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Signage systems support Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification

Aug 19, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 71 views

Axiomtek announced a digital signage computer that adheres to Intel's signage-specific Open Pluggable Specification (OPS). Sold either separately or inside the 31.5-inch OFP320, the OPS860 module includes Intel's 2.1GHz “Sandy Bridge” Core i7 processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, gigabit Ethernet and PCIe, dual USB 2.0 ports, plus a VGA port.

Intel announced its Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) in October of last year in an attempt to address digital signage market fragmentation and simplify installation, usage, maintenance, and upgrades. OPS defines a standardized module and related interconnections "to insure compatibility and ease of integration between digital signage components from multiple vendors," Intel said at the time.

Two views of the OPS860 module

(Click on either to enlarge)

As shown below, the standard specifies an off-the-shelf 80-pin JAE Electronics TX24/TX25 blind mate plug and receptacle connector system to interface the pluggable module and the display. The pluggable module itself consists of a printed circuit computing board that measures 6.5 x 4.5 inches (about the same size as an EPIC board). This is housed in a protective wrapper chassis and mounting frame, which expands the dimensions to 7.1 x 4.6 x 1.2 inches.

Intel's Open Pluggable Specification block diagram

According to Axiomtek, OPS lowered development costs and eases deployment, maintenance, and upgrading of digital signage systems. Additionally, says Axiomtek, "Having the ability to simply slot-in and out the unique pluggable engine box makes daily hassle easier and faster for users." 

OPS860 and OFP320

The OPS860 and display-equipped OFP320 are the first OPS-compliant digital signage systems to offer a 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 processor from the latest Sandy Bridge "2nd Generation" line, claims Axiomtek. The processor's AMT 7.0 capabilities are supported for remote management, says the company.

OPS860 port detail

(Click to enlarge)

The systems use Intel's rPGA socket, enabling swapping the i7 out for "PGA sku including QC/DC (i7 & i5)," says Axiomtek. Both systems also supply Intel's Sandy Bridge-aligned QM67 chipset.

Both computers support up to 4GB DDR3 memory, and supply a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive (HDD) bay. Standard I/O is also similar, with a gigabit Ethernet port, dual USB 2.0 ports, a VGA ports, and two audio ports, says Axiomtek.

OFP320 signage PC

The OPS860 module adds additional connections available via the OPS JAE interconnector, including a single port each for USB 2.0, RS232, DVI, and DisplayPort, says the company. It also provides a single PCI Express (PCIe) Mini slot, ready to accept an optional Wi-Fi radio, according to Axiomtek. 

Meanwhile, the OFP320 takes the OPS860 and houses it inside a 31.5-inch display, said to feature 1920 x 1080 resolution and 2500:1 contrast. VESA FPMPMI compliant flat panel suspension mounting is available, according to Axiomtek.

Features and specifications listed for the OPS860 module include:

  • Processor — rPGA socket supporting 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 ("Sandy Bridge"); Intel QM67 chipset
  • Memory — up to 4GB DDR3 via single SODIMM
  • Storage — 2.5-inch SATA HDD bay
  • Expansion — PCIe Mini slot
  • Wireless — optional 802.11b/g (via PCIe)
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Standard I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • VGA
    • Audio line-in, mic-in
  • OPS JAE connector I/O:
    • USB 2.0
    • RS232
    • DVI
    • DisplayPort
  • Other features — power/HDD LEDs, watchdog timer
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 54 deg. C) with 0.7m/s airflow (OPS requirement)
  • Dimensions — 7.1 x 4.7 x 1.2 inches (180 x 120 x 30mm)

Features and specifications listed for the OFP320 all-in-one display PC include:

  • Processor — rPGA socket supporting 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 ("Sandy Bridge"); Intel QM67 chipset
  • Memory — up to 4GB DDR3 via single SODIMM
  • Storage — 2.5-inch SATA HDD bay
  • Expansion — 2 x PCIe Mini slot
  • Display — 31.5-inch TFT LCD (1920 x 1080); 2500:1 contrast
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • VGA
    • Audio line-in, mic-in
  • Other features — watchdog timer
  • Power — 450W, 100~240VAC
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 40 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 30.74 x 18.54 x 4.64 inches (781 x 471 x 118mm)

Initially, it appeared that OPS supported only Windows Embedded Standard, but in June of this year NEC announced an SB-02SC OPS computing module (pictured at right) that also supports Linux. (Axiomtek did not release operating system support info on its new signage systems.)  


Axiomtek's 31.5-inch OFP320 signage PC and OPS860 module will be available at the end of September. No pricing or operating system details were available. More information may be found on Axiomtek's OPS860 and OFP320 web-pages, respectively.

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