Black Diamond Launches SwitchBack PC, World's First Rugged Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)

SwitchBack PC Unveiled at the Intel Booth at ESC Boston; First-of-its-Kind

Rugged UMPC is Patent-Pending with Unique, Extendable Modular Technology

BOSTON, Embedded Systems Conference, Intel Booth #801, Sept. 26

Sep 26, 2006, 01:00 ET from Black Diamond Advanced Technology

/PRNewswire/ -- Black Diamond Advanced Technology (Black Diamond), a
 technology development firm specializing in the design and implementation
 of rugged electronic systems, today announced the launch of its flagship
 product the SwitchBack PC (, the world's first rugged
 UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer). The SwitchBack makes its debut at
 the Intel booth at the Embedded Systems Conference taking place this week
 in Boston, MA.
     (Photo: )
     The SwitchBack (7.5" x 5.5" x 2") utilizes a 1.0 GHz Intel(R)
 Celeron(R) M processor, 1GB of 400 MHz DDR2 and can run Windows XP, CE,
 Mobile or Linux, packing the power of a desktop PC in a lightweight,
 handheld rugged form factor. The SwitchBack features the efficiencies of
 other UMPCs on the market, such as anywhere connectivity and portability,
 but takes it one step further with its own unique elements of extreme
 ruggedability, modularity and power.
     Its advanced feature set answers the demands of users working in the
 field or in harsh environments. Encased in a magnesium housing and
 reinforced with rubber isolators and shock-mounted electronics, the
 SwitchBack is designed to meet or exceed military specifications (MIL-STD)
 for shock, vibration, humidity and extreme temperatures.
     Equipped with a built-in thumb keyboard, up to 60GB removable hard
 drive and a 5.6-inch WSVGA sunlight viewable touch screen with stylus, it
 can be easily used outside or on the go and in unpredictable conditions.
 Wireless capabilities are Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi b/g and GPS. Initial markets
 for the product include the military, field service and utilities,
 transportation and logistics and public safety.
     "As the first rugged offering in this platform, the SwitchBack PC can
 potentially address a real need for improved workflow efficiencies and real
 time communication in industrial environments -- where form factor is
 critical," said Joe Jensen, general manager, Intel Modular Platforms and
 Programs. "Intel is addressing this market segment by delivering low power
 technologies that enable this new category of small, thin and light
     Extendable Modules -- Black Diamond's Patent-Pending Technology
     The SwitchBack has all the features of today's rugged handheld tablet
 PCs, but it's smaller, more powerful and it has another significant
 differentiator ... a detachable/attachable Module on the back which can be
 used to extend functionality by adding additional hardware, devices or
 connector interfaces.
     Examples of Modules that can be easily added to the SwitchBack are, but
 are not limited to:
     - Additional processor, hard drive or battery
     - Custom I/O Options (data transfer, interface extensions)
     - Fingerprint reader
     - RFID, Barcode Scanner or Mag Stripe Reader
     - Radio(s), terrestrial
     - Digital camera
     - GPS receiver
     - Breathalyzer, Laser Range Finder
     "What makes the SwitchBack unique to anything we've seen on the market
 is undoubtedly our patent-pending Modular Technology, where the user can
 extend functionality by actually attaching a custom Module to the back of
 the computer," said Justin Dyster, President of Black Diamond. "This unique
 design was built to give organizations more options when considering a
 technology refresh. For example, the SwitchBack can actually be utilized in
 many different ways within one organization. And custom I/O modules can
 even allow you to interface with a vast array of existing equipment using a
 single machine. As organizational needs change, the PC can change as well,
 making it extremely cost-efficient."
     "The SwitchBack PC's intrinsic modular design allows for a tremendous
 amount of flexibility and efficiency," said Chris Shipley, co-founder of
 Guidewire Group. "Unlike other rugged computers on the market today, the
 SwitchBack is an open-system and offers vertical market customers a
 cost-efficient model for buying, managing and maintaining their IT assets,
 depending on their custom applications and budget."
     Multiple Operating Systems
     SwitchBack PCs available in Q2 2007 will be capable of running multiple
 Operating Systems simultaneously or independently. Choose from Windows XP,
 Windows Mobile, Windows CE and Linux.*
     Run Them Independently For Extended Battery Life
     Switch back-and-forth between a primary and a secondary Operating System
     in a dual boot configuration to extend battery life by up to three times.
     For example, users can conserve power by running Windows CE to perform
     simpler tasks and switch to Windows XP for more complex tasks -- while
     still having access to the same data on the hard drive.
     Run Them Simultaneously For Increased Productivity
     Run dual Operating Systems simultaneously to save time and view data from
     two different programs.  Through simultaneous program execution, you can
     perform simple tasks in parallel to running more complex tasks with the
     other Operating System.  For example, you can view data from a program
     running on Windows XP and another on Windows CE -- all on the same screen,
     fluidly and without interruption.
     *SwitchBack PCs available in Q4 2006 will be Windows XP systems only,
 with the ability to receive downloadable hardware upgrades for dual
 processor and simultaneous task operation in Q2 2007. This downloadable
 hardware upgrade demonstrates SwitchBack's revolutionary capability to
 receive engineering updates after the product has shipped.
     Additional Features
     Parallel Processing Capability -- The SwitchBack operates on a primary
     processor located on the system motherboard, while it outsources parallel
     processes to a secondary system board that has the capacity of an
     additional processor.  The "Parallel Processing Capability" of the
     SwitchBack provides the ability for its core system to apply the right
     processor needs to a given task so that it runs more efficiently.  Tasks
     that would otherwise require twice the power and time to complete can be
     accomplished quicker and more efficiently with the SwitchBack.  This type
     of performance has never before been seen in a unit of this size.
     Removable Hard Drive -- Quickly stow away sensitive data without taking
     the machine with you or move information from one system to another.
     Hot Swappable Battery -- Revitalize your power supply instantaneously out
     in the field without having to shut down your computer.
     Self-Diagnostics Tool -- The SwitchBack automatically runs a
     self-diagnostics tool, reducing downtime and helping to troubleshoot in
     the field.
     Pricing & Availability
     The SwitchBack PC will be available Q4 2006 through Black Diamond
 Advanced Technology. For pricing and information on custom Modules to suit
 your needs, contact Black Diamond at 480-247-8700 or email
     About Black Diamond Advanced Technology
     Black Diamond Advanced Technology (Black Diamond) is an advanced
 technology development firm that specializes in the design and
 implementation of rugged electronic systems. With an extensive background
 in electrical, mechanical and systems design for the military, the BDATech
 engineering team serves clients in the military, industrial and commercial
 markets. BDATech specializes in creating sophisticated custom
 electro-mechanical products for the use in the most complex, rugged
 environments, ranging from electronics packaged in missiles and artillery
 to highly customizable, next generation rugged mobile computing solutions.
 Visit us on the Web at or
     Intel, Celeron, and the Intel logo are trademarks or registered
 trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States
 and other countries.

SOURCE Black Diamond Advanced Technology