Windows Embedded Compact or more commonly referred to as WinCE is a Real Time Operation System offered by Microsoft. WinCE is ideal for many developments including industrial PC’s, medical devices, IoT designs etc. WinCE based HMIs (Human Machine Interface) are quiet common with advantage of popular .NET framework support in embedded devices.
Allwinner is a leading chip manufacturer whose low cost devices are established in very will in Tablet and other CE markets. Allwinner chips are also widely in low cost development platforms which are serious competitors for Raspberry PI. Though Allwinner does not offer industrial grade silicon, nevertheless they are used in allied applications like remote industrial plant systems, remote assistance solutions etc.
With Embien’s WEC2013 BSP offering for Allwinner A20, it becomes possible for using WinCE on the low cost platform for these applications. This blog discusses one such application where our BSP is used to meet a customer requirement for a Windows CE based industrial monitoring system.
Windows CE On New Marsboard
The New Marsboard is an Allwinner A20 based dual core platform. Brief specification of the system is as follows:
- ARM Cortex-A7 Dual-Core
- ARM Mali400MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
- 1GB DRAM, up to 2GB DRAM @ 480Mhz
- 8GB Flash, SD (Max. 64GB) / MMC card slot, SATA Port
- 10/100 Ethernet RJ45, USB WIFI(RTL8188EU) with Antenna
- HDMI, CVBS , VGA, LCD-LVDS, LCD-RGB
- LCD Connector with Capacitive touch
- Remote IR
- USB 2.0 Ports – 4 x USB 2.0 Host, 1 x USB 2.0 OTG
The module is available at an affordable $58 USD price tag. With the expansion ports, it is possible to design custom carrier cards and interface with it. For more details, please visit http://www.marsboard.com.
Below video demonstrates Embien’s Allwinner A20 based WEC2013 BSP running on the new Marsboard.
Remote industrial plant system
One of our customers uses our WEC2013 BSP to enable WinCE on their Remote industrial plant system. Since the customer has expertise in .NET developments and industrial applications, they were looking for a Windows based HMI. With our BSP, they used Allwinner A20 – New Marsboard platform, and created a WinCE based HMI. This enabled quick .NET based developments for the customer along with very low platform cost and low licensing price. The platform is quickly transformed to a Windows CE Industrial Computer. Some of the features supported are
- RS485 Interface
- RS422 Interface
- Multiple RS232 interfaces
- Ethernet Interface
- Remote Assistance System
- Remote Update
- USB Host Storage for data transfer
- Resistive Industrial grade touch panel
The system proved to be robust with intuitive screens. Multiple connectivity options opened up possibilities of data acquisition from multiple devices seamlessly. The Remote update feature enabled the System Integrator to update the application firmware as well as the WinCE OS remotely. FTP and other options like Telnet are provided for remote assistance and management.
As it can be seen, Windows Embedded Compact provides flexibility of running .NET framework on the low cost systems like Allwinner A20 and develop Windows CE Industrial Computer and Wince based HMI. With Embien’s Allwinner A20 WEC2013 BSP, it is possible to realize applications such as Remote industrial plant system etc.
About Embien Technologies: Embien Technologies is a leading provider of embedded design services for the Semi-conductor, Industrial, Consumer and Health Care segments. Our extensive experience in working with industrial technologies like CAN, Profibus, Ethernet, CANOpen, DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP, Modbus etc enables us provide solutions to customer quickly at an unmatched quality at a very low price point. Feel free to contact us for any of your industrial product/prototype development requirements.