Automation PC 910: The 3rd generation has arrived

The Automation PC 910 is the first choice for any automation solution. Its powerful flexibility meets each application’s specific needs. Users can select any combination of main unit size and CPU performance, with 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i-series processors. In addition to its striking versatility, B&R’s mighty industrial PC has numerous other winning features.

Industrial PCs from B&R are far more than simply consumer PCs encased in metal housing. With their robust construction, they are perfectly comfortable working 24/7 in a harsh industrial environment. “B&R PCs are designed with the most demanding applications in mind,” says Raimund Ruf, manager of B&R’s HMI business unit. The Automation PCs have three defining characteristics: robustness, reliability and guaranteed long-term availability. With the design of the new Automation PC 910, B&R continues to expand its successful line of box PCs.

At the heart of the Automation PC 910 you’ll find the latest 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i technology. The Core i-series processors are multicore with a graphics unit integrated directly on the processor. Compared to previous generations, the third generation manages to boost performance by 20 percent while at the same time reducing power consumption.

Core™ i3, Core™ i5 and Core™ i7 CPUs with up to four cores, together with the new QM77 Express chipset, represent the current top of the line technology for industrial PCs – and the Automation PC 910 lets the user enjoy every bit of this performance.

Among other impressive features, the HD Graphics 4000 card integrated on the CPU includes DirectX 11 support. This allows even demanding graphics tasks, such as visualization systems, to run smoothly without requiring an additional graphics card.

Geared toward maximum computing power

“The rest of the PC infrastructure has also been geared toward maximum computing performance and optimal data throughput,” adds Ruf. The Automation PC 910 now has a serial ATA-based CFast card to replace the previously used CompactFlash. CFast cards combine the form factor of a CompactFlash card with the fast SATA interface. The CFast cards retain all the advantages of CompactFlash – such as its extreme robustness.

Behind its front cover, the Automation PC 910 offers an easily accessible CFast slot. This allows the CFast card to be used as removable storage for transferring data or installing upgrades.

B&R’s new industrial PC continues the proven approach of combining compact CFast technology with standard SSD and HDD drives. “We give the user 100% freedom to optimize data storage,” explains Ruf. This allows them to separate operating system and process data, for example.

Newly developed cooling system

“We’ve completely redesigned the cooling system for the Automation PC 910 to optimize heat dissipation out of the housing,” reports Ruf. Extensive evaluations using simulation models went into the development of the new heat sink. These efforts resulted in optimal convection for the fan-free model of the Automation PC 910.

On high-end systems with fans, an air current is directed through the integrated cooling fins. As processors shrink in size, heat is generated on a smaller and smaller surface area. To deal with this, heat pipes are the best way to provide maximum heat dissipation. These are hollow tubes filled with a liquid that uses the processes of evaporation and condensation to efficiently transfer large amounts of heat away from a small surface area. Heat pipes are very light and take up very little space within the PC housing.

Simulation models were used to redesign and enlarge the vents in order to provide a larger opening for air circulation while retaining the robustness and stability of the housing. This makes it possible to operate Celeron® processors and selected Core™ i-series CPUs without a fan. And even fan-free, the Automation PC 910 is able to achieve performance results that previous PC generations could only reach with fans.

Easy access to system information

“Automation PCs are open systems that provide the user easy access to a wide range of information,” explains Ruf. It’s possible to evaluate the temperature behavior of B&R’s new box PC as early as the implementation phase. It outputs both internal component temperature values as well as measurements from additional sensors.

A User Serial ID provides system identification independently of the operating system and application software. “Know-how can be protected by having the software check the User Serial ID, for example,” explains Ruf. It is also possible to read software and firmware versions and easy to update the PC system and connected Automation Panels.

The Automation PC 910 runs Linux or Microsoft® Windows® Embedded Standard 7. The Premium version of Windows® 7 is also available, which provides features such as support for multi-touch panels and multilingual user interfaces. Both require less memory and cost less than the full versions Professional and Ultimate. B&R delivers the selected operating system preinstalled on the desired storage medium (CFast, SSD/HDD) and ready for use. In addition to Windows® 7, the Automation PC 910 can also be ordered with Windows® XP Professional or Embedded.

If the Automation PC 910 is used as an automation system, the user can choose between two versions of the real-time operating system Automation Runtime: Automation Runtime embedded or Automation Runtime Windows®.

Connect panels with ease

Panels – both custom variants and standard models – are simple to connect via the Smart Display Link (SDL) interface using a single cable. SDL permits large distances between panels. “Remote USB, touch screen and keys can be easily integrated and adapted to the infrastructure of the machine or system,” Ruf points out. In addition to the SDL interface, the Automation PC 910 also has a DisplayPort interface, the new standard for office environments.

B&R’s versatile box PC gives users the freedom they need to get the most out of their machines and automation solutions. The Automation PC 910 adapts perfectly to each customer’s unique requirements, making it the first choice for virtually any application.

[info]www.br-automation.com/automationpc [/info]

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