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Linux touch-panel PC targets HMI

Jan 28, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Techsol is shipping a customizable, Linux-ready touch-panel computer aimed at human machine interface (HMI) applications. The TPC-35B Medallion Touch Panel Computer is built on a Samsung s3c2410a ARM9 system-on-chip (SoC) and is equipped with a 3.5-inch QVGA touchscreen and dual Ethernet ports, says the company.

(Click for larger view of the Techsol TPC-35B)

Techsol is a British Columbia-based embedded board and development services vendor that offers extensive in-house customization features, as well as Linux development tools for its Medallion touch panels. About a year ago it shipped a somewhat similar, ZigBee-ready TPC-43 Medallion model (pictured below, right.


Techsol's earlier TPC-43
(Click for details)

Techsol is already developing versions of the TPC-35B for “customers needing a user verification terminal next to a piece of business equipment,” says the company. Every Medallion touch panel is tested running its own Medallion Linux 2.6 distribution before it ships, claims Techsol, and single units are said to be available as development kits, complete with Medallion Linux 2.6, drivers, development tools, and tech support (see below for more information).

The TPC-35B is built around a single-board computer (SBC) equipped with Techsol's Medallion SA2410-650 CPU Module (available separately), which is in turn based on Samsung's venerable, ARM-920T-powered s3c2410a SoC. The SoC also offers an MMU (memory management unit) and 16KB each of instruction and data cache, says Techsol.

The TPC-35B offers a hidden memory card slot, as well as dual Ethernet ports, a USB port, and a serial port, says Techsol. The 4.6 x 3.7 x 1.3-inch panel chassis is said to offer passive cooling for fanless operation.

Specifications listed for the TPC-35B include:

  • Processor - Techsol Medallion SA2410-650 CPU Module with Samsung s3c2410a SoC (ARM-920T core); MMU; 16KB instruction and 16K data cache
  • Memory — 64MB SDRAM
  • Flash — 128MB NAND flash
  • Flash expansion — SD/MMC card slot (hidden)
  • Display — 3.5-inch QVGA (320×240) TFT LCD touch panel (landscape); 256,000 colors, adjustable LED backlight
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100 Ethernet ports (RJ45)
  • USB — 1 x full-speed, USB Host port (Type A)
  • Serial — 1 x serial port
  • Other features — Real-Time Clock (RTC) with battery backup; buzzer for alerts
  • Power — 10-30 VDC or 7-24 VAC
  • Dimensions — 4.6 x 3.7 x 1.3 inches (117.35 x 92.71 x 31.75mm)
  • Operating system — Medallion Linux 2.6

The TPC-35B comes preinstalled with Medallion Linux, which includes a “proven” Linux 2.6 kernel and drivers, the company said. Embedded GUI stacks listed as either available or included are:

  • Linux framebuffer (FB) driver, operating in 16-bit, 65,536-color mode
  • Nano-X on FB, “for a simple, Windows-like API”
  • Qt/Embedded on FB, “for a contemporary, appealing visual design and enhanced functionality”
  • X11 (KDrive) on FB, for “standard Linux/Unix graphics”
  • FLTK on X, for a “full-featured, extensible, yet free GUI”
  • GTK+ on X, for “full PC compatibility”
  • Other “obscure” GUIs, including EZWGL, for “critical control environments where C++ is not allowed (such as food processing lines)”

Stated Brian Empey, CEO of Techsol, “This computer with dual NICs can be patched into any equipment with an Ethernet port without having to run a second Ethernet line, or install a switch, saving time and money.”

Availability

Development kits based on the TPC-35B are available from stock now, says Techsol, and production volumes will ship in March. Pricing options in volume include $322 (1,000), $341 (100), and $379 (10). More information may be found here.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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