EM9A - ESM COM with PowerPC MPC8548 (Product Discontinued)

The EM9A is a complete embedded SBC for use on any carrier board in different industrial environments. The final application consists of a stand-alone EM9A or an EM9A with an application-specific carrier card.

The EM9A is controlled by an integrated PowerPC MPC8548 or MPC8543 processor (optionally with encryption unit) running at clock frequencies between 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz.

The EM9A is equipped with soldered DDR2 SDRAM for data and with NAND Flash for program storage. It provides access for three Gigabit Ethernet channels and two COM ports via its I/O connector J3.

Additional functionality such as graphics, touch, CAN bus, protocol converters etc. can be realized in an FPGA for the needs of the individual application. The corresponding connectors are available on a carrier board. Application software dynamically loads the functions of the FPGA.

The EM9A comes with MENMON support. This firmware/BIOS can be used for bootstrapping operating systems (from disk, Flash or network), for hardware testing, or for debugging applications without running any operating system.

The EM9A is a communication engine ideal for use in embedded applications, for instance as an embedded Linux server, but also for high-end automation and robot control under a real-time operating system.

For a first evaluation of the functions of the EM9A we strongly recommend to use the EK9 ESM starter kit. The kit consists of the function-compatible EM9 module (with front I/O), an FPGA loaded with additional I/O functions, the carrier card with I/O connectors, an external PSU, cables, and an adapter for mounting a PCI-104 module.

ESM modules consist of the hardware (CPU, chip set, memory, I/O) which is not fixed to any application-specific function, and an FPGA programmed in VHDLcode, which provides I/O that is also still independent of a specific application. ESM modules are based on PCI. They have two or three system connectors: J1 has a fixed signal assignment, while J2 is variable depending on the final application-specific configuration of the ESM and the carrier board. J2 also feeds the I/O signals of the functions programmed in the FPGA to the carrier card. Some ESM modules have an additional J3 connector that is used to replace the front I/O connectors to route the signals to the carrier board or to the backplane of a CPCI or VME system.


  • MPC8548 (or MPC8543), up to 1.5 GHz
  • FPGA 33,216 LEs
  • 32-bit/33/66-MHz PCI
  • Up to 2 GB onboard DDR2 SDRAM
  • 1 GB NAND Flash
  • 128 KB FRAM, 32 MB additional SDRAM
  • 3 Gb Ethernet, 2 COM (J3)
  • User defined I/O functions optional via FPGA
  • MENMON BIOS for PowerPC cards
  • -40 °C to +85 °C


PowerPC PowerQUICC III MPC8548, MPC8548E, MPC8543 or MPC8543E
  • 800MHz up to 1.5GHz
  • Please see Standard Configurations for available standard versions.
  • e500 PowerPC core with MMU and double-precision embedded scalar and vector floating-point APU
  • Integrated Northbridge and Southbridge
  • 2x32KB L1 data and instruction cache, 512KB/256KB L2 cache integrated in MPC8548/MPC8543
  • Up to 2GB SDRAM system memory
    • Soldered
    • DDR2
    • Up to 300 MHz memory bus frequency, depending on CPU
  • Up to 1GB soldered NAND Flash, FPGA-controlled
  • 32MB additional DDR2 SDRAM, FPGA-controlled, e.g. for video data and NAND Flash firmware
  • 16MB boot Flash
  • 128KB non-volatile FRAM
  • Serial EEPROM 4kbits for factory settings
Mass Storage
  • Parallel IDE (PATA)
    • One port for hard-disk drives
    • Available via I/O connector J2
    • FPGA-controlled
    • PIO mode 0 and UDMA mode 5 (UDMA100) support
  • Up to 1GB soldered ATA NAND Flash, FPGA-controlled
  • Available via I/O connector J2
  • FPGA-controlled
  • 800 x 600, 60Hz/75Hz, 6-bit RGB
  • Three Ethernet channels
    • Three 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet channels with MPC8548/E
    • Two 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet channels with MPC8543/E
    • On board-to-board connector J3
  • Two RS232 UARTs (COM1/COM2)
    • On board-to-board connector J3
    • Data rates up to 115.2kbit/s
    • 16-byte transmit/receive buffer
    • Handshake lines: CTS, RTS
  • Further I/O depending on FPGA configuration
PCI Interface
  • 32-bit, 33/66-MHz PCI interface at PCI-104 connectors J1 and J2
  • Compliant with PCI Specification 2.2
  • Support of four external masters
  • Real-time clock
  • Temperature sensor, power supervision and watchdog
Electrical Specifications
Supply voltage/power consumption:
  • +5V (-2%/+5%), 2A typ.
  • +3.3V (-2%/+5%), 0.5A typ.
Mechanical Specifications
  • Dimensions: conforming to ESM specification (PCB: 149mm x 71mm), Type II-N, except height: approx. 1mm higher than standard
  • Heat sink is always tailor-made to the customer's needs (no heat sink included in standard version)
  • Weight: 90g (w/o heat sink)
Environmental Specifications
  • Temperature range (operation):
    • -40..+85°C, with appropriate heat sink
    • Airflow: min. 10m³/h
  • Temperature range (storage): -40..+85°C
  • Relative humidity (operation): max. 95% non-condensing
  • Relative humidity (storage): max. 95% non-condensing
  • Altitude: -300m to + 3,000m
  • Shock: 15g/11ms
  • Bump: 10g/16ms
  • Vibration (sinusoidal): 1g/10..150Hz
  • Conformal coating on request
245,671h @ 40°C according to IEC/TR 62380 (RDF 2000)
PCB manufactured with a flammability rating of 94V-0 by UL recognized manufacturers
Tested according to EN 55022 (radio disturbance), IEC 61000-4-2 (ESD) and IEC 61000-4-4 (burst)
BIOS/Boot Loader
Software Support