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3.5" Form Factor
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Designing Embedded Computers for Rugged Applications

Application Articles

Building Automation
Paper Processing
Train Controller
Wind Instrument
Lung Simulator
Gas Analyzer
Weapon System

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Conduction Cooled Single Board Computers

Aurora PC/104 SBC
With a new and innovative approach, Diamond Systems brings conduction cooling to the stackable small form factor market. Now PC/104 and other small form factor SBCs and I/O cards can be used in sealed boxes without compromising ambient operating temperature or system reliability.

See our line of conduction cooled single board computers on the right!

Diamond's technique involves designing SBCs so that the major heat producing components (CPU, graphics chips, power supplies) are located on the bottom of the board, rather than the conventional top side. Then a heat spreader plate is mounted on the bottom of the SBC, where it also serves as the system's mounting platform. The heat spreader efficiently transfers heat from these components directly to the enclosure wall, without passing through the air inside the enclosure.

Test results show conclusively that a heat spreader keeps the processor and other components cooler than conventional heat sinks, enabling a higher upper ambient temperature rating as well as lower rates of heat-induced failure.

Conduction Cooled Diagram
The simplifying assumption that allows for conduction cooling to be implemented in small form factor stackable systems is to only stack expansion modules upwards.

With the SBC and its heat spreader located at the bottom of the stack, heat is conducted down and out, while I/O modules stack upward, free of any physical interference with heat sinks.

This approach allows systems designers to build "cool" stacked solutions with high I/O density in a smaller space than ever before possible.

Download our Conduction Cooling for Stackable SBCs whitepaper.


Conduction Cooling Advantages

Conduction Cooled System
Conduction cooled system with SBC and high I/O density
Conduction-cooled solutions offer multiple benefits over conventional heat sink cooling.

  • More efficient heat removal
  • Reduces air temperature within the enclosure, as well as its impact on other electronics
  • Allows SBCs to be used in higher ambient operating temperatures
  • Reduces size of the system
  • Eliminates any heat sink height interference with I/O expansion modules
  • Increases overall system reliability

Heat Spreader Benefits

Heat spreader Industry standard mounting hole pattern
Diamond's conduction-cooled heat spreaders are sized to match the exact dimensions of the single board computer or computer-on-module. This assures an exact fit with the stack while maximizing the heat spreader's thermal effectiveness.

Every heat spreader features four #6-32 threaded mounting holes in a 2.8" x 2.8" industry-standard mounting hole pattern for securely attaching to an enclosure or bulkhead. This standard mounting hole pattern not only provides a rugged and reliable mounting method, it also assures interoperability across Diamond's entire family of conduction-cooled SBCs. Using a separate set of holes further simplifies assembly effort by preventing a COM-based system from having to be disassembled in order to be installed in the enclosure.


Standards Leadership

Diamond is committed to designing our products around open standards, providing many benefits for our customers.

pc104 EPIC EBX ETXcom expressSumitTMfeaturepak

The Diamond Systems logo is a trademark of Diamond Systems Corporation. PC/104, PC/104-Plus, PCIe/104, EPIC, and EBX are trademarks of the PC/104 Embedded Consortium. SUMIT is a trademark of the SFF-SIG. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

Markets & Applications
Transportation Systems
Medical Equipment
Energy Management
Industrial Automation
Aerospace & Defense

Conduction Cooled SBCs
Altair EMX Compact SBC with 1.6GHz Intel Atom E680T CPU
       Altair PC/104 SBC

Aurora PC/104 SBC with 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 CPU
       Aurora PC/104 SBC
Magellan COM Epress SBC with 1.1GHz Intel Atom Z510 or 1.6GHz Core2Duo LV CPU
       Magellan COM Express SBC
Neptune EPIC SBC with 1.6GHz Intel Atom N450, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, or 1.66GHz CoreDuo LV CPU
       Neptune EPIC SBC
Pluto ETX SBC with 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 or 1.66GHz CoreDuo LV CPU
       Pluto ETX SBC

Customer Benefits
Removes heat from the stack
Increases overall system reliability
Reduces enclosure air temperature
Use SBCs in harsher environments
Eliminates heat sink interference
Easy system expansion
Attaches directly to enclosure or bulkhead
Reduces system size

Value-added Capabilities
Custom Design
Extended Temperature
Conformal Coating
System Integration
Lifecycle Management