Edge server and client designs

Platforms for edge computing

19. Februar 2021, 10:00 Uhr   |  Tobias Schlichtmeier

Platforms for edge computing
© Congatec

Congatec focuses on customers’ ruggedization challenges at virtual embedded world 2021. They are presenting platforms for all performance levels, from high-end COM-HPC to low power SMARC modules.

The driving force behind this focus is the increasing demand for rugged edge and real-time fog computing technologies to facilitate digitization projects in often extremely harsh and challenging environments. Typical use cases for these platforms can be found in critical railway, road traffic and smart city infrastructures, offshore rigs and wind parks as well as electricity distribution networks. Further target markets include network connected industrial and medical devices with IIoT/Industry 4.0 connectivity, outdoor kiosk and digital signage systems.

The new platforms for harsh environments support extreme temperature ranges from -40 to +85 °C, feature BGA soldered processors for shock and vibration as well as high EMI resistance. They can optionally be made available with conformal coating to protect the platforms against ingress from condensation, salt water and dust.

COM-HPC and COM-Express

A highlight of the presentations are the high-end x86 Computer-on-Modules for extreme environments based on the COM-HPC and COM-Express standards. The »conga-HPC/cTLU« COM-HPC Client Size A modules as well as the »conga-TC570« COM-Express-Compact modules are available with new scalable 11th Gen Intel Core processors for extreme temperatures ranging from -40 to +85°C. Both modules are the first to support PCIe x4 in Gen 4 performance to connect peripherals with massive bandwidth.

Platforms with Intel Atom x6000E Series processors

Congatec’s rugged platforms on the basis of Intel Atom x6000E Series, Intel Celeron and Pentium N & J Series processors are available as Computer-on-Modules in the SMARC, Qseven, COM-Express-Compact and Mini form factors, and also as Pico-ITX Single Board Computers (SBCs). They impress especially in real-time industrial markets, offering not only improved performance but also Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), Intel Time Coordinated Computing (Intel TCC), hypervisor support from Real Time Systems (RTS), and BIOS configurable ECC.

SMARC 2.1 Computer-on-Module with i.MX 8M Plus processor

The presentation is complemented by the exhibition of the SMARC 2.1 Computer-on-Module with i.MX 8M Plus processor. Consuming only 2 – 6 w, this edge computing platform for extended temperature ranges convinces with four powerful Arm Cortex-A53-processor cores and an additional Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which adds up to 2.3 TOPS of AI computing power. Specifically designed for AI inferencing and machine learning at the edge, the modules are also optimized for processing and analyzing dual-camera Image Signal Processor (ISP) data received via the two integrated MIPI-CSI interfaces.

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