Intel® SDM Inside: bringing more powerful, future-proof possibilities to our digital displays

Providing choice and flexibility to our customers through an open and modular approach is a key design strategy at Sharp/NEC. A major element of this is our optimised computing platform which offers a streamlined, unrestricted, and high-performance standard for digital signage, interactive whiteboards, and mission-critical applications.

In 2010, a global strategic alliance between NEC, Intel, and Microsoft created the Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) which became integral to NEC’s large format displays and integration projectors.

Today, the Intel® Smart Display Module (Intel® SDM) architecture represents a natural evolution to the OPS. Integrated into our new line-up of large format displays, we are widening our ability to deliver even greater performance, standardisation, and ease of use.

Erik Elbert, product manager at Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe, explains the reasons for this strategic migration and the powerful, future-proof possibilities behind the new MESSAGE line-up of large format displays.


Open Modular Intelligence – upgradable and customisable, without limitation

Sharp/NEC’s Open Modular Intelligence (OMi) platform enables scalable computing power to be seamlessly embedded into NEC displays and installation projectors to create a fully integrated and customisable solution. It simplifies device installation, usage and maintenance whilst making it easier to pre-configure or upgrade digital signage equipment.

Unlike System on Chip (SoC), favoured by our competitors, which is a closed system with compatibility limitations, Sharp/NEC’s OMi is an open platform allowing computing performance to be fully used without limitation which greatly appeals to software providers. Upgradable with customisable performance levels, in contrast to competitive offerings, NEC’s embedded solution is future-proof and highly versatile supporting a broad range of operating systems.


A custom-made solution for perfect-fit performance

The new MESSAGE line-up of large format displays is designed to allow computing modules or other slot-in devices to be neatly embedded within the housing of the display. Depending on the demands of your usage scenario, the slot allows integration of a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (RPi CM4) and/ or Intel® SDM Small, or the Intel® SDM Large.


The seamless embedded design means external power sources, cabling and additional mounting systems are obsolete resulting in a neat and efficient all-in-one solution with powerful and compelling possibilities.

Our open modular slot-in options offer an interchangeable selection of solutions including computing technology, media playback and signal distribution (e.g. AVoverIP) for unlimited versatility. The embedded solution enables the displays to be enhanced to a custom-made solution which matches the specific performance demands of any application.

Should future demands change, the integrated module can be upgraded or re-configured accordingly without having to replace the display. For large projects, the compute module can be pre-configured prior to deployment to ensure a smooth and efficient installation process.

Choose your performance level

Our comprehensive line-up of computing performance devices ensures the perfect match to all usage scenarios and requirements. Choose between different options to suit your needs:

EssentialRaspberryPi Compute Module 4
For signage displays in retail environments, passenger information and quick service menu boards.
StandardIntel® SDM slot-in PC Celeron
For digital signage in retail or corporate applications, passenger information and menu boards.
MidrangeIntel® SDM slot-in PC Core i3
For flight and passenger information, retail and corporate signage as well as interactive and kiosk applications.
AdvancedIntel® SDM slot-in PC Core i5
For interactive signage applications, video walls and more complex intelligent signage installations where sensor and other data is processed and displayed in real time.
EnterpriseIntel® SDM slot-in PC Core i5
For demanding corporate meeting room applications such as video conferencing, interactive whiteboards and collaborative use cases.


OPS to SDM migration


The NEC P and V Series large format displays which launched in 2017 were the first to include the Raspberry Pi modular expansion feature. Prior to this, the OPS expansion slot for OPS compatible PCs and Media Players was already giving companies the flexibility to upgrade the power of their displays at any time by seamlessly integrating into NEC’s large format displays and installation projectors. Since this time, we have sold close to 100,000 OPS units, and gained 7 years of experience and leadership in offering our customers customisable computing technology.

Today, as we launch the new MESSAGE large format display line-up, we incorporate the latest technology developments and are eager to welcome all the additional advantages of the Intel® SDM.

Intel® SDM delivers the same level of intelligence and interoperability as the Open Pluggable Specification, but in a smaller form factor and with no housing, allowing integration into modern slim profile displays. Intel® SDM comes in two form factor size options—the Intel® SDM Small (Intel® SDM–S) and Intel® SDM Large (Intel® SDM–L).

The future-proofed card edge connector accommodates higher bandwidth and picture quality requirements to support 8K resolution displays and video capture.

Using the latest Intel® hardware-based security Trusted Platform Module (TPM), with an integrated Intel®SDM our digital displays are not considered a point of vulnerability.

Reliability and longevity are the highest priority for Sharp/NEC. The Intel® SDM is validated for commercial and embedded use, reliable in 24/7 operating applications. Alongside this, Sharp/NEC only uses metal for its display chassis which supports excellent heat dissipation and is fire-retardant making them safe for use in public spaces.

Go to Quality & Safety document

RPi CM3 to RPi CM4 migration

An incremental part of NEC’s OMi platform, the NEC Edition of the Raspberry Pi compute module means system integrators benefit from the vast number of already available open-source solutions supporting a broad range of operating systems, such as Raspbian, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, as well as Win10IoT Core.


With the new MESSAGE line-up, we welcome the latest RPi compute module 4 which brings more power and enhanced features. The Quad Core 1.5 GHZ processor delivers higher processing speeds and supports 4K/UHD playback, plus the bigger 4Gbyte RAM sees the module demonstrate remarkable performance improvements over its predecessor.

Virtually silent in operation, the RPi CM4 features passive cooling, meaning there is no fan noise. There is unlimited possibility for IoT integration by adding peripherals, cameras and sensors whilst security is no longer a concern thanks to IEEE 802.1X support.

With the MPi4 NEC MediaPlayer Kit, Sharp/NEC is creating an out-of-the-box experience when integrated into the MESSAGE large format displays. The intuitive plug and play digital signage solution is easy to manage and features a customisable playlist.

Users benefit from direct user access to various third-party Content Management Systems through Sharp/NEC’s partnerships with leading software providers including Matrox, LoopSign, Grassfish, Screenly, Cenareo, easescreen, and many more.

Learn more about the NEC MediaPlayer

Go to NEC MediaPlayer

Low TCO and long-life serviceability


Industrial and embedded components lower the demand on power usage resulting in significant energy savings and a longer product lifecycle compared to consumer products. Sharp/NEC’s commitment to the highest quality standards and meticulous selection of industrial grade components ensures low failure rates and suitability for 24/7 applications.


Should a failure occur, the embedded unit is easily swapped out without having to replace the entire display. Both the display and the embedded module is covered under 3 year warranty with additional exchange service within EMEA.

Sharp/NEC’s innovative open modular design means the display solution you need for today will continue to meet your changing needs in the future.

Find out more about the new MultiSync® MESSAGE line-up of large format displays.

Go to MESSAGE Series