Advantech Pumps Up CompactPCI(r) and AMC Performance with 3rd Generation Intel(r) Core(tm) i7 Processor Upgrades

Increased computing power and performance-per-watt fuels new workload consolidation initiatives while extending legacy equipment longevity through drop-in upgrades


Advantech (TWSE: 2395.TW), a global manufacturer of network computing blades and multicore processor platforms, today announced two major product enhancements based on the 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors. Upgrades to the company’s field-proven MIC-5603 AdvancedMC™ and MIC-3395 6U CompactPCI® single board computer give OEMs additional competitive advantage through the performance improvements, power efficiency and scalability of the 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor family.

Both blades target applications where media or vector processing, network offload performance, and computation intensive tasks are required. For example, the evolution of the Intel® Core™ i7 processor’s integrated graphics processor translates to a significant increase in transcoding performance over the second generation, making systems based on MIC-5603’s and the Intel® Media SDK 2012 ideal for high-definition 1080p video transcoding, acceleration and broadcasting.

The Intel® Advanced Vector Extension Technology (Intel® AVX) built in to the Intel® Core™ i7 processor positions the MIC-3395 and MIC-5603 for image and signal processing in applications such as voice recognition and echo cancellation, radar, sonar and medical imaging as well as for use in industrial controllers and video analytics, where floating point operations are key. Both blades fully support the Intel® Signal Processing Development Kit which provides all the essential software tools and libraries in a host-target environment under an Eclipse IDE for accelerated development.

For supervisory or control applications, an optional front panel HDMI port on the MIC-5603 and two DVI ports on the MIC-3395 connect to the processor’s integrated Intel® HD 4000 graphics core, which now handles latest-generation DirectX v11, along with OpenGL v3.1 and OpenCL v1.1. On the MIC-5603 this eliminates the overhead of entry-level discrete graphics for a lower BOM cost whilst on the MIC-3395 it provides application developers with workstation-class capabilities.

For networking applications the MIC-5603 implements Advantech’s leading-edge, on-board fabric mezzanine interface which enhances AMC modularity by expanding fat pipes and I/O choice to 10GbE and SRIO using standard or custom modules. Dual 10GbE connectivity makes the MIC-5603 an ideal choice for OEMs consolidating control plane workloads onto ATCA switch blades such as Advantech’s ATCA-9112 or for proprietary systems requiring a high density of Intel® architecture based carrier grade blades. SRIO support facilitates real time connectivity in systems which traditionally cluster PowerPC, DSP and FPGA-based elements allowing customers to deploy leading edge floating point and vector processing silicon. In addition, the AMC meets carrier grade requirements and is fully managed, supporting redundant BIOS and integrated BMC, as well as remote update of BIOS and BMC firmware with automatic rollback functions.

PCIe gen 3.0 support allows considerably more data load by providing twice the transfer rate over previous generation designs, doubling the available bandwidth to the AMC carrier or AMCs in other backplane slots for MIC-5603 and the onboard XMC slot for the MIC-3395.

"These new upgrades serve both legacy and next generation system design needs. They emphasize on one hand our commitment to long-term technology support and on the other to leading edge technology insertion," said Peter Marek, Director x86 solutions, Advantech NCG. He added "Workload consolidation for data plane, media and signal processing onto 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors will bring significant competitive advantages on all fronts to OEMs. The new processors now hit the price/performance and performance-per-watt metrics that create a very compelling event for architecture conversion.”


The MIC-5603 now supports the Intel® Core™ i7-3555LE and i7-3517UE processor SKUs with up to 8 GB of DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM with ECC support, in a dual channel design, making it ideal for mission critical applications requiring low-latency, reliable memory access. External Ethernet connectivity is via two dedicated GbE front panel ports from the Intel® QM67 PCH and onboard Intel® 82580 quad port LAN controller, which in turn provides two additional GbE ports to the AMC base fabric and one to the Fabric Mezzanine. The Intel® QM67chipset brings remote management capabilities with KVM over LAN as well as SATA-III to AMC ports 2-3 and PCIe x4 gen.3 to the gold fingers. An optional fabric mezzanine-based Intel® 82599 connects dual 10 GbE to the fat pipes, positioning the AMC for cost effective offload capabilities with best-in-class virtualization and acceleration.


6U CompactPCI SBC offers a seamless upgrade path to OEMs with higher levels of performance and richer features. The blade now supports the Intel® Core™ i7-3555LE, i7-3517UE and i7-3612QE processor SKUs. The blade fits in a single 4HP slot with memory capacity to up to 4GB on board DDR3 with ECC support and one SO-UDIMM module for up to a further 8GB. I/O expansion is ensured via an XMC slot, whilst mass storage is available with onboard 2.5” SATA-III support, up to 8GB onboard Flash plus optional CompactFlash® and RTM-based SAS storage options. Six independent gigabit Ethernet ports cater to a wide range of integration options with dual GbE connectivity to front, rear and PICMG 2.16 ports.

Both products will be available for OEM sampling at the beginning of July, 2012 with comprehensive software support from Advantech’s ecosystem alliance partners for Windows®, Linux and RTOS.