Technology is ever-evolving, and while the consumer electronics marketplace is most often focused on the latest and greatest iteration of a given piece of tech, the industrial computing industry must walk a unique and challenging tightrope when it comes to launching new products. On one hand, it’s important to keep pace with the needs of IPC users and ensure that the newest components are available for those who may be prototyping on a new project. On the other hand, those who have already finalized and distributed a product rely on the consistency and continued availability of industrial hardware to ensure long product lifecycles.
A little more than two years ago we launched the ML300 Series based on Intel’s brand-new-at-the-time Next Unit of Computing motherboard form factor. Our ML300 systems have been extremely popular thanks to their small size, industrial design and application flexibility, but until now the series has been subject to the shorter expected lifecycle of the boards it contains. But now, thanks to some careful re-engineering, and the release of a slew of new industrial motherboard options, we’re able to offer IPC users a full five year lifecycle in the small form factor, low profile package that has made the ML300 Series so popular.
Introducing the ML340 Series
The ML340 represents the next evolution of the ML300 Series, complete with the connectivity, performance and reliability that clients all over the world have come to trust. In addition to an updated assortment of industrial I/O, the models in the ML340 Series feature motherboards with a full 5 year expected lifecycle. This affords embedded developers and systems integrators a level of long term availability and support that simply can’t be accomplished with consumer-focused motherboard options. Longer lifecycle products allow industrial PC users to avoid costly reconfiguration and/or re-certification, allowing them to reliably standardize on a set hardware platform.
The ML340 Series is launching with two distinct models. The ML340G-10 is powered by a Quad Core processor and features dual LAN and up to 3 COM ports, ideal for industrial automation applications. The ML340G-50 features Core i7 processing power and comes equipped with dual LAN, dual HDMI and 6 USB ports, making it well suited to HD digital signage and kiosk applications that require multiple displays or peripherals.
Both ML340 models feature a plated steel bottom chassis coated in durable textrued paint and an extruded, anodized aluminum lid. The textured paint helps to resist dust and fingerprints, while the anodized coating greatly improves corrosion and wear resistance. Nickel plated and black painted interior surfaces provide electromagnetic interference protection and allow for efficient radiant cooling of internal components.
Why is Lifecycle So Important?
Lifecycle is one of a handful of hardware features that are often overlooked in the configuration phase of a project, which is why we always recommend that clients work with one of our Solutions Specialists when choosing their hardware. We’ve discussed the ways that proactive lifecycle management can benefit IT projects before, and it’s something that we think about a lot here at OnLogic. Our Product Management team is always on the hunt for components that will allow our clients to properly plan, execute and manage their project from prototyping through mass production. With a handful of ML300 Series motherboards headed toward end of life (EOL), the ML340 systems will serve as the new small form factor computing standard and act as a natural transition for many current ML300 Series customers.
What’s Next for the ML340 Series?
With an eye toward the future, the new ML340 has been engineered for longevity, with modular internal components that will allow it to accommodate a range of motherboards. There is already a third model in the works, that will feature our popular internal uninterruptible power supply (UPS), that we hope to have available this spring. As always we welcome your input about what features and capabilities you’d like to see in this, or any other, OnLogic system. Click the links for more details about the ML340G-10 and ML340G-50, and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Darek is the Communications Manager at OnLogic. His passion for both journalism and technology has led him from the newsrooms of local papers to the manufacturing floor of IBM. His background in news gathering has him always on the lookout for the latest in emerging tech and the best ways to share that information with readers. In addition to his affinity for words, Darek is a music lover, juggler and huge fan of terrible jokes.