High-performance COM-HPC client module family based on 13th Gen. Intel Core processors

COM-HPC in the edge

Avnet Embedded expands the product portfolio of high-performance standard modules in the COM-HPC form factor. The high-end client and server boards are designed for compute-intense graphics, AI and edge computing applications.

For the development of smart industrial applications, manufacturers of embedded computing solutions offer their customers ready-to-use building blocks, such as scalable embedded modules. The strength of the module concept is that it quickly and easily provides the required processing power and additional functionalities, such as artificial intelligence (AI) support. Standard modules offer high flexibility and open scaling to optimize project costs and time-to-market of the end products. In addition, the scalability of the embedded compute modules enables migration to future technology upgrades.

To address the high-performance needs of compute-intensive applications, the PICMG® (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) has defined the COM-HPC® (Computer-on-Module for High Performance Computing) standard. COM-HPC modules deliver high compute, graphics, and video performance, as well as a variety of high-speed interfaces for high transfer rates that enable broadband connectivity to networks and local IO controllers. With 800 pins, COM-HPC has almost twice as many pins as the established COM Express® standard.

Typical applications of the high-performance COM-HPC modules are industrial IoT systems with AI/Machine learning functions, complex HMI and edge computing applications, intelligent video surveillance systems, modern medical equipment, and professional measurement systems.

The COM-HPC standard defines five COM-HPC form factors that offer sufficient space for CPU, power electronics, cooling, and large memory modules. The compact client modules are available in the three sizes of 160 x 120mm, 120 x 120mm and 95 x 120mm, the server modules in footprints of 200 x 160mm and 160 x 160mm. Heat spreaders with defined height and holes for mounting system-specific cooling solutions are specified. For modules with increased power dissipation directly mounted heat sinks are available.

COM-HPC defines the two module variants COM-HPC client and COM-HPC server which have in part a different interface assignment as well as different gaps between the connectors. The introduction of the new COM-HPC Mini standard with small dimensions is under way.

COM-HPC client and COM-HPC server module types are optimized for different embedded computing applications. COM-HPC client modules feature integrated video interfaces such as DDI and eDP/MIPI-DSI to control four independent, high-resolution displays. Up to 49 PCIe lanes enable connecting external I/O devices and flash-based mass storage devices. One or two KR Ethernet (maximum 25 Gbit/s) and up to two Base-T (maximum 10 Gbit/s) Ethernet interfaces are available.

Powerful COM-HPC server modules offer a large number of PCIe lanes for example for the connection of hardware accelerators, mass storage devices or data concentrators. Up to eight KR Ethernet interfaces are supported whereby the bandwidth per port can scale from 1 Gbit/s (e.g. 1000Base-KX) to 25 Gbit/s (e.g. 25GBase-KR) depending on the implementation. For management tasks, a Base-T port with up to 10 Gbit/s bandwidth (10GBase-T) is defined. The boards have space for large memory arrays and cooling solutions.

Tim Jensen

Tim Jensen

Over the past few months, Avnet Embedded has seen a strongly growing interest for COM HPC modules for future high performance computing (HPC) applications. Tim Jensen, Senior Director Embedded Product Innovation, Avnet, said, “We provide our customers with the hardware, software and comprehensive support they need to rapidly integrate advanced computing capabilities. In addition to the design expertise, we also have the capability to manufacture the high-performance modules in-house.”

Rapid expansion of the COM-HPC product portfolio is a prerequisite for being able to provide customers with the best possible support. Avnet Embedded’s powerful MSC HCA-RLP COM-HPC Client module family is equipped with 13tth Gen Intel Core H-series, P-series and U-series processors (formerly codenamed „Raptor Lake H/P/U-series“)giving application designers a great variety of choices of power efficient and performant compute solutions.. The Intel® performance hybrid architecture features Performance-cores and Efficient-cores with the Intel® Thread Director providing intelligent workload optimization. The architecture scales up to fourteen cores and twenty threads at 45/35W thermal design power (TDP). Applications requiring lower power dissipation can be operated with selected processor variants at 12W TDP. The integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Architecture Graphics with up to 96 execution units (EUs) ensures high graphics performance.

For highest data throughput the MSC HCA-RLP modules enable fast DDR5-4800 memory technology with up to 64GB SO-DIMM based memory.

Module high-speed I/O selection comprises 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 5. The two Ethernet interfaces provide up to 2.5GbE bandwidth each based on the Intel i226 network controller. Further high-speed I/O can utilize USB ports featuring USB4, USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and two UARTs. Display interfaces include three DisplayPort/HDMI interfaces and an Embedded DisplayPort. The 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 1 TB NVMe SSD.



The MSC HCA-RLP modules are ideal for tasks requiring support for extended temperature range from -40 to +85°C and 24/7 continuous operation. For industrial applications, grading options like Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) support, Intel® Time Coordinated Computing (TCC), and memory with In-Band Error Correction Code (IBECC) are available. The boards correspond to the COM-HPC Client size A form factor and have dimensions of 120 x 95 mm. The construction height is influenced by the cooling solution depending on the thermal requirements.

Avnet Embedded’s MSC HCA-ALP client module family is equipped with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ H-series, P-series and U-series processors (codenamed „Alder Lake U/P/H-series“). Both 13th Gen and 12th Gen Intel Core series processor families are socket-compatible and can be changed in existing architectures.

Avnet Embedded‘s MSC HCC-CFLS powerful COM-HPC client module family is available in a wide range of module variants – from cost-effective Intel® Pentium® processors to high-performance 9th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors with up to eight cores and a TDP ranging from 35W to 65W.  The boards come in COM-HPC size C forfactor and can be equipped with up to 64GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM. Up to three independent display units with a maximum resolution of 4k can be connected via three DDI interfaces and one eDP interface. The PCI Express Graphics (PEG) x16 port based on PCIe Gen3 enables the integration of external graphics and AI accelerators. In addition, 16 PCI Express x1 lanes, USB 3 Gen1 and 2, SATA, 1G and 2.5G Ethernet as well as GPIOs are available.


Avnet Embedded’s more powerful MSC HSD-ILDL COM-HPC Server module family integrates the Intel® Xeon® D-1700 processor (codenamed „Ice Lake D“) which combines up to ten Xeon cores, memory controller, high bandwidth network functionality, and multiple PCIe root complexes on a single socket. The on-chip network controller supports up to eight Ethernet ports with different configuration options ranging from 100M up to 25G per port and an aggregated throughput of up to 100G. An additional 1Gb/2.5Gb Ethernet port based on Intel® i225 supports TSN for real-time applications. An extensive set of PCI Express lanes with Gen 4 and Gen 3 support allow for connecting external hardware accelerators, FPGAs, NVMe storage, and IO devices.

Avnet Embedded supports evaluation of the high-performance computing modules, rapid prototyping and fast application development with a complete ecosystem which includes the MSC HC-MB-EV client carrier board and comprehensive design support. For a very high quality and a long availability of the Computer-On-Modules (COMs), Avnet Embedded develops and manufactures its COM-HPC products in decentralized design centers and company’s own fully automated production facilities.





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