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DIN rail PC offers choice of field buses

Apr 22, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 13 views

Kontron announced two rugged, fanless PCs designed for DIN Rail mounting. The ThinkIO-Solo and ThinkIO-Duo include Debian Linux, 1.06GHz Intel Celeron or 1.2GHz Core Duo U2500 processors, up to 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage, a CompactFlash socket, two Ethernet ports, and support for DVI-I and VGA monitors, the company says.

Kontron's new ThinkIO-Solo and ThinkIO-Duo appear to be updates to identically named- and sized equivalents introduced back in 2007. Like their predecessors, the PCs are designed to be mounted directly onto DIN rail mounting systems, for modular connection to various industrial data acquisition and control interfaces.

Kontron's ThinkIO
(Click to enlarge)

Kontron for example recommends the I/O-System 750 DIN rail mounting system from Wago (shown below). The Wago I/O-System enables "snap-in" installation of a range of digital and analog interface modules, as well as controllers for industrial fieldbuses such as Profibus, CANopen, and LONworks. In addition to these traditional industrial fieldbuses, Kontron notes that with suitable software its ThinkIO industrial PCs can also implement an Ethernet-based "software field bus."

Wago's I/O-System 750
(Click to enlarge)

According to Kontron, the ThinkIO-Solo uses a 1.06GHz Celeron processor, while the ThinkIO-Duo uses a dual-core Core Duo U2500 clocked at 1.2 GHz. The devices are available with 512MB or 1GB of DDR2 memory, apparently soldered, and feature from 512MB to 4GB of built-in flash as well. A Type I/II CompactFlash slot allows installation of additional storage, the company adds.

Kontron says the ThinkIO devices allow three different field bus options, though only one at a time. These are a Profibus-DP master with DB9 connector, a CANopen master with DB9 connector, or a Profinet RT controller with two switched RJ45 connectors, the company explains.

It's said the ThinkIO also has two gigabit Ethernet ports, with a third 10/100 Ethernet port that becomes available if no field bus is being used. Other I/O includes two USB 2.0 ports, a RS232 port, seven 24V digital inputs, and 2 24V digital outputs, according to Kontron.

The ThinkIO, which uses Intel's 945GM northbridge and ICH7M southbridge, can drive either digital (DVI-I) or analog (CRT/VGA) monitors, Kontron says. Featuring a watchdog timer plus status LEDs that monitor temperature and other parameters, the device works from 32 to 131 deg. F (0 to 55 deg. C), requires 24VDC power (max. 30 Watts), and resists shocks up to 15G, according to the company.

Features and specifications listed by Kontron for the ThinkIO include:

  • Processor — 1.06GHz Intel Celeron or 1.2GHz Intel Core Duo U2500
  • Chipset — 945GM northbridge and ICH7M southbrige
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB of RAM; 512MB, 2GB, or 4GB of flash storage
  • Expansion:
    • CompactFlash Type I/II slot
    • Field bus (one only; optional):
      • Profibus-DP master — 1x DSUB-9 female
      • CANopen master 1x DSUB-9 male
      • Profinet RT controller 2x RJ45, switched
      • Wago I/O (optional)
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet; plus 1 x 10/00 Ethernet if field bus is not being used
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x RS232
    • 7 x 24V digital in
    • 2 x 24V digital out
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 131 deg. G (0 to 55 deg. C)
  • Power — 24VDC (dual-core model requires 30 Watts; single-core model 26.5 Watts)
  • Dimensions — (224 x 100 x 70mm)
  • Weight — 2.42 pounds (1.1kg)

Further information

According to Kontron, the ThinkIO runs a Debian Linux 2.6 distribution, with real time support. The system is also available with Windows XP Embedded, for which a board support package is provided.

Pricing and availability were not cited, but the ThinkIO-Solo and ThinkIO-Duo appear to be on sale now. More information may be found on the Kontron website, here.

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