Kontron Announced Computer-On-Module standard COM HPC

By Fabian Wanke

Company and Product News

Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computer Technology (ECT), announced Computer-On-Module standard COM HPC.

Leading manufacturers in the industry, such as Kontron, have 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, abbreviated COM HPC (previously known as COM HD), will be an upgrade to the existing COM Express standard.

COM HPC will support high-end server processors and up to 8 SODIMMS for memory and will probably allow a power dissipation of up to 125 watts, where COM Express was previously the only option at 60 watts.  The new PCI Express 4.0 standard is also supported, but also the upcoming 5.0 standard, which can no longer be served by COM Express, which is why COM HPC comes with a new connector layout that will also support 64 PCIe lanes.  COM HPC is also equipped for future fast connections via USB 3.2 and network standards such as 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

COM HPC will use two new high-speed connectors with at least 4 × 100 pins - a total of 800+ pins.  The basis will be Samtec's ADF6/ADM6 series, but the row spacing will be increased and the end result will be usable for other manufacturers as well - single source is deliberately avoided here.

The target group for the new COM HPC modules is clearly the factory floor and other applications with harsh environmental conditions.  The focus here is on industrial scenarios in which the modules and carrier boards have to 'withstand a lot'.  In contrast to classic IT servers, which were developed for use in a protected data center or server room, COM HPC-based boards are also designed for harsh industrial environments, where they offer the performance and flexibility of typical IT servers.  Kontron expects that Industrial Embedded Servers based on COM HPC will be available in two versions: a powerful version with graphics, as known from COM Express®, and a version without graphics with significantly more data lanes for sophisticated server concepts.

Kontron will add powerful server-class modules based on the COM HPC standard to the "From Edge to Fog to Cloud" concept by the beginning of 2020, for example, to manage the enormous flood of data coming from edge gateways in edge servers; as part of an embedded cloud to be able to perform AI evaluations close to the data source or to filter data at lightning speed before it is forwarded to the data center or a public or private cloud.

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