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Industrial computers on the Russian market

IPC Gridex industrial computers in review IPIS magazine

The Novosibirsk company "Modular Tornado Systems" is one of the most famous developers and manufacturers of automation equipment, control systems and software and hardware complexes (PTC) in Russia. The company has been actively and fruitfully working, having solved many interesting problems over 25 years with the help of its Tornado software and hardware complex, which has now been implemented at 200 facilities in Russia and abroad. On account of the specialists of Modular Tornado Systems LLC, such innovative developments as the Smart Grid project - “Smart Energy of Russia” (UER), which allows five times to reduce the cost of connecting to networks (prepared jointly with the Novosibirsk State Technical University), and other high-tech solutions. In addition, the company takes part in the activities of the "NPA" Association ("National Industrial Automation Platform").

The PMIS survey presents  the iPC Gridex control computers for a variety of automation tasks

Blitzinterview with Roman Vladimirovich Nestuli, Lead Manager of the Commercial Department of LLC Tornado Modular Systems

In which industry is your computer primarily supposed to be used (transportation, energy, etc.)?
Since this is a PC-compatible computer, its potential use is possible in a very wide range of applications. The only limitation that will affect the sales market is the price. The industrial computer IPC Gridex was created by us for operation in 24 × 7 mode with a duration of operation of at least 15 years, therefore, an element base was used that was not subject to significant degradation in such conditions. Today, the main part of our customers is energy, there are also companies that create solutions for the telecommunications industry.

An industrial computer is not only hardware, but also various certificates, approvals, etc. What opportunities do potential customers acquire thanks to the certificates received on your computer? 
The operational documentation for iPC Gridex contains characteristics, the list of which was formed based on the requirements of FGC UES, PJSC. As a result, one of our customers has now successfully tested IPC Gridex as part of an inter-agency committee to adopt a substation automation suite. 

If a customer needs to perform specific testing (special requirements for temperature, vibration, etc.), will you do it yourself and how quickly? 
We received such appeals, and we conducted tests at our expense. The test period from the moment of contacting until the receipt of the conclusion of the testing laboratory is from one to one and a half months. 

What processor architectures can I install in my computer (Intel, PowerPC, ARM, MIPs, etc.)? 
To date, only Intel processors have been actually tested. 

Please tell us about the internal interfaces: their type, quantity, etc. (PCI, PCI-express, Mini-PCIe, SATA, Mini-SATA, ISA, PC ‑ 104, etc.).



Let's briefly dwell on the  main characteristics of an industrial computer :

  • Power consumption. 

Up to 25 watts.

  • Passive cooling (available or not).

There is.

  • Working temperature range.

-20 to +70 ° C.

  • The degree of protection of the shell.


  • Shock and vibration protection.

Complies with the requirements of FGC UES.

  • Designed service life.

At least 15 years old.

What external peripherals are on board (their type and quantity)?
Up to 2 RS ‑ 232 ports, up to 4 RS ‑ 485 ports.

Solution presented

IPC Gridex industrial computers, developed by Tornado Modular Systems, are domestic products that overcome many of the limitations typical of most industrial automation systems. The computer is assembled on a modern component base, mostly foreign, but the architecture, circuitry, production itself - all this is done by the Tornado company.


IPC Gridex Multifunctional Computing Platform

IPC Gridex's unique architecture provides a large number of independent Ethernet ports. The use of different types of processors allows you to reduce dependence on different suppliers and more flexible approach to customer needs. Features of the architecture provide a very long life of the computer - about 15-20 years.

IPC Gridex Features: 

  • service life not less than 15 years;
  • rich possibilities of the periphery;
  • installation of a processor of any type, different architecture: x86, PowerPC, ARM, MIPs;
  • passive cooling (no fan);
  • ambient operating temperature range from –25 to +60 ° C;
  • harsh operating conditions.

Thanks to these properties, the Gridex computer already today “boasts” a very impressive reference list. He works in full-scale process control systems for critical energy facilities: Kaluga Turbine Plant, Ust-Khantayskaya HPP, Toparskaya TPP and Dzhezkazgan TPP (Kazakhstan), Tatneft facilities, etc.

Structurally, the computer is made according to the EBX standard (203 × 146 mm), which, in addition to the compactness and ease of installation of peripheral devices, provides installation on a carrier board in the Euromechanics 6U format.

IPC Gridex is a carrier module for Qseven processor mezzanines, which provides ample opportunities for integrating mPCIe, PCIe, SATA and mSATA peripherals.

The IPC Gridex requires a 12 ... 24 VDC or 220 VAC power supply (but then an internal converter will be required).

Depending on the version of the IPC Gridex, up to five Ethernet ‑ 1G ports are available, which support the IEEE 1588 Ethernet time synchronization standard and the IEC 61850-3 EMC standard, which allows Gridex to be used in the most critical facilities.

The IPC Gridex hardware consists of a carrier board (CBQS), a processor module (SoM) of the Qseven standard, and a set of expansion modules. SoM is a system-on-a-module, a self-contained processor device capable of running an operating system. The carrier board provides mechanical fastening of the SoM, its power supply, generation of service signals, coordination of peripheral interfaces with external switching elements, and expansion of the interface composition. The electrical circuits connecting SoM and CBQS are formed by a set of dissimilar signals and buses in accordance with the Qseven standard (QSB bus) and are switched by a specialized connector - Qseven Connector.

The result is a PC-compatible, ultra-reliable, universal computer based on the Qseven standard computing platform, with the ability to configure all the constituent elements: processor, memory and peripherals. The design principle allowed for a computer that meets specific business and industrial goals, as well as suitable for solving any other tasks requiring high reliability and performance. The creation of our own processor unit completed the development of all elements of the Tornado software and hardware complex, which ensured the complete independence of the company's technical policy from external suppliers.

The article was published in the  journal ISUP

  • Industrial computers on the Russian market

Tags Industrial computers, market

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