M-HPC: An Innovative Computing Standard for Server-Grade Performance at the Edge

“Everyone talks about the impact of edge computing in IoT” said Rex Lee, Director of Advantech Embedded
IoT Group. “As a global leader in embedded platforms and IoT enabled solutions, Advantech sees
opportunity in the market for cost-performance balanced architectures from cloud computing to edge
computing. At COM-HPC, our innovative computer-on-modules will migrate server-grade performance to the
edge. We are working together with PICMG and leading embedded companies to meet these market

Cloud computing, where servers can store and analyze high volumes of data uploaded by end users for
specific applications, has been essential to this process. Data is collected, stored, and then analyzed on the
cloud to solve problems related to an array of different application scenarios. In order to transmit and analyze
big data, the cloud must be extremely powerful—offering high performance and wider bandwidth for
successful transmission. As the volume of data increases, “edge computing” is emerging as a key solution to
achieve effective data management and making computing processes significantly more efficient.

Currently, there is strong and growing demand for edge computing. COM Express, a very popular standard,
has been used for over a decade and the “Type 7” COM Express was created for this purpose. COM-HPC
represents the “next generation” technology in this field. Compared with COM Express, COM-HPC supports
significantly higher performance levels and features an innovative design that fulfills high-end computing

COM-HPC is a new industrial standard for embedded computer on module. There are two types of COM-
HPC for different purposes: one is a server type for high performance computing and data transmission; and
the other one is for embedded computing with graphics requirements. With unique form factors and
optimized pin definition, COM-HPC supports powerful CPU, memory capacity up to 1TB, and it offers next
generation super-speed interfaces such as PCIe Gen4/5 (16Gbps/32Gbps), USB4.0 (20Gbps), and 10G
ports. Such features are highly suitable for edge computing.

COM-HPC specifications are currently under definition. As a global leader in the embedded market,
Advantech plays a key role in the process. This encompasses the early industrial specification ETX, XTX in
2006, COM Express 2.0 in 2010, and COM Express 3.0, including Type 7 in 2017. In 2019, Advantech is
honored to work with other leading manufacturers and PICMG to engage in the COM-HPC concept
discussion in its earliest stages.

Advantech provides a comprehensive product design and validation process that includes schematics and
layout simulation, power transient testing, power quality, and signal integrity using e.g. high bandwidth
(25GHz) oscilloscope. This process is helpful for products using a super-speed interface and
powerful design, such as COM-HPC. Reliability tests, like thermal shock and harsh environment testing,
ensure products are stable and durable. Advantech strives to provide early sample stability, giving customers
more time for product development and verification to accelerate the time-to-market.

From embedded design-in service to IoT integration, Advantech provides a one-stop service model for the
successful integration of embedded boards, systems, software, displays, and peripherals. A series of
integrated IoT solutions and services—from edge computing to cloud services—accelerates IoT solution
business development and implementation worldwide.