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Portwell’s four new RS4U industrial PCs use a common API stack

May 9, 2017 — by Eric Brown 440 views

Portwell’s “RS4U” industrial computers feature a standard set of Portwell APIs. The first four models support Intel Apollo Lake, Skylake, and Haswell CPUs.

Portwell’s new RS4U industrial computers are unified with a common set of Portwell APIs that make it easier for applications to access and control Portwell hardware. Two of the first four RS4U computers — the RS4U-B641-P&E and RS4U-8172-M2M — offer Intel’s “Apollo Lake” Celeron N33550 system-on-chips. The RS4U-1703-IAC supports 6th Gen “Skylake” Core i7-6700 processors while the RS4U-8112-MES
runs on a 4th Gen “Haswell” Xeon E3-1225.

Portwell API architecture
(click image to enlarge)

No OS support is listed except for the CentOS Linux pre-installed on the Apollo Lake based RS4U-B641-P&E, and the Windows support of the RS4U-8112-MES. Specs are a bit sketchy despite the suggestion the systems are available now.

The Portwell API is said to speed development efforts including validation and verification, as well as provide hardware monitoring and control functionality. The API stack offers access to power, temperature, and fan speed monitoring, as well as fan and programmable GPIO control. Other features include reset functions, I2C, and PCH-controlled SMBus expansion.


(click image to enlarge)


The RS4U-B641-P&E is a rugged industrial automation and control computer for “power and energy” applications built upon a PCOM-C605 Mini-ITX mainboard equipped with a PCOM-B641 COM Express Compact Type 6 module. This appears to be the same as the PCOM-B641VG COM Express we covered back in November, which offers the PCOM-C605 Mini-ITX as an optional carrier board.

On the RS4U-B641-P&E, the module is pre-installed with CentOS 7, which runs on Intel’s dual-core, up to 2.5GHz, 6W TDP Celeron N3350. The system offers 2GB of DDR3-1333 RAM and a 2GB CFEX/SLC flash card with internal SPI ROM for security. There’s also a 64GB SATA III SSD.

PCOM-B641VG (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The wall-mountable, 253 x 190 x 70mm RS4U-8172-M2M uses a Portwell WEBS-3560B chassis, and has the widest temperature range of the new RS4U computers at -20 to 50℃. It also provides 50G shock resistance and 5Grms vibration resistance. There’s a wide-range 9-32V DC power input, and a 60W AC/DC adapter.

The RS4U-B641-P&E supports 4Kx2K encode and decode, and offers dual GbE ports and eAPI function control. Portwell had no more details, but judging from the photo, the system appears to have 4x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, and DVI Ports, audio jacks, and some serial ports, among other I/O. The underlying PCOM-C605 Mini-ITX board is said to also provide PCIe, PEG, LVDS, Super I/O, a watchdog, and GPIO.


The RS4U-8172-M2M is designed for industrial automation and control and M2M applications. It’s built on a new WADE-8172 Mini-ITX board that Portwell has yet to document or release on its own. The system features a Celeron N3350 with 2GB or 4GB DDR3-1600, as well as a 32GB M.2 2242 SSD.

RS4U-8172-M2M, front and back
(click image to enlarge)

The wall-mountable 200 x 200 x 45mm RS4U-8172-M2M is housed with a RICH-33B0 chassis, and supports 12V and 19-24V DC input. A 60W AC/DC adapter is available, and the computer can operate at a -5 to 50℃ range.

The RS4U-8172-M2M is equipped with dual GbE ports, 4K encode and decode, and a TPM chip. No other details are available, but the system appears to offer 8x USB ports split between the front and back, as well as dual audio jacks, a VGA port, and several serial ports, among other I/O.


The RS4U-8112-MES is a 4U rackmount system designed for industrial automation and control. The computer has a PICMG 1.3 backplane system pre-populated with a PCI Express form-factor ROBO-8112 board.

RS4U-8112-MES (left) and ROBO-8112
(click images to enlarge)

The RS4U-8112-MES and ROBO-8112 feature an Intel Q87 chipset and quad-core, 3.10/3.40GHz Xeon E3-1225 v3 processor with a 95W TDP. The announcement specifically mentions support for Windows 7 and Windows XP, but the product page lists N/A under OS support.

The gigantic, 482 x 481 x 177mm system uses an AREMO-4196 chassis, and offers a 0 to 50℃ range. Memory is listed as “4GB X2 DDR3” with optional ECC. (The X2 may refer to an option for 8GB.) The RS4U-8112-MES features an Intel I210 GbE port with optional EtherCAT with third-party driver support, and supplies up to 9x legacy PCI slots. Some models provide PCIe slots and CANBus.


The RS4U-1703-IAC, which is built around an undocumented RUBY-SQ1703 ATX motherboard, is “a node embedded system designed for industrial automation and control.” The system is equipped with an up to 4GHz, quad-core Core i7-6700 with 65W TDP from the 6th Gen Skylake family. The computer ships standard with 8GB DDR4-2133, but is said to be expandable to 64GB via 4x DIMM slots.

(click image to enlarge)

The 408 x 330 x 204mm RS4U-1703-IAC uses Portwell’s IRC-307 chassis, and operates at 0 to 50℃. It’s powered by a 400W, Delta DPS-400AB supply.

Other features include DVD-RW storage and dual Intel I210 GbE ports with optional EtherCAT backed up by third-party driver support. There are dual PCIe x16 slots, and some models offer PCI and CANBus.

Further information

The RS4U systems appear to be available now. More information may be found on the following Portwell product pages:


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