Ruggedized COM Express Module Comes With Condition Monitoring

With the Toucan-QM57, LiPPERT Embedded Computers offers a contemporary CPU board for COM Express Type 2 carrier boards. The module is specifically designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, making it suitable for mobile applications. Its Intel® Core™ i7 processor, with the Mobile Intel® QM57 Express Chipset and 4 GB DDR3 soldered down ECC RAM delivers enough performance for demanding applications like image processing.

Memory can be expanded to 8 GB using ruggedized XR-DIMM™ modules. Standardized by SFF-SIG, these memory modules come with a high-quality connector and are tightly fastened using screws.

The module adheres to the COM Express standard and includes these interfaces:

  • VGA, dual channel LVDS, 2 DisplayPorts
  • Gigabit LAN
  • 8 USB 2.0 host ports
  • 4 SATA ports with RAID support
  • 1 PATA interface
  • Intel HD audio
  • PCI Express bus: 6 x1 lanes, 1 x16 lane
  • PCI bus
  • LPC, SPI, SMB buses

The PCI Express x16 lane supports one external x16 PCI Express Graphics (PEG) device or two external x8 PCI Express graphics devices.

Some models of the Toucan-QM57 are also available in the extended temperature range from -40°C to 85°C. Check http://www.lippertembedded.com/de/lipperts-toucan-qm57.html for details.

The Toucan-QM57’s hardware capabilities are supplemented with built-in functions for condition monitoring. Condition monitoring includes not only a view at the current operating state, but also historical records of past conditions. The ambient temperature may serve as an example: whether it exceeded or fell below the permissible limits is an essential criterion for the electronics’ expected life time.

It is also desirable to know the actual consumption data of the system. These include the current supply voltages and current. With these values, one can make statements about the state of the system, which are well above a simple "Go / No go” statement.

When doing error analysis, not only records of the environmental conditions are important, but also details of the up-time, or of any previous errors that have resulted in the restart of the system. It is also interesting to know the entire accumulated run time of the system. Thus, its remaining service life can be estimated easily.

The Toucan-QM57 has built in support for all these functions, the LiPPERT Embedded Technology Management (LEMT). The LEMT functions are implemented within the in System Management Controller (SMC), a micro controller, which is necessary anyway. It communicates via the SM bus with the chipset of the COM module and thus obtains all relevant data. The SMC has built-in flash and RAM areas, which are made available to the user by LEMT functions. The flash area is divided in manufacturer and user specific part. The manufacturer part is used to store pertinent information about the device, such as part number, BIOS revision and the like. The 1 kB user flash is available for persistent data of the application. Additionally, there is a 128 byte one-time-programmable region of flash memory for critical data like security keys that may not be changed.

All these features are accessed using the user interface program provided by LiPPERT. However, LEMT functionality can also be integrated into the user’s application. A source code interface is available, providing easy access to LEMT’s functions.

One last feature worth mentioning, even though it is not controllable by the user: the Fail-Safe-BIOS. If an update fails due to a power failure during the process, the board can’t be accessed any longer. In consequence, a technician must repair the unit on-site. The Fail-Safe-BIOS will help to minimize the system downtime and save money. The secondary BIOS automatically takes over when the first one is corrupted.

A white paper with detailed description of LEMT functions and implementation is available on LiPPERT’s website at http://www.lippertembedded.com/lemt.html

About LiPPERT Embedded Computers
LiPPERT Embedded Computers develops and sells embedded PC modules. It supplies system integrators and OEM’s in markets as diverse as automotive, automation, medical devices, military, as well as aerospace. The company is headquartered in Mannheim, Germany. Customers in the USA and Canada are supported by a sales office in Duluth, Georgia.

Embedded PC’s from LiPPERT use the latest technologies and feature high integration levels. Most of the products are available for extended ambient temperatures and rated for rough environments. Custom designs are available on request. For more information about LiPPERT, visit www.lippertembedded.com, or e-mail info@lippertembedded.com.

LiPPERT Embedded Computers, Inc.
2220 Northmont Parkway Suite 250
Duluth, GA , 30096

tele: +1 (770) 295 0031
toll-free: +1 (866) 587 8681
fax: +1 (678) 417 6273