Media Release : July, 26, 2001


Digital-Logic extends smartModule series:

Embedded-PC based on the 586-compatible ZFx86

Digital-Logic AG, Luterbach/Switzerland, enhancing their leading position in the market for embedded computers, presents the smartModule SM586PC, a further product in their high-performance smartModule series. The new PC module is based on the ZFx86 from ZF Micro Devices, the world's first FailSafe™ x86-compatible PC-on-a-chip for embedded systems. This component, only 35 mm x 35 mm in size, features a custom PhoenixBIOS™ and a patented, FailSafe mechanism that permits user defined booting and automatic system failure detection with error recovery mechanisms. The smartModule has all its peripheral and bus interfaces grouped together on the smartBus480, which integrates them in the customer-specific environment. Thanks to the low power consumption of typically 5 W, the module does not require active cooling.


Walter Furter, Manager of Marketing and Sales at Digital-Logic AG, explains: "We decided in favour of the ZF Micro Devices ZFx86 because it is the first and at present only auto-booting PC-on-a-chip that combines the BIOS and operating-system software with internal FailSafe boot ROM, thus guaranteeing permanent access to a system. Over and above that, it offers complete, integrated PC functionality, and that at an ultra low power consumption of only 500 mW at 100 MHz. And, last but not least, ZF Micro Devices are reliable partners, who support their customers over a long period, and that is precisely what the users expect of Digital-Logic, too."


"We are very pleased and excited about partnering with such a recognized worldwide leader in the Embedded Computer Products Market" stated Patricia Blain, Marketing Manager Europe at ZF Micro Devices Europe. "ZF Micro Devices has always been committed to delivering products with an unprecendented level of integration and ease of use thus allowing customers to minimize development time and concentrate on getting their product to market in record breaking time. Through the implementation of the ZFx86 on to the smartModule SM586PC, we are once again giving more customers the advantages of quickly reaping the benefits of the ZFx86 FailSafe technology while reducing the time and effort needed to develop their applications".


The smartModule SM586PC is remarkable for its small dimensions of 66 mm x 85 mm, and its flat, low profile design, at only 12 mm. It works at a clock frequency of up to 128 MHz, and has a large main memory, which can be fitted individually with SODIMM components from 16 MB to 128 MB DRAM. Also integrated are a boot-capable flash disk with capacities of from 2 MB to 8 MB; two USB (Universal Serial Bus) interfaces; and an optional LAN interface (82559ER).


The PC module is equipped with an SXGA-69000 video controller, 2 MB video RAM, and a 36-bit LCD interface, and offers resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024 pixels with 256 colours. The standard version further includes interfaces for two hard disks, floppy disk, keyboard, mouse, printer and TTL ports at COM1 and COM2. Further technical features are a watchdog, a power-management unit, a connection for an external RTC battery, EEPROM support up to 1024 bytes, and support of external IrDA ports.


The SM586PC runs under Windows™ 98/CE/NT4 and other familiar operating systems, such as Linux, QNX™ and RTXDOS™. Designed for low power consumption, it can be operated in the standard temperature range of -25°C to +60°C without a ventilator. If desired, the products are also available for the extended temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. The embedded PC is tested for shock and vibration, and is ideally suited for applications in the areas of navigation, telecommunications, computer periphery, medical and measurement technologies, the aerospace industry, automotive electronics and in Internet terminals.



Innovative Modular Concept

The smartModules from Digital-Logic are multi-chip modules, which encapsulate the entire functionality of a PC. All signals, common interfaces, ISA and PCI bus are combined on a single bus, the smart480Bus, and are integrated in the customer-specific environment via two connectors with a total of 480 contacts. The smartBus serves at the same time as the technology interface, so future smartModules will continue to be mechanically, electrically and functionally compatible. The innovative concept of the smartModules makes the integration of an embedded PC in an individual, PC-based application simple, fast and cheap. smartModules are an easily exchanged, scalable, future-oriented alternative to the direct implementation of the entire PC electronics in a customer design. The modular concept also reduces the risks involved in developing customer-specific designs. The developers of individual series devices thus become more independent of the modification cycles of the PC hardware. They can integrate future process technologies in their applications without major changes, and offer need-oriented families of devices with varied processor power. Only the carrier board still has to be developed specifically for the application.


The use of the smartModule PCs as optimised, tested components in the development of new products, therefore, not only reduces the design effort and the development costs, but also can drastically reduce time-to-market. Even in small numbers, the smartModules offer optimum price/performance. They are also the ideal solution whenever customer-specific electronics are necessary or specified, and the available space and ambient conditions do not permit an embedded PC board to be used.


System design with smartModules

The smartModule 586PC-DK offers an ideal hardware environment for gaining experience and for carrying out hardware and software tests with the smartModules on earliest stage as possible. The Development Kit is a complete and functional PC, consisting of the smartModule SM586PC, installed on a carrier board with all peripheral interfaces, with a hard disk, a floppy disk drive, and a 230 V AC power supply. In addition, the kit includes all schematics, drivers, tools and documentation. The user receives fully functional hardware with all the information necessary to design a customized application board. Optimal design-in support, if desired, can be assured from the initial product specification stage, prototyping and production.

About Digital-Logic

Luterbach/Switzerland-based Digital-Logic AG, one of the world`s leading companies in the embedded computer market, was established in 1992 and is involved in the development, manufacture and international marketing of highly-integrated embedded PC's. The group has subsidiaries in Germany and the USA, and currently employs more than 130 specialist staff world-wide. Digital-Logic AG has received many awards and knows how to be at the cutting edge of technology with innovative, reliable products and realise economical PC solutions for demanding applications. The ISO9001 certified company offers a comprehensive range of PC/104-specific, slot-specific and customer-specific embedded PCs from 386's to Pentium III's. The company is setting new standards in the use of embedded PC's with its PC/480 "smartModule" components.


About ZF Micro Devices

ZF Micro Devices has pioneered FailSafe systems since its founding in 1995. ZF Micro Devices enables its customers to bring profitable, innovative, crash-immune systems to market faster than their competitors, by delivering low power ( Watt) PC systems at a chip size and price. The company recently changed its name from ZF Linux Devices. Corporate headquarters are located at 1052 Elwell Court, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA - Toll-free: 800-683-5943 - Tel: 650-965-3800 - Fax: 650-965-4050 - E-mail: - Web site: In Europe, ZF Micro Devices can be reached at +33-(0) 1-41-80-04-10. In South America, call +54-11-4543-0049


(See also picture & blockdiagram of SM586PC)


For further information, please contact:


Silvia Grahle Patricia Blain
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Manager Europe
Digital-Logic AG ZF Micro Devices Europe
Nordstrasse 11/F 30, rue du Morvan
CH-4542 Luterbach - Switzerland 94643 Rungis cedex - France
Telephone +41 (0)32 681 58 00 Telephone +33 (0)1 41 80 04 10
Fax +41 (0)32 681 58 01 Fax +33 (0)1 41 80 04 11
E-mail E-mail