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First SMARC 2.0 module

Congatec has unveiled its first credit card sized modules for the new SMARC 2.0 specification. They are based on the newly released 14nm Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium processors (code named Apollo Lake).

The conga-SA5 Computer-on-Modules low-power processor performance has been combined with an integrated on board wireless interface for improved IoT connectivity which is, according to the company, unique among current Computer-on-Modules.

The SMARC 2.0 specification comes with a number of feature rich improvements offering major advances in both technology and performance so that SMARC 2.0 will soon replace previous SMARC 1.1 designs. Developers and OEMs will benefit from a completely new module standard with more pre-integrated functionality making carrier board design easier and more efficient.

congatec announced that it will also be launching SMARC 2.0 starter kits and free revision checks for existing SMARC 1.1 carrier board designs will also be made available to order.

The conga-SA5 modules come with the Intel Atom processors x5 E3930, x5-E3940 and x7-E3950 for the extended temperature range -40° C to +85° C, or with the Intel Celeron N3350 or quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processors. All variants integrate the latest Intel Gen 9 graphics for up to three high resolution 4k displays that can be connected via dual channel LVDS, eDP, DP++ or MIPI DSI. The modules are able to provide up to 8 GB high bandwidth LPDDR4 RAM with up to 2400 MT/s.

Via the standardised M.2 1216 interface, wireless IoT connectivity becomes an optional standard feature of the SMARC 2.0 module. According to the application demands, soldered down connectivity modules with fast 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual band WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac plus Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) as well as additional NFC functionality can be integrated on the module. The SMARC 2.0 modules are also able to offer 2x Gigabit Ethernet with hardware-based real-time support via Precision Time Protocol (PTP).

For highly integrated designs up to 128 GB non-volatile storage are available on the module with the powerful eMMC 5.0 interface, doubling the bandwidth up to 3.2 Gbit/s (read) compared to eMMC 4.0 for shorter boot times and faster data load. For additional storage, there is one 6 Gbps SATA and SDIO. Generic extensions are connected via 4 PCIe lanes, 2x USB 3.0 and 4x USB 2.0. Further interfaces include 2x SPI, 4x COM as well as two MIPI CSI camera inputs. Audio signals are carried via HDA.

All modules support Windows 10, including the complete Windows 10 IoT range and Android for mobile applications. For a simplified entry into the SMARC 2.0 world, congatec will soon also offer a quick starter kit as well as a comprehensive range of accessories.

Author
Neil Tyler