Rugged embedded computer design

Paul Boughton

Specific rugged embedded computer design are applied during the complete design phase, says MPL. These precautions include, but are not limited to:

* Signal integrity in terms of track impedance selecting and matching
* Track length matching and signal termination which requires to do the routing manually by skilled engineers.

These considerations are key when systems shall run trouble free over years in extreme environments. Further a strong attention has been given to the system efficiency during the design phase to exclude unnecessary power losses.

Within the design thoughts, the construction of the multilayer board has been looked at deeply from electrical as well as thermal point of view. The various specific design rules make the PIP30 unique compared to other 3rd generation Core i systems where the design is based on the Intel reference design and even plugged CPUs are used. One can see the difference at the overall power consumption.[Page Break]

Another key when designing a rugged product is the selection of the components. This is the base for long-term availability and efficiency, and to insure a life cycle of 10 years. Another selection criteria is to use only parts whenever possible that are specified for the extended temperature range.

These precautions give the user the best long-term availability and best quality in all environments.
For example the 3rd Generation Intel Core Solution for the rugged environment:
This new platform, called PIP30 Family, is equipped with the 3rd Generation Intel Core CPUs from the Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge architecture in combination with the QM77 chipset.[Page Break]
In order to be able to ruggedise the solution, only the Intel mobile CPUs out of the embedded roadmap are being used. Processor, chipset, as well as the ECC DDR3 memory chips are soldered on-board, allowing to mount them direct to the housing for the best cooling. MPL has been providing this cooling concept  for more then 16 years. The new PIP30 Family is designed such that the Fit & Form remains the same as when the first PIP was introduced in 1996.
The input of the PIP30 Family is reverse polarity and load dump protected. The input power range starts from 9VDC up to 36VDC, optionally up to 48VDC. The solution is designed such that an internal UPS system with battery can be added. If a galvanic separation is required due to standards, eg for marine or mining applications, then this can be added internally as well.
The PIP30 Family comes with a large set of interfaces and leaves hardly any wishes open. The units come with four GigE ports, up to seven USB (3.0 and 2.0), up to four serial lines (RS232/485), PS/2, external SATA port,  and as specialty an external PCI-E port. Internally available are two SATA 3.0 and two SATA 2.0. The system comes with 8GB ECC DDR3 memory and can be expanded up to 16GB. The unit can easily be expanded over various expansion ports like 2 x miniPCIe, PCI-104, PCI/104-Express, or external PCI-Express x 16.
The PIP30 is the solution that will meet your needs today and tomorrow, and will be available for the next 10 years. The solution is offered in the standard PIP housing as well as in the MIL housing or as open-frame. Needless to say, with the PIP30 solution you will be able to meet most severe standards like EN60945, MIL-810 EN50155 just to name a few.
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