The fast-growing M2M market presents a series of wireless design challenges (part 4)

Check that positioning receivers are automotive-grade, support dead reckoning, and can be plugged into the vehicle’s can bus to acquire the data. Also, ensue that

they can interface directly with vehicle sensors such as gyros and odometers and that the vendor offers an evaluation environment to speed Industrial computer product development.

Indoor positioning is possible by combining satellite and cellular data

Where an approximate indoor position needs to be established, combining a satellite receiver with a wireless modem overcomes the problem of satellite signals being blocked by walls or other obstructions. This hybrid solution exploits the visibility of 2G or 3G cells because GSM or UMTS signals easily penetrate walls. Where the boundaries of visible mobile cells are known, an approximate position can be calculated from knowing where the cells overlap. This approach needs a wireless connection to an external service, similar to assisted positioning. Check that the positioning receiver and wireless COMe Module modem supplier can offer such a solution, and that it’s proven and provides an online industrial computer service. It’s also important to ensure that the system’s accuracy is adequate.

Positioning system compatibility

Until recently, embedded system GPS was the only system designers needed to consider. Now, there’s Russia’s GLONASS, Japan’s QZSS, China’s BeiDou, and Europe’s Galileo. Compatibility with GPS plus at least one other satellite system will be needed to increase system reliability and accuracy, and to fulfill regional on-board computer government mandates for compatibility with their own systems. Parallel operation that uses two systems simultaneously may be part of the specification. An example is Russia’s new embedded system ERA-GLONASS vehicle emergency call system that requires GLONASS compatibility. Look for GPS/GNSS receivers that provide multi-GNSS support and provide parallel GPS/GLONASS or GPS/BeiDou reception.

These are just some of the considerations when adding wireless connectivity to M2M products. Remember that many new standards, both wireless and positioning, are in transition. It’s important to consider the on-board computer product’s operation over its lifetime and which markets it will serve. Also, consider whether it’s important to include design support for next-generation performance and industrial computer network coverage, or opt to design for easy upgradeability of products in the field.

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The fast-growing M2M market presents a series of wireless design challenges (part 3)

Bandwidth requirements rarely decrease

The bandwidth demand of tracking embedded system applications only goes in one direction–up–so it’s important to consider the lifetime costs of connection. Choose a modem based on what it may need to do in three to five years, or at least choose one COMe Module that makes upgrades easy.

Automotive special needs

In vehicle-mounted systems, temperature, humidity, and vibration can be extreme. AEC-Q100 qualified devices manufactured in ISO/TS 16949 certified sites will ensure reliable, long-life operation. Qualification on-board computer tests for each industrial computer component should conform to ISO16750, Road vehicles – Environmental conditions and testing for electrical and electronic equipment. This applies to on-board computer and industrial devices that operate in demanding environments, such as ships or railcars.

Emergency call systems are growing in popularity

Increasingly, cars are fitted with systems that automatically report accidents or aid recovery after theft. The U.S., Europe, Russia, and Brazil have established initiatives to support such Embedded Systems and that will increasingly be required by government mandate. For these applications (see the example in Figure 3), an “in-band modem” is often needed. It sends data over the modem voice channel in a similar way to a fax machine sending data over the telephone lines. It’s needed because operators prioritize voice over data in mobile networks. In the event of an accident, the voice industrial computer channel becomes the crucial link for transmitting data to emergency services. Check that the proposed solution supports in-band modems on both 2G and 3G networks.

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The fast-growing M2M market presents a series of wireless design challenges (part 2)

Battery life is critical

The time between battery charging or replacement is critical to the success of some Industrial computer products. A container-mounted tracking device, for example, in-vehicle system may be required to run for several days if it’s being shipped by air or road, and up to several weeks if shipped by sea. Battery life must be adequate to support these timescales.

Mobile phones are typically expected to run for two or three days on a charge. Hence, consumer expectations for the operating life of health and fitness devices will be similar. When comparing modem and GNSS receiver specifications in these applications, both the operating and standby current consumption are important, as well as the power-saving functions. The latter may include auto-wakeup features and intelligent power-saving modes, such as the ability to log data autonomously without waking the host processor. Ideally, components should only wake up when needed.

Mobility demands multi-standards compliance

Global mobility is increasing for people and goods, so it’s important to consider where a modem needs to function today and where it may be required to work in the future. GSM is supported by four main frequency bands worldwide, UMTS by six, and LTE over 30. An electricity meter is usually static whereas a resource management system may be required to work in all regions of the world and should include either a quad- or dual-band GSM modem (depending on the location), or six-band UMTS modem.

Certified modems accelerate embedded system approvals

Any cellular network device, whether for GSM, UMTS, or LTE, needs regulatory, industry, and operator certification. It significantly simplifies and speeds up the in-vehicle system certification process if the modem embedded in the device is certified.

What’s needed today may be different tomorrow

While GSM/GPRS networks are perfectly capable of handling the small volumes of data transmitted in remote metering applications, GSM bands are already being considered for re-allocation to 3G and 4G services. To save the expense of future-proofing, it’s a good idea to design with on-board computer standards in mind. Today, this means designing with UMTS/HSPA or LTE modems, or at least future-proofing hardware to simplify upgrades.

Nested design simplifies technology upgrading

Cellular M2M technologies are in embedded system continuous evolution and when designing a new device enabling cellular connectivity, it’s important to consider its upgradability to newer technologies to optimize the design cost. Here, there’s on-board computerlayout compatibility across the entire cellular on-board comouter modem range (GSM, UMTS, CDMA, and LTE). With this approach, as shown in Figure 2, one PCB layout can be used for all end-product variations, ensuring an easy migration between on-board computer and module generations, also thanks to the AT command compatibility within the different modules.

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Acrosser Releases Product Video for 35-mm Onboard Computer: AIV-HM76V1FL

acrosser Technology, a world-leading onboard computer manufacturer, releases the product video for its 35-mm-high fanless in-vehicle computer, AIV-HM76V1FL. The footage displays a full view of each angle of this ultra-slim in-vehicle computer. All input and output interfaces are fully demonstrated with the computer lying horizontally on its 35-mm I/O surface. It takes not only substantial R&D effort to develop hardware with such thin client dimensions, but also numerous production checks to guarantee quality for on-road tests. This thin hardware platform showcases Acrosser’s expertise in industrial PC manufacturing.

The video familiarizes systems integrators and application engineers with the user interface (UI) for BIOS modification for power management settings. The ignition is used not only to turn the vehicle on and off, but also the vehicle PC as well. However, not all vehicle users follow the same ignition process; a subsystem to delay startup of the vehicle PC is necessary for some users. Therefore, we created a system that allows users to manually alter the power mode of the vehicle PC on ignition.

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ultra slim In-Vehicle Computer: AIV-HM76V1FL

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