Embedded mini-ITX AMD motherboard for rich media applications
July 20, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Kontron has launched a Mini-ITX motherboard based on new AMD Embedded R-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) and AMD A70M controller hub for rich media applications.
With its integrated discrete-class AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series Graphics the KTA70M/mITX provides accelerated processing capabilities and leading edge graphics with the ability to drive up to four displays simultaneously, either as independent displays, or as a single large surface, for mid-range to high-performance rich media applications in vertical markets such as medical, industrial automation, gaming and digital signage.
The KTA70M/mITX delivers scalable performance from soldered dual-core up to quad-core APUs at an optimal balanced performance per watt ratio. The new Kontron embedded Mini-TX motherboard maintains a remarkably low Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 25 watts, even for the fastest APU, which makes it ideal for any thermal and energy constrained applications such as those found in casino gaming or medical. Furthermore it enables innovative digital signage applications with support for large displays with resolutions up to 4096x2160pixels. This avoids pixilation even in close proximity to the audience for a truly immersive visual experience. Developers can also utilize the accelerated processing capabilities of the APU with up to 426 GFLOPs, to accelerate both graphics- and compute-intensive applications while using industry-standard libraries such as OpenCL, DirectX 11 and DirectCompute, which help to minimize development times and simplify design-in processes.
As security becomes more and more important in intelligent connected devices, the board integrates a Secure Asset Management Unit, which allows for hardware-assisted encryption/decryption of content, enabling less CPU overhead and lower power when dealing with protected content in gaming and medical applications, for example. The embedded feature connector, which features 160 GPIO including analog-to-digital converters (ADC) and digital-to-analog converters (DAC), it eliminates the need for individual I/O boards and thus reduces the bill of material and development time. Finally, the Kontron KTA70/mITX, with long-term availability, integrates all the high-quality features such stable solid capacitors (POSCAP) common to all Kontron motherboards.
The KTA70/mITX is based on the AMD A70M controller hub and offers a maximum of 16 GB RAM. It is available with the quad-core AMD Embedded R-Series APU R-460L (2.0 GHz, 2.8 GHz in turbo mode) and R-452L (2.0 GHz, 2.4 in turbo mode) as well as the dual core R-252F APU (1.9 GHz, 2.4 in turbo mode). Connections for video include 2x DisplayPort (DP) and 1x VGA. Additional Displays can be connected either via DP daisy chain or with an optional DP add-on card. For expansion cards it features 1x Gen 2.0 PCI Express x8 PEG port and 1x Gen 2.0 PCI Express x4 slot, 4x USB 3.0, 10x USB 2.0, and 2x GbE-LAN allowing for extensive peripheral and networking options. A wide range of storage media can be connected via the five SATA600 interfaces with RAID 0/1 functionality and one mSATA (mini-SATA) socket for state-of-the-art, on-board SSD. A Trusted Platform Module 1.2 for safety-related applications tops off the feature-set of the new motherboard.
Operating system support is provided for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Embedded Standard 7, VxWorks, as well as Linux (Red Hat Enterprise, Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise, Red Flag Linux and Wind River Linux, among others). First samples of the new Kontron embedded Mini-ITX motherboard KTA70/mITX are available now and series production will start in Q4.
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The SoCKIT evaluation kit is Arrow's latest development tool, featuring an Altera Cyclone V SoC with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor integrated within its 28nm FPGA fabric.
Altera SoCs allow embedded system developers to differentiate their end product with customized hardware and software, and extend the product lifecycle through hardware and software updates in the field. This month, Arrow Electronics is giving away five SoCKIT evaluation kits featuring Altera’s ARM-Based SoCs, worth €249 each, together with the free entrance to one of Arrow’s SoC workshops organized throughout Europe.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Freescale Semiconductor was giving away five IMX6Q, Sabre-lite kits, worth £128.06 each.
Lucky winners include Mr. X. Salada Sole from the UK, Mrs A. Peric from Germany, Mr Z. Janosy from Hungary, Mr D. Gacina from Croatia and Mr B. Boris from France. All should be receiving their packages soon. Let's wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
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Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.