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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Starter set for COM Express Type 7 server-on-modules triggers modular micro server designs

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk




congatec has launched a new COM Express Type 7 quick starter set as the basis for OEM’s modular micro server designs. 

The new quick starter set simplifies the evaluation of the first server-on-modules designed to the PICMG COM Express Type 7 standard for cloud, edge, and fog server applications. Engineers further benefit from reduced validation efforts of their own carrier board layouts, as they can re-use the proposed best practice components and PCB design schematics for their own dedicated next-gen modular micro servers. congatec provides the schematics of the new carrier board (conga-X7/EVAL) to all registered quick starter set customers for free.

The starter set is intended to kickstart designs of Industry 4.0 micro servers communicating in real-time, redundant fog servers, and transcoding cloudlets at the edge of carrier-grade infrastructures typically operating on a massive scale. It targets commercial temperature (0°C to 60°C) as well as extended temperature ranges (-40C to +85°C) for rooftop and public transportation installations and is universally applicable. 

With 4x 10 Gbit and 1x 1 Gbit Ethernet, 4x USB 3.0 and baseboard management controller providing VGA, iKVM and virtual storage the evaluation carrier board can instantly be used at any test designer’s standard workspace.

“Cloud, edge, and fog application markets are all brand new – and engineers need a trustworthy platform strategy to ensure fastest time to market for their challenging and usually time critical projects," said Christian Eder, Director Marketing at congatec. "By offering a quick starter set that is compiled out of our COM Express Type 7 modules, complementary cooling solutions, and our new evaluation carrier board conga-X7/EVAL, we provide everything engineers require for the computing cores of these servers."

The congatec conga-X7/EVAL evaluation carrier board for COM Express Type 7 server-on-modules features 4x 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ interfaces, which can be equipped with optical (XFP) or copper transceivers, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port. 

For server extensions, the board executes 32 PCI Express lanes via 1x PCIe x16, 1x PCIe x8 and 2x PCIe x4 slots. Further extensions include 4x USB 3.0/2.0 and a COM port. Its Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) features include an integrated board management controller, adding 1x VGA for local displays as well as iKVM to transport keyboard, video and mouse signals over LAN for remote management. 

For SSDs or HDDs, there are 2x SATA Gen3 interfaces and the PCIe lanes support NVMe for fast mass storage devices. Further features include 1x LPC header, 1x I2C bus, 1x SM bus, 1x 8 Bit GPIO and fan control. The power supply supports ATX PSUs as well as 12 VDC plain via banana jacks. For custom designs, congatec provides the PCB schematics and bill of materials to registered customers.

The quick starter set comprises a selection of standard products that engineers can bundle according to their specific demands. Typical quick starter sets for COM Express Type 7 integrate the conga-X7/EVAL carrier board plus its schematics, which are freely downloadable for registered customers along with a choice of micro server processor modules.


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