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Success Story

DFI's SoC solution creates a multifunctional centralized air-conditioning management system

DFI's SoC solution creates a multifunctional centralized air-conditioning management system

Centralized Air Conditioning Management System

The entire building is effectively controlled through the Building Management System (BMS) through a centralized interface. With DFI's comprehensive project management, seamless software support, and well-rounded system integration, it helps world-class air-conditioning manufacturers create competitively priced Micro-BMS.


Region: Global

Industry: Air Conditioning

Application: Centralized Air Conditioning Management System

Solution: ODM motherboard (NXP i.MX6 DualLite System-On-Chip)


With increasing environmental awareness for energy conservation, building management systems that can reduce energy waste has become an indispensable requirement for daily human life. However, most building management systems (BMS) are expensive. Because of that, a world-class air-conditioning equipment manufacturer tried to create a micro-BMS that is suitable for medium and large buildings such as hotels and offices. It has to provide all the functions of a general BMS with a lower price and be more conducive to market promotion.

This Micro-BMS not only enjoys cost advantages but also integrates future cloud services. It is limited to air conditioning systems and can further integrate into third-party home appliances in the building. As the center of the home on the Internet of Things, it can realize the building's complete energy management. When the indoor temperature increases, it prioritizes, turning off unnecessary lighting.

Besides realizing the above vision, it is necessary to consider the extremely compact system size, the complete I/O interface, and the high reliability of the industrial computer level. The system-on-chip of the NXP i.MX series ARM processor, unique in the industrial control and automotive fields, is the best choice.



However, ARM instruction's software ecosystem is far less complete and mature in industrial control than x86 platforms. It lacks standardized system firmware interfaces such as BIOS or UEFI. Providing comprehensive software support for board support package (BSP) to effectively integrate the driver and related functions, such as the challenging touch screen and system tuning, and the boot loader that can boot normally and ensure the operation's stability will determine the success or failure of this project.

DFI launched an ODM project for the world's top air-conditioning equipment manufacturer. Although the scope only involves motherboards, DFI provides customers with system-level recommendations on mechanical design, heat generation simulation, and EMC based on rich experience in customization and system integration. Due to the unique needs of Micro-BMS, NXP i.MX6 DualLite must connect to GbE, WiFi modules, two sets of RS-485 for variable refrigerant volume (VRV) air conditioners and Modbus protocol devices, and DIO control interface. The board support package software must be heavily rebuilt to meet this project's needs.

DFI will provide customers with motherboards that fully support the Yocto 2.5 Linux operating system package within the project schedule's required deadline. The Micro-BMS, based on the DFI solution, realize low-cost and high-reliability. The low-power mode consumes only 5W of power. It can control up to 16 air conditioners through multiple I/O interfaces, supports remote monitoring and status reporting, and various home appliances can be connected through the DIO interface. Numerous building facilities can be controlled, confirming whether the door is locked and adjusting the lighting's brightness.

Founded in 1981, DFI is a leading global provider of high-performance computing technology across multiple embedded industries. With its innovative design and premium quality management systems, DFI's industrial-grade solutions enable customers to optimize their equipment and ensure high reliability, long-term life cycle, and 24/7 durability in a breadth of markets. Those markets include factory automation, medical, gaming, transportation, smart energy, mission-critical, and intelligent retail. With comprehensive project management, seamless software support, and well-rounded system integration, DFI helps customers build the best BMS and contributes to improving buildings' energy efficiency.