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SBC gears up for tough travel duty

Jul 22, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Men Micro is taking orders for a rugged, display-oriented single board computer (SBC) for vehicles equipped with Intel's heat-resistant Intel Atom XL Z520PT processor. The SC21 offers 1GB of soldered SDRAM, two Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and supports a wide temperature range, plus display features including backlight control and touch interfaces.

The SC21 is designed for use in mobile and intelligent display environments, including airplanes, buses, construction vehicles, and trains, says Men Micro. The 8.66 x 5.91 x 1.38-inch (220 x 150 x 35mm) SBC is said to fit into display devices with TFT LCD panels as small as 10.4 inches.

The conduction-cooled SC21 SBC complements MEN Micro's existing rugged display solutions including Men Micro's DC1 and RC1, says the company. (First shipped last year, the RC1 is an Intel Atom-based fanless, ruggedized computer similarly designed for vehicles.)

Men Micro SC21
(Click to enlarge)

The SC21 comes standard with the automotive focused Intel Atom XL Z520PT, clocked to 1.33GHz with a system bus frequency of 533MHz. Other Intel Atom processors running at up to 1.6GHz are available as options.

Joined here by the Intel US15W system controller hub, the Z520PT is one of a number of "P and PT" versions of the original Z5xx Atom processors that are physically larger and offer integrated heat spreaders. This makes the parts more suitable to thermally constrained fanless applications, according to the chipmaker.

The SC21 is equipped with 1GB of soldered DDR2 SDRAM, as well as a microSD card slot, says Men Micro. A SATA interface is said to be available for both hard disk drives and solid-state drives with transfer rates of up to 100Mbps.

A standard LVDS 25-pin connector supports flat-screen displays of up to 1366 x 768 pixels, and an optional secondary LVDS port supports 1920 x 1200 resolutions. The LVDS connector is also said to control backlight brightnesss.

A customizable PCB connector, meanwhile, houses all other I/O signals, including a USB-driven five-pin connector for the touchscreen interface. An optional MEN Micro SA-Adapter is said to provide for a serial interface.

Other options include a brightness sensor, HD audio via D-Sub connectors, and an onboard LVDS connection to attach a second simultaneous display.

SC21 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The SC21 also supplies a number of standard interfaces, including dual 10/100 Ethernet ports and dual USB 2.0 ports, says Men Micro. Five binary inputs include four universal inputs and one key input, says the company. A MiniPCI Express slot and SIM card slot, meanwhile, are provided to support wireless functions such as WiFi, WiMAX, GSM/GPRS, or UMTS.

An internal power supply unit accepts inputs from eight to 36 Volts (12 VDC nominal or 24 VDC nominal), thereby supporting mobile applications, says Men Micro. Power management features are said to include input voltage and temperature supervision, the latter providing automatic control of backlighting level.

The SC21 supports operating temperatures of -40 to 158 deg. F (-40 to 70 deg. C), with support for up to 185 deg. F (85 deg. C) for up to 10 minutes, claims Men Micro. All electronic components are said to be soldered to withstand shock and vibration to EN 50155 specifications. An optional external railway-specific power supply is said to conform to the EN 50155 class Tx railway standard.


The SC21 is now ready for order at $845 per unit, with delivery in four to six weeks, says Men Micro. OS support includes Linux and Windows XP, says the company.

More information may be found here, though registration is required to obtain a data sheet.

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