This project focuses on developing oil and gas extraction gateways that facilitate the collection and transmission of data to the cloud for high-performance digital monitoring. Thousands of gateways are deployed across countries, allowing authorized users to remote control devices and applications simultaneously. Therefore, the gateways must have good signal conversion capability to transmit data smoothly and stably between the cloud and the edge. Additionally, due to hot and dangerous working conditions, the gateways must be able to maintain stable operation in harsh and high-temperature environments. According to the market assessment, a good gateway design enhances end users’ management performance by providing excellent environmental adaptation, stable deployment, reliability, and security.
Heavy industries include petrochemical, shipbuilding, metallurgy, steel, mining, heavy machinery manufacturing, etc. Operating conditions are harsh in these industries. Furthermore, multiple machines are running simultaneously, causing high temperatures, high pressures, and high humidity. Therefore, products must be able to withstand harsh and severe environments and pass the IECex international explosion-proof certification and ATEX European Union explosion-proof certification. Products that meet the standards are certified to be safe for use in specific explosive situations in their certified areas and to ensure the safety of operators. Additionally, the stability of network transmission is another challenge. Today, industrial wireless devices are an important framework for IoT solutions. In harsh environments where wired networks are difficult to deploy, it is preferable to have a wireless network design for connecting to remote management systems and transmitting historical data over the network to ensure seamless monitoring and data retention. Data security is crucial to gateways as they are located between end devices and public networks, making them prime targets for hackers. Therefore, having reliable gateways requires security mechanisms in both software and hardware.
Environment adaptation: In order to function properly in heavy industries, the motherboard must be able to support a wide range of temperatures (-40C° to 85C°), as well as the eMMC, RAM, and SSD. Furthermore, Portwell’s cooling components are used in the fanless chassis to ensure the best performance in harsh climates.
Regulatory compliance: To ensure safety and stability in harsh environments, as well as to allow the final device to be legally sold internationally, the motherboard must comply with CE and FCC regulations, and the entire device must be certified for explosion resistance by IECex and ATEX.
Remote control: The product should design to support multiple remote wireless signals for uploading collected data to the cloud. Users should also be able to access a third-party SaaS console remotely to integrate information or update software.
Complete I/O interface: Aside from basic ports, such as SATA III, USB 2.0/3.1, and Ethernet, other interfaces, such as UART RS-232 and RS-485UART, are also required, along with at least 4 to 5 PCIe slots.
Customization: The motherboard requires larger storage of eMMC chips than the industry standard to store the operating system or other applications. For software and firmware, assistance is needed with a customized BIOS for Debian 11 operating system development. Additionally, the functional compatibility of the partner’s self-developed backplane requires Portwell’s assistance in reviewing and testing.
Data security: The gateway is used in a wide geographical area, even involving the use of multiple devices across countries. To improve its security, the devices should be protected from external attacks and be able to encrypt data during transmission and decrypt it once it arrives at the terminal. It is crucial for software, hardware, and firmware to work together so as to achieve this goal.
Portwell’s Type 6 Compact COM Express® (95x95mm) module PCOM-B645VG meets not only the above challenges and requirements but is also suitable for small form factor chassis. Equipped with Intel Atom® x6000, and Pentium® N and J series processors, it offers a higher 3.0GHz Turbo mode than the end user’s default setting. There is an option for ultra-low power consumption in this product generation. It meets customers’ requirements for a fanless system design without sacrificing wide-range temperature support. The motherboard itself also supports full I/O expansion. To ensure the product’s international usability and safety, Portwell’s PCOM-B645VGL meets customers’ hardware needs for gateway devices and passes CE and FCC certifications as well.
Responding to the project requirement of security, PCOM-B645VG uses TPM 2.0 Intel® AES, which utilizes advanced encryption and decryption to improve the speed and security of applications. Additionally, Portwell has enhanced the Intel® Root of Trust functionality in software and firmware in order to provide an additional layer of protection if unauthorized code or settings are loaded or executed by a third party. The new generation of Intel Atom® x6000 series introduces in-band ECC technology, which enables autonomous error detection without the need for ECC memory modules, achieving a win-win solution with high reliability at low cost.
Gateway applications must be able to access and control terminals remotely and upload data to the cloud. PCOM-B645VG supports a variety of PCIe signal designs including Wi-Fi and 4G LTE modules with high-speed and large data transfers, and LoRa with low power consumption and wide transmission range. The system will switch according to different network conditions to ensure the stability of historical data transmission. With great compatibility, the motherboard can install Google Coral TPU to accelerate machine learning, making it the ideal solution for intelligent industrial control. PCOM-B645VG’s processor also features Intel® TCC/TSN technology, which helps shorten the response time and speed up data transmission. In addition, end-users can cooperate with other SaaS software vendors to develop OTA (Over-the-air programming) functions, making the module system update management more efficient and secure.
In this project, Portwell is not only committed to developing hardware but also provides consultation and reviews for customers’ schematic design of backplanes. It helps customers significantly reduce R&D time and cost and improves system stability. Moreover, Portwell has a strong design team and sufficient expertise to support the creation of ODM backplanes from scratch. Portwell’s BIOS, EC, and software teams can modify the system in accordance with the client’s functional requirements to design and manufacture the perfect solution for our partners.
Portwell was founded in 1993, which has given it an advantage over market trends in its 29 years of experience. With innovative R&D and design capabilities, excellent product quality, professional technical support, and smooth logistics, we provide our customers with complete solutions. Our mission is to be the best partner in our customers’ growth, as well as the leading brand for industrial and embedded computer solutions.