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Rugged UMPC targets military applications

Aug 14, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 46 views

Virginia-based Technology Advancement Group (TAG) announced a ruggedized UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) aimed at emergency services, military, and industrial applications. The TC-100 Commander includes a seven-inch display that comes in sunlight- or night vision-readable versions, the company says.

TAG's Linux-friendly TC-100 is described as offering "state-of-the-art technology, specifically hardened to resist the harshest requirements of modern tactical field applications." The 3.8-pound UMPC features impact-absorbing rubber handgrips, sealed I/O ports, and is said to meet a bevy of environmental standards.

For example, TAG says that when the TC-100 is equipped with solid-state storage, it may be operated from -22 to 140 deg. F (-30 to 60 deg. C), and used at altitudes of up to 25,000 feet. In addition, the device passes a variety of MIL-STD810F tests for resistance to drops, vibration, humidity, and more, the company says.

TAG's TC-100
(Click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, the device's case is IP67-rated for resistance to water and dust, TAG adds. The TC-100 is available with either a PCMCIA/CardBus slot or an ExpressCard 34/54 slot, conforming to the IP20 protection classification when the slot is in use.

Behind sealed flaps on its case, the TC-100 offers either standard commercial interfaces or, as a build option, MIL-STD-38999 connectors, according to TAG. Interfaces include a USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, a microphone input, plus a connector for a separate port replicator. The latter adds two additional USB 2.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, an RS232/422 port, and line-level audio output, the company says.

The TC-100 has a seven-inch, resistive touchscreen display with 1024 x 600 resolution, LED backlighting with a "covert" mode, a 400:1 contrast ratio, and a 250-nit brightness rating. Described as sunlight-readable, the display is also offered in a version that TAG says is usable by operators wearing NVIS night-vision goggles.

While there's nothing explicitly "military" about the TC-100's communication options, the device does offer quite a few of them. For starters, there's the usual 802.11b/g wireless networking capability, courtesy of an installed Mini PCI Express card. Options, meanwhile, include Bluetooth, GPS, a tri-band (850/1900/2100MHz) cellular module that supports HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access) data mode, and a composite video (NTSC, PAL, or SECAM) input, says TAG.

Equipped with dual batteries, the TC-100 uses an Intel Atom Z530 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, along with the usual SCH US15W northbridge/southbridge. The UMPC comes with 1GB of standard DDD2 memory, expandable to 2GB.

Catering to storage-hungry purchasers, TAG says the TC-100 may be configured with either a 1.8-inch, 320GB hard disk drive, or a 160GB SSD (solid state disk). The device is also available with an optional SATA interface that protects data stored on disk using AES-192 or AES-256 encryption, according to the company.

A number of additional accessories are available for the TC-100. For example, TAG offers a lightweight spare battery pack, vehicle mount with or without integrated keyboard, vehicle charger, thigh holster, and carrying cases.

Matt Hederstrom, vice president of systems and services for TAG, stated, "We are thrilled to have completed our most innovative product yet. Providing such a high-performance, rugged, flexible device is already solving some tough problems for war fighters, first responders, and industrial customers around the world."

Features and specifications listed by TAG for the TC-100 include the following:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z530 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 2GB
  • Storage — 320GB hard disk drive or 160GB SSD
  • Display:
    • Seven-inch resistive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution
    • Sunlight-readable
    • Optional night vision-compatible version
    • 250-nit brightness rating
    • 400:1 contrast ratio
  • Communications:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet (via port replicator)
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g
    • WAN — Tri-band (850/1900/2100MHz) HSDPA/UMTS module (optional)
    • PAN — Bluetooth (optional)
    • GPS receiver (optional)
  • Other I/O:
      3 x USB 2.0 (1 on TC-100, 2 on port replicator)

    • Headphone output
    • Microphone input
    • Line output (via port replicator)
    • 1 x RS232/422 (via port replicator)
  • Battery type/life — Dual 34Whr batteries; life TBD
  • Dimensions — 10.55 x 5.82 x 1.99 inches
  • Weight — Under four pounds

Futher information

TAG did not release pricing for the TC-100, but the device appears to be available now, with either Linux or Windows XP. Further information may be found on the company's website, here.

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