Panel PCs are a category of display systems that are meant to be mounted on a factory wall or on the side of an industrial machine. And rather than simply being a display, panel PCs embed complete single board computing functionality, providing a complete embedded solution.
Because they provide a complete, all-in-one, embedded computing and HMI (human-machine interface), panel PCs enable any embedded system to display information and enable user control. You’ll find that most modern panel PCs are touchscreen displays unless they are basically digital signage displays. As you can see from the product album of representative panel PCs in this article, there is a generous mix of products that vary in size and feature sets. Panel PCs embed full blown SBCs, often using the latest and greatest embedded microprocessors, including Intel Whiskey Lake, Comet Lake and others.
Panel PCs tend to be installed in long-life cycle applications, which is why using embedded processors make sense. Traditionally, industrial systems such as factory automation and process control are among the most common uses for panel PCs. More recently, medical panel PCs have emerged that are outfitted with special safety and hygiene friendly features specifically for use in a range of hospital uses.
In an application example of panel PCs, Adlink Technology offers a story of a medical equipment manufacturing and system integration service provider in the greater China area that needed a panel PC to be integrated in its digital operating room solution. A modern medical panel computer has to be able to run multiple systems at the same time over a lengthy surgical procedure (Figure 1). These systems include the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and the patient data management system (PDMS), among others.
In order to protect the patient and the equipment inside the operating room, a medical panel computer must pass the strict IEC/EN 60601-1 standard for the safety and essential performance of medical electronic equipment to prevent against static interference with other equipment during surgery. With all that in mind, the integrator chose Adlink’s MLC Series medical panel PC. The MLC’s high-performance quad-core Intel Core processor ensures PACS and PDMS run smoothly to display and acquire medical images and patient data in real time. IP65 protection is provided for the whole unit to make maintenance and cleaning easier for healthcare professionals
PUBLISHED IN CIRCUIT CELLAR MAGAZINE • MARCH 2022 #380 – Get a PDF of the issue
Industrial Panel PC Embeds Comet Lake-S
Aaeon’s OMNI-2155-CML, powered by 10th Generation Intel Core processors (formerly Comet Lake-S), offers a socket-type processor, allowing for easier maintenance and scalability. The system features an M.2 2280 (M-Key) slot driven by PCIe 3.0 [x4] with support for fast NVMe SSDs. It also delivers M.2 2230 (E-Key) to support a range of functions including Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.
• 15.6″ (1366×768) TFT LCD display
• DDR4 slot x2, up to 64GB
• Supports high speed NVMe storage (M.2 2280)
• 2x GbE LAN, 2x RS232/422/485
• USB 3.2 Gen2 x4
• Supports Intel AMT
• Wide range 10V-35V DC input
• 0 to 45°C operating temperature
Medical Panel PCs Feature Compact Design
Adlink Technology’s MLC-AL/MLC-KL series of medical panel computers feature a fully sealed aluminum housing for easy cleaning. As a result of its hygienic surface design that eliminates exposed screw heads and air vents, the MLC-AL/MLC-KL series can be easily and quickly cleaned using all common disinfectants and cleaning agents. The MLC-AL/MLC-KL comes in two display sizes, 13.3″ and 15.6″.
• Medically certified panel computer
• 13.3″ or 15.6″ Full HD display
• Intel Atom x5-E3930 or Intel i3-dual core processor
• PCAP multi-touch touchscreen
• Fully sealed aluminum housing and fanless design
• 360-degree anti-bacterial treatment
• Dust- and liquid-proof front unit
• Galvanically isolated network
• Serial port isolation
All-in-One Panel PC is Medical Certified
MEDS-P2210-P200 from American Portwell is a 21.5″ medical cart panel PC with hot swappable batteries powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i CPU (formerly Whiskey Lake). The unit has 1920×1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio and is medical latest IEC 60601‑1 and 60601-1-2 certified. This full flat projective capacitive touch panel has an optional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module and optional Win 10 IoT Enterprise support.
• Intel Whisky Lake Core CPU
• IEC/UL 60601-1 and 60601-1-2 certifications (MDR)
• 21.5″ FHD MVA diagnostic panel with p-cap multi-touch
• 3x hot-swappable Li-batteries at 243Whour capacity
• Fanless design with reliable thermal solution
• Hospital white plastic housing with anti-bacteria treatment
• Supports PCIe x4 expansion slot
• Optional 5MP Webcam, DICOM, Isolated LAN, COM, USB, RFID,
15″ Apollo Lake Industrial Panel PC Rolls
The SPC-1533-B1 from Avalue Technology is 15″ rugged industrial-grade panel PCs that offers significant improvement in water resistance and structure, which ensure uninterrupted and efficient operation even in rigorous operating environment. The SPC-series meets the stringent requirements applications in public utilities, maritime sector, transportation and industrial automation.
• Intel Apollo Lake SoC with integrated chipset
• Projective capacitive touchscreen full flat design
• Waterproof power button
• Swappable I/O: 1x LAN, 2x USB,
• IP66 air pressure relief valve
• Metal waterproof connectors
• Wide range DC in +12V to +24V
• Wide temperature: 10°C to 50°C
• Full system IP66, IP69K
Stainless Steel Touch Panel PC Has Rich I/O
Axiomtek’s GOT815W-511 adopts a 15.6″ FHD TFT flat bezel LCD display with 1920×1080 resolution. It comes with 400 nits of brightness and the choice of a projected capacitive touchscreen or 5-wire flat resistive touchscreen. Besides, the HMI features five IP66-rated M12-type I/O connectors and a wide range power input of 9V to 36V DC for reliable operation. It can operate under wide temperature settings ranging from -20°C to +50°C.
• 15.6″ FHD TFT flat bezel LCD display
• IP66/IP69K-rated (NEMA 4X) water/dust/corrosion-proof design
• Full stainless-steel enclosure with SUS 316
• -20°C to +50°C operating temperature range
• Fanless design with
Intel Core i5-7300U processor
• Optional Wi-Fi/3G kit for wireless network connectivity
• 9VDC to 36VDC wide range power input
• Supports VESA mount
27″ Front IP65 Open Frame Panel PC
The OFP-W2700-PCV16 from Ibase is a 27″ open frame panel PCs suitable for both indoor and semi-outdoor environments. It has an IP65 front panel protection, splash-resistant front bezel and can be easily integrated into a custom enclosure, supporting both portrait and landscape display modes in infotainment terminal and self-service kiosk applications in many different industries.
• AMD Ryzen V1605B processor
• 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM Up to 32GB,
1x 4GB (default)
• 27″ wide-screen,
open-frame panel PC
• 1920×1080 resolution
• 250nit and 1000nit brightness
• Projected capacitive touch
• Supports both portrait and landscape display modes
• Supports IR cut-off solution
Medical Panel PC Meets High Hygiene Requirements
Kontron’s all-in-one Panel PC MediClient with special anti-glare and anti-fingerprint display for best readability meets the high requirements in the medical sector for hygiene and connectivity. The system conforms to DIN EN 60601-1 and is particularly suitable for use in nurses’ stations, operating rooms, intensive care units, laboratories, pharmacies and clean rooms.
• Connectivity wireless
• …. or via isolated Ethernet and isolated serial
• Anti-glare and anti-fingerprint surface finish
• Seamless, flush all-glass front for best cleanability
• Robust powder coated stainless steel housing
• PCAP touch operation even with medical gloves
• Customization such as branding, I/Os, computing performance, software integration, etc.
• IEC 60601-1 compliant
8″ Panel PCs Offers Auto Dimming, GbE Ports
The 8″ fanless panel PC IPPC 0811‑B01 from Nexcom incorporates an industrial motherboard and is intended for versatile industrial applications. The panel PC has a touch screen LED backlight LCD panel with 800×480 (WVGA) resolution. The front panel, which adopts flush design and complies with IP65 standard, makes it a good fit in industrial applications.
• Intel Atom E3845, Quad Core, 1.91GHz
• 8″ PCAP muti-touch screen with AR coating
• 4x Gbit Ethernet/mini DP for external monitor
• Auto dimming function can be adjust by ambient light
• DDR3L 4GB/M.2 SATA 64GB
• IP65 compliant front panel
• Built in 24VDC Isolated protection power input
• Mounting support: flush/VESA
75mm × 75mm
17″ Panel PC Targets Heavy Industrial Use
WIN Enterprises’ PL-50310 device is a heavy industrial panel PC designed for use in harsh environments where ruggedness and durability are required. The unit features an IP65 front bezel for water and dust ingress prevention. System developers can choose CPUs up to and including the Intel Quad Core i7 for high performance. The unit can be deployed on the production line or higher IoT Fog levels.
• 17″ 1280×1024 TFT LCD panel with touch screen
• 2x 2.5″ SATA drive bays
• 2x Gbit Ethernet (RJ45)
• 1x USB 2.0 at the front panel for easy access
• 5-function keys on front panel
• VESA- panel-mount options
• 15-year CPU life cycle support
• Several CPU options up to 7th-gen Intel Core
• Two 260-pin SODIMM up to 32GB
Jeff served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxGizmos.com and its sister publication, Circuit Cellar magazine 6/2017—3/2022. In nearly three decades of covering the embedded electronics and computing industry, Jeff has also held senior editorial positions at EE Times, Computer Design, Electronic Design, Embedded Systems Development, and COTS Journal. His knowledge spans a broad range of electronics and computing topics, including CPUs, MCUs, memory, storage, graphics, power supplies, software development, and real-time OSes.