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Rugged, Linux-ready transportation PC has four SIM slots

Sep 21, 2018 — by Eric Brown 925 views

Nexcom’s Apollo Lake based “VTC 6220-BK” in-vehicle PC features triple displays, 2x SATA bays, 3x GbE with optional PoE, Ublox GPS, and 4x mini-PCIe or M.2 slots paired with SIM slots.

Intel-based in-vehicle computers have been around for a while — here’s a Linux-friendly Kontron model from 2004 -– but over the last year or two the market has picked up considerably. Like many in-vehicle systems, Nexcom’s VTC 6220-BK is not an automotive IVI computer, but like Lanner’s Apollo Lake based V3G and V3S systems, is designed for buses. The rugged VTC 6220-BK straddles the IVI and telematics worlds, offering triple display support for passenger entertainment plus CAN and OBD connections.

VTC 6220-BK (left) and connectivity diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The 259 x 196 x 50mm, 1.7 kg system is notable for offering a bounty of simultaneous wireless connections, including a Ublox NEO-M8N GPS location module (GPS/Glonass/QZSS/Galileo/ Beidou). You also get an M.2 B-Key slot, 3x full-size mini-PCIe slots, 7x antenna holes for cellular, WiFi, BT, and GPS, and 4x SIM card slots, three of which are externally accessible for easy swap-outs when crossing borders.

Nexcom recently launched a VTC 1911-IPK system for heavy equipment vehicles and two touch-enabled computers designed for warehouse vehicles: the 12.1-inch VMC 4020 and 10.4-inch VMC 3021. While these systems run on Intel Bay Trail Atoms, the VTC 6220-BK advances to an Apollo Lake SoC, offering preinstalled Windows 10 or a Yocto Project based Linux stack on request running on a quad-core Intel Atom x7-E3950 clocked at 1.6GHz.

VTC 6220-BK, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The VTC 6220-BK can be loaded with 4GB or 8GB of DDR3L (1066MHz/1333MHz) via a single slot, and offers dual removable 2.5-inch SATA trays for SSDs. Three GbE ports are onboard, with two of them optionally powered by PoE, enabling IP cameras. You also get a single front-facing USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, and 2x RS-232 DB9 ports, as well as a G-sensor, TPM 2.0, and LEDs for wireless, storage, and Ethernet.


Up to 3x simultaneously displays are supported via HDMI and VGA ports, as well as an optional LVDS or Nexcom ultraONE+ connection. The latter is described as a “single I/O port for omni-transmission as audio, video, USB and powerline” with cable lengths up to 10 meters. There’s also a pair each of mic-in and line-out jacks.

Telematics functions are supported via a 16-pin terminal block and a DB9 port. The terminal block combines a CAN 2.0B port with a RS422/485 port, 4x DI, and 4x DO. The DB9 port combines a SAE J1708 or J1939 interface for OBD connections (or optional CAN module), with speed, direction, and MDO interfaces. (While the spec list suggests the OBD interface is standard, the product page bullet list says it’s optional.)

A Phoenix connector supports power, GND, and ignition inputs, and a backup battery is optional. A 4×2 connector combines a 12V/2A DC output with reset and sleep mode interfaces. The system provides “wake on RTC/SMS via WWAN module,” and includes power management features such as selectable boot-up and shut-down voltages, on/off delay times, and S3/S4 suspend mode.

The VTC 6220-BK supports -40 to 70°C temperatures with SSD and airflow. The system has passed a damp heat test per EN60068-2-30, and is protected against humidity per IEC60068-2-3, says Nexcom. Vibration resistance complies with IEC 60068-2-64 and MIL-STD-810G, 514.6C procedure 1, category 4, and shock resistance complies with MIL-STD-810G, 516.6 procedure I. The system carries CE/FCC/E13 certification marks.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the VTC 6220-BK. More information may be found in Nexcom’s VTC 6220-BK announcement and product page.

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