Portable computers with expansion slots

1st rate cooling - massive expansion - transportable COTS workstation with PCIe expansion slots

portable computers with expansion slots

Expansion Slots

There are still portable computers with expansion slots available.  They are a niche product for users that need to connect to systems in the real world. 

COTS computer for network capture / cyber security

Light-weight laptops with USB-C have a reasonable amount of processing power, and lots of bandwidth in the USB-C ports…  but they are significantly more difficult to configure as test and measurement equipment than a rugged portable with PCIe expansion slots.  (Legacy configurations supporting older buses like PCI are still available as special configurations).

Modern multi-slot portable computers typically have one or more flat panels, from 15″ up to triple 24″ display systems.  Processors range from Intel i5 to Dual Xeon server systems, and the storage is provided by anything from a single M2 card up to a 16 drive RAID array.  SSD’s are the norm now, but there are still high capacity HDD’s which have their uses when absolute storage size is more important than ruggedness.  HDD’s are also still cheaper per Terra-byte.  A single SSD is now readily available with 7.6TB per drive.

24" three screen portable computer– Triple screen 24″ portable

Motherboard sizes for portable computers with expansion slots

ATX

Dual Xeon Motherboard in a transportable computer with 40 PCIe Lanes - ATX formatATX – 12 × 9.6 in (305 × 244 mm)

The heart of a rugged portable “lunchbox”-style PC is the motherboard.  Systems are available that support ATX, micro-ATX, e-ATX, and mini-ATX.

According to requirements, ATX, Micro-ITX,  Mini-ATX, ATX, and EATX boards can be supported.  Alternatively, a passive backplane can be used with a plug-in computer card (PIC).  PIC cards are designed for industrial use and have extended temperature ranges.  They can be used to make massively expandable systems with lots of slots or used to create small form factor systems that support just enough expansion.  Portable computers with expansion slots are generally only sold fully configured – you can’t just buy the case.  It’s simple economics; the manufacturer can’t make a living with the limited quantity sold.  Different motherboards will have support for different processors, supporting multiple slot type and numbers of PCIe lanes.

Micro-ATX

microATX motherboard for portable computer with expansionMicroATX – 9.6 × 9.6 in (244 × 244 mm)

Mini-ITX

MiniITX motherboard for portable PC with slotsMiniITX – 6.7 × 6.7 in – (170 × 170 mm)

 

Extended-ATX

EAXT Motherboard for luggable PC with expansion slotsEATX – 12 × 13 in – (305 × 330 mm)

 

Cooling is an important requirement for high-performance computing.  Overclockers looking to extract maximum performance from a chip will go to extraordinary lengths to cool the processor using liquid nitrogen or massive external refrigeration units.  In a rugged portable, it’s usually just a case of optimizing air-flow and making sure the hot components aren’t blocked.  Tidy cable management helps smooth the airflow which helps cooling and the audio profile.  All of the work that was done on keeping Hard Drives cool is not wasted as it applies nearly as much to SSDs.  SSDs generate a significant amount of heat when used – especially when writing.

Military applications almost always require removable hard drives for both data and the operating system.  These can be individual drives or removable caddies that reduce the risks of mixing up the drives in a RAID array – which can be a costly time sink to fix, if not worse.

Expansion cards range from top of the line graphics cards to multi-I/O serial cards.  Connections via 1553, 1394B (as used on the Lockheed Martin F-35), CAN bus, Infiniband, HyperSCSI, NAS, SAN, and many others are possible with adaptors from multiple manufacturers.

Examples of interface cards often used:

1553

 PCIE-1553 Card

Abaco systems 1553

Abaco Systems RPCIE-1553 is the latest generation of performance and flexibility for MIL-STD-1553 A/B Notice II on a native PCI Express module. Available in -40°C to +70°C temperature with one, two or four dual-redundant channels, the RPCIE-1553 includes advanced API (Application Programming Interface) software that reduces application development time.

1394B

DAP 1394 card for Aerospace applications

DAP Technology Firespy cards 1394 (PCI)

The FireSpy850, FireSpy450b, and FireSpy450bT bus analyzers complete the second generation of 1394 analyzers offered by DapTechnology. Based on the industry-leading FireSpy800, the all new and enhanced architecture of the FireSpy810, as well as the form factor advantages introduced with the FireSpy3850, make these PCI form factor analyzer cards the most compelling package for card-based 1394 analysis solutions found in the industry.

Dap also makes similar cards in PMC format – these then need an adaptor card like this:

PCIe to PMC adaptor to allow PMC cards to be fitted in a PCIe expansion slot

CAN

PCIe card for CAN Bus

Advantach PCIE-1680

2-Port CAN-Bus PCI-E card with Isolation Protection

  • High-speed transmission up to 1 Mbps
  • Operates two separate CAN networks at the same time
  • Optical isolation protection of 2,500 VDC ensures system reliability
  • 16 MHz CAN controller frequency

Infiniband

Melinox Infiniband PCIe cards

Melinox 

ConnectX® – Single/Dual-Port InfiniBand Adapter Cards with PCI Express 2.0

ConnectX delivers low-latency and high-bandwidth for performance-driven server and storage clustering applications. These applications will benefit from the reliable transport connections and advanced multicast support offered by ConnectX. No CPU intervention is required when Network protocol processing and data movement overhead (such as InfiniBand RDMA and Send/Receive semantics) are completed in the adapter. Servers supporting PCI Express 2.0 with 5GT/s will be able to take advantage of 40Gb/s InfiniBand, balancing the I/O requirement of these high-end servers. 

NAS

PCIe card for M2 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet to NAS

QNAP – QM2

QM2 series PCIe cards add support for M.2 SSDs and 10GbE RJ45 connectivity to a QNAP NAS. Combining M.2 SSD and 10GbE connectivity into one solution, the QM2 helps improve overall NAS performance while providing an affordable upgrade path for adopting 10GbE networks.

SAN – Sonnet

PCIe Sonnet card

Sonnet’s Presto™ 10GbE 10GBASE-T PCIe 3.0 card is a powerfully simple and cost-effective way to add dual-port copper 10GbE connectivity to your Mac Pro® tower or Windows® PC, or Linux® server.

Multi-port Ethernet

Four port 10Gig Ethernet PCIe card

CaptureXG™ 1000 Quad-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Capture PCI Express FPGA Card

The CaptureXG 1000 card comes standard with essential features, such as accurate time synchronization and stamping (IRIG-A, B, and G), programmable 5-tuple filters, PCAP Next Generation file format, and a highly efficient PCI Express Gen 3 host interface. The CaptureXG 1000 card is fully integrated with the popular Wireshark network protocol analyzer, so it provides a powerful tool for IT managers to easily leverage their teams’ existing expertise, which increases efficiency in diagnosing network issues.

For a selection of portable computers with expansion slots that are designed to support PCIe cards – please visit Portexa.com

Maximum performance portable


Triple screen 24″ portable computer –

Portexa FlexPAC-III-24

“The most powerful portable computer on the planet!”

24" three screen portable computer

Transportable workstation


Tech Spec

  • 3 x 24″ 4K or 2K displays
  • Dual Xeon
  • Touch screen option
  • Massive RAID

Biggest Screen Portable – 3 x 24″

There is no getting away from the fact that this is a big portable.  It’s the biggest screen portable! It’s also the most powerful portable on the planet.  Three 24″ 2K or 4K displays and a full-sized motherboard which allows for up to dual Xeon processors.

Touch screen displays which are available in 2K and ultra-high resolution 4K displays. 

Extended ATX motherboards mean the choice of Intel i7 or Dual Xeon processors.  There is plenty of space for the largest and most powerful graphics cards – for CUDA use or to drive the three 4K displays.

A wheeled transit case is supplied as standard, and fully deployable shipping cases are also available.  Tilting feet improve the ergonomics of operation for the use, and a full sized keyboard makes this a comfortable transportable workstation.

 

 

Expansion capability in a portable computer

High performance cooling

Up to dual Xeon processors using forced air cooling and thermostatically controlled fan systems.

 

Massive Portable Power Dual Xeon 4K computer

Full size keyboard

The detachable  keyboard attaches to the front of the system when the displays are closed for transit.

 

Highly configurable transportable workstation

Massive expansion

Multiple slots with an EATX motherboard allow for highly flexible configurations.

 

Mil-Spec transportable workstation – MilPAC-III

Dual Xeon workstation with video inputs and screen mirroring in daily use worldwide by the US Navy.  The MilPAC-III is perfect for GeoINT, UAV integration, Video optimization and compression.  Mil-Spec tested for shock, vibration, EMI, RFI, transport and Mil-Std 901D for torpedo strike.

Now available with sunlight readable displays and a high capacity filtered cooling system.  MilPAC-III Datasheet 

Mil Spec transportable workstation

MilPAC-III

Transportable workstation.

Now available with a high capacity filtration system.

Dual-Xeon processors

Advanced cooling

Three screens for 5760 x 1080 display scene

CAC card reader in keyboard

Display mirroring to external TV, monitor or projector

Video capture cards

Up to 64TB of SSD storage

MilPAC-III – powerful, robust and very high performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navy-spec workstation

Portable workstation

Featuring three high resolution 17″ displays, and dual Intel Xeon processors, the MilPAC-III is ideally suited to C4ISR, Geospatial Intelligence and any other application that demand rugged reliable processing power in a portable package. Three HDMI output ports allow all three of the displays to be duplicated as required in the CIC

Physical

Folded: 14.5″ x 17.125″ x 11.75″ (H x W x D)

Deployed: 14.5″ x 43.0″ x 11.75″ (H x W x D) 

Weight: 65lb

Environmental: MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.5, Figure 514.5C-5 Loose cargo test setup , 0- 50 degree C

Shock: Operating: 10g, 11ms, Half-Sine
Non-Operating: 30g, 11ms, Half-Sine
Mil Std 901D Lightweight shock,   Class B

Configurable

Desert filter back option

Configurable storage – 5 removable drive bays

Sunlight readable 1000 NIT display

DVD/RW or Blu-Ray writer

Video Capture

AC or DC PSU

Custom color

 

 

 

 

Computer based test equipment

Typical portable test and measurement computer

Portable computers with expansion slots offer a high performance solution to custom or low run-rate test and measurement applications.  Computer based test equipment can be ready fast, and offer performance in excess of tradition equipment from test & measurement vendors.

lunchbox PC for Test & Measurement applications

Portable PC’s are now available with massive processing power thanks to server-grade technology.  Dual Xeon processors, enormous RAM capacity (up to 1TB or more of RAM) and massive SSD drives that are impervious shock and vibration have made the modern rugged portable a reliable and powerful machine.

lunchbox PC for Test & Measurement applications

Portable computers are available with mil-spec environmental chassis.  AC and DC power supplies are available, and flight certified chassis can be produced.

Ship board test equipment computer

Portable customizable test equipment.

Modern transportable computers offer flexibility and performance.

Users or program managers can configure a test set according to evolving test requirements.  Application specific expansions cards are available from a myriad of suppliers and can be combined to create specialist test sets for any application.

 


Multi-slot portable computers with massive expansion..

Application specific cards

Test equipment cards

No longer are plug in cards only for low frequency applications.  Recent advances in plug in cards mean that computer based oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and signal generators are all now possible.

– PCIe computer add-in cards for test & measurement

Oscilloscope card for computer based test equipment solution

  • 2 GS/s Digitization on one channel
  • Simultaneous 1 GS/s Sampling on 2 channels
  • PCI Express 2.0 x8
  • Features Multiple Record including capture of Pre-trigger data
  • Up to 1 GHz Bandwidth
  • 2GS base memory with optional upgrade to 32GS
  • 45 dB Signal to Noise Ratio
  • Variable Gain Input Amplifier

– Oscilloscope – Acquituk

Plug in spectrum analyzer card for portable test equipment computer

  • Up to 5GS / sec
  • Up to 4 channels
  • Up to 1.5GHz Bandwidth
  • 4GS on board memory
  • Average option
  • Peak detect option

.

– Spectrum analyzer from TTMS

High speeed signal generator card for computer based test equipment

  • 4 AC-Coupled or DC-Coupled DAC Channel Outputs
  • 14-bit, 1.2 GSPS for 2 Channels or
    600 MSPS for 4 Channels
  • 8-bit, 1.2 GSPS for 4 Channels
  • 1 Gigabyte DDR2 RAM
  • Up to 900 MB/s (sustained) via 8-lane PCI Express Bus
  • Based on Analog Devices AD9736 DAC
  • Output Ranges from 400mV to 1470mV
  • Bandwidth up to 400 MHz (AC-Coupled) or
    590 MHz (DC-Coupled)

.

– signal generator – Signatec

Telemetry receiver card for rugged portable

Single, Dual, or Tri-Band Single Slot ISA Receiver with FM Demodulation

 AM, Controlled AGC, and Linear AGC Outputs

 Supports data rates up to 20 Mbps

 8 dB Noise Figure (maximum); 6dB (typical)

 70 MHz IF Outputs: Linear and AGC controlled

 20 MHz Reference I/O for use with LS-33-P Series Diversity Combiners

 Spectral and Eye Pattern Display Option

– Telemetry receiver by Lumi-star

PCIe ARB for lunchbox computer solution

625MS/s 16bit Arbitrary Waveform Generator Cards 
PCIe x8 bus supports streaming > 1.5GB/s

The AWG’s are fully programmable and work with Spectrum’s own SBench 6 control software as well as third party software tools such as LabVIEW, LabWindows and MATLAB..

– Arbitrary waveform generator – Spectrum

DMM plug in card

  • Up to 1,000 readings/second
  • DC & AC volts & current, 2-wire, and 4-wire resistance
  • Capacitance and frequency measurements
  • Fully programmable with Visual Basic®, C++®, LabView 

Keysight digital multimeter

– DMM –  Keysight

 

Dual screen transportable workstation with 4K display and Intel i9 processor

 

“A transportable workstation with 4K displays and Intel i9 power?  Incredible!”

Trusted by servicemen and women in theater

Deployable Workstation

Dual Screen MegaPAC transportable workstation

The ultimate in performance requires some sacrifice.  In this case, the MegaPAC asks you to forgive the 60lb weight and the over-sized transit case.  It makes up for the slight inconvenience by having dual 4K monitors and the latest Intel i9 or Dual Xeon processors available.  With room for three top-end graphics cards, there really isn’t another compromise.

A full sized keyboard, with numeric keypad and touchpad.  Five removable 3.5″ drives.  An 850W or 1KW power supply.

Typical uses are found in broadcast, civilian command and control for disaster relief coordination, Military C4ISR and Cyber security across markets.

Dual gas struts make opening and closing the top display enjoyable, and the displays lock shut for transit.

MegaPAC is available with either HD or 4K displays, and is fully customizable for your application.  Many customers like a 4K display on top, and an HD panel for control below.

MegaPAC-L2

datasheet

2

Intel Xeons

50C

Operation

1KW

Power supply

3

Graphics cards

 

Ready for transport - Dual Xeon workstation

 

Transportable Workstation

Dual Xeon Power

Deployed in a console-style upper and lower display arrangement, the displays can be HD or 4K resolution.

Technical specifications – up to:

 

  • Dual E5-2699 V4
  • 44 cores, 110MB cache
  • 60TB storage
  • High end RAID
  • Space and power for top graphics
  • Optional fiber connection
  • Height: 15.12″,
    Width: 23.11″,
    Depth: 9.02″
  • Weight – appx 60lb (spec dependent)

 

“The most powerful portable on the planet.”

 

“Unique portable display for anyone that needs more screen real-estate on the go!”

triple screen portable display system

system closed for transit


Portexa BCCD-17

  • Three screen portable
  • 3 x 17″ HD LED
  • 5760 x 1024
  • Displays lock for transit

BCCD – Portable display

The triple screen BCCD (Bi-Fold Command and Control Display) is a great solution for anyone who needs more screen real-estate on the go.

Connected to a laptop – either via USB3, or through three display connectors (VGA, DVI and DP) you get a three or four screen solution.  Connect to a Portexa three screen portable, like a FlexPAC-III or a MilPAC-III, and you have a six screen deployable workstation.  Go a little crazy, and add another BCCD and you have a 9-screen portable C4ISR computer system in two pelican cases.

The BCCD-17 is manufactured in lightweight durable aluminum, and powder-coated for durability.

Options for mounting on three screen portable computers to six or nine screen systems.  No drivers are required in most operating systems.

Also available with built in PC

BCCD-17

     Three screen portable display

Three screen portable display system

BCCD-17 Bi-fold Command and Control Display

Three screens – 17″ HD

5760 x 10280 scene space

One video connection per display or a single cable to USB3

Overview

Robust transportable display solution – three 17″ displays in a lightweight portable package.  Connect to your laptop for a go-anywhere development system or command and control display.

 

Desert filter back

Desert filter back quad fan

Four high-pressure fans  force massive volumes of cooling air into the MilPAC-III chassis. 

MilPAC-IIIthree screen portable computer system | Secondary Link

 

MilPAC-III keyboard with CAC card reader

Dual Xeon motherboard portable workstation

three screen portable computer system

High Capacity Cooling – Filter-Back

Advanced cooling system

The standard MilPAC-III is fully functional at 50C tested to Mil-Std 810G.  

For dusty or sandy environments, we have developed the desert filter back; a high capacity washable electrostatic filter system that replaces the standard rear panel.

Four high-pressure fans make sure that the MilPAC can operate at full speed in the harshest of environments.

The MilPAC-III is a deployable workstation for desert / high temperature and dusty environments.

All air entering the MilPAC-III is filtered through the filter-back, and all the other fans exhaust, thus keeping the interior clean and cool.


 

COTS transportable server & workstation

1st rate cooling - massive expansion - transportable COTS workstation

MilPAC-I rugged transportable portable server

Dual Xeon

16 Removable Drives

20G, 10G, and Gigabit ports

Overview

Robust transportable server

Ideal for cyber-security or network capture in the field, the MilPAC-I is a power-house of a portable.  Dual 22 Core Intel Xeon processors and 512GB RAM combine with up to 64TB of removable SSD storage.

Manufactured, tested and supported in the USA.  

About Portexa

 

“Port”able “Exa”

Exa is 10^18

So if you need an “Exa” Portable – Portexa!

MilPAC-RHD16

The MilPAC-RHD16 is a powerhouse of a portable server.  With 16 removable drive bays in four caddies, it can be configured with multiple drive-sets for different security levels.  Performance from the Dual Xeon motherboard, paired to a high powered RAID controller is unmatched by any other portable.

Available with 1GbE, 10GbE, and 20GbE capture cards, it is capable of sustained, multi-gigabit per second recording of network traffic without packet drops.  This system is used to capture entire military combat networks for post-maneuver review and analysis.

Drives, CPU performance/core count, O/S and memory are all configurable. The current maximum space is 16 x 7.6TB removable SSDs + a removable boot drive.  There are 15TB SSD’s hitting the market this year, and the MilPAC will support those from launch.

Now available in a “narrow” version that is small enough to fit in between 19″ rack rails.  This allows deployment in server rooms when space is at a premium.  The portable design means the equipment can be used in environments that may traditionally require an extensive certification procedure.

For desert environments, a version of the MilPAC-III desert filter back is available to special order.

The three-screenMilPAC is also available for C4ISR, CIC and Geospatial applications.

 

Drive bays removable on the MilPAC deployable portable server

16

Drive Bays

44

CPU Cores

07

Cooling Fans

64

Configurations