Westervile, Ohio - Micro Industries Corp. today will roll out a "transaction terminal" package, including two Pentium 4-based motherboards and an LCD touchscreen, aimed at point-of-service applications.
The electronics package, designed for use in retail kiosks and automated teller machines, employs two new microprocessors and a new chip set from Intel Corp. The 1.7-GHz mobile Pentium 4 processor-M, the 2.4-GHz Pentium 4 processor and the Intel 845E chip set, all of which are incorporated in the new boards, were unveiled on June 25.
Known as the Touch & Go Messenger transaction terminal system, the Micro Industries electronics package offers developers a choice of more traditional Pentium 4 desktop-type technology or low-power technology. The mTG845 motherboard is based on a Pentium 4 processor and the 845E chip set; the mTG845LP motherboard uses the 845E chip set and the Mobile Pentium 4 processor-M, which is aimed at lower-power applications.
"This way we can provide desktop performance and mobile performance in applications that need low power and lower heat dissipation for interactive client applications," said Michael Curran, chief executive officer of Micro Industries.
The boards also feature high-performance graphics control, 32 Mbytes of dedicated graphics memory and direct drive to a high-resolution liquid-crystal display. The direct drive is designed for use with a 20.1-inch LCD, with a choice of a Sharp 1,600 x 1,200-pixel high-resolution color display, NEC 640 x 480-pixel low-resolution color display or Sharp 1,600 x 1,200 high-resolution monochromatic display.
Micro Industries executives said the Intel chips' combination of high performance and low power is ideal for point-of-sale applications. "The 12-inch and 15-inch displays that are classically used on the desktop are just not adequate for retail applications," Curran said. "We are seeing a trend toward larger and larger displays, and as we get into those sizes, we need greater processing power to support them."
Curran said Micro Industries worked with the Embedded Intel Architecture Division (Chandler, Ariz.) to provide a stable environment for embedded users, who typically cannot afford to recertify their software every nine to 12 months, as desktop users often do.
"We have customers that are looking at deploying systems throughout their retail chains over three to four years," Curran said. "If they were using standard desktop technology, they would have a significant problem trying to control the obsolescence of the technology over that period of time."
The company wanted products that "could be kept available for five to seven years or even longer," said Paul Buckley, market-development manager for the Embedded Intel Architecture Division.
Along with the Pentium 4 processors, Micro Industries' mTG845 and mTG845LP motherboards support up to 2 Gbytes of double-data-rate synchronous DRAM memory technology. They also include an Intel 82551QM memory controller, SigmaTel AC'97 sound chip, Silicon Motion Cougar 3DR Graphics Controller and Philips NE 1614 Heceta system hardware monitor. Pricing for the Touch & Go Messenger package starts at $1,995.
On the Intel side, pricing for the Pentium 4 processor at 2.4 GHz starts at $400 in 1,000-unit quantities. The Mobile Pentium 4 processor-M at 1.7 GHz starts at $241 in the same quantities.