ICOP VEX2-6415 SBC runs DOS, QNX, Linux, Windows on Vortex86EX2 “Dual OS” x86 processor

DM&P Vortex86EX2 is a dual-core x86 processor that supports legacy ISA and PCI interfaces, and designed in a way that makes it capable of running two OS independently, easy with its own BIOS, without the need for virtualization, nor a hypervisor.

At the time, we also covered the Vortex86EX2 evaluation board from the company, but the first commercial product that has come to my attention is ICOP VEX2-6415 Vortex86EX2 SBC designed for automation and IoT, and which the company says support “Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Compact 6, various of (sic) Linux distribution, QNX, and even the legacy but still popular DOS”.

Vortex86EX2 SBCICOP VEX2-6415 SBC specifications:

  • CPU – DM&P Vortex86EX2 dual-core processor with
    • Master core @ 600MHz max with build-in FPU L1/L2 Cache for user interface
    • Slave core @ 400MHz max with build-in FPU, L1 Cache for real-time control
  • System Memory – 512MB/1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash and microSD card slot, or 2x microSD card slots
  • Networking – 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports one via RJ45 jack, the other via header
  • I/O Interfaces
    • 5-pin pin header for PS/2 mouse (2.54mm pitch)
    • 5-pin box header for PS/2 keyboard (2.54mm pitch)
    • 20-pin box header for GPIO (2.00mm pitch, same for all other below)
    • 2-pin header for reset
    • 4-pin header for 1x USB 2.0
    • 10-pin box header for 2x USB 2.0
    • 2-pin pin header for console jumper
    • 8-pin pin header for LAN
    • 4x 10-pin box header for COM ports, including 2 x RS232/485
    • 2-pin header for power connector
    • 20-pin box header for print (parallel port)
  • Expansion – 2x mini PCIe sockets + SIM Card slot
  • Misc – Coin-cell battery
  • Power Supply – 5V DC @ 480mA via 2-pin terminal block
  • Power Consumption – 2.4 Watts
  • Dimensions – 100 x 66mm
  • Weight – 75g
  • Temperature Range – -20°C – +70°C or -40°C – +85°C

ICOP VEX2-6415 SBCThe board ships with Coreboot BIOS, and besides DOS, Linux, Windows listed above, the specifications also add FreeBSD to the list of supported operating systems. Since it’s an x86 processor I’d suppose any OS that can also runs on Intel/AMD processors with 512MB RAM should also work.

Based on the form factor and available interfaces, ICOP VEX2-6415 SBC is clearly made to be integrated into industrial machines, and would be suitable for equipment that may have been designed years ago, which may explain why the company says DOS is still popular. I did see DOS used in laptops here about 10 years ago, and we were given a free coupon to have a pirated version of Windows in a smaller shop.

Vortex86EX2 SBC Block DiagramICOP did not provide pricing nor availability information for VEX2-6415 SBC. You’ll find additional details on the product page and announcement. As pointed out by LinuxGizmos, there are also other, larger Vortex86EX2 SBC’s on their website with models like the VEX2-6427 3.5-inch SBC or VEX2-6454 board that complies with PC/104 form factor.

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NicoD
5 months ago

That is pretty cool.
I’ve never seen anything like it. I can think of a lot of use cases for this.
I hope we’ll see more systems like this.
Even arm and x86 combined, but still each their own OS. The arm SoC could then turn on the x86 when needed for legacy software. You could lower power consumption a lot like that.

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