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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Kontron launches its smallest pico-ITX board with graphics

2.5in SBC supports DDR3, DirectX11 and 1080p in embedded apps

By Nick Flaherty

Kontron has launched its smallest embedded single board computer (SBC) based on the AMD Embedded G-Series with Fusion technology. The new Kontron 2.5-inch Pico-ITX KTA55/pITX has a wide range of dedicated interfaces, extremely small footprint (100 x 72 mm) and low power requirements and is Kontron's fastest and most cost-effective entry into the development of graphics-intensive small form factor applications.
This means OEMs can use DirectX 11, full HD video display (1080 i/p), dual-screen control and reduce development time for small box applications such as those found in the latest digital signs and user-friendly sales kiosks.
With just 9 W TDP for the accelerated processing unit - which integrates one or two 64-bit processor cores, a programmable graphics unit plus a PCI Express Gen 2.0 controller and a DDR3 RAM controller - the board is aimed at low power applications. Developers can rely on existing cooling concepts from Kontron's portfolio and accelerate the system development. 

Target applications include all SFF applications with high graphics and video performance requirements including POS/POI multimedia kiosks and dual-screen installations in infotainment systems, control rooms and machine controls. The OpenCL support means computation-intensive applications in the low-power segment, such as image processing and digital signal processing, benefit from the off the shelf platform through minimized development times and a simplified design-in process.

Feature set

  • 1.2 GHz Single-Core processor AMD T44R or the 1.0 GHz Dual-Core processor AMD T44N. 
  • Integrates up to 4 GB RAM on a DDR3 SODIMM module allowing OEMS to easily scale the system configuration according to individual needs. 
  • DVI-I output for DVI and VGA, 24-bit dual channel LVDS interface and the backlight output (switchable from 5 V to 12 V) means OEMs can implement dual-monitor applications with resolutions up to 2 x full HD (1080p). 
  • Integrated unified video decoder minimizes the CPU load in the decoding of H.264, VC-1, MPEG, WMV and DivX HD videos. 
  • Integrated high definition audio (HDA) provides a crystal-clear audio output
  • Six USB 2.0 ports so OEMs can make use of a broad range of cost efficient peripherals for application-specific expansions. 
  • Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet port offers the highest compatibility and bandwidth for networking applications. 
  • Storage media can be integrated over three 6.0 Gb/s SATA connections which can take full advantage of the high transfer rates of the more recent solid-state drives. 
  • A trusted platform module provides data security for safety critical applications and an LPC bus for legacy peripherals and 8 configurable GPIOs round out the feature set. 

The KTA55/pITX supports Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Linux. Pre-production models will be available in July 2011, serial production will begin in late Q3 of 2011.

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