With the MSC C6B-CFLH, Avnet Integrated delivers an extremely powerful COM Express module based on processors from the 8th Generation Intel Core processor family. The high-end board has up to six CPU cores and allows control of up to three independent 4K Ultra HD displays. A complete starter kit enables the rapid development of compact high-end systems.
The flexible standard module concept is becoming increasingly popular in the rapid and cost-optimized development of modern industrial products. The ready-to-use Computer-On-Modules (COMs) are offered in different variants with scalable performance data. Using a standard connector, the module can be easily mounted on a carrier board that includes all application-specific functions. The powerful COMs are designed for reliable operation and already have sophisticated security functions as standard. Furthermore, for numerous industrial designs, it is very important that a migration path to higher performance is predefined by simply replacing the module. This enables a high degree of investment protection for the end product..
The embedded modules are available in various form factors that comply with the established SMARC 2.0, Qseven or COM Express standards. For demanding applications that require high computing, graphics and video performance, developers tend to use COM Express. The COM.0 Revision 3.0 of the COM Express specification of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) defines four module sizes and three pinouts (Type 6, Type 10 and Type 7). The pinouts are designed for different applications and differ primarily in their PCI Express, Ethernet and display interfaces.
Type 6 on modules with Basic size and Compact size (95 x 95 mm) has established itself for graphics-intensive applications. Type 10 is intended for the Mini size (55 x 84 mm). Modules with Type 7 interfaces are the right choice for applications requiring high data throughput and connectivity to networks, mass storage or I/O. The Basic size (95 x 125 mm) has gained acceptance here due to the requirements regarding throughput and processor performance. The Extended size (110 x 155 mm) is not widely used.
The newly introduced COM Express embedded modules, which are based on the high-performance 8th Generation Intel Core processor family, can meet the increased requirements of future high-performance applications. Typical applications in industry and other markets are devices that accumulate large amounts of data, which must be handled by the processor. For example, in medical technology, in diagnostic systems, in visualization systems, with analysis and measurement systems, in spectroscopy, in industrial control systems, in Industry 4.0 environment, and in gaming systems. Additional applications are to be found in video surveillance, for instance, traffic monitoring, traffic control and toll systems, for transmission technology, streaming/broadcasting and media production. Thanks to the numerous processor cores, higher data throughput is possible, thus achieving significantly improved efficiency of the innovative devices.
The MSC C6B-CFLH COM Express Type 6 module family from Avnet Integrated, based on processors from the 8th Generation Intel Core processor family (codenamed Coffee Lake H), offers a real leap in performance (Figure 1). For the first time, processors that integrate six cores are available for the Basic size with Type 6 interface, thus ensuring considerably higher computing and graphics performance at similar power consumption as the previous 7th Generation Intel Core CPUs. Depending on the performance class, the processors offer between twelve and four threads as well as a turbo boost of up to 4.4 GHz. The Thermal Design Power (TDP) is 35 W or 45 W. Up to three independent 4K Ultra HD displays are supported.
The scalable MSC C6B-CFLH module family is optionally equipped with Intel Core i7, Core i5, Core i3 or Intel Xeon processors. The flagship integrates the Intel Core i7-8850H with six CPU cores and twelve threads with 2.6/4.3 GHz. Modules with i5-8400H (2.5/4.2 GHz) with eight threads and modules with i3-8100H (3.0 GHz) with four threads have four processor cores. The module with Intel Xeon E-2176M processor comes with six cores and twelve threads, offering a high clock rate of 2.7/4.4 GHz.
A total of up to 32 GB of DDR4-2666 DRAM memory can be inserted into the COM Express module via two SO-DIMM slots. The i3-8100H- and Xeon-based modules optionally support error checking and correction (ECC) for increased security, if appropriate ECC memory modules are used.
The processors integrate the Intel QM370 or C246 chipsets and have a powerful graphics controller, the Intel UHD Graphics 630. The device allows the simultaneous operation of up to three independent displays, each of which can have up to 4K resolution. Three DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI outputs as well as optionally embedded DisplayPort (eDP)/LVDS are available as graphic interfaces. The module comes with hardware-based video encoding and decoding up to 4K resolution. DirectX 12 is supported as well as OpenCL 2.1 and OpenGL 4.5.
The MSC C6B-CFLH COM Express module family offers a wide selection of interfaces: eight PCI Express Gen 3 x1 lanes and one PEG x16 Gen 3 interface for powerful system extensions, four SATA 6 Gb/s, four USB 3.1/2.0 and four USB 2.0. To protect against unauthorized access, the board is equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) with security and encryption functions compliant to the requirements of the Trusted Computing Group (TCG).
The maximum power consumption of the high-end module family in the Basic size with dimensions of 95 x 125 mm is between 35 W and 55 W, depending on the operating mode. The processor boards of the upper performance class can be operated in the temperature range from 0°C to +60°C. The modules support all common Linux operating systems as well as the 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 10 IoT. Avnet Integrated ensures that its new modules with 8th Generation Intel Core processors will be available for fifteen years from the date of product introduction.
A suitable baseboard in Mini-ITX form factor and a complete starter kit are available for the rapid development of compact high-end systems based on the high-performance module family. This allows the user to operate and test the Computer-On-Modules (COMs) on a ready-to-run and tested platform.
The MSC C6-SK-CFLH Starter Kit comprises a baseboard, memory modules (SO-DIMM), heatsink and a suitable power supply (Figure 2). The carrier board, for universal use, has a COM Express socket for Type 6 modules in the Compact or Basic size and comes with a wide range of common interfaces such as PCIe, SATA, USB 3.0 and 2.0, GbE LAN, LPC, UART, GPIO and HD Audio. DisplayPort (DP), embedded DisplayPort (eDP) and LVDS are available as graphics outputs. In addition, the carrier board offers a PCI Express Mini Card socket for functional extensions as well as an SD card slot.
The powerful MSC C6B-CFLH COM Express module family rounds off the top end of Avnet Integrated’s product portfolio. In most projects, however, it is not only the reliable delivery of the hardware that is decisive in choosing the appropriate module manufacturer, but also the consulting and support. Only those who support all existing form factors are able to advise the customer on the appropriate standard. Furthermore, the flexibility of the manufacturer plays an important role, for example, to fulfil specific customer requirements. The flexibility can range from small modifications such as in the BIOS, and semi-custom designs through to fully customized solutions.
In its MSC Design Centers in Germany, Avnet Integrated has built up extensive technical know-how for the development of standardized and customer-specific embedded modules. More than 120 development engineers, who have many years of experience, work on standard products and application-optimized projects in the Design Centers in Neufahrn near Munich, Aachen, Stutensee and Freiburg. Design for Manufacturability (DfM), Design for Test (DfT) and Design to Cost (DtC) are the top priorities. State-of-the-art design tools and a comprehensive database of building blocks guarantee short development times.
Avnet Integrated’s modern embedded modules are manufactured in highly-automated MSC production facilities in Stutensee, Germany (Figure 3). In addition, Avnet Integrated operates production facilities for complex system products and displays in Freiburg, Germany. The combination of comprehensive development and manufacturing expertise allows the seamless integration of individual product phases – all from a single source. The key to optimized series production is a high degree of automation and the utilization of flexible machines. The high level of investment in state-of-the-art production technologies and plants in recent years has enabled efficiency and productivity to be continuously increased. For many customers, proximity to module production is an important criterion that ensures a sense of security, fast access to manufacturing processes and a high degree of flexibility.
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