Wireless communication is expanding in some developing countries even though landline telephone cables are not available to everyone due to lack of basic infrastructure. Wireless communication networks still require communication towers which need to be located in areas where regular equipment hardware and services may be an issue. Therefore, a reliable yet powerful platform with multiple Gigabit LANs for communication bandwidth, as well as extended temperature capability was required.
The customer identified four major requirements for the cell phone communication system. First, in order to integrate into communication boxes, a small form factor was necessary. Second, communication towers needed to be placed in a variety of locations which meant systems would be subject to extreme temperature fluctuations. Third, -20 to +80° C wide range operating temperatures were needed for integration into outdoor environments. Finally, PCI-104 expansion bus was needed which allowed customers to add additional Gigabit LANs which was critical to expand communication bandwidth.
PCM-9361, a low power 3.5” SBC with Intel Atom Processor N270 was selected as the main board for the application because of its extended temperature support of -40 to 85° C. The project used the three Gigabit LANs on PCM-9361 to talk with the wireless communication module to achieve the desired bandwidth. Advantech’s software API & utilities for their Linux based system are used to control and monitor system health information. This enabled the developer to write applications for hardware control quickly and easily without having to know all the technical details of the chipset or driver architecture. The API library was diverse enough to allow the developer’s engineers to control everything from system throttling to the CPU clock speeds which helped prevent damage from overheating.
• Efficient I/O connectivity fulfilled a wide variety of applications and kept the total solution small and compact.
• Highly reliable in extreme vibration (during transportation) and wide temperature environments.
• Low power consumption meant less heat generated by the system, allowing it to survive harsh environments.