best wireless we have found to use with Linux
- Low power consumption -- good for saving the Roomba battery
- Light -- also good for the Roomba
- Decently small form factor -- its no Gumstix, but hey, its not too bad
There were many reasons we went with the Alix SBC. True, laptops are easier to develop on, but they're also very heavy and power hungry. Plus, these boards can be used on anything from a Roomba to a aircraft. There larger than say a Gumstix, but you don't have to cross compile on them and you can use an Atheros based chipset for wifi. Here is a summary of our reasons for picking the Alix:
These are taken straight from the manufacturer's website.
|Part numbers||alix3d2 = 1 LAN / 2 miniPCI / LX800 / 256 MB / USB|
|Spec||• CPU: 500 MHz AMD Geode LX800
• DRAM: 256 MB DDR DRAM
• Storage: CompactFlash socket
• Power: DC jack or passive POE, min. 7V to max. 20V
• Three LEDs
• Expansion: 2 miniPCI slots, LPC bus
• Connectivity: 1 Ethernet channel (Via VT6105M 10/100)
• I/O: DB9 serial port, dual USB
• Board size: 100 x 160 mm - same as WRAP.2E
• Firmware: tinyBIOS
|Customer options||I2C bus, buzzer, RTC battery|
|Changes from ALIX.3C:||• Increase USB current limit.
• Add test points at switch pins for easier console restore.
• Populate buzzer driver circuit.
• Change J4 header to COM2.
• Add optional power in header.
• Reduce conducted EMI on DC jack.
• Add second Poscap on 3.3V rail to ruggedise for high power radios.