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Compact, embedded-class industrial PCs get performance enhancements

26 March 2013

Siemens Industry has enhanced its fan-less embedded industrial PCs for use in tough industrial environments, with the addition of powerful PC technology and third-generation Intel Core i7 processors.

The SIMATIC IPC427D Microbox PC and the SIMATIC IPC477D Panel PC are designed for maintenance-free 24-hour continuous use in harsh environments, where resistance to high temperature, vibration, shock and electromagnetic compatibility is required.

The Microbox PC offers ease of integration due to flexible installation options and all interfaces are on one side for ease of cabling. The Panel PC has an integrated industrial touch-screen display in widescreen format, with screen sizes from 12in to 22in. Both of these space-saving, fan-less IPCs suit a variety of uses, including HMI tasks, open and closed loop control, data-logging and communication tasks.

Machine-builders can boost the performance of their machines as the SIMATIC IPC427D Microbox PC and the SIMATIC IPC477D Panel PC have more than twice the computing power compared to previous models. This is achieved using third-generation (up to) Intel Core i7 (1.7GHz) high-performance processors with integral HD graphics. If required, the processor can deliver up to 2.4GHz by means of turbo-boost. For large data-handling or graphics requirements the DDR3 main memory is expandable up to 8GB.

Robust bulk memory devices – such as a Solid-State Drives (SSD) and a CFast flash memory with a high-speed SATA interface – offer a high level of data security and system availability in industrial use. This means end-users can benefit from a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Other bulk memory options include a 250GB hard disk and a DVD drive.

Further TCO benefits are achieved using the Intel AMT technology integrated into the processor and the optional SIMATIC IPC Remote Manager software. This allows the units to be remotely maintained and updated, enabling cost-effective service concepts to be implemented.

For fast diagnostics, the device has four status LEDs that are always visible and three of which are programmable. Diagnostic software is pre-installed for comprehensive analysis.

A wide set of interfaces allow integration to a range of automation and peripheral devices. These include two Gigabit Ethernet ports with teaming capability, one of which can be configured for PROFINET, an optional PROFIBUS interface, one or two serial RS232 ports, as well as one DVI and one DisplayPort interface for the connection of two monitors.

In standard form, the Microbox PC offers four high-speed USB 3.0 ports. At the rear, the Panel PC has three USB 3.0 ports and an additional USB 2.0 interface on the 15in or larger versions. Up to two optional PCIe slots are available on the Microbox.

The fan-less SIMATIC IPC477D Panel PC uses the same computing platform as the IPC427D Microbox and is equipped with a rugged cast aluminium front bezel with IP65 degree of protection. In widescreen aspect ratio, the screen size options include 12in, 15in, 19in and 22in diagonal as well as a version with a 15in touch-keypad front panel. The high-contrast and high-resolution display, with a reading angle of up to 170 degrees from all directions, offers safe and reliable operation even under difficult lighting conditions.

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