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Qseven and COM Express modules run Bay Trail SoCs

Oct 16, 2013  |  Eric Brown

Congatec announced two Linux-ready computer-on modules based on Intel’s embedded Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I/Silvermont) system-on-chips. The Qseven style Conga-QA3 and COM Express Type 6 Compact compliant Conga-TCA3 modules offer up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, provide interfaces for DisplayPort, HDMI, USB, PCI Express, and more, and feature wide temperature operation at power drains as low as 4.5 Watts.

Available at an unstated “attractive entry price,” the Conga-TCA3 adopts the COM Express Type 6 Compact (95 x 95 mm) form factor, while the Conga-QA3 uses the 70 x 70mm Qseven format. While the two modules share many of the same features, the Conga-QA3 appears to be the high-end model. It features some additional ports, as well as ceramic capacitors said to be “ideal for industrial mobile applications in harsh environments.” Both models, however, optionally support industrial (-40 to 85°C) operating temperatures. They also both support the E3800 SoC’s Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) technology for high-performance encryption.



Qseven Conga-QA3 and COM Express Compact Conga-TCA3
(click images to enlarge)

 

Like most of its fellow Intel Atom E3800 early adopters, Congatec is offering the full range of E3800 SoC models for its new COMs, as well as two new related Celeron SoC models (see farther below). The E3800 (Bay Trail-I) is built upon the same 22nm Silvermont architecture as the previously announced Atom Z3000 (Bay Trail-T) SoC, but is aimed at the general embedded market instead of tablets. The SoCs are said to provide faster performance and lower power consumption than earlier Atoms. Among other enhancements, they offer a larger L2 cache, native USB 3.0 and HDMI support, and Intel’s Gen 7 3D graphics engine, delivering up to twice the 3D performance.



Block diagrams: Conga-QA3 and Conga-TCA3
(click images to enlarge)

 

Other features common to both COMs include their support for up to 8GB of DDR3, depending on the processor. Display capabilities are also quite similar. A DisplayPort interface provides up to 2560 x 1600 pixels while the HDMI port delivers up to 1920 x 1200 resolution. Monitors connected to either port can run as a secondary independent display alongside a dual-channel 24-bit LVDS display. The Conga-TCA3 module lets you swap out the HDMI port for a second DisplayPort, and also offers a CRT interface.

The Conga-QA3 supplies only three PCI Express (PCIe) x1 expansion interfaces compared to the Conga-TCA3’s five, and it offers six USB ports instead of nine, but it otherwise offers more extensive I/O. Most notably, it provides dual SATA ports, up to 16GB of optional onboard flash, and an SDIO interface, while the Conga-TCA3 gets by on SDIO alone.

The supported SoCs include a quad-core, 1.91GHz Atom E3845 that runs at 10 Watts, as well as three dual-core models ranging from 1.33GHz to 1.75GHz and 6W to 8W TDP. There’s also a single-core E3815 model with 1.46GHz performance and a 5W TDP. The quad-core Celeron J1900 (2.0GHz.10W) and N2920 (1.86GHzm 7.5W) are also available.

Depending on the processor, the Conga-QA3 consumes power at a typical rate of 4.5 to 12 Watts, says Congatec. No such consumption rating is offered for the Conga-TCA3, but in the press release, Congatec claims that the when running the nominally 7.5W-TDP Celeron N2920, the COM Express module runs at only 4.5 Watts when using Intel’s scenario design power (SDP) rating system. In other words, Congatec appears to be claiming that despite offering a higher TDP than the 5W, single-core E3815, the quad-core Celeron N2920 can run on less power under typical conditions.
 

Module specifications

Specifications listed for the Conga-QA3 module include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) family plus Celeron J1900 and N290
  • Memory — up to 8GB DDR3L with dual-channel, onboard 1333MT/s RAM
  • Flash — up to 16GB of optional eMMC 4.51 onboard flash (E3800 Atoms only, not Celerons)
  • Display:
    • HD Graphics Gen 7 with hard accel. (MPEG2, H.264, DirectX11, OCL 1.2, OGL 3.0, WMV9, and VC1)
    • DisplayPort, up to 2560 x 1600
    • HDMI 1.4a, up to 1920 x 1200
    • LVDS (dual-channel, 24-bit), up to 1920 x 1200
    • Dual display (DP or HDMI with LVDS)
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet controller (Intel I210)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0
    • 5x USB 2.0 (or swap USB 3.0 for sixth USB 2.0)
    • 2x SATA
    • LPC bus
    • SPI
    • I2C bus (fast mode 400kHz, multi-master)
    • SDIO
    • UART
    • 2x PS/2 keyboard
    • HD audio interface
  • Expansion — 3x PCIe x1
  • Other features — watchdog; ACPI 5.0 with battery support
  • Power consumption — 4.5W to 12W typical
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C or -40 to 80°C
  • Dimensions — 70 x 70mm; Qseven
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows (various desktop and embedded versions)

 

Specifications listed for the Conga-TCA3 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) family plus Celeron J1900 and N290
  • Memory — up to 8GB DDR3L with dual-channel 1333MT/s RAM via 2x SODIMMs
  • Display:
    • HD Graphics Gen 7 with hard accel. (MPEG2, H.264, DirectX11, OCL 1.1, OGL 3.2, WMV9, and VC1)
    • 350MHz RAMDAC CRT interface
    • DisplayPort, up to 2560 x 1600
    • HDMI 1.4a, up to 1920 x 1200 (or replace with second DisplayPort)
    • LVDS (dual-channel, 24-bit), up to 1920 x 1200
    • Dual display (DP or HDMI with LVDS)
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet controller (Intel I210)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0
    • 8x USB 2.0
    • LPC bus
    • SPI
    • I2C bus (fast mode 400kHz, multi-master)
    • SDIO
    • HD audio interface
  • Expansion — 5x PCIe x1
  • Other features — watchdog; ACPI 5.0 with battery support; optional TPM
  • Power consumption — 5W to 10W typical
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C or -40 to 80°C
  • Dimensions — 95 x 95mm; COM Express Type 6 Compact
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows (various desktop and embedded versions)

 

The Qseven form-factor Conga-QA3 is available now, and the COM Express Type 6 Compact Conga-TCA3 appears to be close to shipping. Prices were undisclosed. More information may be found at Congatec’s Conga-QA3 and Conga-TCA3 product pages, respectively.
 

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