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Friday, March 01, 2019

congatec puts consumer Whisky Lake quad core processors on embedded cards

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

congatec has launched what it believes to be the world's first embedded form factors with consumer versions of Intel's 8th Generation Intel Core Mobile processors (codenamed Whiskey Lake).

The COM Express Type 6 Compact modules, 3.5 inch SBCs, and Thin Mini-ITX motherboards are all equipped with consumer-grade 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U Mobile processors. OEM customers get early access to the new high-end processor technology and benefit from first-to-market strategies. Industrial end-customers profit from an instant application performance boost of up to 40% compared to previous U-Series processors - enabled by 4 instead of 2 cores plus an overall improved microarchitecture.

"One of our main goals is to simplify the use of embedded computer technology as much as possible for our customers. That's why we offer our embedded Computer-on-Modules, 3.5 inch SBCs and Thin Mini-ITX motherboards now also as consumer-grade BGA variants featuring 8th Generation Intel Core processors," said Christian Eder, Director of Marketing at congatec

"This helps OEMs who want to deploy the latest processor technologies as fast as possible - especially at the mobile high-performance level where life cycles are shorter, and where OEMs are searching for complementary embedded computing platforms, for example to enable closed loop manufacturing with the latest performance classes. Our new embedded boards cater exactly for this need," he said.

Compared to embedded variants, consumer-grade processors mainly lack long-term availability support - which is often not the top priority in the embedded high-performance race. OEM customers who are content with this but need a rugged embedded form factor can use these hybrid embedded 3.5 inch SBCs, Thin Mini-ITX motherboards, and COM Express Type 6 modules as they combine the benefits of consumer-grade processors with those of rugged embedded boards and modules. Even vendors who want to use embedded variants in series production benefit from these boards because thanks to the identical APIs provided by the embedded board vendors, they can test their applications on appropriate platforms far earlier than before.

The conga-JC370 3.5 inch SBCs, conga-IC370 Thin Mini-ITX motherboards and conga-TC370 COM Express Type 6 modules all come with the 1.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-8565U Mobile processor that impresses with a performance increase of up to 40% compared to previous U-Series processors enabled by a leap from 2 to 4 cores along with the improved microarchitecture. The memory is designed to match this performance boost: Two DDR4 SODIMM sockets with up to 2400 MT/s are available for a total of up to 64GB. 

For the first time, USB 3.1 Gen2 is now supported natively. This USB SuperSpeed+ interface is capable of transferring up to 10 Gbps, which makes it possible to transfer even uncompressed UHD video from a camera to a monitor. The new 3.5 inch SBC provides this performance via a USB-C connector that also supports 1x DisplayPort++ and power supply for peripheral devices, thereby enabling monitor connection with a single cable for video, touch and power. The COM Express modules support the same feature set on carrier boards. Further interfaces depend on the form factor but all support a total of 3 independent 60Hz UHD displays with up to 4096x2304 pixels as well as up to 2x Gigabit Ethernet (1x with TSN support). The new boards and modules offers all this and many more interfaces with an economical 15W TDP, which is scalable from 10W (800 MHz) to 25W (up to 4.6 GHz in Turbo Boost mode).

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