February 24, 2021
The open specification for high performance compute modules is approved by the PICMG Consortium
Wakefield, MA., 2021 – PICMG, a leading consortium for the development of open embedded computing specifications, announces that COM-HPC has been approved and ratified, and is now available for public download and distribution.
“Twenty-six industry-leading companies worked together diligently and cohesively over a span of five years”, said Christian Eder, the COM-HPC Working Group Chair. “I owe a big thank you to the team for the dedication and excellence they all brought to the effort. It is a clear proof of the importance of the COM-HPC specification. Now we are well prepared to address current and future technology requirements.”
COM-HPC defines five module sizes to deliver edge server performance for small, rugged data centers. The specification addresses emerging requirements in the embedded and edge computing market. The base specification will be accompanied later this year by a Platform Management Interface Specification, COM-HPC EEEP, and a Carrier Board Design Guide.
“The PICMG organization is proud of the extraordinary collaboration between industry leaders that has led to the completion of the COM-HPC base specification, said Jess Isquith, president of PICMG. “The new open standard will enable multiple AI and Industry 4.0 applications, amongst others, to be realized by bringing server-level computing to the edge. Adopting the specification provides a necessary standard to reduce time to market and stabilize costs for hundreds of solutions providers.”
It is important to note that the specification covers two classes of modules.
The COM-HPC Client Module Type targets use in high end embedded client products that need one or more displays, a full set of low, medium, and extremely high bandwidth I/O, powerful CPUs and modest size. Typical uses are in medical equipment, high end instrumentation, industrial equipment, casino gaming equipment, ruggedized field PCs, transportation and defense systems and much more.
The COM-HPC Server Type targets use in high end headless (no display) embedded servers that require intensive CPU capability, large memory capacity, and lots of high bandwidth I/O including multiple 10Gbps or 25Gbps Ethernet, and up to 65 PCIe lanes, at up to PCIe Gen 5 speeds. Typical uses are in embedded server equipment ruggedized for use in field environments and applications such as autonomous vehicles, cell tower base stations, geophysical field equipment, medical equipment, defense systems and much more. Both client and server modules have a dedicated platform management interface which is the first for a COM standard to include remote administration.
This new specification does not replace COM Express, which will continue to play a crucial role in the COM marketplace for many years.
The specification documents are available for download on the PICMG website at picmg.org/open standards/com-hpc/. Also available is a preview document and additional resources to learn more about the specification.
- Two 400-pin BGA mount high-performance connectors
- Platform Management Interface
- Not limited to x86 processors
- Provides for the use of x86 & RISC processors, FPGAs and GPGPUs
- COM-HPC Client Modules
- Up to 48 + 1 PCI Express Gen4/5 lanes
- Up to 4x USB4
- Up to 4x video interfaces
- Up to 2x 25 Gb Ethernet interfaces
- Module sizes:
- Size A: 95 x 120 mm
- Size B: 120 x 120 mm
- Size C: 160 x 120 mm
- COM-HPC Server Modules
- Up to 64 + 1 PCI Express Gen4/5 lanes
- Up to 2x USB4
- Up to 4 graphic interfaces / headless
- Up to 8x 25 Gb Ethernet interfaces
- Module sizes:
- Size D: 160 x 160 mm
- Size E: 200 x 160 mm
Members of the PICMG COM-HPC committee include: University of Bielefeld, Acromag, ADLINK, Advantech, Amphenol, AMI, Avnet Integrated (MSC Technologies), Comtel, Duagon (MEN Mikro Elektronik), congatec, Elma Electronic, ept, Eurotech, Fastwel, GE Automation, HEITEC, ICC Intelligent Platforms, Intel, Kontron, N.A.T., nVent, Samtec, SECO, Supermicro, TE Connectivity, Trenz Electronic, and VersaLogic. ADLINK, congatec and Kontron are the committee sponsors. Christian Eder, marketing director of congatec, is the chairman of the COM-HPC committee. He was previously a draft editor of the current COM Express standard. Stefan Milnor from Kontron and Dylan Lang from Samtec support Christian Eder in their respective functions as editor and secretary of the PICMG COM-HPC committee.