AMD’s latest Kria SoM targets electric drives, motor controllers

AMD continues to expand the Kria system-on-module family it gained through its acquisition of Xilinx, the latest move being the unveiling of the Kria K24 SoM and KD240 Drives Starter Kit to help developers speed up application creation on the new SoMs.

The Kria K24 is a small form factor unit, half the size of a credit card thanks to Advanced InFO (Integrated Fan-Out) packaging, according to Chetan Khona, Senior Director, Industrial, Vision, Healthcare and Sciences Markets at AMD. It is aimed at cost-sensitive industrial and commercial edge applications, and uses half the power of AMD’s larger, connector-compatible Kria K26 SoM to do so.

In these applications, the K24 would be used to power electric drives and motor controllers used in compute-intensive digital signal processing (DSP) applications requiring low latency and high-level determinism, Kona added. Examples include electric motor systems, robotics for factory automation, power generation, public transportation such as elevators and trains, surgical robotics and medical equipment like MRI beds, and EV charging stations.

The new SoM directly addresses a key fact behind rapidly increasing industrial automation that is sometimes taken for granted: It requires a lot of electricity. Khona highlighted the INternational Energy Agency’s Energy Efficiency 2022 report, which suggested that about 70% of the total global electrical use by the industrial sector is tied to electric motors and motor-driven systems. 

“The reason we're focusing on electric drives is really because electric motors are everywhere,” Khona said. “They're used in public transportation. They're used in energy generation, like wind turbine engines. They're using robotics in factory automation and logistics, medical equipment, etc. So, imagine across the world what even a 1% savings in electrical use looks like in terms of money and in terms of sustainability impact.”

As AMD has done with its other Kria products, the K24 gets its own developer platform, the KD240, specifically targeted at motor control use cases and allowing teams working on those use cases to move quickly even if they do not have much FPGA programming expertise. AMD through its app store also is offering pre-built motor control apps, allowing users to create power-efficient industrial solutions that are reliable, available, and with advanced security features.

The K24 SOM (commercial and industrial versions, the latter with ECC-protected LPDDR4 memory for high-reliability systems) and KD240 Drives Starter Kit are available to order now. The K24 commercial versional is shipping now, while the industrial version is expected to ship in the fourth quarter this year.