Do the math and it’s easy to understand why thousands of developers, technologists and business managers will be flocking to the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) next month in San Francisco. In addition to hundreds of hours of Technical Sessions and conversations with Intel engineers experienced in a variety of application topics, members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance will present their latest ideas in the Technology Showcase, helping designers  take projects to the next level.(To get a sneak peak of the event – and info on prizes for attendees – check out the embedded@Intel blog. And visit the IDF13 San Francisco page for the full agenda, travel, hotel and registration information.)


For example, ADLINK Technology plans to highlight how the power of intelligent systems applied to vehicles can assist bus fleet managers, drivers and passengers in daily municipal and commuter bus operations.  The company’s demonstration will show real-time positioning (via GPS tracking and mapping), two-way communication between drivers and dispatch,  vehicle status including mechanical health and condition, onboard public announcements, emergency notifications, emergency signaling, voice communication and even a live video feed.


Focusing on ADLINK’s new Matrix MXE-5400 rugged quad-core fanless computers, at IDF ADLINK will demo the interactive functions that a fleet operator’s back office can use to monitor bus systems such as if engine oil is getting too hot, if the bus is running low on fuel, or if it is traveling too slow or too fast..The ADLINK demo also will show how, by using GPS satellite technology, automatic vehicle location (AVL) can track the location of buses, ultimately resulting in increased fleet efficiency.

The demo further will illustrate how dispatchers can have full control over vehicles by setting alarms if the vehicle is out of its normal corridor as well as making voice calls to the driver, handling passengers’ requests and monitoring passengers via real-time video surveillance inside the bus. The demo will show how the connected back end server can send emergency calls triggered by bus activities.


Since  real-time vehicle and passenger information is critical for effective operations management in a daily dispatch environment the IDF demonstration also will present information that can be displayed on  the driver’s terminal as well as video and route data shown  in the passenger cabin (for example  passenger information indicating the next stop) . Other demonstrable Intelligent Vehicle activities include the ability to provide riders with more precise information about when buses will actually arrive at stops, enhancing passenger convenience.


ADLINK's MX5400 is based on the 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7 -4700EQ processor, the Intel® QM87 chipset and an Ethernet I/O comprising 4x GbE (with 3x Intel® 82574IT Gigabit single-port controller at 2.5 GHz plus one Intel® I217LM PHY) . The unit includes support for ADLINK’s SEMA (smart embedded management agent) and Intel’s® Active Management Technology 9.0, making it well suited for intelligent transportation applications. ADLINK’s SEMA was developed to resolve some shortcomings in today's embedded PC systems. The SEMA architecture consists of two parts: a hardware/driver layer and an application layer. The hardware/driver layer accesses the board management controller (BMC) directly through the onboard chipset via the System Management Bus (SMBus). The BMC handles all SEMA functionality in addition to performing system housekeeping such as start-up power sequencing and other similar functions. The application layer is for user interaction and reads commands and displays the data fetched by the BMC. As the interface to the hardware/driver layer is defined independently from the operating system, the application program can be easily ported between various operating systems. To that end versions for Windows and Linux are readily available.


The MXE-5400 delivers remote monitoring and control over embedded devices via the Internet. For embedded developers, using Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) allows devices to be diagnosed and repaired remotely regardless of whether they are powered up or whether they have a functioning OS.  Advanced management capabilities include remote system reboot—in the event of OS failure—and system disconnect from the web when malicious intrusion is detected. Intel AMT is part of the Intel® vPro™ technology offering.


The Haswell microarchitecture-based platform onboard also allows ADLINK to deliver up to double the graphics performance over previous generation devices. Built-in visual features, including Intel® Clear Video HD  technology and Intel® Quick Sync Video 2.0, deliver smoother visual quality, improved ability to decode and transcode simultaneous video streams, and outstanding HD media playback.


The MXE-5400 can support up to 3 independent displays without the need for a discrete graphics card and has a DVI-I plus 2 Display ports (see Fig. 1). Additionally, the platform supports next-generation graphics APIs,such as Microsoft DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.0, and OpenCL 1.2.


Figure 1 The MXE-5400 offers numerous I/O ports

The Intel® Core™ i7 -4700EQ processor offers quad-core capabilities with superior performance and a thermal design power (TDP) of 47W, configurable down to 37W. Manufactured on industry-leading 22nm process technology with 3D Tri-Gate transistors, the processor offers enhanced CPU, graphics and media performance.


Employing the Intel® Ethernet Controller I217 in MXE-5400 reduces power consumption in all power states compared to previous generations of Intel® controllers. While in active-idle, Intel has implemented Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), a new IEEE standard. With EEE, Intel has reduced the idle power of the Gigabit link from about 500 mW to just over 50 mW, providing a significant energy savings.  What’s more, the SEMA graphical hardware monitor displays how power consumption and temperature of the board develop over time. There are two temperature curves that can be shown, one for each of the two sensors on the board. These graphs help users to understand system behavior under different load situations.


To meet the requirements of bus fleet operators the ADLINK MXE-5400 has to provide ruggedness, including temperature and vibration resistance.  The unit can operate over a -20 to 60°C (-4°F to 140°F) wide temperature range and can withstand up to 100 G shock and 5 G vibration, making it ideal for deployment in harsh environments. Fanless construction also significantly extends MTBF to 190,000 hours and minimizes maintenance costs.

Optional wireless function enhancement for MXE-5400 include WCDMA, 802.11 a/b/g/n, BT3.0, 3G and AGPS. Additional I/O include two onboard SATA-III (6.0 Gb/s) ports, 6 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0, and 4 GbE ports.


IDF will take place September 10-12, 2013 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. See you there.

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ADLINK is an associate member of the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance

Murray Slovick

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance