High-performance APUs for innovative applications

Paul Boughton

The most important medical diagnostics tool is the eye of the physician. From classical patient data management systems (PDMS) to ultrasound and X-ray applications the best possible visualisation of all information is therefore key.

Embedded systems designed for use in these applications require high-performance image display and processing. With the innovative AMD Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) of the embedded R-Series on a congatec COM Express Computer-on-Module (COM) platform developers can design these exact requirements into their systems for graphics-intensive applications.
Modern medicine provides an ever-increasing density of information, and medical devices simply must include quality displays and graphical user interfaces. [Page Break]

In operating theatres, doctors’ surgeries, nurses’ offices and hospital wards computer monitors for displaying important data are ubiquitous. Mirroring developments in the consumer market, the medical workplace today also requires intuitive user interfaces providing high operating reliability via (multi-) touch screens.

As a result of increasingly detailed medical images screens are getting larger to present the growing amount of data in the best possible way to improve treatment. These developments demand more and more performance from the embedded computer technology, both with regards to image display as well as data and image processing. [Page Break]
High-resolution graphics

To achieve the required high operational safety and intuitiveness, patient monitors and PDMS systems with touch screens need smooth and seamless graphics. High 3D performance is also required, both for visually appealing user interfaces and highly responsive visualization of rendered 3D ultrasound and X-ray images. In order to save system space the image content is often distributed across multiple monitors. High video performance, for example when rendering 4D ultrasound videos or streaming images from endoscopy cameras which nowadays are capable of capturing data in full HD (1080p), is another important criterion.
The COM Express module conga-TFS currently supports three versions of AMD Embedded R-Series APU ranging from the dual-core AMD R-272F APU to the quad-core AMD R-464L APU. The conga-TFS uses the AMD A70M Controller Hub and provides a powerful, compact two-chip solution with support for up to 16GB of dual-channel 1600MHz DDR3 memory.
The integrated graphics core supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.2 for fast 2D and 3D imaging. A third generation hardware Universal Video Decoder provides seamless processing of H.264, VC-1, MPEG4 Part 2 and MPEG2 video streams. The choice of available graphics interfaces includes VGA and 18/24Bit single/dual channel LVDS; three DisplayPort 1.2, one HDMI 1.4 and two single-link DVI for direct control of three independent displays are also available. Seven PCI Express 2.0 x1 lanes, one PCI Express 2.0 x8 link, four SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, a Gigabit Ethernet interface and high definition audio complete the comprehensive feature set.

Fig. 1. conga-TFS COM with AMD Embedded R-series

For more information, visit www.congatec.com