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Ultra slim single board computers (SBC) expand possible application

13.09.2018

DATA MODUL reacts to the constantly increasing demand for faster, more efficient and, at the same time, well-designed boards with their own ultra slim SBC development, the eDM-SBC-iMX6-PPC. In sensitive sectors such as medicine, these SBCs are used particularly frequently, as they are generally more vibration and shock resistant than module-based systems. With the SBC form factor, especially designed for slim PPCs, DATA MODUL is standardizing ARM boards for the first time, as these allow the slim implementation of particularly popular display formats such as 7'', 10.1'' 12'' and 15.6''. Standard kits, consisting of display, the easyTouch sensor, also developed by DATA MODUL, controller and corresponding cabling, also only require short lead times. DATA MODUL has specialized in mechanical integration and, to achieve an optimum casing construction, design and function aspects with regard to material, dimensions, production possibilities and feasibility must be analyzed. Speakers, cameras, light conductors, semi-transparent surfaces and specific surface roughness of the front frame are challenges when developing a casing concept. The demanding EMC requirements and the heat management systems are taken into account at all times by the DATA MODUL construction department.

Slim format for efficiency and design

With its 130mm x 80mm dimensions, this format offers 30% more room in width and thus allows more leeway for interfaces than Pico-ITX (100mm). To be able to make use of the maximum installation space behind a 7'' LCD, the height was increased to 80 compared to the Pico-ITX of 72 mm. The assembly can reach the extremely low depth of maximum 13 mm by using flat connectors, where the mating connectors are applied at the side. In this way, no installation height is lost through the connection of the interfaces and the network cable bushing (RJ45) remains the highest point of the assembly. To become even flatter, an integrated version was used which finally led to a top level of 8.2 mm from the top edge of the circuit board.

Fitted with the NXPi.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 processor family, scalable from 1 to 4 ARM cores, the (long-term) availability of the CPU is guaranteed until 2028. It has a sophisticated high-end 3D-capable HD graphics interface. Single supply DC was implemented as a power supply. A 12VDC +/-5% or a wide range input with 16VDC to 32VDC can be selected via the equipment option. The 2 x 24 Bit LVDS interface allows the connection of LC displays with a resolution of up to 1920x1200 pixels (WUXGA). The backlight supply with PWM dimming is already available.

A micro HDMI socket was included as an external graphics interface. The assembly is designed for the extended temperature range and can also be delivered painted if required (conformal coating) to avoid short circuits in humid ambient environments. Up to 2 GB of main memory and up to 64GB of eMMC SDD can be soldered and a WIFI/BT module (M.2 standard) can be optionally fitted. Along with the mPCIE interface for the optional extensions with standard modules, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x Gigabit ethernet, audio with amplifier, SPI, 2 x CAN /UART and 8 GPIOs have been brought out.

The micro SD card socket on the bottom side also enables to expand with cheap mass storage devices for data collection.

DATA MODUL – process optimization to suit medical standards

As individual components should remain unchanged for later certifications, it is necessary to keep the parts lists unchanged (hardware and software). As a company certified under ISO13485:2016, and others, DATA MODUL established their own PCN/EOL processes which are essential for the development and later production of an HMI. DATA MODUL also supports industry customers with the topic of EMC, for example. DATA MODUL has established corresponding EMC chambers at their Weikersheim and Munich sites for extensive testing.

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