Cloud Computing, Enterprise

Supermicro Demos New Embedded Servers for Innovative Applications


Supermicro is widely known for their servers. In early March, they announced that more than 100 product platforms have been updated / newly created for the new Xeon E5 processor family. What caught our attention at their 2012 Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) booth, was a prototype configuration for a "Touchless Touch Screen" powered by new compact, low-power 5015A-EHF-D525 system.

Supermicro’s partner, Qualstar presented their concept of being able to have all the advantages of a touch screen without poking your finger onto the screen display. The device works by using two infrared cameras in the corners of the screen to create an invisible light curtain. When the user’s finger penetrates the curtain, the cameras triangulate its position.

Air Gap is ¼ inch to ½ inch between finger and screen surface
Air Gap is ¼ inch to ½ inch between finger and screen surface

The technology is scalable, and the company says its response time is 10 times faster than a typical touch screen, as well as one-tenth of the cost. The Touchless Touch Screen is ideal for kiosks, rear projection applications, and industrial controls. It has practical applications for restaurant and cafeteria menu displays, operating room control and data entry, and patient care room and nursing station displays. Most of the Touchless displays cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Supermicro?s and Qualstar’s joint approach can pay for itself in just a few months.

The big question is, does it really work? Watch this video and see for yourselves.

Supermicro’s Xeon X9 solutions can be divided into the following categories:

  • Supermicro Servers
  • Supermicro Serverboards
  • Supermicro SuperBlade

Supermicro product line for Xeon E5 Series

We saw some of Supermicro?s largest and smallest motherboards in their booth at ESC 2012. They showed high-end Dual Processor (DP) and Uni-Processor (UP) motherboards which are available in industry standard Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, Extended ATX and other form factors. They have a full line of motherboards aimed at the embedded marketplace.

Supermicro X9DRX+F motherboard with no less than 11 PCIe motherboards

They had an eleven slot PCIe motherboard with dual socket R (LGA 2011) supporting Intel?s newest Xeon processor, E5-2600, with up to 512GB DDR3 memory in 16x 240-pin DIMM sockets.

Supermicro booth at the ESC 2012

Supermicro has Industrial PC (IPC) chassis offerings in 2U and 4U rack mountable all the way up to industry standard floor mounted rack cabinet?s of 42U tall. There are chassis with short-depth configurations for space constrained applications (1U is standardized as multiples of 1.75 inches or 44.45 mm. The front panel for IPC is19 inches or 482.6 mm wide and the depth can be from 18 inches to 36 inches.).

4U short-depth IPC, 11PCI-E motherboard, Intel E-2600 CPUs with coolers
4U short-depth IPC, 11PCIe motherboard, Intel E-2600 CPUs with coolers

The Intel E5 Xeon processors are said to have 20 percent more performance over the previous generation with a proportional lowering of power consumption. The power consumption reduction is always the head-turner in data center management.

Supermicro is famous for building their own power supplies which are some of the most efficient in the data centers. Most entry-level desktop power supplies have less than 82 percent efficiency. Supermicro added a built-in battery backup new high-efficiency 95 percent+ digital power supplies and 99.9 percent efficient BBP modules. Supermicro’s UPS battery backup modules are designed for high-availability, easy maintenance and are completely self-contained hot-swappable units, charging and delivering power through the internal connector.

Supermicro Battery Backup Power Module
Battery Backup Power Module

At the other end of the motherboard offering, Supermicro had a SuperServer 5015A-EHF-D525, short-depth (9.8 inches) mini 1U chassis with Intel Atom dual core, D525 processor (Pineview-D) processor, fanless, with up to 4GB of non-ECC, DDR 3 800/667MHz memory. The chassis is configured with 5 USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4 STA ports with RAID (0, 1, 5, 10) support, and a high efficiency power supply.

Supermicro has a large design and manufacturing facility in Silicon Valley and worldwide operations centers in the Netherlands and Taiwan. The company sells their product through a global group of distributors. If you have need for a serious industrial PC for just about any project, we recommend looking at Supermicro.