Who said small-form-factor (SFF) or embedded PCs have to be puny weaklings? congatec have outed their latest SFF module, the conga-BM57, and rather than an Atom, Nano or ARM processor it's rocking a full Intel Core i7-620M running at 2.66GHz, paired with up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Impressive stuff, considering the whole board measures 95 x 125 mm and includes onboard graphics.
That onboard GPU is capable out supporting two simultaneous outputs over VGA, LVDS, HDMI, DisplayPort or SDVO. Other connectivity includes support for five PCI Express lanes, eight USB 2.0 ports, three SATA, one EIDE and a gigabit ethernet hook-up. There's also support for HD audio.
congatec reckon the conga-BM57 will find a home in gaming or medical-image devices, but we'd quite like to see SFF nettops and HTPCs using the board too. A compact HTPC that's not only high-definition capable but will play the latest 3D games can't be a bad thing.
congatec Announces New COM Express Small Form Factor Module Based on Latest Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
New conga-BM57 Delivers Maximum Computing Performance Paired with Highest Graphics Speed from the Integrated Graphics Controller
International Gaming Expo 2010
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--congatec AG extends its COM Express product family with the highest performance module conga-BM57. It features the latest Intel® Core™ i7-620M processor with a core speed of 2.66 GHz, with 4 MByte L2 cache and up to 8 GByte fast (1066 MT/s) dual channel DDR3 memory. The conga-BM57 is a two-chip solution which utilizes the powerful Mobile Intel® QM57 Express Chipset. The integrated graphics controller is supporting the Intel® Flexible Display Interface (FDI) in order to allow for two independent video channels on VGA, LVDS, HDMI, DisplayPort or SDVO interfaces.
The major highlight of the COM Express Basic (95x125mm) module with a type 2 connector pin-out is the boosted graphics performance. The 3D performance was increased substantially over the last generation of Intel integrated graphics. Paired with the additional computing performance of the Intel® Core™ i7 processor the conga-BM57 is an ideal solution for intense graphics applications which are often found in gaming or medical image applications.
The implemented Intel® Turbo Boost Technology provides an on-demand boost in the clock speed for one processor core if the other core is less utilized. This new feature improves the computing performance by as much as 25% - as measured by congatec during benchmark testing.
In order to keep the power consumption at about the same level as the predecessor generation, the Intel® Core™ i7 processor supports new power management states. The C6 state, already known from Intel® Core™ processors, saves the architectural state to a dedicated SRAM. Then the cores can be switched off to reduce the current to almost zero. The independence of the C6 states for each core boasts even greater power savings for the platform.
Five PCI Express lanes, eight USB 2.0 ports, three SATA, one EIDE and a Gigabit Ethernet interface allow for fast and flexible system extensions. Fan control, LPC bus for slow speed extensions and Intel® High Definition Audio complete the feature set.