Embien with hands on experience in developing BSPs for various platforms has ported Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on to the Cubietruck board. This blog demonstrated a sample IoT application running on top of the Cubietruck/WinCE platform with internally generated data.

Windows Embedded Compact/Windows CE on Cubietruck

Cubietruck, powered by Allwinner A20, with its rich connectivity options is an ideal platform for IoT applications. The sub-100$ open source platform, when used with Windows CE, proves to be a powerful combination indeed leveraging the low-cost OS running .NET applications along with powerful software stack for IoT.

The board features the following

  • SoC: Allwinner A20
  • CPU: ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1 GHz dual-core
  • GPU: Mali-400 MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
  • Display: supports HDMI and VGA 1080P display output on-board
  • 2 GiB DDR3 @ 480 MHz
  • 8 GB NAND flash built-in
  • 1x microSD slot
  • 1x SATA 2.0 port (Hard Disk of 2.5″)
  • 10/100/1000 RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2x USB Host, 1x USB OTG, 1x CIR
  • S/PDIF, headphone, VGA and HDMI audio out, mic and line-in via extended pins
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board with PCB antenna (Broadcom BCM4329/BCM40181)
  • 54 extended pins including I2S, I2C, SPI, CVBS, LRADC x2, UART, PS2, PWMx2, TS/CSI, IRDA, LINEIN&FMIN, TVINx4 with 2.0 pitch connectors.

The below videos shows Windows CE on Cubietruck with a demo application used to render various graphical data.

IoT application Demo with WEC2013

Internet of Things and Smart Connectivity are transforming many industries and enabling manufacturers to contend with the challenges of today’s rapidly changing business environment. Microsoft is betting big on IoT by investing a lot on Windows 10 IoT platform. Its predecessor, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is also ideally suited for IoT applications. It supports a variety of connectivity options like WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth and USB. It enables the devices to be connected to Internet or the local network and share data. Intelligent action on the data can help gain deep insight to the process and used to device ways to improvise them. Powered by this Real Time OS, reliability and durability are assured.

Windows CE also supports programming interfaces such as Win32, MFC, ATL, and support for .NET applications, which include support for networking, internet browsers, media players, and so on. The small footprint, componentized, real-time operating system also supports SMP whereby it can run on multiple processor cores. Low cost licensing also relieves the user various risks associated when using unverified open source components. Security offered by the system is also very important consideration in today’s’ world.

The graphical visualization and data browsing shown in this basic IoT demo is only a very few of the potential possibilities with Windows CE running on Cubietruck. Data could be gathered from various sensors over multiple interface options available and sent to cloud like Azure, Bluemix etc and intelligent decisions taken. Quicker local decision could be taken in the system itself.

About Embien: Embien Technologies is a leading technology solution provider in Internet-of-Thing Technologies. An IDH for leading silicon vendor, Embien has successfully executed many projects like IoT in Wearables, M2M Connectivity etc. Also we offer solutions and services for Windows Embedded Compact (WinCE). We also offer boot optimization services to reduce the time to show the first application on boot and power optimization services to prolong battery life. Feel free to contact us for your Window CE BSP/Driver as well as embedded design services requirements.

 

Embien with its rich experience in embedded domain has ported the latest Windows Embedded Compact offering from Microsoft – WEC2013 on to the Cubieboard2 an open source hardware platform. On top of this BSP, a model medical application is demonstrated.

WEC2013/Windows CE on Cubieboard2

Cubieboard2, a successor to Cubieboard aka Cubieboard1, is a popular open hardware platform. Available at a low price tag of around $70, it offers a wide range of features.

Some of the major features include

  • SoC: Allwinner A20
  • CPU: ARM® Cortex™-A7 Dual-Core
  • GPU: ARM® Mali400MP2, Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3 @480M
  • Storage: 4GB internal NAND flash, up to 32GB on SD slot, up to 2T on 2.5” SATA disk
  • Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, optional USB Wifi
  • USB: Two USB 2.0 HOST, one mini USB 2.0 OTG
  • Display: 1x HDMI 1080P display output
  • Other: One IR
  • Extended Interfaces: 96 extend pin interface, including I2C, SPI, RGB/LVDS, CSI/TS, FM-IN, ADC, CVBS, VGA, SPDIF-OUT, R-TP, and more

This board is very popular because of its low cost yet powerful performance. More details of the same can be obtained from the product site http://cubieboard.org.

While the product supports various flavors of Linux and Android, Embien offers Windows CE support for the same. The Windows Embedded Compact 2013 BSP from Embien is a quality offering that enables power of Microsoft WinCE in the platform.

The below video shows Windows CE on Cubieboard2 along with a demo medical application.

Demo Medical Application on WinCE

As with any industry, nowadays medical devices needs intuitive user interface. Among the devices used for diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions, the monitoring equipment are the mostly used that require UI friendly design as well as durability.

Monitoring equipment’s for ECG, EEG, blood pressure etc. have become more of a norm and there is a huge market potential for such devices. These functionalities could be combined to one or as separate instruments. The device must also be fast enough combined with attractive pricing.

While there are many options for choosing the underlying OS for medical devices, WinCE still play an important role. While Android/Linux dodged by GPL licensing, Microsoft offers outright licensing model for Windows CE. The Real Time OS offers ease in certification process needed for medical instruments. Few market studies have claimed that the overall development cost with WinCE is less compared to other platforms.

In this demo, Embien demonstrates acquisition and rendering of various data including ECG, Pleth and NIBP plots. Patient details with their image are also displayed. Extra buttons such as start, record, menu, settings etc is provided on screen. All these UI elements are made to fit in 7 inch LCD display, suited for medical devices.

This demo Medical Application on WinCE shows the support of our Windows CE BSP- WEC2013 on Cubieboard2 along with our application development capabilities.

About Embien Technologies: Embien Technologies is a leading provider of embedded design services for the Semi-conductor, Industrial, Consumer and Health Care segments. We have specially developed expertise for Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact developments. Our extensive experience in working with medical technologies like ECG, SpO2, NIBP, Wearables, Vision charts 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 medical product/prototype development requirements or WinCE BSPs for Allwinner or any other processors.

 

Saravana Pandian Annamalai
13. August 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Industrial, Technology · Tags: , , , ,

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.