congatec is pleased to announce that the PICMG COM-HPC technical subcommittee has approved the pinout and footprint of the new credit-card-sized (95x60mm) high-performance Computer-on-Module specification COM-HPC Mini. The new COM-HPC Mini standard is now entering the home stretch toward final ratification, which is scheduled for the first half of 2023. Designed for small yet extremely performance-hungry applications the new COM-HPC Mini specification will open up the prospect of developing ultra-powerful microcomputers the size of a 4- or 8-port Ethernet switch, for example. Such small system sizes are needed in many segments of embedded and edge computing. Target markets include box PCs and control cabinet / DIN-rail PCs, adaptive IoT gateways for the brownfield, cyber-secure edge computers for critical IT/OT infrastructures, rugged tablets, and even ultra-rugged robots and in-vehicle computers wanting to take advantage of the soldered RAM which is a standard feature of these modules. Processors predestined for this new form factor are the 12th Gen Intel Core processor series – for which congatec already offers a ready-to-deploy design study for initial lab tests and customer feedback loops – and its future successors.
“The pinout approval is an essential milestone as carrier board designers and Computer-on-Module manufacturers such as congatec who are active in the COM-HPC working group can now embark on first compliant small form factor sized embedded and edge computing solutions based on this pre-approved data. The goal is to bring modules to market at the same time as Intel and other application processor vendors launch their new high-end processor generations, which is expected to happen next year,” explains Christian Eder, director of product marketing congatec, and chairman of the COM-HPC working group.
Providing 400 pins, as compared to COM Express Mini’s 220 pins, the new COM-HPC Mini standard is designed to satisfy the rising interface needs of heterogeneous and multi-functional edge computers. Extensions include up to 4x USB 4.0 with full functionality including Thunderbolt and DisplayPort alternate mode, PCIe Gen 4/5 with up to 16 lanes, 2x 10 Gbit/s Ethernet port, and much more. Add to that the fact that the COM-HPC Mini connector is qualified for bandwidths of more than 32 Gbit/s – enough to support PCIe Gen 5 or even Gen 6 – it is clear that its capabilities go well beyond those of all other credit-card-sized module standards.