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4G is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology. LTE is the acronym for Long Term Evolution. Together they form 4G LTE, which is used to describe the particular protocol that lets users connect to a mobile network to use data and access the internet when a SIM card is placed into a PC.
The benefits of using 4G become very clear when connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices at remote locations. For example, oil wells, solar fields, or wind turbines may be many miles from the nearest network endpoint. They are also invaluable for in-vehicle use to upload real-time data to the cloud.
We offer many computers that combine our 4G LTE module with an integrated SIM card slot for plug-and-play cellular access.
5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. The key difference between 4G and 5G is speed — 5G is expected to be much faster than 4G while offering lower latency and better bandwidth.
Although 5G is slow to enter the industrial space, it will enable many capabilities in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) Accelerator is specialized hardware designed to process large AI and machine learning workloads such as neural networks and machine vision applications.
The two most popular AI accelerators are Graphic processing Units (GPU) and Video Processing Units (VPU). GPUs are dedicated to enabling advanced image processing and are available in a range of fanless, cooled, and removable cassette configurations. VPUs assign tasks to an application-specific co-processor for object, facial recognition and machine learning functions and they use less heat and power than a GPU.
ARM is a family of reduced instruction set computing (RISC) CPUs that are known for their low cost and low power requirements. Arm Ltd. develops the architecture and licenses it to other companies, who design their own products. ARM processors are fast, have low power requirements, and are found in compact sizes.
In comparison to other CPUs, ARM processors are low cost, consume less power and generate less heat. This makes them desirable for light, portable, battery-powered devices - including smartphones, laptops and tablet computers. It also makes them a good fit for embedded solutions.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) leverages computer science and robust datasets to simulate human intelligence including problem solving and decision making. Deep learning and machine learning are forms of artificial intelligence.
A frequent application of AI in industrial computing is machine vision. Machine vision derives meaningful information from visual inputs, such as a digital camera, and based on that input, takes action. AI capabilities are creating many new “smart” opportunities including smart city, smart manufacturing, smart retail and more.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform offering a wide range of cloud services. AWS provides servers, networks, remote computing and security.
AWS is popular among users since it is extremely cost effective while adding value through the platform's performance.
AWS IoT Greengrass is software that extends AWS cloud capabilities to local devices. This makes it a good choice for edge computing as it enables devices to collect and analyze data closer to the source of information, react autonomously to local events, and communicate securely with each other on local networks. With AWS IoT Greengrass, users build IoT solutions that make devices smarter while not relying on a constant internet connection.
Learn More About AWS: AWS Greengrass Hardware Enables Connectivity for IoT Edge Devices
Browse Related Products: AWS Greengrass Hardware
A computer's Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is software stored on a small memory chip on the motherboard. The BIOS detects and initializes devices at startup and accesses the master boot record (MBR) on the hard drive to start the boot process. The BIOS also serves as an important, low-level management tool, allowing admins to tweak system behavior, implement security, and control peripheral devices and storage.
Over time, PCs have outgrown the traditional BIOS, with its limitations. In 2007, a consortium of companies including Intel, AMD, Microsoft and key PC manufacturers crafted an advanced successor to the BIOS, the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Even though PC makers have largely transitioned to UEFI, the term “BIOS” is widely used to refer to both BIOS and UEFI. And, many organizations continue to manage a mix of UEFI-based PCs and older BIOS-based computers.
CAN bus is a message-based protocol allowing individual systems, devices and controllers within a network to communicate. In general, a bus is a communication system that transfers data between components. A Controller Area Network (CAN) allows for data transfer in a system not otherwise connected to a network hosting device.
Integrated CAN bus communication offers a number of benefits for industrial PC users. Benefits include high data transfer speeds, installation and maintenance flexibility, reliability and cost effectiveness.
CAN is widely utilized in modern in-vehicle computers, and is now being implemented in a wide range of embedded and industrial applications, from assembly lines to medical machinery. In industrial computing, CAN buses are most commonly used as a part of a distributed control system, which connects vital systems that may be spread throughout a facility.
A capacitive touchscreen is commonly used for a HMI (human machine interface). It relies on the human body's electrical properties to identify where a user is touching the screen. Most people are familiar with this type of screen on their smartphone.
In the industrial computing space, capacitive touchscreens are commonly used as an intuitive interface for kiosks and interactive digital signage because of their touch location accuracy and light touch activation. A capacitive touchscreen works well for machine operators as well, unless the operator is wearing gloves. In that case, a resistive screen is necessary.
Cloud computing is the ability to access IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure enable access to computing power, storage and databases on an as-needed basis. With this service, a cloud user does not need to purchase and maintain physical data centers and servers.
One of the many benefits of cloud computing is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Some well known examples of cloud computing include Microsoft 365, Google Drive, and Apple iCloud.
A Central Processing Unit (CPU) is an integral part of the computer that receives and executes instructions. The CPU basically defines the capabilities of a computing device and plays the role of the brain.
The CPU chip sits on the system's motherboard and allows a computer to make the calculations needed to run the programs stored on the system's memory.
CPU technology plays a major role in the response and speed of a user's computing device.
Deep learning is a type of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) that imitates the way humans gain knowledge. While traditional machine learning algorithms are linear, deep learning algorithms are stacked in a hierarchy of increasing complexity. Deep learning is a key technology behind driverless cars, enabling them to recognize street signs, or to distinguish a child from a fire hydrant.
In deep learning, a computer model learns to perform classification tasks directly from images, text, or sound. Deep learning models can achieve state-of-the-art accuracy, sometimes exceeding human-level performance. Models are trained by using a large set of labeled data and neural network architectures that contain many layers.
Browse Related Solutions: Deep Learning Computers
A Digital Twin is a virtual version of a physical object, process or location that serves as a real-time digital counterpart. Digital twins are built by gathering all of the information and data about just about anything of which you want to make a copy – and then recreating it in a digital space. Digital Twins are often used to create simulations to predict how a product or process will perform. This can serve as a great test and possibly prevent costly failures.
Digital Twins are constantly acquiring real world data, which is gathered through development, production and operations. With the advancement of machine learning and factors such as big data, these virtual models have become a staple in modern engineering to drive innovation and improve performance.
Learn More About Digital Twins: What is a Digital Twin: Examples and Use Cases
DIO, or Digital Input/Output, is a simple form of interface used in a wide range of systems to effectively relay digital signals from sensors, transducers and mechanical equipment to other electrical circuits and devices. DIO utilizes a logic signal to transfer information. Unlike an analog signal which might be comprised of varying voltages, the digital signals used by DIO have two possible values and are generally represented as either OFF or ON.
DIO is known to highly perform in industrial environments which include dust, moisture and vibration. DIO is an excellent option for ensuring signal integrity in the increasingly connected industrial world.
Learn More About DIO: The Ins and Outs of Digital Interfacing
Error Correction Code Memory (ECC) is used to combat data corruption due to electrical or magnetic interruptions within the computer. Broadly, ECC memory refers to a component's ability to detect mistakes that may occur in data memory. ECC memory is essential to maintain a level of accurate and consistent data.
ECC memory includes extra memory bits that are assigned to larger data sets to detect and correct single bit errors. While correcting these errors, ECC Memory is also writing data to stored memory. ECC memory can eliminate downtime and reduce hardware maintenance costs.
ECC memory does require a motherboard, chipset, and processor to support it. OnLogic’s rugged computer, Karbon 700, has a reputation for power with extreme durability and reliability, and is recommended to be configured with ECC memory.
Learn More About ECC Memory: What is ECC Memory and How Does it Protect Your Data?
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An edge device is any piece of hardware that helps control data flow from one network location to the next. This term can also refer to a wide range of network and telecom hardware that provides entry/exit points for local networks. Ultimately, what defines an edge device is where it lives on the network, most commonly close to where data is being created.
Edge devices include edge computers, IoT gateways as well as sensors, actuators and other endpoints. With the rise of the internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing, the role of edge devices with more computing power and advanced technology is expanding.
Edge computing refers to the computing activities done at or near the physical location of the data source. This minimizes or eliminates the need for data to be processed at a remote data center. This can enable real time data analytics for more actionable insights and it can also save money since only a subset of the data needs to be sent to the cloud.
Edge computing can often be done at remote sites like an oilfield or in locations that are dangerous to humans such as near a conveyor belt in a factory. Industrial computers are ideally suited for these use cases since they can deliver the necessary processing power in a small form factor designed for extreme environments.
An embedded computer is a self contained PC that is integrated into a larger device, often to perform a specific action. Embedded computers are most commonly used to collect data, and monitor, or act on, one aspect of a complex machine.
Embedded computers play a large role in the ever-evolving Internet of Things (IoT). Systems and machines that cannot connect to the internet themselves are being paired with embedded computers that relay information to the cloud. Many embedded computers are passively cooled, must adhere to strict power limitations, and require specialized I/O to ensure easy connectivity with the other parts of the system.
The term “fanless” describes a computer that does not utilize fans for cooling. Fans are one of the most common failure points for industrial PCs and draw in contaminants that can cause system slowdowns or hardware failure. Fanless computers are ideal for computer users looking to ensure optimal reliability, particularly in harsh environments subject to dust, debris or other airborne particulates.
Fanless computers are most often configured to be completely solid state, with zero moving parts. This improves the computer's reliability, especially in shock and vibration prone installations.
Fog computing is a compute layer between the cloud and the edge. Edge computing connects data to the cloud. Fog computing can act as an intermediary layer between the edge and the cloud and decide what data should be sent to the cloud. The unsent data may be deleted or used for other purposes.
fTPM (firmware Trusted Platform Module or firmware TPM) is a security feature similar to TPM. It provides your computer with security through the use of secure encryption keys required to access system files. The difference is that TPM is a physical chip soldered onto the motherboard. On the other hand fTPM generates the secure encryption keys as firmware in the UEFI/BIOS.
Learn More About fTPM: TPM for Windows 11 - What is it and what about Intel PTT and AMD fTPM?
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A gateway is a system that connects two distinct networks. A gateway commonly facilitates connectivity between systems that employs different network protocols that would otherwise be unable to communicate effectively. Gateways also enable remote data management and control local devices.
OnLogic gateways come in three forms. The first kind of gateway is an Industrial IoT gateway, which provides vital services at the edge of networks. Firewall appliances inspect and filter traffic to secure against threats, and network appliances, in the form of routers, connect local networks to the internet.
Learn More About Gateways: Industrial IoT Gateway - Designed to Bridge the Technology Gap
Browse Related Products: IoT Gateways
GPU stands for graphics processing unit. It was designed with parallel processing originally to enhance graphic and video rendering. This allowed graphic programmers to create incredible visual effects that are appreciated by many - especially in the gaming industry. Over time, their capabilities were enhanced and developers began to leverage their power to dramatically accelerate workloads for deep learning, artificial intelligence and more.
Human Machine Interface (HMI) is an interface that connects a person to a machine, system, or device. HMI is most often found in industrial manufacturing and automation environments. In these environments, HMI is used to track production and automation, observe system inputs/outputs, and monitor system health and performance.
They make training easier and provide operators with quick and intuitive insights to the status of equipment. Additionally, industrial HMI systems can be deployed in virtually any automation application, from access control to security and inventory management and warehousing.
OnLogic offers a range of HMI solutions that are engineered to withstand shock, vibration, moisture and airborne particulate.
Industrial Input/Output (I/O) refers to the ability for computing systems being able to receive data from an outside source (input) then transmitting that information (output) for real time decision making.
Learn More About I/O: Industrial Computing I/O for Industry 4.0
IEC 60601-1 is an international standard for medical electrical equipment. It outlines requirements for basic safety and essential performance. It serves to ensure that no single failure - whether it be electrical, mechanical or functional, will pose a risk to patients or medical staff.
Learn more about IEC 60601-1: IEC 60601-1: Making Computers for Medical Applications Safer
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Ignition Sensing is automotive power features tied to turning a vehicle on and off. These features allow the user to customize the timing and voltage of power delivered to the PC based on the ignition state of the vehicle. For example, an in-vehicle computer can be connected to a vehicle's battery and start up once an ignition sequence is detected. On the contrary, when a vehicle is shut off, a PC can detect this and start the shut down process. This shut down process could include a delay to allow time for data to be uploaded to the network. This eliminates the problem of a hard shutdown of the computer or the problem of the computer remaining on and draining the vehicle battery.
In-vehicle computers are becoming more common, serving a wide range of uses in cars, trucks, trains, boats, airplanes and more. In-vehicle computers encompass everything from advanced navigation and fleet management, to cargo allocation, telematics and infotainment.
Computers for transportation applications go through additional testing for shock and vibration resistance and they can operate in a wide temperature range - as wide as -40C to 70C. They also offer automotive power features associated with turning a vehicle on and off. These features allow the user to customize the timing and voltage of power delivered to the PC based on the ignition state of the vehicle, often referred to as "ignition sensing".
The term industrial computer is used to describe hardware that is engineered to be more dependable and durable than standard consumer grade systems. They help reduce downtime and come in a variety of form factors including fanned or fanless models.
Fanless industrial computers by OnLogic feature our proprietary, fully solid state Hardshell™ Fanless Technology. This offers solid state cooling, ingress protection and the 100% metal chassis offers protection from the elements.
Fanned industrial computers are cooled with cross-case ventilation designed to maximize airflow. They are all engineered for reliability and performance.
An industrial gateway is a type of gateway designed for industrial environments and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Industrial gateways connect devices and resources in the local network environment with remote access located on another network or in the cloud. Industrial gateways can link systems employing diverse network protocols, while providing processing to secure, filter, and manage complex data flows.
Industrial gateways are designed for minimal physical maintenance and interaction. Shop and factory floors, vehicles and transport, and transmission towers all demand industrial-grade gateways. Increasingly, these types of organizations are turning to industrial gateways to enable IoT applications.
Learn More About Industrial Gateways: Industrial IoT Gateway - Designed to Bridge the Technology Gap
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Industry 4.0 is the term representing the 4th iteration of the industrial revolution. The 1st revolution started in the late 1700s when steam powered machines started to be used in manufacturing. The 2nd revolution started in the late 1800s with the introduction of electricity and assembly lines. The late 1900s brought the 3rd revolution with computer controlled automated production. We are in the midst of the 4th revolution or Industry 4.0, which has introduced smart production driven by data, analytics and networked technology.
Part of Industry 4.0 is the concept of the Internet of Things, and the advances that are happening due to interconnected technology. Along with IoT, Industry 4.0 is also being driven by machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics.
The Next Unit Computing (NUC) is an ultra compact motherboard created by Intel. This 4x4 inch mini PC board offers the power and performance capabilities of a larger PC. Ideal for space-constrained multimedia applications, Intel NUC motherboards feature Intel Core i3/i5/i7 and Celeron processors, giving them the ability to handle graphic-intensive tasks with ease.
The Intel NUC motherboards versatility makes it suited to a wide range of consumer home entertainment and HTPC (Home Theater PC) applications, as well as digital signage, workstation, and industrial installations.
OnLogic offers Intel NUC motherboards with innovative fanless and ventless cases. These state-of-the-art case designs let you install a NUC PC virtually anywhere.
Intel uses code names for their processor generations during development and prior to public release. These code names are commonly used to refer to their associated processors well after launch. There are code names dating back decades, but the current relevant Intel processor codenames for OnLogic systems and the industrial computing industry in general include:
Intel Atom Family - Apollo Lake, Elkhart Lake
Intel Core Family - Coffee Lake (8th Gen), Whiskey Lake (8th Gen), Comet Lake (10th Gen), Tiger Lake (11th Gen)
Learn More: Intel Elkhart Lake (Video)
Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are able to collect and exchange data in real time. These devices range from household objects like thermostats and to sophisticated industrial sensors and machines.
A subset of IoT, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), may be the most revolutionary aspect of the IoT explosion. It encompasses all kinds of industrial applications to automate processes, analyze data and predict outcomes. The IIoT offers enhanced operational efficiencies and opens the door to new production, testing and management innovations.
Browse Related Products: IoT Gateways
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an extension of The Internet of Things (IoT) and refers to interconnected sensors, instruments, machines and other devices for industrial applications. This connectivity allows for data collection, exchange, analysis and communication which can then be used to help businesses make informed decisions more quickly and more accurately.
Learn More About IIoT: What Is The Industrial Internet Of Things? Examples, Key Industries and Looking Ahead
Browse Related Products: IoT Gateways
An IoT gateway is like a central hub for IoT devices. It is a physical device or virtual platform that connects sensors and smart devices to each other and to the internet or to the cloud. They can also filter data, mitigate security risks and provide some intelligence at the edge. An IoT gateway enables administrators to inspect, filter, manage and control the flow of data as it leaves and enters the network.
IoT Gateways are often used to connect modern systems and legacy hardware. Many older devices lack the ability to connect to the cloud. With an IoT gateway, users can leverage advancements in technology without replacing their entire IT infrastructure.
Learn More About IoT Gateways: Life on the Edge: Edge Computing IoT Gateway to Serve Industrial Environments
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Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are a series of standards used to identify the effectiveness of a particular enclosure in sealing out both solids and liquids. The first digit in an IP refers to the level of protection against solid objects, including everything from fingers of operators to small particles of dust or other airborne contaminants. The second number represents the resistance of the enclosure to liquids.
An IP65 rating implies that the enclosure is dust tight and is liquid resistant. IP computers are employed in food manufacturing plants so that they can be sprayed down for sanitation purposes.
Learn more about IP65: Industrial Food Processing Computers are up to the Challenge of Avoiding a Mess
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A computer’s lifecycle defines a manufacturer’s commitment to build and support a product. Computers in the consumer marketplace might have a lifecycle anywhere between a year to five years. These relatively short lifespans can pose a problem for the industrial PC industry. Some customers may take up to a year to prototype system compatibility. A long lifecycle ensures that the final project is sustainable following its introduction to the market. Industrial users don’t want to frequently source and replace embedded computers that may be placed in very difficult to reach locations.
The standard long lifecycle starts at 5 years, meaning the manufacturer indicates that the system will be available and supported for a full 5 years.
Learn more about Lifecycle: The Most Important Hardware Spec You May Be Ignoring
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Long Range WiFi (LoRa) is a wireless technology that offers secure, long range and low power data transmission for machine communication (M2M) and IoT applications.
Learn More About LoRa: Connected Devices at the Edge Using OnLogic and AWS Greengrass
A machine vision system is exactly what it sounds like - the eyes of a machine. Machine vision uses cameras and software algorithms to automate visual tasks.
Machine vision solutions offer enhanced productivity as well as increased accuracy for complex visual tasks. Users of a machine vision system can also benefit from decreased production costs and higher quality products.
OnLogic offers ideal solutions for machine vision systems. Our compact products are able to fit in small manufacturing spaces and in tough performance environments.
The Microcontroller Unit (MCU) is a small chip on the motherboard that serves as a mini command center for the system. It allows a user to customize the behavior of a computer based on their particular needs.
The MCU acts as a communications point between low-level hardware interfaces and high-level software, which makes it possible to exchange data over DIO (or Digital Input/Output) and CAN (or Campus Area Network) connections.
It can also handle execution for automotive subsystems, like battery voltage monitoring, ignition detection, and power on or off delays.
A Mesh Network is a network in which devices are linked together. These networks efficiently route data between other users and devices. Mesh Networks increase the reliability of a network in the case that a connection failure occurs because there are multiple routes for data to travel.
Mesh Networks are used in home monitoring, security systems and public service communication. These networks are reliable and offer redundancy - when one node can no longer operate, the rest of the nodes can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes.
Learn More About Mesh Networks: 3 Reasons you Need Wireless Communication for Edge Computers
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Mil-Spec computers are constructed with ultra-rugged materials, both inside and out. This enables them to withstand extreme environments and challenging computing applications. Mil-Spec PCs are built to resist airborne debris, extreme temperatures, shock & vibration and in many cases moisture. Mil-Spec PC hardware is often IP65 rated for water resistance.
As the naming suggests, these computers are intended exclusively for military use, and are currently being employed in a wide range of heavy industrial markets. Along with military use, Mil-Spec PCs can be found in offshore oil rigs, heavy construction equipment and aerospace integrators.
Mini-ITX is a small-form motherboard. Measuring at only 17 x 17 cm (6.7 x 6.7 inches), it offers both full height and low profile I/O options. The smaller footprint of the form factor makes Mini-ITX the perfect choice for discreet installation in industrial and embedded applications.
Although the Mini-ITX is small, it does not limit your onboard I/O options. In fact, it has the same features as the ATX board, all while being in a smaller case.
ModBay is a modular expansion bay used by certain OnLogic industrial and rugged PCs to enable additional connectivity and functionality.
ModBay was created in conjunction with the Karbon 700 Series of rugged computers. ModBay enables high-speed connectivity, power delivery, and a wide range of expansion card support via additional M2 and mPCIe slots. Ultimately, if there is an expansion challenge that you are currently facing, or might face in the future, ModBay gives us the flexibility to help you create a solution.
MQTT is a communication protocol ideal for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. It reduces the bandwidth required to transmit data between multiple locations, improves data handling on unreliable networks, and requires little implementation effort for developers. MQTT's features make it an excellent option for sending high volumes of sensor messages to analytics platforms and cloud solutions.
Learn more about MQTT: Creating a Connected Factory: Connecting the Dots of the IoT
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Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) is a term used by reliability engineers to quantify the dependability of electrical components and devices. Essentially, MTBF attempts to estimate the length of time a given product is likely to operate before needing to be serviced or replaced.
Since MTBF is a generalized measurement, there are a wide range of variables that can impact the accuracy of published MTBF figures. It is important to fully understand what MTBF represents (and, critically, what it doesn't) when assessing the reliability of your industrial PC.
Learn More About MTBF: Understanding Mean Time between Failure in IPC
The Next Unit Computing (NUC) is an ultra compact motherboard. This 4x4 inch mini PC board offers the power and performance capabilities of a larger PC. Industrial NUC systems from OnLogic feature our Hardshell™ Fanless Technology and enable powerful, small form factor computing even in the most challenging environments. Ideal for space constrained embedded or IoT applications, these units deliver reliability, durability and flexibility in a small package.
Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a transfer protocol for accessing data quickly from flash memory storage devices such as SSDs (Solid State Drives). NVMe SSDs are faster than regular SSDs because they communicate directly with the CPU using the PCIe bus. Regular SSDs connect the SATA controller via a cable. The PCIe bus is faster than SATA and offers more bandwidth, resulting in ultra-fast data transfer speeds.
NVMe features help avoid the bottlenecks associated with meeting new data demands and Edge computing.
Learn more about NVMe: How to Choose the Best Industrial Computer
A Network Video Recorder (NVR) records and stores video footage directly from the network. These systems work with IP cameras which capture and process video and audio data themselves. NVRs connect with the IP cameras either with an ethernet cable or wirelessly. NVRs have been continuously improving security and surveillance capabilities for many industries.
Learn More About NVR: How Rugged NVRs Survive the Elements - Security for the Oil and Gas Industry
Browse Related Products: NVR PCs
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) refers to the manufacturer responsible for producing goods for sale. OEM can be a misleading term since it is used to refer to a company that maintains a relationship with the original manufacturer which allows them to sell products under their own name.
Commonly, hardware resellers are responsible for the service and support of the products they offer and may customize them by adding included software, appearing to their customers as the OEM, despite the fact that they were not the ones who originally manufactured the hardware.
Learn More About OEM: What do OEM/ODM Services Look Like in the Computer Industry?
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An operating system (OS) usually comes preloaded on a computer. It manages the computer hardware, software as well as memory and processes. It coordinates everything to make sure a computer application is getting the processing power, memory and storage that it needs to operate. The OS also provides the graphical user interface (GUI) for a user to communicate with the computer.
Learn more About Operating Systems: Windows 11 for Embedded Devices: Should You Use It?
Many customers have applications requiring an industrial computer capable of operating outside. Remote monitoring, interactive kiosk, and licence plate recognition projects are among the many "intelligent systems" needing rugged PCs able to withstand environments found outside of the traditional temperature controlled building. System selection for the out of doors depends on a number of factors, including whether the unit with be enclosed or not, and whether it will be exposed simply to temperature swings or whether moisture and dust figure into to calculation.
The vast majority of our customers are using NEMA enclosure, typically a NEMA 4 enclosure, to enclose both the computer and other sensitive electronics. NEMA cabinets address the problem of moisture and dust but temperature, both extreme heat and cold, is still a factor. In fact, enclosing a PC can actually aggravate thermal issues, given the risk that in an unvented NEMA enclosure's ambient temperature could rise beyond the computer's safe operating temperature specification. Also, many passively cooled computers rely on airflow to effectively dissipate the heat generated by internal components. When it comes to using NEMA enclosures it’s important to understand all the variables, both with the computer and the enclosure being used.
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A Panel PC is an integrated solution combining both a display and a computing unit, making for an all-in-one computer. Industrial panel PCs are typically more ruggedized and offer both capacitive and resistive touchscreens. Capacitive touchscreens enable multitouch functionality, while resistive screens can be used by operators wearing gloves, a feature commonly needed in manufacturing and production environments.
An advantage of Panel PCs is that they provide an integrated solution that does not require compatibility testing between the display and the computer. Another obvious benefit is installation flexibility. Panel PCs can be mounted right where they’re needed without the need to run wiring to a separate PC. Panel PCs are frequently used for human machine interface (HMI) as the touch capabilities make controlling equipment easy and efficient.
Learn more about Panel PCs: 7 Step Process to Selecting an Industrial Panel PC
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Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) stands for the type of connection between a computer's motherboard and endpoints like graphic cards, sound cards or expansion cards.
There are five common types of PCIe slots and cards. Each card differs in the amount of data lanes present on the card. The more lanes on a card, the more data can travel on them.
It is important to note that as you jump to a new generation, the data transfer rate doubles. The most recent generation, 4.0, offers up to 16 gigatransfers per second per lane. Generation 5.0 is expected to hit the market in 2022.
PicoPSU is a small but efficient DC-DC converter that directly plugs into the motherboard ATX connector. It is designed for use with small form factor motherboards and embedded PCs. A picoPSU can provide up to 160 W of power, allowing ample power overhead for many of today's Mini-ITX systems. In addition to standard power supplies, there are picoPSUs designed for wide input and automotive applications.
PicoPSU is an increasingly popular choice for a wide range of hardware projects because it is small, fanless, highly efficient and requires fewer cables.
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A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a simplified industrial computer that has been ruggedized for manufacturing processes, plants, or other automation environments.
As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) keeps growing in popularity, there's an increased need for data from remote locations. Meaning, more PLC’s are needed at the edge of networks. This IIoT architecture allows industrial organizations to build solutions over out-of-date systems, creating PLC data availability throughout an organization. Those same increased data needs have led some industrial users to implement more full-featured industrial computers in place of PLCs to do on-site data processing and analytics.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) transmits electrical power, threaded with data, on ethernet cables to provide both data connection and power to an array of devices. PoE is robust, cost effective and offers easy installation, making it a popular option for industrial hardware users.
As IoT and cloud computing keep increasing in popularity, the number of PoE applications continues to grow. The energy, automation, IIoT and transportation industries can all benefit from using PoE.
PTT stands for Intel’s Platform Trust Technology and it’s security functionality for credential storage and key management. Before PTT, the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) was the industry standard.
What sets PTT apart is that it doesn't require a dedicated processor or memory to run. Instead, PTT relies on secure access to the system's host processor and memory to perform low-level system authentication and verification. Because of this, PTT enables low-cost and low-power devices to support the same root of trust concepts enabled by hardware-based TPM.
PTTs role has become increasingly important as cyber threats continue to target the lowest levels of system operations, where traditional anti-malware solutions can be vulnerable.
Learn More About PTT: Intel Platform Trusted Technology (PTT): TPM For The Masses
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Resistive touchscreens are a type of human machine interface (HMI) technology, commonly used to control equipment in a range of industrial settings. Resistive touchscreens use the physical movement of touch surface to establish where the user is touching the screen.
Resistive touchscreens are used in manufacturing facilities, medical equipment, and automation systems. Since resistive touchscreens can be used while wearing gloves, factory automation and medical equipment often utilize resistive touchscreens for HMI.
A rugged computer is a PC specifically engineered to operate effectively in the most challenging environments. Rugged computers are most often designed to withstand extreme temperatures, shock & vibration and exposure to dust or moist conditions. Rugged computers feature an ultra-durable enclosure, but also utilize internal components built for the utmost reliability.
Rugged computers are most commonly employed in environments where a normal industrial PC will struggle to survive. Rugged computers can perform in the harshest of conditions like a remote oil field, steel factory or even deep sea exploration.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a combination of hardware and software and is designed to collect, analyze, and visualize data from industrial equipment. SCADA connects the sensors that monitor equipment like motors, pumps, and valves.
SCADA systems are crucial in manufacturing industries since they process data for logical decisions, maintain efficiency and communicate software issues to mitigate downtimes. Industries that benefit from SCADA include the energy, transportation, recycling, and oil sectors.
Learn More About SCADA: What is SCADA and How is it Used for Industrial Automation?
Browse Related Products: Ignition Edge Gateways
Serial Ports or COM Ports allow PCs to exchange data one piece at a time. Serial ports have been around for quite some time, and are currently being utilized for applications demanding simple, low speed interfaces. Serial Ports could be found in legacy (older) scientific instruments, cash registers and industrial machinery.
Today, modern consumer PCs have replaced serial ports with higher-speed standards, commonly USBs. Industrial PCs still feature Serial Ports in order to connect with older machines that are still commonly in use.
Learn More About Serial Ports-COM Ports: Industrial Computing I/O for Industry 4.0
Small Form Factors (SFF) are generally defined as anything smaller than your standard desktop, or systems based around motherboards smaller than Standard-ATX.
The majority of systems that OnLogic offers are SFF. There are limitations concerning small form factor computing such as the lack of room for expansion. With expansion and configuring capabilities in mind, OnLogic offers systems that can accommodate expansion cards for additional I/O or wireless connectivity, as well as additional storage bays. The key is finding the optimal combination of small footprint and capabilities. That is one reason why fully understanding the use case for each system we sell is so important.
Learn More About Small Form Factor: eeting the Size Requirements of Today’s Embedded Computers
Browse Related Products: Industrial Mini PCs - Small Computers
SoC stands for System on a Chip and it is an entire computer system on a single chip. It integrates all or most components of a computer such as a CPU, RAM, peripheral controllers (for USB, storage), and more advanced peripherals such as graphics processing units (GPUs), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more. All on a single chip, instead of independent chips that have to be connected together. The use of SoCs makes computers smaller, faster, less expensive and it reduces their energy consumption.
A sunlight readable display, sometimes referred to as a high brightness display, allows for images to be easily seen even in environments with significant ambient light. Sunlight readable displays are most commonly used in outdoor digital signage and kiosks.
Sunlight readable displays feature a higher brightness output, or special screen coating, to combat screen glare. The brightness display is scientifically represented in candelas per square meter (Cd/m2), but the more commonly used specification for brightness assigns a Nit value. Simply put, the higher the nits the brighter the display. OnLogics line of Cincoze Crystal Panel PCs and Displays are available with high brightness screens, featuring ratings of up to 1600 Nits.
Learn More About Sunlight Readable Displays: Using a Sunlight Readable Display for a User Interface in a Bright Environment
Browse Related Products: HMI Panels
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a computer chip that stores data used to authenticate a user's PC or laptop. The data can range from passwords to encryption keys.
TPM works by storing protected key information in a tamper-proof chip that includes a unique Endorsement Key baked into the silicone at manufacture-like a digital fingerprint-to authenticate a host system hardware.
TPM is extremely useful since it prevents compromised files and software from loading, and halts attacks before they can even begin. TPM 2.0 is required to run Windows 11 as an important building block for their security-related features.
Learn More About TPM: What is TPM (Trusted Platform Module)
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification for software that connects a PCs firmware to its operating system (OS). UEFI is installed in manufacturing, and is responsible for checking all hardware components work correctly, before handing them off to the OS. UEFI enabled enhanced levels of security and robustness at the foundation of the computer architecture.
UEFI is the updated replacement for BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). UEFI is often used since it does not rely on the Master Boot Record (MBR) scheme to store the low level-bits that bootstrap the OS. UEFI also offers the Secure Boot feature, which identifies low level code.
Learn More About UEFI: UEFI for Windows 11, What you Need to Know
Ubuntu is an Open Source, Debian based Linux Operating System (OS) developed by Canonical. It was created with the goal of it being easy to use, free access and open book development. Ubuntu is officially released in three editions: Desktop, Server, and Core for Internet of things devices and robots. All the editions can run on the computer alone, or virtual machine.
It is becoming widely adopted by engineers in industrial space since it is highly customizable. So many are drawn to Ubuntu due to its free point of entry. In the right setting, Ubuntu is a flexible alternative to Windows.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) provides a battery backup when electrical power is lost (a blackout) or stops providing enough power to the system (brownout). Large UPS devices can power multiple devices for several hours, while smaller UPS solutions simply provide enough power for one system to safely power down or bridge the gap before backup power systems kick in.
UPS systems are often employed in mission critical applications where system failure might cause data loss or even injury. Manufacturing production lines, medical facilities, IT networks and military installations all use UPS systems to ensure reliable computer operation.
Learn More About UPS systems: UPS for Industrial Computing
USB 3.1 is a generational number that refers to the data transfer rate. Launched in 2013, USB 3.1 replaced 3.0 as the new standard USB.
USB 3.1 includes two standards of transfer speed. SuperSpeedPlus (SSP) has a maximum throughput of 10Gbps, while SuperSpeed (SS) has a throughput rate of 5Gbps.
This USB standard also defines the electric power connection between computers. The USB 3.1 standard provides a maximum capacity of 100W power delivery, which enables devices to draw power directly from computers without the need for an external power source.
Learn More About USB 3.1: USB Type-C and USB 3.1/3.2 Explained
In 2017, USB 3.2 was unveiled. This generation was different from the rest, since it was now compatible with USB-C connectors, as opposed to previous generations compatible with USB-A connectors.
The leap to USB-C compatibility added higher transfer speeds and faster charging due to additional lanes built into the connections for data and power to travel in.
There are four variations of USB 3.2 currently available. Each variation differs in transfer speed and application performance.
Learn More About USB 3.2: What's The Difference Between USB Generations?
USB-C Type-C refers to the physical shape of the newest USB connector. The most common and familiar USB connector shape is USB-A which is rectangular and has a right and wrong way to plug into a port. USB-C is much smaller, oval shaped, and reversible meaning there is no wrong way for a user to plug it in.
USB Type-C was created with the intent to replace the other USB forms and provide a future proof fully featured option for hardware designers to standardize on.
While the consumer hardware market is quickly embracing this new USB type, the industrial PC market is lagging behind. The industrial PC market is slowly beginning to integrate USB-C connections into their latest generations of devices.
Learn More About UBC-C: USB Type C and USB 3.1/3.2 Explained
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) refers to the use of virtual machines to provide and manage virtual desktops. VDI’s allow users to access these virtual desktops remotely from an endpoint device. The user can interact with the operating system and its applications as if they were running locally. The endpoint may be a PC, thin client device or a mobile device.
VDI is widely used due to its ease of access, flexibility and mobility. No matter where a user is accessing the virtual desktop, all the processing is done on a host server.
VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) created the system used to categorize display panel mounting options. The mounting standards set forth by VESA, known as the Mounting Interface Standards (MIS) is used to indicate the ways in which monitors, TVs, panel PCs and other similar devices can be mounted.
The Most common VESA standards are MIS-D 75 and MIS-D 100, used for screens weighing 30 pounds or less. The majority of OnLogics embedded PCs are compatible with VESA mounting, most commonly VESA 75. All Cincoze Crystal Series Panel PCs are MIS-D 75/100 compatible, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in mounting the systems to wall brackets.
Computers are now being installed in a variety of environments, some of which are far from the stationary, vibration-free office desk. For example, in a smart warehouse, a computer may be placed on a forklift and may experience vibration as well as shocks with sudden stops and starts. In a standard computer, the internal components could fail - especially components that move like a hard drive or fan.
Modern industrial computers feature vibration resistant components and connections, often without any internal cabling. This minimizes failure points and ensures reliable operations. If you are looking to install a computer in a vibration prone location, look for one that is shock and vibration tested to MIL-STD-801. These computers are designed to withstand turbulent environments like those found on trains, boats, cars, trucks and other vehicles, as well as manufacturing lines, drilling operations and more.
A Video Processing Unit (VPU) works as a co-processor. It takes the load off central processors and assigns it to a more efficient, application-specific integrated circuit. In simpler terms, this means that you can take an extremely compact and efficient system and set it up to run machine vision or learning applications.
VPUs are advantageous due to their low power requirements and low cost. Plus they typically do not generate as much heat.
Learn More About VPU: What are Video Processing units (VPU)?
A water resistant computer is a computer that is IP65 rated. That means it can protect the internal components from water including rain or a water jet spray.
If you are planning to fully submerge a system underwater, you will need a system that has a higher IP-rating of IP67 or above. That means it can be fully submerged as opposed to sprayed or wiped down.
At OnLogic, our highest rated computers are our Panel PCs, which feature an IP65 rating.
Wide Temperature is a term that has been adopted by the IPC industry to indicate that a computer (or component) can operate in more extreme environments than your standard office building. OnLogic’s wide temperature computers are capable of operating in environments as cold as -40°C and as hot as 70°C.
Many customers use wide temperature computers when they are placing a unit outdoors. We still recommend using a NEMA enclosure to ensure that the outdoor elements do not inhibit system performance over time. OnLogic recommends using a wide temperature computer for steel production, meatpacking, food processing, manufacturing and any other extreme temperature environment.
Learn More About Wide Temperature: Operating temperature: Can Your System Take the Heat?
Browse Related Products: Rugged Computers
Windows Embedded is a Microsoft Operating System (OS) designed specifically for embedded applications. A Windows embedded installation often includes only the aspects of the OS image the user needs, which saves storage and simplifies the installation process.
Microsoft has rebranded their embedded OS products, and are now called Windows IoT.
Learn More About Windows Embedded and Windows IoT: Windows Embedded is Dead. Long Live Windows IoT?