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COM Express “server on module” taps Skylake Xeons

Dec 23, 2015 — by Tom Williams — 1,133 views

Congatec announced a “Conga-TS170” COM Express Basic module series based on Intel’s 6th Gen (“Skylake”) Core and Xeon processors, and aimed at high performance “server class” apps.

Congatec is introducing a series of COM Express Type 6 Basic modules that are available with a selection of Intel’s 14nm 6th Generation Core (“Skylake”) processors, as well as with two server class 6th Gen Intel Xeon processors. Despite a number of previous announcements of Skylake-based COM Express modules by Adlink, Kontron, Advantech, Aaeon, and others, only Adlink’s Express-SLE and Congatec’s Conga-TS170 appear to support Intel’s Xeons.

Based on the Conga-TS170’s support for a pair of 6th Gen Intel Xeon processors — in addition to four Core i3/i5/i7 parts — Congatec is positioning the module as a pioneer of a new embedded computing macro-component category, calling it a “server on module” [PDF download]. In fact, it’s actually Congatec’s second generation server-on-module, with the Conga-TS97 being the first.

Congatec Conga-TS170 front (left) and rear views
(click images to enlarge)

The Conga-TS170 is offered with a choice of four quad-core and two dual-core Core i3/i5/i7 chips, as well as with two 6th Gen Xeon chips, ranging up to the EL-1595M V5, which supports clock rates up to 3.7GHz (turbo) and has a TDP of 45 Watts. Although the processing performance and power consumption specs of the Xeon chips fall roughly into the ranges offered by the module’s 6th Gen Core options, the Xeons’ server-like tools and characteristics are said to make it a better choice for real-time IoT applications that can’t afford the latencies incurred with typical cloud-based supervisory and system management architectures.

Conga-TS170 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Functions available through the Conga-TS170’s pair of COM Express Type 6 connectors include a PCI Express Graphics (PEG) interface (i.e. PCIe x16), eight additional PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes, four USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0 interfaces, plus LPC and I2C buses. Four SATA 3.0 interfaces offer support for both HDD and SSD mass storage devices and include RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 capabilities. In addition, the modules include a board management controller that implements watchdog timer, power loss control, and remote monitoring functions.

Graphics features derive from the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 controller, which can supply 3D video to up to three independent 3840 x 1260 displays simultaneously. Available video outputs routed to the module’s COM Express bus connectors include HDMI 1.4, eDP 1.3 or LVDS, DisplayPort 1.2, and optional VGA. It’s also possible to stream HD video in both directions.

In terms of operating system support, the Conga-TS170 is compatible with all major Linux OSes, as well as with Windows 7/8/10 and Windows Embedded Standard.

Specifications listed for the Conga-TS170 module include:

  • Processor — Intel 6th Gen Core (“Skylake”) with Mobile Intel 100 chipset:
    • Core i7-6820EQ — 4x 2.8GHz (3.5GHz turbo) cores, 8MB L2 cache; 45W TDP
    • Core i7-6822EQ — 4x 2.0GHz (2.8GHz turbo) cores, 8MB L2 cache, 25W TDP
    • Core i5-6440EQ — 4x 2.7GHz (3.4GHz turbo) cores, 6MB L2 cache, 45W TDP
    • Core i5-6442EQ — 4x 1.9GHz (2.7GHz turbo) cores, 6MB L2 cache, 25W TDP
    • Core i3-6100E — 2x 2.7GHz CPU cores, 3MB L2 cache, 35W TDP
    • Core i3-6102E — 2x 1.9GHz CPU cores, 3MB L2 cache, 25W TDP
    • Xeon E3-1505M V5 — 4x 2.8GHz (3.7GHz turbo) cores, 8MB L2 cache, 45W TDP
    • Xeon E3-1505L V5 — 4x 2.0GHz (2.8GHz turbo) cores, 8MB L2 cache, 25W TDP
  • Memory — 2x SODIMM sockets for up to 32GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM (up to 2133 MT/s)
  • Storage — 4x SATA III (via COM Express bus connectors)
  • Networking — 1x Gigabit Ethernet (via COM Express bus connectors)
  • Display — Intel Gen9 HD Graphics; supports up to 3x independent displays, which include:
    • HDMI 1.4a
    • DisplayPort 1.2
    • eDP 1.3 or LVDS (configurable)
    • VGA (option)
  • Other I/O (via COM Express bus connectors):
    • 4x USB 3.0 (XHCI)
    • 8x USB 2.0
    • 8x PCIe GEN 3.0 lanes
    • 1x PCIe x16 (PEG) Gen 3
    • LPC
    • I2C
    • 2x UART
    • Digital HD audio
  • Other features — Congatec board controller, watchdog timer, LVDS backlight control, power loss control, embedded BIOS extensions, AMI AptioV UEFI 2.x firmware, optional TPM, ACPI 4.0
  • Power — (not currently listed)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 95 x 125mm; COM Express Type 6 Basic form-factor
  • Operating systems — Linux; Windows 7/8.1/10; Windows Embedded Standard

Further information

No pricing or availability information was supplied for the Conga-TS170. More details may be found at Congatec’s Conga-TS170 product page. Evaluation and development projects based on the Conga-TS170 are supported with Congatec’s Conga-TEVAL baseboard.

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