The retail industry knows that technology can increase sales and operational efficiency, but many retailers have limited budgets to invest in intelligent retail systems. The challenge for OEMS is finding ways to deliver point-of-sale (POS) systems, kiosks, and digital signage that deliver advanced features while keeping costs down. The new Intel® Atom™ processor N2000 and D2000 series can be a big help in meeting this goal. This new processor family offers significantly improved graphics, energy efficiency, and connectivity, all at an entry-level price point that enables cost-effective solutions.

The upgraded graphics are particularly important for retail applications. The new processors offer up to 4x better 3D graphics performance than its predecessors, along with the 1080p hardware video decode—including dual-decode on the Intel® Atom™ processor D2700 (see Figure 1). These features enable dynamic displays with minimal processor load.

 

 

Core Frequency

Graphics Speed

Video decode

TDP

Intel® Atom™ processor N2600

1.60 GHz

400 MHz

Single 1080p

3.5 W

Intel® Atom™ processor N2800

1.86 GHz

640 MHz

Single 1080p

6.5 W

Intel® Atom™ processor D2700

2.1 GHz

640 MHz

Dual 1080p

10 W

Figure 1. Key specifications.

 

The new processors also add support for two independent displays, meaning an entry-level POS system could add a display for customer-facing video ads. Similarly, a single digital signage system could control two displays. In addition to supporting two displays, the new platform supports a variety of new display standards as well as a rich set of I/O (see Figure 2). All these features comes with thermal design power (TDP) ratings as low as 3.5 W, enabling fanless designs that eliminate moving parts to maximize reliability and longevity—and thus lower the costs of ownership.

 

atom.png

Figure 2. The new Intel® Atom™ processor.

 

You can get a head start on your retail system with hardware from the Intel® Embedded Alliance , whose 200-plus members collaborate closely with Intel to create optimized hardware, software, tools, and services to help you speed designs to market. These solutions include computer-on-module (COM), single-board computer (SBC), and motherboard offerings, as well as ready-to-use embedded PCs. Figure 3 lists a selection of hardware available from the Alliance.

 

 

Product
Form Factor

Features

Applications

Portwell

PCOM-B218VG
COM Express Type 6

LVDS/VGA,8 USB, 4 PCIe

POS, Signage

Avalue

ECM-CDV
3.5” SBC

HDMI/VGA/2 LVDS, 2 GbE, 2 COM, 7 USB, GPIO, Touch Controller   (optional), CF, SATA, mPCIe w/mSATA,

POS, Kiosk, Signage


EBM-CDV
5.25” SBC

2 LVDS/HDMI, 2 GbE, Touch Controller, 6 COM, 8 USB, GPIO,   SATA, mPCIe w/mSATA


DFI

CD905-B
COM Express Compact Type 2

VGA/LVDS, GbE, 8 USB, GPIO, 2 SATA, 4 PCIe, 4 PCI

POS


CD951-C
3.5” SBC

VGA/LVDS, 2 SATA, 6 COM, 6 USB, 2 GbE, GPIO, mPCIe, CF

Kiosk, POS


DS910-CD
Digital Signage System

HDMI/ DVI, SATA, SD/MMC, COM, 4 USB, GbE, GPIO, 2 mPCIe   (w/mSATA), VESA mount

Signage


DS912-CD
Digital Signage System

HDMI/ DVI, SATA, SD/MMC, 2 COM, 4 USB, GbE, GPIO, PCIe,   2 mPCIe (w/mSATA), VESA mount


Norco

MITX-6930
Mini-ITX Motherboard

VGA/LVDS/DVI-I, 2 GbE, 6 COM, 6 USB, 2 SATA, PCI, 2 mPCIe,   SIM slot

POS, Kiosk, Signage


BIS-6630
Embedded PC

DVI/VGA , 6 USB, 2 GbE, 6 COM, SIM slot, 2 mPCIe, PCI, VESA   mount, removable HDD


Seavo

SV-Atom216H

Mini-ITX Motherboard

VGA/HDMI/LVDS, GbE, 8 USB, 6 COM, LPT, PCI, mPCIe (w/mSATA),   GPIO, PS/2, daughter card interface, 2 SATA

POS, Kiosk


SV1-D2701

Mini-ITX Motherboard

VGA/HDMI/LVDS, GbE, 8 USB, 6 COM, LPT, PCI, mPCIe (w/mSATA),   2 SATA

Kiosk, Signage


SV6-A804

3.5” SBC

VGA/HDMI/LVDS, GbE ,8 USB, 6 COM, LPT, GPIO, 2 mPCIe   (w/mSATA), 2 SATA

POS, Kiosk, Signage

Figure 3. Select Alliance products for retail.

 

One interesting example of the SBCs available from the Alliance is the Norco MITX-6930 mini-ITX motherboard. Among its many features, this board includes a SIM card socket for 3G cellular modems—a useful feature for retail settings that lack LAN connections. Figure 4 shows how a digital sign could put this cellular capability to use. For OEMs who prefer an off-the-shelf solution, Norco also offers the BIS-6630 fanless embedded PC, which wraps the mini-ITX motherboard in a VESA-mountable case.

 

norco.png

Figure 4. The Norco BIS-6630 includes a 3G SIM card slot for LAN-free deployment.

 

A good example of a ready-to-use signage system is the DFI DS912-CD shown in Figure 5. This VESA-mountable system includes a long list of I/O (see Figure 3 for details) and comes with a hard drive kit, power adapter, quick install guide, a DVD with drivers and a manual, and optional VESA- and wall-mounting kits.

 

dfi.png

Figure 5. The DFI DS912-CD.

 

These and other Alliance offerings give OEMs a great way to take advantage of the new features in the Intel Atom processor N2000 and D2000 series. By doing so, OEMs can deliver systems that combine advanced features and entry-level pricing to address the need of today’s retailers.

 

efficiency.pngTo learn more about power-efficient performance, see intel.com/go/embedded-energyefficiency


Portwell is a Premier member of the Intel Embedded Alliance. Avalue, DFI, and Norco are Associate members of the Alliance. Seavo is an Affiliate members of the Alliance.

 

Kenton Williston

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Embedded Alliance

Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine

Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston