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In-flight WiFi streamer supports 100 clients with 8TB of video

Apr 18, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 718 views

Kontron has launched a “Cab-n-Connect” streaming wireless system for in-flight entertainment with an Atom C3000, dual 802.11ac access points for up to 100 clients, up to 8TB storage, and up to 12-hour batteries.

Kontron announced production availability of an “entry-level” Cab-n-Connect P100 wireless streaming platform for in-flight entertainment (IFE) on commercial airplanes. The WiFi streaming system “provides many of the features and performance levels found in fixed IFE equipment, but without the need for a separate STC thereby eliminating additional costs and time for installation,” says Kontron. (An STC is a supplemental type certificate required for FAA approval.)



Cab-n-Connect with removable storage bay closed (left) and open
(click images to enlarge)

The Cab-n-Connect runs a homegrown AvionicsOS stack on a 2x to 12x-core Intel Atom C3000 SoC via its COMe-bDV7R COM Express Type 7 module. We covered the COMe-bDV7R last October in a report on Kontron’s Ubuntu-driven EvoTRAC S1901 autonomous vehicle computer, which offers the module as an option along with a Xeon D 1500 based COMe-bBD7.

Kontron did not respond to our queries about AvionicsOS, which is said to offer support for Dockerized applications and VM to enable simple integration of IFE content management systems. AvionicsOS appears to be a new name for the Ubuntu-based stack that is featured on a number of its avionics computers, including the Bay Trail Atom based ACE Flight 1600 Gateway Router.

Another clue is that there’s a “new” Cabin WiFI System that combines the older Cab-n-Connect A100 access points with one or more of its Ace Flight Servers and other components. The Cabin WiFi System is available with an “application-ready solution” with a Linux OS, drivers, libraries, APIs, and test software.



Cab-n-Connect (left) and conceptual diagram for Cabin WiFi System
(click images to enlarge)

The Cab-n-Connect defaults to a dual-core C3308, but the datasheet notes that other C3000 options are available. The COMe-bDV7R also supports the 12-core Atom C3808, the octa-core C3708, and the quad-core C3508. The dual-core version ships with 8GB RAM, but up to 32GB of RAM is possible with some of the higher-core models.

The Cab-n-Connect offers a total of 8TB (terabyte) storage. There are three fixed 2TB NVMe drives via M.2 slots, as well as a removable 2TB SSD.

Dual 802.11ac radios support streaming to 100 streaming video clients. No video resolution per client was listed. There’s also a GbE port with a 10GbE port optional on some of the higher-core models. A 4G radio is optional, and there’s an ADS-B Receiver that can operate independently of the aircraft, supplying location data for moving map applications.

The 32 x 25 x 3.5cm computer features dual swappable batteries for over 12 hours of video steaming content. There’s also an optional power and mounting kit that runs on aircraft power for charging during operation. Other features include single USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, with options for more USB ports. There’s also an OLED status display and 3x user buttons.

 
Further information

The Cab-n-Connect is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Kontron’s Cab-n-Connect announcement and product page.
 

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