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In-vehicle computer runs Marshmallow on Snapdragon

Nov 13, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 970 views

Advantech’s rugged “Trek-530” in-vehicle computer runs Android 6.0 on a Snapdragon 212, and features isolated DIO, CAN, J1708/J1587, WiFi, BT, GPS, and LTE.

Trucks appear to be heading for a switch to fully autonomous technology, creating new opportunities while also decimating yet another segment of the traditional workforce. In the meantime, trucking companies are smartening up their in-vehicle computers to improve safety and productivity with cloud-connected fleet management solutions. Last week, we looked at Acrosser’s trucking-targeted AIV-APL1V1FL, which runs on an Intel Apollo Lake SoC. The Advantech Trek-530, meanwhile is an ARM-based approach to fleet management and logistics. The in-vehicle computer runs Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 212.

Trek-530 from both sides
(click image to enlarge)

The Trek-530’s Android stack includes Advantech’s industrial-grade Android Remote General Utilities System (ARGUS) OS, which is designed for remote management of embedded Android devices. ARGUS OS appears to have been first announced in July in conjunction with Advantech’s rugged, 8-inch AIM-65 industrial tablet, which runs Windows 10 IoT or Android 6.0 on an Atom x5-Z8350. ARGUS OS provides remote control and diagnostics, enterprise management, OTA programming, and module extension operations.

The 140 x 110 x 50mm, 410-gram Trek-530 has a space-age design, which appears to be modeled for improved wireless signal strength. The front cover offers optional IP54 protection, and the whole system is rated for -20 to 65°C temperatures, with resistance to vibration and shock per MIL-STD-810G EN60721-3 (5M3).

Trek-530 rear view showing removable modules
(click image to enlarge)

The Trek-530’s 9-32V DC input supports 12/24V vehicle power in compliance with E-Mark E13. The computer also complies with other vehicle standards like ISO 7637-2, and SAE J1455. An optional 2100mAh battery supports up to 30 minutes of standalone operation.

The system’s power management system offers features like programmable ignition on/off delay, RTC-driven wake-up events, and power system protection. Thanks to its CAN and J1708/J1587 hooks into telematics and diagnostics, the system provides system monitoring and diagnostics features such as programmable vehicle battery protection with low voltage disconnect.

The Trek-530 features the Snapdragon 212, a 1.3GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 SoC with an Adreno 304 GPU. You also get 2GB RAM, a covered microSD slot, and 16GB of eMCP — Samsung’s compact, low-power mix of eMMC and mobile DRAM. A 10/100 Ethernet port is onboard, along with a wireless module with external FAKRA antenna connectors that provides dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1.

Trek-530 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The device ships with a 3-axis G-Sensor, and GNSS location technology with GPS, GLONASS, AGPS, and BeiDou upon request. A pair of expansion slots support optional modules with functions such as Sierra Wireless MC7304 (EU) or MC7354 (US) 4G LTE cellular radios and LoRA. FAKRA antenna mounts are provided for both GNSS and LTE. A wireless suspend/resume capability is also available.


The Trek-530 is further equipped with a USB 2.0 host port and micro-USB OTG port with cover used for debugging. Other interfaces include audio I/O, as well as 4-wire RS-232 and RS-232/RS-485.

In addition to the CAN and J1708/J1587 connections, the system provides 6x isolated DIO. The 4x digital inputs support dry/wet contact and vehicle speed sensor inputs for measuring distance. The 2x digital outputs feature “open-collector output with relay driver.”

Further information

The Trek-530 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on Advantech’s Trek-530 product page.

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