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COM-HPC® is (Almost) Ready For Prime Time


Staff member
December 14, 2020 By Matt Burns


That word conjures up many emotions. For some, a planned event brings hope and happiness. For others, that same event may cause anxiety and stress. Why isn’t it HERE yet?!!!?!?
(Maybe that is just this parent’s view of their children’s daily reactions. Insert “shrug” emoji here.)

In any case, many in the embedded computing industry are looking forward to the soon-to-be-released PICMG COM-HPC specification. COM-HPC will soon provide increased density, enhanced performance and scalability for next-gen embedded
system design.


Here is where the anticipation comes in. Embedded engineers are becoming aware of all the COM-HPC benefits, but is it ready for prime time? Almost! The COM-HPC specification is currently out for ratification. Expected release is early in the first quarter of 2021.

Do we have to wait until then?

COM-HPC Preview Specification​

Many embedded engineers are familiar with COM Express (COMe). For nearly two decades, COMe has served as the workhorse platform for any number of embedded computing applications.
However, COMe is starting to show its age. High-performance compute engines (CPUs, FPGAs, GPUs and others) support higher bandwidths, increase I/O and use more memory. COMe solutions are unable to keep up with these technical advances.
COM-HPC offers many improvements over COMe. These include:
  • Larger form factors
  • Enhanced Module – Carrier interface and connector
  • More memory options (DIMMs/SO-DIMMs)
  • Larger power budget
  • More high-speed interfaces like PCIe® 5.0 and 100 Gb Ethernet
These and more details are now available in the new PICMG COM-HPC Preview Specification. Download a copy from

COM-HPC Connectors from Samtec​

COM-HPC provides system and interface flexibility by adopting a pair of 400 pin connectors (800 pins total). Samtec COM-HPC-aligned connectors support existing and future interfaces such as PCIe® 5.0 (32 GT/s) and up to 100 Gb Ethernet while handling up to 2,088 Gbps/in2.


The female Module Receptables are employed at a standard height. The male Carrier Plugs vary to allow for either a 5 mm or 10 mm stack height.
Depending on the application, the connector pinouts are optimized for Client or Server module as defined in the COM-HPC specification.
Check the Samtec blog over the coming weeks and months as we post the latest information on COM-HPC. Anticipation is building!