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Avnet Embedded: Scalable modules with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors meet the challenges of modern medical devices.
The high-performance medical devices of the future place high demands on their components and parts. Avnet Embedded draws from a wide range of innovative embedded standard modules, based on the current 12th Generation Intel® Core™ processors.
Using embedded computing technologies has the potential to significantly accelerate the development of new and innovative medical devices, such as CT scanners, MRI, ultrasound and diagnostic devices, and mobile patient monitoring systems.
Intelligent medical applications prioritize high-quality image acquisition and processing, and thanks to Artificial Intelligence, doctors can quickly evaluate images, such as X-ray and tomography, and increases their speed of diagnosis. However, as you might expect, standards of safety, reliability and durability for these applications are exceptionally high and medical technology applications must meet regulatory standards and obtain certain mandatory certifications.
To support the developers of modern medical systems as they implement these kinds of smart solutions, manufacturers of embedded computing solutions must provide suitable building blocks. Ready-to-use Computer-on-Modules (COM) integrate a core functionality of the selected processor technology and are simply mounted on a carrier board that has all application-specific functions. When compared to a custom design, this approach has many benefits – improved time-to-market, high flexibility and open scaling to optimize project costs. The standardized embedded compute modules also allow migration to future technology upgrades thanks to their scaling options.
Avnet Embedded’s broad portfolio of embedded computing modules offer all of these advantages as well as a flexible feature set which covers the requirements of current medical technology applications. Where there are custom tasks that cannot be fulfilled by standard modules, hardware and software can be easily optimized to suit the application. This ranges from adaptation of the BIOS and support in development of the carrier board to integration of the module into the special application. Avnet Embedded can also complete assembly and systems according to customer specifications.
Intel® Alder Lake processor technology is ideal to meet the high performance demands of a variety of medical applications. Avnet Embedded currently offer five modules based on this architecture. The module families MSC SM2S-ALN in the compact SMARC™ form factor and MSC C6C-ALN in the COM Express™ Type 6 compact standard integrate an Intel® Alder Lake N processor.
Depending on performance, the CPU is also branded as Intel® Atom® processor x7000E series or Intel® Core™ i3 processor. Two, four or eight cores are available to scale performance and up to three independent displays can be driven.
Among other applications, both are designed for use in:
Mobile first aid equipment
Clinical diagnostic equipment
Patient monitoring systems
For higher demands, Avnet Embedded offer three Computer-on-Modules equipped with the current 12th Generation Intel® Core™ processors (codenamed: Alder Lake U/P/H-series). This scalable product family features a wide range of CPU variants, which differ in terms of compute performance and energy efficiency.
The new Intel® Performance Hybrid Architecture of the 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processor features Performance-cores (P-cores) and Efficient-cores (E-cores) with the Intel® Thread Director providing intelligent workload optimization. The architecture scales up to fourteen cores and twenty threads. The integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics has up to 96 execution units (EUs) and ensures high graphics performance. The EUs support AI applications which are increasingly used in powerful image recognition and image processing medical systems. Intel®’s OpenVINO™ Toolkit supports comprehensive solutions for optimizing of AI functionality.
The module families based on 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processor technology can drive up to four independent displays. The interface offering includes PCI Express Gen 4/Gen 3 lanes, Ethernet and USB 4 ports and allows for the kind of high data throughput necessary for intelligent imaging.
Typical applications for embedded module families that integrate a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processor include:
Advanced ultrasound machines
Medical systems for cancer detection
Radiation therapy equipment
Avnet Embedded’s MSC C6C-ALP compact COM Express module family is primarily designed for the 12th Gen Intel® Core™ P-series and U-series processors (codenamed: Alder Lake P-series and U-series). The thermal design power (TDP) is 28W. Applications requiring lower power dissipation can be operated with selected processor variants at 12W TDP. For particularly demanding tasks, an H-series processor can also be used, which is operated at 45 or 35W TDP.
The MSC C6C-ALP modules are space-saving thanks to the small COM Express compact form factor with dimensions of 95 x 95 mm. Fast LPDDR5-5200 memory technology with a maximum capacity of 32GB ensures high data throughput. The memory components are soldered onto the board (memory down) and enable optimal cooling of the chips with the help of a heat sink.
The MSC C6C-ALP modules can be connected to the COM Express carrier board via up to eight PCIe Gen 3 lanes and up to 16 lanes PCIe Gen 4. The Ethernet interface provides up to 2.5GbE bandwidth based on the Intel® i226 network controller. Additionally, four USB 3.2 Gen 1/2 and eight USB 2.0 ports, and two UARTs are available. The powerful boards can drive up to four independent displays and features three DisplayPort/HDMI interfaces, one LVDS and Embedded DisplayPort interface, and optional VGA. Mass storage devices can be connected via two SATA 6Gb/s channels. Optionally, the computer-on-modules are equipped with up to 1 TB NVMe SSD.
Avnet Embedded expands its broad COM Express product portfolio at the higher end of the performance range with the MSC C6B-ALP COM Express Type 6 module family based on 12th Gen Intel® Core™ U/P/H-series processors (codenamed: Alder Lake U/P/H -series). The thermal design power is 45/35W.
The boards in the Basic form factor can be equipped with up to two SO-DIMMs for a total memory capacity from 8 to 64 GB. The MSC C6B-ALP modules can be connected to the COM Express carrier board via four PCIe Gen 4 and Gen 3 lanes each and a 1×8 lane PEG port capable of PCIe Gen 4 (with Alder Lake H-series). The Ethernet interface based on the Intel® i226 network controller provides up to 2.5GbE bandwidth. Additionally, four USB 3.1 Gen 1/2 and eight USB 2.0 ports, two UARTs, three DisplayPort/HDMI interfaces, one LVDS and Embedded DisplayPort interface and optionally VGA are available on the boards.
Embedded modules in the new COM-HPC® (Computer-On-Module for High Performance Computing) standard provide an extremely high computing, graphics and video performance and enough I/O bandwidth for future high-end applications. Avnet Embedded’s powerful MSC HCA-ALP computer-on-modules integrate an 12th Gen Intel® Core™ H-series, P-series and U-series processors (codenamed: Alder Lake U/P/H-series). The boards correspond to the COM-HPC Size A form factor with Client interface and have dimensions of 120 x 95mm.
For highest data throughput, such as that required by the analysis of high-resolution images in real-time, the modules feature fast DDR5-4800 memory technology and a selection of fast interfaces. The COM-HPC® module can be connected to the carrier board via up to eight PCIe Gen 3 lanes, up to eight PCIe Gen 4 lanes and an optional eight lane PEG port capable of PCIe Gen 4. Two Ethernet interfaces provide up to 2.5GbE bandwidth each based on the Intel® i225/i226 network controller family. Further high-speed I/O can utilize USB ports featuring USB 4 and USB 3.2. Display interfaces include three DisplayPort/HDMI interfaces and an Embedded DisplayPort interface. The powerful MSC HCA-ALP modules can drive up to four independent displays. Mass storage devices can be connected via two SATA 6 Gb/s channels. Optionally, the Computer-on-Modules are equipped with up to 1TB NVMe SSD.
All product designs are prepared for use with the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ series. This processor family is socket-compatible with the 12th Generation and can be integrated into existing architectures. Among other benefits, this enables PCIe Gen 5 graphics applications based on COM-HPC that further expand I/O bandwidth.
In addition to embedded modules, Avnet Embedded provide a complete ecosystem with suitable starter kit, board support package and design-in support. The modules are developed in the company’s own design centers and manufactured in fully automated production facilities, ensuring embedded boards of excellent quality. Avnet Embedded guarantees a long-term availability of at least ten years to secure the system investments made by the customers and to avoid renewed approval procedures and certifications.