Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rugged Tablet computers and why can't use an ordinary Apple of Samsung Tablet.

So you need a way to capture data in the field, you need a mobile device running Windows or Android for data capture and monitoring. Many people faced with this requirement immediately look at consumer grade standard tablet Computers. Standard Tablet Computer (STC) such as a Samsung tablet, look great, are easy to obtain and are cheap. Buy a few of these; give them to your staff with a bit of software on them and away you go – job done. It is very tempting to do this but as I will explain it is a false economy and you will open yourself up to a load of problems you didn’t think about.
 A decent 10.1 inch Tablet costs around £300, is lightweight, easy to get and are easy to setup your own Windows or Android apps. A Rugged Tablet computer (RTC) costs £700-£1000, is a lot thicker and heavier and can only be sourced from a few suppliers. Why choose an RTC over an STC?

 A Case Study

A shipping firm in Africa needed a way for staff to walk around the dock and monitor containers. The staff needed to check cargo numbers as they were unloaded. They decided to use locally sourced consumer grade tablets. These were bought and loaded with the docks application and given to staff. Job done! It worked for a while until two of the tablets went “missing” after a week. These were replaced (took a week), shortly afterward one developed a fault on its charging port because the staff were not careful when plugging in the chargers, another was dropped and broke the screen. These units were sent off for repair under warranty leaving only three working devices. It took five weeks to get the units repaired.
During operation several staff complained the screens weren’t bright enough, being Africa it was very bright outside and their tablets were difficult to read in direct sunlight. Several of the devices shut down when they got hot, staff managed to work round this by trying to keep the devices in the shade. Several of the devices developed faults in operation which was traced down to staff installing games on the devices which interfered with normal operation. Staff wanted to scan the bar-codes on some of the containers and so separate scanners were needed, the tablet they had did not have a full sized USB port so two new different units were bought with full USB sockets. This meant staff had to carry two devices around and more tablets were broken due to staff dropping the units. Cases were bought for the devices to try to protect against drops. The charging connector on the tablets was a constant source of problems and more tablets had to be bought since the repair turn-around could be months. This meant always having spares units doing nothing in case of failure. The batteries did not last all day, some busy days the units ran out of power and so had to be left in the office to recharge, this meant buying more units and leaving some on charge.
 The advantages of buying consumer grade products is mainly price, but in the example above the initial price is only one aspect of the overall Cost Of Ownership (COO). If you add up all the costs involved in this example you can see that the initial purchase price of the units is only a small part of the true costs.  Five units were needed, customer bought two extra with full USB ports and 3 extra to allow for repairs and battery issues. Meaning in effect the customer had to buy 10 units to ensure 5 were operational at all times. Any additional features that were required meant buying new tablets.
 Additional costs are:Shipping back and forth for repairs.
Additional purchases for new features and spares.
Additional units to allow for battery longevity issues.
Lost productivity due to units out of action.
Additional protection.
Anti theft costs.
IT costs for fixing software issues caused by staff tampering.
Reductions in productivity due to tablet limitations such as temperature and screen brightness issues.
Buying new units to get new features.
It’s difficult to add up all these costs but it is easy to see that the £300 retail price is easily doubled if not trebled to get the real cost of ownership.

RTC-700A
The customer bought 5 of the 7 inch RTC-700A units from AAEON which cost approximately £700-£800 each. These units are designed for industrial use, have higher range of temperature operations and hot-swap batteries. Additional docks and bar-code scanners can be bought later IF and when required without changing the original units. The 700A is much less likely to be dropped or stolen (does not have access to the Google apps store by default), is protected in case of drops, has full size USB ports, hot swap batteries as well as a range of add-ons. This unit has already saved the customer countless hours of productivity, reduced installation and operational costs and generally saved time and money on repairs and maintenance. 
RTC-600A
 The AAEON RTC units come in 5.7 inch, 7 inch, 10.1 and 11.9 inch units. The larger units can run Windows as well as Android and have a range of options such as WI-FI, 3G, Bar-code readers, docking stations with extra ports.
 If you would like to know more about our range of rugged computer equipment please contact RDS on 01959 563 345. WWW.REVIEW-DISPLAYS.CO.UK
 

Thursday, 18 August 2016


Kaby Lake Intel Core processor: 7th-gen CPU news, rumors and release date



Intel showed off a glimpse of what its latest chips are capable of during its IDF 2016 keynote, but not much else so far. Read on to learn more about that very glimpse.
Kaby Lake is the next generation of CPUs from Intel. Right now we're in the Skylake generation. You'll still see quite a few laptops from the previous Broadwell and Haswell series on sale, but they are officially past-it.
Here are all the details you need to know on the upcoming Intel Kaby Lake CPU revolution.
Cut to the chase
  • What is it? Intel's 7th-generation Core processor
  • When is it out? Before the end of 2016
  • What will it cost? Likely similar to Intel's current Skylake processors
Intel Kaby Lake release date
Kaby Lake is on our doorstep. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich confirmed on July 22 that Kaby Lake chipsets have made their way to PC builders.
This means we can expect to see a few Kaby Lake PCs arrive before the end of 2016. However, right now we don't know the exact chipsets that will arrive in the first wave.
Kaby Lake includes desktop CPUs, Intel Core i3/i5/i7 laptop CPUs and new Core M chipsets, as well as server-class models.
Even after Intel's keynote at its very own 2016 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Calif., we do not yet know the release date of the 7th generation of Intel Core series processors. However, at the show, Intel showed off a Dell XPS machine running a 7th generation Core i5 chip running recent shooter darling Overwatch using its own onboard GPU. We expect to learn more details shortly.



Kaby Lake leaked CPUs
Three Kaby Lake CPU models have already been leaked, though, one from each of the three mainstream lines of Intel chipsets. The Core i7-7700K is the leaked desktop CPU.
This tells us the Kaby Lake naming convention will remain similar: they are "7" series CPUs, to Skylake's gen 6, Broadwell's gen 5 and so on.
The i7-7700K is a quad-core hyper-threaded CPU, and benchmarks leaked all the way back in March suggest it's clocked at 3.6GHz with a 4.2GHz turbo boost. Of course, that may change by the time the chipset is actually used.
The CPU was leaked in the SiSoft benchmark result database, but unfortunately the results published are actually significantly worse than those of the i7-6700K, so don't tell us anything about Kaby Lake's performance. A downgrade upgrade? Let's hope not.
Next up is the Core i7-7500U, leaked alongside the i7-7700K. This is the sort of CPU we might end up seeing in a high-end ultrabook. It's a relatively high performance chipset, but still belongs to the "U" ultra-low voltage family.


It has two cores, four threads, and is clocked at 2.7GHz with a 2.9GHz turbo. Some of you might turn your noses up at dual-core laptop chipsets, but they're pretty important.
The most on-trend leaked CPU of the lot, though, is the Intel Core M7-7Y75. This is likely to be used in some of those impossibly slim laptops whose frames are filled more with battery than anything else.
Intel Kaby Lake first laptops
Where will these chipsets end up? None of the key laptops makers have officially announced any Kaby Lake laptops yet. They couldn't without having access to the hardware, not to mention letting Intel announce the chipsets first.
Apple Insider suggests that Apple is not among the first manufacturers to get hold of the new chipsets. Of course, Apple is more at risk of alienating buyers by offering early-as-possible upgrades, when its MacBook lines were only refreshed in April 2016.
It doesn't need to be in as much of a rush as, say, Asus or Lenovo.
Some suggest Apple may skip over Kaby Lake altogether, but this seems unlikely when its successor Intel Cannonlake is not due to arrive until the second half of 2017.

Intel Kaby Lake architecture
Cannonlake is likely to prove a much more exciting update than Kaby Lake too. You see, Kaby Lake is very similar to the Skylake family we're already using. This is not what we originally expected of the Skylake successor, but Intel has changed how its processor development works.
Since 2007, Intel has worked in a 'tick, tock' rhythm of upgrades, where one generation shrinks the die, followed by a generation that alters the architecture. That changed this year. As of 2016, Intel now uses a "Process, Architecture, Optimisation" approach, and Kaby Lake represents that last, frankly least interesting stage.
It's still a 14nm processor, it's fairly similar to Skylake throughout and the desktop variants will use the same LGA 1151 socket. Unless something terrible goes wrong, Cannonlake will shrink Intel CPUs down to the long-promised 10nm die in 2017.
While there are likely to be some performance and efficiency improvements, it seems unlikely those with a Skylake CPU will need/want to upgrade to a Kaby Lake processor of the same level.



Intel Kaby Lake upgrades
There are some distinct improvements involved in Kaby Lake, though. The first is fully integrated support for USB-C Gen 2. Skylake machines can offer this already, but need an extra third-party piece of hardware. It'll soon be 'native'. Again, it's not exciting but is necessary.
Gen 2 USB 3.1 enables bandwidth of 10Gbps, rather than 5Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 support is in too.
In a similar vein, HDCP 2.2 support is native in Kaby Lake. This digital copy protection, a newer version designed for certain 4K video standards. Ultra HD Blu-ray is the key one.

Kaby Lake is also expected to offer integrated GPUs better-suited to 4K video, although no exact details are available on the tech. This may simply mean more power. After all, current Intel Core-series CPUs can already output to multiple 4K monitors using integrated graphics. They just won't be to happy about the fact if you start doing anything remotely demanding.
Kaby Lake will only officially support Windows 10 too, among Windows operating systems. This is yet another attempt by Microsoft to push those lingering on Windows 7, or anything a little newer, into the present.

Apollo Lake: Kaby Lake's poor cousin
It's also worth considering the low-end Atom chipsets you'll see used in very cheap laptops and Windows 10 tablets in (potentially) late 2016 and 2017. These are not part of Kaby Lake, but a separate family called Apollo Lake.
No Apollo Lake-powered laptops have appeared yet, but early reports suggest a performance increase of as much as 30 per cent. This is good news given how poorly some Windows 10 devices currently run using low-end hardware.

Kaby Lake-X: a higher-end future
If you're only interested in mainstream Kaby Lake models, the future isn't looking too complicated. They'll trickle out, before being replaced by Cannonlake CPUs in late 2017. However, the outlook for seriously high-end hardware is more convoluted.
Right now Intel's newest high-end CPUs are part of the Broadwell-E series, even though among mainstream processors Broadwell is already old news. Quite simply, the real high-end hardware comes later. We're talking about CPUs like the £1000 i7-6900k.
The Kaby Lake alternative will not be called Kaby Lake-E but Kaby Lake-X, and is expected to launch in the second half of 2017 alongside Skylake-X. That's right: two generations at the same time.
Kaby Lake-X will reportedly offer a four-core processor, while Skylake-X will man the ascent to the almost-baffling 10-core version.

What mere mortal laptop and desktop buyers need to take from Kaby Lake, though, is that a) we'll see machines using the new chipsets very soon and b) unless you already need an upgrade you might want to see whether 2017's Cannonlake brings more exciting improvements.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The PICO - IMX7 - EMMC. A tiny board with big ambitions.



Over the last decade computer systems have become more powerful and smaller with each new generation. Here we are in the early 21st century and this trend continues. Technexion have recently released a new system on a chip (SOC) called the PICO-IMX7-EMMC, it's tiny. This little board measures 36mm by 40mm, the CPU power that this little unit has is just plain amazing.

It's based around the NXP i.IMX7 chipset and has two versions; the 800MHz solo and 1GHz Dual core unit. It utilizes up to 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and has onboard 4GB of eMMC storage. These features alone make it ideal for embedded applications where processing power is needed in a small space but it gets better.

The PICO board has a huge array of IO ports:

Edison I/O @ 1.8V
9 x GPIO
4 x PWM
2 x I2C
1 x I2S
1 x SPI
2 x UART
USB-OTG
SDIO (4-bit)

Additional I/O @ 3.3V
24 bit TTL RGB
RGMII LAN
CAN
USB Host
I2C

Operating systems that run include Linux 3.x, Yocto and Brillo.

The choice for embedded systems now is vast and with boards like the PICO IMX7, more and more power is available in a very small space.

Specifications

ProcessorNXP i.MX7 Solo / Dual
TechnologyARM Cortex-A7 single core @800Mhz + Cortex-M4
ARM Cortex-A7 dual core @ 1Ghz + Cortex-M4
Power Management ICNXP PF3000
System MemoryUpto 2GB LPDDR3
Storageonboard eMMC (default 4GB)
Operation SystemLinux, Yocto, Android , Ubuntu

Connectivity

Gigabit Network RGMIISignals routed to board-to-board connector
Wireless LANBroadcom BCM4339 802.11ac
BluetoothBroadcom BCM4339 Bluetooth v. 4.0

Connectors

Board-to-Board1x Intel Edison compatible connector (Hirose 70-pin)
2x Hirose 70-pin connectors

I/O Interface Signalling

Edison I/O @ 1.8V9x GPIO
4x PWM
2x I²C
1x I²S
1x SPI
2x UART
USB-OTG
SDIO (4-bit)
Additional I/O @ 3.3V24-bit TTL RGB
MIPI CSI Camera
MIPI DSI Display
PCIe
RGMII (gigabit LAN)
Flex CAN version 2.0B Compliant

Video

PXPImage re-sizing, rotation, overlay and CSC Pixel Processing Pipeline

Audio

InterfaceI²S (1 channel)
Audio CodecOn Carrier Board

 

Power Specifications

Input Power Requirements4.2 ~ 5.25 VDC

Environmental and Mechanical

TemperatureCommercial : 0° to 60° C
Extended : -20° to 70° C
Industrial : -35° to 85° C (no WiFi possible)
Humidity10 - 90%
Dimensions36 x 40 mm
1⅜ x 1 inch
Weight8 grams
CertificationCompliant with CE, FCC, RoHS, REACh directives






For more information on the Technexion PICO IMX7 please contact RDS on:

01959 563 345


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Moore's law is dead.... or is it?


A Haswell processor close up.


If you know anything about processors you will have heard of Gordon Moore. He was the co-founder of Intel and came up with his now famous law.
MOORES LAW : The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.
This basic observation by Moore has held true since 1965 but things are about to change.  Every year newer and better ways to put transistors on silicon are found. The size of each transistor reduces allowing chip designers to cram more and more in the same size. This basic process has reached its limit. According to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) transistor can't shrink any more. Moores law is dead?
The ITRS—which has been produced almost annually by a collaboration of most of the world's major semiconductor companies since 1993—is about as authoritative as it gets when it comes to predicting the future of computing. The 2015 roadmap will however be its last.
The most interesting aspect of the ITRS is that it tries to predict what materials and processes we might be using in the next 15 years. The idea is that, by collaborating on such a roadmap, the companies involved can sink their R&D money into the "right" technologies.
For example, despite all the fuss surrounding graphene and carbon nanotubes a few years back, the 2011 ITRS predicted that it would still be at least 10 to 15 years before they were actually used in memory or logic devices. Germanium and III-V semiconductors, though, were predicted to be only five to 10 years away. Thus, if you were deciding where to invest your R&D money, you might opt for the iii-V rather than nanotubes (which appears to be what Intel and IBM are doing).
The latest and last ITRS focuses on two key areas :
It will no longer be economically viable to shrink transistors after 2021
What might be done to keep Moore's law going despite transistors reaching their minimal limit.

(Remember, Moore's law simply predicts a doubling of transistor density within a given integrated circuit, not the size or performance of those transistors.)
The first problem has been known about for a long while. Basically, starting at around the 65nm node in 2006, the economic gains from moving to smaller transistors have been slowly dribbling away. Previously, moving to a smaller node meant you could cram tons more chips onto a single silicon wafer, at a reasonably small price increase. With recent nodes like 22 or 14nm, though, there are so many additional steps required that it costs a lot more to manufacture a completed wafer—not to mention additional costs for things like package-on-package (PoP) and through-silicon vias (TSV) packaging.
This is the primary reason that the semiconductor industry has been whittled from around 20 leading-edge logic-manufacturing companies in 2000, down to just four today: Intel, TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung. (IBM recently left the business by selling its fabs to GloFo.)
The second problem, how to keep increasing transistor density has a couple of likely solutions. First, ITRS expects that chip makers and designers will begin to move away from FinFET in 2019, towards gate-all-around transistor designs. Then, a few years later, these transistors will become vertical, with the channel fashioned out of some kind of nanowire. This will allow for a massive increase in transistor density, similar to recent advances in 3D V NAND memory.
The gains won't last for long though, according to ITRS: by 2024 (so, just eight years from now), we will once again run up against a thermal ceiling. Basically, there is a hard limit on how much heat can be dissipated from a given surface area. So, as chips get smaller and/or denser, it eventually becomes impossible to keep the chip cool. The only real solution is to completely rethink chip packaging and cooling. To begin with, we'll probably see microfluidic channels that increase the effective surface area for heat transfer. But after that, as we stack circuits on top of each other, we'll need something even fancier. Some form of electronics blood, perhaps?
The final ITRS report is a bit of a monster and I have only touched on a few aspects of it. There are large sections on heterogeneous integration, and also some important bits on connectivity (semiconductors play a key role in modulating optical and radio signals).
One interesting piece of short term decision making that will happen very soon is choosing which lithography and patterning techs will be used for commercial 7nm and 5nm logic chips. As you may know, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) has been waiting in the wings for years now, never quite reaching full readiness due to its extremely high power usage and some resolution concerns. In the mean time, chip makers have fallen back on increasing levels of multiple patterning—multiple lithographic exposures, which increase manufacturing time (and costs). Now, however, directed self-assembly (DSA)—where the patterns assemble themselves—is also getting very close to readiness. If either technology wants to be used over multiple patterning for 7nm logic, the ITRS says they will need to prove their readiness in the next few months.
So on the face of it Moore's law looked dead but there are a number of new techniques and technologies waiting in the wings that may well allow us to get round the current limitations. Time will tell.

An "EPIC" journey.

An “EPIC” journey beyond the standard.

                
                                                
 
  
 

AAEON goes on an “EPIC” journey beyond the Standard.



EPIC: An Introduction
In 2004, the PC/104 Embedded Consortium released the standard for Embedded Platform for Industrial Computing, more commonly referred to as EPIC. This standard for SBCs was intended to fill the gap that existed between the small, stackable PC/104 solutions and the larger EBX solutions. According to the PC/104 Embedded Consortium, “the purpose of this specification is to define a physical platform for the mid-sized embedded Single Board Computer (SBC) with multiple I/O expansion options. Its size is midway between the industry standard PC/104 stackable format and EBX SBC format. The added space allows for combining features on an SBC which would normally be found on multiple PC/104 modules”


As noted by the PC/104 Consortium, the EPIC standard defines a board that has x and y dimensions well- suited for smaller embedded industrial PC systems. With more board level real estate, EPIC systems can accommodate greater I/O integration as compared to its sister PC/104 standard that would require more stack-on peripheral boards. The dimensional increase also allows for the use of higher performance processor that often call for advanced heat dissipation. Take note of this issue of heat dissipation.

Reduced Total Cost of Ownership AAEON’s EPIC products are fully tested for compatibility and equips a comprehensive set of core functionalities that render additional modules unnecessary (less expansion), effectively lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 10 ~ 20%.
Legacy I/Os Expandability In computing, looking back is as important as looking forward. In that regard, AAEON’s EPIC products are designed to support legacy systems with the inclusion of the PC/104, PCI-104 (or PCIe) for prolonged use of tried-and-true systems while future-proofing it with newer, more modern technologies.

CPU Solder up Design
Since the Cedar View platforms, aka EPIC-CV07, EPIC-BT07, EPIC-QM77, EPIC-BDU7, AAEON’s EPIC products have boosted the “Solder up” design that places the CPU at the solder side of the PCB. Aiming to take the hassle out of thermal management, the design allows users to adopt a broader range of coolers (even making the idea of treating the chassis as a heat sink possible) without altering the layout of the components, saving development and system integration costs.


Wide Voltage Solution
Depending on the situation for which the solution is deployed, voltage can be a major hurdle to overcome. With this idea in mind. AAEON’s EPIC products are built to support a wide voltage range of 9-24V design to reduce the possibility of damaging the onboard components in the event a DC to DC converter module is used. In addition, the extended voltage range grants enhanced adoptability as up to 80% of today’s industrial requirements can be adequately satisfied, without the need for additional power modules. Flexible System Assembly 
The EPIC standard is exceptionally well-suited for smaller embedded industrial PC applications with its generous dimensions, offering a compact system with I/Os most conducive in today’s industrial use. AAEON’s EPIC board offers has on them up to six USB ports (USB 2.0/ 3.0), eight COM ports (RS-232/422/485), and two Mini-PCIe slots to satisfy the needs for extra components without assembling additional I/O modules.


“EPIC” Technology in Action The AAEON family of EPIC SBCs offers a line of versatile solutions. These highly integrated SBCs can be found serving the requirements of various industry segments from mobile infotainment to industrial automation, and even in the retail space. Due to the fact that AAEON has made these EPIC SBCs much like a component in terms of mechanical and thermal consideration, the benefits they bring to application developers are truly “EPIC” and considerably minimize the limitations for implementation.

EPIC-SKS7 The EPIC-SKS7 is the latest and most advanced member of AAEON’s EPIC product family with a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processor. The enhanced performance delivered by the chips came in form of support for up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory and clearer, higher resolution video output, making it viable in demanding applications such as high resolution machine vision equipment or mini-servers. The board also sports a CPU socket allowing for greater flexibility.

EPIC-BDU7
Based on the Broadwell platform, the EPIC-BDU7 carries a U-series CPU that lowers power consumption to 15 W, while still delivering impressive performance for 4K resolution media content or triple independent displays. The abovementioned solder up design is featured on this board in addition to the inclusion of the PCI-104 interface, two features that place the board in an ideal position for applications where legacy systems are in place and convenient thermal management is required, namely industrial automation and certain military equipment.


EPIC-BT07 While the Intel® Core™ series is deemed overpowered for certain applications, such as industrial HMIs, the EPIC-BT07 will be up to the task with its lower grade, but less power hungry Intel® Atom™ CPU. Still sporting a solder up design, the board is capable of dual displays as well as wide voltage support of 9 ~ 24V with a healthy set of I/Os, including six USB ports, two RJ-25 ports, and as many as six COM ports. Similar to its Broadwell counterpart, the EPIC-BT07 also uses a fanless thermal solution.

EPIC-CV07 & EPIC-QM57 The most mature and seasoned platform among the AAEON EPIC product family, the EPIC-CV07 and EPIC-QM57 have been the staples of the product line and ideally suited in applications ranging from industrial machinery to intelligent transport. Support for legacy systems are highlighted with the boards’ PCI-104 and PCIe interface as well as older operating systems such as Windows XP. In addition, the EPIC-CV07 carries as many as eight COM ports while the EPIC-QM57 sports a CPU socket for greater flexibility. 


About AAEON AAEON is a leading manufacturer of advanced industrial and embedded computing platforms. Committed to innovative engineering, AAEON provides integrated solutions, hardware and services for premier OEM/ODMs and system integrators worldwide. Reliable and high quality computing platforms include industrial motherboards and systems, industrial displays, rugged tablets, PC/104 modules, PICMG half-size and full-size boards and COM modules, embedded SBCs, embedded controllers and related accessories.

AAEON also offers customized end-to-end services from initial product conceptualization and product development on through after-sales service programs. 

AAEON is a GSA contract holder (#GS-35F-0470Y) serving the Federal, State & Local government sectors. AAEON is also an Associate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance. From modular components to market-ready systems, Intel and the 400+ global member companies of the Alliance provide scalable, interoperable solutions that accelerate deployment of intelligent devices and end-to-end analytics. Close collaboration with Intel enables Alliance members to innovate with the latest technologies, helping developers deliver state-of-the-art, first-to-market solutions. 


More information can be found regarding all of AAEON’s product lines at http://www.review-displays.co.uk or call us on 01959 563 345

 
                            

Tuesday, 12 July 2016



AMT releases Ruggedized T-Model PCI Touch Solution
Projective capacitive (PCAP or PCI) touch enabled systems designed to handle a large volume of users, installed in high foot traffic areas, or subjected to rough handling often require a tough ruggedized PCI touch surface more protective than standard thickness glass. As the leading provider of touch panels to the industrial, medical, and commercial fields, AMT has developed a ruggedized PCI product in our new T-Model series PCI touch solution. T-Model PCI touch panels can utilized a cover lens thickness of 6mm.
Touch systems operated by the public or in the field may be expected to handle large numbers of input actions, be operated much more callously than personal electronics, or be subjected to impact by stray objects. The countless motorists passing through a gas station have little reason to treat the touch enabled gas pump gently when rushing on their way. Similarly, kiosk and point of sale terminal operators concentrate on completing appoint tasks instead of the machinery's wellbeing. All these systems must be tough enough to not just withstand the continuous impact of fingers but also the misplaced gas nozzle, errant handbag, or unguided shopping cart. In order to meet these applications requirements, a system designer designing a PCI touch panel with a ruggedized glass surface will, in general, consider utilizing a glass panel from 4mm to 6mm thick.
Ahead of this demand, AMT has released its T-Model series of firmware for PenMount PM1310/1410/1710/1711 controllers for the construction of ruggedized PCI touch panels. Customers can select AMT standard stock PCI touch panels from 8.4" to 24" to be outfitted with thick glass. AMT's T-model PCI touch solution provides increased durability by allowing the lamination of décor glass of 6mm thickness to standard medium and large size AMT PCI sensors. Décor glass lamination service can be provided by AMT or competed at the customer end. The T-Model firmware update is then required for thick cover lens touch operation with support for standard glove types. If you already possess an AMT OCA-Film-Film (AFF) sensor and can add the appropriate thickness décor glass, we can provide you with the firmware update per your request. All PCI sensors and PenMount PCI touch control boards used will be current models, with the only changes being cover glass thickness of 6mm and PenMount controller firmware. Of course, if 4mm or 5mm glass is selected for use with the T-Model PCI solution, we will adjust and provide custom firmware to suit your needs.

At AMT, we prioritize the ability to anticipate customer needs. We provide total touch solutions tailored to customers' application environments and system requirements. These solutions are robust, reliable, and easy to integrate without the need for complex adjustment, tuning, or calibration. If you are designing a ruggedized system, AMT's T-Model PCI solution may be suitable for you. Please contact RDS on 01959 563 345 for more details.

www.review-displays.co.uk


Thursday, 23 June 2016

AAEON Takes “EPIC” Steps Beyond the Standard

                
                                                

  


AAEON Takes “EPIC” Steps Beyond the Standard



EPIC: An Introduction
In 2004, the PC/104 Embedded Consortium released the standard for Embedded Platform for Industrial Computing, more commonly referred to as EPIC. This standard for SBCs was intended to fill the gap that existed between the small, stackable PC/104 solutions and the larger EBX solutions. According to the PC/104 Embedded Consortium, “the purpose of this specification is to define a physical platform for the mid-sized embedded Single Board Computer (SBC) with multiple I/O expansion options. Its size is midway between the industry standard PC/104 stackable format and EBX SBC format. The added space allows for combining features on an SBC which would normally be found on multiple PC/104 modules”


As noted by the PC/104 Consortium, the EPIC standard defines a board that has x and y dimensions well- suited for smaller embedded industrial PC systems. With more board level real estate, EPIC systems can accommodate greater I/O integration as compared to its sister PC/104 standard that would require more stack-on peripheral boards. The dimensional increase also allows for the use of higher performance processor that often call for advanced heat dissipation. Take note of this issue of heat dissipation.

Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
AAEON’s EPIC products are fully tested for compatibility and equips a comprehensive set of core functionalities that render additional modules unnecessary (less expansion), effectively lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 10 ~ 20%.

Legacy I/Os Expandability
In computing, looking back is as important as looking forward. In that regard, AAEON’s EPIC products are designed to support legacy systems with the inclusion of the PC/104, PCI-104 (or PCIe) for prolonged use of tried-and-true systems while future-proofing it with newer, more modern technologies.

CPU Solder up Design
Since the Cedar View platforms, aka EPIC-CV07, EPIC-BT07, EPIC-QM77, EPIC-BDU7, AAEON’s EPIC products have boosted the “Solder up” design that places the CPU at the solder side of the PCB. Aiming to take the hassle out of thermal management, the design allows users to adopt a broader range of coolers (even making the idea of treating the chassis as a heat sink possible) without altering the layout of the components, saving development and system integration costs.



Wide Voltage Solution
Depending on the situation for which the solution is deployed, voltage can be a major hurdle to overcome. With this idea in mind. AAEON’s EPIC products are built to support a wide voltage range of 9-24V design to reduce the possibility of damaging the onboard components in the event a DC to DC converter module is used. In addition, the extended voltage range grants enhanced adoptability as up to 80% of today’s industrial requirements can be adequately satisfied, without the need for additional power modules.
Flexible System Assembly 
The EPIC standard is exceptionally well-suited for smaller embedded industrial PC applications with its generous dimensions, offering a compact system with I/Os most conducive in today’s industrial use. AAEON’s EPIC board offers has on them up to six USB ports (USB 2.0/ 3.0), eight COM ports (RS-232/422/485), and two Mini-PCIe slots to satisfy the needs for extra components without assembling additional I/O modules.



“EPIC” Technology in Action
The AAEON family of EPIC SBCs offers a line of versatile solutions. These highly integrated SBCs can be found serving the requirements of various industry segments from mobile infotainment to industrial automation, and even in the retail space. Due to the fact that AAEON has made these EPIC SBCs much like a component in terms of mechanical and thermal consideration, the benefits they bring to application developers are truly “EPIC” and considerably minimize the limitations for implementation.


EPIC-SKS7
The EPIC-SKS7 is the latest and most advanced member of AAEON’s EPIC product family with a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processor. The enhanced performance delivered by the chips came in form of support for up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory and clearer, higher resolution video output, making it viable in demanding applications such as high resolution machine vision equipment or mini-servers. The board also sports a CPU socket allowing for greater flexibility.

EPIC-BDU7
Based on the Broadwell platform, the EPIC-BDU7 carries a U-series CPU that lowers power consumption to 15 W, while still delivering impressive performance for 4K resolution media content or triple independent displays. The abovementioned solder up design is featured on this board in addition to the inclusion of the PCI-104 interface, two features that place the board in an ideal position for applications where legacy systems are in place and convenient thermal management is required, namely industrial automation and certain military equipment.


EPIC-BT07
While the Intel® Core™ series is deemed overpowered for certain applications, such as industrial HMIs, the EPIC-BT07 will be up to the task with its lower grade, but less power hungry Intel® Atom™ CPU. Still sporting a solder up design, the board is capable of dual displays as well as wide voltage support of 9 ~ 24V with a healthy set of I/Os, including six USB ports, two RJ-25 ports, and as many as six COM ports. Similar to its Broadwell counterpart, the EPIC-BT07 also uses a fanless thermal solution.

EPIC-CV07 & EPIC-QM57
The most mature and seasoned platform among the AAEON EPIC product family, the EPIC-CV07 and EPIC-QM57 have been the staples of the product line and ideally suited in applications ranging from industrial machinery to intelligent transport. Support for legacy systems are highlighted with the boards’ PCI-104 and PCIe interface as well as older operating systems such as Windows XP. In addition, the EPIC-CV07 carries as many as eight COM ports while the EPIC-QM57 sports a CPU socket for greater flexibility. 


About AAEON
AAEON is a leading manufacturer of advanced industrial and embedded computing platforms. Committed to innovative engineering, AAEON provides integrated solutions, hardware and services for premier OEM/ODMs and system integrators worldwide. Reliable and high quality computing platforms include industrial motherboards and systems, industrial displays, rugged tablets, PC/104 modules, PICMG half-size and full-size boards and COM modules, embedded SBCs, embedded controllers and related accessories.

AAEON also offers customized end-to-end services from initial product conceptualization and product development on through after-sales service programs. 

AAEON is a GSA contract holder (#GS-35F-0470Y) serving the Federal, State & Local government sectors. AAEON is also an Associate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance. From modular components to market-ready systems, Intel and the 400+ global member companies of the Alliance provide scalable, interoperable solutions that accelerate deployment of intelligent devices and end-to-end analytics. Close collaboration with Intel enables Alliance members to innovate with the latest technologies, helping developers deliver state-of-the-art, first-to-market solutions. 


More information can be found regarding all of AAEON’s product lines at http://www.review-displays.co.uk or call us on 01959 563 345