PICMG COM-HPC committee approves COM-HPC Mini pinout form factor

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congatec has announced that the PICMG COM-HPC technical subcommittee has approved the pinout and footprint of the new credit-card-sized (95x60mm) high-performance Computer-on-Module specification COM-HPC Mini.

The COM-HPC Mini standard is now heading towards final ratification, which is scheduled for the first half of 2023. It has been designed for small, yet extremely performance-hungry applications and the new specification is intended to encourage the development of more powerful microcomputers the size of a 4- or 8-port Ethernet switch, for example.

These small system sizes are needed in many segments of embedded and edge computing. Target markets include box PCs and control cabinet / DIN-rail PCs, adaptive IoT gateways for the brownfield, cyber-secure edge computers for critical IT/OT infrastructures, rugged tablets, and even ultra-rugged robots and in-vehicle computers wanting to take advantage of the soldered RAM which is a standard feature of these modules.

Processors predestined for this new form factor are the 12th Gen Intel Core processor series – for which congatec already offers a ready-to-deploy design study for initial lab tests and customer feedback loops – and its future successors.

“The pinout approval is an essential milestone as carrier board designers and Computer-on-Module manufacturers such as congatec who are active in the COM-HPC working group can now embark on first compliant small form factor sized embedded and edge computer solutions based on this pre-approved data. The goal is to bring modules to market at the same time as Intel and other application processor vendors launch their new high-end processor generations, which is expected to happen next year,” explained Christian Eder, director product marketing congatec, and chairman of the COM-HPC working group.

Providing 400 pins, as compared to COM Express Mini’s 220 pins, the new COM-HPC Mini standard is designed to satisfy the rising interface needs of heterogeneous and multi-functional edge computers.

Extensions include up to 4x USB 4.0 with full functionality including Thunderbolt and DisplayPort alternate mode, PCIe Gen 4/5 with up to 16 lanes, 2x 10 Gbit/s Ethernet port and much more. Add to that the fact that the COM-HPC Mini connector is qualified for bandwidths of more than 32 Gbit/s - enough to support PCIe Gen 5 or even Gen 6 - it is clear that its capabilities go well beyond those of all other credit-card-sized module standards.