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Neptune EPIC SBC

EPIC Form-Factor Embedded-Ready Subsystem with Integrated Data Acquisition and Configurable CPU

Neptune EPIC SBC: Processor Modules, SBCs based on COM Express and ETX COMs for high feature density, scalable performance, and longest lifetime., EPIC
Integrates the functions of up to six PC/104 modules within the compact EPIC SBC form-factor
ETX CPU core provides price/performance flexibility, reduces costs, and protects against product obsolescence
Choice among Intel® Atom N270, Celeron, CoreDuo, or Core2Duo CPUs to match application requirements
Fully featured: 10/100Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet, VGA and LVDS support, 4 USB, 6 serial, IDE, and SATA interfaces
Best-in-class data acquisition featuring 32 16-bit A/D with autocalibration, 4 12-bit D/A, 24 programmable digital I/O lines, 8 optically isolated inputs, 8 optically isolated outputs, and 2 counter/timers
Stackable PC/104-Plus expansion maximizes system flexibility
5VDC input or 40W 8-28V DC-to-DC power supply
Selected models available with -20C to +71C or -40C to +85C operating temperature
RoHS compliant


Neptune introduces a new concept in small form-factor embedded-ready subsystems.

Neptune side view Neptune SBC Side View

Neptune's CPU core consists of an ETX module mounted its bottom side, an approach that improves thermal management and increases the space for I/O functions and connections. By utilizing conduction cooling, Neptune features improved ruggedness and reliability through the use of a heatspreader. This innovative design has enabled Neptune to integrate CPU, system I/O, industry-leading data acquisition, both 10/100Mbps and gigabit Ethernet, and a wide-input DC/DC power supply within the compact and modularly expandable EPIC single-board computer (SBC) form-factor.

Choice of CPUs

1.6GHz Intel Atom N270
1.66GHz Intel Core Duo LV

Thanks to Neptune's flexible architecture, you can select from a wide range of ETX-based CPUs to meet each application's specific performance, power, and cost requirements. Available processors include Intel's Atom, Celeron, Core Duo, and Core2D uo -- in both LV and ULV technologies. A choice of ETX COMs offers scalable performance for your application as well as protection from obsolescence through plug compatible CPU modules.

What's more, Neptune's on-board PC/104-Plus expansion socket facilitates the addition of custom or off-the-shelf ISA and PCI interfaced add-on modules, helping you satisfy your application's precise requirements.

Benefits of 6-in-1 Integration

  • Less Space: Smaller and thinner than a stack of PC/104 boards

  • Lower Cost: An integrated solution eliminates extra PCBs and connectors to lower the unit cost

  • Higher Reliability: Less interconnects and components, resulting in higher reliability

  • More Rugged: The flatter profile and reduction in connectors makes Neptune far more rugged in mobile applications

  • Single Vendor: Purchasing and stocking are easier with a single board

  • Saves Time: Assembly effort is dramatically reduced, shortening your total system integration time

                         Combines 6 boards into 1
                    Reduces a stack of 6 PC/104 I/O modules into one Single Board Computer

System I/O Features

All models of Neptune include the following standard system I/O features:

Serial Ports 2 RS-232, 4 RS-232/422/485
USB Ports 4 USB 2.0 ports
Keyboard and Mouse PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse; USB keyboard and mouse also supported
Ethernet 1 10/100Mbps port from ETX module (*); 1 gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82541) with on-board RJ-45 jack
Parallel/Floppy Port Shared interface (defaults to parallel)
Audio AC97 (Mic in, Line in, Line out)
IDE Interface 1 IDE port; support 2 drives *
SATA Interface 2 SATA ports; support 1 drive each *
CompactFlash Socket for Type I/II device
Graphics VGA and LVDS *

* These features depend on ETX module.

Industry-Leading Data Acquisition Subsystem

In addition to its comprehensive embedded-PC system core, Neptune also optionally integrates Diamond's industry-leading data acquisition I/O subsystem and DC/DC power supply, featuring:

  • 32 16-bit analog inputs with 250KHz sample rate
  • 4 12-bit analog outputs
  • 24 digital I/O lines, 3.3V/5V compatible
  • 8 opto-isolated digital inputs, 3-24V range
  • 8 opto-isolated digital outputs, 3-24V range
  • 2 counter/timers for A/D sample rate control, event counting/timing, and programmable interrupts

To simplify the task of putting this advanced data acquisition functionality to work in real-world applications Neptune comes with Diamond's Universal Driver software for C programming under Linux, Windows XP, Windows CE, and DOS.

Benefits of an ETX Processor Core

  • Choice of price/performance: Neptune is available with a range of CPUs, from a low-power Intel Atom N270 up to a high-performance Core2Duo, so you can obtain exactly the performance and cost required
  • Protection from obsolescence: Easily switch processor modules in case of processor end of life
  • Easy upgrade: ETX CPUs are interchangeable, allowing you to easily upgrade your system with minimal or no redesign
  • Low Cost: ETX modules cost less than their equivalent SBC, resulting in a lower total cost for Neptune

Autocalibration for Best Measurement Accuracy

Diamonds top-performing autocalibration circuitry lets you calibrate the analog circuits under software control at any time, maintaining best accuracy despite varying conditions. Temperature- and time-dependent measurement drift is eliminated, since the system can be calibrated as often as desired in just a few seconds, to ensure accurate readings in all environmental conditions.

Thermal Management

Neptune's ETX processor module is located on its bottom side. An integrated heatspreader makes thermal contact with the heat generating components and provides a flat surface on the bottom of the assembly for mating to the system enclosure. This technique facilitates efficient removal of heat from the CPU without the need for a fan. Four mounting holes on the bottom of the conduction cooled heatspreader are provided to mount Neptune in an enclosure or to a bulkhead. These mounting holes are #6-32 threaded holes on 2.8" centers.

Operating System Support

Standard: Windows XP; Linux 2.6
Optional upon request: Windows XPe/CE; VxWorks; QNX

Neptune Block Diagram

Neptune Block Diagram
Click on the image to enlarge

Development Kits and Accessories

Development Kits

A quick-start development kit includes everything you need to get started with your application development, including:

  • Neptune computer with integrated ETX CPU
  • 1GB memory installed
  • Heatspreader installed
  • 512MB Flashdisk with Linux
  • Panel I/O Board
  • Cable Kit
  • CD containing User Manual and Support Software
  • Quick Start Guide


Neptune uses SO-DIMM modules (located on the ETX CPU module) with capacities ranging from 1GB to 2GB depending on the choice of ETX CPU module.

Panel I/O Board

This accessory plugs onto the front row of pin headers to provide cable-free access to the standard system I/O: Serial ports, USB, Ethernet, PS/2, VGA, Power input.

Neptune panel I/O board Neptune with panel I/O board attached
Neptune panel I/O board
Neptune with panel I/O board attached

Neptune Cable Kit

This comprehensive cable kit provides access to all I/O features on Neptune, including the features on the panel I/O board.

No. Qty. Cable Description
1 2 6981004 IDE, 44 conductor 2mm ribbon cable
2 1 6981006 Power output cable
4 1 6981072 Analog I/O, 2mm IDC40 to 2mm IDC40
5 1 6981073 Digital I/O, 2mm IDC34 to 2mm IDC34
6 1 6981080 Ethernet, 2mm 2x5 crimp to RJ-45 socket
7 3 6981081 Dual Serial Port 2mm 2x10 to 2x DB9M
8 2 6981082 Dual USB, 2mm 2x5 to Dual USB
9 1 6981083 Keyboard/Mouse, 2mm 2x4 crimp to 2x Mini-DIN-6
10 1 6981084 VGA, 2mm 2x5 crimp to DD15F
11 1 6981085 Audio I/O, 2mm 2x5 crimp to 3x 3.5mm jack
12 1 6981088 Utilities, 2mm 2x4 crimp to flying leads
13 1 6981090 Power input, 2x4 high power to flying leads
14 1 6981091 Power input ATX, 2x4 high power to ATX 2x10
15 1 6981141 CRIMP40-IDC40F, 2mm, 12 Opto I/O
18 1 6981144 Variable power input

Neptune Cable Kit

Neptune Cable Kit

Neptune Specifications

Intel Atom N270 at 1.6GHz -20C to +71C or -40C to +85C operating temperature
Intel Core Duo LV at 1.66GHz -40C to +85C operating temperature
Intel Celeron M ULV at 1.06GHz ** -40C to +85C operating temperature
Intel Core Duo ULV at 1.2GHz ** -40C to +85C operating temperature
Intel Core 2 Duo ULV at 1.06GHz ** -40C to +85C operating temperature
Intel Core 2 Duo LV at 1.5GHz ** -40C to +85C operating temperature
SO-DIMM Supports up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM
Display VGA, LVDS, LCD backlight control *
USB Ports 4 USB 2.0 ports
Serial Ports 2 RS-232 only; 4 RS-232/422/485
Ethernet 1 Gigabit; 1 10/100Mbps
Mass Storage 1 or 2 IDE ports; 2 SATA ports *
Keyboard / Mouse PS/2; USB peripherals also supported
Audio AC 97 (line-in, line-Out, mic)
Expansion Bus PC/104-Plus (ISA and PCI buses)
A-to-D Converter 32 16-bit inputs; 250KHz sample rate
D-to-A Converter 4 12-bit outputs
Digital I/O 24 digital I/O lines; 3.3V/5V compatible
Optoisolated DIO 8 inputs and 8 outputs; 3-24V range
Counter/Timers 2 programmable counter timers
Software Drivers C source code for Windows and Linux
Power Input 5VDC +/-5% or 40W 8-28V DC-to-DC power supply
Power Consumption NPT-N270xx-1GA5: 10.3W idle, 14.2W heavily loaded
NPT-945CDL-1GA: 14.2W idle, 23.5W heavily loaded
Operating Temperature NPT-N270RK-xGAy: -20C to +71C
All other models: -40C to +85C
Operating Humidity 0 ~ 90% (non-condensing)
Dimensions (L x W X H) NPT-N270xx-xGAy: 4.5 x 6.5 x 1.77 in. (114 x 165 x 32 mm)
NPT-945CDL-xGA: 4.5 x 6.5 x 2.24 in. (114 x 165 x 45 mm)
(with SO-DIMM module)
NPT-N270xx-xGAy: 14.6oz (414g)
NPT-945CDL-xGA: 22oz (624g)
RoHS Compliant

Notes to Specifications:

     * These functions depend on specific ETX CPU module

     ** These CPUs are available by special order only

Models and Accessories

Neptune EPIC SBC
available models:
Neptune SBC with 1.91GHz Intel E3845 CPU, 8GB RAM, data acquisition, -40/+85oC, wide voltage input
Min Order Quantity
Neptune SBC with 1.91GHz Intel E3845 CPU, 8GB RAM, data acquisition, -40/+85oC, +5V input
Min Order Quantity
Neptune SBC with 1.91GHz Intel E3845 CPU, 4GB RAM, data acquisition, -40/+85oC, wide voltage input
Min Order Quantity
Neptune SBC with 1.91GHz Intel E3845 CPU, 4GB RAM, data acquisition, -40/+85oC, +5V input
Min Order Quantity
Neptune Panel I/O Board Kit
Neptune Panel I/O Board
Neptune Linux 2.6.23 Software Development Kit for N270 and 945 CPUs, with Linux image on 512MB flashdisk and software tools on CD, and documentation
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Cables and accessories
available models:
Heat Sink Accessory
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