• Micro C16B

    No-frills machine strikes perfect balance between budget and customisation

    Updated 03/03/2017

    Our Micro C16B is the ideal machine for ground-up customisation. Delivered as a really simple package – we’ll simply supply you with a G2 Micro PC case, motherboard, embedded processor and power supply unit (PSU), and that’s all.  Powerful enough for a host of high definition applications, it’s the perfect foundation to then add your own choice of RAM, HDD, operating system (OS) and WLAN, giving you complete control over which components would most benefit your requirements.

    The Micro C16B is a modest unit – small, agile and unobtrusive, but still boasts a range of great attributes:

    • Fanless, Solid State Design
    • mSATA SSDs
    • 5” HDD or SSD Drive Bay
    • 1x Front USB 2.0 and 4x rear USB ports
    • 60W AC/DC power brick
    • Ultra-low power, A-rated energy consumption

    Developed with sound and space-sensitive environments in mind, its compact design and low-noise operation make it perfect for digital signage implementations and shop front displays.  It can also be easily wall-mounted or else rack-mounted in a 1U rack for your convenience. We’ve even considered your comms cabinet – allowing you to now rack-mount two Micros alongside each other in a tidy 1U space.

    Of course, the other welcomed benefit of this no-frills machine is the cost. For those working to a budget, the Micro C16B offers exceptional value for money, not least because you’ll only pay for what you need, whilst also giving you the opportunity to shop around for the precise components you want to add or even re-purpose those you may already have.

    How you choose to build out your Micro C16B is up to you, but if you’d like some guidance to work out a spec, then get in touch. We’ve experience of a host of project builds that can align this machine to deliver on all sorts of application needs. Alternatively, just speak to one of the team for some more advice.

    To learn more about the Micro C16B click here.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Uncategorized

  • Microsoft’s upcoming Windows closures may open up some new doors…

    Updated 01/11/2016

    Over the next few months, a number of Windows OEM operating systems will face discontinuation by Microsoft – including Windows XP, 7, 8 and 8.1. The “old” operating systems will no longer be available to purchase through Microsoft OEM channel, however an alternative version is available through Microsoft’s Embedded Program for the foreseeable future.

    Most of the newer editions outlined below are the same operating system as their predecessors, the only difference tending to be the licensing terms. Unfortunately, Microsoft has levied a small price increase on the upgrade to the newer operating systems.

    Many of the newer operating systems share common features with more older editions and importantly are guaranteed to be available for at least another 5 – 10 years.  Take a look at the guide we’ve compiled to help you decide what destination O/S will best suit your needs.

    Current Operating System

    Approx. Last Buy Date New Operating System Notes
    Windows XP Pro For Embedded Systems December 2016 Windows Embedded Standard 2009
    (aka WES 2009)
    Available until 2024.
    Windows 7 Pro OEM January 2017 Windows 7 Pro For Embedded Systems Available until 2024. But there will be a price increase.
    Windows 8.1 Pro OEM October 2016 Windows 10 Pro OEM

    Without wishing to scare anyone into change, in our opinion it’s definitely an opportune time to review your O/S requirements and safeguard the applications important to your business.  Whilst there are still stocks of the old O/S available across the channel, it is only a matter of time before supplies dwindle and change will be forced upon those who are yet to switch.  It’s always better for your migration to a new operating system to occur at a pace that suits you rather than in response to something outside of your control, plus there are some valuable benefits to be enjoyed by refreshing to a newer version.

    If you would like to learn more about what these discontinuations could mean for you, or else find out more about the implications of upgrading to a new Windows operating system, get in touch today.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Uncategorized

  • The Holy Grail – universal memory has arrived!

    Updated 08/07/2016

    Continuing our thread of articles (The SSD Evolution)  looking at memory storage, we thought we’d turn our attention to Intel’s breakthrough technology, 3D XPoint.

    It’s extremely exciting, as for the first time, someone is attempting to combine the worlds of system memory and storage memory.  Intel claim that achieving this has been akin to discovering the Holy Grail and as a result they look set to create the first new memory category in 25 years.

    So what’s it all about?

    For system designers, the purpose of a computer is to work with data, so getting that data as close to the processor as possible is critical to achieve better performance.  Unfortunately, NAND flash and even DRAM memory lag significantly behind today’s fastest processors, creating wait time at the processor to perform computational tasks asked of it.  Essentially, both system memory and storage memory have held back the processor… until now.

    Basically, Intel has combined both system memory and storage memory into a single component.  What this means is memory that is big enough and cheap enough to use as storage, but fast enough to use as memory.  Furthermore, the memory is non-volatile meaning it can do its job even without power.

    It would appear this is a pretty major breakthrough, especially when we delve deeper into what Intel claim about this product:

    • 1000 x faster than today’s NAND SSD
    • 10 x denser than today’s DRAM
    • 1000 x the endurance of NAND SSD

    Although similar to flash memory in structure, 3D XPoint uses a Crosspoint Structure which takes the premise of stackable memory one step further. The shattering performance stats will see latency slashed to nanoseconds, something not yet seen on the conventional memory market.

    Whilst we don’t expect to see 3D XPoint memory landing in our machines any time soon, Intel has revealed its plans to release high performance solid state drives based on 3D XPoint memory dubbed ‘Optane’ later this year.  What’s also surprising is their promise of affordability, something we don’t usually see when new memory technology hits the market. This will come as good news to those who demand the highest performance from their servers, PCs or data centre. We can’t wait to see the potential of this new technology first-hand and the application it will have in the development of our systems in the future.

    Like always we will be keeping you updated with how this progresses and continue to share our observations. If you’d like any help understanding 3D XPoint and its future potential please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Uncategorized