Ruggedizing Capacitive Touch for Industrial Computing

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JLT 1214P

Versatile, time-tested fixed-mount warehouse logistics computer gets performance boost
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Swedish JLT Mobile Computers introduced the rugged 12-inch JLT1214P on September 23, 2015 as an additional version of the JLT1214 line of rugged panel computers. Designed for logistics applications ranging from warehousing and food distribution to freezer storage and cross-docking, the new JLT1214P features JLT Rugged Projective Capacitive Touch (PCT) display technology and higher computing power compared to previous product generations.

The JLT1214P is both a companion product and an upgrade to JLT's 1214N model. The new version still measures 12 x 9.45 inches, is 2.3 inches thick, and weighs just under eight pounds. It runs on 18-72 Volts isolated VDC power, but can also use 9-36 Volts unisolated VDC power, and there's also has an internal backup battery good for up to 30 minutes of operation. All I/O is facing downward for easy, efficient mounting in vehicles or fixed locations. Also note the mounting holes for standard brackets and mounts (VESA, etc.).

Significant performance boost

In the engine compartment, the primary difference between the 1214N and the 1214P is a migration from the dual-core 1.86GHz dual-core Intel Atom D2550 to the 1.91GHz quad-core Intel Atom E3845. The E3845 processor is part of Intel's highly acclaimed "Bay Trail" platform that's vastly more powerful than earlier generations of Intel Atom CPUs. Bay Trail, while positioned below Intel's Core processor lines, uses efficient 22nm lithography (the D2550 employed 32nm), has twice as many processing cores, twice as much L2 cache, supports USB 3.0, and can handle twice as much RAM (8GB instead of 4GB).

For those who need additional performance in their rugged panel, that's very good news. In RuggedPCReview's benchmark testing of industrial panels and devices equipped with these two processors, the E3845 more than tripled both CPU and overall benchmark performance over the older D2550.

Graphics performance should also benefit greatly from the upgrade. The E3845 includes essentially the same powerful graphics that are used in Intel's "Ivy Bridge" 3rd generation Core processors. This means more speed and support for most of the same APIs and features, such as DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.X, and OpenCL 1.2.

The table below shows the relevant differences between the two processors:
Model JLT1214P JLT1214N
Introduced 2015 2014
Processor Type Intel Atom E3845 Intel Atom D2550
Processor Codename "Bay Trail" "Cedarview"
CPU Speed 1.91Hz 1.86Hz
Cores/threads 4/4 2/4
Lithography 22nm 32nm
L2 cache 2MB 1MB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics (6 EUs) Intel GMA 3650
USB 3.0 yes no
Thermal Design Power 10.0 watts 10.0 watts
CPU PassMark 1,937 553
Overall PassMark 1,025 320

Note that despite the new chip's much higher performance, its thermal design power is still just 10 watts, the same as that of the D2550. Since the 1214P will always always run on VDC power, power draw is not terribly relevant, but it does mean that the new JLT1214P still does not require a (potentially troublesome) fan.

Apart from the new processor, customers can now get for Windows 10 in addition to Windows 7 Pro, WES 7 and 7 Slim, or Windows 8.1 Industry Pro. There's faster dual-band 802.11ac WLAN with the same sensitive PIFA (Planar Inverted-F Antenna) designed to make for reliable WiFi connectivity in areas with poor or marginal coverage, and Bluetooth is now version 4.0.

Now with optimized capacitive multi-touch

The second major change in the JLT1214P is the switch from resistive touch to the new JLT Rugged Projected Capacitive Touch technology. This provides users with the same effortless multi-touch experience they are familiar with from their smartphones and consumer tablets. One big difference, however, is that JLT's implementation also works with gloves on and when it's wet. There's also a practically unbreakable hardened glass cover that in tests withstood a 500 gram steel ball dropping from a height of four feet with no damage to the screen.

Note that JLT's sales and marketing director Christian Funk wrote a very informative article on this issue: Ruggedizing Capacitive Touch for Industrial Computing

Tough, rugged, reliable, and now state-of-the-art

Like all JLT Mobile products, the new 1214P panel computer is designed for reliability and longevity, which means it's rugged where it matters for fixed-mount systems. There's the very wide operating temperature range of -31 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit (thanks to a clever pressure equalization membrane system), which means it can be used in cold storage rooms as well as in desertlike climates. The device carries IP65 sealing, which means it's totally dust-proof and can also handle low pressure water jets from all directions. The panel is also shock and vibration resistant.

JLT points out that the new 1214P — based on the popular, mature and field-tested JLT 1214N computer — combines proven reliability with the greatly improved performance of the new Intel "Bay Trail" quad-core processor, a high integration of features, and the most compact design in its class. The goal also was providing the best total cost of ownership for many logistics applications ranging from warehousing and food distribution to freezer storage and cross-docking.

The availability of capacitive multi-touch is commendable. Capacitive touch is a perfect solution for in-vehicle and other fixed-mount computers where the emphasis is on effortless, reliable operation of touch-optimized software. Add to that the superior scratch and damage resistance of capacitive displays and the ease with which they can be wiped off and kept clean, and JLT's choice makes a lot of sense.

The video below shows how well glove touch works.

Specifications: JLT 1214P
Added/changed Added 09/2015
Form-factor Rugged fixed-mount computer
CPU 1.91GHz Intel Bay Trail Atom E3845
CPU TDP 10 watts
OS Windows 7 Pro, Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Hard Drive CFast SATA 16/64GB
Card slots Unknown
Display type TFT LCD with LED backlight
Display size/res 12.1"/1024 x 768 (500 nits)
Digitizer/pens "JLT Rugged PCT" projected capacitive 2-point multi-touch, glove and wet-capable
Keyboard/keys Onscreen, optional external keyboard
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp -31° to 131°F (-35° to 55°C)
Sealing IP65 - IEC 60529:2001, optional Roxtec sealing cable protection
Humidity 10-95% RH
Vibration 5-500 Hz/0,04 m/s2 XYZ - IEC 60068-2-64 Fh
Shock 30g for 11ms XYZ - IEC 60068-2-27
Size (WxHxD) 12.0 x 9.45 x 2.3 inches (305 x 240 x 59 mm)
Weight 7.7 lbs. (3.5kg)
Power 18-72 VDC isolated or 9-36 VDC Unisolated, internal battery for up to 30 min.
Interface 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x RS232, HD audio, 1 x RJ45 10/100/1000 LAN, waterproof stereo speakers
Wireless 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0 + EDR, dual Planar Inverted-F (PIFA) antennas
List price inquire
Contact JLT Mobile website
Web page JLT 1214P web page
Spec sheet JLT 1214P datasheet