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Helix SBC

800MHz Vortex86DX CPU and on-board dual Ethernet Switch



Helix is a low-power, mid-performance PC/104 single board computer based on the Vortex86DX highly-integrated x86 SoC (System on Chip) CPU. The 2-in-1 architecture of Helix combines a full-featured SBC with a 2-port 10/100 Ethernet switch to provide higher feature density and reduce overall cost and size of embedded systems.

The I/O features of the Helix CPU circuit include 4 serial ports (2 RS-232 and 2 RS-232/422/485), 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 10/100 Ethernet port, 16 GPIO lines, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, and IDE. The IDE can be used with either an external drive or a rugged, board-mounted disk-on-module with capacity up to 4GB. Helix also contains an integrated real-time clock with 5-year battery backup and a programmable watchdog timer.

The integrated Ethernet switch provides an additional two 10/100 ports (for a total of 3). These ports are accessed by the processor over the PCI bus, enabling the processor to communicate with either port independently. Traffic can also flow between the ports through the switch without processor involvement, enabling a daisy-chain system topology.

Helix offers the flexibility of both standard +5VDC and wide-range 7-14VDC input voltages. Rugged features include a wide temperature operating range of -40°C to +85°C plus dedicated locations on the PCB to replace configuration jumpers with 0-ohm resistors for resistance to shock and vibration. Conformal coating is also available as an added cost option.

Helix's small size, rugged design, low power consumption, and low cost make it an excellent choice for a wide range of medium-to-high volume applications including vehicle systems, process control, instrumentation, and building management.

Block Diagram

Helix System Block Diagram: click to enlarge

Development Kits

A Helix System Development Kit (DK-HLX-01) is available with all the components you need to get started on your embedded design project. The kit contains a Helix 800MHz SBC with 256MB of RAM, 128MB flashdisk module with a bootable Linux image installed, cable kit, AC adapter, and software CD.

Helix Cable Kit

The Helix cable kit includes cables for Helix input and output. Many cables are also available individually.

Helix Cable Kit

No. Qty Cable Description
1 1 6981083 Keyboard/Mouse, 2mm 2x4 crimp to 2x Mini-DIN-6
2 1 6981084 VGA, 2mm 2x5 crimp to DD15F
3 1 6981169 CRIMP 10xIDC10F, 2mm, 12" Auxiliary
4 1 6981004 IDE, 44 conductor 2mm ribbon
5 3 6981161 RJ45PNL-CRIMP2x5 2mm, 12"
6 1 6981164 IDC20FxIDC20F, 2mm, 12" Digital I/O
7 1 6981180 External battery
8 1 6981166 IDC40F 2mm-DB9Mx4, 12" Serial Ports 1-4
9 1 6981006 Power output
10 2 6981082 Dual USB, 2mm 2x5 to Dual USB
11 1 6981009 Power input
12 1 6981500 Wide voltage input


Processor 800MHz Vortex86DX
Memory 256MB of on-board DRAM
Bus Interface PC/104 (ISA)
Display Type CRT and LVDS LCD
Display Resolution 1600 x 1200 maximum
USB Ports (4) USB 2.0
Serial Ports (2) RS-232/422/485
(2) RS-232
Networking Dual 10/100Base-T Ethernet switch
(1) 10/100Base-T Ethernet interface from CPU
Mass Storage (1) IDE UDMA-100 port, Flashdisk interface
Keyboard / Mouse PS/2
Digital I/O 16 buffered lines, +5VDC
Watchdog Timer Yes
Battery Backup CMOS RAM and realtime clock backup
Input power On-board 7-14V DC/DC power supply
+5VDC ±5%
Power Consumption 5.9W
Cooling Heat sink, no fan
Operating Temperature -40°C to +71°C (-40°F to +160°F)
Dimensions 3.550” x 3.775” (90mm x 96mm)
Weight 2.5 oz / 70.8g
MTBF HLX800-256ED: tbd hours
RoHS Compliant