Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • Does ‘system on chip’ have any enterprise value?

    Updated 08/03/2016

    The phrase ‘system on chip’ has become a buzz phrase among tech enthusiasts in recent years. Essentially, it refers to a processor embedded onto a board which may be integrated with all of the components required to function a computer or electrical device. Recently there has been some commercial success with easy-entry platforms like Raspberry Pi and Intel’s Galileo, but do these devices, also known as Integrated Circuit PCs have any place in enterprise computing?

    First out the blocks

    As you’d expect, Intel has been one the first out of the blocks in product development and building the hype around system on chip.  Their virgin product is an Integrated Circuit PC on a HDMI input device called Compute Stick. Although just 4.5 inches in length, the Compute Stick does come with an impressive spec. The device has a choice of Core M processors and up to 4 GB of memory, which will be sure to spark interest and inspire innovation within the small computing industry.

    Whilst Intel has developed an out-of-the-box product that is at this moment quite unique, it will arguably still only appeal to those looking for a tiny device where performance and necessity to configure is not king.  For this reason, in our opinion it’s still really a consumer device for now and is unlikely to stand up to the demands of enterprise computing, where users need to connect to multiple network or require more powerful compute to run graphics intensive software.  But, as we’ve seen with other consumer computing phenomenon like the Apple iPad, it doesn’t take long to establish traction and see new consumer tech start to play a disruptive role in the enterprise.

    The new old

    We believe the trend is set and manufacturers will continue to create products marketed as system on chip, albeit primarily aimed at the consumer market. Despite the buzz however, system on chip isn’t actually something new.  Integrated Circuits have been around in small computing for a while now.  In fact, most of today’s rack PCs are built using components embedded onto a chip.  Indeed, G2 harnesses a variation of system on chip technology in our rack-mount NUC, but complement this with other functionality that better meets the performance and expandability requirements of the enterprise.

    Trickle down benefits

    It’s practically guaranteed that as system on chip technology develops, with that will come greater performance options and evermore innovation.  And that makes us excited, as undoubtedly there will be trickle-down benefits for our own product development roadmap, helping us to continue creating better performing, smaller product packages that pack-in as much functionality as possible.

    As ever, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on this market and will of course share our observations and developments.

    If you’d like any help understanding system on chip or would like to talk to us about any of our products, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Technical Articles

  • Development Project – M.2 Ethernet Card for Intel NUC

    Updated 08/03/2016

    Anyone familiar with Intel’s 4th generation NUC will probably be aware that if you needed the product to connect to multiple networks via Ethernet then you needed a mini-PCIe adapter.  This is something G2 has provided to our NUC customers for some time, meeting a pretty commonplace requirement.

    All change for 5th & 6th generation NUC

    Unfortunately, the ability to add a second Ethernet port to the latest NUC is more problematic, causing issues for those who need to bridge connections to multiple networks. As Intel has phased out the Mini PCIe interfaces on their motherboards in favour of M.2 slots to enable increasingly smaller package footprints, there is no longer a compatible Ethernet adapter. Until now….

    At last an M.2 Ethernet adapter for the latest NUC!

    To meet this need we’re currently developing an M.2 Ethernet card for the 6th generation Intel NUC.  Here’s what it promises:

    • Two Intel i210 Ethernet ports
    • Interface with the smallest 2230 M.2 Interface
    • Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports from one PCB – your NUC can be now configured with three Ethernet Ports instead of one
    • Utilises superior PCI express BUS interface and NOT USB adaption

    It’s an exciting development and one we believe satisfies a real market need, whilst opening up new options for where and how the latest NUC technology can be used.

    G2 has a strong track record of innovation around the Intel NUC platform.  In 2014, we were the first company in the world to rack-mount the very first generation of NUC, breaking new ground by enabling up to three NUC to coexist in the same 1U of space and meeting a genuine customer need.

    We will be taking orders on the M.2 Ethernet Card shortly, but in the meantime if you’d like to know more contact one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, News

  • 2U Ultra Quiet Short Depth PC

    It’s here! The 2U Nano is now available to order

    Updated 02/03/2016

    Following the success of the 2U Rack PC we are delighted to announce our latest short-depth rack PC release – the 2U Nano.

    The arrival of the 2U Nano is in response to increasing customer demand for an ultra-quiet short depth rack PC that can be deployed in niche installations such as control rooms or recording studios. The 2U Nano therefore focuses on bringing the feature-rich identity of our traditional 2U rack PC in an impressive 370mm case capable of fitting a 400mm comms cabinet, typically available in these scenarios. Like the 2U Rack PC, the 2U Nano is built around an intelligent design and offers strong performance characteristics:

    • Near silent operation
    • ATX Motherboard support for 4-10 Intel Core CPUs
    • Two front panel high speed USB 3.0 ports
    • Up to Four PCIe x16 slots
    • Two 3.5” Hot Swappable HDDs

    With the deployment scenarios in mind, the 2U Nano also runs ultra-quiet due its muted power supply and passive fanless CPU cooler. We believe this will be welcomed by those looking to run a high performance rack PC in sound-sensitive environments like audio-visual production.

    For more information on our 2U Nano NUC click here, or find out more about our wider range of Rack PCs.  Alternatively, get in touch to speak with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products