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Special Report

Transforming the Embedded Industry with Design-in Services Embedded systems are ubiquitous in all segments. For example, the growing global energy demand creates a need for smart grids; the increasing amount of mobile data in telecommunications propels the development of embedded telecom system technologies; in the retail sector, the demand for lower management costs and smaller carbon footprints will result in the growth of self-help services, which can be realized only through embedded systems and technologies. Furthermore, digital signage, remote management, mobile integration, energy efficiency and other emerging industries such as telematics and machine-to-machine (M2M), are also areas where embedded systems can play a role. Miller Chang, VP, Advantech

OS built into systems. Our embedded platform strategy this year is to adopt technologies developed by mainstream chipset manufacturers and develop rapid and instant embedded platform products. Meanwhile, provide various module products compliant with international standards, and complete solutions with integrated software. We will also continue to explore new computer specifications and technologies, including various boards and CPU cards for industrial servers which will reach the market soon. When we develop embedded products, we try to make integration easier. From our customers point of view, our main concerns are: booting up embedded platforms in harsh environments with wide temperature ranges; making our embedded boards and cards able to detect CPU power input voltages, fan rotation speeds, and system temperatures so that we can ease the system developers’ workload when they develop their applications. To achieve this goal, Advantech developed iManager chip technology, which integrates hardware and firmware on a single ship. Matched with Advantech’s embedded boards or CPU cards, it can detect and report system status information. Starting last year, all Advantech’s newly developed platforms have iManager builtin as part of Advantech’s effort in creating more intelligent platforms. This year, iManager chip technology has entered its second generation.

Stanley Huang, APEC Manager Director, Intel

Targeting the market potential of embedded systems, Intel introduced the Sandy Bridge platform for embedded computation. Sandy Bridge is the codename for a second generation processor micro architecture developed by Intel, and produced using a 32 nm process, delivering a performance boost with several new applied technologies such as enhanced Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel® HT Technology) that improves performance with better multithreading, and Advanced Vector Extentions (Intel® AVX) that enhance graphic processing. Sandy Bridge with AVX handles all floating point processing for graphics, video, 3D and scientific simulations.

Statistics shows that the total output of the global cloud computing industry in 2010 is US$ 68 billion, and is expected to reach US$ 148 billion in 2014. In 2012, 60% of embedded software will be provided by the cloud. As a global leader in embedded IPC, Advantech defines embedded cloud services as an intelligent platform (embedded installation) that supports remote intelligent management and on-demand software renewal.

The micro architecture also supports Intel Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Instructions that speeds up data encryption and decryption, and is built-in with Intel’s newest graphic cores that enables fast data processes needed for video and multi-media applications. Intel is planning to release a newer and more powerful version of Sandy Bridge on 22 nm technology in the first quarter of 2012.

Advantech’s first phase solutions for embedded cloud services include intelligent platforms carrying iManager chip technology, SUSIAccess remote management system and Emb’Store cloud management platforms.

Advantech has long been Intel’s important partner in developing embedded platforms, and we expect Advantech to provide more solutions based on Intel architectures to its customers. View Point