Automotive appliances need to cope with high levels of shock and vibration, so building computers for the automotive environment is difficult.
Especially high performance machines utilize fast and powerful processers which in turn require sophisticated cooling solutions not easily designed for rough environments.
Using standard active processor coolers usually results in rather complicated setups that are difficult to assemble and to maintain
Another problematic area is memory extension, where the usual off-the-shelf DIMM or SODIMM modules just feature simple direct PCB edge connectors and are secured by simple clip-on clamps only.
Lippert Embedded Computers addresses these issues with its Hurricane QM57 embedded PC single board computers. The EPIC sized processor board features a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and QM57 chipset, delivering enough computing power for even the most demanding video processing tasks.
The processor and chips are placed on the bottom of the PCB in order to achieve high levels of vibration resistance, allowing the attachment even of large heat-sinks without obstructing the connectors on the top side.
The memory issue is mitigated for the Hurricane QM57 with the newly devised RSOMM (Rugged Small Outline Memory Module) modules. RSOMM memory features a rugged indirect high pin count connector and can be firmly attached to the computer board using screws.
Hurricane QM57 single board computers have been tested in a test lab in order to verify ANSI/VITA47 compliance. The tested configuration was a standard CPU board with the heat-spreader mounted on the bottom side. Three such systems were subjected to stringent examinations.
Tortures involved 12g RMS vibration in all 3 directions, with frequencies from 5 to 2000 hertz, 50g shock tests, and bench drop tests. Apart from a loose screw and a connector cover, which were considered to be non critical, the boards all passed the tests.
Prototypes of the Hurricane QM57 single board computers are expected to be ready in mid September.