Dell has launched new embedded box PC models aimed at the Internet of Things and other industrial uses.
The devices are fanless -- handy in quiet environments like hospitals -- and can be used "headless" or with keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Dell announced two sets of products at the Embedded World show -- the Embedded Box PC 5000 Series and the Embedded Box PC 3000 Series.
The difference between the two systems ultimately comes down to power: the 3000 Series is powered by Intel Atom processors and is designed for usage where space is limited, such as retail kiosks, automated vending devices, and vehicles.
Meanwhile the Embedded Box PC 5000 Series is described as optimized for input/output scalability and powered by Intel Core-i processors, providing the higher bandwidth and flexibility required for use in industrial PC and IoT settings, as well as in manufacturing and other applications which involve a high degree of automation.
Embedded computing is a big growth area: the market in the area is expected to reach $5.1bn by 2019 as businesses increasingly invest in IoT.
Dermot O'Connell, executive director OEM and IOT solutions at Dell, said the company wants to provide the industrial sector with the specialised computer systems they require in an increasingly automated environment.
"Those types of computers typically have traits like they would work in lower temperatures or higher temperatures, have no fans or moving parts, have very rugged connectors, and have a long life cycle, that kind of stuff," said O'Connell.
The idea, as the name suggests, is that the Embedded Box PCs can be deployed in industrial environments, while updates and support from Dell will enable the units, and the industrial arenas they're in, to keep up with the evolution of the Internet of Things and other connected systems.
"It will mean on a Dell scale of manufacturing and a Dell global service of support -- all the things people know Dell for -- customers [will] now be able to procure and manage these types of industrial PCs rather than going to smaller suppliers who'll need forecasting," he said, arguing that Dell can get these systems into the hands of customers much faster than the competition.
According to Dell, the Embedded Box PC 5000 Series and 3000 Series will be available in "select countries" from June this year. The devices will run Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Embedded, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB, or Ubuntu operating systems.