ISE 2017 Catch-Up

sdm card image

As a friend has often said to me, covering major events is like ‘trying to drink from the fire hose’, so you never catch everything at the time. However, we like to cover as much as we can, so if we find things after the end of our report creation, we like to catch up. Here are a number of stories that for one reason or another, didn’t make it into our main report.

Intel Forgets to Mention OPS+

Although we met with Intel (and wrote up the Unite platform (ISE 2017 Round Up)), the company somehow missed telling us that it has updated the OPS platform to OPS+ and the SDM. After its launch by Intel and NEC, OPS has been widely adopted as a standard for digital signage to allow the connection, mainly, of bigger and better processors, and also, to a lesser extent, for adding special interfaces, such as SDI for broadcast environments. NEC has even used OPS in high end desktop monitors to allow cusomisation of inputs. However, OPS was designed several years ago, and as it is based on existing interfaces, including display interfaces, there was a need for an update. Last year, Intel and Sharp launched mini-OPS, but with extremely limited support so far.

So OPS+ has been developed. It is based on the same form factor as OPS (180 x 119 x 30mm), but has better thermal design to allow up to Xeon E3 processors (<45W TDP). The slot has been designed to be backward compatible with existing OPS, but adding an extra connector for high speed connections which are

  • Up to 3 USB 3.0 connections
  • 1 PCIe x4 bus
  • 1 display up to 8K or up to three 4K displays
  • Intel-based hardware security
  • Other extended features

Intel also introduced the Smart Display Module which is designed to be a module that can compete with integrated SoCs. The module is much smaller than OPS at 60mm x 100mm x 20mm (max). It has a power budget up to 20W for support of Core Y processors (<10W TDP) and Intel has a reference design as well as a specification. The card has the high speed connector and PCIe bus as seen in the OPS+ specification. ViewSonic said that it would use the SDM modules in interactive flat panels and digital signage.

Intel’s Smart Display Module

The range of solutions for embedding processors is completed by the Intel Compute Card which was announced at CES. This module, which is 94.5 x 55 x 5mm (with an integrated locking dock mechanism) uses an integrated USB Type-C connector with DisplayPort and HDMI as well as Wi-Fi and bluetooth. Processors can be integrated (up to 6W TDP) which allows Intel Core with vPro. Partners are Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sharp. As well as allowing very small and upgradeable smart signs and kiosks, Intel has suggested that notebook makers could create systems with upgradeable CPUs or where users could carry the Compute Card and plug into different I/O systems. Systems using the Compute Card may appear later in the year.

intel compute cardIntel’s Compute Card

AOpen and Intel have also collaborated on the AOpen Visual Data Reference Design which is intended to support applications with high level of data and analytics, such as digital signage, video use cases, analytics and virtualisation. The DE7400XE houses an Intel Xeon E3 v5 processor, handles three independent UHD screens, has full HEVC (H.265) hardware acceleration and simultaneously drives up to four external Sata hard disks.

Finally, Intel’s Jose Avalos has put his support behind the Retail Digital Signage Expo in London, on May 8th and 9th. We attended that event last year and were impressed.

Scala to Move into Hardware

scalaSoftware supplier, Scala, which was recently taken over by Stratacache (Stratacache Acquires Scala for Global Expansion), is to expand its range of deliverables to include hardware. The first products will be media players, due in the second quarter, and tablets for PoS applications as well as small displays for signage applications. These products will allow the company to offer complete support in the retail vertical market, which was emphasised at ISE. The company also said that it will have a major new release in early 2018 with a new user interface, better functionality and high level device monitoring and reporting.

Samsung Video Wall Models Are New

Two of the video wall products that we saw at the show from Samsung that we had thought were existing products, were actually new ones. There was a long delay between the first showing of this series at CES and Infocomm in 2016 but they are now about to start shipping. The UHF video wall displays are available in 55″ (UH55F-E) and 46″ ((UH46F5). They are both FullHD displays with 700 cd/m² of output and narrow bezels, now rated at 1.7mm (pixel to pixel). Inputs include dual HDMI, DVI, VGA and DisplayPort. The UH46F5 is shipping from the end of ISE at €2,335 and the UH55F-E in March at €8,009.

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