Electronic Design

Rugged PC Platform Tackles Rural India

India’s economy may be exploding, but the boom has yet to reach many rural villages. These communities need 21st century communications if they want to benefit from the nation’s economic growth. Yet many of these areas present some significant environmental obstacles, making IT infrastructure development a real challenge.

That’s why Intel has developed the Community PC (see the figure). The platform’s chassis includes a removable dust filter. An integrated air fan keeps the motherboard cool at temperatures up to 45°C. And, the chassis can tackle humidity levels of 70 to 85 RH (relative humidity). But dust, heat, and humidity aren’t the only dangers in deployment.

Unreliable power sources make development difficult, too. Intel’s customized power-supply unit comprises an integrated power supply and the UPS, which let the PC maintain continuous load power during power outages. The total power consumption of all peripherals is less than 100 W as well.

Still, a rugged platform isn’t enough to guarantee that the technology will be adopted. Intel also established an outreach initiative known as Jaagruti (“awakening”) to provide greater economic and social opportunities to these communities. The company will collaborate with leaders in business, government, education, online services, and Internet service providers to promote the technology.

Specifically, the collaboration will support the spread of rural Internet kiosks based on the Community PC. Many entrepreneurs already have established such kiosks in villages all over India. These facilities offer access to government e-forms, like land records and marriage licenses, saving residents time and money in travel costs to complete routine paperwork.

With the Community PC’s rugged design, entrepreneurs can establish these kiosks in areas where they weren’t practical before. As the technology and infrastructure fall into place, economic opportunities will expand for villagers too, as the kiosks provide access to online services like e-mail and educational, business, and other resources.

Intel Corp.

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