Congatec launches price-breaking boards and modules with the Intel Atom x5-E8000 processor
Congatec, a leading technology company for embedded computer modules, single board computers (SBCs) and embedded design and manufacturing (EDM) services, has introduced new and highly cost-effective versions of its existing COM Express and Qseven modules as well as Mini-ITX boards. They are all equipped with the strategically low-priced, long-term available Intel Atom x5-E8000 processor. This 64bit quadcore processor significantly lowers the entry threshold of powerful x86 computing and, now also in terms of price, offers developers a true alternative to competing platforms based on ARM technology.
“Our new Mini-ITX boards and COM Express and Qseven modules open up new perspectives to developers: The Intel Atom x5-E8000 processor with a 7 year availability brings us into price regions for 64bit x86 processors which compete with corresponding quadcore ARM processors. At the same time, developers can stay in their familiar and proven x86 ecosystem which has evolved over decades and thus they can achieve enormous gains in design efficiency,“ Martin Danzer, director product management at congatec, explains.
Target applications of the new price-breaking embedded computers for x86 technology are very diverse and range from all kinds of embedded mobile devices, industrial gateways, terminal, ticket and cash register systems in the retail segment right up to gaming machines and digital signage systems. Other fields of application can also be found in compact industrial PCs as well as in medical devices and systems in the transport sector.
Thanks to its integrated quadcore SoC, with a processor TDP of 5 watts and a SDP of just 4 watts, the congatec boards and modules with Intel Atom x5-E8000 processor deliver high multi-thread performance for applications in the lower performance segment. This plays an important role, for example, in IoT applications, which have to execute an array of additional tasks alongside their actual application such as de- and encrypting, virus protection and network traffic.
The feature set in detail
congatec offers the strategically low-priced 1.04 GHz Intel Atom x5-E8000 processor with a burst frequency of up to 2.00 GHz on its conga-QA4 Qseven, conga-MA4 COM Express Mini and conga-TCA4 COM Express Compact modules as well as on its industrial-grade Thin Mini-ITX board conga-IA4. These all feature up to 8 gigabytes of DDR3L RAM with 1600 MT/s. The integrated Intel HD Graphics Gen 8 supports DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2 for up to three independent displays via DisplayPort or HDMI with up to 4k resolutions (3.840 x 2.160 pixel) as well as LVDS or eDP. Thanks to hardware acceleration even 4k video playback in real time presents no problem.
For application and data storage 2x SATA 3.0 are available. For application-specific I/Os they offer PCI Express 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 as well as SDIO plus Gbit Ethernet. Audio signals can be transmitted via Intel HD Audio, plus, two inexpensive MIPI HD cameras (on Qseven) can be connected.
congatec offers Board Support Packages (BSPs) for Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 7, Windows embedded 8 and 7 as well as for all popular Linux distributions. The package is completed with congatec’s customary extensive documentation, industry-compliant driver implementation and personal integration support, which speeds up the development of individual designs and heightens efficiency. Embedded Design & Manufacturing (EDM) services are optionally available.