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Archive for September, 2008
Flash Memory
September 23rd, 2008
Overview

Flash memory is a type of memory or EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) that is used in your thumb drive or digital camera, specifically known as EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). It is similar to RAM in that it can write and access data much faster than a conventional spinning hard drive, but unlike RAM in that it is 100% non-volatile, and requires no energy input in order to retain its data.

Flash memory is different from other types of EEPROM in that other types can erase its content one byte at a time. Which, needless to say, makes it very slow when erasing large amounts of data. On the other hand, flash memory erases its data, not by bits, but by entire blocks, which makes it the preferred technology to use in applications that frequently require large amounts of data to be erased and rewritten. Such applications include memory sticks, portable Mp3 players or digital cameras. (more…)

Motherboard Form Factors
September 11th, 2008
Overview
Form factor sizes in mm

Click image for full size view

As technology has advanced changes in motherboard form factors have also changed to take advantage of these new technologies. Most notably,the miniaturizing of components such as the processor, and memory have paved the way to smaller form factor motherboards.

Form factors have been developed to cater to consumer demands as well as specific idustrial markets. These form factors standardize size, IO placement, ports, expansion slots, and power requirements. Having a standard motherboard form factor, allows standardization in the industry, and makes it easier for case manufacturers to make cases that can house standardized motherboards.

Listed below is a brief list of the most common motherboard form factors.

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NANO-8044 Nano-ITX Form Factor Embedded Board
September 9th, 2008
NANO-8044 Nano-ITX Form Factor Embedded Board

NANO-8044 Nano-ITX Form Factor Embedded Board

American Portwell Technology, Inc., a member of the Intel Embedded and Communications Alliance (Intel ECA), announces the new NANO-8044. This is the first embedded board utilizing the Nano-ITX form factor that is based on the Intel Atom Z510/Z530 processor and the Intel System Controller Hub US15W. At a mere 120mm x 120mm (4.72˝ x 4.72˝), the compact NANO-8044 is half the size of the standard Mini-ITX boards. This new micro-architecture benefits a range of low-power systems and handheld mobile devices in applications such as Portable POS, Medical Healthcare, Mobile Kiosk, Mobile Gaming and Digital Signage.

The NANO-8044 is specifically designed to operate at a very low power consumption (less than 10 watts at full loading) and low heat, so it can be a truly fanless configuration and battery operated. It supports 1x gigabit Ethernet, audio, 6x USB and dual display by LVDS and SDVO connector. (more…)

Riser Card Tutorial
September 6th, 2008

A basic guide to riser card functionality and use; for first time user new to bus extenders.

What is a riser card/bus extender and why would I need one?

3-slot PCI/PCI Express/PCI 2U Riser Card

3-slot PCI/PCI Express/PCI 2U Riser Card

A riser card is a right angle expansion card that is used to extend a slot for card in computer to make room to plug it in. They are most commonly used in low-profile, 1U and 2U rackmount chassis or embedded systems. Riser cards cards plug into their respective bus (they are available for PCI, PCI-X, AGP, AGP Pro, PCI Express, ISA, or other busses) and rotate the peripheral cards, that are plugged into the riser card, so that they are parallel with the motherboard. Riser cards are available in 1-slot passive risers all the way up to 3-slot passive riser cards for 2U rackmounts. For users that only have one PCI slot available on their motherboard but require more, active riser cards are available with PCI bridge chips on them to expand the PCI bus. (more…)

RS-232 Tutorial Connectors and Cabling
September 6th, 2008

Most serial ports follow a standard called the RS-232 specification. RS-232 is a sort of “do all” specification, and as such is not perfect in every situation. In fact, it’s overkill for most standard communication. However, it’s good enough to have become an industry standard.

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RAID Tutorial
September 6th, 2008

For personal computers or low end workstations single hard drives are ideal. But in many high ending business computing functions, scientific data collection, or any mission critical computing application, single hard drives are not sufficient because of their limitations, such as capacity, performance and data risk. For these types of applications they require more storage, more performance, and a lower risk of data loss with redundant backups. In order the satisfy these higher end system storage needs, we use a storage technique called RAID or Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks. (more…)

Exploring Different Xeon Sockets and CPU Heatsinks
September 5th, 2008

Currently there are three different Xeon generations active in the market, all with different CPU heatsink mounting solutions. While the heatsink mounting holes make look similar they are very different and therefore require different heatsinks. View all of our Xeon heatsinks online here.
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