1756 Compute Module – AF2017

Welcome to part three of the nine part series detailing my picks for the top new PLC and HMI products shown at Rockwell’s Automation Fair 2017.

Note: While this series covers the products in which I’m most interested, you’ll find all the new products listed in Rockwell’s guide HERE.

The New 1756 Compute Module:

Due out this month, Rockwell describes the 1756 Compute Module as an embedded Windows 10 module with high-speed computing functionality.

This, along with high-speed backplane access to ControlLogix controllers (via included API,) is said to allow real-time calculations and decision making, all while supporting Windows 10 IoT applications.

That’s about all the Automation Fair information provided, but I was able to find additional details from the recently published 1756-IN072 installation instructions.

UPDATE – Received more information about the CPU and Memory: The module contains a Intel Atom 1.46 GHz dual core processor, 4 GB RAM, and a 32 GB SSD (approx. 20 GB free space for user applications.)

First, it appears the module will actually come in two versions:

  • 1756-CMS1B1 module – Windows 10IoT Enterprise 64-bit OS
  • 1756-CMS1C1 module – Linux OS 32-bit

These modules also appear to come with two Gigabit Ethernet Ports, one USB 3.0 port, and an integrated DisplayPort connector behind a door under the modules status display.

Below are links to the installation instructions and (soon to be released?) user manual:

Is there a market for the compute module?

While this latest “Computer in a Module” offering looks interesting, I’m not sure there is a very large market for it?

Since the release of the 1771-DSX2 and 4 modules, I’ve seen many iterations of these modules come out, but haven’t found the right application in which to use them.

While they undoubtedly save panel space, the expense of previous models didn’t justify the space savings.

For instance, one of the previous “computer in a slot” products cost nearly $10K, and had specs that were a full magnitude lower than the typical $3K Industrial PC.

That said, only time will tell if this latest version of the “PC in a Module” concept will have more success that its predecessors.

So what do you think?

Will you consider the above product, or does it not have a place in your facility?

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us by clicking on the “post a comment or question” link below.

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.

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Shawn Tierney



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