A key driving force of innovation in Europe, many SMEs still do not have optimal access to embedded computer technology. Industrial applications are often created with the help of standard office computers instead of using robust embedded computers that offer longer life spans and long-term availability. The Embedded Building Blocks initiative aims to change this situation.
congatec's COM Express computer modules are key components of the Embedded Building Blocks system with modules ranging from the Intel® Atom(tm) to the Intel® Core(tm) i7 processor. TQ-Group provides a further building block in the shape of an industrial carrier board with a variety of functions and configuration options. A particularly robust housing developed specifically for these applications by apra-norm completes the system.
The joint program is an excellent example of how to give SMEs quick access to new and innovative technologies Made in Germany. A medium-sized business ourselves, congatec is in a position to fully appreciate the current technological challenges of SMEs and the benefits of such a scalable initiative, underlines Axel Petrak, Director Sales and Marketing of congatec AG and one of the initiators of the Embedded Building Blocks initiative.
These flexible modules provide a cost-effective way of implementing a wide range of applications with a compact, robust and fanless embedded computer solution. Typical applications are found in automation and medical technology, digital security and surveillance, but can also be seen in the retail sector as well.
The flexible, robust and compact computer unit resulting from this collaboration comes standard with a large choice of interfaces. External interface options include 4x USB 2.0, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, DVI and RS-232, with SATA, CompactFlash and CFast slots available for internal mass storage. A MiniPCIe interface has been integrated to allow flexible expansion. In case that's not enough, a proprietary I/O interface is available that offers additional USB, PCIe x1, High Definition Audio, Siemens VDO and I²C interface extensions. This allows designers to implement, for example, an additional DVI-I interface or field buses such as CAN in application or industry-specific add-in boards.
The successful collaboration of several industry experts has created an easy-to-use and easy-to-configure solution that provides access to embedded computer technology to a mass of users. With congatec's COM Express modules, robust embedded computer solutions are now available to all.