It is not usual to get a BIOS boot from SD or MMC card externally as it normally requires some customization in BIOS space. Good news to all embedded designers now, Eltan, a Holland based developer company has just announced the availability of BIOS extension that can enable the ‘Boot from SD card’ technology directly on Intel Z-series Atom processor.
Eltan will able to leverage the advantages with Intel SCH US15W, a Northbridge and Southbridge combo companion chipset that being paired with Intel Atom Z-series processor with its built in SDIO interface without the need of additional USB converter or discrete component that adds both cost and space into the overall system design. However, the solution doesn’t work on Intel N270 Atom processor since the chipset pairing solution are different with a 3-chip solution using 82945GSE and ICH7M targeted for nettop market.
The Boot from SD card solution is available now for system integrator either in a complete BIOS ROM or source code that can be merged into Phoenix and Award BIOS which are widely used in embedded system. This will definitely able to drive for more rugged and smaller form factor system if a complete OS solution can be stored in SD card in replacement of conventional magnetic spinning hard disk drive.