Wednesday 24 April 2013

New industrial computing modules to enhance customer choice

GE Intelligent Platforms is to develop a range of rugged COM Express modules based on the new AMD  Embedded G-Series SOC (system on a chip) processors. First shipments are expected in later this year (2013).

Including AMD processors in the new products will enable GE to develop more compact ‘Type 10’ modules in the so-called ‘mini’ format, measuring just 84mm x 55m and allowing customers to deploy them in a broader range of environments. The new products will also provide customers with the flexibility to choose exactly the right COM Express module for the target application.

• New GE COM Express modules will provide new levels of price/performance, and be more compact
• Reduced number of components will further increase reliability for modules used in industrial and harsh environments
• Customers will benefit from GE’s implementation of unique characteristics of AMD Embedded G-Series SOC processors
GE Intelligent Platforms’ rugged COM Express modules are designed to enable high performance automation for a connected world, and offer ultimate durability and varying levels of performance-per-watt. They are well-suited for OEMs designing computing platforms into equipment for industrial or harsh environments, and when reducing the overall design cycle and lowering validation costs are of key importance. Onboard components are specifically selected for their reliability in demanding conditions. Unlike solutions designed for benign environments, the processor and memory on GE COM Express modules are soldered to the board for maximum resistance to shock and vibration. Extended mechanical construction protects the module, which is designed for optional conformal coating for even greater resistance to moisture, dust, chemicals, and temperature extremes.

The COM Express embedded computing architecture is growing in popularity because it separates the underlying “carrier card” from the processor. This means that COM Express modules can be more easily upgraded to the latest technology than would otherwise be possible. The benefit to customers is that this approach extends the useful life of a subsystem by allowing simple, cost-effective upgrade of the processor alone, reducing long term cost of ownership while ensuring that performance keeps pace with changing needs.

Such is the flexibility that the GE COM Express module gives to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and system integrators that it can feature in a broad range of commercial environments including industrial automation, test & measurement, security, transportation, and medical where it can enable end users to be more productive, manage resources better, improve quality and increase revenues and profitability.

“AMD’s new embedded computing processor technology provides a unique combination of functionality and performance characteristics that enables us to design COM Express modules that require fewer supporting chips, making the modules more compact, requiring less power and dissipating less heat and maximizing reliability and uptime,” said Tommy Swigart, Product Manager, Control & Communication Systems, GE Intelligent Platforms. “We are looking forward to working with AMD to bring the benefits of COM Express to help address an even wider range of customer challenges.”

"The AMD Embedded G-Series SOC processors offer a small footprint, low-energy use, and rich I/O integration to enable smaller form factor embedded designs, cool and efficient operation, and simplified build requirements,” said Kamal Khouri, director of embedded products, AMD. “As a significant player in the embedded computing market, and a leader in the development of COM Express solutions, we’re delighted that GE Intelligent Platforms will be featuring the AMD Embedded G-Series SOC processor in its new products.”

The planned product will further extend GE’s growing range of rugged COM Express modules. Most recently announced was the bCOM6-L1400 which takes advantage of the significant processing and graphics capabilities of the Intel® Core™ i7 processor to support multiple independent displays. Prior to the bCOM6-L1400, GE had announced the rugged bCOM6-L1200 which features a range of five VIA Nano™ and VIA Eden™ processor options.

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