COM Express module achieves twice the computing power

Paul Boughton

The focus of the 4th Generation Core i series processors (codenamed Haswell) for the embedded models is on high performance; without incurring an increase in power consumption.

Some impressive improvements have been achieved, particularly with regards to vector processing, floating point calculations and graphics performance.
What’s new?

The most exciting new feature is the introduction of the AVX2 vector unit to replace AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions). As a result, the vector unit achieves twice the computing power of earlier models for large fixed and floating point computations.
Not exactly new, but more relevant than ever, for current applications is Intel AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions). This enables high performance encryption without putting a significant burden on the CPU cores.
conga-TS87: The first COM implementation

The conga-TS87 COM Express module with pin out Type 6 takes full advantage of the integrated graphics with extended digital display interfaces, high USB 3.0 bandwidths and PCI 3.0 with additional PCI Express lanes.
The COM Express module is currently available for the embedded quad core Intel Core i7-4700EQ processor with 6MB L2 cache and can be powered by 4x 2.4 GHz and a TDP of 47 Watt. In Turbo Boost mode, the clock rate is increased to 3.2 GHz. This mode is downclocked only when the processor starts to overheat. An efficient cooling solution with fast heat dissipation can therefore significantly increase overall performance.
The COM is equipped with the mobile Intel® QM87 Express chipset, but can alternatively be kitted out with various future i3, i5 and i7 dual core and quad core processors as soon as they become available. The module features up to 16 GB, 1600 MT/s fast LV 1.35V dual channel DDR3 memory. The integrated graphics is significantly more powerful than previous models and supports Intel® Flexible Display Interface (FDI), DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4, OpenCL 1.2 and high-performance, flexible hardware decoding for parallel decoding of multiple high-resolution full HD videos.
4K2K pixel resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 with DisplayPort, and 4096 x 2304 with HDMI is supported natively. It is also possible to connect up to three independent display interfaces via DVI as well as LVDS and VGA. Native USB 3.0 support ensures fast data transmission with low power draw. A total of eight USB ports are provided, four of which can support SuperSpeed USB 3.0.
Seven PCI Express 2.0 lanes, PCI Express 3.0 graphics (PEG) x16 lanes for high-performance external graphics cards, four SATA ports with up to 6 Gb/s and RAID support and one Gigabit Ethernet interface enable fast and flexible system extensions. Fan control, LPC bus for easy integration of legacy I/O interfaces and Intel® High Definition Audio complete the feature set.
Thanks to early supporters, such as congatec with the conga-TS87, there are already powerful computer modules on the market that provide sophisticated firmware and excellent driver support, enabling early but risk-free customer design-ins.
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