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Tensor PC

IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things)


High granularity modular design and a parametric enclosure

Tensor-PC is a new mini-PC intended to address diverse requirements in the IIOT market.

The design concept of Tensor-PC is different from previous generations of mini-PCs, introducing high granularity modular design and a parametric enclosure. The engineering team has been working for two years on the definition and implementation of this design concept.


Tensor PC is based on Intel 9th generation Core H – up to 6 cores, 25W. Performance is several times that of IPC3, and higher than Whiskey Lake which is common in the category. Tensor PC has up to 64 GB RAM and a discrete chipset that gives it much more I/O than a SoC. TELs make it easier than on-board I/O to achieve exactly the functionality and connectivity features needed for the application.

Tensor PC is designed to support off-the-shelf PCIe cards. Support for discrete graphics cards will be introduced later.


Initial tests of Tensor PC indicate it is quite reliable. It is released after several months of stress testing. In case of failure, the TELs concept should prove beneficial in three ways:

  • Tensor PC can have redundancy of storage and critical I/O
  • In older products a failure of HDMI or Ethernet would require an RMA, but in Tensor PC it would be possible to just replace a TEL in the field
  • If there is an epidemic design flaw in a TEL – it can be quickly addressed by rework or redesign and distributed for replacement without the need for RMA

Another important factor is that from a single motherboard we derive many variants of the product. This allows allocating more resources than usual to ensure it is debugged, tested and supported properly.


The key for effective manageability is out-of-band management which should allow logging-in remotely over the network, monitoring status and getting alerts, turning the computer on/off, updating operating-system and BIOS over-the-air etc. Tensor PC is designed with provisions for out-of-band management which is developed in parallel to the computer itself. This capability should be introduced at a later date and can be added ad-hoc to units in the field.


Tensor PC starts from 1 liter and will initially be offered in 18 form factors for different content and cooling scenarios. Tensor PC takes industrial temperature rating a step further and is provided with more thermal headroom in -TI (and not just extra testing like in previous products. Mounting is from the back and side (similar to fitlet2). Power is not on-board but by a discrete power module, which allows a terminal block, dual power supply, wide power range etc.

IP rating is considered for future introduction.


Better security is often achieved by eliminating unneeded features that could pose a risk of attack. Tensor PC TELs based design allows achieving it better than with a traditional PC. E.g. if USB is considered a risk, Tensor PC can be installed with no USB (or if USB is needed for installation – connect a USB TEL temporarily, and disconnect it after installation is complete). TPM and secure boot are present. Compulab considers more advanced hardware security features to be introduced in the future.

Key Features

  • Intel 9th generation "Coffee Lake Refresh" Core / Xeon up to 6 cores, 25W
  • Intel CM246 chipset
  • 2x DDR4 SODIMM sockets in dual channel supporting up to 64 GB ECC / non-ECC RAM
  • 37 PCIe 3.0 lanes
  • 3 display interfaces
  • FPGA for power sequencing and control
  • Single 12V power input
  • TPM 2.0 socket
  • Size 15cm x 13cm


  • [I20A] is based on Intel 9th generation Core / Xeon "Coffee Lake Refresh" with up to 6 cores.
  • Performance of the high-end models of [I20A] are about 3 times higher than the performance of IPC3.
  • Performance of the low-end [I20A] is comparable to high-end IPC3. This may prove useful for price optimization where no extra performance is required.