Exploring the Capabilities of the Ultra Compact UC-1222A and UC-2222A-T RISC Devices

News02 Apr 2024
Author: Louisa Rochford
Exploring the Capabilities of the Ultra Compact UC-1222A and UC-2222A-T RISC Devices
  • Armv8 Cortex-A53 dual-core 1 GHz processor.
  • 2 LAN, 2 RS-232/422/485, and 1 USB ports.
  • -40 to 60°C plus extended 75°C operating temperature range.
  • Security functions compliant with IEC 62443-4-2 SL2.
  • CE, FCC, and UL certifications.

Every nanosecond matters when it comes to embedded systems, where efficiency and optimal resource utilisation are a necessity. With reduced hardware complexity that allows for effective resource optimisation, compact RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) computers are essential tools for fast data-acquisition applications. These devices prioritise precise, real-time processing, offering high performance in a small package.

There are many practical advantages of compact RISC computers in the context of data acquisition, for which Moxa’s UC-1222A and UC-2222A-T, the latest models in their UC-1200 and UC-2200 series, are prime examples. They are compact, fanless industrial computers built for space-critical automation applications. Featuring super-efficient RISC architecture, these miniature computers are optimised for efficient processing for IIoT applications and more.

RISC Architecture in a Minute Form Factor

RISC is a computer architecture philosophy that uses a small, highly optimised set of instructions, or commands, to perform operations. The idea is to streamline the instruction set to include only the most frequently used and essential instructions, aiming for simplicity and, therefore, efficiency.

In a RISC architecture, each instruction typically performs a single, well-defined operation, and the instructions are executed in a single clock cycle. This results in faster and more efficient processing of instructions compared to Complex Instruction Set Computing (CISC) architectures, which have a larger and more diverse set of instructions.

RISC architectures are known for their ability to deliver high performance, especially in specific computing tasks, by optimising the execution of instructions and minimising the overhead associated with complex instruction decoding. The UC-1222A and UC-2222A-T, being compact RISC computers, utilise these principles to provide efficient computing capabilities in a smaller form factor.

Super-Efficient ARM Computing

The Armv8 Cortex-A53 is a 64-bit processor architecture designed by ARM Holdings. The Cortex-A53 is part of the ARM Cortex-A family, which is commonly used in various devices such as smartphones, tablets, embedded systems, and more.

The Cortex-A53 is designed with a 64-bit instruction set architecture, allowing it to handle larger amounts of data and address more memory than 32-bit architectures. It has a dual-core processor, meaning two individual processing cores are on the chip. Having multiple cores allows for better multitasking and parallel processing. The Cortex-A53 is designed to run at a clock speed of 1 gigahertz (1 billion cycles per second).

The Armv8 Cortex-A53 dual-core 1GHz configuration is suitable for applications where power efficiency and moderate performance are important, such as in embedded systems, single-board computers and low-power devices that require low energy consumption.

UC-1222A and UC-2222A-T Differences, Certifications and Other Benefits

Differences

The core difference between the two models is that the UC-2222A-T has the addition of LTE cellular, a GPS antenna connector, and an extended temperature range. This means it can operate at temperatures as high as 75°C, 15 degrees hotter than the UC-1222A that is operable up to 60°C.

Another difference between the two models is the size and weight. While both have an impressively small form factor, the UC-1222A has the dimensions 27mm x 101mm x 128mm with a weight of 224g, whereas the UC-2222A-T has the dimensions 32mm x 102mm x 128mm and a weight of 546g.

Certifications

In addition to these features, both devices are CE, FCC, and UL certified.

  • CE means that they meet the EU requirements for safety, health, and environmental regulations.
  • The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is a certification for the United States that ensures these devices comply with regulations to prevent interference with other electronic equipment and radio communications.
  • UL certification is provided by Underwriters Laboratories, an independent safety science company. UL certification indicates that a product has undergone testing for safety and meets specific standards established by UL. It is commonly associated with electrical and electronic products but extends to various industries.

  • Additionally, they support the new IEC 62443-4-2 SL2 standard, which focuses on the cybersecurity of industrial automation and control systems (IACS) components in industrial environments. This brings several advantages, including enhanced security measures such as access controls and encryption, effective risk mitigation against intentional violations, and assurance of operational continuity. Adhering to SL2 demonstrates the commitment to robust security, the protection of sensitive information and providing adaptability to evolving cybersecurity threats, all within an internationally recognised framework. Ultimately, achieving IEC 62443-4-2 SL2 compliance contributes to a more secure and resilient industrial ecosystem.

    Other Benefits

    Aside from its RISC architecture and powerful processor, both devices are also DIN-rail mountable and feature wide and extended temperature ranges. Industrial devices with a broad temperature range, like the UC-1222A and UC-2222A-T, offer robust performance in challenging environments. The ability to function across such broad temperature spectrums is essential for industries with extreme operating conditions, such as manufacturing plants, oil and gas facilities, or outdoor installations. Devices designed for a -40°C to 60°C range provide resilience against temperature fluctuations, ensuring reliable operation in environments with harsh winters or hot summers.

    Similarly, devices with an extended range of up to 75°C are well-suited for applications subjected to even higher temperature demands, providing flexibility for use in regions with intense heat or within equipment generating significant internal heat. This extended temperature capability enhances the overall longevity of these industrial devices, contributing to increased operational efficiency and reduced downtime in challenging settings.

    Both devices come pre-installed with Moxa Industrial Linux (MIL), Moxa’s high-performance industrial-grade OS. MIL is a Debian-based distribution, meaning that access to the comprehensive repository of packages from Debian is available and it has field-proven OS stability. MIL also features a robust file system, providing additional protection during firmware upgrades such as the reliability from guaranteed system operation during power losses and reset-to-default function built into the system. Another benefit from Moxa’s OS is its long-term support, with security updates and high-priority bug fixes provided during its 10-year lifecycle.


    Embedded Computing with Industry Insight

    As an official distributor of Moxa devices, Impulse is committed to delivering advanced industrial solutions with excellent post-sale support. Our dedication extends beyond the transaction, offering lifelong technical support to ensure your Moxa devices operate seamlessly throughout their lifecycle. Through our partnership with Moxa, we can deliver technical support backed by our proficient team of specialists in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) who are ready to assist you at every stage of the process. Our dedicated technicians and lifelong technical support give you the support needed to ensure longevity for all your Moxa products after purchase.


    For more information, please get in touch with our knowledgeable team at 01782 337 800 or email sales@impulse-embedded.co.uk.

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