In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Rafael
on Sat, 05 May 2007 12:50:30 +0900
> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Artila's New Matrix-520 Industrial Grade Box Computer
>> ,----[ Quote ] Artila Electronics Co., Ltd., an emerging
>> force in the industrial PC solutions field, announced their
>> new ARM9-based, Linux-ready, industrial box computer -- the
>> Matrix-520. [...] Linux kernel version 2.6 serves as
>> the Matrix-520's open and powerful development platform
>> matched with a journaling flash file system (JFFS2), a
>> handy busybox utility collection, and secure network utilities
>> including SSH, SCP, and the popular boa web server. This
>> Linux package provides everything necessary for many
>> embedded applications. `----
> This is good news. A processor capable of being air cooled
> convectively (i.e., hot air rising from the cooling fins on heat
> sink draws in cooler air to dissipate heat) will be more robust.
> There is no cooling fan to fail and compromise cooling;
> convective cooling air is of slow enough velocity to not draw in
> dust to clog cooling fins and degrade cooling, requiring periodic
> labour to maintain.
> That coupled with the robustness of Linux makes for a good
> hardened server system. It should serve well in the industrial
> environment, would also serve well in applications like
> distributed intelligent metering, facilities energy management
> control systems, computer and telecommunications network routing
I dunno...I kinda like this idea, though I'd be worried
about spilling the oil, and mineral oil is flammable.
It turns out mineral oil is actually used in high-powered
transformers (though it's more refined in the latter case,
and, logically enough, called "transformer oil", at least
in Wiki) and is nearly ideal for this sort of thing.
The aquarium used basically functions as a rather large
heat reservoir, and the system didn't really get hot until
12 hours of use, with the processor stabilizing at about
88 degrees C. (They didn't bother to put cooling fins or
such thereon, though they did try a bubbler for effect --
and about all that did is stabilize the system at 84 C
instead of 88 C, and look interesting.)
Vegetable oil is mentioned as a substitute but it tends
to go rancid after awhile.
Ester FR3s are mentioned, but the Wiki link fails.
It is not clear how badly the power supply fan's motor is
affected by the increased resistance. Presumably it's not
a major problem, because the heat can be carried away by
Water is used as an internal coolant in some higher-end
modern systems, presumably with some chemicals to limit
algae growth and such. Its main advantage, from what I
can discern, is that it cuts down on dust accumulation
(though there are alternate solutions, such as Eracks,
which pipe the heat through copper to an outside radiator;
presumably Eracks' solution is somewhat quieter than a
suggests that a pump-driven system can run at 10F
over ambient air, which is rather impressive from a
cooling standpoint. Admittedly, if the pump gives out,
one has a problem -- but the same could be said of the
main processor fan on an air-cooled system, which has
the additional problem of dust. Of course ultimately
a pump-cooled system also rejects heat to the air, in
Puget's case through an opening in the top. (This might
be a problem for those who have a bad habit of putting
papers on top of their computers.)
For its part Eracks has their interesting
aforementioned fan-free solution. ($1995 base config.)
Dunno how silent it actually is, but most of the noise
will be from the hard drives, and the casing is designed
to deaden the noise.
(Somebody should tell this guy:
http://lowendmac.com/misc/2k0627.html :-) )
And yes, Eracks will happily install anything but Windows.
They offer about two dozen choices, among them Ubuntu,
Fedora, and Gentoo.
It turns out Artila is in a completely different market
The computer is actually tiny by desktop standards
(32MB SDRAM, 16MB Flash, USB, ethernet, and "TTY
ports" -- I'm not sure precisely what those are but
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS_232 suggests several
variants). It is primarily designed for embedded headless
run-only applications. ("Run-only"? Odd choice of
verbiage there; the modern microprocessor such as an Intel
can manage many TSS segments. "Running" is a complicated
business on a multitasking OS, especially with multicores.)
The form factor is about that of a hardback
book or 8-port router: 160 x 104 x 38.5 mm (or
6.3" x 3.9" x 1.5"). A minitower case would be
rather larger: 14.17" x 7.08" x 13.78", according to
which presumably is typical of many such minitower ATX
(For its part Eracks' tower is even bigger:
18.5" x 9.06" x 12.99".)
If one wants to get slightly ridiculous, one can go with
but I suspect that's pricier to obtain than mineral oil,
and unlike mineral oil will evaporate quickly during use.
A less radical variant simply puts the hot stuff into a
The main problem is condensation on the components, which
the author forestalls by using a commercially available
sealant. The cooler may have issues with a continually
running compressor, which may wear it out a little sooner
than under normal use, but that's about it.
even suggests a workaround, for the more conventional
compressor-driven freezer affairs: some water-filled
bottles next to the outside coils, and a fan to reject
the heat away.
Does anyone else remember the 1802?
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