Introduction to Centrum Embedded Systems Corporation
Centrum Embedded Systems Corporation (CES) was established at the Innovation and Incubation Center of National Taiwan University in 2007. The objective of CES is to design, manufacture and market industrial mobile computers. After two years of effort, CES has accomplished the development and validation of the core technology of the industrial mobile computers and ended the incubation stage. In 2009, CES moved into the nearby joint development building of MRT Gongguan station and began the product development project. In 2012, CES completed and released the first product development project: Cedar handheld industrial mobile computer system development platform.
The technology of modern embedded systems is quite complex, it is very difficult to establish and develop. The high priority of CES is to build the core competence of the industrial mobile computer core technology. When the customers have any needs, CES is able to develop the most appropriate industrial mobile computers to meet their needs; rather than using any reference or evaluation boards to develop procrustean models. The core technologies that CES interested in are: ARM SoC's, graphics accelerators, communication interfaces, peripheral interfaces, sensors, FPGA, bootloader, tool chain, Linux kernel, drivers, operating system, window system, desktop environment, middleware, database, software package management, software distribution management and so on. Since the company was established, CES has concentrated on building these core technologies, and has avoided the rush to launch any immature products to the market. After five years' accumulation, CES was finally able to launch a comprehensive product: Cedar handheld industrial mobile computer system development platform.
CES provides the customization services of industrial mobile computers to the customers. If customers have any special needs, including hardware interfaces, communications, sensors, the appearance of the machine box, the user interface, middleware, libraries, etc., CES can customize the industrial mobile computers to meet their needs. First, CES provides the PC emulator of the industrial mobile computer for the customers. The customers can develop the application softwares using the PC emulator on the PC environment. This PC emulator and the target industrial mobile computer have 100% the same kernel system calls. The operating systems, the window systems, the desktop environments, middlewares, and libraries of the two systems are completely the same. That is, the application softwares that are developed on the PC emulators, can be loaded into the target industrial mobile computers directly, without going through any migration or porting. The PC emulators keep Native Mode execution (that is, executing the x86 instructions directly), give full performance of the PC's computing power; Unlike most other emulators use Cross Mode execution (that is, executing ARM instructions emulated by x86 architecture), hence the performance is greatly reduced.
The industrial mobile computer system development kit consists of CPU main board, LCD and IO expansion board, power supply and HDD board. This kit provides the development and testing of the application softwares in the ARM CPU environment. The application software developed in the PC emulator, if it is written in an interpreting programming language (Interpreter), such as Python, Java, Perl, Bash, can be loaded into the target system, and execute directly; if it is written in a compiling programming language (Compiler), such as C/C++, you can use this ARM CPU industrial mobile computer system development kit to compile the application software into the executable object code, and then load it into the target system, and execute it. Keep in mind that the source code of the C/C++ application software does not need any migration or porting effort, just compile and it works.
The long-term value of an industrial mobile computer system is determined by not only the hardware and software which were installed on, but also the steady and lasting service of software update and download from the cloud server. CES has invested quite a lot of manpower and resources to build up the software package management and software release management cloud server, so that users can search the software packages, download and then install. The industrial mobile computer itself records the version numbers of the installed software packages. It can automatically or manually update the software packages by comparing the version numbers of the software packages installed with the version number of the software packages in the repository of the cloud server.
With the popularity of the intelligent mobile devices of the consumer and mass market, such as smart phones, tablet PCs, digital cameras, GPS'es and so on, the world become connected rapidly. However, besides the need for the high volume products of consumer intelligent mobile devices, there are many needs for the small quantity products of customized and specialized intelligent mobile devices in the world. The goal of CES is to provide a series of customized industrial mobile computers to meet the above needs of customers,such as industrial handheld mobile computers, industrial tablet mobile computers, industrial mobile servers, and so on. And finally, the world become truly connected, and boundaryless.