Jul 7, 2010

Axiomtek PicoITX embedded board - making an enclosure case

We found a good deal in ebay and bought an Axiomtek Pico820 board to use it for robotics projects. This board is a full Atom PC  with 5W power consumption at 5v.

The first problem we had is to get the graphic hardware acceleration to work under linux, as it affects the overall performance of the system. The problematic chipset is the US15W aka poulsbo aka GMA500. Although we tried the community developed drivers, we didn't manage to make them work properly. But thanks to the people at ubuntuforums we found a compatible distro made by the developers of the Fit-PC embedded board, a board with much more support than Axiomtek's one (these never answered our emails). The only other distro that worked out of the box is the Gentoo based Pixielive.
To find out more Read "How To Kick Your Friends in the Face: GMA500" by Shawn Powers and the Intel "apology" "Blaming Intel for how the world is" by Henry Kingman.

We also wanted to have an enclosure for the board in order to work safely on the desk, so we made what might probably be the smallest intel atom nettop in the world, measuring just 104x76x32mm.

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