I'm looking for a mini-ITX motherboard that would work with a 7.2v 3000ma
battery, that is very conservative on power (for a robot project).
Would one of the "fanless" boards be a good choice, since
How about the mobile boards (e.g. - mini-itx P4-M)?
If someone could recommend a vendor and model, and give me a URL if you have
one, that would be appreciated. If you have any opinions on the board, good
or bad, please share.
Does it have to be mini-ITX, or can it be smaller?
What are your performance requirements (CPU wise)?
Biscuit PCs typically work on only 5V. I did the initial electronics
for my robot sub with an Advantech PCM-5820, which is a 300MHz Geode
(approx. similar to a 233MHz~266MHz P2-MMX). 1.5A at 5V (no 12V rail
required), fanless, same footprint as a 3.5" floppy drive. Available
in the same form factor are processors up to 667MHz (fanless) and even
much faster (if a fan is OK).
The specific board I used has 2 serial (1 can be RS232/422/485), IrDA,
VGA, IDE, CompactFlash slot (bootable), 2 USB (I used these for two
lo-res webcams and a USB 802.11 pod), wired Ethernet, floppy port,
parallel port, and direct drive for parallel LCDs. My control software
was Linux-based. I just finished writing a book about the interface
considerations on this board, and basic actuator/sensor applications,
actually (available for pre-order from Amazon... ;)
If you need a PCI slot, there are similar boards in the 5.25" biscuit
form factor, which have one PCI slot, and similar power requirements.
However, an x86 PC in general is not a good choice if power
consumption is important. XScale would be better; again, Advantech
sells XScale-based boards in the same 3.5" form factor. Can run
ARM-Linux without problems, but they are rather pricey.
If you don't need the performance of XScale, there are a lot of ARM7
platforms that suffice for even very complex robots... look for
(not that he specifically mentions robots,
but the module could be used for these applications).