congatec welcomes publication of COM-HPC Carrier Design Guide Rev. 2.2

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congatec – a leading provider of embedded and edge computing technology – welcomes the publication of COM-HPC Carrier Design Guide Rev. 2.2, which provides developers with performance specifications and a source of inspiration for the layout of modular designs on the basis of the small 95 mm x 70 mm COM-HPC Mini specification. The guide, published by the manufacturer-independent standards organisation PICMG, provides developers of embedded systems with comprehensive guidelines for the design of COM-HPC Mini-based carrier boards and also covers all new features and interfaces which have been implemented with the latest update to the COM-HPC specification. The availability of this new guide is absolutely critical for the embedded computing community, as high-performance designs need this guide in order to be able to migrate existing COM Express-based designs to the COM-HPC Mini specification (COM HPC specification 1.2) which was officially adopted in October 2023.

With 400 pins, COM-HPC Mini provides significantly more pins for interfaces than the module standards in Mini format available to date and also supports the latest high-speed interfaces – including PCIe 4.0 / PCIe 5.0, 10 Gbit/s Ethernet, USB 4.0, Thunderbolt and much more. The maximum input power of 76 W also provides plenty of latitude for high-performance multicore processors such as the 13th Gen Intel Core processor series (code name “Raptor Lake-P”) with up to 14 cores, which congatec already offers on the COM-HPC Mini modules of the conga-HPC/mRLP series. They support, among other things, firmware-integrated hypervisor technology to enable parallel tasks to be carried out in virtual machines on a non-reactive basis, which aids system consolidation.

A change in the COM-HPC design principles has an impact on the overall height of the module and heat spreader, reduced by 5 mm for COM-HPC Mini designs. As a result, the minimum installation height required is now just 19 mm instead of the 24 mm normally required from the top of the carrier board under the other COM-HPC specifications. This makes very slim designs possible, of the kind required for mobile hand-held devices or panel PCs. To meet the height limits, COM-HPC Mini modules have soldered memories in all cases. This makes COM-HPC Mini modules inherently rugged, as soldered memories provide not only greater resistance to shock and vibration but efficient cooling as well through direct thermal coupling to heat spreaders.

Customers who would like support in implementing the details of the design guide can obtain sample layouts from congatec and take part in design-in training courses. congatec provides assistance with the selection of components and offers services for signal integrity simulation and for the checking of the layout so that problems can be identified at an early stage. congatec also offers engineering support as an option for the speedy provision of first prototypes.