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Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX SBCs

Written by Jeff Child
Single Board Success Products based on the small-sized versions of the ITX form factor—Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX—provide system developers with complete PC-functionality and advanced graphics. These boards exemplify the idea of "single-board computer" in its purest sense. Topics Covered What's new in Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX technology? Tech Discussed Advantech's AIMB-218American Portwell's GMI-6300ASRock Industrial Computer'sIMB-V2000EMX-H310P from AvalueTechnologyAxiomtek's MANO522LP-179 from CommellCongatec's Conga-PA7AL05P from DFIIEI's tKINO-ULT6Kontron’s pITX-iMX8MMB-50050 from WIN EnterprisesITX-P-C444 from WINSYSTEMS We've moved long past the days when large slot-card based form factors were the only choices for embedded systems. Today, a complete computing solution can be designed into a small form factor embedded motherboard. Among these so-called bus-less embedded form factors are the various spinoffs of the ITX form factor, including Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX. They offer a more complete SBC approach, integrating most or all of the typical desktop PC kinds of functions. Because they are designed to operate by themselves, and not in a chassis with other boards, they are essentially today's purest form a single-board computer (SBC). Mini-ITX is a 170mm × 170mm (or 6.7" × 6.7") low-power motherboard form factor developed by VIA Technologies in 2001. A more recent variant is Thin Mini-ITX, a version of Mini-ITX that is only 22mm in height, a thinner port cluster and horizontally stacked SO-DIMM memory slots. Pico-ITX, meanwhile, is a PC motherboard form factor announced by VIA Technologies in January 2007. The Pico-ITX form factor specifications call for the board to be 100mm × 72mm (3.9" × 2.8"), 75% smaller than the Mini-ITX form factor. As the gallery of representative boards in this article shows, Mini-ITX SBCs are the dominate type over the last 12 months, though Pico-ITX boards have a solid showing. Most of the boards shown ar
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Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX SBCs

by Jeff Child time to read: 2 min