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Recycled steel touch-panel PC runs on PoE

Dec 4, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Techsol is shipping a low carbon-footprint touch-panel PC, targeting building automation and factory HMI. The Linux-ready Medallion TPC-43C “Green Tech” Touch Panel Computer is equipped with Techsol's ARM-based Medallion module, plus a 4.3-inch, WQVGA touchscreen, and an enclosure made of recycled steel, which is “greener” than plastics, says the company.

Internally, the Medallion TPC-43C appears to be identical to the already power-efficient Medallion TPC-43B Touch Panel Computer (see image farther below). The TPC-43B shipped several months ago in time for Techsol's celebration of its 10th anniversary of developing embedded modules, boards, and devices based on its ARM9-based Medallion module.

Like the power-efficient TPC-43B, the TPC-43C (see image directly below) can run at under three Watts even with its adjustable backlighting set at the highest level, claims Techsol. As a result, the touch-panel computers can run on Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), enabling cheaper and more flexible installation options.

Techsol TPC-43C "Green Tech" Touch Panel Computer
(Click to enlarge)

Now Techsol has turned its green thumb to the enclosure, which has been redesigned and converted from the TPC-43C's plastic casing to a recycled steel enclosure. Not only is the steel recycled, but steel is more readily recyclable than plastic, reducing carbon footprint further. According to the company, steel production also uses less carbon than plastic manufacturing.

As an added benefit, the case is more robust, having been "welded and then powder-coat painted for a durable finish." Steel also enables Techsol to offer the computers in a wide variety of color options.

Techsol TPC-43B

Like the TPC-43B and other recent Techsol touch panel PCs — such as the TPC-35B and the earlier TPC-43 — the TPC-43C incorporates Techsol's Medallion SA2410-650 CPU Module. Also available separately, the Medallion module incorporates Samsung's ARM-920T-powered S3C2410 system-on-chip. The SoC also offers an MMU (memory management unit) and 16KB each of instruction and data cache.

The TPC-43C ships with 64MB SDRAM and 128MB NAND flash, as well as a separate allotment of NOR flash for boot-loader and firmware updates. The system also provides a hidden memory card slot for SD and MMC cards, says the company.

The 4.3-inch WQVGA (480 x 272) color, TFT LCD display offers a landscape orientation, adjustable LED backlight, and touch support, says Techsol. The system ships with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, as well as a USB Host port that supports WiFi and Bluetooth add-ons. A serial port is supplied via an optional adapter (For more background on the similar TPC-43B, plus a block diagram, please see our earlier coverage, here.)

Specifications listed for the TPC-35C include:

  • Processor — Techsol Medallion SA2410-650 module with Samsung S3C2410A SoC (ARM-920T core); MMU; 16KB instruction and 16K data cache
  • Memory — 64MB SDRAM
  • Flash — 128MB NAND flash; 2MB NOR FLASH
  • Flash expansion — SD/MMC card slot (hidden)
  • Display — 4.3-inch WQVGA (480 x 272) color TFT LCD touchscreen (landscape); adjustable LED backlight
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100 Ethernet ports (RJ45)
  • USB — 1 x full-speed, USB Host port (Type A)
  • Serial — 1 x serial port (via optional adapter)
  • Other features:
    • Real-Time Clock (RTC) with battery backup
    • Beeper for alerts
    • Recycled steel enclosure
    • Wide color choice
    • Mounting brackets
  • Power — 10-30 VDC or 7-24 VAC; or PoE
  • Power consumption — Typically under 3 Watts with backlight at brightest (with 12V in, consumes < 200 mA @ 200MHz)
  • Dimensions — 5.1 x 4.4 x 1.1 inches (129 x 111 x 28mm)
  • Operating system — Medallion Linux 2.6

Stated Brian Empey, P.Eng., CEO of Techsol, "Steel is recycled in most North American cities, so the materials can be economically recycled again in the future. Compared to a plastic enclosure, this offers the advantages of sustainable materials and a reduced carbon-footprint, as steel production consumes less energy than alloys or plastics."

Techsol is a British Columbia-based embedded board and development services vendor that offers extensive in-house customization features, as well as Linux development tools for its Medallion touch panels.


Pricing, including all options except wireless capability or debug cable, are listed at $425 for 10 units or less, $385 for 100, $345 for 1,000, and $300 or better for 10,000 units. Linux development kits are available from stock, and production volumes typically take six to eight weeks, says Techsol. More information may be found here.

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