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COM Express Type 6 module revs up with new R-Series SoC

Oct 21, 2015 — by Eric Brown 1,292 views

Congatec has launched a COM Express Type 6 Basic module with AMD’s 12-35W R-Series SoCs, with Linux support and up to 32GB DDR4 RAM with optional ECC.

COM Express Type 6 is typically the first form-factor chosen by embedded vendors when debuting new x86 processors. When Intel announced its 6th Gen Skylake Core processors, Congatec quickly jumped in with a Conga-TC170 COM Express Type 6 Compact module. To support AMD’s newly announced Embedded R-Series SoC, Congatec’s Conga-TR3 computer-on-module goes with the larger 125 x 95mm Basic Type 6 format.

(click image to enlarge)

The dual- and quad-core R-Series SoC (“Merlin Falcon”) is notable for being the first system-on-chip version of the R-Series processor, featuring an integrated I/O controller. Compared to the previous generation Bald Eagle R-Series APU, it offers 25 percent faster “Excavator” CPU cores, 22 percent faster Radeon graphics, and a 35 percent smaller footprint (37 x 29mm), claims AMD. The Radeon GPU, based on AMD’s 3rd Gen. GCN graphics with up to 512 stream processors, supports OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 12, and can drive three 4K displays simultaneously.

AMD R-Series SoC

Although it sits in between the low-power AMD Embedded G-Series SoC and higher-end A-Series, this is the first R-Series generation to be completely focused on the embedded market, which it supports with a fully open source Linux stack from Mentor Graphics. All five of the new Merlin Falcon “RX” SoCs can be configured with TDPs as low as 12 Watts, compared to a low of 17W with the Bald Eagle APUs. The SoCs can be configured down to 12W from the 35W maximum TDP in 1W increments, but with corresponding reductions in CPU clock speed.


The R-Series SoC is also notable for its support for HSA 1.0, enabling workload sharing between CPU and GPU cores, and it’s the first R-Series processor to support DDR4. An AMD Secure Processor provides hardware-accelerated encryption and decryption of RSA, SHA, and AES, supported here via an optional TPM implementation, as well as secure boot. Industrial temperature versions are coming in 1Q 2016.

The first five R-Series SoC models
(click image to enlarge)

Congatec supports the three R-Series SoC models with Radeon graphics — the first three parts listed in the chart above. These include a quad-core, up to 3.4GHz RX421BD model with 12-35W TDP and an octa-core Radeon R7 GPU, as well as a quad-core, 12-35W RX-418GD that clocks to 3.2GHz and offers a six-core Radeon R6 GPU. The Conga-TR3 also supports the dual-core RX-216GD, with 12-15W TDP, 3.0GHz max clock rate, and a quad-core Radeon F5.

Applications include high-end gaming, such as digital pinball and arcade machines, as well as sophisticated digital signage installations with large-format 4K displays, says Congatec. Other possibilities include image and video analysis in industrial vision systems or medical imaging. Also noted are security applications such as video surveillance with facial recognition or network firewalls with deep packet inspection, as well as IoT systems with integrated big data analysis.

Conga-TR3 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Conga-TR3 supports up to 32GB DDR4 RAM with optional ECC. There’s a gigabit Ethernet controller, as well as dual digital display interfaces support DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, or eDP. Single/dual-channel LVDS and PEG 3.0 x8 interfaces are also available. Other I/O includes dual SATA 3.0, three PCIe, and eight USB ports, including four 3.0 ready interfaces.

Specifications for the Conga-TR3 module include:

  • Processor — AMD Embedded R-Series SoC with 800MHz 3rd Gen GCN/Radeon graphics (up to 512x stream processors), and Unified Video Decoder (UVD 6) supporting HEVC/H.265 4K@60Hz and Video Compression Engine 3.1
    • RX421BD — 4x Excavator cores @ 2.1GHz to 3.4GHz; 2MB cache; 12-35W TDP; Radeon HD R7 Graphics
    • RX418GD — 4x Excavator cores @ 1.8GHz to 3.2GHz; 2MB cache; 12-35W TDP; Radeon HD R6 Graphics
    • RX216GD — 2x Excavator cores @ 1.6GHz to 3.0GHz; 1MB cache; 12-15W TDP; Radeon HD R5 Graphics
  • Memory — 4GB to 32GB DDR4 with optional ECC via 2x SODIMM sockets
  • Display:
    • 2x DisplayPort 1.2/HDMI 2.0/eDP for up to 4K@60Hz
    • 18/24-bit single/dual-channel LVDS @ up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz
    • Optional LVDS to DVI converter board for digital flat panels with onboard EEPROM
    • PEG 3.0 x8
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Other I/O (via COM Express Type 6 Basic interface):
    • 2x SATA-III (6Gbps)
    • 4x USB 3.0
    • 4x USB 2.0
    • I2C bus (fast mode, 400kHz, multi-master)
    • HD audio interface with TrueAudio 2.1
    • LPC bus, SMBus, SPI, SD
    • 2x UART
  • Expansion — 3x PCIe 2.0
  • Other features — optional TPM; ACPI 5.0 with battery support; Congatec Board Controller (multi-stage watchdog, backlight, board stats, etc.); optional Conga-TEVAL carrier board
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60° C
  • Dimensions — 125 x 95mm (4.92 x 3.74 in.); COM Express Type 6 “Basic”)
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows 10, 8.1, 8 Embedded Standard; optional Windows 7

Conga-TEVAL carrier board

Congatec is supporting the Conga-TR3 with its 294 x 244mm Conga-TEVAL carrier board, which is also available with its earlier, G-Series SoC based Conga-TCG COM Express Type 6 module. The board offers display interfaces including dual HDMI and dual DisplayPort links, as well as four SATA ports, and seven USB ports.

Conga-TEVAL carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

Other highlights include six PCIe x1 slots, one PCIe x16, plus a gigabit Ethernet port, and several serial connections. The board ships with full schematics.

“The AMD Embedded R-Series SOCs boast rich and vibrant graphics plus extremely wide scalability right down to 12 watts, so they can even be deployed in fanless, completely enclosed, and thus particularly robust designs,” stated Gerhard Edi, CTO of Congatec AG.

Further information

The Conga-TR3 is available now at an unstated price. More information may be found at Congatec’s Conga-TR3 product page.

(advertise here)

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One response to “COM Express Type 6 module revs up with new R-Series SoC”

  1. bblobb says:

    Is this available ?
    I cant find a shop with those boards in stock. Same for other industrial grade AMD COM-Express boards.

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