Guest Post By Tommy Swigart, Global Product Manager COMExpress, GE Intelligent Platforms
At GE, we’ve already invested over $1 billion in making the Industrial Internet a reality. It’s here and now – and it’s transforming businesses around the world. Of course, its continued growth won’t be as the result of a single company’s effort and investment; rather, it will be because companies have worked together. No single company has every piece that’s needed.
Here’s a case in point. At GE, we’ve identified COM Express technology as a key building block within an infrastructure that brings together advanced computing, analytics, low cost sensing and new levels of connectivity. COM Express has three highly desirable attributes. It’s modular and easily upgradable; it’s an open standard; and, in the right hands, it’s capable of withstanding the rigors of deployment in the harshest industrial – and military – environments. That’s why COM Express is at the heart of GE’s next generation industrial PCs and automation controllers – machines that will deliver the underlying intelligence that will help drive the Industrial Internet.
One of the other beauties of COM Express technology is that it’s processor-agnostic; it can be a carrier for virtually any processor, making it hugely flexible and adaptable.
So: a customer came to GE, looking for a very challenging solution. He needed something with all the attributes of COM Express. He needed, however, to pair the COM Express carrier with a processor with very low power consumption – but with substantially more capability than is typically available from processors designed for such applications. The customer also needed the most compact package possible.
Not only that: rugged reliability, with maximum possible MTBF (mean time between failure), was also crucial to his application.
At GE, we’re fortunate to have a very close working relationship with AMD, and we were aware of AMD’s plans to launch their G-Series System-on-Chip (SoC). It had the attributes that we – and the customer – were looking for. Not only did it deliver the high performance/low power consumption needed by the application, but it also included much of the functionality that would otherwise need to be implemented on the underlying COM Express carrier. The impact of this, of course, is that the lower component count increases MTBF.
And so it was that the mCOM10-L1500 was born – a result of close cooperation between the teams at AMD and GE. AMD’s G-Series technology provided a combination of functionality and performance characteristics that enabled the development of a product uniquely suited to customer demands.
The Mini COM Express module mCOM10-L1500 offers high performance and ultimate durability needed for applications that operate in harsh environments.
The inherent reliability of the AMD G-Series SoC is complemented by GE’s fully rugged design. Onboard components are specifically selected for their reliability in demanding conditions, and are soldered to the board for maximum resistance to shock and vibration, while extended mechanical construction protects the module. The mCOM10-L1500 is also designed to accept conformal coating for even greater resistance to moisture, dust, chemicals and extremes of temperature.
Like all COM Express-based designs, the mCOM10-L1500 delivers lower lifetime cost of ownership, because upgrades to the processor – in response to changing application demands, or to leverage new generations of price/performance – are straightforward and minimize cost. It is also the case that, as the underlying carrier card that provides the required interfaces to the system does not need to be replaced at the time of upgrade, testing and requalification time, effort and expense are minimized.
A single, new product developed by the teams at GE and AMD will not, in itself, ensure the continuing growth of the Industrial Internet. It will take hundreds – thousands – tens of thousands – of additional new building blocks – but products like the mCOM10-L1500 will make a vital contribution to our growing ability to connect people, data and machines.
Tommy Swigart can be contacted at Thomas.Swigart@ge.com.
Tommy Swigart is Global Product Manager COMExpress at GE Intelligent Platforms. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.
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