Modular high-end Micro-ATX carrier board with COM-HPC interface

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Congatec has unveiled its first modular Micro-ATX compliant carrier board with COM-HPC interface.

The board has been designed for embedded long-term availability of at least seven years, which eliminates the design risks, revision requirements and supply chain uncertainties of standard or semi-industrial-grade motherboards that are usually only deliverable for three to five years.

As it is processor socket and vendor independent, the board can be equipped with any high-end Computer-on-Module available in COM-HPC Client Size A, B or C and it is scalable across the entire range of 12th Generation Intel Core processor-based COM-HPC modules.

Performance options for the HPC/uATX carrier board range from the conga-HPC/cALS COM-HPC Client Size C modules, with 16-core Intel Core i9 processor, to the conga-HPC/cALP COM-HPC Client Size A modules with Intel Celeron 7305E processors.

The combination of application-ready industrial-grade COMs and carrier boards with tailored cooling solutions and comprehensive BSPs for all leading RTOSes and the real-time hypervisor from Real-Time Systems enables faster time-to-market, produces lower non-recurring engineering costs, and will enable customers to react quickly to changing market requirements while reducing the effort to scale the performance of Micro-ATX based systems to a minimum.

Future upgrade and update options of Micro-ATX based platforms are design-inherent, which delivers a maximum of performance flexibility, system design security and sustainable long-term availability for application-specifically customised carrier board and system designs.

The option to pick any available COM-HPC module is a particular advantage. OEMs benefit from not being tied to one specific BGA or LGA processor from a single silicon or Computer-on-Modules vendor, which reduces the supply shortage risk significantly.

The conga-HPC/uATX carrier board for COM-HPC Computer-on-Modules in Micro-ATX form factor enables engineers to instantly prototype the next generation of their high-performance embedded and edge computing systems for fastest time to market.

Application areas of Micro-ATX system designs are system solutions that support multiple displays and can be found in various markets. Typical applications range from industrial and medical HMIs, real-time edge controllers, industrial PCs and control room systems to infotainment and digital signage applications all the way up to professional casino gaming systems.

The carrier board offers the latest interface enhancements such as PCIe Gen4 and USB 4 and is aligned with congatec’s latest high-end COM-HPC Client modules based on the 12th generation Intel Core i9/7/5/3 desktop processors. Engineers can now leverage Intel’s innovative performance hybrid architecture. Offering of up to 16 cores/24 threads, 12th Gen Intel Core processors provide a quantum leap in multitasking and scalability levels.

Next-gen IoT and edge applications benefit from up to 8 optimised Performance-cores (P-cores) plus up to 8 low power Efficient-cores (E-cores) and DDR5 memory support to accelerate multithreaded applications and execute background tasks more efficiently. Optimised for highest embedded client performance, the graphics of the LGA processor-based modules delivers now up to 94% faster performance and its image classification inference performance has nearly tripled with up to 181% higher throughput. In addition, the modules offer massive bandwidth to connect discrete GPUs for maximum graphics and GPGPU based AI performance.

Besides highest bandwidth and performance, the new flagship COM-HPC Client modules offer dedicated AI engines supporting Windows ML, Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit and Chrome Cross ML. The different AI workloads can be delegated to the P-cores, E-cores, as well as the GPU execution units to process even the most intensive edge AI workloads.

The built-in Intel Deep Learning boost technology leverages different cores via Vector Neural Network Instructions (VNNI), and the integrated graphics supports AI accelerated DP4a GPU instructions that can even be scaled to dedicated GPUs. Furthermore, Intel’s lowest power built-in AI accelerator, the Intel Gaussian and Neural Accelerator 3.0 (Intel GNA 3.0), enables dynamic noise suppression and speech recognition and can even run while the processor is in low power states for wake-up voice commands.

The conga-HPC/cALS COM-HPC Client Size C modules with 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors will be available in the following 4 configurations. For the lower end of high-end desktop clients, 10 more variants with soldered processors are available on conga-HPC/cALP COM-HPC Client Size A modules (95x120mm).

The Micro-ATX carrier board design can be adapted to OEM demands and carrier board schematics are available upon request.