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Solution Briefs

SECO pushes performance boundaries with new standards and the latest-gen platform

The SECO CARINA module, featuring 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, is designed for the COM-HPC® standard



Read the Solution Brief on Intel Technical Library





As connectivity and flexibility requirements continue to drive performance demands in embedded edge computers and servers, industries are poised to take advantage. Factories and logistics firms are streamlining their production lines with greater precision using robotics. Hospitals are accelerating medical imaging appliances like ultrasound with AI capabilities. Public sector and aerospace are also ramping up AI image recognition, event analysis, and security use cases to come up with exciting new efficiency models to improve quality of life in cities. Performance is driving a new wave of creativity and innovation, and both computing modules and processors need to keep pace through enhanced flexibility.



“The platform’s combination of speed, high-powered Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics and AI acceleration, and hardware support for realtime computing makes it ideal for critical applications that demand vision, voice, or text recognition alongside processing power.”
— Michael Duhamel, SECO VP of sales for North America





A new update to the COM-HPC® standard—to be released by PICMG® in the fourth quarter of 2020—will drive new requirements for embedded computing modules. Until recently, headless servers used in distributed systems did not have the performance required to execute analysis or high-level graphics computing at the edge. For example, in a transportation use case, headless traffic control servers would aggregate video streams from multiple traffic cameras and send the data upstream to a central cloud or data center for video processing.


This resulted in high network resource usage and infrastructure costs. However, new use cases are emerging that allow for the edge-level server to execute the AI inference on video streams and send the results upstream, which requires far less network infrastructure and support. The new COM-HPC® standard will provide greater connectivity with PCIe 4.0 and USB 4.0 for embedded applications. All that remains is for the market to produce boards and modules that live up to this new standard.



Solution: CARINA COM-HPC® modules with 11th Gen Intel Core processors


SECO, a major player in the embedded computing industry, is offering brand-new solutions based on the COM-HPC® standards. The SECO CARINA module, enabled by 11th Gen Intel Core processors, will leverage scalability and improvements in performance and graphics to accelerate AI/DL workloads in embedded use cases. In a statement by Michael Duhamel, VP of sales for North America at SECO, “The platform’s combination of speed, high-powered Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics and AI acceleration, and hardware support for real-time computing makes it ideal for critical applications that demand vision, voice, or text recognition alongside processing power.”

As a competitive advantage, SECO provides the support needed to get the most out of the new COM-HPC® standard’s capabilities and deploy seamlessly to existing IT environments. With this offering, industries can start benefiting from PCIe 4.0 and USB 4.0 connectivity and the exceptional CPU and graphics performance of 11th Gen Intel Core processors right away.





“It was mainly about helping customers with their AI implementations … We are providing the infrastructure to leverage AI-specific features of 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors at the edge.”
— Davide Catani, CTO at SECO



How it works


The CARINA COM-HPC® modular computing solution is deployed through an application-specific carrier board in an embedded system, customized and adapted to a business’s specific application. SECO offers carrier board customization support, as well as different entry points and help to certify potential deployments based on known successful use cases. As an added benefit, SECO will provide BIOS tuning and an asset API that grants access to a specific bus or interface to help customers test and optimize for their specific application deployment.


End users and system integrators can also integrate the CARINA COM-HPC® module into larger networks, for instance by connecting embedded appliances to cloud infrastructure to support remote manageability or upstream analytics. Compared to previous-generation SECO modular solutions, the new CARINA module lineup will also support Wi-Fi connectivity. According to Davide Catani, CTO at SECO, “Given the demand for wireless connectivity keeps growing, the COM-HPC® CARINA comes with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.” This capability will also make it easier to deploy the module with more location flexibility, so some end users won’t need to run cable over their entire shop floors.



Key features of the COM-HPC® CARINA:

• 11th Gen Intel Core processor
• Integrated video interfaces 3x DDI, eDP, and 2x MIPI-CSI
• 4x USB 4.0/USB 3.2; 4x USB 2.0
• 4x PCIe 4.0; 8x PCIe 3.0
• Up to 2x 2.5GbE NICs
• Up to 2x DDR4-3200 with in-band ECC support



COM-HPC® pushes boundaries, broadens horizons


SECO is an active contributor to the PICMG consortium that develops the COM-HPC® standard. The intent behind developing a new standard for embedded computing in the IoT space was clear—specifically, the need to handle bigger workloads with higher performance demands.


In describing the COM-HPC® standard, the PICMG website states, “To serve the new class of embedded edge servers, scalability must be limitless.”1 As PCIe 4.0 and USB 4.0 have gained traction in the market, these updated interfaces are ripe for implementation in the computer-on-module space.


The CARINA COM-HPC® client module provided by SECO, and possible future modules based on the 11th Gen Intel Core processor family, are designed to meet new standards while exploring new functionalities. For example, SECO is planning to leverage more of the new technologies available in the latest processor platform, such as Intel® Time Coordinated Computing (Intel® TCC). “More and more, the IoT space requires devices to interoperate, sharing a common
time reference, and to perform functions with a deterministic approach,” Catani says.

Intel TCC helps ensure real-time-critical and non-real-time workloads can run simultaneously without competing for compute resources. This results in low latency that can help networked embedded computers function with more precise coordination. Although not currently a part of the COM-HPC® CARINA offering, SECO may feature this technology in future offerings.



Learn more


To discover how the SECO CARINA COM-HPC® module can accelerate AI/DL workloads in embedded use cases, visit the product page.

To learn more about Intel® processors with new IoT optimized capabilities and onboard FuSa functionality, visit the processor family page.



1. Based on internal SECO data.
2. Certification in process.
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