Call us: +44 (0)1634 300900 | E-mail:

Diamond Point International

Diamond Systems Helix - Vortex86DX3 PC104 SBC with Integrated Data Aquisition

Dual core 1GHz CPU, up to 2GB DDR3 soldered, 5V Powered, 1x 10/100 LAN, 1 GbE LAN, miniPCI-e & USB2


Diamond System's family of Helix PC/104 single board computers (SBCs) combines mid-range CPU performance, standard PC I/O, and on-board data acquisition circuitry at a competitive price. Helix features the fanless dual core 1GHz Vortex DX3 processor from DMP, which offers excellent performance per watt efficiency and includes 1GB or 2GB of soldered DDR3 memory. Available PC I/O include 6 USB 2.0, 4 serial ports (2 RS-232/422/485 and 2 RS-232), 1 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 1 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (DAQ version only) and standard SATA port. The data acquisition circuit includes 20 16-bit analog inputs, 4 16-bit analog outputs and 27 digital I/O lines configurable as counter/timers and pulse width modulators.

The Helix embedded SBC supports stackable I/O expansion with PC/104 I/O modules and provides a PCIe MiniCard socket for additional I/O expansion. I/O modules featuring WiFi, Ethernet, analog I/O, digital I/O, and CAN are available in the PCIe MiniCard form factor, providing compact expandability without increasing the total height of the system.

Helix SBCs run Linux and Windows Embedded Standard 7. Both Linux and Windows Embedded 7 Software Development Kits are available with bootable images and drivers to get you started on your design project right out of the box.

The Helix SBC was designed with rugged/industrial applications in mind. With an operating temperature of -40°C to +85°C, soldered on-board memory, and thicker PCB, Helix is an excellent choice for vehicle and other harsh environment applications.

Integrated Data Acquisition

Helix includes a complete autocalibrating jumper-less analog and digital I/O circuit similar to Diamond Systems' top-of-the-line PC/104 analog I/O boards. It contains 16 analog inputs with 16-bit resolution and 100KHz sample rate, backed by a 2048 sample FIFO with programmable threshold. Programmable input ranges from a wide-range +/-10V down to 0-5V are provided. The analog circuitry also includes 4 D/A channels with 16-bit resolution and jumperless output range selection and simultaneous update capability. On the digital side, Helix provides 27 digital I/O lines with programmable direction, as well as eight counter/timers for A/D sample rate control, pulse counting, frequency generation, or other applications. The board also features four 24-bit pulse width modulators. The data acquisition circuit is fully supported by Diamond System's Universal Driver software for a wide range of operating systems.

Customisation/Factory Options

The following customization options are available for the Helix SBC family. Some of these options are mutually exclusive and minimum order quantities apply.

  • 2GB on-board RAM instead of 1GB D model (2GB standard on A model)
  • Additional Gigabit Ethernet port on D model
  • 1 CANbus 2.0 port
  • mSATA interface shared with PCIe MiniCard socket
  • +8-32V 50W DC/DC wide voltage power input
  • Latching connectors instead of pin headers
  • Replace configuration jumpers with 0 ohm resistors
  • Conformal coating
  • Custom BIOS & custom FPGA code

Helix Cable Kit

The Helix cable kit includes cables for Helix input and output. Many cables are also available individually.

Helix cable kit

  • 1 1x 6980511 Battery cable
  • 2 1x 6980512 Power input cabl
  • 3 2x 6980515 Digital I/O and Analog I/O cables 
  • 4 2x 6981075 Serial cable 
  • 5 1x 6981076 Audio cable 
  • 6 1x 6981080 Gigabit Ethernet cable 
  • 7 2x 6981082 USB 2.0 cable 
  • 8 1x 6981083 PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse cable 
  • 9 1x 6981084 VGA cable 
  • 10 1x 6981161 10/100Base-T Ethernet cable 
  • 11 1x 6981169 Utility cable 
  • 12 1x 6989101 SATA cable

Transition Cables or PC-Style Connectors

All I/O on Helix is made available on 2mm pitch pin headers for use with low-cost cables.



CPU Spec1GHz dual core DMP Vortex86DX3 with floating point unit support (X86 instruction set)
512KB L2 Cache
Passive cooled with heatsink (i.e. no fan)
CPU performance is comparable to a 1.6GHz single core Atom and 2 to 3 times than of the AMD LX800 CPU
MemoryUp to 2GB of on-board 64-bit DDR3 SDRAM, soldered
• 2GB standard on DAQ version (ends in GA)
• 1GB standard on non-DAQ version (ends in GD)
• 2GB factory option on non-DAQ version (ends in GD)
GraphicsGPU integrated in CPU
24-bit LVDS LCD and VGA CRT
• LVDS: 1920 x 1080 maximum
• VGA: 1920 x 1080 maximum
• 1280 x 1024 maximum in dual display mode
Network1 10/100Base-T Ethernet ports
1 Gigabit Ethernet port (A model only)
Storage1 SATA 1.5Gbps port for external hard drive or SATA DOM
Includes pin 7 SATA DOM power support (requires compatible SATA DOM, removes need for power cable)
USB6 USB 2.0 ports (A version)
3 USB 2.0 ports (D version)
Serial2 RS-232/422/485 ports
2 RS-232 ports
AudioHD audio ALC892 CODEC with stero line out, line in and microphone
OtherPS/2 Keyboard / Mouse
Watchdog Timer: Programmable watchdog timer 0-255 seconds
OptionsFactory options (NRE/MOQ apply):
• 1 CANBus 2.0 port
• mSATA interface shared with PCIe MiniCard socket
• +8V to 34V 50W DC/DC wide voltage power input
• Latching connectors instead of pin headers
• Replacement of all configuration jumpers with zero ohm resistors
• Conformal coating
• Custom BIOS and custom FPGA code

Analog Inputs

Number Of Outputs16
Resolution16 bits
Range±10V, ±5V, 0-10V, 0-5V programmable
Max Sample Rate100KHz maximum
Input Impedance10^13 ohms
On-board FIFO2048 samples, programmable threshold
CalibrationCalibrated at factory

Analog Outputs

Number Of Outputs4
Resolution16-bit resolution
Range0-5V, 0-2.5V programmable

Digital I/O/Counter/Timers

I/Os27 lines independently programmable
2x 8 bit ports, 11x 1-bit ports
Counter/Timer(s)Eight 32-bit counter/timers
OtherPWM: 4 24-bit pulse width modulators


ExpansionStandard 16 bit PC/104 (ISA) interface
1x PCIe MiniCard socket (without SIM card support)
ElectricalPower Input: +5VDC +/-5%
Power Consumption: 5.9W
Mechanical4.0" x 4.0" (101.5mm x 101.5mm)
Conformal CoatingOn request
SoftwareLinux 2.6 and 3.2
Windows Embedded Standard 7
Contact us for others
APIUniversal Driver 7.0
TemperatureTemperature range (operation): -40 to +85°C (-40 to +185°C)
Temperature range (storage): -40 to +85°C (-40 to +185°C)
Humidity0-90% non-condensing
Weight2.5 oz / 70.8g with heatsink
VibrationMIL-STD-202G compatible
ShockMIL-STD-202G compatible
Warranty1 Year

Ordering Details

Helix SBC, 1GHz Vortex 86DX3 CPU, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, analog I/O, digital I/O, 1 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 6 USB 2.0, extended temperature

Helix SBC, 1GHz Vortex 86DX3 CPU, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, digital I/O, 1 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 3 USB 2.0, extended temperature

Helix SBC, 1GHz Vortex 86DX3 CPU, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, digital I/O, 1 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 3 USB 2.0, extended temperature (minimum order quantities apply)
AccessoriesCK-HLX-01 Helix Cable Kit for most on board I/O

DK-HLXA-WE7 Helix Development Kit with HLX1000-1GA SBC, cables, and Windows Embedded 7 OS
DK-HLXA-LNX Helix Development Kit with HLX1000-1GA SBC, cables, and Linux OS
DK-HLXD-WE7 Helix Development Kit with HLX1000-1GD SBC, cables, and Windows Embedded 7 OS
DK-HLXD-LNX Helix Development Kit with HLX1000-1GD SBC, cables, and Linux OS

SDK-HLX-WE7 Helix Windows Embedded 7 Software Development Kit
SDK-HLX-LNX Helix Linux Software Development Kit

PS-5C-04 5V DC output, AV Input Power Supply
CustomisationNeed storage and/or I/O cards added? Need an operating system or your own software image loaded? We can help with that. We have a team of qualified and experienced engineers who can quickly accomplish this. Please contact us for further details.

Need storage - try Innodisk SSD