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Vehicle computer is loaded with I/O

Jun 4, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Advantech announced a box computer intended for installation in trucks, buses, and taxis. The Trek-550 includes a 1.1GHz or 1.3GHz Atom CPU, a GPS receiver with dead reckoning option, a cellular modem, a CAN port and multiple serial ports, plus support for two displays with independent audio, the company says.

According to Advantech, its Trek-550 includes power protection and power management software (ignition on/off, delay on/off, low-battery monitor) that protects the system from damage by electrical noise or surges. The fanless system operates from -22 to 158 deg. F (-30 to 70 deg. C), the company adds, which is partly due to its use of Intel's vehicle-specific Atom Z510PT (1.1GHz) or Z520PT (1.3GHz) CPUs.

Advantech's Trek-550

It's said the Trek-550's wide variety of connectors helps it work with vehicle systems such as OBD-II (onboard diagnostics II) and TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system). The device includes a CAN 2.0 A/B port, provided via an RJ45 connector, plus a DB9 connector that offers four digital inputs and four digital outputs, says Advantech. Also included via DB9 connectors are two RS232 ports, plus a third serial port that may be configured as either RS232, RS485, or J170B, the company adds.

The Trek-550 also includes particularly interesting capabilities for video input and output. For example, a high density "Smart Display" connector offers 18-bit LVDS output for a external, seven-inch screen with 800 x 480 resolution. According to Advantech, that connector also provides mono audio output, a USB host port, 12VDC power, plus two additional RS232 ports.

At the same time, the Trek-550 also has a VGA output, plus a microphone input jack and a line output. Therefore, says Advantech, the device can provide one display for a vehicle's driver, plus another display for passengers that provides independent video and audio.

The same RJ45 connector that includes the Trek-550's CAN port also provides two composite video inputs (both compatible with NTSC, PAL, or SECAM, with automatic format detection), Advantech says. This feature allows dual cameras to be connected, providing real-time monitoring of both sides of a truck, according to the company.

Ports on Advantech's Trek-550

Truck drivers should also know exactly where they are, because the Trek-550 offers a choice of two different U-blox GPS receivers, either the LEA-5S or the LEA-4R. The latter is said to provide dead reckoning, supplementing GPS information during periods of bad reception with signals from a gyroscope (turn rate sensor) and odometer.

Wide area connectivity for the Trek-550 is said to be provided by a Wavecom Q55 GSM/GPRS module, a Sierra 5728V (CDMA), or a Sierra MC8790V (HSDPA). A gigabit Ethernet port is standard, and both 802.11a/b/g wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0 are optionally available, Advantech says.

Supporting up to 2GB of RAM via a single SODIMM socket, the Trek-550 comes with 2GB of RAM installed in its CompactFlash slot. The device is also available with SATA hard disk drives (presumably 2.5-inch) in 40GB or 80GB sizes, according to Advantech.

Features and specifications listed by Advantech for the Trek-550 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z510PT (1.1GHz) or Z520PT (1.3GHz)
  • Chipset — SCH US15WPT
  • Memory — Up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM slot
  • Storage — CompactFlash slot (ships with 2GB hard), or 40GB/80GB SATA hard disk drives (size unspecified)
  • Networking:
    • LAN — Gigabit Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11a/b/g (optional)
    • WWAN — GSM/GPRS, CDMA, HSDPA (optional)
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.1 (optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • GPS receiver
    • Smart Display interface:
      • 18-bit LVDS output
      • 2 x RS232
      • mono audio out
      • 1 x USB host
      • 12VDC output
    • 1 x CAN 2.0 A/B via RJ45 connector
    • 3 x USB 2.0 host ports
    • audio — mic in, line out
    • 3 x serial (2 x RS232, 1 x RS232/RS485/J170B)
    • 4 x digital I/Os via DB9 port
    • 2 x composite video inputs via RJ45 connector
    • 1 x VGA output
  • Power requirements — 6 to 36VDC
  • Operating temperature — -22 to 158 deg. F (-30 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 10.47 x 5.86 x 2.68 inches (266 x 149 x 68.2mm)
  • Weight — 4.4 pounds (2kg)
  • Operating system support — Linux, Windows CE 6.0, Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP


Advantech did not cite pricing for the Trek-550, but the device appears to be on sale now. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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