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Everything is getting smaller and more compact

25th January 2019
Alex Lynn

It has been announced that congatec will be presenting solutions such as a server on a 125x95mm footprint, and a high-end Core i7 processor on a 3.5” board including all interfaces at embedded world 2019, along with many exhibits showcasing the fusion of embedded computing and vision as well as artificial intelligence.

One congatec highlight is the company’s new 3.5” board. It is equipped with the new Intel Core i7-8565U processor (Whiskey Lake) and is the first single board computer (SBC) in this form factor from congatec. So next to Computer-on-Modules, the company is now also offering all major industrial small form factor standards for which there is high-volume market demand; from Mini-ITX, 3.5” to Pico-ITX (2.5”). When asked, congatec confirmed that the company would also implement modular eNUC boards.

Compared to embedded motherboards, embedded 3.5” boards fit on a relatively small form factor of 146 × 102 mm and are often equipped with ultra-energy-efficient processors. Compared to similar processors of the Kaby Lake U generation, the soldered Intel Core i7 processor of the 8th generation Whiskey Lake family offers quad core instead of dual core support at the same power consumption, and therefore up to 40 percent more multi-thread performance. Commercial variants with the same power consumption also provide Intel Optane memory support for ultra-fast responsiveness.

USB 3.1 Gen 2 support at ten gigabytes per second is another feature of this SBC. The same applies to the integrated USB-C connector with power delivery and graphics transmission. With maximum clock rates of up to 4.6GHz, these boards can achieve high performance. Power dissipation is a mere 15W, enabling much more compact high-performance designs.

Since the thermal management of high-performance processors has an impact on the maximum system clock speed, the optimised cooling system is key.

At embedded world, the company is also introducing a new COM Express Type 7 module with AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 processors, giving users a TDP of up to 100W to exploit. Measuring just 125x95mm, the modules support up to 96GB of onboard memory and executes massive high-end performance interfaces with 4x 10 GbE and up to 32 PCIe lanes.

The new conga-B7E3 COM Express Type 7 module can connect up to four MXM-based GPGPU cards, for example to offer flat designs with high parallel processing performance. congatec claims that this configuration is predestined for powerful artificial intelligence (AI) inference systems.

With application ready modules and matching customer-specific services, congatec also aims to take a lot of work off customers’ shoulders by enabling them to develop their individual vision and AI applications faster and more efficiently. Partner projects, like the cooperation with Basler, where an ARM i.MX8 based SMARC 2.0 module drives Basler MIPI CSI-2 cameras via a Connect Tech baseboard, are therefore a part of the congatec showcase.

Find congatec at embedded world, Hall 1 Booth 358.

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