Industrial Computer Hardware

Multiple HDMI digital signage solution

March 2013 Industrial Computer Hardware

Advantech has introduced the AIMB-201DS, a new industrial-grade Mini-ITX motherboard powered by third generation Intel Core i processors with Intel HD graphics and DX1 support. The board supports three independent HDMI displays with CEC function to provide multi-display and audio outputs simultaneously. AIMB-201DS is a slim design and can be integrated in ultra low profile thermal solutions such as Advantech’s slim box system. Moreover, it comes integrated with SUSIAccess remote management and Acronis recovery softwares. AIMB-201DS is an ideal platform for the signage market and can deliver advanced graphics performance for many signage applications such as FIDS (flight information display system), menu board systems in restaurants and transportation and public service applications.

Three independent HDMI displays and excellent graphics performance

AIMB-201DS mini-ITX motherboard has three HDMI independent displays with CEC (consumer electronics). CEC controls brightness, sound, and on/off status. It allows HDMI devices to control each other and lets the user operate multiple devices with one remote control handset. By using AIMB-201DS with three HDMI independent displays and audio output in the airport for example, it could independently display the flight schedule, passenger guides, and tourism information simultaneously. The board also has I/O connectivity with up to one LAN, one serial port, one USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports.

Smart thermal solutions

The system uses a heat pipe thermal solution for its slim box system. The heat pipe covers the CPU and PCH and manages the temperature of the system. Customers can also choose an AIMB mobile cooler to use with AIMB-201DS as well. Both thermal solutions were designed with a smart fan function. The smart fan function can protect the system from overheating and minimise fan noise. It starts running when temperatures reach preset values and stops when temperatures drop below safety values. However, in many cases when an OS has crashed, such applications (running outside the OS) lose their thermal protection. In contrast with traditional smart fan solutions, Advantech’s iManager 2.0 runs on the controller chip embedded directly on AIMB-201DS and can work independently to keep the smart fan functional to provide the best thermal protection for the system.

Advanced intelligent management – iManager inside

iManager 2.0 provides a multi-level WDT (watch dog timer ) to provide ultimate hardware protection by monitoring and minimising code execution errors and resetting the system if any occur. iManager 2.0’s WDT will automatically restart an application, soft-start the OS, or completely reboot the system by sending an IRQ & SCI/SMI reboot signal to the platform. AIMB-201DS’ advanced WDT provides advanced multi-level protection able to respond to many different types of events. With iManger’s WDT inside, AIMB-201DS allows customers to perform soft-starts and auto-reboots for their signage applications if necessary.

Advantech also provides drivers and APIs including GPIO, SMBus, watchdog timer, hardware monitoring, panel backlight on/off, and brightness control functions. Supported operating systems include Windows 8, Windows 8 Embedded, Windows 7, Windows 7 Embedded, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded and Linux – hardware drivers for all these OS are readily available.

For more information contact Fons de Leeuw, Profitek, 086 165 4321,,


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