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MXM2 module runs Linux on quad-core G-Series SoC

Oct 29, 2014 — by Eric Brown — 921 views

Cogent’s Linux-ready, MXM2 “CSB1790” COM gives you a choice of AMD G-Series SoCs plus PCIe and dual SATA ports, one of which can drive an onboard SSD.

The CSB1790 computer-on-module is somewhat similar to the CSB1890T10-Q15 announced by Cogent Computer Systems last December. However, there are some key distinctions here, including a different form-factor, the addition of SATA storage, the subtraction of USB ports, and more.

CSB1790, front (left) and back
(click images to enlarge)

Whereas the CSB1890T10-Q15 uses the 84 x 55mm COM Express Type 10 Mini module, the new CSB1790 uses what Cogent calls its “own MXM2 based form factor.” Unlike Cogent’s SODIMM-style Marvell Armada XP-based CSB1726 module, which uses Cogent’s homegrown, 75 x 70mm MXM SOM form-factor, the MXM2-based CSB1790 measures 75 x 75mm. They both support the industry-standard, 230-pin MXM-II sockets, which are listed at 78 x 73mm.

Like the CSB1890T10-Q15, the CSB1790 runs Linux or Windows on AMD G-Series SoCs. However, while the CSB1890T10-Q15 comes with a quad-core 1.5GHz GX-415GA G-Series SoC with 15W TDP, the CSB1790 also gives you a choice of two other models. These include the quad-core 2GHz GX-420CA, which has a 25W TDP, and on the low end a dual-core 1GHz GX-210JA model with a 6W TDP AMD Radeon HD GPU, ranging up to a 600MHz HD8400E on the GX-420CA.

Cogent offers a long list of embedded applications supported by the module, and notes the availability of extensive customization services and an optional industrial temperature version. The company touts the CSB1790 for its state-of-the-art PCB layout and packaging technology, including DDR3-1600 balanced routing, 5GHz+ high-speed differential signaling, multi-phase switching regulators, and 8-layer, low EMI, impedance controlled stackup.

CSB1790 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Instead of offering a standard 4GB of DDR3L RAM, as does the CSB1890T10-Q15, the CSB1790 supports up to 8GB of RAM, according to the data sheet, and 16GB, according to the press release, which also notes support for ECC RAM. Unlike the earlier model, the new COM adds dual SATA ports, one of which can be used for an optional SSD up to 256GB. On the other hand, the CSB1790 supports only half the USB 2.0 ports, with four, although it does offer the pair of USB 3.0 ports as well.

Other features including three display interfaces, a gigabit Ethernet port, and the various serial interfaces are the same as on the earlier module. (The TTL UART, however, is 4-wire instead of 2-wire.) Also similar is the presence of both a PCIe x4 interface, and two PCIe x1 interfaces, both of the Gen. 2 variety. The CSB1790 has a wider 8V to 24V power range.

Summary of CSB1790 specs

Specifications listed for the CSB1790 include:

  • Processor — AMD G-Series SoC
    • AMD GX-420CA (4x 64-bit “Jaguar” x86 cores @ 2.0GHz); AMD Radeon HD8400E @ 600MHz; 25W TDP)
    • AMD GX-415GA (4x 64-bit “Jaguar” x86 cores @ 1.5GHz); AMD Radeon HD8330E @ 500MHz; 15W TDP
    • AMD GX-210JA 420CA (2x 64-bit “Jaguar” x86 cores @ 1.0GHz); AMD Radeon HD8210E @ 300MHz; 6W TDP
  • Memory/storage:
    • Up to 8GB or 16GB 72-bit wide DDR3L SDRAM with ECC via 1x SODIMM
    • 8MB SPI NOR flash
    • Optional SSD up to 256GB (NGFF 2242 Module)
    • 2x SATA Gen 3 controllers (1x muxed with onboard SSD)
    • SD (4-bit supporting SDXC up to 2TB), UHS-I (104Mb/sec) and SDIO
  • Display/graphics:
    • HDMI
    • DisplayPort 1.2
    • eDP or LVDS
    • Dual simultaneous display
    • OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.2
    • UVD Engine 4.2 supporting Direct X11.1
    • Dual HD video decode and dual stream (1080p and 1080i)
    • VCE 2.0 video encode, supporting H.264
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Other I/O (via MXM2 connectors):
    • 2x USB 3.0 host
    • 4x USB 2.0 host
    • 2x I2C
    • SPI
    • 4-wire TTL UART
    • LPC
    • PCI-Express x4 Gen. 2
    • 2x PCI-Express x1 Gen. 2
  • Power — 8V to 24V input; 8-15W max consumption; < 100mW standby
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C; optional -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 75 x 75 x 11mm (MXM2)
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows 7/8

The CSB1790 is compatible with Cogent’s thin Mini-ITX style CSB1702MITX Development Platform. This particular board is not currently listed on Cogent’s development board page, but the platform is said to include real-world connectors for the USB-based COM port, dual gigabit Ethernet ports, dual USB 2.0 and dual USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and a Mini-DisplayPort. The dev board also provides an HDA Audio Codec along with headphone/SPDIF out and line-in jacks, a powered SATA connector, plus modular expansion via a PCIe x1 slot and two mini-PCIe x1 sockets. The CSB1702MITX is offered as part of a “KIT1790” that includes the CSB1790 module and a 100W power supply, optionally mounted in a Mini-ITX case along with a 500GB HDD.

Further information

No pricing or availability was provided for the CSB1790 module, CSB1702MITX development board, or the full KIT1790 kit that includes all of the above. More information may be found at the Cogent Computer Systems CSB1790 product page.

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