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Compact computer designed for rugged field controller duty

Aug 19, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 506 views

Nexcom’s rugged, entry-level “NIFE 104” embedded computer runs Linux or Windows on an Intel Bay Trail CPU and offers dual GbE, RS232/485, USB 3.0, HDMI, TPM 2.0, and dual mini-PCIe.

Nexcom announced a fanless, compact embedded computer that it variably describes as an M2M automation gateway, SoftPLC fieldbus controller, and general-purpose industrial PC. Measuring a trim 130 x 100 x 56mm, the rugged NIFE-104 runs on an Intel Bay Trail — the aging Atom architecture that Nexcom used in its TC 1911-IPK Telematics IoT Gateway. OS support includes Linux Kernel 3.8, Ubuntu 14.04, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, and WES7.



NIFE-104
(click images to enlarge)

The “entry-level” NIFE-104 is available in two models: the NIFE 104 based on a dual-core, 1.46GHz Atom E3826 and the NIFE 104M with a quad-core, 2.0GHz Celeron J1900. The Atom-based model has 2GB DDR3L RAM and 16GB eMMC while the Celeron-powered NIFE 104M has 4GB DDR3L, but with no eMMC.

On the other hand, the full-size mini-PCIe slot on the NIFE 104M can load an optional mSATA module along with USB while the NIFE 104’s slot supports USB/PCIe cards. Both models also have a half-size mini-PCIe slot for optional wireless.

The NIFE-104 systems are equipped with 2x Intel I211 powered GbE ports with WoL and PXE support, as well as single HDMI, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 ports. Field controller I/O includes an RS-232/485 port with auto flow control and 2.5KV isolation protection plus 4-in/4-out GPIO via a terminal block.



More views of the NIFE-104
(click images to enlarge)

The 24VDC system offers a reset button and 8x LEDs, as well as an optional 60W adapter. A TPM 2.0 security chip is also onboard.

Housed in an aluminum and metal chassis, the system can run within -5 to 55°C (NIFE 104) or -5 to 50°C (NIFE 104M) ambient temperature ranges with air flow. There’s IEC60068-27-rated shock protection of 50G, half size, 11ms, as well as IEC60068-2-64-rated vibration resistance of 2 Grms @ 5~500 Hz random. Humidity protections are listed at 10%~93% (non-condensing), and there are EN61000-6-2 and EN61000-6-4 CE certifications.

 
Further information

The NIFE-104 and NIFE-104M appear to be available now with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found in Nexcom’s NIFE-104 announcement and product page.
 

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