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Fanless industrial PCs have plenty of serial ports and expansion potential

Jun 10, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Advantech's two new embedded automation devices feature a plethora of serial ports, dual Mini PCI Express slots, and a fanless design. The UNO-2174A and UNO-2178A include Atom N450 or D510 processors, front-accessible CompactFlash slots, plus optional PC/104 or PCI-104 daughterboard expansion.

The UNO-2174A and UNO-2178A are the latest in Advantech's vast UNO series of embedded PCs, which is described as offering "rugged, cableless fanless designs for harsh industrial environments." The two devices are mostly identical, but the UNO-2174A uses Intel's single-core Atom N450 (with 5.5-Watt TDP), while the UNO-2178A uses the dual-core D510  (13-Watt TDP).

The only other difference is that in addition to the already-ample complement we're about to describe, the UNO-2178A adds an additional four RS232 ports to those provided by the UNO-2174A. (Instead of cutting additional holes in the UNO-2178's case, Advantech provides these additional serial ports by repurposing a DB25 connector that, on the UNO-2174A, is used to provide a parallel port.)

Advantech's UNO-217xA front (left) and rear (right)
(Click either to enlarge)

Both models have 2GB of "built-in" RAM, no expandability being cited, and they provide both 2.5-inch SATA drive bays and front-accessible CompactFlash slots. The front panels, pictured above left, also feature six USB 2.0 ports, the multi-purpose DB25 connector, audio I/O, and a PS/2 port.

Also visible above is the VGA port provided on both models. According to Advantech, the UNO-2174A supports resolutions up to 1400 x 1050 pixels, while the UNO-2178A supports up to 2048 x 1546 pixels.

The rear panels (shown at right, above) include two RS232/485 ports and two RS232/422/485 ports, as well as gigabit Ethernet ports, says Advantech. Internally there are two Mini PCI slots and a SIM slot for 3G support, the company adds.

According to Advantech, an optional daughterboard for either PC allows the addition of one PC/104 card and one PCI-104 card. Both 5V and 3.3V power may be supplied to such cards, while the PCs themselves accept DC inputs ranging from 9V to 36V, says the company.

Finally, Advantech says the UNO-2174A and UNO-2178A can operate between 14 and 158 deg. F even with 100 percent CPU loading. Linux is supported as well as different Windows flavors, the company adds.

Specifications listed by Advantech for the UNO-2174A and UNO-2178A include:

  • Processor:
    • UNO-2174A — Intel Atom N450 clocked at 1.66GHz
    • UNO-2178A — Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.66GHz
  • Chipset — Intel NM10 (presumed)
  • Memory — 2GB of built-in DDR2 memory
  • Storage — 2.5-inch SATA drive bay and CompactFlash slot
  • Expansion:
    • 2 x Mini PCI
    • 1 x SIM
    • optional daughterboard adds 1 x PC/104+ and 1 x PCI-104
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 6 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x RS232/485 and 2 x RS232/422/485
    • DB25 connector provides parallel port on UNO-2174A, 4 additional RS232/485 on UNO-2178A
    • VGA
    • 1 x PS/2
    • audio — line in, line out, mic in
  • Power — 9~36VDC via AC adapter; min. 36W
  • Operating range — 14 to 158 deg. F
  • Shock resistance — 50G (11ms) with CompactFlash, 20G (11ms) with hard disk drive
  • Dimensions:
    • UNO-2174A — 10 x 6 x 2 inches
    • UNO-2178A — 10 x 6 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight — 5.5 pounds (2.5kg)

Further information

Advantech did not detail pricing or availability, but the UNO-2174A and UNO-2178A appear to be available now. More information may be found on the UNO-2174A product page and the UNO-2178A product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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