congatec extends life cycle of ETX and XTX modules to at least 2019

congatec AG has extended the life cycle of their AMD processor-based ETX and XTX computer modules.

The conga-ELX, conga-ELXeco and conga-XLX modules launched in 2005 and 2007 with AMD Geode™ LX 800 500 MHz processors, 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 4 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. In cases such as these, congatec offers personal 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.

“OEMs want to use their designs as long as possible. However, the discontinuation of components and processors forces them to re-design more often than they like. We want to break this cycle. And the extraordinarily long availability of our AMD Geode LX 800 processor-based ETX and XTX modules is an important milestone in this process,” says Martin Danzer, director product management, congatec AG. “It is also a testament of a successful product policy – both at AMD and congatec, as well as for our customers, who for instance have developed highly successful control systems with the industrial grade, energy-saving 0.9 watt x86 processors.”

“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. Together, this led to an impressive number of design wins, contributing to the success and long-term availability of this platform,” said Colin Cureton director of product management and marketing, AMD Enterprise Solutions.

The long-term support until 2019 for AMD Geode LX 800 processor-based ETX and XTX computer modules is possibly record-breaking in the history of x86 processors for open standard computer-on-modules. And the modules are still competitive today. Every year, congatec continues to ship more than 20 000 computer modules with AMD Geode LX 800 processors for the embedded market.

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