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Embedded IPC system runs on Qnap’s Linux-based QTS

Aug 22, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,621 views

IEI’s rugged, “TANK-860-QGW” IPC computer for M2M and IoT runs a Qnap-derived QTS Gateway Linux distro on a 4th Gen Core CPU with dual SATA bays and up to 6x PCIe slots.

IEI Technology has spun a rather singular embedded PC that aims to replace barebones IPC (interprocess communications) systems with something a bit more modern and IoT savvy. We say “a bit more” since the rugged, industrial focused TANK-860-QGW system runs on Intel’s old-school, 4th Gen “Haswell” processor. Otherwise, however, this “cloud-based IPC solution” offers up-to-date features.

The TANK-860-QGW runs on a homegrown QTS Gateway Linux distribution based on Qnap’s Linux-based QTS platform for its NAS (network attached server) systems. The system can monitor IPMI equipment, servers, PCs, and production line equipment, and can be set up as a LoRaWAN server, says IEI.

TANK-860-QGW with 6x slots (left) and 2x, 4x, and 6x models
(click images to enlarge)

The TANK-860-QGW is available in three models with 2x, 4x, or 6x PCIe x16 sized slots. The models range in size from 255.2 x 205 x 121.5mm to 255.2 x 205 x 195.4mm.


The system is claimed to be far more advanced than typical IPC systems, which usually lack an OS. Much of this functionality is based on the comprehensive QTS platform. QTS Gateway provides “stations” for virtualization, remote device management, data backup, cloud management (myQNAPcloud), surveillance, RAID support, and mobile device clients, among other features.

TANK-860-QGW with PC running Ubuntu-based Linux Station (left) and QIoT Suite architecture
(click images to enlarge)

QTS Gateway also includes the QTS QIoT Suite, which is supported with dev kits such as the Raspberry Pi. QIoT Suite offers features like NAS Ponte (data receiver), Node-RED (data analysis), MongoDB (data storage), and Freeboard (data presentation). In addition to providing the QTS Gateway, which features an Ubuntu-based Linux Station distribution for an attached PC, the system supports Windows 8 and WES7.

The TANK-860-QGW is not only designed to monitor Qnap’s NAS systems, but is optimized to work with Intel-based IEI embedded systems that can be equipped with the QTS Gateway software. These include the Intel 6th Gen Skylake based IVS-300 fleet computer, the Braswell based IDS-300 retail signage system, and the Braswell based uIBX-250 industrial mini-PC. There’s also a Haswell-based POC-W22A-H81 medical touch-panel PC.

QTS Gateway enabled systems (left) and TANK-860-QGW detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The three PCIe configurations include 2x PCIe x8 for the dual-slot system, 2x PCIe x8 with 2x PCI for the quad-slot model, and 1x PCIe x8, 2x PCIe x4, and 3x PCI for the hexa-slot device. All three models have a full-size mini-PCIe slot with mSATA support (co-layed with SATA), and the 4- and 6-slot models also supply a second full-size mini-PCIe on the backplane.

The system runs on one of two dual-core Haswell chips: a 2.7GHz Core i5-4400E and a 2.2GHz Celeron 2000E. Both processors have a 37W TDP, resulting in power consumption of 19V @ 3.34A with 4GB DDR3. This is the smallest allotment of RAM available in the system, which supports up to 16GB. You also get a pair of 2.5-inch SATA III HDD/SSD bays and a CFast storage slot.

TANK-860-QGW in machine data collection (MDC) scenario
(click image to enlarge)

Triple displays are supported via VGA, DisplayPort, and DVI-I ports, with the latter two interfaces capable of 2500 x 1600 @ 60Hz resolution. The system provides 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, and 2x USB 2.0 ports. Dual x RS-232/422/485 DB9 ports are available along 4x RS-232 ports — two isolated DB9 ports and two RJ45 ports.

Other features include 8-bit DIO and 2x audio jacks. Options include a WiFi module, power adapters, fans, and an IPMI 2.0 compliant iRIS-2400 out-of-band remote management board.

The wall-mountable, die-cast aluminum system supports -20 to 60°C temperatures with air flow and an SSD. The system provides MIL-STD-810F 514.5C-2 compliant vibration resistance and shock resistance tested for half-sine wave shock 5G, 11ms, 3 shocks per axis.

A dual power system enables an uninterrupted power supply with wide-range, 9-36 VDC inputs. In addition to a DC jack, there’s a terminal block input that can be powered with an automotive battery pack for backup.

Further information

The TANK-860-QGW is available now at an undisclosed price. (The “Buy” button currently takes you to another embedded system.) More information may be found on IEI’s TANK-860-QGW product page and QTS Gateway page.

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2 responses to “Embedded IPC system runs on Qnap’s Linux-based QTS”

  1. Mrs Sloane, Your Grade School English Teacher says:

    Is it not time to consider your continued over use of the term “rugged” in your descriptions of computer hardware?

    Other synonyms are available.

    Rugged can mean “having a rough uneven surface” and “coarse, rude”.

  2. Tim says:

    You probably should have saved your comment for a product that isn’t rugged. Mil spec shock and vibration testing,dual DC input, etc. Author is fine, you’re obviously not in IT.g

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