20 new Intel-based computer modules for IoT gateway and edge

Article By : Nitin Dahad

congatec has introduced 20 new Intel processor based computer on modules (COM) to target IoT gateway and edge computing applications.

Computer module and single board computer supplier congatec has introduced 20 new computer-on-modules (COM) to target demanding internet of things (IoT) gateway and edge computing applications. These modules feature 11th Gen Intel Core vPro, Intel Xeon W-11000E, and Intel Celeron processors.

To illustrate the capability of the portfolio of modules, the new flagship COM-HPC Client and COM Express Type 6 modules are built on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin technology in a two-package design with dedicated CPU and platform controller hub (PCH). These top end modules deliver a new bandwidth benchmark of up to 20 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes for massive connected real-time industrial (IIoT) gateway and intelligent edge computing workloads.

To process such massive workloads, the new modules boast up to 128 GB DDR4 SO DIMM RAM, integrated artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators and up to 8 high-performance CPU cores that achieve up to 65% gain in multi-thread performance and up to 32% gain in single-thread performance. In addition, visualization, auditory and graphics intensive workloads are enabled with a boost of up to 70% compared to the predecessor modules, enhancing performance for immersive experiences.

Flagship applications that directly benefit from these GPU enhancements can be found in surgery, medical imaging and e-health edge applications as congatec’s new platform supports 8K HDR videos for optimum diagnostics. Combined with the platform’s AI capabilities and the Intel OpenVINO toolkit, doctors can gain easy access and insights into deep-learning based diagnostic data.

This is one of the benefits of the integrated Intel UHD graphics, which also supports up to four 4K displays in parallel. In addition, it can process and analyze up to 40 HD 1080p/30fps video streams in parallel for 360-degree views in all directions. These AI-infused massive vision capabilities are also important for many other markets, including factory automation, machine vision for quality inspection in manufacturing, safe spaces and cities, as well as collaborative robotics and autonomous vehicles in logistics, agriculture, construction, and public transport.

AI and deep learning inference algorithms can seamlessly run either massively parallel on the integrated GPU, or on the CPU with built-in Intel deep learning boost that combines three instructions into one, accelerating inference processing and situational awareness.

congatec-TLH Family
The conga-HPC/cTLH COM-HPC Client Size B modules (120mm x 120mm), as well as the conga-TS570 COM Express Basic Type 6 modules (125mm x 95mm) will be available with new scalable 11th Gen Intel Core, Xeon and Celeron processors. (Source: congatec)

The new COM-HPC client and COM Express Type 6 platforms have integrated safety functions that are important for fail-safe operation of many mobile vehicles and robots, as well as stationary machinery. As real-time support is mandatory for such applications, the congatec modules can run RTOSes such as Real Time Linux and Wind River VxWorks, and provide native support from Real-Time Systems’ hypervisor technology, which is also officially supported by Intel.

The result for customers is a rounded ecosystem package with comprehensive support. Further real-time capabilities include Intel time coordinated computing (Intel TCC) and time sensitive networking (TSN) for real-time connected IIoT/industry 4.0 gateways and edge computing devices. Enhanced security features that help to protect systems against attacks make these platforms ideal candidates for all types of critical customer applications in factories and utilities.

The detailed feature set

The conga-HPC/cTLH COM-HPC client size B modules (120mm x 120mm), as well as the conga-TS570 COM Express basic type 6 modules (125mm x 95mm) will be available with new scalable 11th Gen Intel Core, Xeon and Celeron processors, with selected variants even for extreme temperatures ranging from -40 to +85°C. Both form factors support up to 128 GB DDR4 SO-DIMM memory with 3200 MT/s and optional ECC. To connect peripherals with massive bandwidth the COM-HPC modules support 20 PCIe Gen 4 lanes (x16 and x4), and the COM Express versions support 16 PCIe lanes. In addition, designers can leverage 20 PCIe Gen 3 lanes with COM-HPC, and 8 PCIe Gen 3 lanes on COM Express.

To support ultra-fast NVMe SSD, the COM-HPC module provides 1x PCIe x4 interface to the carrier board. The COM Express board has NVMe SSD even onboard for optimum utilization of all native Gen 4 lanes supported by the new processor. Further storage media can be connected via 2x SATA Gen 3 on COM-HPC, and 4x SATA on COM Express.

Where the COM-HPC module offers latest 2x USB 4.0, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, and 8x USB 2.0, the COM Express module offers 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2 and 8x USB 2.0 in compliance to the PICMG specification. For networking, the COM-HPC module offers 2x 2.5 GbE, whereas the COM Express module executes 1x GbE, with both supporting TSN. Sound is provided via I2S and SoundWire in the COM-HPC version, and HDA on the COM Express modules. Comprehensive board support packages are provided for all leading RTOSes, including hypervisor support from Real-Time Systems as well as Linux, Windows and Android.

The two 11th Gen Intel Core, Xeon and Celeron processor based COM-HPC and COM Express Basic Type 6 modules are available in the following options:

congatec com modules chart
The options available in congatec’s 20 new modules featuring Intel processors. (Source: congatec)


This article was originally published on Embedded.

Nitin Dahad is a correspondent for EE Times, EE Times Europe and also Editor-in-Chief of embedded.com. With 35 years in the electronics industry, he’s had many different roles: from engineer to journalist, and from entrepreneur to startup mentor and government advisor. He was part of the startup team that launched 32-bit microprocessor company ARC International in the US in the late 1990s and took it public, and co-founder of The Chilli, which influenced much of the tech startup scene in the early 2000s. He’s also worked with many of the big names—including National Semiconductor, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Marconi Instruments.


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