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Rugged ARM Linux touchpanel targets military apps

Jul 29, 2013  |  Eric Brown
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IEE announced a Linux-based thin-client touchpanel computer for harsh military environments. The highly rugged touchpanel computer is equipped with a 1GHz ARM processor and a 10.4-inch, 1024 x 768-pixel resistive touchscreen with backlighting and high contrast, and is usable over an extended temperature range of -46 to 70°C.

IEE Inc. has yet to post full specs for its rugged ARM touchpanel, let alone give it a name. It’s based on the company’s line of “web browser-based control display units (CDUs)”, and offers similar MIL-STD compliance for harsh and “in-the-field” conditions, says the company. The system is said to be designed for soldier mount, vehicle mount, and man-pack handheld use.



IEE Integrated Display Subsystem
(click image to enlarge)

 

The fully sealed computer is made of lightweight aluminum housing and measures 11.6 x 7.8 x 3.0 inches. It supports “submersible applications,” incorporates sealed circular I/O connectors, and operates in temperatures ranging from -46 to 70°C, claims IEE.

The computer runs Linux on an unnamed 1GHz ARM processor that offers 32KB each of I and D cache, and a 128KB L2 cache. The processor operates on 2 Watts, and the entire system consumes less than 10 Watts, says the company. The IEE touchpanel is further equipped with 512MB of 16-bit DDR3-800 SDRAM and 512MB of 8-bit SLC NAND flash.

The 10.4-inch TFT XGA (1024 x 768) display offers “optically bonded” five-wire resistive touch support, says IEE. A dual mode backlight system supports variable reading modes ranging from a high-bright mode of 600 cd/m2 to NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) lighting for dark environments. The contrast ratio is optimized via “specialized surface treatments and optically clear bonding throughout the display stack,” says IEE.

In addition to the touchscreen, there are eight pushbuttons on the left and right bezels, for a total of 16 inputs. I/O port selection is highly customizable. The device can be equipped with up to six USB ports, and supports video inputs, including composite RS-170/-343, analog VGA, and digital DVI.

An unspecified type of Ethernet port is also provided that supports the U.S. Army’s VICTORY (Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability) architecture implementation. The embedded Linux stack supports HTML 5.0 and Java VM, says IEE.

No pricing or availability information was supplied for the new IEE rugged touchpanel computer. More details may eventually appear on IEE’s Integrated Display Subsystem product page.
 

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