ASRock announces the Rack D2100D8UM — first Xeon D-2100 motherboard
In the wake of Intel launching the new Xeon D-2100-series CPUs, ASRock has announced an integrated motherboard solution that can embed any CPU in the D-2100 series. The ASRock D2100D8UM motherboard features an embedded D-2100-series CPU, 8 RAM slots, 2 PCIe slots, support for 12 SATA3 ports, and an integrated intelligent platform management interface (IPMI) with dedicated LAN management.
The website mentions that the board can support up to 512 GB DDR4 RAM but the spec sheet mentions only up to 128 GB. However, the board supports UDIMM, RDIMM, and LR DIMM ECC RAM modules at various DDR4 speeds up to 2666 MHz depending on the SoC used. The 2 PCIe slots are actually x8 and x16 and switch to operate in x16/x0 or x8/x8 modes. A single USB 2.0 and a single USB 3.0 port along with respective headers round up the features.
The rear panel is pretty barebones featuring an Ethernet port for the IPMI LAN management, USB ports, and a VGA port and header from the Aspeed AST2500 graphics adapter. Extra LAN ports for Ethernet connectivity can be added by using a mezzanine type LAN card with an appropriate PHY chip as there is no onboard ethernet. While ASRock did not specify the exact Xeon D-2100 CPUs it plans to embed, the board itself supports CPUs up to 110W TDP, which should include all the D-2100 SKUs.
The Xeon D-2100 series targets the edge computing market. Edge computing can be thought of as a sort of 'micro datacenter' and it refers to the placement of datacenter-grade networks, compute power, and storage much closer to endpoint devices. That means, data analytics can be performed closer to the data source instead of at centralized nodes. This enables low latency operations and lesser load on the central node in the cloud infrastructure. Edge computing finds applications in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and other mission critical sectors.