The mini-ITX is a popular low power, 17x17 cm motherboard form factor that has been powering a whole range of designs, from complete system solutions for industrial customers to embedded PCs, which include Digital Signage and Thin Client applications, for over a decade now. Fujitsu Technology Solutions, an industry trusted system solution provider and leading vendor of industrial mainboards, once again turned to AMD Embedded G-Series SOC solutions to power their next generation Mini-ITX system design.
System solution providers look at a number of different elements when making purchasing decisions around new generation technologies to ensure they are optimizing their system solutions around Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
The pin compatibility in hardware within the AMD Embedded G-Series SOC family across two generations is one of many key contributing factors that enabled customers like Fujitsu to extend their coverage. Our2nd generation product line, codenamed “Steppe Eagle”, gives customers true system scalability in their offerings and takes advantage of not only performance gains but realizes unique feature add-ons like support for configurable TDP (cTDP). In short, the enhanced power management features coupled with two generations of scalable offerings from AMD give hardware and system engineers flexibility in design with respect to thermals while minimizing costs.
Another important trend taking shape in Factory Automation is remote management. Remotely accessing enterprise servers and office computers for system health monitoring and maintenance have been a critical function within the IT infrastructure for many years. But these same systems have largely eluded embedded systems on the factory floor due to high costs of implementation and deemed resource intensive… until now. Many of the leading OEMs believe we are in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. Some affectionately call it the “Internet of Things of the Factory Floor”. The end goal for OEMs is to deliver a smart, intelligent and a connected factory floor. Remote management serves as a key enabler to deliver on the promise of a highly intelligent and sustainable factory floor. Factory floor workers can monitor system operations, push software/BIOS updates on the network remotely, among numerous other tasks, driving overall operational efficiency and maintaining factory uptime. AMD, an advocate for proprietary-free open-source solutions, adopted the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) as the ‘gold standard’ for Remote Management. For more information on AMD’s DASH implementation and supporting reference design, check out the webinar from my colleague Cameron Swen and white paper on AMD’s remote management implementation. More details on our own DASH implementation are available via AMD’s Embedded Developer Site. Solution providers like Fujitsu quickly saw the value in an ‘open-source’ royalty free implementation of DASH for remote management for applications like Digital Signage. With mobility on the rise, more customers are looking at differentiated technologies like Remote Management to deliver on their vision for the future.
This leads me to the next parameter in the TCO equation: supply. At AMD Embedded Solutions, we continue to listen to our customers’ pain points around their system solution. One recurring theme for Industrial customers is product shelf life and availability. AMD Embedded Solutions has developed a focused Product Longevity Program spanning APUs, SOCs and dGPUs to better serve our broader embedded customer base. The longevity program delivers a supply assurance program eliminating the need to do costly refreshes due to EOL product lines and further builds the relationship with AMD as a trusted partner delivering an optimized TCO solution.
Sameer Gupta is segment marketing manager, industrial controls and automation for AMD Embedded Solutions. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.