Fanless Embedded Computers
Fanless embedded PCs are used for the performance of a variety of industrial applications that require reliable computing power in harsh environments to perform complex workloads. Fanless embedded PCs can survive in harsh environments that experience extreme heat, extreme cold, shock, vibration, wide voltages, dust, and debris.
What is a Fanless Embedded Computer?
A fanless embedded computer is an industrial grade computer that is, as the name suggests, a fanless, passively cooled computer capable of handling difficult and complex industrial workloads. Industrial fanless computers must be able to operate reliably in a variety of different environments as they are often deployed in environments that experience scorching hot temperatures or freezing cold temperatures that can destroy regular desktop computers.
Also, fanless embedded PCs are passively cooled, meaning there are no spinning fans to circulate air throughout the system. Instead, fanless PCs rely on heatsinks to dissipate the heat generated from the internal heat-generating components. Utilizing a fanless design adds to fanless computing solutions' ruggedness and reliability, allowing them to operate reliably 24/7, making them ideal for IoT gateways, automation control systems, and machine vision computers.
What Are the Benefits of Fanless Embedded PC?
1. Shock & Vibration Resistance
The main benefit of industrial fanless PCs is their ability to be deployed in harsh environments where they may be subjected to shocks, vibrations, dust, and debris. Fanless embedded computers are able to withstand frequent exposure to shocks and vibrations because they have a single-piece design that eliminates joints, screws, and cables, making the system more reliable since there are fewer moving parts to fail.
2. Dust & Debris Resistance
Fanless computers are resistant to dust and debris thanks to their fanless design. By eliminating fans from embedded computers, embedded PC manufacturers have eliminated the introduction of dust and debris into the system. This is so because there are no openings through which dust and debris can enter the system. Premio offers several embedded computing solutions that are resistant to dust and debris and come with an IP rating.
3. Industrial Grade Components
Industrial embedded computers are more durable and reliable than regular desktop computers because they are built using industrial components. Additionally, the systems are stress-tested to ensure that they can operate in volatile environments that are not friendly to consumer-grade PCs.
4. Wide Temperature Design
Furthermore, embedded computers are able to handle a wide range of temperatures. So, whether you're deploying a fanless computing solution in an oil field in the desert or digital signage in Antarctica, fanless computers will be able to handle such temperature while maintaining reliability and operability. Rugged fanless computers are able to operate at a wide temperature ranges between -40⁰C and 85⁰C, allowing them to survive in a number of harsh environments that experience extreme temperatures.
5. Fanless Design
The removal of fans from industrial embedded PCs dramatically increases the reliability and durability of such solutions. This is so because failing and failed fans are the leading cause of computer failures. So, by eliminating them entirely from industrial computing solutions, the systems have been made more durable and reliable.
Additionally, fanless embedded computers are more reliable and responsive than regular desktop PCs because they come equipped with SSDs, which have higher data transfer speeds than regular hard drives and add to the system's reliability since they do not have spinning platters that can fail.
6. Compact Design
Furthermore, the compact design of fanless embedded PCs allows them to be deployed in space-constrained environments. This is possible thanks to the fanless designs of fanless embedded computers, which allows them to be built smaller and deployed close to one another since there is no need for fans to circulate air through the systems to cool them down.
The small footprint of industrial fanless computers allows them to be deployed in small spaces, such as cabinets, small enclosures, underneath furniture or mounted walls or ceiling in tight spaces.
7. Low Power Consumption
The final benefit of deploying a small industrial PC offers is the low power consumption of such systems. Small fanless PCs consume less energy than consumer desktop computers. This is so because fanless PC makers equip embedded computing solutions with powerful yet energy-efficient processors, such as the Intel Celeron J1900 that has a TDP of 10 watts, that use less power and thus produce less heat, making them ideal for deployment in remote and compact environments where stable power is not always present. Although the power consumption from a single mini industrial PC is negligible, if you're deploying hundreds or thousands of these systems, you will notice a significant reduction in your energy consumption and energy costs.
8. Wide Voltage & Power Protection
Fanless embedded PCs are designed with a wide input voltage, ranging from 9 to 50VDC for compatibility different variation of power input scenarios.
Additionally, fanless embedded computers come with overvoltage protection, which cuts off the power to the system whenever the voltage exceeds a safe level to protect the system.
Furthermore, fanless PCs have power surge protection, which diverts electricity into the ground whenever the voltage rises above an acceptable level.
The final power protection feature is reverse polarity protection, which protects the system in the event that the power supply polarity is reversed. Without power polarity protection, the system’s sensitive electronics would be damaged.
Checklist For Embedded Computers:
Now that the benefits for embedded computers have been explained it's important to ensure these features are validated thoroughly when integrating embedded computer at scale for IoT and edge deployments. Another great option is to rely on an embedded computing manufacture that offers turnkey embedded computers that have been validated under rigor environmental and functional testing processes. Not only does this provides faster go-to-market scalability but also alleviates many of the challenges in designing a proven embedded computer with top-notch reliability and longevity.
1. Fanless and Silent Designs for Better Reliability
2. One-Piece, Cableless, and Validated to endure Shock and Vibration
3. Extended Operating Temperature Range for Harsh Environments
4. Wide-Voltage Power Protection
5. Modular and Expandable I/O options designed for workload consolidation
Learn more about the top 5 embedded computing designs from trusted embedded computing designers.
Get the checklist here.
Fanless Embedded Computer vs. Regular Desktop Computer
Industrial embedded computers are different from regular desktop computers because they are built using industrial-grade components and can handle deployment in remote and volatile environments, something that regular desktop PCs cannot endure.
So, although embedded computers and regular desktop computers may seem the same because they share similar components, such as CPU, GPU, RAM, and HDD, they are very different.
Industrial grade components that are added to industrial embedded computers are designed and tested to ensure reliable operation in volatile environments that experience a wide temperature range, wide input voltage spikes, shocks, vibrations, dust, and debris, to name a few.
Fanless embedded box computers are designed to withstand deployment in areas that are full of dust and debris. Industrial PC makers made this possible by creating fanless systems that are passively cooled via the use of heatsinks.
The elimination of fans from the system means that there are no openings through which dust and debris can enter the system to damage the internal components. This enables embedded box PCs to operate in environments where they are continuously exposed to dust and debris, such as in kiosk machines, vehicles, mines, or other areas where dust and debris are present.
Additionally, embedded fanless PCs can withstand a wider range of temperatures than regular desktop PCs. For example, a regular consumer-grade PC can only operate at a temperature range between 10°C to 50°C, whereas an embedded fanless computer can operate at a temperature range between -40°C to 85°C.
Fanless embedded solutions can operate at such a wide temperature range because they are passively cooled via heatsinks. Also, the industrial CPUs used in these systems are able to operate at high temperatures while being energy-efficient and producing less heat than CPUs used in regular desktop computers.
Different Types of Fanless Embedded Computers
We will now explore the different types of fanless embedded PCs.
1. Rugged Fanless Computers
Rugged fanless computers are purpose-built for decentralized rugged computing at the edge. Rugged fanless PCs are great because they enable applications, data processing, and data analysis in real-time, closer to the source of data generation. The ruggedness of these systems allows them to be deployed in harsh environments where conditions get tough.
The key feature of rugged fanless computers is that they feature a rugged enclosure and fanless and cableless design that adds to the systems' rigidity and durability, allowing them to survive in volatile environments that experience frequent exposure to shocks, vibrations, dust, debris, and unstable power supplies.
Also, they meet the military standard for withstanding shock and vibration in accordance with MIL-STD-810G.
Additionally, fanless rugged edge computers offer a wide voltage input range and power protection measures, which allow the systems to operate in remote and industrial environments with unstable power.
Rugged fanless computers come with SIM modules that can be used to connect the rugged fanless embedded computer to the internet, allowing them to offload data to the cloud for remote monitoring if needed.
Furthermore, rugged fanless PCs can safely be deployed in remote and unmonitored environments because they are integrated with a crypto-processor that encrypts data and prevents unauthorized access to the edge computer, keeping the device safe from manipulation.
Learn more about embedded computers here.
Premio's in-vehicle fanless computers are purpose-built and validated for deployment in vehicles to enable edge computing applications, such as mass transportation, autonomous vehicles, railway and transit, as well as security and surveillance.
Vehicle computers can be mounted in vehicles and operate in the harshest environmental conditions while delivering real-time data processing, analysis, and decision making.
Also, in-vehicle fanless embedded computer systems come equipped with power ignition management, which ensures that in-vehicle computing systems are turned on and shut down properly to avoid data corruption by allowing the in-vehicle to keep operating even after the power has been turned off for a pre-determined amount of time.
Additionally, in-vehicle computers offer a variety of ports, including M12 connectors to prevent connections from coming loose since vehicles tend to frequently stop, accelerate, exposing the computing system to frequent shocks and vibrations, which could cause regular connectors to become loose.
Furthermore, in-vehicle computers are EN50155 & 50121-3-2 and E-mark certified for intelligent transportation rail and in-vehicle applications. EN50155 certification ensures that the vehicle computing system is certified to withstand shock, vibration, unstable power supplies, EMC, power surges, and electric discharge that are often present in vehicle environments.
In-vehicle computers are also e-Mark certified, meaning they are compliant with the EU regulations and can therefore be sold in the EU and ECE. E-mark certification is required for all automotive equipment that is sold in Europe.
In-vehicle computers also come equipped with wireless connectivity that includes 4G, LTE, and 5G SIM modules for cellular communication. This permits the device to send data to the cloud for remote monitoring.
Our fanless vehicle computers are designed to run efficiently and reliably 24/7, thus minimizing any downtime you may experience. Vehicle PCs are ideal for local, real-time data processing and inference analysis at the edge.
Our vehicle computers come equipped with the latest intel processing technology, security, and industrial reliability. Overall, our in-vehicle computing solutions offer an optimal balance of performance and durability, making these systems great for deployment in remote environments.
Learn more about edge computers here.
Premio offers mini fanless PCs that are designed for low-power IoT processing and edge level data telemetry. Our mini fanless PCs are cost-competitive and have been verified to function reliably and efficiently in industrial, space-constrained environments. Our mini fanless computers' key feature is its versatile I/O ports, which offer support for new and legacy technologies. These mini PC solutions are great for powering industrial applications that include smart vending machines, kiosk machines, smart agriculture, security, surveillance, as well as embedded and edge IoT.
Our mini fanless PCs come equipped with the Intel® Celeron® Quad Core J1900 Processors, which offer excellent performance while providing energy efficiency. This quad-core processor is one of the most popular processors and is used for many embedded computing deployments for its power and energy efficiency.
Additionally, our wireless mini PCs can be deployed in a variety of different environments thanks to their fanless designs. The fanless design allows them to operate at a wide temperature range between -20°C to +70°C. Also, since there are no openings on the mini PC, it can be deployed in dust and debris-filled environments.
Learn more about mini fanless embedded computers here.
4. Waterproof Fanless Computers
Premio offers a variety of waterproof fanless computers that are built with aluminum and heavy-duty metal to create a rugged, airtight enclosure for the computer system. The fanless design and rugged outer enclosure create a waterproof computer that can be deployed in environments where regular embedded computers cannot be deployed. Overall, waterproof embedded computers are great for deployment in environments where they will be exposed to water splashes or water immersion.
Waterproof computers come with an IP65/67 rating, protecting fanless waterproof computers from dust and debris, as well as protection from low pressure water jets. Additionally, waterproof computers are equipped with M12 locking connectors, which are resistant dust, debris, and water, making waterproof computers ideal for deployment in environments where they will be exposed to water, such as food and beverage processing plants.
Learn more about waterproof fanless embedded computers here.