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ADLink relies on Arm architecture

COM-HPC module with Ampere processor

15. September 2021, 15:00 Uhr   |  Tobias Schlichtmeier

COM-HPC module with Ampere processor
© ADLink Technology

The COM-HPC Altra, a new board of ADLink Technology.

ADLink Technology expands its product portfolio with the COM-HPC server module »Altra«. It is aimed to edge applications for compute-intensive workloads. At the heart of the module is Ampere's Altra SoC.

Ampere's Altra SoC is based on Arm's Neoverse-N1 architecture with up to 80 cores and 64 bits operating up to 2.8 GHz at 175 W. According to the vendor, the module offers a lower total cost of ownership than comparable x86 designs and very low power consumption. ADLink chose the Ampere processor because it offers very good performance compared to its cost.

The Altra offers three PCIe Gen4 x16 lanes for real-time workloads such as autonomous driving, stationary and mobile robotics, medical imaging, or test and measurement. It is also suitable as a development and compilation system for energy-efficient arm embedded designs.

Ampere Altra is one of the first SoCs with Arm's »SystemReady« certification. SystemReady helps software run seamlessly in an ecosystem of Arm-based hardware. ADLink also plans to certify the Altra prototype system as a SystemReady device. In addition, the Altra supports the open source code »edk2« as a boot loader with UEFI. Users can further download a standard aarch64 (arm64) ISO like Ubuntu and install it directly on the target system by booting a live ISO. ADLink has already begun shipping samples of the prototype to ecosystem partners and is accepting pre-orders now.

Autonomous driving in focus

Further, Arm today announced its Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE) platform. Arm's SOAFEE reference hardware platforms consists of ADLink's Altra-powered »AVA Developer Platform.« It is used by automotive manufacturers to develop and test Arm-based SoCs. In addition, ADLink's »AVA-AP1« platform is used for prototype development in vehicle manufacturing. Currently, OEMs are working to move from the high number of ECUs in cars to a few small »domain controllers« – with the vision of using an ECU based on a single Arm SoC in the future.

The key features of the Altra at a glance

  • Arm Neoverse-N1 architecture
  • Scalable, from 32 to 80 Arm v8.2 64-bit cores (60 to 175 W)
  • 768 GB DDR4 with 6 individual memory channels
  • 64x PCIe Gen4 lanes
  • edk2 bootloader with TianoCore/UEFI
  • Arm SystemReady: ready to install aarch64 Ubuntu 20.04, Yocto Linux
  • GbE support: 4x 10GbE and 1x GbE
  • SOAFEE compliant

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