Can you put your mind in the same space as an engineer? Not only do people in this profession have to complete many years of schooling, but they are constantly thrown into problematic situations requiring ingenuity to solve. It’s essentially a vocation filled with problem solvers; people who look at an issue and use their knowledge and the technology available to them to come up with a new way forward. In the industrial world, the main focus of the technology is often efficiency in the harshest environments. Resolving this issue presents an interesting problem for makers of embedded systems.
When it comes to embedded systems, using optimal components is absolutely necessary to creating a functional machine. There are numerous off-the-shelf components within the commercial market that could theoretically be used. A CPU that powers a consumer PC can certainly be used within industrial computers; however, it may not be able to function at its peak efficiency because of the environment in which it is placed. Even more importantly, it likely won’t be supported for the full lifecycle of Continue Reading…
Advertising, as a business and culture, has changed drastically, especially over the last decade. New avenues to create different kinds of signage are being explored. This, along with a shift away from print, has altered the way companies spend their ad revenue. The digital age puts innovative technology at the forefront and creates new ad space through a digital signage computer, for example.
Planar, a well-established tech company in the US, provides great solutions for the digital signage industry, not only by making high quality products, but by keeping on top of the newest technological breakthroughs in displays.
We are enjoying a welcome move toward a new panel standard, further shrinking of device footprints, and the unveiling of a new display resolution far beyond what was commonly viewed as “high definition.”
A Brave New Age of Digital Signage Computers
We live in a time when a piece of advertising can become interactive. We’ve seen this strategy on the Internet with click through ads, but the new venture seems to be full-sized digital signage advertisements that implement gesture based technology. Touch screen monitors provide for high quality video bolstered by multi-touch capabilities. Planar has a specific line of products for this use case that puts a large scale monitor in the public realm with their hallmark Electronic Rugged Optimization, or ERO, to ensure that the product will last. Continue Reading…
Military designers must hold one of the most frustrating vocations in the tech field. They may have a seemingly infinite number of resources and get to play with some of the latest and most interesting technology in the world, but they also have to deal with an inherent problem baked into the industry.
Military technology spans decades and therefore understandably has a tough time upgrading all at once. That said, newer pieces sometimes have to be able to handshake effectively or work within the existing framework of a much older machine. Single board computers have been around for some time and the backplane configuration is still widely used, so creating new SBC standards that can play well with the old guard can cause some headaches.
The eurocard SBC sector had long been held by the VME bus. However, with the increasing popularity and needs of the eurocard format, the PICMG ratified a format based on PCI technology, which we now know as CompactPCI and has grown considerably, to include much more than its PCI origins. And even later, VPX technology was thrown on the table to push technology forward by utilizing newer connection methods for faster data movement, while still embracing the older VME lineage. These two types of single board computers represent the vanguard of new information technology, especially for the military and aerospace sectors. The possibilities they allow mean new ideas for designers truly looking to the future. Continue Reading…
Previously, we looked at the importance of choosing a good OS. More specifically, that blog talked about the Windows Embedded platform, an operating system tailor-made for industrial systems, and one that provides a great deal of the functionality that these machines need. It works extremely well on the hardware and can be considered an industry standard. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the be-all and end-all of embedded operating systems. There are a number of other choices, some that provide interesting advantages to the end users and OEMs that design with them in mind.
One such OS that can be helpful during the build your own computer process is Linux. The many uses inherent to the platform make it just as flexible as the Windows Embedded platform, and perhaps even more so, due to its variability and open source nature. Linux has been around in embedded systems for some time, but the industry has become somewhat complacent in sticking to closed platforms rather than branching out. We should be looking more in this direction.
What is Linux in the “Build Your Own Computer” Context?
The moniker of the “Old Granddaddy of OS’s” fits the Linux platform. Though Linux was definitely not the first operating system, traced back to Continue Reading…
If there is one thing you can bet on in the technology world, especially in computing, it’s that the upcoming best component is always on the horizon. The constant march of progress has very little chance of stopping, which means that hardware manufacturers are always going to be thinking of the next revolution and “flashpoint” moment in computer components.
Intel has taken a significant stride in this direction with its new CPU microarchitecture named Haswell. This next step, a follow-up to the widely respected Ivy Bridge line of products, presents an upgrade across the board and spreads these boons to a completely different market: the mobile/tablet sector.
What does Haswell do for Computer Components?
These new CPU chips range from high end, super-powerful models to more stripped-down and conservative SKUs. Across the entirety of the line, there is an Continue Reading…
Storage is an interesting quandary within the computing community. There are two different ideas on the matter, which match up to the different use cases within the industrial field. There is always demand for a machine/PC with a single or multiple large hard drives that allow for lots of storage and quick access, depending on the type of drive being utilized. Whether it is traditional SATA drives or faster flash-based, having adequate storage within a machine can be a necessary component for individual workers or small businesses.
But what about the storage needs of a larger company? What if there is a large group of workers spread out amongst different sites, or in diverse departments within a building, who all need to access the same information? In this situation, a network attached storage setup could be the most effective solution. An OEM that understands what this storage type is and how it can affect the productivity of a company will better service their clients and grow in business.
What is Network Attached Storage?
The basic way that network attached storage (or NAS) works is through a centralized and networked storage bay. Contained within Continue Reading…