/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 (www.switchbackpc.com), 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: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060926/LATU027 )
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
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.
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
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 www.bdatech.com or www.switchbackpc.com.
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