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2.4GHz Haswell COM takes Fedora to extremes

Aug 23, 2013 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 4,299 views
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Acromag announced a ruggedized COM Express module based on Intel’s 4th Generation Core i7/i5 (Haswell) CPUs, clocked at 1.6 or 2.4 GHz. The COM Express Type 6 module runs Fedora Linux, supports up to 16GB onboard RAM, and boasts thickened PCBs, SODIMM lock-downs, and heat dissipation solutions to protect against shock, vibration, and temperature extremes.

Acromag’s XCOM-6400 modules are compatible with PICMIG’s 95 x 125mm (3.74 x 4.92 inches) COM Express Type 6 Basic form-factor, and are hardened to meet the demands of defense, aerospace, and industrial applications.



Acromag XCOM-6400 COM Express Type 6 module
(click image to enlarge)

 

Being COM Express compliant makes this embedded computing engine similar in many respects to those of its competitors. However, Acromag has differentiated its offering in several ways.

First, the module features a lock-down mechanism to protect the SODIMMs from the ill effects of shock and vibration, which could include vibration-induced contact degradation along with possibilites of wiggling or snapping free from the sockets. According to Acromag, this eliminates the need for soldering RAM directly onto the board. These measures, along with an “extra-thick” PC board, have made it possible for the XCOM-6400 to pass a MIL-STD-202G shock and vibration test suite.



XCOM-6400’s SODIMM lock-down and thermal solutions
(click image to enlarge)

 

To enable the board to withstand wide temperature ranges — it’s offered in -20 to +70°C (“standard”) and -45 to +85°C (“extended”) temperature versions — the XCOM-6400 can be ordered with various thermal solutions that include a heat spreader plate with optional cooling fins and a fan. The module’s thickened PC board includes copper rails that increase the efficiency of heat transfer through the head spreader and to the baseboard (you can see them in the photos above).



XCOM-6400 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

 

As seen in its block diagram, the XCOM-6400 is based on a choice of Intel 4th Generation Core i7 or i5 (Haswell) processors, paired with Intel’s QM87 platform controller hub (PCH) chip. The board’s two memory slots support up to 16GB of high-speed DDR3L SODIMM RAM, in 1 x 4GB, 2 x 4GB, and 2 x 8GB configurations.

Specifications listed by Acromag for the XCOM-6400 include:

  • Processor — Intel 4th Gen (Haswell) multi-core processor:
    • Core i7 @ 2.4GHz (47W TDP)
    • Core i5 @ 1.6GHz (25W TDP)
    • Chipset — Intel 8-Series QM87 platform controller hub
    • Memory — up to 16GB of high-speed DDR3L ECC SODIMM
    • Mass storage — 4x SATA III Ports (6Gb/s)
    • Graphics:
      • Video controller integrated within Haswell processor
      • 3x digital display interface (DVI or DisplayPort)
      • eDP Interface (x2)
      • VGA interface
    • Audio — HDA interface
    • Networking — gigabit Ethernet MDI (Medium Dependent Interface)
    • PCI Express expansion:
      • PEG General Purpose PCIe x16 (bifurcation/trifurcation supported)
      • seven PCIe x1 lanes, combinable into wider channels
    • Other interfaces on COM Express Type 6 expansion connectors:
      • SPI, LPC, SMBus, I2C
      • 8x USB ports — 4x USB 3.0/2.0; 4x USB 2.0-only
      • GPIO — 4x outputs; 4x inputs
      • Post code display (Port 80)
    • Other features — TPM security and encryption support
    • Operating temperature options — -20 to 70°C (standard) or -40 to 85°C (extended)
    • Shock/vibration:
      • Shock — 50g peak-to-peak, 11ms duration, per MIL-STD-202G Method 213B
      • Vibration — 11.96 grms, 50-20,000 Hz, each axis, per MIL-STD-202G Method 214A
    • Power — 12V, 5V, 3V (supplied by carrier board)
    • Dimensions — 95 x 125mm (COM Express Type 6 Basic form-factor)
    • Operating system support — Fedora Linux; Windows 7/8

    Given the available Fedora Linux support and mainstream chipsets and industry standard COM Express specification used in the board’s design, it’s reasonable to expect other Linux variants to be usable on the module.

    The XCOM-6400 will begin shipping during Q4. Pricing for a module with a basic heat spreader plate preinstalled starts at $1995, says Acromag. For further information, visit the company’s XCOM-6400 module product page.
     

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2 responses to “2.4GHz Haswell COM takes Fedora to extremes”

  1. Max says:

    -40 +85 is never possible temperature for Intel processors unless you use a water cooling system

    • Micke says:

      Uhm, of course it is.

      Did you miss the part about aerospace, defense or industrial use?

      Or, start the computer during winter in a place where the temperature is -40 C.

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