November 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

intel’s first ever configurable atom processor, that combines the intel atom e6xx series (a.k.a tunnel creek) with an altera arria ii gx fpga chip. this way intel opened up a new door to support multiple i/o skus for different applications using the power and flexibility of an fpga, which also reduces the concept to implementation time drastically.

stellarton block diagram from intel site

stellarton block diagram from intel site

intel e6xx series, which uses a 45nm high-k process to reduce power consumption,  was itself a revolutionary design for intel as they moved away from their traditional proprietary front side bus and direct media interface connection to an open pci-e to connect to the chipset. also the other new features of interest, especially for the companies in audio/video production, are the audio and video encode/decode acceleration capability, and 2d/3d graphics in the cpu (graphic media acceleration 600), as well as the memory controller which reduces the design footprint manifold.

the arria ii gx chip in stellarton seems to go as big as ep2agx65. these chips are low-cost family of altera chips using 40nm technology, and come pre-packaged with a variety of interfaces and i/o options like pci-express, ethernet, ddr3 and so on, which facilitate the use cases in the stellarton package.

kontron announced a new sbc using this new chip on a pcie/104 form factor, called msmst. the board uses an e655ct/1.3ghz which includes 2gb soldered ram. the card has pci-e connection as well as altera hsmc connection.


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