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Rugged touchscreen PCs come in ARM and x86 flavors

Jan 6, 2016 — by Tom Williams — 1,213 views

Adlink unveiled a “Smart Touch Computer” family offered in three sizes, and with Intel or ARM CPUs, two touch options, and Linux or Windows embedded OSes.

The Adlink “Smart Touch Computer” (STC) family is debuting this month with three Intel-based models running Windows, to be followed by three ARM-based Linux models in February and support for Linux on the Intel-based models in the second half of the year. This symmetry is made possible through the use of SMARC computer-on-modules, plugged into a common carrier board inside each system, which allows for easy differentiation of the CPU and also supports future upgradability.



Adlink’s Smart Touch Computers currently run Windows on Intel (left) or Ubuntu on ARM
(click images to enlarge)

The STCs will be offered in six models that differ primarily in their screen size, touch technology, processor architectures, and default operating systems. The STC-1005, STC-1205, and STC-1505 models have 10.4-, 12.1-, and 15-inch screens, use Intel processors, and come with Windows Embedded Standard 7 as their default OS. The STC-1006, STC-1206, and STC-1506 models similarly have 10.4-, 12.1-, and 15-inch screens, but instead use ARM processors and run Ubuntu Linux as their default OS. All three TFT-LCD display sizes have resolutions of 1024 x 768 pixels.


STC rear and side views
(click image to enlarge)

The x86 Windows systems are equipped with Adlink’s LEC-BT full-sized SMARC COM, which integrates Intel’s quad-core Atom E3845 SoC, clocked at 1.91GHz. The models supporting Linux will instead use the company’s short-sized LEC-IMX6 SMARC COM, which is based on the dual-core, Cortex-A9-based Freescale i.MX6 SoC, clocked at 800MHz. Adlink is also working to implement Linux support on all three x86-based models, and expects to release that support in the second half of the year. The ARM-based models will have Linux installed as a default.

The x86- and ARM-based STCs are offered with either 5-wire resistive touch or projected capacitive touch technology. The requirements for supporting touch input both at the UI and low-level driver software level may account for some of the staged scheduling.



The STC’s carrier board supports half- or full-sized x86 or ARM SMARC modules

The modular approach of combining a carrier board along with a swappable SMARC module enables not only easy selection of the preferred processor, but results in a “future proofing” of the STC, says Adlink in its announcement. In addition to its SMARC COM socket, the STC’s carrier board also includes an Adlink proprietary slot for custom I/O expansion (shown below).


Another view of the STC’s carrier board, showing the proprietary I/O expansion slot toward the left
(click image to enlarge)

Adlink is positioning the STC line for use in industrial environments, as it did with its earlier SP line of touch panels. The display bezel is rated IP65, which certifies resistance to dust and low-pressure water jets. Internal storage is not provided, but an external slot is available for a half-height (ST-1005/1006) or full-height (ST-1205/1206 and -1505/1506) SATA drive. Additionally there’s a slot for solid state storage. Operating temperature ranges depend on the choice of storage, with SSD-equipped models offering -20 to 60°C, and the systems are rated to resist shock and vibration at 10G and 1G, respectively.


SMARC module options: Intel based LEC-BT (left) and ARM-based LEC-IMX6
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to the proprietary slot for custom I/O expansion, the STCs offer a range of standard I/O including USB 2.0 and 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, serial ports, and HDMI. Additional built-in functions include WiFi and Bluetooth wireless, and a 2MP webcam. Each model provides 2GB of DDR3L memory soldered on board the SMARC COM.


SMARC module block diagrams: LEC-BT (left) and LEC-IMX6
(click images to enlarge)

The STCs support VESA wall mounting or can be installed in a control panel or on a support arm. They’re powered by 9-24V DC. Power consumption for the STCs depends primarily on screen size, and comes in at 30W, 32W, and 34W for the 10.4-, 12.1-, and 15-inch panel models, respectively. One difference that does stand out, however, is that the ARM-based line will additionally have 8GB of eMMC flash memory installed internally, which can potentially result in reduced power consumption.

The overall dimensions of the STCs vary according to screen size, as follows:

  • STC-1005/1006 (10.4-inch screen) — 285 x 229 x 44.3mm
  • STC-1205/1206 (12.1-inch screen) — 325 x 263.6 x 44.3 mm
  • STC-1505/1506 (15-inch screen) — 390 x 310.5 x 48.2 mm

 
Further information

Adlink’s Intel-based models with WES7 preinstalled (and WES8 available as an option) are available now, with the ARM-based models with Ubuntu preinstalled following in February, says Adlink. Ubuntu support for the Intel-based models will be added by the second half of 2016. Pricing is unlisted. Additional details may be found at Adlink’s STC-1005/1205/1505 (Intel) and STC-1006/1206/1506 (ARM) product pages.
 

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