Winmate Bay Trail Slim Box PC|
Intel "Bay Trail" based slim Box PC serves as embedded automation controller
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Winmate's IB32SB7-101 is a compact industrial Box PC that was introduced in late January 2014. Designed for a wide variety of industrial automation or machine-to-machine applications, the device measures just 6.7 x 6.3 inches and stands 1.3 inches tall. That's smaller than the original Apple TV. Yet, this versatile little box is a tough, full-function industrial Windows computer.
Winmate's goal here was to provide a simple, straightforward fanless design that requires minimal maintenance while providing maximum ruggedness, flexibility and reliability.
Unlike digital signage players or other specialized embedded systems designs, this slim Box PC offers basic PC functionality, nothing more and nothing less. Users get two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a gigabit RJ45 LAN port, HDMI, an audio jack, and a standard DB9 serial port that's jumper-switchable between RS232, 422, and 485.
Powered by Intel Bay Trail
One thing that sets the IB32SB7 apart is that it's one of the first devices we've come across that's based on Intel's new "Bay Trail" processors.
Bay Trail is interesting insofar as it is the first true architectural update to Intel's Atom processor architecture since the line's introduction in 2008. Codenamed "Silvermont," the processor cores used in the Bay Trail platform include a variety of features previously only avalable in Intel's higher end Core processors. Examples are Turbo Boost, which can increase the speed of both CPU and GPU cores as long as there is thermal (and power) headroom available, and the highly touted "active idle" feature pioneered in Intel's 4th generation "Haswell" Core processors. Active idle reduces the amount of time the computer needs to enter and exit idle states, facilitating much more economical operation.
Bay Trail chips, which include up to four Silvermont cores, offer another first in ultra-mobile Intel SoC (System on Chip)—they include Intel's own graphics processor technology, leveraging the same HD 4000 GPU architecture as is used in Intel's 3rd generation "Ivy Bridge" Core processors, albeit in a less powerful implementation with fewer execution units and lower GPU clock speeds. Still, that's a big step forward. Bay Trail supports DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0 (and OpenGL ES 3.0 on mobile, provided the drivers support it), and OpenCL 1.2 on the API side, and full 1080p video on HDMI.
Another big change is that Bay Trail processors are marketed under various Intel brand names—the Atom name is used for processors targeted at small systems with maximum battery life, but there are also Bay Trail processors carrying the Celeron and Pentium brand names. Those are geared towards higher performance devices that require more than traditional Atom power, but do not need the features (and price) of a Core processor.
For the IB32SB Box PC, Winmate selected the Celeron N2920, a quad-core processor running at 1.86GHz, and capable of bursts up to 2GHz. Thanks to Silvermont's 22nm manufacturing technology, maximum Thermal Design Power is just 7.5 watts, roughly at the same range of prior generation higher-end Atom chips, and considerably lower than that of Intel Core processors, which start at 15 watts. While we have not benchmarked Bay Trail systems in the RuggedPCReview.com lab as of January 2014, N2920 specs suggest that systems based on it should provide more than sufficient processing power for a device like this Winmate Box PC. We're not sure if Winmate intends to offer this package with other processors from the Bay Trail lineup.
On the memory side, the IB32SB comes with up to 4GB of low voltage DDR3L RAM. Standard mass storage is a 32GB mSATA solid state disk, with 64GB to 256GB options available. The specs do not list expansion via card slots or PCIe connectors.
As far as ruggedness and durability go, embedded industrial systems have different requirements than mobile systems. Vibration and shock resistance are important as industrial mounted systems may be subjected to them. The IB32SB's 32 to 122 degree Fahrenheit operating temperature range allows deployment in most protected settings, albeit not in industrial freezers and such. Winmate lists "sealed construction," but the specs do not include an IP rating.
Winmate is a Taiwanese company founded in 1994. Specializing in industrial display technologies and solutions, Winmate also branched out into Tablet PCs, digital signage, rugged Mobile PCs, embedded automation controllers, marine grade displays and computers, and Panel PCs such as the Stainless Panel PC shown here.
Email: sales1 @ winmate.com.tw
OEM/ODM Contact: ODM@winmate.com.tw