First enclosure compliant with the embeddedNUC Standard

Paul Boughton

enclosures4U, the online source for standard and custom enclosures for electronic, communication, control and electrical system builders, is now stocking the Schroff embeddedNUC case which features an innovative Flexible Heat Conductor (FHC) integrated cooling solution and is compatible with 1U embedded NUC enclosures.

Microprocessor-based systems continue to get smaller, more powerful and more economical bringing about new processing solutions including Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) system. This system, developed for consumer applications, combines many PC functions on a small baseboard, approximately 10 x 10cm in size.

To extend the benefits of this system to industrial applications a specific embeddedNUC standard has been established. The standard takes into account the interfaces relevant to industrial applications, the long-term availability of processors and other electronic components and failsafe, fan-less conduction cooling. Small and powerful PC units can now be used as decentralised control and monitoring units in automation systems.

enclosures4u now offers the Pentair-Schroff first ever compact enclosure compliant with the new standard, featuring an integrated cooling solution for PCB top side cooling which can expand and contract vertically to compensate for tolerances and optimise surface contact and provide thermal dissipation up to 15W.

The specification defines not only the electronic parameters concerning connectors, power supply, interfaces etc. but also mechanical aspects such as the size of the board (101.60 x 101.60 mm) with the fixing holes and the heights and positions of the electronic components on the front and rear sides of the board. The basic dimensions (width and depth) of a case are determined by the board size. The height of the case remains variable, since it has to be adapted to the height of the electronic components and to the conduction cooling. Similarly, cut out locations on the front or rear of the case for connectors etc. remain undefined as these depend on the application. The defined temperature range for operation lies between 0 and +60 °C or extended from -40 to 85°C.

The new embeddedNUC enclosure is based on the Schroff Interscale platform of cases. It consists of just three parts (body, top cover and front panel) and offers standard platform flexibility in dimensions, cut-outs, colours and printing etc. The IP30 rated EMC-shielded case is simple to assemble and is fixed in place with just two screws. Heat sinks for conduction cooling are integrated in the top cover. Pentair has developed and patented special thermally conductive elements in metal to transfer the heat from the processors to the case surface. These elements are variable in height so that they can stay in constant contact with processors of different heights. The dissipated heat is transferred consistently by conduction to the heat sinks and then passed to the environment by means of convection and radiation. Another benefit of direct heat dissipation is better processor performance and higher clock speeds.

Applications for the new embeddedNUC from enclosures4u include:

* Kiosk - ticketing machine, information point, way-finding POD, home automation;

* POS – banking, ATM, price checkers - vending machine;

* Digital Display – terminal = digital signage, in-vehicle infotainment;

Surveillance System – DVR, NVR, network appliances;

Emedded Systems – HMI, medical, car PC;

* Home Automation - control of lighting, heat, security, locks and home entertainment;

Industrial Automation- iIndustrial HMI, gateway controls, verification and testing.