PICMG Releases COM-HPC® Carrier Board Design Guide

The design guide supplements the COM-HPC specification for high performance compute modules 

Wakefield, MA., March 2021 – PICMG, a leading consortium for developing open embedded computing specifications, announces that the COM-HPC Design Guide is released and freely available on the PICMG website. COM-HPC, short for computer-on-module (COM) – high performance compute (HPC), is an open Computer-On-Module form factor standard that targets extremely high I/O and computer performance levels. Standard COM-HPC modules plug into a carrier or baseboard that is typically customized to the application. The document provides information for designing a custom system carrier board for COM-HPC modules. The intended audience is electronics engineers and PCB layout engineers designing carrier boards for PICMG COM-HPC modules.

The guide contains a detailed discussion of the module to carrier board Ethernet KR and KR4 backplane signaling. To save pins on COM-HPC modules, the sideband signals for the 10G / 25G / 40G / 100G Ethernet KR interfaces are serialized and must then be deserialized on the carrier board. The design guide provides instructions for this through a series of diagrams. It also contains information about COM-HPC interfaces and a list of useful books to facilitate carrier board designs.

This design guide contains additional detailed information but does not replace the PICMG COM-HPC® specification. For complete guidelines on the design of COM-HPC® compliant carrier boards and systems, refer to the full specification –the Design Guide is not intended to be the only reference for any design decisions.

It is strongly recommended to use the latest COM-HPC specification and the module vendors’ product manuals as a reference.

The base specification and newly released initial Design Guide will be accompanied later this year by a Platform Management Interface Specification, COM-HPC EEEP, and an enhanced Carrier Board Design Guide.

The specification and Design Guide are available for download on the PICMG website at picmg.org/openstandards/com-hpc/. A preview document is also available, as well as additional resources to learn more about the specification.

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.