Tensor-PC is a new IIOT fanless mini-PC supporting multiple modules with mix-and-match
Executive summary
  • Tensor-PC is a new IIOT fanless mini-PC supporting multiple modules with mix-and-match
  • Enclosure of Tensor-PC is parametric with independent choice of width, height and cooling ribs
  • These design features allow the buyer of Tensor PC to choose the types and amounts of:
    • Storage devices
    • Power input
    • I/O ports
    • Networking ports
    • Extensions
  • Tensor-PC offers dozens of different modules to choose from. Additional modules are developed in a progressive manner
  • Modules are open-source-hardware in order to provide a reference to 3rd parties developing custom modules
  • Tensor-PC supports multiple off-the-shelf cards in PCIe, mini-PCIe and M.2 form factors
  • The first Tensor-PC model - [I20A] - is based on Intel 9th generation Core / Xeon with up to 6 cores, 64 GB RAM and 37 lanes of PCIe
  • Tensor-PC is introducing a new industrial-temperature predictable-performance rating with no-throttling
  • Tensor-PC supports out-of-band management as well as identification and control of connected modules


About Tensor-PC

About Tensor-PC

Tensor-PC is a new mini-PC design by Compulab, intended to address diverse requirements in the IIOT market.
The design concept of Tensor-PC is different from previous generations of Compulab mini-PCs, introducing high-granularity modular design and a parametric enclosure. Compulab engineering team has been working for two years on the definition and implementation of this design concept.

About this document:

This document explains the key features of Tensor-PC and the benefits we believe these features bring to IIOT projects. It focuses on Tensor-PC I20A (“[I20A]”) which is the first Tensor-PC model we introduce.

Along the document [I20A] is often compared to previous generations of Compulab mini-PCs like IPC family and fitlet family in order to underline the changes in design.

The document contains many Tensor-PC-specific terms like “TRIP”, “TEL”, “TPU” etc. For your convenience, glossary can be found at the end of the document.

What «Tensor-PC» stands for

A Tensor is a mathematical object described as an array of composite elements.

A key property of Tensor-PC is that storage, power, I/O, networking and extensions (“SPINE”) are each implemented as a “Tensor Element” (“TEL”). Each Tensor-PC is built by mixing and matching TELs. Therefore, naming Tensor-PC after the mathematical Tensor may be apt.

Tensor-PC naming convention

Tensor-PC I20A is the first Tensor-PC model Compulab is introducing.

“I20A” stands for:

  • I: Based on an Intel CPU
  • 20: Introduced in 2020
  • A: model A

We use the notation [I20A] as an abbreviation of Tensor-PC I20A.

This convention allows consistent naming of future Tensor-PC models. For example, if in 2023 Compulab introduces two different AMD-based Tensor-PC models, they will be named Tensor-PC A23A (“[A23A]”) and Tensor-PC A23B (“[A23B]”).

How [I20A] fits in Compulab product line

Compulab is looking to offer at least one platform in each of the following power and performance categories:

Category1: Up to 10W

Miniature, low-cost computers.
Current Compulab offering is fitlet2.

Category2: Up to 30W

Small and modular low-power computers usually based on embedded derivatives of mobile CPUs.

Compulab offering until 2019 is IPC2/3, replaced by
[I20A] in 2020.

Category3: Up to 60W

High-performance industrial-grade computers that are compact and modular.
Compulab offering in category 3 is yet to be announced.

Category4: 100W+

Ruggedized workstation/server for demanding applications in harsh environments.
Current Compulab offering is Airtop3.

Note: [I20A] is a category 2 product. Future Tensor PC models will expand to other categories.