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Linux-driven embedded PCs target autonomous cars

Oct 18, 2018 — by Eric Brown 549 views

Kontron announced two Ubuntu-driven computers for autonomous vehicles. The S2000 is a lab dev platform with a Xeon 8160T and the EvoTRAC S1901 offers a choice of Kontron modules including a new Atom C3000 based, Type 7 COMe-bDV7R.

Kontron has launched a Kontron’s S2000 Development Platform for developing autonomous in-vehicle computers and is prepping an EvoTRAC S1901 in-vehicle PC for use in advanced automotive applications, including autonomous vehicles. Both systems ship with Intel processors running a pre-installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Linux stack. The systems follow earlier Kontron automotive computers such as the EvoTrac G102 in-vehicle cellular gateway.

EvoTRAC S1901 with cooling fans (left) and S2000
(click images to enlarge)

S2000 Development Platform


The S2000 Development Platform is designed for laboratories that are prototyping, validating, and testing autonomous vehicle systems. The system features a PCIe Gen 3 x8 slot with support for standard full-size or double-side full-size cards such as GPU, FPGA accelerator, or video cards.

The S2000 runs Ubuntu on a 24-core Intel Xeon Scalable 8160T processor clocked at 2.1GHz with a 150W TDP or a 12-core, 2.6GHz Xeon 6126T with a 125W TDP. A Lewisburg 82075PCH chipset is onboard.

S2000 with double-sided PCIe card (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The S2000 has six slots for up to 48GB of 2667MHz DDR4 ECC RAM and offers an M.2 2280 slot for up to 128GB storage or PCIe expansion. The system has a 10/100 Ethernet port, an RS-232 port, and 3x USB 2.0 ports.

The 16.5 x 9.0 x 4.0-inch system supplies a 10-16 VDC power input with up to 500W consumption. A cooling fan is also onboard.

EvoTRAC S1901’s new COMe-bDV7R Type 7 module

While the S2000 is designed for autonomous car test labs, the EvoTRAC S1901 is ready to deploy in high-tech vehicles including autonomous models. The EvoTRAC S1901 is available with a choice of Kontron COM Express Type 7 modules. The press release mentions the Xeon D 1500 based COMe-bBD7, which we covered back in 2016, as well as the Atom C3000 based COMe-bDV7R, which is listed as “new.”

COMe-bDV7R (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The product page makes no mention of the COMe-bBD7, and it lists the COMe-bDV7 as the default rather than the lower-end COMe-bDV7R module mentioned in the announcement. It also mentions three Kontron Basic Type 6 options. These include two modules we have previously covered — the Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake based COMe-bKL6 and 6th Gen Skylake based COMe-bSL6 — as well as an earlier 5th Gen Broadwell COMe-bBL6.

The new, Type 7 COMe-bDV7R is described by Kontron as an entry-level sibling to the higher-end COMe-bBD7. It’s available with the 12-core Atom C3808, the octa-core C3708, the quad-core C3508, and dual-core C3308. The latter two are limited to 4x 2.5GbE interfaces instead of 4x 10GbE. All four models are clocked at between 1.5GHz and 2.0GHz whereas the higher-end COMe-bDV7 models (without the R) have higher clock rates up to 2.2GHz.

Inside the EvoTRAC S1901

The 13.0 x 7.0 x 2.35-inch EvoTRAC S1901 combines the modules’ Intel CPUs with an MXM3 connected GPU card. You can choose between a 150W GT1080 model or a 100W Nvidia Quadro P5000.

EvoTRAC S1901 with air cooling (left) and block diagram for optional COMe-bBD7 module
(click images to enlarge)

The EvoTRAC S1901 is further equipped with 4x GbE and 4x 10GbE ports (copper or optical), as well as an optional Ethernet switch. Four USB 3.0 ports and dual RS232 ports are onboard, along with 8x or 40x (optional) GPIO.

EvoTRAC S1901 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Dual M.2 slots are supported with 2.5-inch, fixed or removable NVMe SSDs. Other expansion features include an M.2 slot with optional cellular, a mini-PCIe slot with optional 802.11ac (WiFi 5), a PCIe x1 slot, and an optional PCIe x16 header.

The system has a 10-16VDC input and up to 350W consumption. Depending on the chosen processor, you will get either a conduction cooled or air-cooled assist model.

Further information

The S2000 Development Platform is available now and the EvoTRAC S1901 is “coming soon,” with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found in the Kontron automotive announcement and the S2000 and EvoTRAC S1901 product pages.

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