Embedded CPU-Arm ArchitectureSomething that shouldn’t be underestimated when creating embedded machines is the need for a strong processor. There are a whole suite of components that a developer or OEM needs to concentrate on, but most are not as important as the CPU. Understanding what power demands are allotted for the overall product and what it has to accomplish guides the component types that can be utilized. For many industrial machines, the main requirements of good design are:

  • compact
  • fast processor
  • low power/battery consumption

Finding the right embedded CPU to fulfill all of these demands has been made pretty darn easy, thanks to the ARM architecture. Created in the 80’s, these lines of smaller and smarter processors have taken the commercial world by storm, and have concrete applications for embedded systems. The constant reiteration of its product line ensures great strides in making the ARM architecture more efficient and powerful. They become even more relevant for the industrial market by being extremely compatible across old and new platforms. Their versatility in embedded CPU usage cannot be overlooked by companies and OEMs that are designing small, single board machines. Continue Reading…

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The AEC-6613 Fanless Embedded System is an all-around good product that is a suitable fit for the majority of applications. Its low power, fanless, design makes it especially ideal for more demanding environments where temperatures can pose an issue. The AEC-6613 can be optimally used in the following applications:AEC-6613 Embedded System

  • In-vehicle,
  • Multimedia
  • Digital signage

Tip: Pair the AEC-6613 with a compact flash drive, as opposed to an HDD, for the best performance in suitable applications

It is important to take into consideration that the AEC-6613 embedded system only contains one VGA port as its sole display interface (though there is an option for 2), so if a higher scale digital interface such as an HDMI or DVI port are necessary, then this may not be the machine for your specific need.

However, the AEC-6613 does have a handful of noticeably impressive traits that could make it the right embedded system for you: Continue Reading…

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Advertising, as a business and culture, has changed drastically, especially over the last decade. New avenues to create different kinds of digital signage computersignage 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…

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MILITARY - Single Board Computers 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…

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build your own computerPreviously, 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…

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computer componentsIf 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…

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network attached storageStorage 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…

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rugged systemA quick experiment: think about some of the industrial computers that a company uses for their everyday functions. Where is that electronic device being placed? Is it used indoors, on a dusty warehouse floor? Or is it exposed to the elements in challenging outdoor environments? The real poser is: how do you know that the components that drive these computers are being kept safe, no matter what the conditions?

It’s a significant problem, not only for companies looking to buy these electronics, but for the OEMs that have to assemble and sell them. Understanding the rating standards for these rugged system enclosures is necessary to ensure provision of what the customer needs.

What are NEMA Ratings Standards?

One of the most stringent and widely tested rating standards for rugged systems is the NEMA, a.k.a. National Electric Manufacturer Association rating spectrum. It was created as a way for suppliers and OEMs to understand the relative protection that an enclosure will provide a rugged system. These range from Continue Reading…

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embedded system projectsIn the entire business world, networking is touted as one of the most important aspects of success. Knowing that right person who can provide your business with the best information or product at exactly the right time can be key to ensuring that your company progresses and reaches its next evolution.

Networking can be a difficult thing to do in the industrial world, especially when it comes to requiring the right connections for a distributor. When an OEM embarks on brand new embedded system projects, it is vital to start forging connections with companies that will make the design and engineering of this machine flow as smoothly as possible.

That’s why creating a positive connection and effective working relationship with a knowledgeable supplier is absolutely paramount. Seek a company that not only can provide your business with the necessary parts to Continue Reading…

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full size CPU cardIn retrospect, power can be awe-inspiring. When charting the advancement of technology in the last thirty years, the industry has increased processing power, graphical capability, and storage space by at least thirty fold. Size requirements for supercomputers have shrunk to handheld devices, and the modern cellphone can handle just about every function of a full desktop computer in the 90’s.

Consumer market demands drive manufacturers to create more compact designs; this is mirrored in the industrial market, but there’s also a distinction, because industrial computing still needs workhorses. This computer type has the distinct purpose of processing massive amounts of data quickly or rendering complex images and videos for immediate use. It also doesn’t necessarily need to sacrifice power for a smaller frame. Quite the opposite, in fact.

What drives a data center or server such as this is a number of full size CPU cards plugged into a backplane. These types of embedded boards are built for the sole purpose of processing and storing as much data as possible from a single board. When choosing between different manufacturers for this form factor, an OEM must look at all the angles and figuring out what each full size CPU card provides, including Continue Reading…

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