What You Need To Know About An Embedded PC

An embedded computer or embedded PC is a standalone computer system that is a component of a larger machine or system. Unlike a standard desktop computer, an embedded computer is typically designed or purposed for a single task. Find out more about embedded pc malaysia here.

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Whereas enterprise IT equipment in a manufacturing environment may process multiple tasks at once, such as timesheets in Excel spreadsheets and MRP software for production planning and stock management, an embedded PC is used to process a single task, which may be designed to sit inside a kiosk or digital signage unit, or it may be directly connected to one of those machines on the factory floor.

Furthermore, before leaving the station, the embedded PC ensures that all entertainment data and firmware are automatically updated from the operator’s central system. As the coach passes through town, you will notice a lamppost with an embedded computer in a waterproof housing attached to it, which is analysing traffic patterns and transmitting the data back to the central control room via a cellular connection. Another embedded PC, located a little further down the road, is receiving data from the control room and using it to control a variable message sign warning of stationary traffic or poor visibility ahead.

The coach passes a speed camera, which contains an embedded computer linked to a radar sensor and analyses the speed of moving vehicles before deciding whether to activate the camera and flash. As the coach enters the highway, it is passed by a car whose driver is relaxing and reading a newspaper. A self-driving car, which is linked to a slew of motion and Lidar sensors, employs GPUs to analyze data from those sensors and provide a safe autonomous driving experience, a system designed and developed with the power of an embedded computer mounted in test vehicles.

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Whether or not the term “embedded computer” is unfamiliar to you, it’s almost certain that you’ve come into contact with one at some point – perhaps even today. They are the anonymous centre of everyday electronic devices we see and use in our daily lives, ranging from cash machines to advertising boards, road work signs, and passenger information systems on a railway platform.

Whether we see them or not, or even realise they exist, embedded computers are the hidden heart of the automated space, providing many of the luxuries we enjoy in today’s technological world.

For the most part, embedded computers are built to be tough. In contrast to a standard desktop or industrial computer, they are frequently fanless. Embedded computers are frequently found in harsh or rugged applications, sometimes in environments where temperatures can drop to -40°C or lower, or soar to +80°C or higher. And the temperature requirements aren’t just determined by the weather; the embedded computer could be buried deep inside a metal chassis, which is then buried deep inside an operating piece of machinery with minimal air flow. 

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The lack of an in-built fan in computers may appear to be an odd design feature, but there is a method to the madness. There is often dirt and dust in industrial environments, as well as moisture or particles in the air that could interfere with the internal components of the embedded computer.