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Contents Viewpoint Energy Efficiency through Embedded Core Technology

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Cover Story Extended Services for Saving Power

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Advantech Embedded Single Board Computer Power Management Solutions

Technology Forum Implementing Energy Savings in Hardware

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Power Management and Smart Battery Solutions

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Optimizing Software to Minimize Application Power Consumption

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Cover Story Extended Services for Saving Power Published by Advantech Co., Ltd.

Publisher Miller Chang

Power Measurement Ensures Power Source Quality

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Power Saving in the Low Carbon Economies

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Address No.1, Alley 20, Lane 26, Rueiguang Road, Neihu District, Taipei, Taiwan 114 Tel +886-2-2792-7818 Website www.advantech.com/Embcore

Editorial Supervisor Embedded Core Group

Editorial Committee

Product In-Depth Intel® Atom™ SoC Expands Embedded Markets

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New Products

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2010 Star Product Selection Guide

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Macro Chen Aaron Su Sandy Chen Vincent Chen Victor Huang CL Chiang Chiwen.Lin Ethan Chen Tones Yen Tawei Wang Bing Chen Samantha Chiang Mandy Chen Irene Chang Sandy Chang Martin Marshall Miles Odonnol Richard Ponce Emb’Core is published for ADVANTECH Co., Ltd. by Interculture Custom Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Please verify specifications before quoting. This guide is intended for reference purposes only. All product specifications are subject to change without notice. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher. All brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. © Advantech Co., Ltd. 2010


View Point

Technologies, Trends & Innovations for Embedded Developers Advantech Embedded Design-In Forum (ADF) includes information about embedded design-in trends and innovative concepts for embedded application developers. ADF will bring together leading respected industry representatives and Advantech experts to address and discuss the latest developments in embedded design.

Come and Join the Advantech Embedded Design-In Forum Time : 9:00AM-17:00PM, Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 Venue : NH Hotel Dornach (Einsteinring 20, 85609 Aschheim-Dornach, Munich, Germany) Registration Hotline : 00800-24268080 Online Registration : www.advantech.eu/ADF

Agenda Time

Agenda

Host

09:00 - 09:30 Registration 09:30 - 09:45 Insights and Trends Driving Embedded Computing Solutions

Advantech Executive

09:45 - 10:00 The Differentiated Value of Advantech Design-In Services

Advantech Executive

10:00 - 10:20 Keynote : Transforming the Next Generation of Embedded Computing

Intel

10:20 - 10:40 Keynote : Building Three Screens and a Cloud

Microsoft

10:40 - 11:00 11:00 - 12:00

Break Moderator : Advantech

Panel Discussion Trends in Embedded Computer Design & Embedded Software

Attendee : Intel, TI, Microsoft, Wind River, QNX, Phison

12:00 - 13:30

Lunch & Showcase Track A : Design-In Services & Innovative Technologies

13:30 - 15:40

Track B : Networks & Communications

Techniques for Embedded Design-in Services

Advantech

Empowering the Voice and Video Experience with Multi-Core DSP TI

Next Generation Embedded Platforms & Solutions

Advantech

Enhancing DSP User Plane Development

ENEA

Empower Your Carrier Board Features with FPGA Integration

Solectrix

Designing High Performance Intel® Xeon® Processor Platforms

Advantech

Embedded Linux: Platform Development with Open Sources

Emlix

A New Generation of Network Processor Platforms

Advantech & Freescale

Fast Boot Technology: Boost your Time to Application

QNX

Multi-Core, Virtualization and Offload

Wind River

Enhanced Security and Stablility: Windows 7 & Windows CE 6 Application

Microsoft

Accelerating Multi-Core Networking Performance

6WIND

15:40 - 16:00

Break & Booth Showcae Track C : Peripheral Integration Solutions

Flash Reliability Enhancements for Embedded Solutions

Track D : Café Chat

Phison

Talk with the Experts

Table 1: Embedded Design-In Services + SFF Boards Table 2: Embedded BIOS + Embedded OS & API 16:00 - 17:00 Table 3: Embedded Modules Elo Touchscreen Panel Technology Trends and Consumer Market Development TouchSystems Table 4: Design Expertise in CompactPCI, MicroTCA & ATCA Table 5: Maximizing Networking Performance with Multi-Core Table 6: Video and Voice Transcoding with DSP AUO Industrial Display Technology and Trends Table 7: Playing Safe with High Availability Software

Organizer

Premier Sponsors

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Main Sponsors


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Energy Efficiency through Embedded Core Technology I

n the recent IDF 2010 convention held in Beijing, Intel’s Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner introduced ideas about how to use smarter technology to manage and reduce personal energy consumption in households and workplaces. At the convention he demonstrated a device based on Intel technology that he called an “energy panel,” which enables individuals to monitor and control their energy use through the combination of a display and a wireless sensor. He also demonstrated more effective energy monitoring programs and how to configure and utilize them. Although still at the developmental stage, these solutions answer the global call for energy conservation and environmental protection, and voice the universal concerns most of us have about our environment, our work and our lives. This fall’s edition of Advantech Emb’Core Journal will talk about some of these topics from the viewpoint of the strategies we follow when developing new products at Advantech. Each product division, manager and engineer focuses on different vertical markets and applications, but underlying everything is the desire to empower customers with smarter, low power, energy saving products that enable the intelligent planet and help our environment. Newer generations of embedded platforms are constantly being developed for low power applications that need light and thin form factors, using scalable designs that can be upgraded for future needs. In addition to the lower power and higher computing efficiency demands from system integrators, remote management is also needed for distributed terminal devices. To achieve this, real-time OS, hardware

monitoring and control, smart fans, system security mechanisms, remote access, control and diagnosis are offered to integrators through Advantech’s intelligent management tools (iManager) and Advantech Software APIs (SUSI). Because energy conservation is so important, power and battery management features are central to all our products, and these topics and will be discussed by our senior project managers and engineers for Embedded Core Group. We look at strategies for implementing energy savings in hardware and software, as well as the important topic of power measurement. We also look at power saving solutions from our customers’ viewpoint. At Advantech, we work closely together with our customers and partners to optimize product design workflows, and provide services of higher design value so that we can all make valuable contributions to the low carbon economy.

Miller Chang

Advantech Embedded Core Group Associate Vice President

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Cover Story

Extended Services for Saving Power Embedded Single Board Computer Power Management Solutions By Aaron Su, Product Manager, Advantech

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ower management is one of most important issues to be considered when designing embedded systems. Put simply, no system can perform any of its functions without a regular and stable power supply. Power supply management solutions should be viewed from two levels: delivery and efficiency. Delivery is how the power is supplied, and efficiency determines how the power is used most effectively. There are several types of power supply in common use today; these include AT power, ATX power, single power, and wide voltage range power inputs. There are also more complicated types like ATX power that mimic AT power, or single power supplies that mimic ATX power—we will focus on power management efficiency.

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The Challenge of Power Management Today, embedded systems are everywhere (although sometimes hard to see), from small portable devices to massive facility automation control systems. The development of embedded Single Board Computers (SBC) has come a long way from their traditional use in the heart of factory equipment controlling applications and processes. They cost less, use less space, and they are able to offer all the required computing functions on a single dedicated board— at a fraction of the price of a full PC.

embedded boards which, in the initial design stage, have many functions trimmed, so that the power consumption of the boards can be further lowered and power efficiency optimized.

Brightness Control

The kernel of a reliable embedded system is its power plan, which in fact does not focus primarily on “power saving”, but rather on “power optimization”, and power management efficiency means that embedded systems are designed with features that are more capable and power optimized. To achieve this goal, system architecture design has to overcome many issues, that’s why Advantech continually advances its services to reduce the difficulties System Integrators (SI) encounter. We provide comprehensive services with standardized API and utilities to enhance the market competitiveness of our SI customers.

Three Steps Towards More Efficient Power Management

Figure 1. When no one watches the panel for an extended period, brightness is automatically reduced to save power.

To help developers of embedded systems achieve the most effective power management designs, Advantech focuses on three directions: advanced power saving design in hardware and software, brightness control for displays, and smart battery management.

We all know that the brightness of an LCD display is traditionally provided by a backlight, so it makes sense that controlling the backlight reduces power consumption. That’s why Advantech provides standardized APIs that allow SI to configure the hardware for maximum efficiency. The common practice for controlling the backlight is to build in a display chip that requires setting parameters, but this makes it more difficult for a SI faced with developing their own control programs, and when the system is upgraded or the display chip is replaced, all settings need to be reconfigured.

Advanced Power Saving For embedded designs requiring advanced power saving features, Advantech uses Intel® Atom™ processors, which since their introduction have drastically helped reduce CPU power consumption. With its smarter chipset, the Intel Atom processor will automatically decrease its speed and enter a low power mode when the system load (computing demand) is reduced. For ordinary consumer electronic products, this CPU feature alone is enough for power saving strategies. But for some industrial system integrators, they need more. In some of their applications, the demand for low power exceeds the need for computing performance. To meet their demands, Advantech begins with BIOS and OS optimizations which allow CPU power consumption to be further reduced by several watts. Another way to lower power consumption is to trim and reduce hardware features. For example, Intel chipsets provide many functions, some of which (CRT output, for example) are not needed in certain applications. In Intel’s original design, these unwanted functions are able to be shut down through hardware or BIOS. However, this is a time consuming and demanding process for system integrators. That’s why Advantech offers custom-tailored designs for

To address this, Advantech designed a versatile control interface in the BIOS and in Advantech’s intelligent management tool (iManager). Using this control interface, parameters can be renewed with ease—regardless of which display chip the system uses. Backlight control adjustments are usually enabled via OS-embedded software, which is susceptible to failure if the OS crashes, posing a threat to system security. And because the API’s are not unified, when application programs are replaced, it is a burden for new engineers to repeat lengthy re-configuration. That’s why Advantech announced the release of iManager in 2009. iManager is a built-in solution on chip that provides various software and hardware control functions (including brightness control) and allows system integrators to design, control, and configure settings through standardized APIs. This not only reduces project development complexity in its initial stage, but also makes system integration and maintenance much lighter in the project’s later stages. Cover Story

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Smarter Battery Management

Figure 2. Smart Battery Solution Map

In contrast to the previous two approaches which focus on the system, Advantech’s Smart Battery targets battery power management. The Smart Battery utility is designed with three layers of protection: the first layer lies with the battery itself, the second is an intelligent chip controlling the charging and discharging mechanism, and the third is a management tool for improving efficiency. Today’s portable devices are usually provided with a set of two to four lithium battery cells which are capable of producing alarms. When the batteries are overcharged or discharged, they will initiate protective measures and display warning signals to inform users. Smart Battery’s second layer of protection is an on-chip device to precisely control the timing for battery charging and discharging, so as to prevent the danger of over-charging or over-discharging. This ensures the battery remains in its best state. The third layer of protection uses Advantech’s management tool iManager to allow the user to set up charge intervals. The service life of a battery is usually affected by the charging times. On average, the capacity of a battery is reduced to 80% after charging 300 times, and to 60% after charging 500 times. With Advantech’s iManager, users can set the charge timing so that charging will only be initiated when the energy level in the battery reaches a preset low level. This prevents over-frequent battery charging, which greatly shortens its life. In addition, iManager offers data protection when the system sleeps. Generally, when a system runs on battery 6

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power and enters S3 mode (Suspend to RAM), it will save data in RAM. However, RAM is volatile memory and once the battery power is disconnected, the data preserved in RAM will disappear, resulting in loss or damage to the system. Advantech’s iManager can detect the state of the battery, and when the remaining charge reaches a preset value, produces an alarm before data loss occurs. iManager also provides other battery power saving functions such as, allowing the user to reduce CPU time and LCD brightness levels when the system uses battery power, ensuring the system can operate as long as possible under battery power.

More Comprehensive Service Embcore group continuously strives to extend its service. Our aim is to help system integrators more easily develop their projects. In our experience of working with our customers over the years, it often happens that they are faced with difficulties which they are not able to solve with their own limited resources, and turn to industrial computer manufacturers for solutions. However, as each customer has different needs, this can lead to recurring board design changes. Advantech has become so familiar with customer needs that we are able to introduce services and standardized API’s, which are very practical for system integrators. We predict power saving designs for non-consumer portable devices will grow steadily in the future, that’s why we are ready. At Advantech we remain pro-active in providing practical high value services that save system integrators time and resources and helps them maintain a greater edge in their market competitiveness.


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Tech in

iManager Intelligent Management Tool Enhance System Reliability

Manage Onboard Devices

• Multi level protection to quickly put systems back in service • Auto adjusting fan speed based on temperature • Real-time monitoring of system status

• Record boot information • Encrypted Data Protection • Multi-control interfaces for peripheral devices

iManager is designed with a Smart Fan utillity which starts running only when the temperature reaches a preset value, and stops when the temperature drops below that value. With this feature a system’s stability can be dramatically increased to better conserve energy and minimize noise.

iManager brings an Advanced Watchdog timer with multi-level reset mechanisms to properly deal with all kinds of complicated situations, like application program hang ups, OS crashes or hardware lock downs. iManager Advanced Watchdog provides precision control capability to improve system reliability.

iManager is empowered with a robust Hardware Monitoring tool - a system health supervision API that inspects certain condition indexes, such as fan speed, temperature and voltage. Information can be utilized as an event trigger or data log, and can be easily integrated into application programs.

For security concerns, iManager for COM reserves a space to store important data, with additional encryption on the chip. It is the perfect complement for financial, medical and gaming industries, which have high security demands to protect sensitive data.

Advantech Offering with iManager

SOM-6763 COM-Express Compact Module

SOM-5788 COM-Express Basic Module

SOM-3560 Qseven CPU Module

•Intel® Atom™ Processor N450 SC 1.66 GHz / D510 DC 1.66 GHz + ICH8M •Dual Display, 1 Lan,3 SATA, & 8 USB

•Intel® Core™ i7/i5 processor + QM57 •Dual Display, 1Lan,4SATA, & 8 USB

•Intel® Atom™ processor Z510 1.1 GHz, Z530 1.6 GHz •Intel® Atom™ processor Z510 1.1 GHz, Z530 1.6 GHz

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Implementing Energy Savings in Hardware By James Wang, Product Manager, Advantech

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mbedded applications can be found everywhere managing, controlling and monitoring the products and services we use every day. From automation to self-service kiosks, to fleet management and smart power grids, embedded applications are ubiquitous and getting smarter. Each application requires different power saving strategies since they operate under special conditions performing unique tasks. For mobile applications battery power is essential and must operate over long periods, while others applications use fixed power and operate continuously 24/7. No matter what the application is, or what environment it operates in, it is clear that power consumption is becoming increasingly important. The recent EU Ecodesign Directive recommends that all Energy using Products (EuP) manufactured after 2013 should consume under 0.5 watts of power (while the system is in standby mode). With this in mind, three different aspects of energy saving in hardware will be discussed: proposals from chipset vendors, hardware circuit design, and power management in standby modes.

Low Power State Solution Chipset vendors have invested a great deal of effort into power management and energy saving over the last few years. This has brought obvious and direct improvements since processors and chipsets now consume much less energy than they did only a few years ago. For example, the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) which is an open standard for power management and monitoring define power states for devices and CPU’s. The CPU can enter low-power modes collectively called C-states or C-modes to save energy by shutting down certain functions. When a system load is light, the CPU can shut down some functions or lower efficiency to reduce power consumption, and when a system load is heavy, the CPU can be woken up to perform its processing tasks. For example, C1 is a state that is entered when a core executes a HALT or MWAIT instruction and the processor stops executing instructions, but can instantly return to a normal C0 executing state when interrupts and events are received. To further provide optimal performance at the lowest power, Intel SpeedStep technology allows the frequency and voltage of the processor to be dynamically changed by software. This allows the processor to meet the instantaneous performance needs of the operation being performed, while minimizing power draw and heat dissipation.

the ever increasing need for more powerful graphics, Intel provides a function called Switchable Graphics to switch between Intel’s integrated GPU chipset and external, discrete GPU’s (3rd party add on card or on board chip). If a system needs to handle a graphics intense process, it can switch to the discrete graphics chip to achieve higher graphics performance. But if the system only needs to process basic tasks, or it cannot access AC power, the system will switch to the integrated graphics core and turn off the more powerful GPU on the graphics card. This effectively lowers power consumption while maintaining appropriate performance.

Switchable Graphics Solution These days it’s not just the CPU which provides all the horsepower and bandwidth to drive a system. The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) plays an important role in power management too since operating systems and applications use more sophisticated Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) to perform complex graphics intense operations. To address 8

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Figure 1. Switchable Graphics Function


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Low Power Peripheral Solutions In addition to CPU’s and chipsets, designers of peripherals have also been trying hard to develop other power saving methods. For example, the manufacturing process of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) has improved by integrating silicon chip technology into ever thinner sizes, speed frequencies are up, and voltage draw is down. And, display technologies are trying to replace traditional cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlight modules with more efficient LED lamp technology, saving around 20% to 30% power compared

to CCFL, while also allowing the panel to be made thinner. Most switching voltage regulators have best efficiency and lowest noise while they work as continuous mode under heavy loading. Since forced continuous mode under light loading will give away efficiency, power vendors provide “Burst Mode” to optimize the efficiency come with acceptable disadvantage that is higher voltage ripple. Refer to Figure 2, it shows that burst mode provides excellent efficiency while it works within 1 to 100 mA.

Figure 2. Efficiency and Noise Comparison Between Forced Continuous, Pulse Skip and Burst Modes.

currents (e.g. under 10mA) so that suspend and standby power can be reduced to extremely low levels. As a result, switching voltage regulators are replacing low dropout regulators (LDO) which only have at best, 50% maximum efficiency (the rest being lost to heat). Some switching voltage regulator vendors provide different operating modes for heavy or lighter loads. For example, Linear Technology uses burst mode under light loads to get the best low current efficiency. In a 2-phase power solution, it can shut down one phase to directly reduce the switching loss to half while the loading evaluated by the controller uses only single phase. As is typical in these kinds of changes, sometimes there is a tradeoff between cost and performance; both the pros and cons must be carefully considered to strike the right balance.

ContinuousForced

Pulse Skipping

Burst

Light Load Efficiency

Okay

Good

Best

Load Regulation

Best

Good

Okay

Noise

Best

Good

Okay

Table 1. Pros and Cons between 3 Modes

Hardware Circuit Design Hardware design engineers need to be creative and innovative in order to balance performance and energy consumption. For example, with switching voltage regulators, the switching loss is very low and efficiency remains high under very light

Figure 3. iManager Functionality: Smart Fan Technology Forum

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Technology Forum Advantech is always looking to find the best solutions which balance high performance, low cost, and energy savings. This goal has led us to develop iManager—an extension of Advantech’s SUSI API suite. iManager is a set of hardware and software features that provides data security, advanced multi-level watchdog timers, hardware monitoring, brightness control, and smart fan control to lighten the design load and speed time-to-market. Some iManager power saving functions are: ■

Smart Fan control: iManager can use chipset defaults or customized values to control fan speeds. Under light loads, it can lower fan speeds or even stop the fan to save power and reduce noise.

Brightness Control: iManager software and APIs allow users to manually control the backlight brightness or configure settings for environmental light conditions.

Power Management in Standby Mode The recent EU Ecodesign Directive recommends that all Energy using Products (EuP) across a range of electrical products meet lower targets for power consumption in standby and other modes. Advantech has devoted much effort to this goal for several years now and has a solution

that meets this Ecodesign requirement: ■ Wake

on LAN (WoL) as a selectable function so shutdown does not function under standby mode. Disabling this feature can save around 100mW—a significant reduction.

Use of switching voltage regulators that provide high efficiency under light loads, rather than traditional LDO’s which can save power through reduced consumption.

However, the requirement of EU Ecodesign directive that standby power consumption must be under 0.5 watts still cannot be satisfied even with functions disabled and changed to high efficiency switching. To help meet the requirement, IC vendors are developing power management chips to help motherboards achieve low current flow. Advantech’s iManager provides customers with an easier way to implement an EU Ecodesign compliant system, offering a solution to control the standby power path—cutting power to the path allows the board to enter a state similar to a G3 state. This feature has been integrated on an embedded controller rather than a standalone chip to give more flexibility, and allows control by both firmware and software. The Advantech solution has been thoroughly tested with a compliance guarantee to industry standards.

Figure 4. iManager Deeper Sleep Mode Implementation

Figure 4. iManager Deeper Sleep Mode Implementation

Battery technology cannot keep up with semiconductor technology, which contributes to the difficulties developers face trying to design mobile devices, but slowly it is getting

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there and will improve. As a leading embedded system provider, Advantech has the responsibility to design for the future, making the world a better place for everyone.


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Power Management and Smart Battery Solutions By Antony Lee, Embedded Controller Engineering Manager, Advantech

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mbedded system design requires lower power, higher performance and reduced cost; and it often demands compatibility with the original bus and newly developed communication protocols. Because designers face increasingly difficult challenges, an integrated development environment is needed to help engineers design their applications more easily, whilst saving time and cost. More importantly, this kind of solution allows designers to concentrate on developing software and value-added functions that will enable their products to stand out from market competition. The Embedded Controller (EC) is born exactly to meet this kind of need. The EC plays an important role in an embedded system, as it serves as the communication gateway between hardware, BIOS and OS application, and is used to control the major I/O peripherals, such as keyboard, mouse, touchpad and so on. The principal role of its operation involves an EC core built into microchips such as 8031/8032, used to control SMBus/I2C, ADC, DAC, PWM, GPIO, FAN, PS2, Keyboard Matrix, Timer manager, and WatchDog. The EC can be used for controlling the power switching processes of the hardware and communicating with the BIOS at the base level. Moreover, via an EC bridge, OS applications can communicate with the BIOS or hardware and handle complicated ACPI power management by using an embedded system (including fan control management). The diagram below shows the common EC functions in use:

Even though many requirements of hardware control can be added to the motherboard in the design stage, the EC still has unique benefits and one of its main missions is to help the hardware engineer reduce the frequency of board modifications. In the past, at the development stage of a new motherboard, it was necessary to manually install components one by one to make up the power sequence of the board, which was time-consuming and produced toxic substances when soldering. And, if the soldering or component placement was not perfect, the board needed to be remade!—obviously very frustrating for the engineer. But

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if a power sequence is implemented in the EC, it’s a totally different story, which means no toxic substances, and no remaking the motherboard. The EC is coded in C language, and the code size is only 64Kb, so the compilation speed is very fast—within 1 minute on average. So, with an EC you can greatly increase work efficiency and help bring motherboards to mass production quicker. For a company its win win: on the one hand, it helps save development cost when the budget is limited; on the other hand, it answers An EC not only helps reduce costly changes, but also avoids toxic contamination resulting from constant modification.


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Power Management To meet the demands for better power control, an EC gives the system developer more flexible options, which can be explored in two parts. First, the hardware engineer could link with up to seventy GPIO pins on a device’s power controls through the EC, and connect them to an API (Application Programming Interface) or BIOS to achieve optimum power management. For instance, if the power control pins of a WiFi device are connected with the EC pins, we can achieve power management via communication between BIOS, API and EC. With this in mind, Advantech has developed a tool set called iManager based on Advantech’s EC code. With iManager’s smart management tools, our customers can easily take command of the BIOS through the EC to achieve more accurate power control. Furthermore, when a system enters standby mode, as the EC is now connected to standby power, the EC can put itself into Deep Sleep mode. When the EC enters Deep Sleep mode the power consumption will be very low, so if the power supply is a battery, stand-by times can be prolonged, and some peripheral devices can even be shut down to save power.

Smart Battery Another power management function in the EC is the so called Smart Battery control. As there are various standards among battery manufacturers, the industry sought to establish a common protocol for smart batteries. The ACPI

(Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) specification has also incorporated these standards. Under them, the manufacturers have to make batteries with a standard Gauge IC which is subject to commands issued from the EC. For example, when the power in a battery drops below 3%, the motherboard will not start so as to avoid over-discharging. Accordingly, when the power in a battery is over 95%, the EC will shut down the Charge IC to avoid over-charging. Smart Battery standards also specify that if any faults happen to the battery, a corresponding message will be produced, and the EC will give this message to the API via an interface, so users can easily see battery status. In short, in power management, one can set any conditions for an EC to achieve the intended power control. This is different from an ordinary chip whose logic content can’t be changed once a product has been mass produced. In contrast, an EC is a flexible and programmable chip. With the continual development of PC-based devices and their ever-increasing computing speed, price and performance, industrial applications based on embedded controllers will continue to thrive. And, as industrial applications become more complicated, environmental challenges for applications get harsher, and demands for smaller and lighter devices increase, we believe these kinds of controllers or control systems will bring revolutionary changes to the industrial sector.

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Optimizing Software to Minimize Application Power Consumption By Nucca Chen, Software Supervisor, Advantech

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he recent oil spills and increased gasoline prices have re-kindled our thinking about energy, environmental protection, and overall energy conservation. As the world’s energy demands grow, so does the necessity of optimizing their usage, as well as seeking new sources of sustainable energy that least impact our planet. One of simplest ways we can address these challenges is by saving energy instead of wasting it. The era of endless pursuit of faster CPU speeds and ever more powerful computers that suck more and more power is coming to an end. The trend now is toward more energy efficient systems with lower power consumption and cooler CPU’s. Massive energy consumption creates by-products such as heat that raises the temperature of the computer system, wasting energy and money. These issues have prompted us to think again about the importance of power management, of which, in terms of embedded software applications, includes the important areas of backlight control for displays, and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) for CPU’s.

Backlight Control When it comes to power management in a computer system, the power state during idle time is paramount. When a system sits idle, it is not executing any tasks, but it is still consuming power, so it makes sense to shut down selected functions to keep power use to a minimum. These days, Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are found everywhere in streets and buildings. When they are in operation they display menu items, advertising and notices. When they are not being used, the display automatically dims to save power. This is a common feature of service kiosks, point of sale systems, and ATMs. In fact, this is an essential requirement of many of these kinds of systems, not only to save energy and cost, but to keep operating reliably for longer.

With Advantech software APIs (SUSI), you can control timings to dim the display and the level of brightness. In addition, automatic backlight controls, with the help of an external light sensor, enables the system to automatically adjust the intensity of the display according to changes in ambient lighting. For instance, during medical surgery in operating theatres, when the large, shadow-less lamps are on, display screens face strong light that makes them difficult to view. The automatic backlight control detects the lighting and automatically adjusts the brightness of the display for easier viewing. The latest versions of Advantech’s power management APIs are supplied on chip, which means they are not tied to the OS, so even if the OS fails they can still function.

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What is Voltage Control and PWM? Backlight control can be practically applied in two ways: through voltage control and Pulse-width Modulation (PWM). Voltage control is the more common control method. When the two terminals of a digital potentiometer are connected to an electric current, according to Ohm’s law, variable voltages are created across the two points. A digital potentiometer is a variable resistor that is often controlled by digital protocols like Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) or Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). Compared with a membrane potentiometer, it is more humidity-resistant, dust-proof and durable. Most importantly, a digital potentiometer can be controlled by software. Another method to control voltage is through PWM, which adjusts voltage by setting a duty cycle—the proportion of power-on time to a regular interval of time in high switching frequency, which provides intermediate amounts of electrical current between fully on and fully off. For now, PWM is used mostly in controlling screen backlight and fan speeds. More advanced PWM fan controllers use temperature sensors that automatically adjust fan speeds.

frequencies depending on the system load so as to deliver higher energy efficiency. The power consumption of a CPU can be presented as a simple equation as follows:

Why Control Electrical Voltage?

People who prefer manual control can choose to use Advantech Software APIs (SUSI) to control the frequencies and voltages of CPUs. As in the ATM example, with support from the API’s you can schedule a slower CPU speed for those off-peak hours from midnight 12:00 to 6:00 am to reduce power.

Using voltage control, we can adjust display backlights according to need. Even analog devices such as a sound volume controller (with proper hardware design) can be adjusted. With various digital control interfaces, we can easily use software to set up duty cycles and manipulate voltages in a PWM variable-power scheme (depending on display resolution).

Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) in CPU Today’s computers are mostly provided with DVFSenabled CPU’s which increase or decrease voltages and

P = fCV2 Where P stands for overall power consumption; f means switching frequency; V is voltage; while C presents total interconnect capacitance. This equation demonstrates that the benefits of power consumption can be achieved by adjusting frequencies or voltages. Generally, when a DVFS function is initiated in BIOS, any OS that supports Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) will be enabled to automatically adjust frequencies and voltages according to CPU loading.

What if I Prefer Manual Control?

Following the trend toward lower power consumption, Advantech’s APIs not only help products meet environmental protection guidelines, but also reduce energy costs. More importantly, these APIs have been widely supported among Advantech’s hardware platforms, so customers can use them directly. Interested clients are welcome to contact us for more information.

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Power Measurement Ensures Power Source Quality By Peter Pen, Design Quality Assurance, Advantech

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oday’s embedded systems are lightweight and low power and most devices now come with powerful Central Processing Units (CPUs) and an increasing number of peripheral subsystems. They also have more complicated I/O and require additional power to sustain the operation of all these functions. As users, we all enjoy all the extra functionality these new devices provide, but do not want to compromise on battery times, that is why power consumption and measurement is becoming more and more important. Precise power measurement helps in improving power consumption in all kinds of analog and digital devices. All the different kinds of CPUs and peripherals, data transmission modules, and interfaces have their own electrical behaviors and each requires individual consideration. Accurately measuring power consumption of these new devices and comparing them to the known limit values is helpful in providing predictable and reliable power. Why do we need power measurement and what advantages does it offer us? The simple answer is that power measurement allows us to make improvements, and helps ensure overall power source quality.

The Architecture of Power Measurement Since our products are distributed worldwide, a wide range of environmental factors ultimately affects those products in different ways. Therefore, we setup rigorous, consistent test protocols including detailed power measurements. When we develop new products at Advantech, these power measurements are implemented to ensure that new models fulfill their design goals. In accordance with our test results, we monitor sourcing quality for all new components, customized designs, new and standard products, and make refinements according to our customer feedback. Environmental temperature, and humidity test parameters Power characteristics of products and components are measured under different conditions; we carefully control temperature and humidity parameters for 8, 24, or 72 hours depending on the test run. And, because all materials have their own thermal expansion rates, these tests determine whether products or components can meet the required operating temperature ranges and service life specifications. Measurements for components, units or systems Advantech provides daughter boards, single board computers, power supplies, power adapters, modules, systems, barebone systems, and peripherals. With regard to measurement, we use an integrated approach for implementing tests, for example, defining maximum power. If these products meet power test standards at maximum values, they can also meet specification requirements at system level, thus making a lot of repeated tests unnecessary.

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Technology Forum

Figure 1. Descriptions of temperature

Figure 2. Descriptions of humidity


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AC and DC Most of Advantech’s products are supplied with direct current (DC) power that is converted from an alternating current (AC) source. The converter and its static DC output ripple is often an issue with power supplies. How to filter the ripple is important for the design of products with high frequency components such as CPUs. The return loop on the PCB can also produce errors in signal current flow and these must be reduced to meet standards. Assessment of these factors is also part of power measurement. Current and voltage settings Power measurement monitors voltage and current characteristics of all devices connected to the system, and sees whether they fall within the normal ranges and meet standards. Voltage is tested in a range of values from millivolts to tens of volts with correspondent instruments. Similarly, to measure the power needs of these devices and to set sensible levels in amps, milliamps, microamps or even nanoamps, appropriate measuring instruments are used.

Figure 3. Description of Efficiency and Input Voltage Status

Instrumental sensibility and precision Theoretically, “precision” is defined as “repeatability” or

“reproducibility”. Instrumental precision is a combination of “sensitivity” and “accuracy”. Sensitivity, or resolution, is the smallest detectable change that can be measured by an instrument or that can be modulated in supplied power. In other words, sensitivity is the smallest incremental value that can be set on the output of a device or detected on the input of a device. Accuracy means the degree to which a measurement approaches the absolute “true” reading of any given phenomenon. And the margin of error for measuring instruments is usually known. For example, most multimeters have a margin of error up to 5%, which means an accuracy of 95% or above. When taking power measurements, sometimes it is extremely difficult to maintain the ambient temperature in a range suitable for the operation of the measuring instruments. This is because the system under test is composed of various heat-emitting devices and power sources, and does not have a constant temperature. Therefore, it is necessary to isolate the influence of the system temperature on the measuring instruments, as the change in ambient temperature can produce aberrations in the instruments that can reduce their accuracy. Design tradeoffs are inevitable. For example, fanless computers emphasize power saving, while fan-based computers boast of their CPU performance. A module or a single board computer product with a fan can dissipate heat and lower the temperature of the chipset, CPU, regulator and MOSFET. When the same board is enclosed in a chassis however; the power measurement produces different results due to the internal component layout. That’s why each of our boards, modules or components under test is given an identification code, and we compare their test results to historical data to seek out errors. Our products can only sustain consistent quality when they are measured and tested by accurately calibrated instruments, that are compliant with international power standards. As QA technicians, we must continuously observe and communicate with the research and development team, track closely with them, and debug our products thoroughly before they are released. Only by thorough execution can we deliver on our promise of “Trusted” ePlatform services.

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Power Saving in the Low Carbon Economies By Jackie Chuang, Application Engineering Manager, Advantech

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he shift towards sustainable low carbon economies is growing; all of us have to face up to the challenge of finding alternative solutions to drive the next generation of industrial applications. In recent years, changing climate and weather patterns have affected us all. Rainfall records are at their highest in decades and energy demands are increasing. Because of this, we are all moving toward low carbon economies driven by the need to conserve energy and the environment, while at the same time maintain sustainable economic growth. Advantech contributes to the low carbon economy by providing integrated solutions in areas like real-time control and automation, retail, and medical—through the use of advanced hardware designs and value added software tools that optimize system power and save energy.

and auto-adjusting LCD brightness based on ambient light conditions, all help save power consumption. Advantech has also developed an emergency OS function called eSOS, which ensures continued functionality in the event of an OS failure. This helps administrators maintain the system without the need to travel to far off locations—saving fuel and lowering carbon emissions.

Point of Sales/Service (POS) Applications

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Applications

The AIMB series of industrial motherboards greatly enhance the interconnection between multiple peripheral devices in automated self-service machines. Now, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) applications can take advantage of MicroATX industrial motherboards for KIOSK’s, while an Advantechdeveloped, real-time monitoring tool called iManager (Intelligent Management), helps configure the system state by constant monitoring. For example, iManager can raise the system processing speed in response to ATM use as customer transactions are increased. In high temperature environments, iManager can automatically adjust fan speeds to maintain cooler temperatures to stabilize the system. During the early hours, or in remote areas with fewer users, putting the processor in sleep mode, slowing fan speed, 18

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Putting Advantech’s Mini-ITX motherboards at the core of a retail or restaurant POS system can help create a paperless environment and improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. Within chain stores, this equipment has become essential for efficiency, accuracy and of course, sales and profit. The purchase of reliable, high quality equipment is essential as once a system is up and running the whole business will be relying on it 24/7— crashes and breakdowns are not an option. That’s why Advantech provides custom diagnostic software which helps with real-time system monitoring and diagnosis. The software monitors fans, voltages, and temperatures to prevent damage from unstable power spikes, outages, fan failures, blocked air outlets and device failure. The software can set alarm conditions and alerts, or shut the system down if necessary. POS integrators can also add Advantech’s SUSI API suite to their application to configure hardware and many other functions. By completely controlling POS systems from front to back end, efficiency and reliability are greatly increased. This leads to better service, which means more satisfied customers. With the assistance of Advantech’s SUSI, POS system integrators reduce design effort, add more value, and speed their products to market faster.


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Digital Signage Applications

Digital signage can be broadly categorized into internal or external applications—inside buildings, or outside in public spaces. With external digital signage, large LED displays consume huge amounts of power, as well as being exposed to wide-temperature fluctuations, rain, and extreme weather. Obviously, reliability is a major issue, so Advantech provides SUSI, a suite of API’s and utilities to help customers integrate their applications. For example, a digital signage system can be configured to automatically adjust display brightness according to changing weather and light conditions, so as to provide the best viewing conditions. A Smart Fan function smoothly adjusts fan speeds based on ambient temperatures to keep the system running stably. SUSI also comes with several GPIO (General Purpose I/O) APIs for controlling the behavior of different devices such as motors, power supplies, or ON/OFF display setting controls. In bad weather (heavy rain or lightning), the system detects ambient conditions and turn off displays to prevent damage from shock. For internal digital signage applications, through the integration of building automation controls, touchscreen panels control lighting, air conditioning and temperature—as well as controlling digital signage advertisements. Of course, touchscreen panels with automatic brightness controls and power saving features are essential for ATMs, kiosks, and other public information displays.

Machine Tools Applications Advantech provides integrated software solutions for machine tool applications, with integration aimed at assisting customers in developing applications that precisely control hardware with great efficiency. In manufacturing, system downtime is very costly and expensive, and resetting and recalibrating machine tools can be very time consuming, so Advantech’s iManager uses an advanced watchdog timer (WDT) that can reset the system under different conditions and from different

layers: application, operating system, or hardware levels. This helps prevent unnecessary effort by targeting the problem and maintenance response much more accurately—why shut down the machine tool when only one application program is at fault? And because iManager functions are implemented in hardware on chip, (in comparison to traditional WDT methods), it is safer, faster, and more reliable. SUSI’s API can help monitor hundreds of different machine tool states simultaneously, saving time for operators. To save power, SUSI can be configured to setup power saving modes: hibernation, or Wake On LAN by remote command, or restoring the system to a working state if the machine tool crashes.

Medical Computing

In medical equipment applications, high mobility is very important, as well as battery performance. One of the major prerequisites for a mobile system is how to extend the lifetime of a battery without compromising charging quality, continuous power, and AC to DC conversion efficiency. To address this, Advantech offers a total solution called Smart Battery. Using Advantech’s iManager management tool, an application can easily integrate battery status detection functions to control various charging modes, thereby optimizing the lifetime of a battery and alerting users before charging problems occur. This helps users change batteries in advance to prevent emergency equipment malfunctions and failure. Through value added services and close design consultation in both hardware and software, Advantech delivers power saving solutions that contribute to a low-carbon economy— helping our customers rapidly develop their applications, add differentiation, and stay ahead of the competition.

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Product In-Depth

IntelŽ Atom™ SoC Expands Embedded Markets By Rex Lee, Product Manager, Advantech

Embedded Market Growth Today and in the Future x86-based processors running Windows operating systems bring huge benefits to embedded developers with their high performance, familiar architecture, and widely available software and hardware support. However, when it comes to breaking into these higher volume markets these systems can be over powerful and prohibitively expensive. In the embedded market, the pressure is on to reduce cost, power

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Product In-Depth

consumption and design footprint, and at the same time provide application specific features, and high integration and scalable designs that can be adopted across product ranges and markets. How to streamline system designs to meet the demand for specific embedded applications has become a major question for solution providers.


Product In-Depth A single 32-bit memory controller has been built-in to the processors to offer up to 1 GB of DDR2, 667/800 memory addressing. The integrated onboard memory enhances robustness with the added benefit of increased component density and reduced PCB size. Power management events are controlled by the PMU and can be broken down into two components: active power with enhanced Intel SpeedStep® technology to reduce workload, and idle power with ACPI C0, C1, C2, C4 and C6 states.

Open Standard for Flexible Integration SOM-3564 QSeven 70 x 70 mm

Highly Integrated SoC Intel developed their latest System-On-Chip (SoC) designs to meet these demands from embedded developers. The new Intel® Atom™ processor E6xx series, (formerly code-named Tunnel Creek) integrates an Intel Atom core with built-in memory controller, I/O, and graphic engine directly on the CPU chip. And unlike previous solutions, this Intel Atom E6xx series processor can be used with third-party chipsets, or it can be used as a stand-alone SoC without an accompanying chipset. This flexibility enables developers to design systems with significantly lower power, size, and cost. The new SoC is also available in lower-power, lower-cost versions for applications that do not require the performance of previous IA solutions. It also features up to 50% better graphics performance with power optimized 2D/3D Graphic Media Accelerator (GMA) 600 graphic engine, and hardware-accelerated video decoding for (for MPEG4, H.264, WMV and VC1) and encoding (for MPEG4 and H.264). The display controller supports 18/24-bit single channel LVDS with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 768 @ 60 Hz, and SDVO with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 @ 85 Hz for dual independent displays.

For connectivity, four x1 PCI Express lanes offer solution providers maximum flexibility for system design. For the first time, the Intel Atom E6xx series processor uses one of these PCI Express* lanes for the chipset interface to connect to third-part chipsets. The flexibility in this highly integrated solution will help developers design embedded specific applications with rich I/O possibilities or even minimal I/O to help reduce cost, and board footprint.

Modular Approach for Application Scalability Integration and flexibility are the two hallmarks of the Intel Atom processor E6xx series. These same characteristics are also seen in standards-based Computer-On-Module(COM) and Single-Board Computer (SBC) solutions that incorporate this new processor. Advantech offers a wide range of COM and SBC solutions based on the Intel Atom processor E6xx series, giving embedded developers the flexibility to choose a solution that meets their needs. These solutions are highly integrated, allowing developers to reduce the time spent on hardware design. Because these solutions are standardsbased, they also provide a highly scalable platform that can be upgraded to meet future needs.

The Ultra Low Power (ULP) Intel architecture core of these latest Intel Atom processors integrates advanced Intel Hyper-Threading for executing two threads in parallel, and Intel Virtualization technology which allows it to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. The efficient architecture uses a 45nm high-k process to keep power consumption down to just 2.7 to 3.3 watts, achieving a 15% improvement in performance-per-watt over priorgeneration chips.

PCM-9364 3.5” SBC 146 x 102 mm

Product In-Depth

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Product In-Depth

Flexible and modular platforms such as Advantech’s SOM7564 (COM-Ultra) are super compact 84 x 55 mm (3.3” x 2.17”) boards with built-in Advantech iManager for ultra low power designs. SOM-3564 (QSeven) 70 x 70 mm (2.76”x2.76”), and SOM-6764 (COM-Express Compact) at 95 x 95 mm (3.74” x 3.74”) are also targeted for compact portable devices and suitable for extended temperature environments and robust applications. Other stackable and modular products such as PCM-3364 (PCI-104), and PCM-9364 (3.5” SBC) integrate all functions including: USB client, Mini-PCI express, and CAN bus onto one small form factor; they offer ideal solutions for vehicle, medical, POS, CNC, and extended temperature applications. Finally, SOM-AB5500 is a 3.5” Carrier Board (For SOM-7564) with smart battery manager for handheld devices. All these rugged, compact platforms help lower cost and increase platform scalability producing better application-specific products.

Incoming components must pass grueling and fierce temperature fluctuations over a changing periods of time. This testing ensures reliable performance in missioncritical applications under extreme and rapidly changing temperatures.

PCM-3364 PCI-104 CPU Module 96 x 90 mm

iManager Improves Hardware and Software Integration

SOM-7564 COM-Ultra Module 84 x 55 mm

Wide Temperature Design with Next Generation Intel Atom Platforms Wide temperature testing ensures reliability under extreme operating environments. Advantech’s wide temperature service performs -40 to 85° C testing to evaluate performance of components or systems under different environmental conditions. The components we choose must meet stringent temperature requirements.

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Product In-Depth

To fulfill ever-changing industrial design demands, Advantech’s designed an intelligent management tool with software and hardware API functions. iManager is a perfect solution that provides a standardized API, integrating several unique functions needed by embedded system integrators to help lighten the design load and speed their products’ time-to-market. iManager protects against system crashes, monitors systems, saves power and provides better security functions via a standardized API. Developed as an extension of Advantech’s Secure & Unified Smart Interface (SUSI) API suite, iManager is a built-in solution on chip. iManager ensures functions operate even if the OS fails. For example eSOS, an emergency secondary OS, notifies operators if remote systems crash. The Smart Fan function is automatically adjusted by iManager to maintain system stability while conserving energy and minimizing noise, while security concerns are addressed by placing an additional layer of encryption on the chip. iManager brings enhanced value to customers and improves design efficiency.


Product In-Depth

Advantech Intel Atom Processor E6xx Series-Based Solutions

Model Name

SOM-7564

SOM-3564

SOM-6764

PCM-3364

PCM-9364

Form Factor

COM-Ultra

QSeven

COM-Express Compact

PCI-104

3.5” SBC

Processor

Tunnel Creek

Tunnel Creek

Tunnel Creek + Top Cliff

Tunnel Creek + Top Cliff

Tunnel Creek + Top Cliff

Dimensions

84 x 55 mm (3.3”x2.17”)

70 x 70 mm (2.76”x2.76”)

95 x 95 mm (3.74”x3.74”)

96 x 90 mm (3.8”x3.5”)

146 x 102 mm (5.7”x4”)

Memory

On-board 1GB

On-board 1GB

32-bit DDR2 SODIMM

On-board 1GB

On-board 1GB

I/O Type

COM-Express

QSeven

COM-Express

USB, SATA, UART GPIO, Cfast

USB, SATA, UART GPIO CF card/ CFast

Special Features

• Built-in Advantech iManager • Extended temperature support • Application board with smart battery manager for hand-held device.

• Built-in Advantech iManager (only on PCM-9364) • Unusual I/O design: USB client, Mini-PCI express, CAN bus

Target Market

• Compact portable/ hand-held device • Robust applications. • Ultra low power applications • Extended temperature applications

• Vehicle applications • Medical applications • Extended temperature applications • POS applications • CNC machines

Compatible Products Custom Carrier Board

Industrial Storage Modules

SOM-AB5500

SQF-S10

• 3.5” Carrier board for SOM-7564 • Dimensions: 146 x 102 mm (5.7”x4”) • I/O Type: 4 COMs, 4 SATA, 5 USB 2.0, 1 USB client, CAN bus, 1 Gigabit LAN

• CompactFlash for PCM-3364 & PCM-9364 • Compliant with standard CFast card Type 1 specifications • Interface: SATA Gen 2

Product In-Depth

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Product In-Depth

New

Products

Advantech Extended Temperature EBX SBC Solutions - PCM-9562, PCM-9584, and PCM9588 Advantech EBX form factor solutions are available for the following models: PCM-9562 (Intel® Atom™ N450/ D510), PCM-9588 (Intel® Celeron® M), and PCM-9584 (Intel® Pentium® M/Celeron® M). These models span different CPU levels from low power to high performance, and have been passed by Advantech’s Phoenix design extended temperature testing solution, ensuring Advantech Single Board Computers (SBCs) can operate reliably in all kinds of rugged environments and extreme temperatures.

Advantech GPS Mini Card with Parser and API for Embedded Applications EWM-G107H and EWM-G107F are GPS/Galileo PCI-express Mini Cards for embedded applications. EWM-G107H and EWM-G107F enables simple integration of GPS functionality into rugged notebooks, tablet PCs, and vehicle computers. EWM-G107H and EWM-G107F are ready-to-use solutions, composed of a GPS chipset incorporated into the PCI Express Mini Card form factor. They feature the high performance u-blox 5 positioning engine chipset and Advantech’s GPS Parser, API’s and utilities.

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Product In-Depth

Hard Real-Time with RTX® on the Windows® Platforms Real-time requirements are increasing especially in Industrial Automation, Medical Systems, Test and Measurement Systems, Military, Transportation and Robots. Advantech provides hard real-time solutions by integrating RTX and Windows XP for a ready to use image. The solution is deployed to all Advantech Intel® Atom™ N450/D510 based embedded platforms.

Intel® Core™ i7/i5 Mobile Processor Based Mini-ITX with Extended HD Graphics Performance Advantech Mini-ITX motherboard AIMB-270 supports the latest Intel® Core™ i7/i5/Celeron® mobile processors with FCPGA 988 sockets. Intel Core i7, Core i5 and Intel Celeron mobile series processors feature intelligent performance, power efficiency, and integrated Intel HD graphics with DX10 support. AIMB270 is capable of SATA RAID 0, 1, 5 & 10 to ensure reliable storage and system protection for networkintensive applications.


Product In-Depth

2010 Star Product Selection Guide Intel® Atom™ N450/D510 Processor-based Platforms

Model Form Factor CPU

SOM-7562

SOM-6763

SOM-4463

PCM-3362

PCM-9362

PCM-9562

AIMB-212

PCI-7031

COM-Ultra

COM-Express Compact

ETX 3.0

PC/104

3.5” SBC

EBX

Mini-ITX

Half-size SBC

Intel Atom N450 Intel Atom N450/ Intel Atom N450/ Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz D510 1.66 GHz D510 1.66 GHz 1.66 GHz

Intel Atom N450/ D510 1.66 GHz

Intel Atom N450/ Intel Atom N450/ D510 1.66 GHz D510 1.66 GHz

Intel Atom N450/ D510 1.66 GHz

System Chipset

ICH8M

ICH8M

ICH8M

ICH8M

ICH8M

ICH8M

ICH8M

ICH8M

System Memory

DDR2 667 MHz Onboard 512MB

DDR2 667 MHz Max. 2GB

DDR2 667 MHz Max. 2GB

DDR2 667 MHz Max. 2GB

DDR2 667 MHz Max. 2GB

DDR2 667 MHz Max. 2GB

DDR2 667 MHz Max. 2GB

DDR2 667 MHz Onboard 1GB (N Sku) Max. 2GB (D Sku)

Display

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

VGA/LVDS

LAN

1

1

1

1

2

3

2

2

SATA

3

3

2

1

2

3

2

3

USB

8

8

4

4

6

8

8

7

GPIO

8-bit

8-bit

2-bit

8-bit

8-bit

16-bit

8-bit

8-bit

Audio

HD interface

HD interface

ALC888

HD interface

ALC888

ALC888

ALC888

HD interface

PC/104+

Mini PCIe, MIO(Optional)

PCI/Mini PCIe/ PC/104+

5V/AT/ATX

5V/12V/AT/ATX

12V/AT/ATX

LPC, 5 PCIe x 1 (1 EIDE, LPC, 5 PCIe x1, 4 PCI master, ISA Expansion PCIe x4 and 1 PCIe x 2 option) 4 PCI masters Power

5~14V

8.5~19V

5V

Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-based Platforms

Model Form Factor

CPU

AIMB-280 Mini-ITX

AIMB-580 Micro ATX

AIMB-780 ATX

Q57

12V

AT/ATX

DM&P Vortex86DX SoC

PCE-5125

SOM-5788

Slot SBC

COM-Express Basic

Intel Core i7/ Intel Core i7/ Intel Core i7/ Intel Core i7/ i5/i3/Pentium/ i5/i3/Xeon/ i5/i3/Pentium i5/i3/Pentium Xeon Pentium

System Chipset

PCI/Mini PCIe/CF Depends on backplane

AIMB-270

Model

PCM-3343

PCM-9343

Mini-ITX

Form Factor

PC/104

3.5” SBC

CPU

DM&P Vortex86DX 1.0 GHz,support Floating point unit (FPU)

DM&P Vortex86DX 1.0 GHz, support Floating point unit (FPU)

Graphic Chip

SMI SM712

SMI SM712

System Memory

DDR2 333 MHz 256MB on board

DDR2 333MHz 512MB on board

Display

24-bit LVDS/ 24-bit TTL/ VGA

24-bit LVDS/ 24-bit TTL/ VGA

2

2

Intel Core i7/ Intel Core i7/i5 i5/i3

Q57

Q57/3450

Q57/3450

System Memory

DDR3 1333MHz Max. 4GB

DDR3 1333MHz Max. 16GB

DDR3 1333MHz Max. 16GB

DDR3 1333MHz Max. 8GB

Display

VGA/DVI

VGA/DVI

VGA/DVI

VGA/DVI

VGA/LVDS/ DVI/HDMI

VGA/ LVDS/2DVI

LAN

2

2

2

2

1

2

SATA

4

6

6

6

4

4

LAN

USB

8

10

14

13

8

8

SATA

-

1

USB

4

4

RAID TPM Intel AMT Expansion

RAID 0,1,5,10 RAID 0,1,5,10 None AMT 6.0 1 PCIe x16

QM57

QM57

DDR3 DDR3 800/1066MHz 800/1066MHz Max. 8GB Max. 8GB

RAID 0,1,5,10

RAID 0,1,5,10

RAID 0,1,5,10

RAID 0,1,5,10

TPM 1.2 (Optional)

TPM 1.2 (Optional)

None

None

None

AMT 6.0

AMT 6.0

AMT 6.0

AMT 6.0

AMT 6.0

Depends on backplane

1 PCIe x16, 6 PCIe x1, 4 PCI, LPC

1 mini-PCIe 1 PCIe x 16

1 PCIe x16; 1 1 PCIe x16; 1 PCIe x4; 1 PCIe PCIe x4; 2PCI x1; 4 PCI

COM

4

4

SPI Flash

4MB optional

4MB optional

Expansion

PC/104 (8/16-bit ISA)

PC/104 (8/16-bit ISA)

Power

5V/ AT

5V/ AT

Product In-Depth

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