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Service robot runs on 9th Gen Coffee Lake system with nine GbE ports

Sep 30, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 380 views

Vecow announced a service robot that runs Linux or Windows with ROS on its rugged, Coffee Lake based, 9x GbE equipped “ECX-1000” computer, which recently added support for 9th Gen CPUs.

Taiwan-based Vecow announced that its rugged, Intel Coffee Lake based ECX-1000 computer is driving a new professional service robot aimed at Asian markets. The robots can be used for “cleaning, route mapping, object recognition, motion detection, collaborating with other robots and communicating with people,” says Vecow. Designed for use in public spaces, the robots are said to be “human-like, friendly, agile and good at communicating with people.”



Vecow’s service robot
(click image to enlarge)

The ECX-1000 systems powering the unnamed service robots support both Linux and Windows 10 with ROS (Robot Operating System) extensions on the latest 9th Generation Coffee Lake Refresh CPUs. The ECX-1000 was announced last year with 8th Gen Coffee Lake chips, but like several 8th Gen products such as Congatec’s Conga-TS370 COM Express Type 6 module, it has recently been updated with 9th Gen support. Other 8th and 9th Gen ready embedded computers include Avalue’s EPS-CFS and Neousys’ Nuvo-8208GC.


Vecow ECX-1000, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The fanless, 260 x 175 x 79mm ECX-1000 supports up to hexa-core Coffee Lake S-series Core and Xeon processors with Intel UHD Graphics P630/630 and an Intel C246 chipset. You can load the system with up to 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM.

The ECX-1000 is notable for offering 9x independent Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4x of which offer 802.3at-compliant PoE+ (25.5W/48V). Several optional configurations are available that mix 4x or 6x GbE with 2x 10GbE, 2x 10GbE SFP+ Fiber, or 2x SFP Fiber. These SKUs deliver the 10GbE/SFP ports via the same SUMIT A, B expansion scheme provided by Vecow’s 3.5-inch EMBC-3000 SBC, which was recently announced along with a similarly Intel Whiskey Lake based SPC-5200 computer. The two optional SUMIT slots can optionally load a video capture card.

Other ECX-1000 highlights include up to 5x mini-PCIe slots. These include two full-sized mini-PCIe slots “for PCIe/USB/External SIM Card/mSATA) and two mSATA slots. Dual SIM card slots are also available along with optional 4G and WiFi/BT modules with antenna.

We did not see the fifth slot in the specs, but Vecow may be referring to the M.2 E-Key socket for wireless or the M.2 M-Key socket for storage. There also a CFast storage slot and 2x SATA III bays with RAID 0, 1 and optional front access SSD trays.



ECX-1000 and closeup of ports
(click images to enlarge)

The ECX-1000 is further equipped with 6x 5Gbps USB 3.1 ports, 4 RS-232/422/485 DB9 ports, and an internal USB 2.0 interface. Some models have 16x isolated DIO while others have GPIO.

Display features include a 4K-ready DisplayPort plus HD capable DVI-I and DVI-D ports. There’s also an audio I/O jack (Realtek ALC892).

The system has a 6-36V terminal block DC input with ignition control, a remote switch, and surge protection. You also get a watchdog, hardware monitoring, LEDs, and an optional TPM 2.0 chip. Wall-mounting is standard and DIN-Rail, VESA, and 2U rackmount configurations are optional.

The ECX-1000 supports -40 to 75°C temperatures for 35W TDP processors with the upper limit dropping to 55°C (65W) or 45°C (80W) and 55°C for the 10GbE models. You also get 50G shock (IEC 60068-2-27) and 5Grms vibration (IEC 60068-2-64) resistance plus humidity and EMC protections.

 
Further information

The Vecow ECX-1000 is available now at an undisclosed price. No details were provided on the roll-out of the service robot. More information may be found in Vecow’s service robot announcement and ECX-1000 product page.

 

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