We premiered our first edition of OnLogic Live! with our Helix launch. The Helix Series of industrial computers is now available for users in edge computing, industrial IoT, smart city, smart factory, AI and automation applications. If you missed our event, you’re in luck, we recorded it and you will find the video embedded below. If you would rather read the highlights – keep reading – we’ve got you covered.
This edition of OnLogic Live! featured OnLogic employees Darek Fanton, Communications Manager and JP Ishaq, Product Development Manager talking about all things Helix.
Watch the Helix Launch Video
Read the Helix Launch Recap
At OnLogic we have been designing and manufacturing industrial and rugged computers for over 17 years. With the Helix Series, we had an opportunity to debut a new design language and new way of thinking about our products. Our product launch includes 2 systems: the fully fanless HX500 which is focused on compact, performance density and our fanless hybrid HX600 for expandability and flexibility
10th Generation Intel – Fresh CPU Lifecycle
Intel’s new 10th generation processor was a key design choice for Helix. In the industrial computing space it’s not uncommon to see systems lagging one or more generations behind the latest processor technology. For Helix, we worked closely with Intel to launch these systems with the new 10th gen architecture built in, giving these products a fresh CPU life cycle. These processors offer significant performance improvement over the previous generation, including up to 10 cores on some models.
Helix 500 – Fanless Compact Powerhouse
Standing less than two inches tall and with a footprint the size of a notebook, Helix 500 packs the performance and connectivity for today’s most advanced edge computing applications in a compact system. That much power in that small a package has the potential to create heat. Our team worked hard to ensure a thermal solution that was efficient, simple, and cost-effective for these systems. It was a challenge, because the core system is cooled passively, without fans or moving parts, but that fanless challenge is OnLogic’s specialty.
The cooling ability of the system is proportionate to the surface area of the heatsink, so you wouldn’t be able to drop an enthusiast-grade GPU into this system, but that’s of course not the target market for these devices.
Even given the HX500’s small footprint, it can still run desktop processors and is not limited to the mobile CPUs that you often see in small form factor systems like this and still maintain a 0 – 50 Celsius operating temperature range.
Helix 600: Fanless Hybrid with Expanded Capabilities
For the HX600, we wanted to offer a low-profile, powerful industrial computer with graphics card options, but one that would preserve the solid state reliability of the main system. The HX600 expansion bay can accommodate fan-cooled cards and GPUs, but the motherboard remains in a separate, passively cooled chamber – we call it a fanless hybrid solution.
What Sets Helix Apart from the Competition?
We’re frequently asked for more performance and features in a smaller and smaller package, and with Helix, we wanted to take all that market knowledge and all our expertise and wrap it into this new platform.
Helix is set apart from the competition with features like:
Wide input power with protection against overvoltage
Dual high speed M.2 drives
Triple independent display
64 GB RAM
Graphics cards or other expansion cards in the HX600
Up to i9 processor
Why is now a Good Time to Launch Helix?
It is no question that our world has changed dramatically in the past few months and we’re all facing new, unprecedented challenges. Those challenges extend to the needs of those looking to build solutions to meet those challenges. Edge computing is already revolutionizing mass transit, retail analytics, energy infrastructure, manufacturing and we’re seeing even more need in all these fields, not to mention medical, food service, and education.
With Industry 4.0, we are seeing a rising need for automation and it’s only accelerating, and these innovations are more and more frequently being built outside of the temperature controlled office environment and subject to conditions that would destroy more traditional hardware.
Who is Helix for?
We can see these systems being used as workstations or remotely deployed machine vision solutions. They might be installed in a ceiling or on a medical cart or under a workbench or anywhere with a challenging environment that still needs advanced computing, or any application where reliability is essential.
We have a growing number of customers in the medical space, in manufacturing, in logistics, all of whom can benefit from the Helix series’ combination of cutting edge performance, connectivity, and reliability.
Example of Helix at Work
There has been a lot of early interest in Helix. For example, we’ve been working with the teams at Amazon Web Services and ThingLogix on a project called Workwatch, which provides temp monitoring and tracing as well as daily self screenings via text or email to employees/students. It’s designed to get people back to work and school. They use Helix for data collection and UI control, paired with Amazon Web Services for data handling and analytics.
Helix Launch Q and A
How does your team design a system and choose what features to offer?
OnLogic takes a very market-driven approach to system design and development. We listen carefully to the voice of the customer in both the projects we win and the occasional opportunity that passes us by. That informs everything from the performance to the size to the specific I/O that we design in.
OnLogic doesn’t just design for the market today either, but also for what will be needed 2, 3, or more years down the line. Our customers frequently need a long lifecycle solution that they can rely on to be consistent and relevant for years,.
Would Helix be a good fit for an in-vehicle application?
Helix has an operating temperature range of 0-50 Celsius, and while that is pretty standard for an industrial PC, for in-vehicle applications we generally recommend something from our rugged line, like our Karbon Series which can operate from -40 Celsius all the way up to 70 Celsius and offer additional protections against things like shock and vibration.
Is Helix cellular capable?
It is! In addition to the dual ethernet ports, both systems offer WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity and optional 4G. As devices become more and more connected, having a cellular connectivity option ensures that those digital conversations can keep happening, even in situations where no wired conversations or WiFi is available.
Do you partner with software vendors?
We’re always open to exploring opportunities with the right fit solutions to give the market what it needs. Our products are not just about the technology, but about how they fit into the ecosystem.
What is Industry 4.0?
This is the term for the 4th Industrial Revolution and the rise of automation. Connectivity is so important.
We have UL certification underway, and UL-listed configurations will be available shortly. We invite you to contact our sales team to learn more about that for your project needs.
Additionally, these systems have both passed CE and FCC testing, as well as additional immunity to be EMC medical ready. We say “medical ready” because our customers with a medical end use would still need to perform testing on their specific configuration.
Is Helix available to purchase right now?
Yes, both systems are available for purchase on our website at onlogic.com. More options, including additional GPU choices, will be in stock shortly. Our sales team can help secure early availability. Our sales team is dedicated to help our customers solve problems.