Extended life cycle for ETX and XTX module format

January 25, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Embedded computing and board maker congatec has announced that modules based on AMD Geode LX 800 processors, introduced in 2005 and 2007, will now be available until “at least” 2019

Congatec (Deggendorf, Germany) launched the conga-ELX, conga-ELXeco and conga-XLX modules in 2005 and 2007 with AMD Geode LX 800 500 MHz processors; they will now be supported at least until the end of 2019, extending the module availability from the usual 7 years to 12 - 14 years. This effectively doubles the standard availability of embedded x86 processor technology.

With at least four additional years of module availability, OEMs benefit from further return on investment on their PCI- and ISA bus-based individual designs, which were developed and brought to the market about 10 years ago. Retro designs for discontinued modules are also possible as the ETX specification is standardised and allows the use of processor modules from other manufacturers. congatec can provide integration support to simplify the design-in as far as possible for OEMs. Typical retro designs are found mainly in industrial control applications as well as HMI and thin clients using serial ports and/or field buses that were often connected via legacy interfaces such as the ISA bus.

When AMD launched the AMD Geode LX 800 processor in 2005, it was designed to be the highest performance-per-watt processor offered at that time for x86-based 32-bit applications. In addition, many applications were then converted to lead-free designs. congatec believes this degree of long-term support for ETX and XTX computer modules is “possibly record-breaking” in the history of x86 processors for open standard computer-on-modules: the company says it continues to ship more than 20,000 computer modules per year with AMD Geode LX 800 processors for the embedded market.

Congatec; www.congatec.com/en/products/etx / www.congatec.com/de/produkte/xtx