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Kontron's Pico-ITX board boasts low thermal design power

24 Sep 2013  | Nick Flaherty

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Kontron recently introduced the KTAM33874/pITX, an extended temperature motherboard. The company's latest board uses TI's Sitara 3874 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and supports Linux, Android and Windows WEC7. It also provides tablet PC performance and a comprehensive range of standard and embedded computing interfaces.

With its Pico-ITX compliance, the motherboard offers OEMs the possibility to realise cost-efficient small form factor (SFF) embedded appliances based on a standardised form factor. OEMs can now exploit the whole ecosystem which to date has been used for x86 technology, significantly reducing hardware development costs in comparison to full custom designs and increase long-term availability. If no individual hardware adjustments are required, then the board is application-ready and can be immediately deployed. Furthermore, Kontron offers in-house hardware-related software services, so that individual driver implementations and configuration-specific images can be provided at great speed.

The Pico-ITX board based on the ARM Cortex A8 single-core processor boasts a low thermal design power (TDP) which makes it extremely suitable for compact, fanless applications. It is also the first Kontron motherboard designed from scratch for the extended temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. It is therefore fit to cope with even the most adverse environmental conditions.

Examples of application areas for the motherboard are autonomous battery- or solar-powered outdoor systems or mobile or stationary dual-display applications like Box PCs, HMIs and thin clients. The target markets include building and home automation, industrial automation, digital signage and transportation as well as medical and military.

For the KTAM3874/pITX with energy-efficient ARM processor technology Kontron has announced a minimum of 7 years long-term availability. On its 100x72mm sized standard small form factor this highly integrated motherboard offers everything that developers need to realise complete systems: an extensive range of interfaces and on-board Flash memory mean that there is no need for OEMs to source any additional components. That further helps to speed up both the time needed for development and in turn the time-to-market. A SIM card slot and the low average power consumption of less than 5W even facilitate the development of appliances in self-sufficient continuous operation in environments without power supply or network lines.

The KTAM3874/pITX is available with the single-core Sitara 3874 with 3D graphic acceleration and supports up to two independent displays both with resolutions of 1080p (full HD) connected via HDMI 1.3a and 24bit dual channel LVDS. Sound is provided by analogue audio in- and output. An additional loudspeaker port (1W) can drive smaller loudspeakers directly.

For OS and application data there are up to 16GB NAND Flash memory on-board plus a microSD slot. Hard disks or DVD players can be connected via 1x SATA and 1x mSATA. Beside two Fast Ethernet interfaces with an optional switch, it also offers 2x CAN bus as well as a SIM card slot for MiniPCIe modem cards. Peripherals can be connected by the 5x USB 2.0, 2x RS232 or 1x RS435. 26x GPIOs, I2C, UART and SP output round off the feature set.

Further information regarding Kontron's KTAM33874/pITX can be found here.

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