Computer/Embedded Technology


Rugged COM-based computer boards

4 February 2015 Computer/Embedded Technology

The Vega single-board computer (SBC) family has been unveiled by Diamond Systems. Computer-On-Module (COM)-based and rugged, the interchangeable COM Express boards feature a choice of 2,1 GHz Core i7-3612QE, 1,7 GHz Core i7-3517UE and 1,4 GHz Celeron 827E Intel CPUs.

The SBCs conform to the COM Express Basic form factor (125 x 95 mm) and their interchangeability helps extend product lifecycles or keep up with new market needs by making it easy to replace an obsolete CPU or increase processing performance simply by replacing the COM module. Vega is therefore an appropriate choice for applications with expected lifetimes of 10 or more years.

Vega’s two-board COM + baseboard construction yields very high feature density in their given footprint. The system utilises a highly integrated baseboard with a wide range of I/O, including a full data acquisition circuit that normally calls for a separate I/O board.

Standard PC-type I/O includes VGA and dual-channel LVDS display, four USB 2.0 ports, four RS-232/422/485 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and HD audio. The SBCs also feature a 7 - 36 V power supply, making them compatible with most common vehicle and industrial power supply voltages.

The integrated data acquisition includes 16-bit A/D and D/A, digital I/O and counters/timers, all supported by Diamond’s free Universal Driver data acquisition programming library. An interactive graphical control panel for Windows and Linux is also provided to control all data acquisition features.

Vega SBCs support stackable I/O expansion with EMX I/O modules as well as a dual-use PCIe MiniCard / mSATA socket for additional I/O expansion. I/O modules featuring serial ports, Ethernet, analog I/O, digital I/O, CAN and Wi-Fi are available from Diamond and other vendors in the PCIe MiniCard form factor, providing low-cost, compact I/O expansion without increasing the total height of the system. For rugged applications, wide temperature mSATA disk modules in either SLC or MLC technologies are available with up to 64 GB capacity.

The boards’ built-in heat spreader efficiently removes heat from the SBC directly to the system enclosure and helps keep the interior cooler for improved reliability. The novel bottom-side mounting configuration of the heat spreader provides a convenient mounting system for the board. It also simplifies the installation of I/O expansion modules by eliminating interference or airflow problems that can occur with traditional heatsinks.

Vega was designed with rugged applications in mind. With an operating temperature of -40°C to +85°C, an integrated heat spreader thermal solution, thicker PCB and latching I/O connectors, the SBCs are a perfect fit for rugged applications including industrial, medical, on-vehicle and military. Vega SBCs are also available in off-the-shelf hardened and highly configurable systems for rugged, mission critical applications.



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