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Rugged computer targets mobile industrial apps

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

Men Micro announced a fanless, ruggedized computer designed for mobile vehicles in agricultural or industrial settings. The RC1 MIPIOS Box Computer runs either a 1.6GHz Z530 or 1.1GHz Z510 Intel Atom CPU, offers Ethernet, USB, and serial interfaces, and complies with IP67 and EN 50155 ruggedization standards, says the company.

The RC1 is designed for mobile, vehicular applications, including commercial vehicles such as agricultural or construction machines, trains, buses, or cable cars, says Men Micro. The computer can also be used in avionics, medical engineering, and industrial automation applications. It ships with Windows XP Embedded, but is available with Linux drivers, says the company.

The RC1 ships with either a 1.6GHz Z530 or 1.1GHz Z510 Intel Atom CPU, along with an unnamed FPGA (field programmable gate array). The box offers 512MB (expandable to 1GB) of soldered DDR2 SDRAM, and 2GB flash, expandable to 8GB, says Men Micro. The 8.7 x 5.1 x 3.4-inch computer is said to be available without a display, or with a 3.5-inch, 640 x 480 TFT LCD touchscreen.

RC1 MIPIOS Box Computer

(Click to enlarge)

I/O interfaces include two 10/100 Ethernet interfaces and a service interface with USB and RS232, and are accessible via "robust," front-facing eight-pin M12 connectors. Two more I/O options, including a choice of CAN bus, RS485, IBIS, or binary I/O, are available via optional "SA-Adapter" kits, and the RC1's onboard FPGA allows the integration of further interfaces, says the company. The RC1's optional PCI Express Mini card and SIM card slots, made available via N-Type connectors, are said to provide expansion opportunities for Bluetooth, WLAN, WiMAX, GSM/GPRS, and UMTS.

The RC's stainless aluminum enclosure ships with wall mounting, and DIN-rail mounting is available as an option. Dust- and waterproof to IP67 specifications, the computer is protected against violent impacts via the EN 50155 railway standard ruggedization standards, says Men Micro. The box has also gained E1 approval from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, says the company. Operating temperatures are said to run from -40 to 158 deg. F.

The fanless, conductively cooled computer offers a 24VDC or 48-110VDC power supply with 12 Watts typical power consumption. A second power input enables an optional backup power source, such as a battery, and the system offers "power class S2" support, keeping it functional despite power interruptions of up to 10 minutes. Board management control features are said to include voltage and display temperature sensors.

Specifications listed for the RCI MPIOS Box Computer include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z510 1.1GHz (400MHz FSB) or Z530 1.6GHz (533MHz FSB); FPGA
  • Memory — 512MB (expandable to 1GB) soldered DDR2 SDRAM
  • Flash — 2GB (expandable to 8GB) flash memory
  • Display — optional 3.5-inch, 640 x 480, IP67-compliant touchscreen, with temperature sensor (automatic switch-off outside of -30 to 70 deg. C)
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100 Ethernet channels, accessible via 4-pin M12 connectors (female)
  • Other I/O
    • Service interface combining 1 x USB 2.0 master or client and 1 x RS232, accessible via 8-pin M12 female connector
    • 2 x optional interfaces via M12 connectors:
      • RS232, RS422, RS485
      • IBIS
      • CAN bus
      • Binary I/O
  • Expansion — optional PCI Express Mini card and SIM card slots via N-Type connectors
  • Audio — 1 x piezo speaker
  • Board management control features:
    • Supervision of internal supply voltages
    • Supervision of display temperature
    • Control of power sequencing and reset behavior of Intel Atom
    • Emergency shutdown in case of failure
    • Watchdog functionality for CPU with clock generator
    • Accessible via SMBus
  • Ruggedization:
    • IP67 compliant, with conformal coating on request
    • Conforms to EN 50155, EN 50121-3-2, and EN 61000-4-5 for shock and vibration
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 158 deg. F (-40 to 70 deg C), with up to 185 deg. F (85 deg. C) for 10 minute duration, via class Tx (EN50155) compliance
  • Power — 24VDC or 48-110VDC PSU with Power class 2 power interruption protection and automatic failover; 12W typical consumption (w/o PCIe card)
  • Dimensions — 8.7 x 5.1 x 3.4 inches (220 x 130 x 86mm); wall mountable; optional DIN-rail mounting
  • Operating system — ships with Windows XP Embedded image (120-day trial version); drivers offered for Linux, VxWorks, QNX, or OS-9


The RC1 MIPIOS Box Computer appears to be available now, with six weeks ARO delivery. Pricing starts at $1,413 without display, and $1,839 with display, says Men Micro. More information may be found here.

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