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Rugged computer loads up on serial connections

May 17, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Protech Systems has introduced an embedded PC with protection against vibration, water, dust, and extreme temperatures. The EPC-9611 runs on an Intel Atom N270 with up to 2GB RAM, and supplies six serial ports, including two RS-232/422/485 connections, three Ethernet ports, as well as USB, DIO, and other I/O, says the company.

The EPC-9611 builds upon a tradition of Protech industrial PCs that includes the rugged, Intel Celeron-based EPC-8612F. Ruggedization features on the new, 9.1 x 8.37 x 2.2-inch EPC-9611 include MIL-STD-810F vibration resistance and IEC60068-2-27 resistance, says the company. In addition to offering a standard operating temperature range of 32 to 104 deg. F when run fanless, Protech says the computer can operate between 23 to 122 deg. F with air flow.


(Click to enlarge)

The EPC-9611 is equipped with the tried and true, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, along with up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM. According to Protech, a CompactFlash slot is available, as well as a SATA connection and space for a 2.5 inch SATA hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state disk (SSD).

EPC-9611 port detail

I/O is split fairly evenly between front and back panels. The front panel showcases the generous helping of serial connections, comprising four RS-232 ports and two RS232/422/485 ports (COM 3 and 4). Also front-facing is a parallel port and one of the two fast (10/100Mbps) Ethernet ports, says Protech.

The second 10/100 port is on the rear panel, where a gigabit Ethernet port is also available. Other rear-facing I/O includes VGA and PS/2 ports, digital I/O, and two USB 2.0 ports. Two more USB 2.0 connections are available via pin headers, says the company.

The EPC-9611 offers support for Linux, as well as Windows XP Embedded and Windows 7 Embedded, says Protech.

Specifications listed for the Protech EPC-9611 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N270 @ 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — Intel 945GSE + ICH7M
  • Memory — up to 2GB DDR2 RAM (400/533) via 200-pin SODIMM
  • Storage — CompactFlash Type II; 2.5 inch SATA HDD or SSD bay
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100 Ethernet; 1 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB 2.0 (2 x via pin header)
    • 4 x RS-232
    • 2 x RS-232/422/485
    • Parallel
    • PS/2
    • VGA
    • DIO (8 in, 8 out)
  • Audio — HD audio (Realtek ALC888) via M/B pin header
  • Other features — watchdog timer
  • Power — +12V DC input; 60W adapter
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 40 deg. C) fanless; 23 to 122 deg. F (-5 to 50 deg. C) under air flow
  • Vibration resistance — MIL-STD-810F
  • Shock resistance — 50G, IEC60068-2-27, 11ms duration
  • Weight — 6.61 lbs (3 k)
  • Dimensions — 9.1 x 8.37 x 2.2 inches (232.2 x 212.6 x 56.6mm)


No pricing or availability information was provided for the EPC-9611, but it appears to be available now. More information may be found at Protech's EPC-9611 site.

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