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Apollo Lake telematics system features Hailo-8 NPU

Feb 22, 2022 — by Eric Brown 255 views

Nexcom’s rugged, Linux-ready “VTC 1021” in-vehicle telematics system combines Apollo Lake with an up to 13-TOPS Hailo-8 NPU with GPS, 2x GbE, 2x optional PoE, 2x mini-PCIe, SATA, HDMI, USB, CAN, COM, and DIO.

Nexcom continues to sample different types of edge AI NPUs for its embedded systems. In 2020, the company announced three Apollo Lake systems equipped with Google’s Coral Edge TPU mini-PCIe cards for AI acceleration, including the VTC 6222-GCIoT. Last month, Nexcom introduced a smaller AIEdge-X 100-VPU edge AI system for smart retail that combines Apollo Lake with up to 2x Intel Movidius Myriad X VPUs. The company has now announced a partnership with Hailo to launch an Apollo Lake based VTC 1021 in-vehicle system aimed at telematics and ADAS that is loaded with Hailo’s 3-TOPS per Watt Hailo-8 NPU.

VTC 1021-BHIoT (left) and VTC 1021-CHIoT
(click images to enlarge)

Hailo-8 has appeared primarily on Arms-based embedded Linux systems, such as Axiomtek’s RSC100, but there have been a few other x86 models. Last week, Aaeon announced it was offering Hailo-8 on several of its UP boards.

Mini PCIe

So far, we have seen the Hailo-8 deployed via Hailo’s up to 26-TOPS Hailo-8 M.2 AI Acceleration Module. The VTC 1021 instead uses the newer Hailo-8 Mini PCIe Module, which is limited to 13 TOPS.


The compact, fanless VTC 1021 is designed for edge AI enhanced telematics applications such as infotainment, fleet management, ANPR, ADAS, and mobile video surveillance. Target applications include driver drowsiness detection, occupant monitoring, pedestrian detection warning, and collision avoidance warning.

Two models are available: the VTC 1021-BHIoT and the almost identical VTC 1021-CHIoT, which adds dual Power-over-Ethernet ports for up to a combined 60W FOR powering IP cameras and wireless access points. The systems run Linux, Windows, and, by request, Yocto based Linux, on Intel’s quad–core, 1.6GHz Atom x5-E3940.

The 180 x 180 x 50mm, 1.7 kg system is available with 4GB or 8GB DDR3L-1866. A 2.5-inch SATA bay is on board, and mSATA is available on one of the 3x full-size mini-PCIe expansion slots along with USB 2.0 and PCIe. The other two mini-PCIe slots include a USB 2.0-enabled slot and a PCIe Gen3 x1 equipped slot dedicated to housing the Hailo-8 module.

There is also a U-blox NEO-M8N GNSS module with GPS/Glonass/QZSS/Galileo/Beidou and optional dead reckoning support. The system provides dual covered SIM card slots and 5x antenna holes.

Rear view (same for both VTC 1021-BHIoT and -CHIoT) and VTC 1021-CHIoT angle view
(click images to enlarge)

The VTC 1021 is equipped with a bootable USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0, 2x GbE, and on the VTC 1021-CHIoT, the pair of PoE ports. Media features include HDMI at up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz and VGA at up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz. An audio I/O jack is also available.

The system provides an RS232 DB9 port, as well as an optional “DB9 for expansion port.” A DB26 combo port provides CANBus 2.0B or optional OBD2 SAE J1708/SAE J1939. The DB26 “Multi Port” also provides RS232 Tx/Rx, RS422/RS485, GND, 3x DI, 3x DO, optional GPS DR, and 12V/2A DC output for an external display.

The VTC 1021 has a Phoenix connector for 9-36VDC input with GND and ignition support. You also get power and reset buttons and power management features including voltage protections, selectable boot-up and shut-down voltage, 8-level on/off delay controls, ignition status detection, and suspend modes. Other VTC 1021 features include 4x LEDs, a G-sensor, and a TPM 2.0 chip

The system has a -40 to 70°C operating range with IEC60068-2-3 compliant humidity resistance. Vibration resistance rated for IEC 60068-2-64 and MIL-STD-810G, 514.6C vibration is spec’d at 2G with SSD and 0.5G with HDD. 40G shock resistance is rated for MIL-STD-810G, 516.6. Other compliances include CE/FCC/E13 mark.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the VTC 1021-BHIoT and VTC 1021-CHIoT. More information may be found on Nexcom’s VTC 1021 product page.

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