Development Projects

  • Power over Ethernet NUC

    Power over Ethernet: The perfect rack mount solution

    Updated 28/08/2019

    As specialists in the design and manufacture of PCs for challenging environments, we understand how difficult many PC installations can be, sometimes stopping a project in its tracks before it’s even begun. And it’s not simply a case of negotiating considerations such as case size and weight – the tidiness of your comms cabinet as well as the setup of a reliable Wi-Fi connection can also prove obstructive depending on your unique circumstances. We believe that a big part of the solution in the future will be making the most of the possibilities presented by Power over Ethernet.

    We’ve recently seen an overwhelming demand from our customers for products that capitalise on Power over Ethernet (PoE), and are therefore delighted to announce that we’ve designed a device to help you get the most out of PoE within selected models of our product range.

    Why Power over Ethernet?

    Power over Ethernet is the ideal solution for complicated PC installations. Seamless yet incredibly powerful, PoE enables both power and data to be transmitted through a single Ethernet cable. For this reason, it’s the perfect fit for challenging and remote installations, particularly in locations where a mains power cable would prove impractical. With less cables to contend with, it makes mounting your G2 units easier and ensures your comms cabinet remains uncluttered. Most helpfully of all, as the Ethernet cable required to run our PoE hardware is usually already installed in many office buildings, PC installation is instantly more cost-effective. And, thanks to its transmission via a wired Ethernet connection, your data stays far safer and connectivity is more stable. More and more often, PoE-powered products are proving themselves as the best possible choice for tricky PC installations. That’s why we’ve introduced PoE support to some of our most popular products.

    Nothing but Ethernet

    Available across both our 1U NUC and Bantam PCs, but soon to extend to the rest of our product line-up, our bespoke Power over Ethernet device enables you to take advantage of all four PoE standards:

    • IEEE 802.3af-2003, Type 1
    • IEEE 802.3at-2009, Type 2 or PoE+
    • IEEE 802.3bt-2018, Type 3
    • IEEE 802.3bt-2018, Type 4

    With all of this captured in a single PC, you could therefore not only benefit from PoE+, which can support devices with up to 30W of power such as VoIP phones, but PoE Types 3 and 4, which support information kiosks, video conferencing, high-performing digital signage, and much more. Conformity with all the prevailing standards means our products offer lots of flexibility when designing solutions using PoE.

    However, what’s important to keep in mind when considering PoE is that it is a developing technology. It’s not possible to use it to simply power any legacy PC, so it’s critical to understand what you’ll be investing in, as well as the practical and commercial implications, before you decide to make the change.

    Our range of PoE-powered PCs were designed specifically with complex installations and all of the necessary considerations in mind, so you’re free to enjoy all of the opportunities Power over Ethernet represents.

    If you would like to learn more about how you can harness the power of PoE in one of our products, or else find out the best way to migrate to PoE-powered hardware, please get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, Products, Technical Articles

  • Fanless NUC

    ISE saw the launch of our new Fanless NUC

    Updated 28/02/2019

    The exhilarating atmosphere of Integrated Systems Europe 2019 not only provided the platform for our debut as an exhibitor, but also the official launch of our brand-new Fanless NUC. Having recognised a gap in the market for a fanless variant of the extremely popular Intel NUC as well as a growing demand for this within the audio-visual industry, we’ve built a solution that provides AV and digital professionals with greater flexibility than ever before.

    The many fortes of the Fanless NUC

    The result of an extensive research and development project, the Fanless NUC is a high-performing, compact PC ideal for sound-sensitive installations where controlling noise is crucial. Thanks to the removal of the frequently noisy cooling fan, the unit is rendered practically soundless, running almost silently and with a minimal build-up of heat over time. Being fanless, the PC benefits from one less point of failure, reducing the risk of any internal damage and vastly increasing its reliability. At only 180mm deep, it’s a perfect fit for smaller comms cabinets but can also be rackmounted with ease, our uniquely designed chassis and front panels enabling users to rackmount two of the fanless units side-by-side in 1U. A nifty internal 60W power supply also keeps the PC tidy, condensed, and robust.

    Flexible, feature-rich, and fanless

    The Fanless NUC, although compact, is overflowing with great features:

    • Support for latest Intel 8th Generation i7, i5, and i3 NUC motherboards
    • Industrialised 60W 110-230VAC internal power supply
    • Additional multi NIC capability
    • 1 x M.2 (2280) & 1 x 2.5’’ SSD/HDD
    • M.2 Dual Gigabit Ethernet card
    • Wi-Fi connectivity options
    • Optional RS232 port

    Creating a whole wealth of new possibilities for NUC users, the Fanless NUC achieves something few of our competitors are able to offer. With no moving parts and a ruggedised case, it’s portable, resilient, and highly versatile – an excellent choice for any industrial or more challenging applications.

    If you’d like to learn more about the latest addition to our line-up of compact and rackmount PCs and why it’s ideal for AV and digital media professionals, get in touch with the team today.

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

  • Fanless NUC

    Meet the Fanless NUC – reliable, robust, and resilient

    Updated 17/12/2018

    Following a recent upgrade to our highly popular 1U NUC PC to provide important support for Intel’s 8th generation i7 NUC motherboard, we are now pleased to also be able to offer our customers a fanless variation to the product. We’ve seen a lot more demand for fanless NUCs, and for good reason.

    Why go fanless?

    Fanless PCs offer even more versatility versus their fan-cooled cousins, and as a result are growing in popularity. While making our NUCs fanless doesn’t necessarily have any particular impact on their core specs or performance, what it does do is offer even more flexibility, expanding the range of different environments they can be used in.

    No noise

    A lot of the noise emitted from your average PC originates from its fan(s). This almost goes without saying, but by removing the fan from a NUC, noise is eliminated and the unit is able to run almost silently. This makes it ideal for sound-sensitive environments or for use in AV production where noise can prove disruptive.

    One less point of failure

    On occasion fans can also malfunction or breakdown because of trapped dust or debris, particularly in industrial applications, which can end up having an adverse effect on the electrical components within a PC. Going fanless eradicates this issue entirely, protecting the machine against dust, shavings, and even water penetration, meaning the risk of damage or downtime to the PC is minimised. The fact that the unit is completely sealed also makes it perfect for use in sterile environments such as hospitals or laboratories.

    Less moving parts

    Minus its fan, the number of moving parts in the 1U NUC is significantly reduced, making it far more robust, resilient, and durable – a ruggedised PC ready for use in more challenging environments. Because the PC is so compact, it also offers flexible mounting options, meaning two fanless NUCs can be rackmounted side-by-side in a 1U space.

    Energy efficient

    Due to the fact that the PC no longer has a fan, the NUC needs to find alternative ways to cool. Because of this, the machine is built to use much less power and consequently generate less heat in order to minimise the energy used to run it.

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits of a fanless 1U NUC PC, then please get in touch.

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

  • 2U reverse mount

    Our Rack PCs are now reversible!

    Updated 28/11/2018

    We’ve always prided ourselves on providing flexible mounting options for our products. It’s in large part because of how our products get used in environments where physical space is often at a premium.  It’s with this idea of flexibility in mind that we have made a dramatic change to our Rack PCs.

    Revolutionary reverse-mounting

    For the first time, several of our units can now be rack-mounted from both the front and the rear of the machine. Put simply, this opens up the option for customers to reverse-mount their PCs if this is a preference, ensuring that the PC’s connectors are facing the front of the rack, as opposed to the glowing power button. Users can therefore enjoy better cable management, easier access to connectors, and a quick means of reaching the machine’s power and LED switch, meaning greater convenience overall.

    Although our units are typically mounted in short-depth rack cabinets, being able to rackmount from both the front and the back of the PC proves a large advantage for deeper cabinets. The versatile mounting option can mean up to two units could be mounted within the same rack – one reverse-mounted and one forward-facing, resulting in a much tidier cabinet and better utilised rackspace.

    Take advantage of reverse-mounting

    This option to reverse-mount is currently only available in our 1U PC, 1U Nano, 2U Nano, and 4U Nano, however we’re already working on extending this innovation to the remainder of our product portfolio. As well as this design change, an ultra-short-depth 370mm case and new redundant power supply unit (PSU) options make our extremely compact 2U Nano and 4U Nano PCs ideal for use in AV and digital media productions where high-performance output is required in a space-sensitive environment.

    If you would like to learn more about the changes to our units or the benefits of reverse-mounting a Rack PC, get in touch with one of the team.

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

  • HD-SDI

    Bringing Dual HD-SDI to 7th gen NUCs

    Updated 14/05/2018

    Recently, we’ve received numerous requests for customisations to our NUC units that allow for the addition of Dual HD-SDI input cards. As the first company in the world to rackmount the NUC, our unique chassis for Intel’s new 7th gen NUCs makes this easily achievable, enabling us to provide the high-performance systems our customers require.

    What is Dual HD-SDI?

    Dual high-definition serial data interfaces (HD-SDI) are frequently used for professional broadcasting and video purposes, and as such are regularly called upon to help with the delivery of video conferencing applications and streaming services. These interfaces typically provide a much purer signal than similar alternative solutions, and use coaxial cables that have BNC radio frequency connectors attached. These cables are very simple to run, particularly over long distances, with fibre optic variants allowing for more far-reaching transmissions.

    Why G2 for Dual HD-SDI?

    By modifying our NUC units, we’ve created a device that makes input for HD-SDI not only possible, but easy. To provide sufficient slots for the interfaces to connect to, we’ve actually bulkhead-mounted BNC connections to the rear of the 7th gen NUC units, fixing these in place on the machine’s panel as opposed to needing these on the coaxial cabling.  This makes for a far more streamlined and fuss-free user experience, allowing much greater flexibility for HD-SDI input from Intel’s highly reliable Mini machines.

    This is just one of many modifications we’ve made to our machines in support of all sorts of applications. If you would like us to modify your unit to accommodate Dual HD-SDI input cards, or else if you’d like to learn more about our PC custom-builds, get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, Products, Technical Articles

  • Tiny PC

    Our Tiny PC gets some big changes!

    Updated 20/11/2017

    In recent months many of our machines have received updates or re-designs.  It’s part of the ongoing innovation cycle we go through to keep our family of products at the forefront of what’s possible and relevant to our customers’ needs.  We currently have our attention turned to customer favourite, the Tiny PC.

    Squeezing excellent componentry and solid performance into a small-scale, value for money package, the Tiny PC is a sound choice for all sorts of requirements. With new processor variations now available, it’s due an upgrade to keep up with modern standards.  However, the new Tiny PC won’t simply be a next-generation of the same machine, we have taken the opportunity to transform it into a more advanced and versatile unit. We won’t be departing from the original formula that has made the Tiny so popular, but the updates will offer more flexibility, including range-topping processor options and most importantly a full height PCIe slot which we have fitted into the same small form factor design.

    Don’t be fooled by its 215(W) x 205(D) x 80(H)mm case size; the new Tiny is packed with some big features:

    • Full height PCIe x16 slot
    • Intel i7, Xeon and Fanless CPU options
    • Wall mountable
    • Optional RS232 port

    Given its compact design and the capability to wall mount the unit, the Tiny PC offers flexible installation options.  Plus, the addition of an optional RS232 serial port provides greater connectivity with your peripheral devices, and fanless options mean you won’t need to worry about noise, either.

    We’re in the process of getting our new-look Tiny PC ready before the grand unveiling – keep your eyes peeled for its launch, it won’t be long until you see the enhanced Mini PC in all its glory.

    If you would like to learn more about what to expect from our upgraded Tiny PC, or want to understand the Mini PC options available to you from our product line-up, please speak to one of the team.

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

  • Crypto-mining

    4U Nano could open up a gold mine for crypto-mining

    Updated 13/09/2017

    Cryptocurrency is ruling the virtual roost right now. It is today an exceedingly popular method of making online, anonymous transactions, and the interest in it is only growing.

    What is it?

    Cryptocurrency is essentially digital money, like Bitcoin, that can be ‘mined’ for over the Internet. Whenever a transaction is made between two digital wallets, it is the job of miners to verify these transactions and add them to a public ledger, but in order to do this, they must solve a mathematical puzzle or algorithm that increases in difficulty. Opportunities to mine from these transactions is completely open, so solving the equation happens on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the miner has completed the puzzle, they are rewarded with a fee and any new ‘coins’ that are created as a result of the transaction.

    Becoming a crypto-miner takes an enormous investment in equipment and time, as the puzzles they are presented with are extraordinarily complex, however, the return can be phenomenal.

    We may have the solution

    The most successful way of generating enough compute power to tackle the mining process is through the use of high-end graphics cards. We’re currently in the process of developing a brand new rackmount PC, the 4U Nano, which we believe will be the perfect companion for crypto-miners. Purpose-built for high-end graphics, it’s the only one of our product line-up able to accommodate multiple graphics cards, with room for up to four dual width cards such as the NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti or M6000. To ensure non-stop performance, we’ve also included the option for a 680W redundant power supply on top of standard support for up to 1500W ATX supply. We think this flexible, small form factor machine could be the answer to gaining the huge horsepower necessary for mining, but with lots of options to achieve a viable rig at a competitive price.

    The supply challenge

    The difficulty is that due to the surge in popularity for crypto-mining, graphics cards, particularly the likes of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, are selling like hotcakes. It is becoming increasingly challenging to get hold of them at all, let alone at a reasonable cost. AMD’s RX Vega GPU was only released last month and its first wave sold out in minutes. However, as a leading UK PC manufacturer we’re used to experiencing constricted supply, so scour the globe for alternative supply routes for these very situations.  The 4U Nano is just around the corner and we’re confident that by the time we release it in the coming weeks, we will have overcome the supply issues currently being seen in the market.

    For more information on our 4U Nano for crypto-mining, or the NVIDIA graphics cards we use in our products, please get in touch.

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

  • NVIDIA GTX

    Power and performance from the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti

    Updated 10/08/2017

    We purpose-build bespoke Rack and Mini PCs for a broad range of applications on a regular basis. These are usually created in response to a customer’s unique need from their unit, and designed to help achieve a certain objective, be that to accommodate a compact design for use where space is a premium, or else realise valuable functionality.

    One of the most interesting recent trends we’re seeing amongst our customers is the demand for high-quality, advanced graphics capability. As more applications require rich graphical support, separate Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are increasingly important.  NVIDIA GPUs are at the forefront of the technological advances taking place in this arena and accordingly we’re getting regularly asked if our machines can support NVIDIA graphics cards.

    We have delivered a considerable number of project builds that meet this requirement, in our 2U Nano (short depth) and 2U PC cases harnessing NVIDIA’s GTX 10xx-series graphics cards.  Part of the GeForce range, the cards are regularly used by the gaming industry to provide a rich visual experience. With their flagship GTX 1080 Ti GPU hailed as the best graphics card on the market today, we have built many machines that take advantage of the extraordinary performance this and other NVIDIA cards offer.

    Based on the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture, it means our machines can capitalise on these incredible specs:

    • Memory speed of 10 Gbps
    • 4 Boost Clock Relative
    • 1733 MHz Boost Clock Actual
    • Up to 3x faster performance
    • Advanced vapour chamber cooling technology

    We’ve already implemented the card into our 2U Nano and 2U PC for various applications, and continue to receive requests to build the capability into other models in our product line-up as our customers seek to blend small form factor devices with maximum performance.

    For more information on the NVIDIA range of GeForce GTX graphics cards, or else if you’d like to find out if a high-performing project build is right for you, get in touch.

     

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

  • 4U Nano

    We’re taking our Rack PCs to new heights with the 4U Nano

    Updated 21/07/2017

    Our Rack PC line-up is set to gain a new addition with the soon-to-arrive 4U Nano! The machine has been developed with high-end graphics in mind as the only one of our PCs able to accommodate multiple high-end Graphics (GFX) Cards like the GTX 1080 Ti or M6000. As such, you’ll now be able to fit up to four dual width GFX cards into a single unit, fully supported by up to 1500W ATX Power Supply. In preparing the machine for these demands, the 4U Nano is also ready to fit up to eight full height and full length PCIe cards, offering a host of other flexible configuration options for all sorts of requirements. Surprisingly, the machine still comes with a very economical footprint, measuring only 370mm deep.

    What’s new?

    The 4U Nano promises lots of welcomed features:

    • Up to 4x Dual Width Graphics Cards or 8x full height and full length PCle cards
    • Up to 4x 3.5” Hot Swappable Hard drives
    • Up to 8x 2.5” Hot Swappable SSDs/Hard drives
    • Optional Redundant 680W power supply unit
    • Support for 1500W ATX Power Supplies
    • DVD Drive Support
    • Short-Depth 370mm deep case design

    As with the recent upgrade to our popular 2U PC’s design, we’ve also considered the potential for power supply unit (PSU) failure by providing you with the option to add in a 680W redundant PSU. We’re really excited about what the 4U Nano will bring to our ever-expanding product range – we believe it addresses an important niche in the market for small form factor machines capable of accommodating full-size, high performance componentry.

    In the works…

    While the 4U Nano rackmount PC remains in development, it is just around the corner. In the meantime if you’d like to find out more, or would like to explore any of our other development projects, please get in touch.

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

  • 1U and 2U PC

    Double Feature: Both our 1U and 2U PCs are treated to design updates

    Updated 13/06/2017

    We take pride in ongoing innovation and quick responses to customer feedback about our products.  That’s why this month we’re embarking upon a project that will see two of our popular PCs receive updated designs.

    1U PC

    In light of recent requests for a greater number of Hot Swap bays within our 1U PC, we’re pleased to announce that we can now accommodate up to 8 Hot Swap drives in this machine. The revision has next-to-no effect on the unit’s physical footprint, and likewise means it still retains a dual-width PCIe bay. What’s more, we’re pretty sure this feature is completely unique in the 1U space given the 1U PC’s 350mm depth.

    As a result we’re now packing a lot into our 1U rackmount PC:

    • 8x Hot Swap drives
    • 2x Front USB 3.0 ports
    • Dual-width PCIe slot for high power Graphics Cards
    • Tool-less quick removal lid
    • DVD/Blu-ray Optical drives

    2U PC

    Thanks to a recent update to our flexible 2U PC’s design, we are now delighted to be able to offer new configuration options around low profile and full height PCIe bays. Having restructured the back panel and reengineered the unit to hold a redundant power supply, customers will now have the option to fit more low profile expansion cards than ever before. The rack-mountable 2U machine can now fit a maximum of 7 low profile cards, or else can be configured to fit up to 4 full height cards, depending on your requirements.

    We do everything we can to ensure each one of our machines is up to whatever you have planned for it.  These updates are part of our ongoing cycle of refinement and reinvention. It’s also why our products have achieved some noteworthy industry ‘firsts’.

    If you would like to learn more about what our 1U and 2U PC updates have in store, or discover what other development projects we have lined up, please speak to the team.

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

  • 2U Nano and PC redundant power supply

    Power-up! Our 2U PC gains a redundant power supply, and more

    Updated 07/06/2017

    It’s not uncommon for power supply units (PSU) to fail – an inconvenient truth, but often the reason for PC breakdown. With this in mind we’ve decided to build our 2U PC to a more modular design in order to accommodate a redundant power supply.  You’ll never need to worry about your machine going offline again, as in the event of PSU failure the secondary PSU will take over.

    To accompany this redundant power supply, the design has also been reengineered to allow more room for additional low profile expansion cards, so customers will be able to fit more into their 2U unit than ever before! Alternatively, there will still be the option to fit up to 4 full height expansion cards as needed.

    Coupled with our range of Server or Industrial motherboards, our feature-rich 2U PC is therefore perfect for all sorts of business-critical applications because of its robust design:

    • Redundant 680W power supply, 80PLUS GOLD Rated
    • Supports the latest X99 and 7th Gen Skylake motherboards
    • Supports Intel’s 18 core Xeon E5 processors
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • Up to 8x 2.5″ HDD/SSD drives
    • 6x Hot-Swap Bays
    • Slimline DVD/Blu-ray drive

    We’re always looking for new ways to innovate to be able to provide our customers with the functionality they deserve. Our machines are constantly evolving to suit new requirements and the demand of emerging trends to ensure that we deliver the best experience possible. Our 2U PC redesign is just one of many updates to come over the coming months where we have actively taken our customers’ needs into consideration. That’s why we’re known for producing some real industry ‘firsts’.

    For more information on what our updated 2U PC design will entail, or else if you’d like to learn more about our upcoming development projects, please get in touch.

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

  • Bantam PC

    Introducing the new Bantam Hybrid PC – it packs a powerful punch

    Updated 12/04/2017

    We’re thrilled to announce that we’re currently in the process of developing a brand new Hybrid PC, the Bantam. As the name suggests, it’s an incredibly lightweight and flexible machine, but don’t let that fool you – the Bantam also packs one heck of a performance punch. Supporting Intel’s processor family all the way through to the range-topping i7, it’s purpose-built to tackle high-demand applications where a robust small form-factor appliance is required.

    A PC that goes the distance

     The Bantam is packed from top to toe with fantastic features that make it a real contender:

    • Processor options: fanless Celeron to i7
    • Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    • 2 SSD Bay for main OS
    • Two additional 2.5” HDD/SSD drive bays
    • Optional RS232 Port
    • 1U Rack Mount, Wall or VESA mounted
    • Up to 2 units can be mounted side by side in 1U
    • Internal AC/DC PSU

    Standing at 222mm x 44mm x 240mm, the Bantam also offers various mounting options including 1U rack, wall, or VESA mount. It’s no messy machine, either, thanks to its tidy internal AC/DC power supply unit (PSU), which considers the neatness of your comms cabinet when rack-mounted. You even have the option to fix two units side-by-side in a single 1U space for convenience and the chance to squeeze more compute into the same footprint.

    Soon stepping into the ring

    The Bantam is still in its early stages of development, but will soon be available for pre-order. If you would like to gain the low down on what the Bantam will bring to our product family, or are interested in learning more about the project, please get in touch.

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