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ZFx86™ 486 PC-in-a-Chip Overview
ZFx86™ Specifications and Data Sheet (PDF).

ZFx86 Specifications

Integrated Development System Data Sheet
FailSafe Boot Application Note
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ZFx86(tm) System-on-a-Chip: Block Diagram

Designed expressly for embedded applications. The ZFx86 PC-compatible microcontroller was designed from the ground up with the industry’s most comprehensive set of traditional X86 PC functionality. Unique proprietary FailSafe® System features resolve the most critical issues that can stand in the way of creating successful and reliable OEM products.

Ideally suited to applications where low power is required for long battery life or in harsh environments where airflow for heat dissipation is restricted and heatsinks and fans are unacceptable.


The PC is the architecture of choice for embedded applications because of ease of software development, low manufacturing system cost and fast time-to-market. If the embedded processor selected is not fully PC compatible all these key measures of success can be lost.

ZFx86 provides the ultimate combination of a high integration device at the lowest BOM cost in the industry without sacrificing full PC compatibility. There are no multiplexed signals, no missing interrupts, and a full complement of standard peripherals. It is the fastest, most cost-effective means of integrating full PC motherboard functionality in an OEM product.

A high speed 32 bit processor is married to a superior SDRAM memory controller and a PCI expansion bus with an Ultra DMA IDE controller. A full ISA bus brings with it all the well-understood ISA devices to help solve many of the potential challenges unique to embedded applications. Enhanced with such ZF proprietary embedded features as FailSafe Boot ROM, the Z-tag interface, Dual Watchdog timer and ZF-Logic, integrated ISA bus decoding, ZFx86 allows for seamless and glueless system integration.

By combining the hardware and software needed to implement full PC compatibility in a single device, it lowers the exposure to development risks and significantly reduces time-to-market. This unique integrated design makes it ideal for applications that require computing intensive processes, low power consumption, high reliability and a small overall product size.

This unique integrated design makes it ideal for applications that require computing intensive processes, low power consumption, high reliability and a small overall product size. Since the ZFx86 is fully PC compatible you gain access to:

  ... the widest selection of hardware and software available.
  ... proven architecture supported by hundreds of ISA, PCI, USB and I2C bus suppliers.
  ... cost-effective, readily available development tools and operating systems.



It's Not a System Until It Boots
No processor— regardless of the level of integration—is a system until it boots. If it doesn’t come with a fully implemented PC BIOS and an operating system it won’t run. ZFx86 is the first and only System-on-a-Chip that includes the BIOS and operating system software combined with an internal FailSafe boot ROM that ensures that your system will always be accessible, even if all external Flash memory has been corrupted.

Software Compatibility
The ZFx86 is fully compatible with all standard PC software. It will run any standard operating system capable of running on a fully compatible PC with FPU such as Linux, DOS, many RTOS, and Windows CE, Windows 9x, and Windows NT.

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