PICMG has announced that the COM-HPC Mini form factor’s pinout and dimensions definitions were finalized, with the tiny credit card-sized modules able to handle PCIe Gen4 and Gen5 interfaces, of course, depending on whether the selected CPU supports those.
The COM-HPC “High-Performance Computing” form factor was created a few years ago due to the lack of interfaces on the COM Express form factor with “only” 440 pins and potential issues to handle PCIe Gen 4 clock speeds and throughputs. So far, we had COM-HPC Client Type modules from 95 x 120mm (Size A) to 160 x 120mm (Size C) and Server Type modules with either 160 x 160mm (Size D) or 200 x 160mm (Size E) dimensions. The COM-HPC Mini brings a smaller (95 x 70 mm) credit card-sized form factor to the COM-HPC standard.
The way they cut the size of the COM-HPC Size A form factor by half was simply to remove one of the connectors used, meaning the new form factor comes with 400 signal lines or about 90% of the capacity that the COM Express Type 6 modules provide. The new COM-HPC Mini modules are required for high-end embedded computing in devices such as top-hat rail PCs for control cabinets in building and industrial automation systems, or portable test and measurement devices.
So the COM-HPC module is both smaller than COM Express Type 6 modules (125 x 96 mm) and supports PCIe Gen4 and Gen5 high-performance interfaces. However, it’s still a bit larger than the COM Express Mini standard (84x55mm), and PICMG expects the COM Express specification to continue leading the COM market for years to come as it meets various application requirements for the mid-range performance sector.
15 companies were involved in the COM-HPC Mini working group, including ADLINK, Kontron and congatec. They are expected to start designing COM-HPC Mini modules as the pinout and dimensions definitions are now finalized, with few changes expected by the time the release candidate is out in Q1 2023, and the final specification in Q2 2023. The COM-HPC specifications are open but cost $750 to download, and should lack information about the new form factor at this time. More details may eventually be found on the COM-HPC product page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.