Research & Development

bandeau-intro-R&T

Imagining and developing technologies for tomorrow products

R & D at ECRIN Systems focuses on finding solutions to key technical challenges and on driving the necessary upstream studies for new market positions. Separated from the Engineering team, R & D imagines and develops our own ECRIN Systems’ products – such as ONYX, OPALE V2 or CRYSTAL series – to provide rapid solutions to customers’ technical specifications. The R & D team offers high-end technical added value which is essential for the competitiveness of the company. Thanks to its work, ECRIN Systems is able to implement cutting-edge technology solutions and focus on profitable market segments, imagining the products for tomorrow.

 

Built in Test

When dealing with complex digital systems, specific strategies must be implemented to ensure that the system is tested properly. It is impossible to test exhaustively all the components of the system.

The ONYX platforms from ECRIN Systems offers a full built in test solution:

  • The Power-on BIT mode is a firmware which analyzes all the components of the hardware platform at cold start with the highest possible degree of coverage (around 95%), to ensure that the system is in good operation condition before starting the customer application.
  • The continuous BIT mode runs from a background task on Linux. Periodically and non-intrusively, the task tests hardware components, checks the test conditions and analyzes the results.
  • The initiated BIT mode runs on operator demand. This consists of destructive and non-destructive test sequences during maintenance phases to detect failures, to replicate them and to identify the root-cause.

Thermal considerations

Developing a fanless system requires an extensive knowledge of the different ways to dissipate heat accumulated in the computer. There are actually three types:

  • Convection: heat is evacuated by the air fins
  • Conduction: heat is evacuated through a mechanical element. In the event of a temperature difference, the system will seek to restore balance by transferring calories from the hot area to the cold one. This is the principle of the cold plate.
  • Radiation: the infra-red energy emitted by a heating body heats the adjacent elements.

The technologies used to dissipate heat are different depending on the chosen heating system. The market most often offers several types of racks according to the desired cooling. ONYX patented system offers both cooling types in one sole rack.

ECRIN Systems use a thermal simulation software, CF Design, to study and solve all the heating phenomena. This software helped to develop ONYX, our rugged fanless embedded mission computer, integrating last generation Quad-Core I7 processor, 640-cores GPGPU, SSD’s, I/O mezzanines, … on board. ONYX is capable of operating between -40°C to +71°C. CF Design is also used during many systems development when the environmental conditions dictate the risk management.

Noise

Electronic platforms using powerful CPUs require a cooling system using forced airflow. Fan noise is not a problem in computer rooms, but noise level quickly becomes disturbing in a more muffled environment such as a conference room or submarine.

Noise is not only generated by the rotation of the fan, but also by the air driven along planed smooth mechanical parts, such as the steel sheet in a rack.
This is particularly true in case of 1U 19’’ rackmount chassis, where a very high density of materials is integrated in a restricted space and where the air flow must be very strongly pushed outwards in order to cool the embedded electronics properly.

ECRIN Systems works on noise reduction in its racks in partnership with research laboratories.