Thursday, June 20, 2024

Highly Customisable New SMARC 2.1 Carrier Board

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  • Enables quick time-to-market and cost efficiency
  • Equipped with complete support for Windows and RTS hypervisor

Embedded computer technology developer, congatec, has launched the new conga‑SMC1/SMARC-x86 8.89 cm (3.5-inch) carrier board. The SMARC 2.1 carrier board is application-ready and deployable in small to mid-sized series in combination with any available congatec SMARC Computer-on-Module.

The SBC has been optimised for the Gen 5 Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium processors as well as future low-power x86 generations. A slot for SMARC 2.1 processor modules provides processor socket independent scalability, making OEM solutions highly flexible and long term available. With fewer layers, the PCB design of the carrier board is less complex and less expensive as compared to a full-custom design.

Rapid customisation

Another benefit of the carrier board is its capability to rapidly implement customisations, which ensure high-custom design efficiency, quick time-to-market and cost efficiency. For ultra-efficient high-volume projects, fusion of the congatec COM/carrier combo is an ideal option.

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“Computer-on-Modules have the capacity to bring modularity to the entire embedded, industrial and IoT computing world. This size-optimized SMARC 2.1 carrier board in 3.5-inch form factor is just the starting point of our design roadmap to make embedded computing even more modular. Together with our carrier board design partners in various sectors, congatec can offer tremendous benefits to any standard embedded form factor, with the potential to disrupt established vendors in markets such as embedded motherboards and SBCs as well as modular edge server and backend systems such as CompactPCI Serial, PXI or VME/VPX,” explains Martin Danzer, Director Product Management at congatec.

Offers complete optimisation

The new conga-SMC1/SMARC-x86 has an excellent audio codec and USB-C technology that has been specifically optimised for Intel Atom processor. Furthermore, it has also been optimised for MIPI cameras, which can be connected directly without any additional hardware. Thanks to two MIPI-CSI 2.0 connectors, it is even possible to develop systems that provide 3D vision and can therefore be used for situational awareness in autonomous vehicles. Combined with processor-integrated support for artificial intelligence and neural networks, this commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platform offers everything developers need for smart vision systems. Comprehensive software support with precompiled binaries completes the new COTS offering.

Extensive feature list

The conga-SMC1/SMARC-x86 SMARC 2.1 carrier board is scalable across the entire Intel Apollo Lake processor range, from Intel Atom (E3950, E3940 and E3930) to Celeron (N3350) and Pentium (N4200) processors. With a footprint of just 146 x 102 mm, the conga-SMC1/SMARC-x86 offers dual GbE, 5x USB and USB hub support as well as SATA 3 for external hard drives or SSDs.

For custom expansions, the board offers a miniPCIe slot as well as an M.2 Type E E2230 slot with I2S, PCIe and USB and an M.2 Type B B2242/2280 with 2x PCIe and 1x USB. An integrated MicroSim slot for IoT connection is also provided, next to embedded interfaces such as 4x UART, 2x CAN, 8x GPIO, I2C and SPI. Displays can be connected via HDMI, LVDS/eDP/DP and MIPI-DSI. The board further offers two MIPI-CSI inputs for camera connection. Sound is implemented via an audio jack. The board comes with full Windows and RTS hypervisor support. For the open-source community, congatec also offers precompiled binaries with a suitably configured bootloader, appropriately compiled Linux, Yocto and Android images, plus all required drivers that are available to congatec customers on GitHub.

The carrier boards are available in the following SMARC Computer-on-Module configurations:

Processor   Cores   Intel Smart Cache [MB]   Clock/ Burst


  TDP [W]   Graphics Execution Units
Intel Atom x7-E3950 4 2 1.6 / 2.0 12 18
Intel Atom x5-E3940 4 2 1.6 / 1.8 9 12
Intel Atom x5-E3930 2 1 1.3 / 1.8 6.5 12
Intel Pentium N4200 4 2 1.1 / 2.5 6 18
Intel Celeron N3350 2 1 1.1 / 2.4 6 12


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