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Embedded server designed for and in Europe: A joint development by congatec and Thomas-Krenn

The two companies are developing an embedded server with special security features to meet EU requirements. And thanks to its modular design, the system will be upgradable long into the future.

Embedded server designed for and in Europe: A joint development by congatec and Thomas-Krenn

The IT providers unveiled the new, yet to be named µATX server at the “Embedded World” trade fair in Nuremberg. At the heart of the server is a conga-HPC/sILH Computer-on-Module from congatec. Featuring Intel Xeon D1800 and D2800 processors, the module is based on the COM-HPC Server standard by the PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group). With a standardized interface to the carrier board, the modular system can be upgraded with new modules in less than 30 minutes – even across processor generations.

This rapid upgradability is critical for ensuring the system remains future-proof and is fit for long-term use – important in terms of environmental and financial sustainability, as well as for providing users with the necessary planning certainty for extended lifecycles.

Typical users are expected to come from the industrial, automotive, security, transport, and logistics sectors. In addition, the security-hardened servers are also suitable for critical infrastructure providers and operators. Use cases range from high-performance image processing in quality control, software deployment, and IT/OT firewalls, to the control of complex machines. The servers’ extended hardware availability and industrial design with support for temperature ranges from -40°C to 85°C are major benefits for these use cases.

Ready for EU security directive NIS-2 – with offline AI
Most system components will be produced in Germany or Europe – important beyond sustainability as local production is a necessary requirement for the system’s security features. Among the components supplied by German manufacturers are field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs); the software is also provided by a domestic supplier. The system is therefore ready for EU Network and Information Security Directive NIS-2, which is already in force and must be transposed into German law by October 2024. Because of the high level of security hardening, congatec and Thomas-Krenn are also planning to integrate an offline generative AI solution.

Local production is important not just in view of strained supply chains and potential regulations requiring it. The short transport routes are as critical for the system’s low environmental footprint as its long lifecycles. Final assembly will take place at Thomas-Krenn in Freyung, some 70 km from congatec’s headquarters in Deggendorf. Development is still underway with completion currently scheduled for October 2024. Final pricing has not yet been determined, but based on current raw material prices, the system is expected to sell in the Thomas-Krenn web shop for less than EUR 2,000 in the standard configuration.

Embedded server designed for and in Europe: A joint development by congatec and Thomas-Krenn
From left to right: Konrad Garhammer, COO and CTO congatec, Dominik Reßing, CEO congatec, Christoph Maier, Managing Director of Thomas-Krenn.AG

Proven teamwork
“The embedded server congatec and Thomas-Krenn unveiled today is a milestone success, integrating cutting-edge yet proven technology into a highly secure system. The geographical proximity of the two companies may just be a coincidence, but their skills complement each other perfectly,” says Dominik Reßing, CEO of congatec GmbH. Christoph Maier, CEO of Thomas-Krenn.AG, adds: “The success of our low-energy servers (LES) is rooted in an earlier collaboration with congatec. We know and appreciate each other’s technology, quality standards, and processes. We are therefore absolutely certain that our joint effort will bring an extremely attractive system to the market.”

Technical specifications of the embedded Server-on-Module from congatec.

Further information about the COM-HPC Server standard.

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