The Zeta COM Express SBC family of ultra-small embedded computer boards combines a COM Express Mini CPU module mounted on a same-size carrier board to create a complete embedded PC. Designed in the COM Express Mini Type 10 form factor (84 x 55mm/ 3.3 x 2.2 in), Zeta provides an ultra-compact, industry-standard form factor solution.
This layered architecture offers the highest functional density for any given footprint. As a comparison, Zeta offers functionality and performance equivalent to Diamond's top-selling Aries SBC at just 40% of the size.
Zeta currently supports three processor options:
- Intel Bay Trail E3825 1.33GHz Dual Core CPU with 2GB RAM
- Apollo Lake E3940 1.6GHz quad core CPU with 4GB RAM
- Apollo Lake N4200 1.1GHz (burstable to 2.5GHz) Quad Core CPU with 8GB RAM
Zeta's small size and high feature density make it an ideal choice for mobile applications. It stands ready to meet the challenges of these environments with a wide range 6-36VDC input voltage, a -40 to +85°C operating temperature range, and fanless heat spreader cooling (heat sink options are available).
Benefits of COM-based SBCs
The use of interchangeable industry-standard CPU modules on Zeta offers two important system designer benefits:
- Performance scalability: One can design multiple applications based on a consistent hardware platform and select the CPU that best fits the price / performance / power requirements of each one. In addition, as time goes on and your application needs more horsepower to support increased functionality, you can simply upgrade to a newer CPU with minimal to no redesign effort.
- Long product life: The majority of today's x86 embedded processors offer limited lifecycles of 5-7 years, so any long-life product dependent on an x86 single-board computer (SBC) is likely to require redesign sometime during its lifecycle. Using industry-standard COMs lets you easily migrate to a new generation CPU module in the exact same form factor and containing the same feature set, with virtually no hardware or physical redesign efforts. Zeta is ideal for long-life applications such as Military, Medical, and Transportation.
Zeta provides a wide variety of on-board PC-type I/O, including:
- 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- 4 RS-232/422/485 serial ports with programmable protocol selection port-by-port and programmable 120-ohm line termination for RS-422/485
- 4 USB 2.0 ports + 1 USB 3.0 port
- VGA and LVDS display outputs
- 16-27 GPIO lines with 3.3V/5V logic level configurability
- Wide range 6-36V input power supply
A PCIe minicard socket and an expansion connector (see below) provide the ability for further I/O expansion using industry standard I/O modules.
Data Acquisition Circuit
Zeta is available in two baseboard configurations. Both configurations are available with any processor option.
- The “D” model provides 16 GPIO lines with 3.3V/5V logic compatibility and jumper-selectable pull-up/down resistors.
- The “A” model features a comprehensive data acquisition circuit providing 16 SE / 8 DI analog inputs with +/-10V, +/-5V, 0-10V, and 0-5V input ranges, 100KHz max sample rate with 2048-sample FIFO, 4 analog outputs with 0-5V and 0-2.5V ranges, 27 GPIO instead of 16, 4 32-bit counter/timers, and 4 24-bit PWMs.
All digital and analog I/O features are supported by Diamond’s industry-leading Universal Driver software, which provides a C language programming library that supports all features in an easy-to-use, high-level fashion. A graphical monitor and control program provides easy access to all the I/O features and lets you prototype your application quickly as well as debug problems. Universal Driver is available as a free download from the Diamond Systems website upon acceptance of their software license agreement.
Zeta includes an expansion connector which supports the installation of a daughterboard with additional I/O. Diamond Systems will release one standard expansion board with the following features:
- Full/half-size MiniCard socket with PCIe x1 and USB2.0 connectivity
- M.2 M-keying SSD connector for 2242 size M.2 SATA flashdisk
- HD Audio with Line In, Mic In, Line Out
- 16 Digital IO lines with configurable 3.3V/ 5V logic levels and Pull-up/down resistors
Customers of course are free to design their own daughterboards.