Q - seven - New Solutions

The fast changing electric power systems PAC industry is developing many new applications related to the concept of the Smart Grid. The development of proprietary hardware solutions from scratch is practically impossible and definitely non-efficient. Looking at what is being done in other industries can help speed up the development process and bring new solutions to our industry. One of these areas is standardized single board computers.

The Qseven concept is an off-the-shelf, multi vendor, Single-Board-Computer that integrates all the core components of a common PC and is mounted onto an application specific carrier board. Qseven modules have a standardized form factor of 70 mm x 70 mm and have specified pinouts based on the high speed MXM system connector that has a standardized pinout regardless of the vendor. The Qseven module provides the functional requirements for an embedded application, which include, but are not limited to, graphics, sound, mass storage, network and multiple USB ports. A single ruggedized MXM connector provides the carrier board interface to carry all the I/O signals to and from the Qseven module. This MXM connector is a well known and proven high speed signal interface connector that is commonly used for high speed PCI Express graphics cards in notebooks.

Carrier board designers can utilize as little, or as many of the I/O interfaces, as deemed necessary. The carrier board can therefore provide all the interface connectors required to attach the system to the application specific peripherals. This versatility allows the designer to create a dense and optimized package, which results in a more reliable product while simplifying system integration. Most importantly, Qseven applications are scalable, which means once a product has been created there is the ability to diversify the product range through the use of different performance class Qseven modules. Simply unplug one module and replace it with another, no redesign is necessary.

Qseven offers the newest I/O technologies on this minimum size form factor. This includes serial high speed buses such as:  PCIexpress;   USB 2.0; ExpressCard,   High Definition Digital Audio;    Serial ATA;  LPC interface;   Secure Digital I/O interface;  Gigabit Ethernet;  DisplayPort, TDMS or SDVO Interface;   LVDS Display Interface. Plus additional control & power management signals.

The Qseven Specification Revision 1.11 is available for download at www.qseven-standard.org . Version 0.8 of the Design Guide is also available for download from the web site to help developers in designing custom system carrier board for Qseven™ modules. This document includes reference schematics for the external circuitry required to implement the various Qseven™ peripheral functions. It also explains how to extend the supported buses and how to add additional peripherals and expansion slots to a Qseven™ based system

The Qseven™ platform has been developed with performance and flexibility in mind while allowing various processor configurations, especially for applications that require fanless operation.

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