COM-HPC carrier board is in the Micro-ATX form factor 

Marking its entrance into the industrial workstation and desktop client market, congatec has introduced its first modular Micro-ATX compliant carrier board with COM-HPC interface. 

The conga-HPC/uATX carrier board for COM-HPC computer-on-modules (COMs) are designed for embedded long term availability of at least seven years, said congatec. It is processor socket and vendor independent, which means the board can be equipped with any high end COM available in COM-HPC Client Size A, B or C. 

The modules are scalability across the entire range of 12th Generation Intel Core processor-based COM-HPC modules, which congatec offers in 14 performance options ranging from the conga-HPC/cALS COM-HPC Client Size C modules to the conga-HPC/cALP COM-HPC Client Size A modules. The former is claimed to offer the currently highest embedded client performance with the 16-core Intel Core i9 processor and the latter is equipped with the Intel Celeron 7305E processor.

Congatec offers application-ready industrial-grade COMs and carrier boards with tailored cooling and board support packages for all leading RTOS and the real time hypervisor from Real-Time Systems to accelerate time to market, lower non recurring engineering costs to enables customers to react very quickly to changing market requirements, said the company. It also allows customers to create a full product portfolio based on one single carrier concept.

In times of supply chain uncertainties, 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 COM vendor, which reduces the supply shortage risk significantly, said congatec. At the same time, the mechanics and application-specific peripherals can stay as they are without needing any hardware changes. 

Application areas of Micro-ATX system designs are systems that support multiple displays, for example industrial and medical HMIs (human machine interfaces), real time edge controllers, industrial PCs and control room systems, infotainment and digital signage applications and professional casino gaming systems.

The carrier board offers PCIe Gen4 and USB 4 and complements congatec’s COM-HPC Client modules based on the 12th generation Intel Core i9 / 7 / 5 / 3 desktop processors (formerly code-named Alder Lake-S). Engineers can now leverage Intel’s hybrid architecture, offering of up to 16 cores / 24 threads to  raise multi-tasking and scalability levels. 

Next-gen IoT and edge applications benefit from up to eight optimised Performance-cores (P-cores) and up to eight low power Efficient-cores (E-cores) and DDR5 memory support to accelerate multi-threaded applications and execute background tasks more efficiently. The graphics of the LGA processor based modules are are fast with image classification inference performance that has nearly tripled with up to 181 per cent higher throughput, said congatec. The modules’ bandwidth allows connection to discrete GPUs for maximum graphics and general purpose GPU based AI performance. 

The COM-HPC Client modules have 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 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. 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, continued congatec. It can run while the processor is in low power states for wake-up voice commands.

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