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Panel PCs run Linux

May 12, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Borg Displays announced two touchscreen panel PCs designed for home control, energy management, kiosks, and digital signage. The 15-inch Protege 15 and 8-inch Protege 8 respectively offer 1GHz Via Eden or 500MHz AMD Geode LX800 processors, and both include gigabit Ethernet connectivity, the company says.

(Click for larger view of the Protege 15)

Claimed to offer a robust, solid-state design and low power consumption, the Protege 15 and Protege 8 are similar in specs except for the processor, size and resolution of the display, audio chip, and a few other features. Whereas the 15-inch Protege 15 offers up to 1024 x 768 resolution, the Protege 8 provides a 800 x 600 display, Denver-based Borg Displays says.

Both systems ship with 512MB DDR, expandable to 1GB, and both offer a solid-state 128MB DOM (disk on module), expandable to 4GB, the company says. Further expansion is said to be available via a CompactFlash slot and an IDE connector.

Protege 15 ports
(Click to enlarge)

The Protege devices are equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports and two COM ports, says the company. GPIO connections hook up to the four programmable touch buttons located on an acrylic bezel under the display. In addition, a camera is said to be available with the Protege 15.

The default installation for the web-enabled Protege touchscreens is Windows XP Embedded. Fortunately, however, Borg Displays does not demand assimilation into the Microsoft collective. The company also offers a URL-locked version that runs “a skinned Firefox and Linux.” This version is said to boot up to establish a URL, and then runs in full screen mode.

On left, a Myro home security app (Win XPe version) running on the Protege 15; on right, the Protege 15 protective backbox
(Click on either to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Protege 15 and Protege 8 include:

  • Processor:
    • Protege 15 — Via V4 Eden clocked at 1GHz with VCX700M graphics controller
    • Protege 8 — Geode LX-800 clocked at 500MHz
  • Memory — 512MB DDR SO-DIMM at 667Mhz (Protege 15) or 400MHz (Protege 8); optional second slot for up to 1GB
  • Flash — 128MB DOM, expandable to 4GB; CompactFlash Type II card, for up to 4GB
  • Display:
    • Protege 15 — 15-inch SVGA (1024 x 768) TFT LCD resistive 5-wire; 350 cd/M2 brightness; 400:1 contrast; shared system memory up to 64MB
    • Protege 8 — 8-inch SVGA (800 x 600) TFT LCD resistive 4-wire; 250 cd/M2 brightness; 500:1 contrast; shared system memory up to 64MB
  • Camera — CMOS sensor (1024 x 768) 30fps (Protege 15 only)
  • Buttons — Acrylic bezel with 4 x customizable touch buttons on GPIO bus; 1 x power switch button; 3 x LEDs
  • Networking — 1 x gigabit Ethernet port (LAN Realtek RTL8110S-32)
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x VGA
    • USB — 2 x USB 2.0
    • Serial — 2 x COM ports (COM1/COM2)
    • IDE — 1 x 44-pin IDE connector onboard
    • GPIO — 1 x digital I/O (4GPI/4GPO)
    • Audio — Via VT1708A HD (Protege 15) or Realtek ALC203 (Protege 8); stereo speakers, mic; Line In/Out
  • Power — AC 100V/240V power supply; 1 x DC 8~24VDC (Protege 15); +13~+24VDC (Protege 8); ACPI 1.0 power-saving compliant
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)
  • Operating system — Windows XP Embedded; Linux

Protege 15 front bezel, with buttons


No pricing or availability information was provided by Borg Displays for the Protege 15 and Protege 8 devices. More information may be found here.

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