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congatec at embedded world 2022

The next-generation computer-on-module standard is on display almost everywhere you look at embedded world 2022. And that has many businesses wondering what that means for the previous standard, COM Express. According to Christian Eder, COM Express will be around for ages. But if you want to get more speed, performance, flexibility, and scalability from your computer modules, then you will want to consider COM-HPC combined with Intel® processors, much like the products congatec AG, a leading supplier of embedded computer modules, has on display at the conference.


(On screen: Christian Eder from congatec at the company’s booth at embedded world showcasing computer modules)

Christian Eder: Christian Eder, I’m at congatec. I’m responsible for product marketing of the direct market product marketing. And I’m also very much involved into COM-HPC. That’s what we talk about today.

At congatec we’re specialists in computer modules which means making complete computer systems on a module which then is integrated onto a carrier board. Just like you see here, let’s see computer modules. It’s a complete heart of a PC let’s say or in this case even a server and everything which is the application specific  is implemented on a customized carrier board, which we might do, or most of the time our customers created and we support them.

COM-HPC is just much, much faster gets much more interfaces. And that comes from the connector itself because between the module and the carry boards is a connector which is a bottleneck on previous or COM Express for example, COM Express only has 400 pins COM-HPC has 800 pins almost doubled the amount of interfaces. And it’s not just the amount, although the speed of the interfaces have been four folded up to now and has the potential even to go much, much higher which means PCI Express is doubling the speed, for example generation by generation with COM Express we’re limited to generation three with COM-HPC we already have products on generation five four times the speed, and it’s ready for generation six of course, no products yet, but it’s future proof.

Cause if you have COM Express solution today and you’re happy with your performance and the amount of interfaces it’s perfect COM Express will be maintained for ages. So I have no doubt about that,but of course if you redesign your system anyhow, you start from scratch. You have much more scalability to the towards the higher performance, if you start with COM-HPC now COM-HPC client supports all user interfaces let’s say like videos our four video interfaces there’s audio outputs, all of this is traded when looking to the servers for extra I/Os that means we have we have much more PC Express lanes.

The client has 57 or so, and we have 65 on the servers but the ethernets are even more important. So 2 25 KB ethernets instead of 8 25 KB ethernets. So it’s much more communication, much more I/O server life. You don’t need a screen for a server it’s headless and that’s a main differentiation. And by the way, that’s the same on COM Express. We have COM Express type seven which is server type and the type six client type, very similar concept just the sheer amount of performance and interfaces is different.

Of course Xeon-D is a headless system, though that’s predominant, of course, for for as why that’s this one for a server. So we don’t have a display interface. There might be you, of course, you can create one extra but makes, let’s say no sense it’s this chip for Xeon- D is for servers only. That’s what it’s meant for on the other hand in 12 generation, of course, has a rich interface a very strong GPU, very strong graphics. Also the report for you is before that’s a great platform, highest performance core you can get, we see S version socked version on the on the size E size C, sorry for that. It’s the largest client size. It’s the fastest platform on the module you can get those days. We have PC Express gen five, even implemented. We have PDR five and we have the strong graphics.

It’s a really powerful machine cause generation by generation Intel did improve the performance. And they absolutely prove their let’s say reliability and their commitment to the embedded markets. So being on a Intel platform, you can scale up and scale down and especially in a modular concept.

So you can easily switch from one, let’s say no matter if you use 10, 11, 12, or whatever upcoming generations or platforms on a modular concept you are absolutely scale level. And of course you most scale level on COM-HPS as this supports your latest interfaces.

Of course, we, we do have some nice demos.

(On screen: carrier board being displayed at congatec’s embedded world booth)

We have one carrier board from university together with this one, a server company. It’s a platform for, let’s say heterogeneous server. It does support one COM-HPC server and another two COM-HPC client slots which means you can really mix and match different technologies. In COM-HPC you might also just use an FPGA which is also possible as a COM-HPC card.

Use this as an accelerator for your AI applications and use the Intel C and D for example to manage all this traffic to manage communication. That’s a very good case.

(On screen: server case being displayed at congatec’s embedded world booth)

Also we have here another server case of application everything is possible, even a passive cool, very unusual for the server or the, the data center guys, big fans, a lot of climate things it’s possible to make the server let’s say a edge device. This stays that’s a perfect example, by the way that’s a reference carrier board by Intel, which is a complete 5G base station. So you can mount this thing on, let’s say outside close to the antennas, or even it can have the antennas directly in there, and perfectly set. And it’s extended temperature range minus 40 to plus 85, even no climate controls needed for that.

Of course, good targets, always our webpage It’s the best source for the complete overview. And please stay tuned about the future development of of COM-HPC. The standard is still evolving. So there’s one announcement just going out today. It’s a plan to create a even smaller size in the size A which is 95 by 120. We generate a, a mini size, which which is only 60 by 95 millimeters in order to enable mobile and low power applications as well featuring this high performance I/Os.

The preceding transcript is provided to ensure accessibility and is intended to accurately capture an informal conversation. The transcript may contain improper uses of trademarked terms and as such should not be used for any other purposes. For more information, please see the Intel® trademark information.

About the Author

Brandon brings more than a decade of high-tech journalism and media experience to his current role as Editor-in-Chief of the electronics engineering publication Embedded Computing Design. His coverage focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, embedded processors, edge computing, prototyping kits, and safety-critical systems, but extends to any topic of interest to the electronic design community. Brandon leads interactive YouTube communities around platforms like the Embedded Toolbox video interview series and Dev Kit Weekly hardware reviews, and co-hosts the Embedded Insiders Podcast. Drop him a line at or DM him on Twitter @techielew.

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