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High-precision AOI Systems with NVMe Memory Solution


AOI systems (Automatic Optical Inspection) can be combined for simultaneous top-down and bottom-up inspection (SMD/THT) of single or double-sided assemblies during ongoing production. The procedure offers significant time, handling, and cost benefits for both fully interlinked production lines and autonomous manufacturing. Besides being able to achieve the highest performance possible, the computing unit also needs to meet industry standards.

During the production process, current AOI systems carry out a number of thorough and detailed inspections of captured image data, such as:

  • Inspection of presence and polarity of THT and SMD components
  • Inspection of packing angles from 0 - 360°C
  • Exact component position (offset, angle)
  • Solder joint inspection at all components (SMD and THT)
  • Short-circuit test (solder bridges)
  • Component character verification
  • Display test (dot matrix, multi-segment, LCD, LED)
  • Barcode reading via camera
  • Setup verification / initial sample testing

This requires one or several high-performance computing units. In the multiple version, they guarantee true parallel processing of the captured inspection data, which can be combined automatically, thus optimizing repair handling of specimens. Furthermore, to enhance the inspection speed the imaging modules must be controlled and coordinated perfectly and intelligently at the moment of capture and exposure.

In terms of incorporating the AOI system in a smart manufacturing process that encompasses all the aspects of Industry 4.0, the computing unit should, to a certain degree, meet traditional IT standards. Of additional benefit are at least two redundant network accesses for added system stability in order to support the production network and the traditional IT network. A workstation platform with corresponding and industrial graphic board is also necessary to meet all the requirements for CPU computing and GPU performance. Since AOI systems are generally in use over a long period of time, the platform must offer long-term availability and revision stability.

All these requirements are met by the Fujitsu Extended Lifecycle Mainboard D3348-B. In fact, the board, including extended lifecycle, is available in the latest B2 version until the end of 2018, and thus longer than most of the other mainboards on the market equipped with Intel™ C612 Chipset. This is complemented with strict revision control and professional lifecycle management which also incorporates ECNs for BIOS updates. Equipped with new Broadwell-E processors and the optional Dual M.2 riser card D3352-A2 with NVMe support, the new mainboard achieves much higher performance levels.

New performance level with NVMe

NVMe (NVM Express) is an interface specification for accessing non-volatile memories (NVM) – flash-based SSDs – attached via PCI Express. NVMe has been designed from the ground up to capitalize on the low latency and internal parallelism of PCI Express SSDs, mirroring the parallelism of CPUs, platforms, and applications. This was not possible with the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). This specification was developed back at the time when memory systems were based on rotating magnetic media (hard disk drive) and much slower. As a result, AHCI cannot take full advantage of the opportunities provided by SSDs. In contrast, NVMe is able to exploit parallelism in host hardware and software, manifested by the differences in command line depths, efficiency of interrupt processing, the number of uncacheable register accesses, unlimited parallelism and threads as well as greater efficiency for 4kB commands – thus resulting in performance improvements in various areas.

This makes NVMe particularly interesting for AOI systems that process huge amounts of data, e.g. systems which need to handle and save relatively complex image data in the shortest time possible. The preparation of data for other systems, e.g. production or database systems, can also be enhanced. The D3348-B2 mainboard additionally comes with seven PCIe slots, EtherCAT supporting Dual-Intel LAN ports, and a variety of connectivity options, e.g. ten SATA ports with RAID support for large hard drives.

Intel™ CPU of the Broadwell-E family

In addition to the Intel™ Haswell processors Xeon® E5-16xx/26xx V3, i7-59xx (Haswell-E), and Core® i7-69xx (Broadwell-E), the D3348-B2 mainboard also supports Broadwell-E processors and Xeon® E5-16xx/26xx V4. They are supplied with a rated operating frequency of up to 3.70 GHz, which can be accelerated up to 4.00 GHz using Intel™ Boost Technology 2.0. Up to 22 cores, including hyper threading for a total of 44 threads, up to 55 MB cache, and DDR4 ECC RAM ensure unbeatable performance. The long-term available CPUs, launched in the first quarter of 2016, support up to 40 PCIe lanes, which enables the native supply of two graphic boards with full 16 PCIe lanes and allows enormous parallel computer operations via various standards, such as CUDA and OpenCL.


In contrast to the consumer chip Intel™ X99, the C612 Chipset from Intel™ offers numerous advantages for professional applications such as AOI systems. These include extended availability, ECC support, support for Intel™ Core® i7 and Xeon® processors, vPRO/iAMT manageability, and trusted execution technology. Special features, such as Watchdog, 24/7 Design or Erase Disk – a BIOS feature for wiping sensitive data from the hard drive using secure encryption technology – additionally emphasize the industrial strength of the Fujitsu mainboard.

Efficient and reliable voltage supply

A high level of reliability and redundancy is also essential for the voltage supply of AOI systems. The FSP700-70RGHBE1 power supply unit from FSP is highly recommendable for this task. It is one of the few redundant server and storage power systems that is 80 Plus Gold certified, offers peak efficiency of 90% when running at 50% load, and is compatible with all standard ATX chassis.


The PS/2 power supply unit is compliant with both desktop ATX 12V and server EPS 12V standards, suitable for many industrial PCs, and also compatible with rackmount server chassis 3U and higher. The latest Dual-GPU systems can be powered reliably and efficiently in a fully redundant form.

The PSU is designed for 24/7 performance at ambient temperatures up to 50°C. Thanks to its hot swappable capability, the FSP700-70RGHBE1 can be replaced without system downtime. It is fully redundant with each of the two power supplies featuring its own power pin-out. Under normal operation, the two power supplies share the load for efficient and stable power delivery.

The PSU complies with server grade construction requirements due to its dual ball-bearing fan, premium capacitors, OCP (over current protection), SCP (short circuit protection), OVP (over voltage protection), FFP (fan failure protection), and LED alarm guard.

For further questions contact: The Rutronik EMBEDDED team