Kontron supports the new Standard for Embedded Industrial Server Class Computing
Peter Müller, Vice President Product Center Modules at Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), comments on the background to the development of the new Computer-On-Module standard COM-HPC™:
The usage of standardized Computer-on-Modules in the embedded market shows a long success record – the best example is COM Express®, the worldwide leading standard for Computer-on-Modules. However the embedded market is facing new challenges.
Applications such as artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and the upcoming 5G wireless standard come with enormous data hunger and require more computing power. This also requires new concepts for embedded computers: existing standards will no longer be sufficient to cope with the growing embedded market challenges. Kontron, together with other leading manufacturers in the industry, has set up a new working group in the PICMG standardization committee to make the COM standard fit for the future. Computer-On-Modules High Performance Computing – COM-HPC™- will be complementary to the existing COM Express® standard and is targeting industrial scenarios and other embedded server/client applications with harsh environmental conditions.
COM-HPC™ will use two new high-speed connectors with 4 × 100 pins – a total of 800 pins allowing future fast connections like PCIe Gen4/5, USB 3.2/4.0 and 25 Gigabit Ethernet enabling 100 GbE network connections. The standard will come in two flavors of the pin-out definition with five different sizes. COM-HPC™/Client is addressing high-end embedded computing applications with a footprint of up to 160mm x 120mm, supporting 48x PCIe lanes, four dedicated high-resolution display interfaces, four USB 4.0 ports and four SODIMMs. COM-HPC™/Server is targeting edge server applications with a footprint of up to 200mm x 160mm, excellent network connectivity with 8x 25 GbE interfaces and 64x PCIe lanes. The focus on high-end server performance is clearly reflected by enabling an overall power envelope of 300W and memory support of max. eight DIMMs.
Another new feature of COM-HPC™ is the integrated system management interface to allow remote management. It will offer real edge server functions that can be widely expanded by integrating suitable server-class Board Management Controllers (BMC) on carrier boards.
The specification is expected to be released by end of Q2 2020. Kontron plans to introduce powerful server-class modules based on the COM-HPC(TM) standard in Q4 2020.