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Mini-ITX board runs Linux on AMD Steppe Eagle SoCs

Jul 22, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,340 views

Congatec has refreshed its Conga-IGX line of Mini-ITX boards with dual- and quad-core G-Series “Steppe Eagle” SoCs, featuring configurable TDPs from 5-15W.

Congatec announced its Linux-friendly Conga-IGX Mini-ITX boards in 2013, providing a choice of two dual-core and one quad-core models from the original AMD G-Series SoC family. Now, the company has expanded the product to feature two G-Series SoC models from the newer Steppe Eagle generation of G-Series SoCs. AMD’s Steppe Eagle is still 28nm, but is claimed to offer improved performance-per-Watt, a dedicated security coprocessor, and the feature touted by Congatec: configurable TDP (cTDP).

Refreshed Conga-IGX board
(click image to enlarge)

The cTDP feature lets you optimize the cooling, power supply, and system costs, depending on the application. You can adjust the TDP from 10 to 15 Watts on the dual-core, 2.2GHz (2.4GHz Turbo) GX-222GC, and from 5 to 7 Watts on the quad-core, 1.2GHz (1.6GHz Turbo) GX-412HC. The dual-core GX-222GC needs more juice for the higher clock rate and more advanced AMD Radeon R5E graphics. The GX-412HC has Radeon R3E graphics.

Original Conga-IGX
(click image to enlarge)

The AMD Radeon graphics support up to two independent displays via the Conga-IGX DisplayPort 1.2, DVI, or LVDS interfaces, and drive up to 4K (3840 x 2160-pixel) resolution. The new Conga-IGX boards also support DirectX11.1, OpenGL 4.2, and OpenCL 1.2, “which enables the GPU to process compute-intensive parallel tasks faster and more efficiently than the CPU,” says Congatec.

The quad-core GX-412HC was part of the original wave of Steppe Eagle SoCs, and appeared in a recently announced CompuLab COMEX-A420 COM Express Mini Type 10 module. The dual-core GX-222GC arrived a bit later, and has been featured in a Kontron COMe-cSE6 COM Express Type 6 Compact module.

Conga-IGX block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The 170 x 170mm Conga-IGX board appears to be the same as the original version, with support for up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, dual SATA ports, an mSATA connection, and the aforementioned display ports. The board also provides a PCIe x4 Gen 2.0 slot, a Mini-PCIe slot, dual USB 3.0 ports, and six USB 2.0 ports. A special socket for commercially available USB sticks “enables inexpensive and easy expansion of applications to add WLAN, mobile connectivity, or security mechanisms (dongles),” says Congatec.

Conga-IGX details
(click image to enlarge)

Other I/O includes dual serial ports, PS/2 ports, GPIO, and stereo audio inputs and outputs. There’s a DC 12V/19-24V power supply, optional TPM, and 0 to 60°C temperature support. The board has 7-year availability, and supports Linux and various Windows flavors. (For a full-spec list and other information, see our original Conga-IGX coverage.)

Conga-IGX coastline ports
(click image to enlarge)

In November of last year, Congatec announced a pair of industrial thin Mini-ITX boards. The Conga-IA3 is based on an Intel Atom E3800, and the Conga-IC87 runs the Intel 4th Gen Core (“Haswell”) processors.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the refreshed Conga-IGX boards. More information may be found on Congatec’s updated Conga-IGX product page.

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