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Fanless vehicle PCs use off-the-shelf motherboards

Feb 3, 2011 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Radiomobile is now shipping two rugged, fanless vehicle computers based on Mini-ITX motherboards. The MCT 8200 has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and up to 64GB of SSD (solid state disk) storage, while the MCT 8500 steps up to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, the company says.

San Diego, Calif.-based Radiomobile says its vehicle computers are intended for ambulances, police cars, taxis, or big rigs, where they "compete hands-down against laptops." The use of off-the-shelf components provides easy repair and "infinite upgradability, the company says.

To this end, the MCT 8200 (below left) and MCT 8500 (below right) are both built around third-party Mini-ITX motherboards. These are enclosed in metal cases which, thanks to heat pipe technology and integral heat sinks, allow the devices to be run fanlessly.


Radiomobile's MCT 8200 (left) and MCT 8500 (right)
(Click either to enlarge)

Radiomobile adds that the MCT 8200 and MCT 8500 are exclusively fitted with 2.5-inch SSDs (solid state drives) rather than hard disks. Available in capacities from 64GB on up, the SSDs allow the systems to withstand brief shocks up to 1500G, offer an MTBF of 1.5 million hours, and contribute to an operating range from 14 to 158 deg. F (-10 to 70 deg. C).

MCT 8200

According to Radiomobile, the MCT 8200 employs Intel's D945GCLF2 motherboard (right), which made its debut back in 2008 and includes the dual-core, 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor. Equipped with a 82945GC northbridge and 82901GB southbridge, the board accepts up to 2GB of RAM via a single DIMM slot, and it has two SATA ports, according to Intel.

I/O on the MCT 8200 clearly derives from the D945GCLF2's coastline, and includes four USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, a parallel port, two PS/2 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, and audio jacks (mic in, line in, and line out). The device also includes both VGA and S-Video outputs, Radiomobile adds.

According to Radiomobile, the D945GCLF2's PCI expansion slot is available for expansion, no doubt via a riser card adapter that preserves the MCT 8200's low profile. Four additional USB 2.0 ports are accessible via internal headers, and may be used to add Bluetooth or 802.11b/g/n wireless networking, the company says.

Features and specifications listed by Radiomobile for the MCT 8200 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom 330 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — 82945GC northbridge and 80801GB southbridge
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM via single DIMM socket Storage — 2.5-inch SATA SSD (64GB or more)
  • Display — VGA or S-Video output, via integrated GMA950 graphics subsystem
  • Expansion — PCI slot
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet, with RJ45 connector
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x SATA ports
    • 8 x USB (4 on rear panel, 4 via headers)
    • 1 x serial (rear panel)
    • 1 x parallel (rear panel)
    • 2 x PS/2 ports for keyboard/mouse
    • audio mic in, line in, mic out on 3.5mm jacks
  • Power requirements — 6 to 24VDC; 18 Watts
  • Operating range — 14 to 158 deg. F (-10 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 7.25 x 7.25 x 2.75 inches

MCT 8500

According to Radiomobile, its MCT 8500 steps up to Intel's Core 2 Duo processor clocked at 2.53GHz and equipped with up to 4GB of DDR2 memory. This time out, we're not told what Mini-ITX board the PC is based on, but the device again includes a PCI expansion slot, the company says.

In addition to VGA and S-Video outputs, the MCT 8500 also provides a DVI-D video port, says Radiomobile. Other facilities are like those of the MCT 8200, but — as the image earlier in our story shows — the MCT 8500 bristles with additional cooling fins and is literally mounted on a pedestal. Therefore, it can operate fanlessly over the same 14 to 158 deg. F operating range.

Features and specifications listed by Radiomobile for the MCT 8500 include:

  • Processor — Intel Core 2 Duo clocked at 2.53GHz
  • Chipset — n/s
  • Memory — up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM Storage — 2.5-inch SATA SSD (64GB or more)
  • Display — VGA, S-Video, and DVI-D outputs
  • Expansion — PCI slot
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet, with RJ45 connectors
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x SATA ports
    • 6 x USB (4 on rear panel, 2 via headers)
    • 1 x serial (rear panel)
    • 2 x PS/2 ports for keyboard/mouse
    • audio mic in, line in, mic out on 3.5mm jacks
  • Power requirements — 6 to 24VDC; 35 Watts
  • Operating range — 14 to 158 deg. F (-10 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 7.25 x 7.25 x 2.75 inches

Further information

Radiomobile did not cite pricing or availability for the MCT 8250 or MCT 8500. Further information may be found on the MCT 8000 product page.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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