A powerful Arm-based platform for server and automotive embedded developers.
Adlink has designed a compact carrier board that packs a shockingly high amount of computational power on a little 200 by 160 mm COM-HPC server type module if you’ve been looking to build an Arm-based workstation for your embedded development needs.
For years, Ampere Computing has been focused on producing custom Arm-based silicon for the data centre, a region where x86 still reigns supreme. Two years ago, the company took a risk by putting one of its eMAG CPUs in a workstation configuration and selling it through Avantek.
Fast forwards to this week, when Adlink is demonstrating a tiny carrier board that can house an astonishing number of Arm processors and RAM. The company is launching one of the world’s first COM-HPC server type modules, which can be used to build small workstations powered by up to 80 64-bit Arm Neoverse N1 processors.
This is made possible by Ampere’s Altra SoC, which can run the 80 Arm cores at up to 2.8 GHz while consuming only 175 watts of electricity. The COM-HPC Ampere Altra offers up to six memory channels, allowing for a total of 768 gigabytes of DDR4 memory and 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes. The module can be slotted into an E-ATX motherboard, should you need to do so.
According to Adlink, the COM-HPC Ampere Altra and development kit are compliant with Arm’s Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE). This means that the module can be scaled from 32 to 80 Arm v8.2 64 bit cores (with a thermal envelope ranging from 60 to 175 watts) and used as a reference system for automakers performing in-vehicle prototyping. In addition, the company has created a liquid-cooled prototype system for software developers working on Arm-based servers.
Alex Wang, who is Adlink’s product manager of embedded boards and modules, explained in a statement that “by teaming up with Ampere and Arm and using their Arm Neoverse N1-based Ampere Altra SoC, our high performance-per-watt COM-HPC Ampere Altra architecture allows our strategic partners and customers to process data intensive workloads at the edge without worrying about big upfront investments, hardware overheating, or ongoing maintenance costs.”
The company has already started shipping samples of the prototype system to its partners and is now taking pre-orders. As of writing, there’s no information on pricing and general availability. If you’re interested in a detailed look at the performance of the Ampere Altra SoC, check out Anandtech and Phoronix.