By Uwe Harasko, Product Manager, SÜTRON
Humans are creatures of habit. I see this demonstrated quite often when young apprentices pay their first visit to the shop floor. If they see a GUI, they feel the urge to touch it – even if it’s just a plain old LCD display. That’s the force of habit. Their daily lives revolve around touch interaction with their smart phones and tablets. They take it for granted that any graphical element can be touched or any marked text is active and touchable too. Their instinct wants to zoom in and out or swipe the screen to see what comes next.
But many older version industrial machines, which are already installed in plants, aren’t equipped with intuitive GUIs like this. And even if they visualize plant equipment graphically with icons, for example, next to none of these graphical elements can be zoomed or rotated by the touch of two fingers. Even quite recently, GUI-based factory equipment that was extremely innovative at the time of deployment has rapidly become old-fashioned. In particular, any screens smaller than the size of a tablet with user support via soft key elements to help users find the right physical buttons prove confusing to many users. This intuition or new force of habit is putting pressure on industrial engineers to change their GUI designs towards multi-touch interfaces – and, as far as possible, to refrain from using physical buttons.
Multi-touch demands improvements in 3D graphics performance. Modern visualization systems therefore rely on hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. Only this helps ensure smooth, virtually lag-free visualization with photo-realistic 3D animations with dynamic lighting and smooth color transitions. For systems with small screen sizes of up to 15 inches, this has proved to be a major challenge as – to date - their graphics features tended to be rather weak, meaning that 3D animations couldn’t be displayed in a satisfactory way.
So, we are really happy to have found a way to fill that gap by using dual-core AMD Embedded G-Series processors in our new 12.1 inch multi-touch system. It was amazing to see that with this setup even demanding 3D demos ran quite nicely from the start. They sometimes juddered a bit, admittedly, but much less than on most other competing processor implementations. So from my point of view, anyone who’s looking for high-performance graphics should take a good look at AMD-based technology. And what’s more, the processor supports two monitors, which is also quite competitive and a very good sales argument for choosing AMD-based solutions for systems with dual independent displays. And by the way…the support provided by the embedded team is very competitive too.
You’ll find more product specifications of our new systems online at the AMD embedded product catalog. So check it out. And please forgive my force of habit when I say: Don’t forget to visit our website! Sütron is a center of excellence and belongs to the Phoenix Contact Group. So you can buy our systems globally!
Uwe Harasko can be reached at UHarasko@suetron.de.
Guest blogger Uwe Harasko is a Product Manager of Panel PCs at SÜTRON electronic GmbH. 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.