Computer-on-module is more compact

21st February 2013

Kontron's new microETXexpress-PC brings high-end 45nm Intel Core2 Duo processor performance with optimised power consumption and a full feature set to what is claimed to be the smallest COM Express Pinout Type 2 compatible computer-on-module.

According to market researchers at VDC, small form-factor computer-on-modules are becoming increasingly important and COM Express Type 2 is expected to gain a market share of 72 per cent, making it the de facto standard within the COM Express specification. The Kontron microETXexpress-PC therefore offers high investment security for small designs.

The Kontron microETXexpress-PC Computer-on-Module is 100 per cent compatible with the COM Express specification, following the Type 2 pin-out in terms of assignment and physical location. This enables developers to follow the secure development path of the established and future-proof PICMG COM Express specification for quickly designing smaller high-end systems for a wide range of embedded applications requiring multi-core performance. These include, for example, two-in-one hybrid devices for simultaneously running two operating systems, applications with sophisticated high-definition graphics such as digital signage and infotainment, as well as numerous other data processing-intensive applications in the medical, energy, transportation, telecommunication, automation, POS/POI or kiosk sectors.

Kontron's microETXexpress-PC is based on the high-performance and low-power 45nm small form factor (SFF) Intel Core 2 Duo processor up to 1.86GHz and highly integrated Intel mobile GS45 express chipset for SFF platforms. The compact Kontron microETXexpress-PC packs up to 4GB of DDR3 SO-DIMM with a FSB of up to 1066MHz and 6MB of L2 cache on a compact computer-on-module form factor that measures just 95mm x 95mm. Applications that are extremely power-sensitive are well served by the Kontron microETXexpress-PC with 1.2GHz Intel Celeron processor M 722 that offers an optimal performance-per-watt ratio for fanless designs.

Applications will also benefit from the rich feature set of the compact Kontron microETXexpress-PC computer-on-module that includes state-of-the-art system security via the Intel Trusted Execution Technology and an integrated trusted platform module - TPM 1.2 - for software and data protection. For graphics- and video-oriented applications, the Kontron microETXexpress-PC features the Intel graphics media accelerator (GMA X4500) and doubles the graphics performance compared to previous Intel-based computer-on-modules. With DirectX 10, PS 4.0 and DVMT 5.0 it supports the latest APIs for demanding 2D and 3D applications. Dual independent displays with resolutions up to 1080p/i are supported, as is 18/24-bit LVDS single- or dual-channel graphics performance with 1024MB of graphic memory, an integrated MPEG2 decoder and H.264. It also supports graphics interfaces such as HDMI and Displayport. With the integrated HDCP 1.2 and Intel High Definition Audio, even HDMI-compliant applications can be implemented. If even greater graphics performance is required, the PEG pinout can be used with application-specific expansion cards.

The Kontron microETXexpress-PC also offers extensive I/O flexibility with five PCI Express x1, three SerialATA, one PATA and eight USB 2.0 ports, along with Gigabit Ethernet. The bootable PATA enables easy integration of flash storage for operating systems. Like other Kontron computer-on-modules, the Kontron microETXexpress-PC complies with the COM Express Extension and therefore supports a wide range power supply from 8.5 V to 18 V.

The compact Kontron microETXexpress-PC computer-on-module will be available in May 2009 and supports Linux and VxWORKS, as well as Windows Vista, Windows XP, XP embedded and CE.

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