AMD has taken interest in the embedded world for quite some time. Only recently, have we begun to implement their unique “Zen” x86 SoC architecture onto single board computers to drive a multitude of applications from high-performance processing to low-power embedded solutions. Premio has followed the Intel embedded roadmap for decades and has provided reliable computing solutions, so why did we introduce AMD Ryzen Embedded processors into our single board computers?
Let us take a brief look at how AMD managed to secure a position against Intel beginning with the processor lithography of both companies. According to an article from The Conversation, Intel struggled to reduce their 14nm processor and delayed roadmaps for future nanometer technology and lithography. While this was taking place, AMD had developed their 7nm processor through partnership with a leader in semiconductor fabrication, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). With nearly double the processing density, AMD developed critical embedded processors with higher performance and greater power efficiency. Additionally, supply and demand was a key factor because of the differences in both companies’ visions. AMD took advantage of their limited resources well before the era of supply chain shortages by partnering with tech giants like TSMC to manufacture their processors at scale. This methodology enabled AMD to balance both research and development, manufacturing scale with rapid turnaround times. Intel, on the other hand, is a bit different in its business model because it needs to use capital investments and resources to develop their own semiconductor fabrications facilities throughout the world, which played to AMD’s favor for entering a competitive landscape with the latest nanometer technology at 7nm die. For decades, Intel’s success and leadership was well-defined in their in-house developments while AMD positioned its strategy and innovation with the help of one of the largest leaders in semiconductor manufacturing in the world.
Overall, AMD Ryzen Embedded processors have enhanced power efficiency for high performance compute. Industrial-grade SBCs incorporate these processors to deliver their potential to rugged edge applications. With that said, here are six key reasons why AMD Ryzen Embedded SBCs are important in the embedded industry:
1. What is Zen & Vega Architecture for AMD Processors?
The AMD Ryzen Embedded processors utilize Zen and Vega architecture. Zen is the core complex 7nm x86 CPU that delivers power-efficient and high-performance processing. On the other hand, Vega is a discrete GPU which provides additional computer power to drive high quality graphics. The computational capabilities of the CPU and GPU combined into a SoC design provides embedded applications the flexibility to create a wider range of solutions for both data processing and display clarity embedded applications. With all this high-performance and power, thermal envelopes and designs must be a challenge to mitigate harsh industrial deployments. A key benefit for 7nm lithography technology in AMD’s Ryzen Embedded processors is their power efficiency; these SoCs range from 12-25W TDP. This provides embedded single board manufacture, like Premio, the ability to design powerful but power-efficient motherboards for many industrial applications. Furthermore, AMD’s embedded processors follow an extensive 10-year support cycle for prolonged reliability and longevity.
2. Do AMD Ryzen SBCs support multi-input screen UHD 4K displays?
AMD Ryzen Embedded SBCs can support multiple ultra-high definition 4K displays simultaneously with Radeon RX “Vega” graphics. Since AMD’s Embedded processors follow an integrated Zen and Vega SoC architecture, dedicated graphic performance is a key differentiator for AMD for 4K definition clarity. AMD Ryzen Embedded SBCs are purpose-built for a variety of display-oriented applications where high-resolution graphics require multiple screens with ultimate clarity:
- Industrial IoT and Automation
- Digital signage
- Casino gaming/gambling
- Self-serve interactive kiosks
- Smart retail
A key application where AMD Ryzen SBCs shine are in casino and gaming machines. Digital gaming systems require an embedded platform to display intensive 4K multimedia graphics while operating in environments where downtime can mean a loss in sales or traffic. AMD Ryzen Embedded SBCs achieve these demands by supporting three 4K displays with its discrete “Vega” GPU architecture. Reliability is essential to casino machines as they will be operating 24/7. Maintenance is costly, causes detrimental downtime, and can deter players. Therefore, AMD Ryzen SBCs are designed with industrial-grade materials and have a wide operating temperature range (-40°C-75°C) to ensure ultimate reliability. AMD also ensures the longevity of its processors with a power efficient TDP and a 10-year lifecycle support roadmap. This allows both SBC manufacturers and OEM designers to confidently utilize AMD Ryzen Embedded processors for industrial-grade deployments. These features enable AMD Ryzen SBCs to operate with little to no maintenance needed.
3. Do AMD SBCs have dual-channel memory & support ECC Memory
Single-channel memory is standard in SBCs, however, with AMD Ryzen Embedded, Premio has developed a 3.5” SBC that is capable of dual-channel memory. Dual channel memory essentially doubles the amount of bandwidth for quicker data exchange and improves overall performance. Error Correction Code (ECC) memory enhances reliability for edge deployments. Memory data corruption can cause detrimental down time during mission-critical operations. ECC memory detects memory errors and fixes it before data corruption can occur. Learn more about ECC memory here.
4. Are AMD SBCs Scalable in Mission-Critical I/O?
Although small in size, new AMD Embedded SBCs provide a great deal of scalability with plentiful I/O and expansion configurations like mPCIe and M.2 slots. This gives system designers the flexibility to fully customize the SBC to integrate it into their final OEM build without feeling limited to only the I/O on-board. In terms of market differentiation, Premio’s 3.5” AMD Ryzen Embedded SBC, also offers a 50-pin high speed connector (PCIe x4) that can be used for customization in additional I/O. For example, OEM kiosk designers have used this key feature to pull out even more USB ports with a custom PCB daughterboard design. Read case study to learn more >>
Scalability is crucial for SBCs to provide versatility in a variety of applications where users may need special requirements. In addition, Premio offers two options for AMD’s Embedded processors, the R1000 and V1000 Series for added cost-to-performance efficiency. Both processors use an integrated “Vega” GPU and provide an ample amount of computing power from dual-core to quad-core “Zen” performance.
5. What form factors are available for the AMD Ryzen SBC?
AMD Ryzen Embedded processors have pushed the SBC limitations with higher performance in smaller form factors. The most common form factor SBC is the 3.5” as it is small enough to be deployed in space constrained locations while providing enough PCB space for mission critical I/O that enables data processing and real-time data analysis. SBC form factors can reach 2.5” with Pico-ITX or even smaller with Premio’s latest SBC, the 1.8” AMD Ryzen Embedded Femto-ITX SBC. Its credit card size provides incredible compute power, with the bare essential I/Os, perfect for the most space constrained OEM designs. A key advantage for this tiny SBC is its ability to power two independent 4K displays and even a mPCIe slot for expansion modules. These extremely small form factor SBCs are groundbreaking as they provide low powered high-performance, while deployed or integrated in the most space-constrained locations/applications.
6. How rugged are AMD Ryzen SBCs?
Edge deployments face environmental challenges where temperature, shock and vibration, and inconsistent power inputs, can lead to failure of mission-critical equipment. Premio industrial-grade SBCs are purpose-built to withstand these harsh conditions. Premio’s 3.5” AMD Embedded SBC can support wide operating temperatures ranges (-40°C-75°C), power protection (OVP and OCP), and utilizes a heatsink spreader for fanless passive cooling. construction for passive cooling. These industrial-grade SBCs are purpose-built for extensive reliability and longevity for rugged edge.
Single board computers with AMD Ryzen Embedded processors are revolutionizing the embedded industry with these key six features. With the combination of AMD’s “Zen” architecture and Radeon RX “Vega” graphics working in tandem, embedded motherboard designers can deliver high-performance graphical compute for new applications at the edge that require data processing. Learn more in-depth about AMD Ryzen SBCs here >>
Why Premio for AMD Embedded SBCs?
In summary, Premio is able to leverage its 30+ years of computing design by harnessing the key benefits of AMD Ryzen Embedded processors in its two latest single board computers. The 3.5” and 1.8” AMD single board computers provide another option for x86 performance and I/O variety in a small form factor. Premio focuses on providing versatility and flexibility in our SBCs that embedded OEM designers can integrate into their overall systems. Our SBCs are Built Rugged, Built Ready, by testing and validating its performance and reliability against extreme conditions where traditional computers wouldn’t survive. Premio has positioned itself to provide scalable manufacturing with our state-of-the-art facility in Los Angeles, CA and strategic locations in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Germany. Our goal is to provide localized support, rapid time-to-market, and complete manufacturing transparency for our core products in Embedded IoT Computers, Rugged Edge Computers, HMI Displays and HPC Storage Servers.