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Module runs Yocto Linux on 16-core 2GHz Atom C3000 SoC

Jun 27, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 1,581 views
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DFI’s rugged, Linux-ready “DV970” COM Express Basic Type 7 module debuts the server-class, 16-core Atom C3000, and supports 4x 10GbE-KR and 16x PCIe 3.0.

DFI promotes the DV970 as the first COM Express Basic Type 7 module based on the Intel Atom C3000 “Denverton” SoC, but it’s the first product of any kind that we’ve seen that uses the SoC. Intel quietly announced the server class, 16-core Atom C3000 in late February, with a target of low-end storage servers, NAS appliances, and autonomous vehicles, but it has yet to publicly document the SoC. The C3000 follows other server-oriented Atom spin-offs such as the flawed, up to 8-core Atom C2000 “Rangeley” and earlier Atom D400 and D500 SoCs.



DV970
(click image to enlarge)

Like the Atom E3900 (“Apollo Lake”) and Atom A3900 automotive SoC for IVI and ADAS applications, the Atom C3000 uses 14nm Goldmont cores. Unlike Apollo Lake, it supports two to 16 core configurations at speeds of up to 2.2GHz.

The Atom C3000 is notable for supporting 4x 10GbE controllers, which makes it a good fit for COM Express Basic Type 7, the first COM Express spec to support 10GbE. The SoC supports PCIe 3.0 x16, 16x SATA 3.0, and 4x USB 3.0 interfaces, as well as Intel’s VT-d hardware virtualization and Quick Assist compression and encryption technology.

Like other COM Express Type 7 modules, such as the similarly Basic (125 x 95mm) form-factor Conga-B7XD, DFI’s DV970 module lacks graphics and audio support. Instead, it focuses its energies on communications and storage. The Conga-B7XD and other Type 7 COMs we’ve seen use Intel 5th Gen “Broadwell” Xeon D and Pentium processors.



DV970 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The DV970 is available with a C3000 chip with up to 16 cores. It supports Yocto Project v1.8/v2.0 Linux, as well as Windows Server 2012 or 2016. You can load up to 32GB DDR4-2400 RAM, including ECC RAM, via dual interfaces.

You get four speedy 10GbE-KR controllers as well as dual GbE controllers. The module supports 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 2x SATA 3.0 ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support. The 16x PCIe Gen 3 interfaces can be deployed in a dizzying variety of configurations, which are clarified by a table in the datasheet.

The DV970 is further equipped with 8-bit DIO, 2x UART, and single LPC, SMBus, and I2C interfaces. A system reset is available, and TPM is optional. The module supports 12V and 5VSB power in ATX mode and 12V in AT mode, and can run at -40 to 85°C with a heat spreader and 0 to 60°C without.

The module supports the cloud-based BMC remote monitoring platform, says DFI. This feature is enabled by the Type 7 spec’s Network Controller Sideband Interface (NC-SI) hooks.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the DV970 module. More information may be found on DFI’s DV970 announcement and DV970 product page (PDF).
 

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