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Altair EMX SBC

EmbeddedXpress Basic SBC with Intel Atom E680T CPU; EMX and PCIe MiniCard I/O Expansion

Altair is a high performance, highly integrated small form factor single board computer in the EmbeddedXpress (EMX) Basic form factor. Altair incorporates a wealth of standard PC-style I/O plus on-board digital I/O. It accepts both EMX and PCIe MiniCard add-on I/O modules.

The SBC supports either 1GB or 2GB of DDR2 DRAM soldered on-board and provides high-resolution LVDS and VGA graphics interfaces. Additional I/O ports include SATA, USB, serial, CAN, digital I/O, and Gigabit Ethernet. Flexible system expansion is based on stackable EMX modules, and a PCIe MiniCard socket. A socket is also provided for an optional on-board USB flashdisk of up to 8GB.

Altair features an on-board PIC microcontroller that adds an extra 895 bytes of user EEPROM data storage along with additional I/O including 4 single-ended A/D inputs, 10 programmable digital I/O, 4 PWM outputs, 2 counter/timers, a software configurable watchdog timer, and a real-time clock with calendar feature.

Altair's power-efficient design leverages Intel's ultra-low-power (Queensbay) silicon platform, consisting of the Atom E680T (Tunnel Creek) processor and EG20T chipset (Topcliff). These ICs are positioned on the bottom of the board, resulting in easy and efficient heat removal via a heatspreader for wide temperature, fanless operation. Altair utilizes conduction cooling for improved ruggedness and reliability through the use of a heatspreader mounted on its bottom side, resulting in optimal thermal management and increased space for I/O functions and connectors. The four mounting holes on the bottom of the conduction cooled heatspreader are #6-32 threaded holes on 2.8" centers.

The SBC's Intel Atom E-Series CPU offers an excellent balance of performance, power consumption, and cost, making Altair an ideal choice for a wide variety of high-performance embedded computing applications. Altair is also virtualization ready, enabled by physical address extension (PAE).

Altair was designed to meet the needs of real-world applications. The SBC integrates an optimal selection of features for its size, power, and cost budgets, yielding maximum functionality and performance within a compact board. Latest generation connectivity such as SATA, Gigabit Ethernet, and PCI Express ensures long lifetime and top performance. EMX and PCIe MiniCard expandability provides access to current and future high-speed I/O.

Software Support:

Altair runs Linux, Windows Embedded Standard 7, and Windows Embedded CE. All OS drivers are shipped with the product.

The New EMX Standard

EmbeddedXpress (EMX) is a new generation, highly efficient embedded form factor designed to provide an efficient solution for PCI Express I/O expansion in a rugged, low-cost, small format. EMX is optimized for use with COM Express and QSeven based systems and is an ideal choice for providing I/O expansion in off the shelf and custom embedded systems using these and other COMs. EMX also works with single board computers in the EMX Basic and Compact form factors.

EMX SBCs come in two sizes: 95x95mm "Compact" and 95x125mm "Basic". All EMX I/O modules are in the Compact format. These sizes match the sizes of COM Express Compact and Basic modules, providing a perfect fit that enables the development of both COM Express / QSeven baseboards and single board computers in the same physical form factor.

The EMX expansion bus provides 4 lanes of PCI Express x1 connectivity along with USB, SATA, and LPC. This broad range of high speed and pin-efficient buses provides enhanced flexibility for designers of SBCs and I/O cards, allowing access to a wider range of peripheral chips and functionality, while conserving precious space on the PCB through the use of a compact, low-cost, stacking bus connector. The EMX bus also contains ample reserved pins, providing a path to future bus technologies to retain its longevity well into the future.

Key Highlights of the EMX Form Factor:

• Compact, rugged form factor offering stackable I/O expansion
• Optimized for use with COM Express and QSeven COMs
• Low-cost, small I/O connector uses less PCB area and provides more room for I/O connectors
• EMX Bus I/O Features

For more information and to obtain a copy of the EMX specification, please visit

System Block Diagram


Core System Functions


Intel Atom E680T
(1.3GHz E660T or 600MHz E620T CPUs available as special order options)

CPU Speed



1GB or 2GB soldered-on DDR2 SDRAM


EG20T controller hub



I/O Interfaces

Mass Storage

1 SATA port, supports 1 device
USB flashdisk socket supports up to 8GB


3 RS-232 ports
1 RS-232/422/485 port


4 USB 2.0 ports


1 Gigabit Ethernet port from Intel 82574IT controller


1 CAN port

General Purpose I/O

10 programmable GPIO lines

Watchdog timer



USB keyboard/mouse


LVDS LCD flat panel interface
VGA CRT interface
(DVI optional instead of VGA)


ALC262 Codec HD audio with stereo line-out, line-in & microphone


Enabled by physical address extension (PAE)

Expansion Buses

EMX Stackable I/O


PCIe MiniCard

1 socket

Physical and Mechanical

Power Input


Power Consumption


Operating Temperature

-40ºC to +85ºC (-40ºF to +185ºF)

Operating Humidity

0-90% non-condensing


4.92 x 3.74 x 1.77 in. (125 x 95 x 45 mm)


10.8oz (306.2grams) with heatspreader





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