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EPIC Form-Factor Embedded-Ready Subsystem with Integrated Data Acquisition and Configurable CPU

Neptune introduces a new concept in small form-factor embedded-ready subsystems.

Neptune's CPU core consists of an ETX module mounted its bottom side, an approach that improves thermal management and increases the space for I/O functions and connections. This innovative design has enabled Neptune to integrate CPU, system I/O, industry-leading data acquisition, both 10/100Mbps and gigabit Ethernet, and a wide-input DC/DC power supply within the compact and modularly expandable EPIC single-board computer (SBC) form-factor.

Thanks to Neptune's flexible architecture, you can select from a wide range of ETX-based CPUs to meet each application's specific performance, power, and cost requirements. Available processors include Intel's Atom, Celeron, CoreDuo, and Core2Duo -- in both LV and ULV technologies. What's more, Neptune's on-board PC/104-Plus expansion socket facilitates the addition of custom or off-the-shelf ISA and PCI interfaced add-on modules, helping you satisfy your application's precise requirements.

Benefits of 6-in-1 Integration

Less Space: Smaller and thinner than a stack of PC/104 boards
Lower Cost: An integrated solution eliminates extra PCBs and connectors to lower the unit cost
Higher Reliability: Less interconnects and components, resulting in higher reliability
More Rugged: The flatter profile and reduction in connectors makes Neptune far more rugged in mobile applications
Single Vendor: Purchasing and stocking are easier with a single board
Saves Time: Assembly effort is dramatically reduced, shortening your total system integration time

System I/O Features

All models of Neptune include the following standard system I/O features:

Serial Ports

2 RS-232, 4 RS-232/422/485

USB Ports

4 USB 2.0 ports

Keyboard and Mouse

PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse; USB keyboard and mouse also supported


1 10/100Mbps port from ETX module (*)
1 gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82541) with on-board RJ-45 jack

Parallel/Floppy Port

Shared interface (defaults to parallel)


AC’97 (Mic in, Line in, Line out)

IDE Interface

1 IDE port; support 2 drives *

SATA Interface

2 SATA ports; support 1 drive each *


Socket for Type I/II device


VGA, LVDS, and TV Out *

* These features depend on ETX module.

Data Acquisition

• 32 16-bit analog inputs with 250KHz sample rate
• 4 12-bit analog outputs
• 24 digital I/O, 3.3V/5V compatible
• 8 opto-isolated digital inputs, 3-24V range
• 8 opto-isolated digital outputs, 3-24V range
• 2 counter/timers for A/D sample rate control, event counting/timing, and programmable interrupts
• Universal Driver software for C programming under Linux, Windows XP, Windows CE, and DOS

Benefits of an ETX Processor Core

• Choice of price/performance: Neptune is available with a range of CPUs, from a low-power Intel Atom N270 up to a high-performance Core2Duo, so you can obtain exactly the performance and cost required
• Protection from obsolescence: Easily switch processor modules in case of processor end of life
• Easy upgrade: ETX CPUs are interchangeable, allowing you to easily upgrade your system with minimal or no redesign
• Low Cost: ETX modules cost less than their equivalent SBC, resulting in a lower total cost for Neptune

Autocalibration for Best Measurement Accuracy

Diamond’s top-performing autocalibration circuitry lets you calibrate the analog circuits under software control at any time, maintaining best accuracy despite varying conditions. Temperature- and time-dependent measurement drift is eliminated, since the system can be calibrated as often as desired in just a few seconds, to ensure accurate readings in all environmental conditions.


• Integrates the functions of up to six PC/104 modules within the compact EPIC SBC form-factor
• ETX CPU core provides price/performance flexibility, reduces costs, and protects against product obsolescence
• Choice among Intel® Atom, Celeron, CoreDuo, or Core2Duo CPUs to match application requirements
• Fully featured: 10/100Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet, CRT and LVDS support, 4 USB, 6 serial, IDE, and SATA interfaces
• Best-in-class data acquisition featuring 32 16-bit A/D with autocalibration, 4 12-bit D/A, 24 programmable digital I/O lines, 8 optically isolated inputs, 8 optically isolated outputs, and 2 counter/timers
• Stackable PC/104-Plus expansion maximizes system flexibility
• 5V/7-28V DC-to-DC power supply eases system integration
• Selected models available with -20°C to +71°C or -40°C to +85°C operating temperature
• RoHS compliant

System Block Diagram



AMD G-T56N at 1.65GHz

-20°C to +71°C operating temperature

AMD G-T40N at 1.0GHz

-20°C to +71°C operating temperature



Supports up to 4GB DDR3 SDRAM



VGA, LVDS, LCD backlight control *

USB Ports

4 USB 2.0 ports

Serial Ports

2 RS-232 only; 4 RS-232/422/485


1 Gigabit; 1 10/100Mbps

Mass Storage

1 or 2 IDE ports; 2 SATA ports *

Keyboard / Mouse

PS/2; USB peripherals also supported


AC ’97 (line-in, line-Out, mic)

Expansion Bus

PC/104-Plus (ISA and PCI buses)


A-to-D Converter

32 16-bit inputs; 250KHz sample rate

D-to-A Converter

4 12-bit outputs

Digital I/O

24 digital I/O lines; 3.3V/5V compatible

Optoisolated DIO

8 inputs and 8 outputs; 3-24V range


2 programmable counter timers

Software Drivers

C source code for Windows and Linux


Power Input

5VDC +/-5% or 40W 8-28V DC-to-DC power supply

Power Consumption

NPT-T56N-xG: 16.1W typical
NPT-T40N-xG: 11W typical

Operating Temperature

-20ºC to +71ºC

Operating Humidity

0 ~ 90% (non-condensing)

Dimensions (L x W X H)

4.5 x 6.5 x 1.77 in. (114 x 165 x 32 mm)

Weight (with SO-DIMM module)

14.6oz (414g)



* These functions depend on specific ETX CPU module
** These CPUs are available by special order only

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