Commell's P4 Mini-ITX board

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ABOUT COMMELL

Commell Systems Corporation describe themselves as...

"a major in the industrial PC-based computing platform and solution to support the industrial PC market much more professionally, closely, directly and actively... [and] will continue do our best to offer the industrial PC-based solution to the market and the world."

It is notable that Commell have 5 categories of Single Board Computers, of which "Mini-ITX EmbATX Platform" is just one. In total, Commell offers over 30 models of "single-board computers." So it is clear that Commell is no stranger to the concept of all-in-one motherboards.

Commell has 6 interesting lines of products in their Mini-ITX EmbATX Platform page, 5 of which are M-ITX:

LV-670M - P4-M Mini-ITX, subject of the this review

LV-670 - P4 Mini-ITX, subject of the this review

P4BGA - Mini-FlexATX P4-478 DDR, (170 x 245 mm size) Intel 845G/GE/PE and ICH4 Chipset

LV-603 - 370 Tualatin - P3 / Celeron & VIA C3 CPU support, Mini-ITX form factor (170 x 170 mm), Intel 815E / ICH2 Chipset, SDRAM, Built-in 128-bit VGA

LV-602 - Similar to LV-603, based on VIA/S3 PL133T Chipset + 8604T & 686B, Savage 32MB video memory

LV-660 - VIA Eden/C3 533MHz Mini-ITX board

LV-670M DETAILS

Commell offers a fair amount of technical information on their web site. The LV-670/670M Manual in PDF format is an obvious source of technical details, drawings, architecture block diagrams and setup information. This support page has all the documents relating to the LV670 boards.

COMMELL LV-670M SPECIFICATIONS

Form Factor

Mini-FlexATX / Mini-ITX form factor at 170 x 170 mm

CPU

Micro-FCPGA Mobile Intel Pentium 4 / Celeron CPU

up to 2.5 GHz @ 400 MHz FSB

On-die 512KBytes Full-Speed Level 2 (L2) cache

Support Intel NetBurst Microarchitecture

Memory

One 184-pin DIMM socket

Support up to 1 GBytes DDR266/333 SDRAM

Chipset

Intel 845GV chipset with 82845GV GMCH and 82801DB ICH4

Watchdog Timer

Programmable generates NMI or system reset watchdog timer

with 1 to 255 sec. / min. of time out value

Power Management

ACPI 1.0 compliant, supports power saving mode with ATX PSU

Real Time Clock

Intel ICH4 built-in RTC with onboard lithium battery

PCI Enhanced IDE

Dual UltraATA/100 bus master IDE channels

Support up to 4 ATAPI devices on 40-/44-pin IDE ports

Jumper selectable Vcc power output on 40-pin IDE1

for power cable free DiskOnModule flash disk

VGA Interface

Intel 845GV GMCH built-in Intel Extreme Graphics

with 266 MHz VGA core and 256-bit 3D engine

Intel Dynamic Video Memory up to 64 MB shared with system

External DB15 female connector on rear I/O panel

LVDS Interface

Intel 845GV GMCH built-in Intel Extreme Graphics

with onboard Chrontel CH7017A built-in LVDS transmitter

Resolution up to 1600 x 1200 @ 16M colors

Support single/dual channel 18-/24-bit LVDS TFT LCD

Onboard 40-pin Hirose connector

TV-out Interface

Intel 845GV GMCH built-in Intel Extreme Graphics

with onboard Chrontel CH7017A built-in TV-out encoder

External AV RCA and S-Video connector rear I/O panel

LAN Interface

Intel ICH4 with onboard Intel 82562ET Phy

Intel PRO/100+ 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet interface

10/100Base-TX auto-switching, IEEE802.3U compliant

Audio Interface

Intel ICH4 with onboard ACL650 AC97 3D audio codec

5.1 channel, line-in, line-out, Mic-in, CD-in and S/P DIF interface

IEEE1394

PCI Agere FW323 IEEE1394 controller

with 100/200/400 Mbps of data transfer rate

Hi-Speed USB 2.0

Intel ICH4 chipset built-in Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface

with 480 Mbps of data transfer rate and bootable setting in BIOS

Multi-I/O Port

Intel ICH4 and LPC Winbond W83627HF-AW super-I/O controller

1 x RS-232 serial ports, 1 x SPP/EPP/ECP parallel port

4 x Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports with 480 Mbps of data transfer rate

IrDA port, Floppy port, PS/2 keyboard / mouse port

External I/O Port

PS/2 keyboard / mouse port

AV RCA and S-Video TV-out, VGA, Parallel Port

Dual Hi-Speed USB 2.0, LAN

IEEE1394, 5.1-CH and S/P DIF Audio

Solid State Disk

(DiskOnModule)

DiskOnModule IDE-based, bootable, driver free flash disk

PIO mode 4 with 16.6 Mbps of data transfer rate

Flash memory capacity up to 512 MBytes

Expansive Slot

One 32-bit PCI slot supports 2 bus master PCI via riser card

Environment

Power Requirement: Standard P4 ATX power input

Board Dimension: 170 x 170 mm (L x W)

Operation Temperature: 0 ~ 60°C (32 ~ 140°F)

Most of the capabilities are common enough with other motherboards, and with the VIA Mini-ITX EIPA boards, but some things do stand out in that spec sheet:

1. The CPU is removable. The 478-pin Micro-FCPGA Mobile P4-M package goes into a notebook type socket that allows the CPU to be removed at will. (The CPU removability also holds true for the LV-670.) The VIA M-ITX boards do not allow the CPU to be removed; they are permanently embedded.

2. The chipset is Intel-based. It is the 845GV chipset with 82845GV Graphics & Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) and 82801DB ICH4.

3. LVDS TFT LCD Interface. An onboard LVDS transmitter offers single/dual channel 18-/24-bit LVDS interface for TFT LCD with up to 1800 x 1200 of resolution and 24 bpp of color. This is most useful in industrial workstation, POS/POI, kiosk, ATM, LCD PC, panel PC, GPS/Car PC, and other computing platforms for LVDS-based LCD flat panel.

4. Solid State Disk. The onboard IDE-based, bootable and driver free DiskOnModule flash disk interface is meant for high reliability and disk-free industrial embedded applications. Use of the flash disk may preclude the use of a hard drive; the connection is to the same IDE channel. This is not clear from any of the technical documentation.

5. The difference between the LV-670M and the LV-670 is obscure. A line-by-line comparison of the specs for the 2 boards suggests there is only one substantial difference: The LV-670M's support for the Micro-FCPGA Mobile P4 / Celeron @ 400 MHz FSB vs the LV-670's support for desktop P4 / Celeron @ 533 / 400 MHz FSB w/ Hyper-Threading Technology. But the two boards use exactly the same chipset. Physically it is only the CPU mounting socket that is different. The LV-670M uses a mobile P4 socket while the LV-670 uses the standard desktop socket with locking arm. Whether the LV-670M would accept a desktop P4 or the LV-670 a Mobile P4 is not clear. Presumably this could be set in the BIOS or in the wiring of the sockets - both are 478-pin.



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