Computer-on-mode support for SMARC 2.0

From eCOUNT comes the ES-1XXX, its first computer-on-module family to support the SMARC 2.0 standard from the SGET.

The modules are equipped with ARM Cortex-A9 based Intel Cyclone V SoCs (formerly Altera), which integrate a configurable FPGA. By integrating the Intel Cyclone V SoCs on SMARC computer-on-modules customers can benefit from an application-ready ultra-low-power platform for cost-efficient custom Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) designs.

Compared with full-custom designs, the development and certification effort is significantly reduced by up to 50 to 90 per cent owing to the provision of complete BSPs, carrier boards, accessories and FPGA IP as well as comprehensive documentation.

Target markets for eCOUNT embedded’s new SMARC modules with Intel Cyclone V SoCs are low-power applications in harsh environments such as industrial automation, medical technology, test and measurement systems, as well as transportation and aviation.

Configurable FPGA means the new SMARC modules can be used in a variety of configurations. Core FPGA IP, for example for standard industrial Ethernet protocols such as Profinet and EtherCAT, is available off-the-shelf. This makes the SMARC modules suitable for industrial automation.

Additionally there are also many other possible configurations: as I/O controllers, big data loggers with data acquisition, network controllers or energy-efficient HMIs with solar power supply as well as generic configurations, for example, with several PCIe lanes.

“The IIoT trend, which requires more and more intelligence in the connected devices, opens the potential for us to set the same board-level standards for ultra-low-power ARM application processors as were established about 15 to 20 years ago with computer-on-modules for x86 technology,” said Dirk Finstel, managing partner and CTO of eCOUNT embedded.

The new ES-1XXX modules for the extended temperature range (-40 degrees C to 85 degrees C) offer a life cycle of at least 10 years and are available in dual and single-core Intel Cyclone V SoC configurations (SE and SX) with up to 110KLE and 925 MHz and up to 2 GB of DDR3 RAM.

They each integrate up to 128MB NOR flash and 128GB eMMC storage, while also providing one NEON SIMD per core for graphics. The interface offering includes: 1x Gbit Ethernet, two Fast Ethernet ports with PHY, two USART ports, up to two CAN and two USB 2.0 interfaces, or alternatively a USB OTG interface for mobile devices.

Further extensions can be connected via 2x SD card and 2x I2C interfaces, up to two SPI ports, and up to 102 GPIOs. Six transceivers for up to 3.125G bits per second as well as a VfPv.3 floating point unit predestine the module for compute and bandwidth intensive applications.

The Cycline V SoCs’ configurable FPGA allows for other interface constellations, such as real-time control of servomotors, a VGA LCD controller, EtherCAT or Profinet master/slave with Softing firmware, or full PCIe x1/x4 support.

Watchdog and a real-time clock as well as real-time Ethernet support complete the feature set, along with operating system support for Linux Kernel 4.7, Yocto 2.0 Jethro and Debian 7.0.

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