COM-HPC - Next Generation Standard for Industrial Server Grade Computer-on-Modules

November 10, 2020 Tiera Oliver

Advantech, a member of the PICMG COM-HPC subcommittee, announced COM-HPC. The new standard will be the technological platform for a series of high-performance Computer-on-Modules to be released by Advantech as an extension of its portfolio. They will be designed to meet the requirements of next-generation IoT markets, where they have to handle and process with high quantities of data.

Per the company, this new standard was necessary as the existing standard COM Express Type 7, in place since 2016, is not able to handle the demands of new requirements, such as 5G-data communication. Upcoming applications will be the real time data synchronization and the processing of machinery in factory lines, or different locations, for industrial automation. Defense-systems, medical imaging applications, and warehouses employing robots will also be typical use-cases for this high-performance module.

Also, per the company, Advantech played a role in defining the specifications for more than two years. The standard is scheduled for ratification at the end of 2020.

High Core Count and Memory Capacity Delivers Improved Performance

All five COM-HPC module standards (A ~ E) will utilize 800 pins via two new high-speed connectors with at least 4 x 100 pins each and 2 x 400-pin board –to-board connectors.

Besides other improvements, this allows an increased power input and optimized I/O expansion capabilities. The available board sizes enable the adoption of high-level processors. Larger model COM-HPC modules are compatible with 4 ~ 8 pcs long DIMM memory expansion sockets. Additionally, the module’s TDP supports 110W processors (in comparison: COM-Express only supports up to 65 Watts). COM-HPC accepts power inputs higher than 300W to deliver ideal performance with devices. Size E features up to 1TB memory via 8x pcs long DIMM memory capacity. Size C offers 128GB via 4x pcs SODIMM (Figure 1).

Advanced Data Transmission and I/O Expansion

COM-HPC is designed to support higher bandwidths via BGA-type board-to-board connectors. These solutions offer PCIe 4.0 and PCIe Gen 5 (32GT/s) support and can be scaled up to 65 lanes. They feature ports for 4x USB 4.0 or USB 3.2 Gen. 2 x 2, up to 10GBASE-T, and 8x ports 25GBASE-KR with sideband signals. COM-HPC also offers more low power I/O such as 12x GPIO, SPI, IPMB, I2C, and SMBus for intelligent system management.

Coming soon:

Advantech will release a COM-HPC evaluation kit called SOM-8990 and a carrier board called SOM-DB8900, in the fourth quarter of 2020. This will be a server pinout equipped with Intel Xeon D processor.

Key Features will be:

  • Intel Xeon D 16Core/TDP 110W processor
  • Up to 512GB memory with 8pcs 288pin RDIMM/LRDIMM
  • Up to 45 lanes PCIe Gen. 3 (x16, x8, x4, x1), 4x ports USB 3.0, & 2x ports SATA III
  • Up to 4x ports 10GBASE-KR, and 1x port 1000BASE-T
  • Pinout: COM-HPC Server type
  • Dimensions: Size E 200 x 160 mm (0.65 x 0.52 in)

For more information, visit:

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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