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2023 is the year in which Phoenix Contact turns 100 years old. Based in Blomberg, Germany, the long-established company primarily develops and produces components and systems in the fields of electrical engineering, electronics and automation. This now also includes box PCs, which are suitable for a wide range of automation tasks - from simple data acquisition to complex IoT and edge applications. With the new VL3 UPC series, particularly compact devices are now available for demanding edge computing installations in distributed control cabinets.

There is a choice of different Intel processors - either dual-core or quad-core Atom CPUs from Intel's X6000 series - which deliver the right performance for the respective application while consuming as little power as possible. By using modern components - such as DDR4 RAM, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) and Gigabit Ethernet ports - the performance of the Box PC can be further customized and increased.

The basic system offers a DisplayPort interface for high-resolution screens with multi-stream capability. The device, which is equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and two high-speed USB 3.1 interfaces, can also be supplemented with two serial interfaces (RS-232, -422, -485). Users can also configure WLAN communication. It can be installed on the top-hat rail or via mounting brackets for wall mounting. The VL3 UPC series can also be extended by two modules. One option includes two additional Gigabit Ethernet ports and an M.2 interface for expanding the mass storage. The second option is a 4G/LTE modem, which also includes an M.2 interface for memory expansion. The module is also prepared for future 5G modems and is therefore future-proof.