Embedded server family with passive cooling

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					    INDUSTRIAL COMPUTING



Embedded server family
with passive cooling
by Suna Richter, DSM Computer


            Today, letters and parcels are
         sent to the right destination via
                 rapid sorting systems. As
        constant contact with paper and
          packaging subjects embedded
                  computers to high levels
             of dust, the servers need to
        correspond to at least protection
         class IP 50. The first member of
                 DSM Computer’s new E5
          NanoServer family with fanless
           operation and high processor
                      power is particularly                                                                                      Figure 1. E5 NanoServers
                                                                                                                                 are implemented for
                   well-suited to this task.
                                                                                                                                 fanless operation


I Today we communicate more than ever via              livery of parcels. Necessary for this is close       the most unreadable handwriting. The comput-
telephone, SMS, email and fax. But we still have       cooperation between the postal service and its       er-controlled laser eye only requires a couple of
good old letters or postcards, which are sent in       various freight carriers, who of course also need    thousandths of a second to ascertain the differ-
large numbers despite modern, rapid and                to have modern sorting systems.                      ent syntaxes, written forms and characters as
more fashionable media. Against all expecta-                                                                well as different languages and then to forward
tions, the number of letters sent is not falling.      One of the most modern letter and parcel sort-       the item.
On the contrary – in recent years the total num-       ing systems used by the postal service and its
ber of letters sent has actually risen. In addition,   freight partners is operated using several em-       In order to provide the customer with the high-
we are sending more packages inland and                bedded systems from the E5 NanoServer fam-           est possible flexibility in relation to perform-
abroad. Internet shopping should not be under-         ily newly introduced by DSM Computer and             ance, the models of DSM Computer’s
estimated as a proportion of this, as more and         display systems from DSM’s Infinity range. The       NanoServer family are available in different
more customers are using this uncomplicated            NanoServers support the concept of modern            classes of performance with different process-
medium to make their purchases. The total              systems in client-server architecture. As distrib-   ing power. This enables application-specific
number of items sent in Germany increased last         uted and independent client servers, the com-        configuration in accordance with DSM’s “Mod-
year by 17.5%, whereby Germany is one of the           puters can be used, for example, as control          ular World” concept. Also, the embedded
most important processing centers for interna-         units, measurement servers or communications         systems can be easily expanded for additional
tional postage due to its central location. At a       servers.                                             applications due to their modular construction.
typical sorting station today, up to 12,000 letters                                                         The first member of the E5 NanoServer fami-
and parcels each hour are processed and then           These distributed sorting systems are being          ly (96M1556CL) has the basis of a Celeron M
distributed around the world.                          supplemented with application-specific soft-         Intel processor with a clock frequency of
                                                       ware with special symbol recognition functions       1.0 GHz. The main memory of this industry
It is not only the number of items sent, but also      in order to also recognize and process hand-         computer can be expanded with 266/333 MHz
the short processing time of all letters and           written addresses in a rapid and reliable way.       DDR RAM up to 1 GB.
parcels that is impressive. The timeframe for de-      Letters and parcels are scanned using a laser sys-
livery inside Germany has been set by the leg-         tem, which enables the sorting system to read        One of the most important criteria when decid-
islature: “post should be delivered to the recip-      the address and automatically forward the            ing in favor of the new E5 model was its robust-
ient one day after sending”. Processing times can      item via the corresponding sorting band. Illeg-      ness for harsh industrial environments. Con-
certainly be further reduced as a result of            ible addresses are removed by the system and         stant contact with paper and packaging means
night sorting, so that – if a postbox is emptied       then manually checked by personnel, who then         that the embedded computer is subjected to
in the evening and sorting is done during the          sort the letter or parcel correctly wherever pos-    high levels of dust. Therefore, the server must
night – a letter can by all means be delivered         sible. The image capture software is so ad-          correspond to at least protection class IP50. The
within eight hours. The same applies to the de-        vanced that it can also recognize and process        type of housing protection relates to dust


    April 2006                                                                24
Table 1. NanoServer features
protection for equipment and is defined as follows: “penetration of dust
need not be completely prevented, but it may not penetrate to such an
amount that the satisfactory functioning or the safety of the device is
impaired”. For inspection purposes the industry computer was
sprayed with talcum powder in a special dust room at a prescribed pres-
sure and the penetration of dust was monitored. A fundamental re-
quirement for awarding of the IP50 protection class for the 96M1556CL
server is fanless operation, as the design of the E5 family focuses on very
effective cooling: a sidewall of the embedded system is formed entire-
ly as a cooling fin system. In this way, a fan is rendered unnecessary de-
spite high processor power even with fluctuations in the ambient tem-
perature.

Integrated into the Intel 82855 GME chipset, the Extreme Graphics 2
VGA with 64 MB shared memory ensures excellent graphics quality of
the server and enables connection of a 15-inch TFT industrial display
from the DSM Infinity IPC family. The maximum resolution of the dis-
play is 1024 x 768 pixels with a 75 Hz image refresh rate and a lumi-
nosity of 250 cd/m. The 304.1 mm x 228.1 mm large display is
framed by a front panel of 2 mm thick sheet steel or, if required, by
4 mm thick aluminum.

In terms of PC interfaces, there are two (optionally six) USB 2.0 ports,
two PS/2 ports, two serial interfaces and one parallel interface. A
10/100/1000 base TX LAN connection can be made using the integrat-
ed 82540EM chip. The 2.5-inch hard drive (HDD) located in the hous-
ing stores data. External connection of a floppy drive and CD/DVD-
ROM is possible via a USB 2.0 interface. In order to provide highest
possible flexibility, the NanoServer has two free expansion slots for
short PCI cards. The power supply to the embedded PC is ensured di-
rectly via 12 VDC. However, it is also possible to connect an external
70 W power supply with 100 to 240 VAC or a 50 W power supply with
18 to 36 VDC. The solid, high-quality industrial housing measures
220 mm x 220 mm x 110 mm and can be securely mounted on wall or
floor using universal metal rails. According to customer requirements,
the chassis is available in all RAL and NSC colors. Like all NanoServers,
the E5 is also CE-certified as standard. DSM Computer provides a one-
year warranty and guarantees long-term availability of five years. All
components undergo strict receiving inspections prior to assembly of
the industry system. A 48-hour burn-in prior to delivery guarantees
high server quality. I