Low-cost MicroBrowser panel
Touch panels in different display sizes to best possible price / performance ratio!
While control systems / PLCs have become more and more favorable over the last few years, the market prices for touch panels have rather increased.
Any cost reductions at the used processors were offset by higher visualization requirements, which called for new, more powerful processors, again.
By Cortex M3 / M4 – SpiderControlTM embedded design was used to open up this price spiral and at the same time enable functions such as alpha-blending, transparency and capacitive touch as a standard Windows CE OS, which was previously not supported.
A new category of web (server) panel – you wonder how is that possible?
The new category of web (server) panel – how is that possible?
The answer is simple: so far, the hardware architecture for the control of a TFT display was always based on the conventional PC concept. Microprocessor, external DRAM and Flash as well as various peripherals and a graphical operating system, such as Linux or WinCE. Even though the necessary chips have become permanently cheaper, the mechanical design of the circuit boards has a certain complexity and the possible cost reductions are somehow limited.
But now, devices based on an embedded microcontroller architecture, which has so far hardly been used for the application as TFT panels, have come onto the market. Since microcontrollers are used in high numbers, practically in all electrical devices, extremely favorable designs can be realized. Due to the miniaturization of the electronics, microcontrollers such as ARM Cortex M3 / M4 have appeared on the market, which combine just enough memory and functions on the chip to integrate the panel function on such a simple system. The MicroBrowser can be ported to these devices thanks to its compact design and it even works without an operating system.
Thus, TFT panels are first available at € 100.00 in the market.
But how can I benefit as a user?
If you use CoDeSys Web-Visu or a SpiderControlTM-OEM product, the MicroBrowser can be connected simply because it is compatible with these products. The effort is equal to zero. If the PLC does not have a web server, this can also be used by means of a fieldbus protocol, such as ISO-TCP for Simatic or Modbus. The web server is then located on the panel. This gives you an HTML5-capable web visualization that you can access from other external clients, such as a smartphone, tablet or PC.
Are complex software redesigns necessary?
As a manufacturer of SpiderControlTM software, we can offer the complete HMI software development at a fixed price. The advantage is that the costs can be reliably calculated and planned. The customer does not take any risk. The customer can calculate the amortization time of the investments immediately and receives as a bonus the connectivity on smartphones and to the cloud, if desired.
Which devices are available?
In this type of HMI you are not tied to any specific manufacturer, there are variety of offers. The devices are available in various sizes. 4.3″, 7″ to add 15″ panels are available with resisitive and capacitive touch.
MicroBrowser panels and web server panels based on the Cortex M Designs.
Panels with Cortex M3 / M4 design are available from several manufacturers.
On request, we will send you further information. For more information, click here.
Do you have CoDeSys Web-Visu in use and problems with the Java applet?
Then the SpiderControlTM MicroBrowser is the right choice for you on a PC, panel or as an App.
CoDeSys has been providing a web visualization for many years, which can be run as a Java applet in any standard browser. However, the performance and the stability have not been satisfying in all aspects on embedded control panels. The SpiderControlTM MicroBrowser now offers as an embedded client for Web-Visu, a completely new approach, which can set new standards in terms of performance and stability.
How is this possible?
The Java Virtual Machines (JVM) that is used to this date on operating systems such as WinCE, required an immense amount of memory, which had a negative effect on the speed of the application. Java also uses a so-called ‘garbage collector’ for the automatic release of unused memory. This ‘Garbage Collector’ is called quite arbitrarily by the virtual machine itself, which leads to a very difficult to control real-time behavior. The consequences are instability in long-term behavior and poor performance. The SpiderControlTM MicroBrowser avoids both problems with a completely new approach. The Web-Visu application is interpreted at a higher (semantic) level so that a virtual machine is no longer necessary in the past. An instantaneous translation of the Web-Visu HMIs into the internal SpiderControlTM format is carried out so that they run on the very efficient and robust MicroBrowser Engine. The memory requirement is thereby reduced by factors and also the overhead generated by the virtual machine is completely avoided, which also improves the speed several times. The MicroBrowser also has a strictly deterministic storage management, which in turn guarantees a very solid long-term stability. Thus, for the first time Web-Panels are available for CoDeSys Web-Visu, which offer performance and stability at a low price!
SpiderControlTM MicroBrowser for CoDeSys Web-Visu is portable on virtually any platform, even on small microcontrollers like ARM Cortex M3 without OS.
Available are following platforms:
- WinCE 5/WinCE6/WEC
- (embedded) Linux (no X11 required)
The MicroBrowser also supports the HTML5-based Web-Visu of CoDeSys V3.x.
Use the SpiderControlTM MicroBrowser as a client!
Browsers on common PCs have a Java Virtual Machine, which can run the MMI’s as Java applets in the browser. However, the operation of Java applets is not possible on the usual smartphones – under iOS or Android. Use the MicroBrowser App instead!
With this App, it is possible to realize visualisations on smartphones. The compatibility with Web-Visu is given with SpiderControlTM.
SpiderControlTM is a technology-independent implementation of a scalable HMI platform. That is, SpiderControlTM clients can be developed in any programming language and technology. Through this flexibility and adaptability, the MicroBrowser also supports various smartphone Apps.
The following smartphone platforms are supported:
For more information, click here.