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Rugged fleet computer runs Linux

Aug 26, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

Octagon Systems announced a ruggedized mobile computer for police, taxi, medical, trucking, transit system, and mesh security network applications. The Linux-ready Fleet Core computer offers an Intel Atom N270, GPS, and gigabit Ethernet, and provides fanless operation over a -25 to 70 deg. C temperature range, says the company.

Octagon Systems has been making rugged computers since 1981, and has fielded Linux-ready rugged single board computers (SBCs) since at least 2003, with models such as the PCS-620. The Fleet Core builds on Octagon's rugged history with claimed MIL-STD-202G compliance for vibration and MIL-STD-214A for shock. The fanless computer also provides a -13 to 167 degrees F (-25 to 70 deg. C) operating temperature range, says Octagon.

Octagon's "Hedgehog" power supply technology is said to enable "superior protection from the severe transients common in mobile power systems, while remaining ATX-compatible," with claimed transient compliance exceeding SAE J1113-11 and ISO-7637-2-2004 standards. Power protection features include "smart shutdown" of the Linux or Windows XP/XPe operating system (OS) to protect data, says the company. (Linux or XPe can be supplied pre-installed and configured under OEM contract.)

Octagon Systems Fleet Core
(Click to enlarge)

Building on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, the system offers DDR2 (up to 1GB) and DMA-enabled flash memory (4GB), both in industrial temperature grade versions, says Octagon. Networking support includes both 10/100 and gigabit Ethernet ports.

Additional I/O on the system includes four USB 2.0 ports, four serial ports, and four digital I/O interfaces. Internal connectors support various drive types, says Octagon, and a panel-mounted DB-9 connector is reserved for user-defined signals.

A VGA port can drive external displays sporting up to 1920 x 1440 pixels, and the system supplies speakers and audio I/O, as well. Internal connectors for SATA, PC/104 Plus, Mini PCI, and Mini PCIe offer expansion for storage, wireless modules such as WiFi and GSM, and other functions, says the company.

Specifications listed by Octagon for its Fleet Core include:

  • Processor — 1.6GHz N270 Atom with Intel 945GSE chipset; 533MHz Front Side Bus
  • Memory — up to 1GB of industrial temperature grade DDR2 RAM
  • CompactFlash — 4GB industrial temperature grade, error correcting, DMA-enabled flash
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100 Ethernet; 1 x gigabit Ethernet
  • GPS — 50-channel, fast lock with -160dbm sensitivity
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x VGA
    • 4 x USB 2.0 ports with cable locks for vibration resistance
    • 3 x RS232 ports
    • 1 x RS232/485 port
    • Digital I/O (4 x inputs; 4 x outputs); 8-32V signals
    • Audio — line in/out
    • SATA
  • Expansion:
    • PC/104 Plus
    • Mini PCI
    • Mini PCIe
  • LEDs — 5 x status LEDs (2 x user-programmable)
  • Ruggedization features:
    • Ignition switch input for smart shutdown of OS
    • Protection from brownout, load dump, reverse voltage, and transient
    • Transient compliance exceeding SAE J1113-11 and ISO-7637-2-2004
    • Vibration exceeding MIL-STD-202G
    • Shock exceeding MIL-STD-214A
    • Operating temperature — -13 to 167 deg. F (-25 to 70 deg. C)
  • Power — Input voltage range 8-36VDC; typical dissipation – <12 W
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows XP, Windows XPe (Linux and XPe available pre-installed)


Octagon did not offer pricing or availability information on the Fleet Core computer. More information may be found at the Octagon Systems website, here.

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