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Two CAN interfaces

Computer-on-module and carrier board combo

Congatec (Germany), vendor of embedded computer technology – announced its conga‑SMC1/Smarc-x86 3,5-inch carrier board. The board comes with two embedded CAN interfaces.

(Source: Congatec)

The size-optimized Smarc 2.1 carrier board is application-ready and off-the-shelf deployable in small to mid sized series in combination with any Congatec Smarc computer-on-module available to date. Tailored to make 3,5-inch SBC (single board computer) designs modular, it is suitable for the Gen 5 Intel Atom, Celeron, and Pentium processors (codenamed Apollo Lake) as well as future low power x86 generations, said the company. Its slot for Smarc 2.1 processor modules provides processor socket independent scalability. With fewer layers, the PCB (printed circuit board) design of the 3,5-inch carrier is less complex and less expensive compared to a full-custom design, said the company. The carrier board comes with the capability to implement customization.

The product excels with its audio codec and USB-C implementation that is specifically optimized for Intel Atom processor technology. It is furthermore also optimized for MIPI cameras, which can now be connected directly and without any additional hardware. Due to two MIPI-CSI 2.0 connectors, it is possible to develop systems that provide three-dimensional vision and can therefore also be used for situational awareness in autonomous vehicles. Combined with processor-integrated support for artificial intelligence and neural networks, this commercial off-the-shelf (Cots) platform is suitable for vision systems. Software support with precompiled binaries completes the Cots offering.

The carrier board is scalable across the entire Intel Apollo Lake processor range, from Intel Atom (E3950, E3940 and E3930) to Celeron (N3350) and Pentium (N4200) processors. On a footprint measuring 146 mm x 102 mm, the product offers dual GbE, 5x USB, and USB hub support as well as Sata 3 for external hard drives or SSDs. For custom expansions, the board offers a miniPCIe slot as well as an M.2 Type E E2230 slot with I2S, PCIe and USB, and an M.2 Type B B2242/2280 with 2x PCIe and 1x USB. An integrated Microsim slot for IoT (Internet of Things) connection is also provided, next to specific embedded interfaces such as two CAN, 4x UART, 8x GPIO, I2C, and SPI.

Displays can be connected via HDMI, LVDS/eDP/DP, and MIPI-DSI. The board further offers two Mipi-CSI inputs for camera connection. Sound is implemented via an audio jack. The board comes with Windows and RTS hypervisor support. For the open source community, Congatec also offers precompiled binaries with a suitably configured bootloader, appropriately compiled Linux, Yocto, and Android images, plus all required drivers that are available to the company's customers on Github. The carrier boards are available in the following Smarc computer-on-module configurations:

ProcessorCoresIntel smart cache [MB]Clock/burst [GHz]TDP [W]Graphics execution units
Intel Atom x7‑E3950 4 2 1,6 / 2,0 12 18
Intel Atom x5‑E3940 4 2 1,6 / 1,8 9 12
Intel Atom x5‑E3930 2 1 1,3 / 1,8 6,5 12
Intel Pentium N4200 4 2 1,1 / 2,5 6 18
Intel Celeron N3350 2 1 1,1 / 2,4 6 12

“Computer-on-modules have the capacity to bring modularity to the entire embedded, industrial and IoT computing world. This size-optimized Smarc 2.1 carrier board in 3,5-inch form factor is just the starting point of our design roadmap to make embedded computing even more modular. Together with our carrier board design partners in various sectors, Congatec can offer tremendous benefits to any standard embedded form factor, with the potential to disrupt established vendors in markets such as embedded motherboards and SBCs as well as modular edge server and backend systems such as CompactPCI Serial, PXI, or VME/VPX,” explained Martin Danzer, Director Product Management at Congatec.


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