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Industrial computer has solid, fanless case

Dec 11, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

The German company DSM Computer announced a fanless computer targeting “24 x 7” operation in harsh environmental conditions. The NanoServer E8 includes an AMD Geode LX800 processor, a CompactFlash Type II slot, Mini PCI slot, and an optional “robust, protected” hard disk drive, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of DSM's NanoServer E8)

According to DSM, the NanoServer E8 is intended for applications such as aerospace, machine control, and mobile video monitoring. As the photo above shows, the device's solid metal case has no ventilation holes, only ports (pictured later in this story).

Fanless operation is made possible courtesy of AMD's 500MHz Geode LX800 CPU/northbridge chip, and CS5536 southbridge, the company says. (For block diagrams of the AMD chips, see here and here, respectively.)

Continuous operation of the NanoServer E8 in demanding conditions is said to be ensured by the computer's use of a Type II CompactFlash socket for operating system installation. The device also has a bay for an internal 2.5-inch HDD (hard disk drive), the company says.

DSM offers an 80GB HDD option as an alternative to flash storage. It touts the drive as having been “tested during a Mount Everest expedition, and in rain forests with a relative humidity of 85 percent.” The drive reportedly features “a new ventilation system, special bearings, and an optimized read-write head.” It has a 750,000-hour MTBF rating, according to the company.

The NanoServer E8 accepts up to 1GB of DDR RAM in a single SODIMM slot, and has an internal Mini PCI slot. DSM lists optional 802.11b/g wireless LAN support, but doesn't say whether this requires use of the Mini PCI slot.

The NanoServer E8's ports are all on its rear panel
(Click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, on its rear (as shown above, from left to right), the computer has three serial ports, a 12VDC power input, PS/2 connectors for a keyboard and mouse, a parallel port, VGA, two 10/100 Ethernet ports, two USB ports, and audio I/O. Inside, says DSM, there's an additional serial port, plus two more USB ports.

Features and specifications listed by DSM for the NanoServer E8 include:

  • Processor — AMD Geode LX800 clocked at 500MHz
  • Memory — Up to 1GB of DDR RAM
  • Storage — CompactFlash Type II socket or 2.5-inch hard disk drive with 80GB of storage (optional)
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 external, 2 internal)
    • 4 x serial (3 external, 1 internal)
    • 2 x PS/2 for keyboard and mouse
    • Audio — mic in, line in, line out
    • 1 x parallel
    • 12VDC power input

  • Expansion — Mini-PCI slot
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 60 deg. C (-4 to 140 deg. F)
  • Dimensions:
    • Without mounting rails, 8.66 x 8.11 x 2.04 inches (220 x 206 x 52mm)
    • With mounting rails (as pictured above), 9.64 x 8.66 x 2.36 inches (245 x 220 x 60.1mm)

Pricing for the NanoServer E8 wasn't released, but the device appears to be available now. DSM also did not specify operating system support for the computer, but a search of the company's site shows that it has supported Linux, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows XP Professional on other products in its line.

More information about the NanoServer E8 may be available on the DSM website, here.

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