Heitec Promo

Thoroughly Modular Millie

March 26, 2020
Heitec’s HeiSys modular platform lets designers populate a system using a range of third-party modules.

The title is a play on the movie musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. Heitec’s HeiSys modular system (Fig. 1) doesn’t have much in common with the madcap movie, but the name Millie also means strength and determination. The modular system espouses some of that with a host of sockets that allow a developer to incorporate a range of compute, interface, and wireless technologies without creating a custom motherboard to resorting to a slot- or stack-based solution.

The HeiSys supports a COM Express Type 6 processor as well as a SMARC card that can include an FPGA, providing even more peripheral and interface flexibility (Fig. 2). Dozens of vendors and cards are able to fill these slots as well as others on this modular platform.

On-board storage can be delivered via SATA SSD or NVMe M.2 modules. This provides plenty of storage options sufficient for most applications. Another shorter M.2 socket can be used for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

Four Mini-PCI Express sockets are found on the bottom of the board along with the M.2 sockets. These are typically used for additional wireless communication support. Industrial modules are available for LTE, 5G, UMTS, GSM, LPWA, and GPS/GLONASS. Additional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support can also be added here. SIM card sockets are paired with each module. The HeiSys platform targets industrial, data-communication, and railway applications.

Putting the more expensive components on modules drives down the cost of the carrier board. It also means there’s little overhead if only a few of the sockets are required for an application. The system can be housed in a rugged, conduction-cooled case with a customizable back panel. The power system is also contained within the case.

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