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congatec - Computer Modules for Industry Applications

Computer Modules for Industry Applications

congatec Presents APIX Starter Kit for the Development of Robust Low-Cost Control Units

APIX was developed for transferring image data in vehicles and, thanks to the new APIX starter kit, can now also be quickly and easily put to use in industrial applications. The APIX transfer process enables the use of ordinary Ethernet cables and makes it possible to simultaneously transmit video data and bi-directional control data as well as the power supply for the control or display units used.

The APIX Design Kit consists of a PCI Express add-on card, including the appropriate operating system drivers, and a remote display unit with integrated touch-screen. The image data, the coordinates from the touch-screen and the power supply are all transmitted using a normal Ethernet cable with RJ45 connectors. If high quality cables are used, distances of up to 40 metres or more can be covered.

APIX technology for medical devices

The good value and robust APIX technology was developed by Inova Semiconductors especially for the automotive industry but is also highly suitable for use in industrial automation solutions and in medical technology, as well as for gaming machines, weighing scales or in the fast growing market for digital signage.

Remote displays or control units are often used in the field of automation technology. Until now, relatively expensive “thin clients” or passive solutions requiring expensive special cabling have been used for this. With APIX, displays and control units can be connected using one single, easily fitted cable, all without any additional network equipment since APIX provides the power for the remote displays.

The PCI Express x1 add-on card has two APIX ports. This expansion card reads directly from the video memory and sends the data to the APIX channels at a current maximum resolution of 800x600px. Up to four cards can be used per system, creating a maximum of eight APIX channels. The sideband signal data, i.e. the return channel in an APIX solution, is also received by the PCI Express card and made available to the computer. Power over APIX is used to supply power to the remote control units and allows a maximum current of 2amp with a 12V supply voltage.

The receiver unit includes a touch controller, a 7″ TFT panel with LED backlight and the Indigo chip from Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME), which refines the transmitted signals. Depending on requirements, more complex or encrypted communication is also possible with the display unit.

Custom design made easy

congatec has developed this turnkey APIX Design Kit together with Inova Semiconductors and FME in order to make access to this innovative technology easier for users. “We are very pleased with the successful cooperation with Inova and congatec and we are convinced we will be able to secure new market sectors and sales opportunities as a result,” says Jürgen Lang, business development manager at FME.

The kit gives users the opportunity to quickly and easily evaluate the APIX display link interface. As well as all the necessary hardware, the kit contains comprehensive documentation, including all the required circuit diagrams, in order to allow the implementation of customer specific solutions to be designed as easily as possible.

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) is a major supplier of semiconductor products. The company provides advanced systems solutions to the automotive, digital TV, mobile telephony, communications, networking and industrial markets. Engineers from design centres dedicated to microcontrollers, graphics controllers, mixed-signal, wireless, multimedia ICs, ASIC products and software development, work closely with FME’s marketing and sales teams throughout EMEA to help satisfy customers’ systems development requirements. This solution’s approach is supported by a broad range of advanced semiconductor devices, IP, building blocks and software.

About Inova Semiconductors

Inova Semiconductors is a fabless semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company was founded in 1999 and specialises in the development and production of state-of-the-art products for Gigabit/s serial data communication. The products are manufactured at leading factories in Europe and Asia and sold through a worldwide distribution network.

The company’s GigaSTaR and GigaSTaR DDL product lines have pioneered digital display link applications in the industrial and transportation market, the new APIX product family was developed to meet the stringent requirements of display and camera applications in the automobile industry.

About congatec

Based in Deggendorf, Germany, congatec is an innovative provider of industrial computer modules based on Qseven, COM Express, XTX and ETX standard form factors. Thanks to this specialisation, congatec has established itself as a leading supplier in this sector. The company’s products support all types of industry applications spanning the industrial automation, medical and automotive as well as the aerospace and transport sectors.

congatec’s key know-how includes extended BIOS and driver support as well as comprehensive board support packages. Our customers receive complete product lifecycle support starting early during the design-in stage. All congatec products are manufactured by specialised contract manufacturers who fulfil the latest quality standards. congatec currently employs 75 staff and has offices in the Czech Republic, Taiwan and the US.