The attachment between embedded computers and Intel processor

The 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors serve the embedded computing space with a new microarchitecture which Kontron will implement on a broad range of embedded computing platforms.  Beside a 15% increased CPU performance especially the graphics has improved by its doubled performance in comparison to solutions based on the previous generation processors. At the same  embedded computing , the thermal footprint has remained practically the same or has even shrunk.

Based on the 22 nm Intel® 3D processor technology already used in the predecessor generation, the processors, formerly codenamed ‘Haswell’, have experienced a performance increase which will doubtlessly benefit applications.

With improved processing and graphics performance as well as energy efficiency and broad scalability, the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors with its new microarchitecture provide an attractive solution for a broad array of mid-range to high-end embedded applications in target markets such as medical,  embedded computing, industrial automation, infotainment and military.

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Future blueprint for medical embedded SBC

“If it is a mobile application with low to single board computer performance requirements, then Qseven is the right choice,” says Christian Eder, Marketing Manager at congatec AG headquartered in Deggendorf, Germany ( “Medical systems typically require special functionalities such as ultrasonic control or high levels of isolation in order to protect patients in case of a malfunction. Standard SBCs typically do not feature that. The logical consequence is to create a custom carrier board that takes all specific functionalities and complete it with a standard COM. Once single board computer is certified, it is quite easy to upgrade or scale to other CPUs while the certification remains or just needs to be updated. This provides a lot of freedom to choose the best-fitting CPU and graphics for a given application.” This is just one example of why telehealth strategies are poised to revolutionize medicine. Telehealth not only provides quick access to specialists, but can also remotely monitor patients and reduce clinical expenses. Many of the systems needed to realize these benefits will operate on the edge, and require technology with the portability and price point of commercial mobile platforms, as well as the flexibility to perform multiple functions securely and in real time. All of this must be provided in a package that can meet the rigors of certification and scale over long lifecycle deployments.

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DRAM failure prevention from solution support

An analysis of the failure modes of DRAM in memory embedded modules has determined that DRAM components with suboptimal reliability tend to fail during the first three months of use. As newer DRAMs advance to smaller process geometries, there can be a greater risk for chips that contain weak bits (a microscopic defect in an individual cell). This is not enough to cause a DRAM failure outright, but could exhibit a single-bit error within weeks after initial field operation begins. Using Test During Burn-In (TDBI) helps eliminate any potential early failures and improve the overall reliability of memory products. Although most DRAM chips undergo a static burn-in at the chip level, TDBI offers a more comprehensive testing approach that implements a 24-hour burn-in test at the module level while dynamically running and checking test patterns as the module is performing under stress conditions. Studies conducted by various memory embedded manufacturers show that using TDBI chambers can reduce early failures by up to 90 percent.

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Specific rules for embedded solutions add up

Also, open source software is not in the public domain and users must adhere to specific rules set forth in individual licenses that may force designers to reveal the source code to proprietary software. Even with these hurdles, open source operating systems are widely used in embedded design. Small footprint is function-handy. An added consideration when selecting an OS is the trade-off between the initial hardware footprint required and the ability to add features when updates become necessary. The OS must be scalable so that users can select just those embedded solutions or features of the software system that they need.

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