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Congatec Announces New SMARC Module for High-Performance AI Edge Applications

Oct 1, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 266 views

Congatec unveiled last month its latest SMARC module 2.1 Computer-on-Module powered by Texas Instruments Jacinto 7 TDA4x or DRA8x processors optimized for high-performance AI edge applications with a focus on ultra-low power consumption.

The latest conga-STDA4 Computer-on-Modules adhere to the SMARC Module 2.1 specification and feature Texas Instruments’ Jacinto 7 TDA4VM or DRA829J processors with the following architecture:


  • TI DRA829J:
    • 2x core Arm Cortex-A72 (up to 2.0GHz)
    • 6x core Arm Cortex-R5F (up to 1.0GHz)
    • DPS Cores: 1x C7x (up to 80 GFLOPS)
    • MMA (Deep Learning): Up to 8 TOPS
    • GPU: 3D PowerVR Rogue 8XE GE8430
  • TI TDA4VM:
    • 2x core Arm Cortex-A72 (up to 2.0GHz)
    • 6x core Arm Cortex-R5F (up to 1.0GHz)
    • DPS Cores: 2x C66 (up to 40 GFLOPS)
    • MMA (Deep Learning): Up to 8 TOPS
    • GPU: 3D PowerVR Rogue 8XE GE8430

conga-STDA4 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Congatec module boasts up to 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory at 3733 MT/s with inline ECC for data integrity. It also offers 8 MB of on-chip L3 RAM with ECC, along with 512KB of on-chip SRAM. For mass storage, it supports eMMC 5.1 with capacities up to 128 GB, which can be configured as pseudo-SLC for enhanced performance.

Furthermore, the new SMARC modules come equipped with 2x MIPI CSI camera inputs, providing advanced capabilities for camera, lidar, and radar data capture and processing.

conga-SEVAL carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

The TDA4x processor-based conga-STDA4 includes an Image Signal Processor, vision accelerators, and pre-trained AI models from the TI Model Zoo in addition to support for a Robotic SDK for enhanced functionality. On the other hand, the DRA8x variants offer a cost-effective solution without vision processing accelerators.

Congatec states that these modules are designed for industrial mobile equipment that require 2D/3D cameras, radar, and lidar-based near-field analytics. For example AGVs, AMRs, construction, agriculture, as well as vision-centric industrial automation and medical solutions demanding efficient edge AI processing.

conga-STDA4 top view
(click image to enlarge)

Some of the connectivity options are dual Gigabit Ethernet and the optional onboard U-blox Wi-Fi/BT module (industrial grade).

The company also indicates that these devices support various operating systems, including Linux, Wind River VxWorks, RTOS, and QNX. 

Specifications listed for the conga-SDA4 include:

  • Memory/Storage:
    • Up to 8 GB onboard LPDDR4x memory (3733 MT/s, inline ECC)
    • Up to 8 MB of on-chip L3 RAM w/ ECC & coherency
    • eMMC 5.1
  • Display/Audio:
    • 1x dual channel 24-bit LVDS 
    • 1x DisplayPort 1.4 (supports up to 3 Full HD 1080p displays via MST)
    • 1x MIPI-DSI 4-lane shared w/ LVDS (optional)
    • 2x I2S
  • Camera:
    • 2x MIPI-CSI 4-lanes
    • 2x ISP for MIPI-CSI camera
  • Expansion:
    • 2x PCIe 3.0 x1 + 1x PCIe 3.0 x2 or up to 4x PCIe 3.0 x1
  • Connectivity:
    • 2x Gbit Ethernet w/ IEEE 1588 support
    • industrial onboard Ublox WiFi/BT (optional)
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 1x SDIO 3.0
    • 2x GP I²C
    • 2x SPI
    • 4x UART (2x with Handshake)
    • 2x CAN FD
    • 14x GPIOs
  • USB:
    • 1x dual-role USB 2.0
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • 2x USB 3.0
  • Security:
    • Customer programmable root key (up to RSA-4K or ECC-512)
    • Crypto hardware accelerators (PKA w/  ECC, AES, SHA, RNG, DES & 3DES)
    • High Assurance Boot support (optional)
    • Encryption Engine (AES-128, AES-256, TRNG, SHA-1, SHA-2, SHA-256, MD-5 | RSA-1)
  • Other Features:
    • Watchdog Timer
    • Console Port
    • High Precision Real Time Clock
  • Power:
    •  5-10W @5V
  • Mechanical:
    • 82 x 50 mm

Further information

Congatec didn’t disclose the price for these conga-STDA4 modules. The product announcement can be found here

(advertise here)

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