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Dedicated HMI versus Windows CE Operating Environment

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article image Dedicated HMI versus Windows CE Operating Environment

Which is the better choice? A dedicated HMI or Windows CE Operating Environment? Uticor offer HMI with both options. The end choice will depend on the particular HMI situation, needs and requirements.

The standard Uticor Toughpanel has a dedicated processor, as opposed to running on a computer platform. This offers a much faster response time for touch inputs, typically 0.75 seconds instead of slightly more than a second in a Windows CE environment. A Windows device is inherently slower in response time because it has a lot of overhead to cover during start-up and operation. A dedicated processor uses less memory, does not require a boot -up, requires only 2MB to trend data, and is not subject to hardware tampering. Nor can it be infected with a virus from the Internet.

A Windows CE system has the advantage, however, of running user selected software in applications such as Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, PDF, and MPEG (Video). Many users desire to run a program to show machine operation or key maintenance issues. Others want to imbed the Operating or Maintenance Manual as a PDF file. There are as many unique applications as memory available to run them.

Dedicated HMI or Windows CE Operating Environment - Which to Choose?

Complex automation systems with a built-in redundant design or non critical machinery or process applications may have tolerance for the shortcomings of a Windows based operating system. Smaller or simpler applications or those that require robust/critical operation or a fast operating speed may be best served by a dedicated processor. 
Balmoral Technologies offer both platforms for HMI. The programming software is the same for both.

Dedicated Processor Touch Panels:

  • Motorola Coldfire 32-bit CPU operating at 40MHz 
  • Fastest response time for touch inputs (typically 0.75 seconds) 
  • Fast and simple flash-based operating system, easily field 
  • 512KB and 1MB battery back RAM 
  • 512KB ,1MB, and 2MB Flash Memory 
  • Will accommodate innovative NetView and Control card for Internet connectivity 
The Window CE Touch Panels:
  • Same protocols supported as standard touch panel
  • Same programming software
  • AMD Alchemy 333 MHz 32 Bit Processor upgradeable
  • 32 MB Flash and 64 MB RAM built in
  • Compact Flash slot
  • 10/100 base-T Ethernet Port
  • USB Host Port
  • Network card for future expansion

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