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AMC board boasts new quad-core Xeon

Feb 17, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Kontron announced a double-wide Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) incorporating Intel's quad-core Xeon LC5518 processor. Aimed at communications and storage-related MicroTCA platforms, the Kontron AM5030 module supports up to 24GB of DDR3 EEC memory, and comes with dual 10 gigabit Ethernet (XAUI) interfaces and four gigabit Ethernet ports.

The full-sized Kontron AM5030 is designed to populate MicroTCA platforms for dense server environments deployed in storage, military/aerospace, and communications networks, says Kontron. The latter are said to include networks that require IPTV, VoIP, NAS, SAN, or wireless radio network controllers. The AM5030 may be used as a main controller, data server, traffic processor, or media processor in any double-width MicroTCA platform, the company adds.

Kontron AM5030

The Kontron AM5030 is claimed to be one of the first AMC (or AdvancedMC) modules to integrate a quad-core processor. The module specifically supports the 45nm-fabricated Intel Xeon LC5518, the quad-core member of the Xeon C5500 family of CPUs that were introduced last week along with lower-end Xeon C3500 processors.

Both families of processors are aimed at embedded, networking, and storage applications, and are primarily notable for their integration of an I/O hub via PCI Express (PCIe). The integrated hub reduces board real estate, and lowers system power consumption by 27 Watts compared to the previous Xeon 5500 CPUs, says Intel. The design also provides the advantage of integrating PCIe 2.0 I/O within the processor, notes Kontron.

The Xeon LC5518 clocks to 1.73GHz, and has a stated TDP of 48 Watts, says Kontron. The processor offers up to 8MB of shared last-level cache, as well as Intel's hyperthreading support and Turbo Boost technology, Kontron says. The CPU is said to be connected via Direct Media Interface (DMI) to an Intel 3420 platform controller hub (PCH), which includes RAID support.

AM5030 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The AMC.1/.2/.3 compliant Kontron AM5030 can hold up to 24GB of DDR3 (1066MHz) memory with ECC, implemented as a three-channel interface, says Kontron. The module also provides two 10 gigabit Ethernet ports that comply with the AMC.2 specification, enabling the module to integrate easily into a 10 gigabit Ethernet MicroTCA Carrier Hub (MCH), such as Kontron's own AM4910 system. Four gigabit Ethernet interfaces are also said to be available, with two on the front panel.

Following AMC.1 guidelines, the board offers a PCIe x4 interface, and in accordance with AMC.3, it supplies dual SATA ports, plus two more SATA connections at the extended AMC connector, providing four SATA connections in total. Rounding out the I/O are two USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and a COM (RJ45) port on the front panel.

The Kontron AM5030 is touted for its hot-swap capabilities, as well as a dedicated Module Management Controller (MMC) that can support a defined subset of Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) commands, says Kontron. The front panel is designed to meet MicroTCA.1 requirements, says the company.

Specifications listed for the Kontron AM5030 include:

  • Processor — Intel Xeon LC5518 @ 1.73GHz, with Intel 3420 PCH
  • Memory — Up to 3 channels of DDR3 (1066MHz) memory with ECC, for up to of 24GB total
  • Flash — Up to 32GB SLC NAND on dedicated SATA NAND flash module
  • Expansion — 1 x PCIe x4 interface on AMC ports 4-7 (Fat Pipes Region)
  • Storage — 2 x SATA ports (Common Options Region ports 2-3); 2 x SATA ports (Extended Options Region ports 12-13)
  • Graphics/display — Silicon Motion SM750 (via PCIe x1) for 1920 x 1440 resolution with 16MB DDR on-chip; VGA 15-pin D-Sub connector (front-facing)
  • Networking:
    • 1 x 10 gigabit Ethernet XAUI interface on AMC ports 8-11 (Fat Pipes Region)
    • 1 x 10 gigabit Ethernet XAUI interface on AMC ports 17-20 (Extended Options Region)
    • 2 x gigabit Ethernet ports (SerDes) for system interconnection
    • 2 x gigabit Ethernet ports (RJ45), front-facing
    • Intel 82599EB dual 10 gigabit Ethernet x8 PCIe bus controller
    • Intel 82580EB quad gigabit Ethernet PCIe bus controller
  • Other I/O and controllers:
    • 2 x USB 2.0 ports (front-facing)
    • 1 x RS232 UART interface (front-facing) on 10-pin mini connector
    • 1 x COM1 (LVTTL), Extended Options Region port 15
    • 1 x debug port (Extended Options Region port 14)
    • UART (EXAR XR16L580IL), 16550-compatible
    • TPM 1.2 controller (Infineon SLB9635T), on request
    • NXP LPC2368 MMC controller with 512kB flash and 56kB RAM
    • FPGA-based, software-configurable, two-stage Watchdog
    • I/O extension for SATA, USB, LPC interfaces, some power and control signals, and battery input
  • Power — ATCA-compliant 12 V payload power, 3.3 V management power

In late January, Kontron announced an "AM4020" AMC module that runs on Intel's new Core i7 procesor. The Linux-ready module was the first of many Core i7 systems Kontron plans to introduce this year in formats including AMC, CompactPCI, and COM Express, said the company.


The Kontron AM5030 will be in serial production by the second quarter, supporting Red Hat Linux, Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows 2008 Server, says the company. Samples are said to be available upon request, but pricing was not listed.

More information about the Kontron AM5030 may be found here.

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