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USB Power Delivery Explained

You’re probably very familiar with “USB”. Universal Serial Bus is the plug-and-play interface that allows you to plug in mice, keyboards, and a variety of other peripherals to your computer. All modern computers have at least one USB port. USB shines because of its fast data transfers – up to 40 Gbps with USB4®.

 

As USB evolved, so too did power delivery capability. Today, USB has become a ubiquitous power socket for many cell phones and other handheld devices. USB-PD, “Power Delivery”, is a fast-charge, industry-standard, open specification that provides high-speed charging with variable voltages using device negotiation to obtain up to 48 V at 5 A for a whopping 240 W of power! 

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USB-C vs Thunderbolt™

As the USB and Thunderbolt standards evolve, let’s unravel key differences between the various standards.

The USB Type-CTM connector, aside from being reversible, is supported by many devices – gone are the days of fumbling with an assortment of USB cables with different connector types. A major advantage is that the Type-C connector goes beyond traditional USB by supporting a variety of protocols using “alternate modes”. 

The Thunderbolt™ specification, currently at version 4, marries the obvious appeal of the Type-C “universal” connector with faster data transfer speeds, expanded audio/video capabilities, and intelligent power. 

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BIOS Video Restore

How do you re-enable the video output on a GMS system…when you’ve accidentally told the system to turn off the video?! As you can imagine, it is quite difficult to use a mouse to follow video screen prompts when there’s no operational screen. This happens more frequently than you’d think: an accidental BIOS setting by the customer shuts off the video, leaving the operator literally unable to see the screen…in order to re-enable the screen.
 
Fear not: there is a way to get into the BIOS to re-enable video to the monitor, even when the video is set to “off” in  BIOS.

Coin Cell Batteries and how to replace them in GMS products

This document provides information on Coin Cell Batteries (also known as Button Cell Batteries) contained in GMS products or otherwise provided by GMS for use in its products.

USB4 vs Thunderbolt

Although the USB4 and Thunderbolt™ 4 ports have similar specs, Thunderbolt™ 4 ports provide for a more stringent, and better, set of minimum capabilities. Think of the Thunderbolt™ 4 interface as a more complete version of USB4 with a required superset of capabilities. Aside from USB4 having lower minimum specs, some features are optional and may be excluded by manufacturers.

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Reusing the Army's MVD System to Meet the Near-Peer Threat

In this article, we briefly examine what the Army’s Futures Command has published on future vehicle fleet, autonomy, and the evolving use cases. The article examines the type of sensors, control and telemetry needed between an autonomous vehicle and its “chase Mobile Ground Station,” and describes the capabilities of the MVD on MRAP vehiclesand how it directly applies to the battlefield of the future. Brief references to Next Generation Combat Vehicles will be made, although at time of writing, this program is evolving and far from settled.

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Solid State Drives

With years of experience in implementing SSDs into rugged embedded computers and servers, General Micro Systems (GMS) regularly provides vendor-neutral technical guidance to developers whose systems require non-volatile embedded or removable drives. In this paper, we examine the differences in SSD options and highlight key criteria that should be considered when choosing an appropriate embedded, flash memory-based SSD device to meet application-specific requirements.

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Snapshot: Linux Tools

This Application Note offers an overview of several benchmarking tools that are available on the Linux® operating system. GMS uses some of these tools during development and testing on our small form factor (SFF), rack mount, and smart panel PC (“SmartView™”) systems.

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Our Mission

Since its inception in 1979, General Micro Systems, Inc. (GMS) has been true to its mission statement: To Become the World’s Leading Technology Independent Supplier of Computing Engines, while Providing the Best Price/Performance, Quality and Customer Support, Demanded by Our Current and Our Future Customers.

All GMS products are proudly designed and manufactured in the U.S.A.

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