New Technologies from congatec Presented at embedded world 2021 DIGITAL

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

March 08, 2021

News

New Technologies from congatec Presented at embedded world 2021 DIGITAL

congatec presented new techologies, the starter set for COM-HPC Client, the SMARC 2.1 modules, and the AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 processor at embedded world 2021. 

congatec starter set for COM-HPC Client with 11th Gen Intel Core processors

congatec presented a new COM-HPC starter set at embedded world 2021 DIGITAL. Ideal for modular system designs utilizing PCIe Gen4, USB 4.0, and up to 2x25 GbE connectivity as well as integrated MIPI-CSI vision capabilities, the starter set is based on congatec’s PICMG COM-HPC Computer-on-Module conga-HPC/cTLU, which leverages 11th Gen Intel Core processor technology (code name Tiger Lake). The new embedded module generation targets system engineers working on the broadband connected edge devices in the industrial IoT industry.

The starter set offers various Ethernet configuration options ranging from 8x 1GbE switching options and 2x 2.5 GbE, including TSN support up to dual 2x 10 GbE connectivity. congatec’s AI support for MIPI-CSI connected cameras from Basler adds further application readiness to industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 connected embedded systems. AI and inferencing acceleration can be achieved with Intel DL Boost running on the CPU vector neural network instructions (VNNI), or with 8-bit integer instructions on the GPU (Int8). Support of the Intel Open Vino ecosystem for AI is also included, which comes with a library of functions and calls for OpenCV and OpenCL kernels to accelerate deep neural network workloads.

The set presented at embedded world 2021 DIGITAL is based on the following components of congatec’s COM-HPC ecosystem:

ATX compliant carrier board conga-HPC/EVAL-Client

The ATX compliant carrier board conga-HPC/EVAL-Client incorporates all interfaces specified by the new COM-HPC Client standard and supports the extended temperature range from -40°C to +85°C. It comes with two PCIe Gen4 x16 connectors plus a variety of LAN data bandwidths, data transfer methods, and connectors, including 2x 10 GbE, 2.5 GbE, and 1GbE support. Over mezzanine cards, the carrier can run up to 2x25 GbE. The board supports the COM-HPC sizes A, B, and C, and includes interfaces engineers require for programming, firmware flashing, and reset. 

New conga-HPC/cTLU COM-HPC Client module

The conga-HPC/cTLU module is available in different processor configurations. For each of these configurations, three different cooling solutions are available that fit the entire configurable 12-28W TPD range of the 11th Gen Intel Core processors.

The product page of the conga-HPC/cTLU can be found at: https://www.congatec.com/en/products/accessories/conga-hpceval-client/

congatec SMARC 2.1 modules with NXP i.MX 8M Plus processor

congatec also presented a new low power SMARC 2.1 Computer-on-Modules with NXP i.MX 8M Plus processor for industrial edge analytics, embedded vision, and artificial intelligence (AI) at embedded world 2021 DIGITAL. With its machine and deep learning capabilities, the new low power conga-SMX8-Plus module allows industrial embedded systems to see and analyze their surroundings for situational awareness, visual inspection, identification, surveillance, and tracking as well as gesture-based contactless machine operation and augmented reality.  

Technical highlights of the Arm Cortex-A53 based quad-core processor platform include the integrated neural processing unit (NPU) for AI computational power and the image signal processor (ISP) for parallel real-time processing of high-resolution images and video streams from the two integrated MIPI-CSI camera interfaces. The ecosystem of this new SMARC module – such as application-ready 3.5-inch carrier boards as well as Basler camera and AI software stack support – complements the product launch for proof of concept. Vertical markets for these credit card sized low power vision and AI modules can be found anywhere from smart farming and industrial manufacturing to retail, and from transportation to smart cities and smart buildings.

With specialized processing units, the new i.MX 8M Plus processor based SMARC module from congatec enables responsive embedded vision and AI applications with a low power envelope. Advantages include: 

  • The NPU adds 2.3 TOPS of AI computational power to the four multi-purpose Arm Cortex-A53 processor cores. 
  • The integrated ISP processes full HD video streams with up to 3x 60 frames per second for video enhancement. 
  • The high-quality DSP enables local speech recognition without any cloud connection. 
  • The Cortex-M7, which can also be used as a fail-safe unit, provides real-time control together with a time synchronized networking capable Ethernet port.
  • Next to an encryption module (CAAM) for hardware accelerated ECC and RSA encryption, the Arm TrustZone also integrates the Resource Domain Controller (RDC) for isolated execution of critical software, and the secure High Assurance Boot mode to prevent the execution of unauthorized software during boot.

 The feature set in detail

The new SMARC 2.1 modules for vision and AI applications feature four quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 based NXP i.MX 8M Plus processors for the industrial (0°C to +60°C) or extended temperature ranges (-40°C to +85°C) as well as in-line ECC for up to 6 GB LPDDR4 memory. The modules can drive up to three independent displays and provide hardware accelerated video decoding and encoding including H.265 so that high resolution camera streams delivered by two integrated MIPI-CSI interfaces can be sent directly to the network.

For data storage, engineers will find onboard up to 128 GB eMMC, which can also operate in safe pSLC mode. Peripheral interfaces include 1x PCIe Gen 3, 2x USB 3.0, 3x USB 2.0, 4x UART as well as 2x CAN FD and 14x GPIO. For real-time networking, the module offers 1x Gbit with TSN support plus conventional Gbit Ethernet. An optional M.2 WiFi and Bluetooth LE card soldered on the module adds wireless connectivity. 2x I2S for sound rounds off the feature set. The supported operating systems include Linux, Yocto 2.0 and Android. 

For more information, visit: https://www.congatec.com/en/products/smarc/conga-smx8-plus/

 congatec doubles performance with AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 processor 

congatec introduced the conga-TCV2, a brand new COM Express Compact Computer-on-Module based on AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 processors. With double the performance compared to the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000, according to the company, the module is setting a new performance per watt benchmark with 15-Watt TDP designs [1].

This low power platform performance has been validated using real-world cross-platform test suite Cinebench R15 nt. Compared to modules with AMD Ryzen Embedded V1608B processors, conga-TCV2 modules deliver a performance plus of 97% (V2516) to 140% (V2718) with up to 8 cores. Due to the new 7nm Zen 2 cores, single core performance also increased between 25% and 35%, making the new modules an ideal candidate for performance improvements in 24/7 connected and fanless embedded systems operating at the industrial edge. Typical applications include multi-functional industrial edge gateways, digital signage systems, gaming terminals, and infotainment platforms. With up to 40% more GPU capabilities [2] for up to 4x 4k60 graphics at 15 Watt and GPGPU support, multi-headed medical imaging systems in the operating theater as well machine vision, and machine learning systems are further target markets.

Next to stationary equipment, solar powered stationary, mobile and autonomous systems also welcome the low power values of the new AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 processor-based Computer-on-Modules, which can be configured down to as low as 10-Watt cTDP. This is ideal because the productive operation time without re-charging extends the lower the TPD. The AMD Ryzen V2000 Embedded processors offer a broad performance range from 10 Watt up to 54 Watt on the basis of this single processor architecture.

The feature set in detail

The new conga-TCV2 high-performance COM Express Compact modules with Type 6 pinout are based on the latest AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 multi-core processors and will become available in 4 different flavors:

Per the company, these modules offer up to double the compute performance per watt and double the core count over previous generations. Thanks to symmetrical multiprocessing capabilities, they also provide parallel processing performance with up to 16 threads. The modules feature 4MB L2 cache, 8MB L3 cache, and up to 32GB energy-efficient and dual-channel 64-bit DDR4 memory with up to 3200 MT/s and ECC support for data security. The integrated AMD Radeon graphics with up to 7 compute units continues to support applications and use cases that need high-performance graphics computing. 

The conga-TCV2 Computer-on-Module supports up to four independent displays with up to 4k60 UHD resolution over 3x DisplayPort 1.4/HDMI 2.1 and 1x LVDS/eDP. Further performance-oriented interfaces include 1x PEG 3.0 x8 and 8x PCIe Gen 3 Lanes, 4x USB 3.1, up to 8x USB 2.0, up to 2x SATA Gen 3, 1x Gbit Ethernet, 8 GPOIs I/Os, SPI, LPC, as well as 2x legacy UART provided by the board controller. 

The supported hypervisor and operating systems include RTS Hypervisor as well as Microsoft Windows 10, Linux/Yocto, Android Q, and Wind River VxWorks. For safety-critical applications, the integrated AMD Secure Processor helps with hardware-accelerated encryption and decryption of RSA, SHA, and AES. TPM support is onboard as well.

For more information, visit: http://www.congatec.com/en/products/com-express-type6/conga-TCV2/


[1] Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of July 2020 on the Ryzen Embedded V2718 and June 2018 on the Ryzen Embedded V1605B processor both at 15 watts (STAPM mode enabled) using Cinebench R15 nt. Results may vary. EMB-170

[2] Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of July 2020 on the Ryzen Embedded V2718 and June 2018 on the Ryzen Embedded V1605B processor both at 15 watts (STAPM mode enabled) using 3DMark11. Results may vary. EMB-172

[3] Max boost for AMD Ryzen and Athlon processors is the maximum frequency achievable by a single core on the processor running a bursty single-threaded workload. Max boost will vary based on several factors, including, but not limited to: thermal paste; system cooling; motherboard design and BIOS; the latest AMD chipset driver; and the latest OS updates. GD-150

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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