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In-vehicle PC touted for smart power controls

Feb 23, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Acrosser is shipping a fanless, industrial-grade vehicle computer with extended temperature support and intelligent power management. The rugged AR-V5403FL supports a range of mature Intel processors including the Core 2 Duo, provides CompactFlash and SATA storage, and provides connectivity including gigabit Ethernet, USB, serial, and optional wireless.

The AR-V5403FL is designed for in-vehicle applications including fleet management, vision procession, telemetrics, and traffic safety control, says Acrosser. The computer is a close cousin of the AR-V5430FL announced in October 2009.

In some cases, Acrosser removed features (bye bye, DVI), but by and large, it's a step forward. For example, the AR-V5403FL offers a wider temperature range, adds Mini-PCI-Express (PCIe) expansion and an extra SATA port, and supplies twice the number of USB ports. The back-panel layout has been rejiggered accordingly.

Acrosser AR-V5403FL, back and front

(Click to enlarge)

Like the previous model, the AR-V5403FL supports Intel Core 2 Duo, Core Duo, Core Solo, and Celeron M processors, and is equipped with an Intel 945GME northbridge and ICH7 southbridge. As before, the computer offers 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2GB.

The previous dual display capability is a thing of the past, but, as with the AR-V5430FL, a shock-mounted, 2.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD) bay is available. Storage expansion is offered via a CompactFlash slot, an IDE interface, and there are now dual SATA II ports instead of one.

The AR-V5403FL continues to offer dual gigabit Ethernet ports, and it doubles the USB allotment with four external USB 2.0 ports and eight total. One of the four USB connectors is available for an optional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module, and another is devoted to an optional Mini-PCIe "3.5G" cellular module.

The new Mini-PCIe slot is dedicated to the 3.5G module, and a new SIM-card slot is also said to be available. Previously, PCIe was missing altogether, but the computer was offered with an optional PCI-104 expansion module.

Similarly, four serial ports are offered, but of those, two are internal and devoted to an optional GPS module and a "PIC on power circuit" function, respectively. The AR-V5403FL now offers 4-bit GPIO instead of 8-bit, says Acrosser, and while there are audio ports, there is no longer any mention of a PS/2 port.

Acrosser AR-V5403FL, back port detail

(Click to enlarge)

As before, Acrosser touts the computer's "Intelligent Power Module" equipped with an unnamed, customizable embedded microcontroller, which is said to support DC power input of 9V to 32V. Power management features are described in our previous AR-V5430FL coverage.

The computer has grown a bit to 11.2 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches, and provides a choice of fixed mounting or a removable option. In addition to the shock-mounted storage, the AR-V5403FL offers ruggedization features, including compliance with IEC shock and vibration standards, says Acrosser. The fanless computer is now said to offer better support for cold temperatures, moving to -4 to 122 deg. F (-15 to 50 deg. C).

Specifications listed for the AR-V5403L include:

  • Processor — supports Intel Core 2 Duo (up to T7400), Core Duo, Core Solo, and Celeron M
  • Chipset — Intel 945GME + ICH7
  • Memory — 1GB (expandable to 2GB) DDR2 SDRAM (533/667MHz) via 200-pin SODIMM socket
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe (dedicated to 3.5G module via USB connection); SIM slot
  • Storage:
    • 1 x CompactFlash Type II socket
    • 1 x IDE (44-pin)
    • 2 x SATA II port
    • 2.5-inch anti-shock drive bay for HDD
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 x USB 2.0 (4 x external; 4 x internal with support for optional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and 3.5G/mini-PCIe modules
    • 4 x RS-232 (2 x DB9, 2 x internal for GPS and PIC/power options)
    • 4-bit GPIO (2 x in, 2 x out)
    • 1 x VGA port
    • mic-in
    • speaker-out
  • Other features — Remote control; watchdog timer; antenna holes for GPS, 3.5G, and Wi-Fi
  • Ruggedization:
    • vibration resistance meets IEC 60068-2-64 5~500Hz, 2GRMS for CF, 3GRMS for SSD
    • shock resistance meets IEC 60068-2-27 50G-500m/s -11ms
    • operating temperature — -4 to 122 deg. F (-15 to 50 deg. C) ; option for Core 2 Duo T7400 with SSD model at -40 to 113 deg. F (-15 to 45)
  • Power:
    • DC 9V~32V input "Intelligent Power Module" with smart ATX (system delay, on/off, voltage monitoring, retry)
    • changeable fuse design with 15A for 12V, 0.5A for 24V fuse I/O
    • optional uninterruptible power supply
  • Dimensions — 11.2 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches (285 x 189.7 x 67.2mm)
  • Operating system — Linux FC12, Windows XP Embedded


The AR-V5403FL is available now for Linux and Windows XP Embedded, says Acrosser, which did not list pricing. The computer will be demonstrated at 2011 Embedded World in Nuremberg Germany at Acrosser's booth, Hall9, Stand 9-126. More information may be found at Acrosser's AR-V5403FL page.

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