10GbE micro server carrier board is in Mini-STX form factor

Equipped with a COM Express Type 7 slot, a 10GbE micro server carrier board from congatec offers scalability across all suitable embedded server processor sockets. The modular server board in the 5.0 x 5.0-inch (140mm x 147mm) Mini-STX form factor enables 10GbE edge node performance upgrades at low cost, points our congatec, as nearly all investments in the real-time system design of 10GbE edge nodes can be re-used.

To upgrade the performance, OEMs and network operators can exchange the Server-on-Module. 5G network and edge data centre operators expect real-time performance demands to increase with the deployment of 10GbE infrastructure deployment, leading to lower revenues per processed data volume. Additionally, says congatec, industrial IoT, Industry 4.0 and fog server applications will require continuous performance upgrades as security, analytics and artificial intelligence demands will keep evolving for at least a decade to come.

The edge server board in the Mini-STX form factor uses the COM Express Type 7 conga-B7AC module based on the Intel Atom C3000 processor. Processor power consumption starts at just 11W TDP, enabling the system to offer four times real-time 10GbE network performance and up to 16 cores for processing smaller packet sizes in parallel. Compared to other multi-core solutions, such as the Intel Xeon D processors, the costs and power consumption are significantly lower, points our congatec. This will make it possible to roll out very high network bandwidths and storage capacities into the industrial field, assures the company.

The congatec micro server carrier board can be equipped with eight Intel Atom server processor versions, from the 16-core Intel Atom C3958 to the quad-core C3508 processor for the extended temperature range (-40 to +85 degree C). All offer up to 48Gbyte of fast 2400 DDR4 memory, which can be designed with or without error code correction (ECC) depending on customer requirements. The 10GbE interfaces are standardly implemented via SFP+ cages, enabling network connection via both fibre optic and copper cables. The carrier board provides two 1GbE and two USB 3.0 interfaces for service and peripherals. One of the 1GbE ports is connected to the integrated board management controller and can be used for server-typical remote management tasks.

The congatec micro server carrier board offers a VGA output and a serial interface for local administration. For custom extensions, it provides three M.2 slots. Two of them are designed for M.2 2280 cards with key M and four PCIe lanes or one SATA, for storage media. The third M.2 slot accepts M.2 3042 cards with key A. With two PCIe, one USB 3.0 and I²C, the board can connect storage media and other peripherals. The feature connectors also provide GPIOs, I²C, SM and LPC buses.

If the server-on-modules require active cooling – for example, with a 16-core Intel Xeon D processor – optional CPU and system fans can also be supported and controlled. This means the congatec micro server carrier board in the 5×5 Mini-STX form factor offers the same server-class performance that up to now only fully-featured 19-in rackmount servers were able to provide, says congatec. They can be mounted in confined spaces and even integrated into autonomous vehicles.


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