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Rugged vehicle computer has PCI expansion

Apr 15, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The U.K. company Steatite Ltd. announced a rugged PC designed for in-vehicle installation. The fanless ICP-PES2041M includes an Intel Atom N270 processor, up to 2GB of RAM, hard disk and CompactFlash storage, plus 3.5 cellular connectivity and a GPS receiver, the company says.

Steatite says its ICP-PES2041M can run a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Intended for use in vehicles ranging from police vehicles to garbage trucks, the ICP-PES2041M runs on DC input power ranging from 6 to 36 Volts, and is said to meet MIL STD-810F standards for resistance to shock and vibration. When fitted with an automotive-grade hard disk or CompactFlash storage, the PC can operate in temperatures ranging from -22 to 140 deg. F (-30 to 60 deg. C), Steatite adds.

The fanless system uses the well-known Intel Atom N270 processor (with 945GSE northbridge and ICH7M southbridge) and accepts up to 2GB of DDR2 memory (512MB is standard), says Steatite. Mass storage is, as already suggested, via either a 2.5-inch disk drive or an internal CompactFlash slot.

Steatite's ICP-PES2041M

The front panel of the ICP-PES2041M, pictured above, sports no less than five terminals for the connection of external antennas. Amply catered for, the device's wireless capabilities are said to include a SiRF-based GPS receiver and a Sierra MC8790V-based cellular modem that offers GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA/HSDPA connectivity.

Other than the above, the front panel holds only status LEDs and a single USB 2.0 port. Rear-panel facilities, meanwhile, include a PCI expansion slot. According to Steatite, the device is actually available with three such slots, though we're left wondering how they could be squeezed into the case shown.

The ICP-PES2041M's rear panel also includes four USB 2.0 ports, an RJ45 connector for gigabit Ethernet, a VGA output, and four serial ports (2 RS232, 2 RS232/485). There's also a 3.5mm audio output jack and a DB9 connector offering five digital I/Os (three in, and two out, all with isolation protection), Steatite says.

According to Steatite, the ICP-PES2041M uses approximately 15 Watts while in operation. The device includes a watchdog timer, the company adds.

Features and specifications listed by Steatite for the ICP-PES2041M include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N270
  • Chipset — 945GSE northbridge and ICH7M southbridge
  • Memory — Up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM (512MB is standard)
  • Storage — 2.5-inch disk drive (automotive model recommended) or CompactFlash
  • Expansion — 1 PCI slot standard; 2 additional slots optional
  • Networking:
    • LAN — Gigabit Ethernet
    • WAN — 3.5 cellular (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA/HSDPA; tri/quad band)
  • GPS receiver — 20-channel tracking via SiRF starIII
  • Other I/O:
    • 5 x USB 2.0 (1 front, 4 rear)
    • VGA
    • 4 x serial (2 x RS232, 2 x RS232/485)
    • Audio out
    • Isolated digital I/O — 3 in, 2 out
  • Power requirements — 6 to 36VDC; 15 Watts
  • Operating temperature — -22 to 140 deg. F (-30 to 60 deg. C)
  • Size and weight — n/s


According to Steatite, the ICP-PES2041M is available now for prices starting at approximately 1,025 U.K. pounds (about $1,588). More information on the device may be found on the company's website, here.

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