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Comet Lake system features Blaize Xplorer cards for up to 80-TOPS AI

Sep 29, 2021 — by Eric Brown 222 views

Vecow’s rugged, Linux-ready “ECX-2400 AI” computer combines a 10th Gen CPU with a Blaize Xplorer AI PCIe card along with 6x GbE (4x with PoE), 4x SATA, 6x USB 3.2, 3x M.2, 2x mini-PCIe, and PCIe x4.

Vecow and Blaize have teamed up on a powerful AI edge computer that features a choice of single- or quad-core, PCIe form-factor Blaize Xplorer X1600P AI accelerator cards. The 260 x 240 x 104mm ECX-2400 AI is even bigger than Vecow’s pleasantly plump ECX-2200/2100 Series computers, which similarly runs Linux or Win 10 on Intel’s 10th Gen Comet-Lake-S CPUs.

ECX-2400 AI underneath illustration of smart AOI
(click image to enlarge)

The “workstation grade” system is designed for smart city, public security, robot control, AIoT, and “smart AOI.” Judging from the image above, smart AOI pertains either to vaccine manufacturing or perhaps a high-end, artisanal moonshine business.

Blaize Xplorer


You can choose between two Blaize Xplorer PCIe cards: a 16-TOPs Xplorer X1600P with a single Blaize 1600 SoC or a 64-TOPS Xplorer X1600P-Q with 4x El Cano GSP (Graph Streaming Processor) SoCs. Both SoCs have 16 cores.

Since you can also optionally load the second PCIe x4 slot with an Xplorer X1600P, the ECX-2400 AI computer supports up to 80-TOPS AI acceleration overall. The Xplorer X1600P provides 4GB of onboard LPDDR4 and offers 4x PCIe Gen3 lanes while the Xplorer X1600P-Q provides between 8GB and 32GB “GBLPDDR4” with 16x PCIe Gen3 lanes.

The Blaize software programmable GSP® architecture “provides a low latency and high-performance inference processing solution requiring less memory with fewer access, yielding an ideal low latency AI system that consumes less power than other accelerators,” says Vecow. The Xplorer X1600P offers 16-TOPS while using only 7W. Since this uses the same technology as the Q version, the Q model would presumably run at 28W.

ECX-2400 AI with Xplorer X1600P (left) and Xplorer X1600P-Q
(click images to enlarge)

Blaize also offers a small form-factor Xplorer X1600E EDSFF card with a single Blaize 1600. Like the Xplorer X1600P, it includes a Soft IP to run on the SoC. There is also a Blaize Pathfinder P1600 compute module, which is like an Xplorer X1600E with dual Cortex-A53 “processors” plus MIPI-DSI/CSI interfaces and H.264/H.265 encoder and decode.

Vecow’s ECX-2400 AI system ships with the Blaize Picasso SDK, which Vecow has integrated into its VHub AI developer software. The SDK, which is touted for its “true graph-native and open software environment,” integrates a NetDeploy automated deployment feature that automatically converts and optimizes AI frameworks to Blaize hardware. Blaize also offers a separate AI Studio development software package.

ECX-2400 AI

The ECX-2400 AI is available with a variety of Intel Core and Xeon Comet Lake-S processors with 35W to 95W TDPs. There is also an Intel W480E chipset. You can load up to 64GB DDR4 @ 2933MHz, including ECC RAM, via dual slots.

The system is equipped with 4x external, 2.5-inch SATA III trays with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10. Additional storage is available via a microSD slot and an M.2 M-key 2280 socket with PCIe x2, as well as 2x mini-PCIe slots, which support mSATA storage or cellular modems.

Aside from the Blaize-equipped and empty PCIe slots, further expansion is available via M.2 E-key 2230 (WiFi/BT) and a multi-function M.2 B-key 3042/3052 slot. There are also 3x external nano-SIM card slots and optional 5G, 4G/GPS, and WiFi/BT modules with antennas.

The ECX-2400 AI is equipped with 6x GbE ports, 4x of which provide 802.3at (25.5W/48V) PoE+ via a quad-port Intel I350 adapter. Other features include 6x USB 3.2, 4x RS-232/422/485, and 16-in/16-out isolated DIO. There are dual audio jacks (Realtek ALC888S), but there are no display interfaces.

The ECX-2400 AI has a 12-50V DC terminal block with ignition control, a remote switch, surge protection, and optional adapters. Other features include TPM 2.0, a watchdog, HW monitoring, and LEDs. Wall mounting is standard and DIN-rail is optional.

The system has a -20 to 70°C operating range with the included system fan, and the 80W and 95W SKUs also require a fan sink. Other ruggedization features include 95% at 70°C relative humidity tolerance, EMC certifications, and shock and vibration resistance per IEC 61373 : 2010.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the ECX-2400 AI. More information may be found in Vecow’s announcement and product page.

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