Coinciding with the launch of the COM Express 2.0 specification by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers’ Group (PICMG), Kontron presents an additional version of the Computer-on-Module ETXexpress-AI based on the new COM Express Type 6 pin-out definition.
The new Computer-on-Modules enable enhanced digital graphics capabilities to support multi-display applications.
Compared to the Type 2 pin-out definition for COM Express Basic form factor modules, the new Type 6 pin-out offers configurable Digital Display Interfaces (DDI), SDVO, DisplayPort and HDMI/DVI along with 23 PCI Express Gen 2 lanes. This provides more native display options and higher serial bandwidth than previously possible.
Native support for all the new display interfaces simplifies carrier board designs, reducing time-to-market and total cost of ownership for graphics-intensive applications.
The extensive PCI Express support underscores the trend of moving away from legacy parallel interfaces towards pure serial embedded system designs for higher bandwidth and reduced latency. This represents a smooth transition path for application designers looking to enhance their designs with next generation technology such as faster drives and peripherals.
According to Dirk Finstel, CTO of Kontron, second generation COM Express modules fill the need for Computer-on-Modules based systems of the next generation.
“Support for all the new graphics interface standards is an important step, since these have been implemented in chipsets and therefore represent a universal standard. For designs with reduced graphics needs, this represents no overhead.
“Through the increasing integration of the chipsets, the extensive support of generic expansion options gains importance, as our customers use these to implement their dedicated components that lie outside the mainstream and which distinguish themselves from their competitors.
“Kontron will continue to bring to market Type 2 COM Express modules as well as new Type 6 offerings. This supports existing system designs with IDE and PCI implementations while keeping open a smooth migration path for next generation designs. Kontron continues its commitment to providing design security with long-life solutions.”
Compared to its Type 2 counterpart, the new Type 6 Kontron Computer-on-Module ETXexpress-AI SKUs offer three additional DDIs. The DDIs are now separated from the PCI Express Graphics (PEG) port, which allows for the parallel use of the integrated Intel HD graphics and an external graphics card.
The graphics card can be used either for connecting additional displays or as a GPGPU (General Purpose computation on Graphics Processing Unit) for high-performance data processing employed in applications such as image processing, data encoding and situational awareness.
For safety-critical applications, the Kontron ETXexpress-AI integrates up to 8 GB of secure ECC DDR3 system memory and an optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM).
Designers creating graphics-intensive applications such as those in gaming, digital signage, network/ telecommunications, automation, medical and MAG (Military, Aerospace and Government) markets benefit from the increased graphic options built into the new Kontron ETXexpress-AI.
Shorter time-to-market is achieved and maintained from generation to generation when the module is paired with the application-specific carrier board that now can be simplified because of the features built into the new Type 6 COMs.
Key features of Kontron Computer-on-Module ETXexpress-AI Type 6:
- Scalable performance using four Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors
- All versions support up to 2 x 4 GB Dual Channel DDR3 ECC SODIMM memory modules and offer a comprehensive set of interfaces via the COM Express Type 6 connector
- All graphic interfaces of the new COM Express module can also be used in parallel
- In addition to dual-channel LVDS and VGA, developers can draw from the Kontron ETXexpress-AI Type 6 exported interfaces DisplayPort, HDMI and SDVO
- Integrated Intel AMT 6.0 offers extensive remote management capabilities including out-of-band management
- 8V – 18V wide range power adapter for simplified power supply
- Operating systems supported: Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Embedded Standard 7 and 2009, Linux and VxWorks