DFI Announces Cutting-Edge Technologies and the World’s First High-Performance SBC at Embedded World 2023


DFI, a global leader in embedded motherboards and industrial computers, today announced that they will be participating in Embedded World 2023 and joining Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to showcase the world’s first SBC equipped with the high-performance Qualcomm® QRB5165 processor. With high integration capability and anti-vibration features, the product can be applied in fields such as industrial automation and AMR. It is expected to increase the overall AI edge computing efficiency and bring more capabilities to the industry.

For the first time during the three-day Embedded World 2023 exhibition, DFI will integrate the QRB551 industrial-grade motherboard built with the Qualcomm® Robotics RB5 platform with 5G connectivity and AMR requirements. The solution will be applied to a smart factory environment while executing appearance recognition, defect detection, and human body posture recognition, which are commonly seen in industrial automation.

“We are happy to work with Qualcomm Technologies and benefit from their robotics series platform with low power consumption and high performance,” expressed DFI President Alexander Su. “The QRB551 3.5-inch SBC is expected to deliver greatly enhanced AI computing capabilities, as well as high flexibility and expansion capabilities required by AMR to provide different platform choices for industrial applications.”

Dev Singh, Vice President of Business Development and Head of Building, Enterprise & Industrial Automation at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. said, “Qualcomm Technologies continues to support innovative robotics with 5G networks and top-level edge AI. The Qualcomm’s QRB5165 processor is designed to support the development of new-generation robotics and drone applications with high-performance computing, low power consumption, and AI functions. We look forward to seeing DFI’s QRB551industrial-grade motherboard continue to optimize and improve factory production and management, as well as accelerate AI edge computing in various fields.”

With the wave of new infrastructure construction brought about by global industrial automation and digital transformation, DFI will collaborate with its partners to continue developing and integrating miniature edge computing products. Together they will provide advanced embedded solutions for various fields and applications, becoming the best partners for enterprise OT intelligence and laying the foundation for the future.


Ericsson, Qualcomm and Thales to take 5G into space


Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), French aerospace company Thales (Euronext Paris: HO), and wireless technology innovator Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) are planning to take 5G out of this world and across a network of Earth-orbiting satellites.

After having each conducted detailed research, which included multiple studies and simulations, the parties plan to enter smartphone-use-case-focused testing and validation of 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTN).

The result could effectively mean that a future 5G smartphone could use 5G connectivity anywhere on Earth and provide complete global coverage for wideband data services, including places normally only covered by legacy satellite phone systems with limited data connectivity capabilities.

The benefits of 5G connectivity via low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are expected to include coverage in extreme geographies or remote areas across seas, oceans and other locations where terrestrial coverage is absent.

Such widespread connectivity would boost 5G smartphone subscriber roaming service capabilities, as well as enabling global connectivity for transportation, energy and health sector 5G use cases.

The space-based network could also be used as back-up support to terrestrial networks in the event of major network outages or disasters.

The expected security capabilities of 5G NTNs mean that national government communications may be a main use case, to enhance safe and secure national security and public safety government networks.

Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “This testing and validation cooperation between Ericsson, Thales and Qualcomm Technologies will be a major milestone in the history of communications as the ultimate result could effectively mean that no matter where you are on Earth – in the middle of an ocean or the remotest forest – high-end, secure and cost-effective connectivity will be available through collaborative 5G satellite and terrestrial connectivity.”

John Smee, senior vice president of engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says: “For 5G to fulfill on the promise of ubiquitous connectivity, it is imperative that it can also deliver network coverage in areas where terrestrial cellular networks do not exist, whether that be over oceans or in remote areas. Our planned research with Ericsson and Thales will kick off an important step in making this vital technology a reality. We are looking forward to what this collaboration can accomplish.”

Philippe Keryer, Executive Vice-President, Strategy, Research and Technology, Thales, says:
 “The deployment of 5G networks marks a step change for the telecoms industry. It is a game changer, not only in terms of business opportunities but also in the skills required to connect and protect billions of people and things. Thales is deeply involved in it through the different activities of the Group.  The research collaboration with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies will demonstrate the belief of our companies that 5G non-terrestrial Networks will contribute to this revolution and will take network resiliency and security to the next level. ”

The Cooperation

The testing and validation by Ericsson, Thales and Qualcomm Technologies following the March 2022 go-ahead by 3GPP – the global telecommunications standards’ body – is intended to support non-terrestrial networks for the first time.

The goal of the testing will be to validate various technology components needed to enable 5G non-terrestrial networks, including a 5G smartphone, satellite payload and 5G network pieces on the ground.

This work also aims to validate that 5G NTN can be supported in a smartphone form factor allowing tomorrow’s 5G smartphone to effectively become a satellite-phone. Initial tests will take place in an emulated space environment in France, where the majority of European space-focused industry is based.

Ericsson plans to verify a 5G virtual RAN (vRAN) stack, modified to handle radio signals propagating (what happens to 5G radio waves travelling through the vacuum of space and the Earth’s atmosphere) via the fast-moving LEO satellites.

Thales plans to verify a 5G radio satellite payload suitable for deployment on LEO satellites, while Qualcomm Technologies plans to provide test phones verifying that 5G NTN can be accessed by future 5G smartphones.

Experts will use ground-based equipment to emulate the 5G radio propagation and time delays between an equipped satellite in orbit and connecting a 5G smartphone with the 5G radio access network at different places on the Earth’s surface.

Ekudden adds: “While it is too early to say when any resulting 5G equipped prototype satellite could be launched into orbit for real operational use, the highly technical ground-based testing and validation work planned between Ericsson, Thales and Qualcomm Technologies is key to making it happen.”

As a 3GPP-backed technology, 5G NTNs will be able to capitalize on a large ecosystem of standardized products and components. The new specification also enables the inclusion of NTN technologies in 5G devices, providing opportunities for technology vendors to easily and quickly scale 5G NTN compatibility across devices.