Newest Embedded Technology Used by Industry Leaders

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Industrial USB to Four RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485 Serial Communication Ports

A new serial communication adapter offers users the choice of four field selectable RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485 protocols per port. This serial module was designed for use in systems where there are never enough serial ports to communicate with legacy devices as well as applications where old-school serial protocols are still the right choice for the design of new systems. The USB-FLEXCOM4 from Acces I/O Products conforms to the USB/104 form factor for flexible mounting either in PC/104 or USB/104 stacks. The device is available either packaged in a small, rugged, industrial enclosure or as an OEM board (no enclosure). This USB device is a suitable solution for adding portable, easy-to-install serial ports to any PC or embedded system with a USB port. It is fully compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports. Hot-plug functionality allows for quick connect/disconnect. The low-profile enclosure was designed to occupy less space overall and allow access to the four DB9M connectors, two per side for interfacing with communication cabling, and includes adjacent LEDs indicating serial port activity.

The board measures just 3.550 by 3.775 inches and ships inside a steel powder-coated enclosure with an anti-skid bottom. A DIN rail mounting provision is available for installation in industrial environments. The unit’s PCB size and pre-drilled mounting holes match the PC/104 form factor (without the bus connections). This ensures easy installation using standard standoffs inside most enclosures or systems. The USB-FLEXCOM4 can be integrated into any PCI-104 or PC/104 stack by connecting it to a simple USB port usually included on-board with embedded CPU form factors such as EBX, EPIC and PC/104—especially important since many newer CPU chipsets do not support ISA and have plenty of USB ports. The USB-FLEXCOM4 is supported for use in most operating systems and includes a free Linux (including Mac OS X) and Windows 2000/XP/2003-compatible software package. Pricing starts at $254.

Acces I/O Products, San Diego, CA. (858) 550-9559. [].

Ethernet AMC with PCIe Fabric Facilitates 10-Gigabit Line-Rate Packet Inspection

A dual-channel 10GbE Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) connectivity and packet processing module includes two front-panel SFP+ ports, the latest Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA and the addition of SRAM memory. The V3021 from AdvancedIO Systems offers customers the most 10GbE connectivity in a single slot. The V3021 is optimized for the type of real-time data flow and processing found in applications such as COMINT, ELINT, situational awareness systems, security, and network monitoring and optimization.

The V3021 is the newest member of the V3000 product family and is designed for real-time embedded applications running in MicroTCA and AdvancedTCA platforms. The V3021 facilitates 10 gigabit line-rate packet inspection and manipulation via its high-performance architecture. Its software reconfigurability enables a common hardware platform to be used for multiple missions and applications. Additionally, its FPGA-based processing engine allows gate-level control to meet the highest requirements for determinism in both packet and signal processing algorithms. Key features of the V3021 include two 10-Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ optical ports, the Xilinx Virtex-5 XC5VLX110T FPGA (up to LX330T / FX200T optional) and PCI Express x4 or x8 fat pipes. Optional application acceleration IP and user programmability software kits are also available.

AdvancedIO Systems, Vancouver, Canada. (604) 331-1600. [].

Dual-Channel PoCL Frame Grabber Supports 64-bit Addressing

A new industrial frame grabber supports the power over camera link (PoCL) standard. The PCIe-CPL64 from Adlink is specifically designed for cost-sensitive computer vision applications by providing two base configuration channels with data transfer rates up to 4.0 Gbit/s and pixel clock rates up to 85 MHz. The PoCL feature reduces costs by reducing wiring as external power adapters would not be necessary.

The PCIe-CPL64 can also support non-PoCL cameras automatically through SafePower function, which is designed for backward compatibility with non-PoCL cameras. By supporting the extended memory space of 64-bit operating systems such as the 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Vista, the PCIe-CPL64 is well suited for large address space vision applications such as flat panel display, LCD and solar cell surface inspections.

The PCIe-CPL64 provides two TTL/LVDS trigger inputs to synchronize the image acquisition process with an external encoder or position sensor and two programmable trigger output to manage triggered events such as activating a strobe light. The PCIe-CPL64 supports both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Vista operating systems. Adlink also provides CamCreator, a simple, yet powerful utility to set up, configure, test and debug a system without requiring any software programming. The PCIe-CPL64 is priced in the low $800s for OEM quantities.

ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA.
(408) 360-0200. [].

Rugged Command & Communication Consoles in Choice of Configurations

Rugged command and communication consoles that may be used in Mil/Aero, Mobile Broadcast, Law Enforcement/HSS, Emergency Services or other rugged applications are now available from Optima. Based on standard modules, the rugged console range can easily be modified to suit most applications and ensures optimum access to critical information in command and control systems. The user-friendly design of Optima’s consoles accommodates typical floor layout requirements: straight, L, or U-shaped styles. Optional ergonomically designed laminate writing desks provide a comfortable work surface and maximum leg area. With removable sides, rear and top panels, the installation and accessibility of the equipment is fast and easy.

Optima can ruggedize the consoles in various ways. This includes thicker gauge aluminum frames, extra mounting and supports, cross bracing for enclosures, spot welding, T-frame supports and more. Optima offers a range of MIL-Spec, Harsh Environment and Seismic cabinets enclosures and racks that are geared for rugged applications. The company also offers ruggedized versions of its products for mobile environments. This design background gives Optima one of the most experienced teams for rugged enclosure and command center/console designs.

Optima, Tucker, GA. (770) 496-4000. [].

1U MicroTCA System Targets Time-to-Market, Cost Savings

Designed for system engineers developing IP-based communication products, a new member of the IPnexus family from Performance Technologies provides a wide range of flexible options to meet design criteria for telecom, networking and aerospace and defense communication systems. Fully integrated and operational right out of the box, the AMP5071 enables embedded engineers to begin their new product development faster, without all the time spent integrating disparate technologies from multiple vendors into a working prototype. The fully integrated system is ideal for applications such as WiMAX gateways, LTE infrastructure equipment, radar gateways, weather alert systems, enterprise VoIP/SIP servers, transportation network equipment and scientific compute and monitoring systems.

The AMP5071 comes integrated with a choice of processing Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMCs). Developers can select an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, or a Freescale MPC8641 D dual-core 1 GHz PowerPC processor. Additional AMC modules for I/O, storage and compute functions can be configured and integrated into the system in order to meet a wide range of IP-based communications design criteria. In addition, the high-availability MicroTCA system comes loaded with the company’s NexusWare Carrier Grade Linux OS and development environment and remote systems management software, NexusWare Portal.

Additional Features include four-nines of availability, which is achieved with high-reliability features including redundant hot-swappable power supplies and fan trays, a sturdy steel enclosure, and high-quality embedded components designed on the motherboard. There is also high-performance connectivity with dual 1 Gbit Ethernet links and x4 PCI Express lanes to each AMC slot and Quad 1 Gbit Ethernet uplinks (rear panel access). The unit also includes a NexusWare Portal for remote monitoring and management. OEM quantity pricing for the AMP5071 Application-Ready System, configured with a processor AMC, storage, and NexusWare, starts at $4,595.

Performance Technologies, Rochester, NY. (585) 256-0200. [].

USB Module Provides 96 or 48 Lines of I/O for Digital Control and Monitoring

Designed for compact control and monitoring applications, a new USB device features 96 or 48 industrial strength TTL digital I/Os and is targeted for adding portable, easy-to-install, digital I/O to any PC or embedded system with a USB port. The USB-DIO-96 from Acces I/O Products is a true USB 2.0 device and is fully compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports. The unit is hot-pluggable, which allows quick connect or disconnect whenever additional I/O is needed on a USB port.

The boards use 2 or 4 industry standard 50-pin IDC-type shrouded headers with 24 lines per connector. Utility 5 VDC is available on pin 49 of each connector with grounds on all even-numbered pins to reduce crosstalk and maintain industry compatibility. A mini USB header connector is provided in parallel with the high retention type B connector for stacking and embedded applications. Available accessories include a wide variety of cables and screw terminal boards for quick and easy connectivity. The unit’s size and pre-drilled mounting holes match the PC/104 form factor (without the bus connections). This ensures easy installation using standard standoffs inside most enclosures or systems. The USB-DIO-96 can be integrated into any PCI-104 or PC/104 stack by connecting it to a simple USB port usually included on board with embedded CPU form factors such as EBX, EPIC and PC/104.

The USB-DIO-96 utilizes a high-speed custom function driver optimized for a maximum data throughput that is 50-100 times faster than the USB human interface device (HID) driver used by many competing products. This approach maximizes the full functionality of the hardware along with capitalizing on the advantage of high-speed USB 2.0. The USB-DIO-96 is supported for use in most USB supported operating systems and includes a free Linux (including Mac OS X) and Windows 2000/XP/2003-compatible software package. This package contains sample programs and source code in Visual Basic, Delphi and Visual C++ for Windows. Also incorporated is a graphical setup program in Windows as a jumper configuration aid. Third-party support includes a Windows standard DLL interface usable from the most popular application programs, and includes LabVIEW VIs. Embedded OS support includes Windows XPe.

Acces I/O Products, San Diego, CA. (858) 550-9559. [].

PICMG 3.1 Motherboard Supports Low-Power AMD Shanghai

A PICMG 1.3 form factor motherboard supports the low-power 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron (Shanghai) processor. This energy-efficient version of the Shanghai processor (2379HE) runs at 2.4 GHz and requires 55 watts per quad-core processor. The MB-60580 from Win Enterprises can support one or two of the high-performance, low-power processors.

The 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor draws up to 35 percent less power at idle compared to the previous generation of Opteron processors while delivering up to 35 percent more performance. The new 45nm quad-core AMD processor further expands the substantial capability of the MB-60580 for use in intense parallel processing applications, such as aerospace, defense, scientific, digital media, virtualization, medical imaging and ultra-low latency communications. The MB-60580 is used in both fixed-station and mobile platforms that support field applications.

Additional features of MB-60580 include the PICMG 1.3 form factor measuring 13.330” x 4.976” (33.86 cm x 12.64 cm), an NVIDIA nForce Professional 2200 chipset and two memory slots with up to 8 Gbytes and optional 4 slots with up to 16 Gbytese. The MB-60580 supports Windows XP, Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, 2000 Server as well as BSD and Redhat Linux. Pricing for the MB-60580 begins at $834 in OEM quantities .

WIN Enterprises, North Andover, MA. (978) 688-2000. [].

Core2 Duo-Based 3U and 6U cPCI Processor Blades Support Dual Displays

Based on the growing demand for dual independent displays and graphics performance in the industrial computing market, a new series of high-performance and cost-effective CompactPCI processor blades in 3U and 6U heights, respectively addresses factory automation, transportation and medical equipment system integrators. The cPCI¬3965 and cPCI-6965 series from Adlink Technology are based on the Santa Rosa platform and feature the Mobile Intel GME965 Express chipset (code name Crestline), low-power Intel Core2 Duo up to 2.2 GHz and up to 4 Gbyte dual channel capable DDR2 RAM. Both of these blades support integrated graphics with a 3D graphics engine and dual independent VGA/DVI ports offering a 1.5 times graphics performance gain over the previous 945GME chipset.

The cPCI-3965 and cPCI¬6965 also provide up to QXGA (2048x1536) resolution and 3 Gbit/s Serial ATA (SATA) bandwidth. They enable greater graphics performance with the integrated Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3 100 and its 32-bit 3D graphics engine with Microsoft DirectX 9 and SGI OpenGL 1.5 support, and provide dual independent displays through VGA and DVI ports on the cPCI-3965, and two DVI ports on the front panel of the cPCI-6965.

With regard to storage and expansion, the cPCI-3965 and cPCI-6965 both have a reserved space for a 2.5” SATA hard drive mounted on-board and additional SATA signal connectors for external drives. Both blades also provide a true IDE interface CompactFlash socket for mission-critical embedded applications. The cPCI-6965 supports one PMC slot for additional I/O on the front panel. Rear transition modules are available for the cPCI-3965 and cPCI-6965 series to provide further I/O expansion. The cPCI-3965 and cPCI-6965 series support Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise and Fedora Core 7. The cPCI-6965 and cPCI-3965 are priced at $1,699 and $1,499, respectively.

ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200. [].

All-in One PC/104-Plus SBC Available Through 2015

A highly integrated, PC/104-Plus-compatible, 500 MHz Pentium-class single board computer is based on the low-power, AMD LX 800@0.9W CPU, which has product availability through at least 2015. The PPM-LX800-G from WinSystems includes the CPU, video, Ethernet, USB, COM ports, EIDE controller, digital I/O, mouse, PC 97 audio and keyboard controllers on one board that measures 3.6” x 3.8” (90 mm x 96 mm). It is targeted at low-cost, high-volume, space- and power-limited embedded applications with mid-range performance such as industrial, instrumentation, medical, telecommunications, homeland security, utilities, transportation and MIL/COTS.

The PPM-LX800-G can be populated with up to 1 Gbyte of system DRAM plus onboard CompactFlash. A high-resolution video engine is on-board that supports displays with resolutions up to 1920 x 1440 for a CRT of up to 1600 x 1200 for a flat panel. An Intel 82551ER 10/100 controller supports Ethernet networking. Further I/O support includes two USB 2.0 ports (with in-rush and over-current protection), four independent full-duplex serial UARTs, 16-lines of TTL-compatible digital I/O, and AC97 audio. The PPM-LX800-G contains the core logic to provide PC compatibility for the I/O and bus interface logic including the Ultra DMA100 controller for hard drives, keyboard/mouse controller, LPT interface, interrupt controller and real-time clock. A precision power-fail reset circuit, activity LED, PC/104 and PC/104-Plus expansion, and watchdog-timer are also included.

The PPM-LX800-G requires only +5VDC and will operate over the industrial temperature range from -40° to +85°C without requiring a fan, and is RoHS compliant. The PPM-LX800-G will run Windows XPe, Linux and other x86-compatible software. WinSystems offers development kits, driver software, 6.5-inch panel PC, enclosures, power supplies and cables plus industrial CompactFlash and SDRAM memory to support it as well. Quantity one pricing is $495.

WinSystems, Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [].

PMC Modules Feature a Virtex-5 FPGA with an Embedded PowerPC Core

New PMC-VFX modules from Acromag feature a Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA with a hard core PowerPC block that is reconfigurable for high-performance I/O processing and user-developed computing applications. Users can offload CPU-intensive operations such as video/3D data processing or floating-point math for superior system performance. For fast data transfer in and out of the FPGA, the PMC-VFX provides large banks of DDR2 DRAM and dual-port SRAM for high-speed DMA transfer to the PCI bus. A high-throughput PCI-X interface ensures plenty of bandwidth to rapidly move data. An assortment of plug-in I/O extension modules offers great flexibility to interface various analog and digital I/O signal types. By streamlining the design and limiting the features to core functions needed for fast and easy implementation, Acromag makes FPGA-based computing accessible to many more applications.

The PMC base card provides 64 I/O channels or 32 LVDS lines accessible via P4 rear connectors. Inserting optional front-connecting AXM I/O extension modules augments I/O processing capabilities with an efficient interface for 16-bit 105 MHz A/D conversion, CMOS digital I/O, RS-485 differential signals, or extra LVDS I/O lines.

This PMC module employs Xilinx’s VFX70T Virtex-5 FPGA with 71,680 logic cells and an embedded PowerPC 440 processor 32-bit RISC core. With the configurable FPGA’s hard core PowerPC, developers can customize off-the-shelf PMC modules and use high-performance parallel and serial processing to solve the most challenging computing applications. The PowerPC core also enables system-on-chip functionality with real-time processing capabilities.

Application programs are downloaded directly into the FPGA or to the 32 Mbyte flash memory from the PCI bus. Acromag’s Engineering Design Kit provides utilities to help users develop their programs, load VHDL into the FPGA, and to establish DMA transfers between the FPGA and the CPU. The kit includes a compiled FPGA file and example VHDL code provided as selectable blocks with examples for the local bus interface, read/writes and change-of-state interrupts to the PCI bus. A JTAG interface allows users to perform onboard VHDL simulation. Further analysis is supported with a ChipScope Pro interface. For connectivity with real-time application programs, Acromag offers C libraries for VxWorks, QNX and other operating systems. Boards start at $4,950 with extended temperature (-40° to 85°C) and conduction-cooled models available.

Acromag, Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310. [].

ATCA Quad-Core Node Blade Features Latest lntel Microarchitecture

An AdvancedTCA 10 Gigabit node blade is designed with the new and highly anticipated Intel Xeon 5500 Platform based on the latest 45nm quad-core processors, also released today by Intel, which represents a new milestone in microarchitecture technology.

The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, based on the latest Intel microarchitecture, includes an Integrated Memory Controller with DDR3 support and Intel QuickPath Technology, Intel Turbo Boost, Technology and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology. These and other new microarchitecture innovations help increase performance by reducing memory bottlenecks, executing more instructions per clock—via improved caches for faster processing per core, and optimizing for specific workloads—by utilizing cache and Intel Turbo Boost technologies. Moreover, there are up to 8 cores or 16 threads for simultaneous multi-threading, which makes this Intel quad-core processor ideally built for virtualization configurations.

Compliant to PICMG 3.1 Option 9, Option 2, the Kontron AT8050 features 10 + 10 Gigabit Ethernet on the Fabric Interface, plus two 10/100/1000 Mbit/s Ethernet on the Base Interface and two 10/100/1000 Mbit/s Ethernet via the Front Panel or RTM. Expansion features include one AdvancedMC mid-size slot supporting PCI Express x4 and SATA/SAS interfaces. The associated Intel 5520 chipset, which supports up to 36 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 and directly assignable I/O for virtualization (VT-d), offers significant new enhancements to accelerate I/O traffic and lower CPU utilization in both native and virtualized environments.

Standard with Kontron blades are full IPMI and supervisory features for remote control capability with power on-off, clean shutdown, warm reset/cold reset controls via any IPMI channels including LAN when the payload power is off. Also available is the Kontron RTM8050, a rear transition module built with a SAS controller to support a Hot Swappable SAS/SATA Hard Disk on the RTM and/or a SAS/SATA AMC module populated in the Kontron AT8050’s one AMC slot.

The Kontron AT8050 is available with Kontron pre-integrated AdvancedTCA OM platforms in 2U, 5U and 13U heights, which may be fully tested and integrated with Red Hat Enterprise Linux V.5.2, Wind River PNE Linux 2.0 and High-Availability middleware from Enea to produce a “TEM-ready” platform for accelerated system development.

Kontron, Poway, CA. (888)-294-4558. [].

15 Embedded I/O Modules for NI Board-Level Hardware

A new suite of I/O modules has been introduced for expanding the measurement communication capabilities of National Instruments Single-Board RIO embedded control and data acquisition devices. Combining an embedded real-time processor, a reconfigurable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and onboard analog and digital I/O on a single printed circuit board (PCB), NI Single-Board RIO devices are used for applications that require flexibility, high performance and reliability in a small form factor. Engineers and scientists can plug the 15 new embedded C Series modules into NI Single-Board RIO devices to add capabilities such as high-voltage power monitoring, high-resolution analog input, strain and communications to their embedded applications.

With the new embedded C Series modules, engineers and scientists easily can add measurement quality I/O to their applications by plugging any combination of the new modules directly into the three I/O expansion ports on NI Single-Board RIO devices. The 15 modules include a three-channel, 300V analog input, 16-channel analog output module; four-channel, 24-bit bridge/strain module; and four-channel, 24-bit universal module.

National Instruments, Austin, TX. (512) 794-0100. [].

Environmental Sensor Board for StackableUSB

As embedded systems take a pivotal role in our nation’s “green” movement aimed at conserving energy, an I2C device enables an embedded system to monitor four different environmental criteria. Incorporating highly integrated sensors onto a compact 1.85” x 1.74” form factor, the I2C1610 from Micro/sys is able to measure temperature, light, humidity and atmospheric pressure, either inside or outside the system enclosure. The Host computer receives the sensor status via the StackableUSB connector, thereby enabling the embedded system to adjust its performance to match environmental needs. OEMs will benefit by using the I2C1610 board as a simple, low-power, cost-effective solution for making embedded systems environmentally aware and energy efficient.

The I2C1610 incorporates sensors that are smaller than thumbnails from four leading environmental sensor manufacturers on a board that is one-quarter the size of the PC/04 form factor. The Rohm Ambient Light Sensor provides a high-resolution sensing range (1 to 65535 lx) for detecting the changes in ambient light with a spectral responsibility of 400nm to 850nm—the frequency of visible light. For the robust, reliable humidity calculations, the I2C1610 employs the Honeywell HIH Series Humidity Sensor, which detects sensitivities from 0 to 100% RH with an accuracy of ±3.5% RH. Next, the Texas Instrument Digital Temperature Sensor allows access to four user-selectable resolutions from 9-bit to 12-bit with an accuracy of ±0.5° C. The fourth sensor, the Infineon Absolute Atmospheric Pressure Sensor, enables the I2C1610 to accurately gauge input pressure from 40 to 115 kPa and output voltage from 0.1 to 4.85V with a sensitivity of 53.3mV/kPa. With this combination of features, the I2C1610 can accurately measure and report the environmental conditions of most OEM systems.

In addition to sensing the environmental surroundings, the I2C1610 was designed and manufactured with other environmental advantages in mind. Requiring only 10 mA of power, the I2C1610 can be operated on a 9V battery for remote monitoring, eliminating the need for excessive wiring and cabling at the measurement site. The I2C1610 is a RoHS-compliant board on one of the smallest stacking form factors on the market, measuring a mere 1.85” 1.74”—which conserves and reduces the PCB materials used in manufacturing this product. Single quantity pricing is $150 with OEM discounts available.

Micro/sys, Montrose, CA (818) 244-4600. [].

Three Open Frame Panel PCs for Industrial Applications

Aimed at reducing the confusing, time-consuming issues of flat panel integration, a family of open frame color flat panel PCs is designed to speed a customer’s project time-to-market. An ever increasing number of OEMs require ready-to-mount flat panel display subsystems as the man-machine interface (MMI) in applications such as test instrumentation, medical devices, machine control, homeland security, transportation and kiosks. A new Panel PC from WinSystems handles all the messy and time consuming issues of flat panel integration—signal timing, cabling, rapidly changing panel types, touch screens, video BIOS parameters, inverters, etc., while wrapping it in a sturdy metal frame.

WinSystems’ Panel PC consists of a color TFT flat panel display, Pentium-class single board computer (SBC), and a touchscreen mounted in an open aluminum frame. The open frame chassis permits flexible mounting options for the system OEMs and integrators with content-rich applications. It supports standard operating systems such as Windows XPe and Linux plus x86-based real-time executives, utilities and drivers. The back of the Panel PC is designed for easy access and connection to I/O and power cables.

WinSystems currently offers three sizes of displays: 6.5-inch, 12-inch and 15-inch. The displays are from Optrex, which provides crisp image quality on a thin flat screen with minimal distortion. Each provides high luminance, a wide viewing angle and excellent contrast ratio to ensure color fidelity and superior gray scaling. Resolutions vary by screen size from 640 x 480 VGA for a small 6.5-in unit to 1024 x 768 XGA for a 15-inch unit. An anti-reflective coating has been applied to reduce surface reflectivity to make them easier to read in high ambient light environments. Each Panel PC has an SBC and resistive touchscreen that matches the physical size and processing power for the appropriate display screen. Also there are long-life, CCFL backlights that are field replaceable. The Panel PC is RoHS compliant. Quantity one pricing for the 6.5-inch PPC2-G-6.5-359 is $1,295.

WinSystems, Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [].

Two Atom-Based Platforms for Low-Power Embedded Applications

Two new boards feature the Intel Atom processor in order to provide the foundation for embedded solutions in a broad range of applications where low power consumption and minimal heat dissipation are key requirements, but where the system designer cannot compromise on I/O capability. The bCOM2-L8000 and mITX-945S-ED from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms are both based on the 1.6 GHz version of the Atom, delivering exceptional throughput potential.

The bCOM2-L8000, which is a basic form factor, Type 2 pinout module, features a typical power envelope of 10-12 watts and provides an alternative to the bCOM2-L1000 COM Express module, which features higher performance but at the cost of greater power dissipation. Similarly, the mITX-945S-ED complements GE Fanuc’s existing range of products based on the Mini-ITX form factor and the Intel Core2 Duo CPU (with which the Intel Atom processor is compatible), but provides an alternative combination of price/performance, I/O functionality and heat dissipation.

The bCOM2-L8000’s I/O capability includes one Gigabit Ethernet port, two Serial ATA interfaces, support for up to two IDE devices and eight USB 2.0 ports, while expansion can be achieved via three PCI Express lanes, with support for up to four devices via the PCI bus—making it a highly flexible choice. Support for up to 2 Gbytes of memory, together with audio and graphics (up to SXGA+ resolution) is also provided, giving system integrators a wide range of possibilities for deploying the board.

The mITX-945S-ED is equally well provided with I/O functionality, and includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, PCI Express and PCI expansion slots, a COM port, two Serial ATA ports, support for up to two IDE devices and four (optionally expandable to eight) USB 2.0 ports. Support for graphics (up to SXGA+ resolution) and audio is also provided. Importantly, the mITX-945S-ED features a 12-volt DC input, eliminating the need for an ATX power supply, and therefore minimizing size, cost and heat even further.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, Charlottesville, VA
(800) 368-2738. [].

Energy Optimizer Power-Monitoring System Uses IP-Based Wireless Sensor Network

A wireless energy monitoring system gives facility managers real-time visibility into electric power consumption, letting them pinpoint—down to individual rooms and circuits—where they can save money, boost efficiency and gear usage patterns to accommodate utilities’ demand-response and other incentive programs. The Energy Optimizer from Arch Rock addresses the economic concerns associated with power usage in such facilities as data centers, office buildings and industrial facilities: finding ways to cut energy costs and get accurate data on “green” and sustainability policies; measuring and verifying energy spending to avoid demand-ratchet rates and penalty-incurring peak-time usage; and demonstrating usage reduction to comply with regulatory mandates

Energy Optimizer combines Arch Rock’s PhyNet IP-based enterprise-class wireless sensor network (WSN) technology with specialized circuit-mountable energy sensors and Web-based Energy Visibility Portal software. Data gathered by the sensors appears on the Energy Visibility Portal in the form of actionable reports revealing far more detail than a monthly utility bill. Users can see exactly when and where a building is consuming energy, identify energy gluttons, find usage spikes and compare current usage against past baselines.

Deployment is simple; the user mounts the sensors on the circuits and watches usage information begin to appear on the Web-based portal.In addition to the Visibility Portal, components of Energy Optimizer include The PhyNet Router, an embedded networking device connecting the user’s WSN(s) to the Energy Visibility Portal. The router connects to the portal over local- or wide-area network links (e.g., Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cellular) and to the sensor nodes over IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radio links using the IETF 6LoWPAN standard (IPv6 over low-power wireless personal area networks. An example configuration including the Energy Visibility Portal (one-year subscription to hosted service), one PhyNet Router and six IPpower Nodes, is priced at $9,995.

Arch Rock, San Francisco, CA. (415) 692-0828. [].

StackableUSB Carrier Boards Cover Three Form Factors

A new suite of StackableUSB carrier boards offers embedded system designers flexibility to implement USB measurement and control systems on the Nano-ITX, Pico-ITX and the PC/104 form factors. and provide OEMs direct connection from their processor board’s PC-style USB ports to StackableUSB Clients. The carrier boards from Micro/sys utilize the Nano-ITX, Pico-ITX, or the PC/104 form factor mounting holes, attach to the single board computer and create up to four USB bays per carrier board. By simplifying the challenges of mating USB I/O devices to single board computers, StackableUSB carrier boards afford users a simple solution for garnering more I/O flexibility and capacity on a variety of form factors.

Depending on the application needs, the USB4364, USB5364 and USB3364 can be configured as a hub board or carrier board. As a hub board, each single USB port from the SBC can be expanded into four USB channels and operated off the hub carrier board. Alternatively, when just a carrier board, the USB4364, USB5364 and USB3364 allow an OEM to interface with up to four separate root USB ports from the SBC, assuming the SBC has that number of Client ports. Either way, each carrier board offers opportunities to attach StackableUSB peripherals easily and securely. Single quantity pricing for the USB3364, USB4364 and USB5364 starts at $125, $135 and $135 respectively with OEM discounts available.

Micro/sys, Montrose, CA (818) 244-4600. [].