Author: Michael Plannerer, Product Manager MEN Mikro Elektronik
This single-board computer based on the CPCI-S.0 specification currently in development at PICMG is either a system-slot or peripheral-slot board with a latest-generation Intel i7. The card is mechanically compatible with CompactPCI and CompactPCI PlusIO systems but uses only serial signals on the backplane – according to the CompactPCI Serial standard. The new connector supports transfer frequencies of 12 Gb/s and more, and offers enough space for up to 184 pin pairs on a 3U board.
PICMG CPCI-S.0 defines an identical interface assignment with SATA, USB, Ethernet and PCI Express for up to 8 peripheral slots. The new G20 SBC is capable of communicating with all 8 CompactPCI Serial peripheral boards, and can itself also be used as a peripheral card. The G20 supports 8 USB, 6 SATA and 7 PCI Express (with one PCIe x8 and one PCIe x4) at the backplane. Gigabit Ethernet has been implemented using a mezzanine card with an optional one to eight channels. The front panel provides the usual standard connections: 2 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB and 2 DisplayPorts. In addition, a third DisplayPort or HDMI is accessible via rear I/O.
The G20 is equipped with a state-of-the-art processor representing the current high-end: the Intel Core i7. The 64-bit CPU uses Hyper-Threading to provide four virtual processor cores. The new Turbo Boost Technology may even temporarily raise the 2.53 GHz to over 3 GHz for individual tasks. The graphics performance has nearly doubled compared to the last CPU generation, due to a re-organization of the functions in the processor and chipset. And last but not least, the G20 offers up to 8 GB of the fast DDR3 memory with ECC as a welcome support for safety-relevant applications.
The G20 comes with a carefully custom-made heat sink. For more severe temperature requirements, low-voltage processor types are assembled. In any case, all components up to the main memory are soldered against shock and vibration and prepared for coating against dust and humidity.