TSCM: Techsol Engineering's Touch-Screen Computer Modules
Introduction to Techsol Engineering's Touch-Screen Computer Modules
Why the Touch Screen Computer Module: TSCM?
Since our team's first touch-screen product design back in 2004, the number of LCD-oriented products has grown each year, to the point where it’s very rare to see a request for a product without a display. And as the focus moved from the peripherals to the user interface, the target requirements shifted as well.
So, we set out to develop a new form factor specifically for the rapid development of low-cost products that are centered around an LCD with touch screen. We looked at features, expansion, components, production, everything in the goal to supply what’s needed at the best cost.
What is a TSCM?
The TSCM is not just a computer module: it’s a whole new way of building products.
It’s a “system”!
There are 3 or 4 layers to your product, which are (from front to back):
- LCD itself
- Display Interface board, with LCD connector, touch connector, power supplies, LED backlight supply, etc.
- TSCM :: the brains of the operation
- optionally, an I/O board with “outside” interface connectors and drivers, plus the power supply
For the 3‑layer (2‑board) option, we put a USB Type B connector and a 3 V supply on the Display Interface Board, and let you connect (and power) the computer from a USB connection. This would be most useful for simple information displays connected to other computers, such as advertising at a checkout, kiosk applications, etc.
How do I design with the TSCM?
The TSCM is the world’s first low-cost, high-performance, modular touch-screen computer system based on the highest quality components and built in North America! You design your own custom computer in 3 simple steps:
- pick your display (it includes a matching Display Interface Board supporting the LCD, touch panel, adjustable backlight power, plus some optional extras)
- pick your computer power, from 500 to 1000 MIPS, with or without on-board Ethernet
- pick your mix of I/O and power supply. From POE to a super-low-cost 2‑board option powered by USB, there’s a range of boards coming.
- And then when you receive them, just stack them together and turn on the power!
Which Processors are available on a TSCM?
Using the latest i.MX processors from Freescale Semiconductor of Austin Texas, Techsol’s engineers have applied ¼ century of experience designing low-power CMOS computer systems for commercial, industrial, medical, automotive, and defense applications to the long-standing challenge of “Why can’t I have high-quality, high-performance, AND low-cost?”. Plus, all TSCM products run Techsol’s Medallion Linux, one of the oldest and most stable Linux distributions exclusively targeting ARM processors (since 2000, the end of the prior millenium).
- We first developed the TSCM-233 from the i.MX233 processor. Its a good processor for systems without Ethernet.
- The we developed the TSCM-283 from the i.MX28 family. This is even better, with faster DDR-2 memory, larger memory options, and featuring on-board Fast Ethernet.
- We have a single-core Cortex A8 model in design.
- And then we'll develop the multi-core boards!
The TSCM-283 is the most popular model. Compared to a Cortex A8, its lower-cost, lower-power, and it does everything you need except consumer-oriented features such as high-res video and 3D-gaming style video acceleration. But for commercial, medical, industrial, and even some defense applications is more than enough compute power, and easy on the budget.
What Displays does the TSCM support?
Display options currently supported include 3.5″ qVGA, 4.3″ 480x272 (sometimes called WqVGA), 5.0″ WVGA, 5.7″ VGA, 7.0″ WVGA, 7″ Hi‑Brite, and 10.4″ SVGA LVDS with more coming.