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Based on the “Skylake” 6th generation Core i7 U series processor with PassMark rating up to 4800, Venus offers the highest available CPU performance in a small form factor rugged SBC with modest power consumption. It incorporates a full suite of rugged features such as soldered memory, latching connectors, a thicker PCB, and true -40/+85ºC operating temperature, making it suitable for the most demanding vehicle applications. High I/O density, multiple expansion sockets, rugged design, modest power consumption of 14W, and wide temperature operation combine to make Venus an extremely attractive option for applications requiring high CPU performance or ruggedness.
Venus is available with a choice of Intel “Skylake U” 6th generation Core i7 processors. Enabled by Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, The Skylake 6th generation core processors provide users with faster computing power and aid in multitasking, and multimedia tasks. Additionally, the larger cache (on board memory) size available on these processors help with repetitive tasks that can impact processor speed. The U series provides the full processor circuit in a single package for space savings and keeps power consumption down to a modest 14 watts for the entire board (not including attached peripherals).
Venus supports 3 simultaneous independent displays, VGA, HDMI, and dual channel LVDS LCD. The HDMI port is capable of 4K screen resolution. Mass storage options include SATA DOM, mSATA, and a connector for an external SATA drive (all ports are SATA III capable). Diamond offers a series of MLC and SLC mSATA and SATA DOM modules with wide temperature qualification for use with Venus.
Wide Range of I/O
The 3.5 inch form factor enables Venus to include an impressive range of I/O features on a single board while retaining a small form factor profile. Connectivity includes 4 RS-232/422/485 serial ports, 6 USB ports (4 are USB 3.0 capable), dual gigabit Ethernet ports, and 16 digital I/O lines.
The 4 serial ports support RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 protocols. Protocol selection as well as all other configurations are fully software programmable and may be configured in the BIOS for convenience or controlled via an application program. For RS-422 and RS-485, line termination resistors are also provided and are programmable.
Venus is available in two models, the higher performing model (VNS766-4GD) with the Intel i7 6th Generation Core Processor, and the second with the Intel i5 6th Generation Core Processor.
Venus is available in a complete development kit that includes a full set of I/O cables and a SATA Disk-on-Module SATA DOM) with your choice of operating system pre-installed. Available operating systems are Linux (Ubuntu 16.04), Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. Other OS support is available by consultation. For customers who already have a Venus SBC or who have multiple boards, the programmed SATA DOM is also available for individual purchase.
Venus Cable Kits
The Venus cable kit, CK-VNS-01, includes cables for all I/O connectors with the exception of the HDMI cable which is included with cable kit, CK-VNS-02.
Venus has a SATA DOM socket and a second SATA connector. All ports are SATA III compliant.
A multi-use MiniCard socket auto-selects for either a PCIe MiniCard or mSATA flashdisk. This dual function socket can be used to add compact additional I/O or mass storage to your system. The dedicated SATA connector can be used with off-board SATA devices and also supports use of a board-mounted miniature SATA disk-on-module for a smaller overall system envelope with less cables. Most I/O on Venus utilizes latching I/O connectors for enhanced ruggedness and reliability. Venus has a SATA DOM socket and a second SATA connector. All ports are SATA III compliant.
Venus provides 4 RS-232/422/485 ports using multiprotocol transceivers, one per port. All configuration features are fully programmable as well as configurable in the BIOS screens, including protocol and line termination for RS-422/485. In RS-458 mode, both echo and no-echo modes are supported. The expansion connectors use 22mm stacking height to provide more clearance for installed minicards.
Venus supports two 10/100/1000 high speed Gigabit Ethernet ports derived from Intel I210IT PCIe Gigabit Ethernet controllers. A latching connector is used to bring these ports off board instead of RJ-45 jacks, optimizing space on the board and increasing ruggedness. Activity status of the Ethernet ports can be read from LEDs.
In addition to the already high level of onboard I/O, Venus also provides great expansion flexibility, including both a OneBank Plus (PCIe/104 + PCI-104) socket and 2 full-size MiniCard sockets.
The compact OneBank expansion connector provides high performance PCIe expandability in a stacking format. The expansion connectors use 22mm stacking height to provide more clearance for installed minicards. It supports up to 3 PCIe/104 Type 1 and Type 2 add-on modules along with PCIe/104 OneBank I/O modules with PCIe x1 host interface, while conserving board space and reducing total system cost. The companion PCI-104 connector supports PCI-104 modules for compatibility with an even greater array of I/O modules. (Use of PC/104-Plus modules will require removing the PC/104 ISA connector to avoid interference with the OneBank connector.)
The top side MiniCard socket supports full-size PCIe and USB MiniCards as well as mSATA Disk-on-Modules. The bottom side socket supports full-size and half-size PCIe MiniCards.
Venus is equipped with latches on the serial ports for added protection in harsh environments.
Venus incorporates a full suite of rugged features such as latching connectors, a thicker PCB, and soldered memory, making it suitable for the most demanding vehicle applications.
Most I/O connectors use a true locking design to ensure reliable operation in high vibration environments. The 50% thicker PCB along with 8 mounting points provides greater rigidity to minimize the possibility of solder joint failure from vibration.
The 4GB soldered memory may be upgraded to as high as 20GB using Diamond’s unique RSODIMM rugged memory modules, which are designed to withstand MIL-STD-202G shock and vibration specifications. Standard DDR4 SODIMM modules may also be used for convenience.
Innovative Conduction Cooling
The Venus heat spreader includes a number of innovations to provide system designers with flexibility and confidence. The bottom side contains a depression for an included thermal pad for optimum thermal contact with the enclosure surface. A series of English and Metric mounting holes are available for installation. A mounting tab accessory kit enables convenient installation from the inside of the enclosure to eliminate concerns of violating the enclosure’s environmental integrity.The bottom side heat spreader on Venus provides the most efficient cooling solution in a weight-optimized design, enabling Venus to run reliably at up to 85ºC. The heat spreader conducts heat directly to the system chassis for maximum heat dispersion to the ambient environment and minimum radiation into the enclosure interior. By reducing the interior temperature, Venus helps to improve overall system reliability. In addition the bottom side heat spreader leaves the entire top side of the board free for expansion and memory modules, simplifying system configuration and maintenance.
Rugged Mission Computer Systems
If you’re looking for a complete rugged embedded computer solution, check out our Raptor rugged computer systems using Venus in an enclosure with MIL-DTL-38999 connectors, MIL-STD-202G shock/vibration specs, MIL-STD-461 compliance, and IP67 environmental rating. These systems can be customized to include additional I/O boards as well as customer-specific connector arrangements.
Venus includes 4GB of DDR4-2133MHz memory soldered on board for enhanced ruggedness. The memory size may be upgraded to as high as 20GB using standard DDR4 SODIMM modules in 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB capacity.
In addition to standard SODIMM modules, Venus supports Diamond’s unique RSODIMM™ Rugged SODIMM memory for enhanced protection against vibration. RSODIMM modules are exactly like standard SODIMM modules except they have a small PCB extension that provides two mounting holes to fix the module to the SBC more reliably.