Rugged Nano-ITX SBC Boasts Security Encryption Hardware

WinSystems has announced its Nano-ITX form factor ITX-N-3900 board-level system. It provides a complete system that can be readily expanded and configured for diverse applications requiring an extended product life and high reliability under extreme operating temperatures. The 4.27-inch (120 mm) square footprint features an onboard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0-compliant chipset and four USB 3.1 host ports, along with a robust I/O set.

The ITX-N-3900 is SBC based on the Intel Atom E3900 Apollo Lake processor family. It uses less than 12 W for fanless applications and performs reliably in industrial operating temperatures ranging from -40º to +85ºC. It includes a SODIMM socket supporting up to 8 GB of DDR3L system memory, one high-speed SATA storage interface, microSD storage and one mSATA storage interface. It includes dual Ethernet, DisplayPort, an RS-232/485/422 serial channel, and expansion options via Mini-PCle and M.2 connectors. The ITX-N-3900 is designed for long-term availability and supports Linux, Windows 10 desktop, Windows 10 IoT, and other x86-compatible real-time operating systems (RTOS).

The Nano-ITX form factor product series upports not only extended product longevity, but the extended range of operating temperatures common in rugged environments. Enabling such flexible computing solutions is particularly appropriate for industrial IoT, energy management, medical, digital signage and other industrial embedded system applications.

WinSystems | www.winsystems.com

Chassis Mount AC-DC Supplies Feature Low Profile Metal Case

CUI’s Power Group has announced a new line of compact, chassis mount AC-DC power supplies housed in an enclosed metal case. The VGS-B series offers power ratings from 35 W to 350 W with low 30 mm profiles and compact packages as small as 99 mm x 82 mm x 30 mm (3.89″ x 3.22″ x 1.18″). Delivering no-load power consumption as low as 0.3 W and an operating temperature range of -20°C to +70°C, these rugged, metal enclosed power modules are well suited for reducing standby power usage and optimizing available space within commercial and industrial applications.
CUI’s VGS-B power supplies carry single output voltages of 12, 24, 30 and 48 VDC, depending on the series, and an adjustable output trim. While most of the series are convection cooled, the VGS-250B and VGS-350B series both feature built-in cooling with a temperature-controlled fan. All models further feature a screw terminal interface, along with over current, over voltage and over temperature protections.

Safety approvals for the VGS-B series include UL and EN 60950-1 as well as EN 55032 for conducted and radiated emissions. The VGS-B series are available immediately with prices starting at $14.07 per unit (100s) through distribution.

CUI | www.cui.com

Compact, Arm-based Mini-PC is Toughened up for IIoT

By Eric Brown

DFI’s Pico-ITX-based, DIN-rail mountable “EC900-FS6” mini-PC runs Linux or Android on an i.MX6 DualLite, and offers 2x GbE, 2x USB, 2x serial, mini-PCIe, and extensive ruggedization features.

A reader recently noted our excessive use of the term “rugged,” which is fair enough. In our defense, embedded gear is increasingly tolerant of wide temperature ranges, and to a lesser extent, excessive shock, vibration, and dust and water ingress. From now on, we will no longer use “rugged” to describe a system that has a wide temperature range without also offering other protections. We will, however, continue to apply it to systems like DFI’s i.MX6-based EC900-FS6 mini-PC, which is not only rugged, but quite compact at 143 mm x 96.4 mmx 34 mm.


 
EC900-FS6
(click images to enlarge)

Designed for industrial IoT (IIoT) gateways and other embedded applications, the EC900-FS6 features -20 to 60°C or -40 to 70°C support, as well as 3G, 11ms shock resistance and IEC68-2-64 (3G) compliant vibration resistance (random 5~500Hz). It also has a 10 to 90% RH (non-condensing) humidity range and provides a wide-range 9-36V DC input via a terminal block. The fanless, DIN-rail mountable system has a 15-year lifecycle guarantee.

The EC900-FS6 is built around DFI’s Pico-ITX form-factor FS053 SBC, which is equipped with a dual Cortex-A9 i.MX6 DualLite SoC clocked to 1GHz. Both the SBC and the system ship with Android 5.1 beta, as well as a stack built with Yocto Project 1.8 beta, both with Linux Kernel 3.14.52.

 
DFI FS053 (left) and detail views
(click images to enlarge)
The EC900-FS6 provides 1GB or 2GB of DDR3L, 8GB or 16GB of eMMC, 4MB NOR flash, and a microSD slot. You get dual GbE ports (Atheros AR8033-AL1B and Microchip LAN7500-ABZJ controllers), as well as dual USB 2.0 ports and internal USB 2.0 and USB OTG interfaces.


EC900-FS6 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The EC900-FS6 is further equipped with an HD-resolution HDMI port, 4-bit DIO, a UART console, and RS-485 and RS-232 interfaces deployed via 2-pole terminal blocks. A mini-PCIe slot is accompanied by dual mounting holes for WiFi antennas. Other features include a watchdog timer, a reset button, and a status LED.

Further information

The EC900-FS6 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in this EC900-FS6 announcement and datasheet (PDF).

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on August 29.

DFI | www.dfi.com

Fully Encapsulated DC-DC Converters Meet Rugged System Needs

MINMAX Technology has announced the MJWI06C/MKWI10C series of fully encapsulated 6 W to 10 W DC-DC converters with chassis and DIN-Rail mounting package which can be directly installed in server rack, data cabinet and outdoor telecom/industry equipment. The MJWI06C (shown)/MKWI10C Series both consists of 18 models offering 9-36 VDC or 18-75 VDC input ranges with single output models ranging fro 5 VDC to 48 VDC and dual output models ± 15V, ±24 V delivering 6 W to 10 W of output power.

Further features include I/O Isolation of 3,000 VDC, high average efficiency up to 86%, operating ambient temperature range of -40°C to +87°C, no minimum load requirement, built-in EMC filter for EMI emission EN55032 Class A without additional components required, and under-voltage/overload/short-circuit protection. All models have been qualified per the CB scheme with safety approvals to UL/cUL/IEC/EN 62368-1 standards.

MJWI06C Features:

  • Fully Encapsulated Plastic Case for Chassis and DIN-Rail Mounting Version
  • Ultra-wide 4:1 Input Voltage Range
  • Fully Regulated Output Voltage
  • High Efficiency up to 85%
  • I/O Isolation 3000 VDC
  • Operating Ambient Temp. Range -40°C to +87°C
  • No Min. Load Requirement
  • Under-voltage, Overload and Short Circuit Protection
  • Remote On/Off Control

MKWI10C Features:

  • Fully Encapsulated Plastic Case for Chassis and DIN-Rail MountingVersion
  • Ultra-wide 4:1 Input Voltage Range
  • Fully Regulated Output Voltage
  • High Efficiency up to 86%
  • I/O Isolation 3000 VDC
  • Operating Ambient Temp. Range -40°C to +87°C
  • No Min. Load Requirement
  • Under-voltage, Overload and Short Circuit Protection
  • Remote On/Off Control
  • EMI Emission EN 55032 Class A & FCC Level A Approved(Pending)
  • EMC Immunity EN61000-4-2,3,4,5,6,8 Approved(Pending)
  • UL/cUL/IEC/EN 62368-1 Safety Approval & CE Marking (Pending)

MINMAX Technology | www.minmaxpower.com

NXP i.MX6-Based Boards Boast Extended Temp Operation

Versalogic has announced the Zebra, its latest in their new line of production-ready ARM-based embedded computers. Featuring models with either the NXP i.MX6 Solo (single core), or the i.MX6 DualLite (dual core) processors, the Zebra is rated for full industrial temperature operation (-40°C to +85°C). The compact 95 mm x 95 mm computer board typically consumes less than 3 W of power when operating.

Unlike many ARM-based “modules,” Versalogic’s new ARM-based products are complete board-level computers. They do not require additional carrier cards, companion boards, connector break-out boards or other add-ons to function. For ease of mounting and future upgrades, the Zebra product conforms to the size and mounting points of the industry standard COM Compact format. Unlike proprietary-format ARM products, Versalogic ARM boards provide a standardized mounting pattern for simplified upgrading in the future.
The Zebra embedded computer board is ready for off-the-shelf deployment into demanding industrial, defense and aerospace applications requiring rugged, long-life, power efficient, industrial temperature rated (-40°C to +85°C) solutions.

Both Zebra models include soldered-on memory, and a variety of I/O. The on-board I/O includes a Gigabit Ethernet port with network boot capability, two USB 2.0 Ports, serial I/O (RS-232), CAN Bus, I2C, and SPI. An on-board 6-axis e-compass is optional.

Many applications that require lower power or lower heat dissipation still need very high levels of reliability. Designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation, VersaLogic’s Zebra also meets MIL-STD-202G specifications to withstand high impact and vibration.

ARM-based Zebra products, part numbers VL-EPC-2701, are in stock at both Versalogic and Digi-Key. with OEM pricing starting at $168.

Versalogic | www.versalogic.com

Rugged IoT Gateway Facilitates Quick Deployment

Axiomtek has introduced its latest RISC-based, DIN-rail industrial IoT gateway, the IFB125. It is powered by the Freescale i.MX6UL processor with the ARM Cortex-A7 microarchitecture. This compact IoT gateway is designed for versatility of use and quick deployment. The IFB125 is suitable for a variety of applications including applications that require remote control and monitoring management functions such as unmanned control, industrial automation, automatic parking lot control, traffic light control and more.

The IFB125 comes with multiple I/O connections including one RS-232/422/485 port, two 10/100 Mbps LAN ports, one USB 2.0 port, one 2-IN/1-OUT DIO, one I2C and one SPI. This embedded IoT gateway platform is equipped with one PCI Express Mini Card slot and one SIM card slot for wireless connectivity. It has a 256 MB onboard memory that features a fast data transfer rate of DDR3-1600. The robust IFB125 has an extended operating temperature range from -40°C to 70°C and can withstand vibration up to 5G. Its wide voltage range of 9V  to 48 V DC power input with a lockable terminal block-type connector makes it suitable for use in harsh environments. The IFB125 comes with an embedded Linux operating system (Yocto) to provide an open standard OS for software program development.

Features:

  • Fanless and compact gateway with a RISC-based (i.MX6UltraLite) processor at 528 MHz
  • 256 MB DDR3 SDRAM and 8 GB eMMC Flash onboard
  • SPI and I2C function with 3.3 V power
  • Multiple I/O options include one wireless socket for Wi-Fi or 3G/4G, two digital inputs, one digital output and two LAN ports
  • Wide operating temperature range of -40°C to +70°C
  • Power input range of 9V to 48V DC with terminal block
  • Ready-to-run embedded Linux operating system (Yocto)

Axiomtek | www.us.axiomtek.com

IoT in Rugged Environments

Input Voltage

–Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

JeffHeadShot

In late January every year, I always enjoy attending the Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) event where a selection of 15—give or take—sponsor companies from the embedded board industry get together to confab with the embedded industry’s  technology journalists. Held this year in Austin, Texas, it was a great opportunity to kick off the year with TED-talk style presentations from the vendors, and one-on-one meetings between us in the press and the sponsoring vendors. These companies are the leading makers of board- and box-level embedded computers designed for the more rugged end of the embedded spectrum—everything from transportation to factory automation to defense.

With Circuit Cellar increasing its coverage of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) in 2018 and beyond, naturally the IoT part of the discussion stood out or me—and there was good representation of that. In his presentation at ETT, Jarvis Wenger of MEN Micro exemplified the idea of IoT in a rugged environment. His talk described a high-performance edge computing system for an IoT oil field implementation. This IoT system had to function reliably even under the most adverse conditions and is currently in use on oil platforms.

The CompactPCI-based server platform is installed directly on the drilling sites and communicates with the operator’s data processing center in real time over GSM. The system relays all the data relating to the position of the drill head, resistance in the drilling mud, as well as general function and error analyses.

The server makes use of CompactPCI standard components equipped with a solid conduction-cooled aluminum frame. The components, in turn, are encased in an IP64-protected housing, also with thermally conductive properties. The transmission of data from the server platforms to the drilling sites and onward to the data processing center is encrypted by security protocols and corresponds to an end-to-end encryption.

The presentation from PICMG (PCI Industrial Manufacturers Group) at ETT focused directly on Industrial IoT as a theme. My friend Jessica Isquith, President of PICMG, gave the PICMG talk. She described how two of the primary challenges to the adoption of IIoT are a lack of standardization and the need to accommodate the legacy installed base of technologies. The need for standards, she emphasized, is a key need but one that falls right into PICMG’s strengths as a creator of open standards. Jessica described how there’s excellent standards work already being done to facilitate IIoT, but gaps exist and collaboration by interested stakeholders is vital. In terms of embedded board form factors, three PICMG standards are very well suited for IIoT: COM Express, CompactPCI Serial and MicroTCA.

Jessica outlined several efforts that PICMG is working on to fill the gaps of IIoT standardization. A standard called Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Redfish is a growing standard for management in IT and datacenters, but it lacks any schema for industrial-specific devices. With that in mind, PICMG plans to use its capabilities and domain knowledge to craft a meta-data model for IIoT.

Next, Jessica talked about a COM Express IIoT Developer Kit. This hardware kit to be offered by PICMG will include a carrier board with IIoT I/O break-out, examples of metadata models for common sensors and examples of I/O interface for common sensors types. Jessica believes the kit will help accelerate IIoT development and the deployment of IIoT enabled sensors.

Another solution opportunity Jessica described in her talk is a postage-stamp sized embedded board form factor specification. The idea would be a board with “just enough“ I/O and microcontroller-level processing. A postage stamp form factor will allow PICMG to extend its platform support lower into the IIoT hardware stack and enable growth in the smart sensors market. To sum up her presentation, Jessica said that, taken together, all these collaborative PICMG efforts fit into the organizations goal to make 2018 a year of significant success in IIoT.

While IoT—and even IIoT—are broad application areas with many sub-segments, it’s clear that the rugged portion of the IoT has particular challenges. It’s encouraging to see that many embedded computing vendors and organizations like PICMG are committed to help smooth the way forward. The talks mentioned here and all the of the rest of presentations from this year’s ETT are available at www.embeddedtechtrends.com

This appears in the March (332) issue of Circuit Cellar magazine

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