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IPC System Models Prior to 2014-07 Print
July 2014
This article reviews the depth of involvement in Industrial PC by Compucon since 1992 up to June 2014.  In brief, IPC did not exist as a technology or product portfolio within Compucon but IPC did exist as a business concept and several Compucon system models qualified as IPC.  This review is a pre-requisite for Compucon to do IPC better as from July 2014.
Compucon System Models

  • We have the Onyx series with a basic version (Commercial) for basic applications and the second version (Multimedia) for more sophisticated applications.  The Onyx Commercial has an Atom CPU and the Onyx Multimedia has Pentium G3220 or a higher model with 1150 pins. Onyx is a small form factor chassis with a volume of 6.7 litres.  It is about half the size of the slim chassis (12.2 litres) for Diamond and Jasper introduced in 2013 and one third of the size of the “well beloved” chassis that lasted from 2001 to 2013 for Diamond and Jasper.  Onyx has 2 choices of mounting methods: feet for standing upright, and brackets for affixing to the wall or a structure.  The chassis can take one 3.5” HDD or up to three SSD’s and one half-height, half-length low-profile PCIe x1 card.  Maximum power supply is rated 150W.  

  • We have a Short1U series with a basic version and a server version.  Both versions have an Atom CPU. The chassis has a depth of less than 10” in a standard 1U form factor with an interval volume of 4.7 litres.  It is smaller than many drawers underneath our desk.  The chassis can take up to two 3.5” HDD or SSD. One low-profile PCIe x16 (in X4) card can be added for basic and one low-profile PCI card can be added for server.  Maximum power supply is rated 200W.

Are they Popular?
  • They have not been popular but they are not sour at all irrespective of the presence of various other choices on the market. Compucon attempted to reduce the size of Onyx to about 3 litres in collaboration with a computer maker in Taiwan under our project codenamed Black Pearl.  We spent 2 years on prototyping and eventually gave up due to marginal thermal stability.  One of our peers had informed us that a small PC of a well known brand would shut down after 4 hours due to overheat.   We have since concluded that Onyx is about the smallest we can attain with expansion capabilities for operating on a 24/7 basis. 

  • Onyx is not sour because some channel peers use them as commercial PCs and a couple deploy them in medical clinics which have a highly controlled environment.  The lack of popularity of the Onyx and the Short1U is due to the perception that they are an average PC whereas in fact they can be deployed as an industrial PC which is more valuable than an average PC.  All Compucon models satisfy the criteria for IPC being small sized, low powered, and stable in the production lifecycle (Onyx Multimedia may have a shorter production lifecycle).  Short1U being rack mounted is more rugged than Onyx.

Attempts to enter IPC

  • Panel PC is small, low powered, stable in production, and rugged.   It is similar to a laptop whereas Onyx is similar to a desktop and Short1U is similar to a server.  Since we do not deal with laptops, we do not deal with Panel PCs.

  • Whilst we developed our current model of wireless bricks (WAP5015D5) in 2009, we looked into Digital Signage which used wireless to link a display panel with a central digital signage server to control the content and timing of advertisements.  We had the hardware ready but did not go ahead due to the lack of expressed interest from our channel peers.