PLEASE NOTE: This article is obsolete or related to a discontinued product.

FOX Board LX changes

The FOX Board has changed. The new board is the FOX Board LX, a 100% hardware and software compatible board but with different chip packages. In this article we explain in detail what are the changes and why we made this new board

What are the differences ?

Before explaining the differences between the two boards we'll list the characteristics that are just right the same:
  • Same layout and dimensions
  • Same J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J10 and J11 pinout
  • Same chipset in different packages
  • Same memory size (LX will be available also with more FLASH and RAM memory)
  • Same peripherals
  • Same Price (as a matter of fact, the classic board will cost more in the future)

FOX Board LX and "classic" FOX Board
Top and bottom view

This is the list of differences:

  • There are components mounted on both sides of the printed circuit board.
  • J10 pins (consolle) will not be soldered by default.
  • J12 (+12v) has been eliminated. It was not very used in the past.
  • RESET and LAN-BOOT jumpers have been re-positioned.
  • SW1 push buttom has been re-positioned.
  • DL1, DL2 and DL3 has been re-positioned.
  • FOX Board LX is not yet CE certified. The CE certification to use it as a stand alone module is planned within first months of 2007.
  • FOX Board LX is green

This is the list of the new features:

  • FOX LX Board is RoHS compliant
  • It will be possible to mount a small coaxial connector on the external side, between the ETH and the USB connectors, so to power the FOX LX Board from a DC +5V stabilized wall adapter.
  • There will be a new jumper to enable serial boot of the Board other than LAN boot.
  • There will be a new jumper to switch off the on board +3.3V regulator with a logic, open collector signal (pull-up already on Fox Board LX).
  • FOX LX Board will be available shortly also with different memory sizes, up to 32 MBytes FLASH and 64 Mbytes RAM.

Why did we make a new FOX Board ?

The main component of the "classic" FOX Board is the MCM Multi Chip Module made by Axis Communication.

This component includes the ETRAX 100LX CPU, 4 MB Flash, 16 MB SDRAM, Ethernet Transceiver, etc. in a very small package.

Starting from 1st July 2006, each new electronic device building in europe must be RoHS compliant, so also Axis has changed this component to meet this new requirements.

Due to a sequence of manufacturing problems Axis is long late on delivery this module. As a direct consequence Acme Systems cannot produce the "classic" FOX Board until the MCM will become available again.

To fill the production gap of the "classic" FOX Board we designed a 100% hardware and software compatible board that just uses the discrete version of the same chip set included in the MCM module. All these chips are already RoHS compliant and available in very high volume.

The new boards name is FOX Board LX

Inside view of the MCM

The new FOX Board LX

What are the differences in the SDK ?

The only difference between the classic Fox and the new LX one is a single configuration parameter found inside kernelconfig or kernelconfig-2.6. it is the CONFIG_ETRAX_DEF_R_SDRAM_TIMING timing configuration word for the SDRAM chip that differs between Fox and FoxLX

Here are the correct values for both.

  • Fox Classic: CONFIG_ETRAX_DEF_R_SDRAM_TIMING=0x80608002
No other modifications are required to adapt a working Fox Classic SDK environment to the Fox LX. For convenience we have put some fimages for the Fox LX in the fimage archive. They are the corresponding fimages with the above parameter changed accordingly.

Is the classic FOX Board an obsolete product ?

Yes and not.
We will produce the classic FOX Board just on demand for at least a minimum volume of 100 pcs. Unfortunately the cost of the "classic" FOX Board will be a little bit higher than the new LX version due to the fact that it is now a "non standard" product.