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Test systems for Industrial IoT applications, such as for the recording of machine values over the entire production process or to monitor and control the production process to improve operating efficiency and quality, are typically not mass products, but complex, dedicated devices manufactured in short or medium-sized runs. For single-board-computer as a test system, it is often difficult to find a suitable mainboard with the corresponding interfaces and functions for the desired test or measurement application. The Computer-on-Module (COM) form factor provides an attractive option to create a suitable solution with short development times and low costs, even for a powerful miniature computer.

This Computer-on-Module (COM) form factor system already available on the market, consists of a modular COM Carrier and a COM Express Type 6 module. It has an edge length of 140 mm × 115 mm × 45 mm and features all the common PC interfaces, such as 2 GB Ethernet interfaces, 3 USB 3.0 ports, and one DisplayPort. But since most test systems are different per application, a flexible adaptation of the processor performance and interfaces is a necessity to avoid high development costs for each new use.

“At nVent SCHROFF, the COM-Nano system, is flexible configured, to meet the demand of a robust, compact system, while staying cost-efficient for our customers.”

Fast adaptation of the processor performance 

To enable fast processor performance adaptation, the COM Nano System is equipped with Congatec TC370 series modules, which have eighth-generation Intel processors (series i3, i5, i7). These modules work as mobile processors with four cores from Core i5 upwards and result in superior performance, especially for multi-core applications. Other features include up to 64 GB RAM, and m.2 NVMe SSD connected via PCIe and an external 12V power supply unit.

Easy adaptation to different IP levels with additional IP gasket 

The mechanical case design fits different IP levels and, therefore, adapts to several application requirements. The COM Nano System consists of a milled inner case, which also acts as the thermal interface for the processor and other thermal hot spots. An integrated EMC/IP gasket ensures ingress protection class IP53, protecting against dust and foreign particles, contact and falling water spray at up to 60 degrees from the vertical. A separate U-profile covers the inner case, providing thermal ingress protection. The available PC interfaces – 2× Gigabit Ethernet, 3× USB, and a DisplayPort– are recessed into the underside of the case. On the front of the case, there is a small control panel with a push button and a display to indicate the operating status and hard disk activity.

Excellent cooling performance with power dissipation of up to 25 W 

To meet the cooling requirements for a variety of applications, the COM Nano System is available in three configurations. In the first configuration, an integrated heat sink dissipates the heat passively. In the second configuration, a radial fan located within the fins of the heatsink supports the thermal transfer from the heat sink to the air. The third configuration provides the best thermal performance because a radial fan cools the electronic components that do not have a conduction-cooled thermal pathway and pushes air through the heat sinks as well. For configurations with fans, the design ensures IP protection because the downward-pointing, negative-V-shape of the cooling fins prevent water from entering the fan and the case interior.

COM Nano Cooling Concept