Home > Kontron COM Express FPGA Starterkit Enables Quick Evaluation with Flexible I/O

Kontron COM Express FPGA Starterkit Enables Quick Evaluation with Flexible I/O

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article image Kontron COM Express FPGA Starterkit

Kontron Australia  announces the introduction of the new COM Express starter kit featuring the Altera Cyclone IV GX FPGA.  

Designed to provide all the required components to evaluate board designs with open-definable I/Os, OEM developers can use the Kontron COM Express FPGA Starterkit to get an immediate start in the development of FPGA-based, dedicated applications.  

Key benefits include reduced overall R&D costs and quicker time-to-market for purpose-built platforms.  

Kontron COM Express FPGA Starterkit is the right tool to optimise overall development for developers looking to build an application that relies on I/O unique to the application.  

Key features of the FPGA Starterkit

  • Components of the FPGA starter kit can be assembled in minutes
  • Quick setup allows the user to move directly to programming on the platform that consists of the selected Computer-on-Module and the individual High Speed Mezzanine Cards (HSMC) to carry out the physical interfaces
  • OEMs can use the Starterkit to develop dedicated full-custom SBC designs or individual custom carrierboards for scalable x86-based COMs
As a design partner, Kontron offers development and manufacturing services that include revision management and industry-specific certifications including ITAR and ISO 13485, a certification necessary for the design and manufacturing of medical devices.  

FPGA-based I/Os on x86 processor platforms are applicable to many target markets since FPGAs can universally map to nearly all I/Os.  

Due to the FPGA-based implementation of I/Os in Altera’s FPGAs, customers profit from a high level of flexibility that allows upgrades and/or modifications without any changes to the board layout. Only the FPGA configuration and the mechanical implementation of the interfaces define the individual I/Os.  

This enables the use of one uniform hardware platform in various applications, reducing development efforts, time-to-market and overall total cost of ownership. OEMs also benefit from the improved long-term availability of the developed solution.  

Dirk Finstel, CTO of Kontron AG says that legacy interfaces are a very important domain not served by today’s chipsets. Additionally industrial Ethernet configurations such as Profibus, Ethercat and Ethernet POWERLINK are important IP cores that can all be implemented in the Altera Cyclone IV GX FPGA.  

Kontron is also addressing customised individual solutions and existing proprietary platforms not based on x86 technology. He adds that these platforms can be used for highly reliable and long-term-available embedded system solutions with applications in military technology, trains and aircraft, medical technology as well as industrial automation among others.  

Michael Samuelian, director of the industrial and automotive business unit at Altera comments that the partnership with Kontron to develop the first FPGA-based Starterkit for x86 designs shows the benefits of FPGA technology for x86 embedded computer systems.  

He adds that the benefits of using FPGAs with processor boards and I/O boards prove the flexibility, performance and power advantages of Altera’s FPGAs.  

The relationship between Kontron, Intel and Altera provides customers with complete embedded processor and FPGA solutions with flexible I/O.  

These fully validated and verified solutions consist of various form factors such as processors, FPGAs, IP Cores, drivers, board support packages (BSPs) and support for various operating systems.  

Kontron’s Global Software Design Center also offers FPGA programming as an optional software service for customers.  

Kontron also offers complete design and production services with the revision controls, supply chain management, regulatory test services and industry-specific requirements.  

Kontron COM Express FPGA Starterkit components 

  • COM Express FPGA Baseboard for pin-out Types 1, 2 and 10 COMs such as the Kontron ETXexpress, microETXexpress or nanoETXexpress modules
  • Altera Cyclone IV GX FPGA
  • USB-Blaster download cable
  • Two High Speed Mezzanine Cards (HSMCs)
  • One Communication Board
  • One Mass Storage and Video Board
  • ATX PSU and mounting kit 

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