Kontron has announced to have made several key feature enhancements to its Kontron high-performance embedded computer COBALT (Computer Brick Alternative). New features to the highly versatile and rugged baseline platform include the addition of a DC power supply and additional customisable I/O capabilities that are particularly suited to meet the rugged and harsh environmental demands of control systems in new military vehicle applications. The advanced functionality of the enhanced Kontron high-performance embedded computer COBALT is demonstrated at the Kontron MILCOM booth #1036 at the San Jose Convention Center in California, on 31 October – 3 November 2010.

This small, low-profile box-level system meets the military’s size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements and features a no-backplane design that is both reliable and cost-effective. The Kontron COBALT is a fanless, fully enclosed design for efficient thermal management in a small 6.5in x 9.725in x 2.95in (165.1mm x 247.015mm x 25.4mm) form factor weighing less than 2.5kg.

The embedded module-based system enables designers to have full development flexibility allowing them to scale the computing performance based on specific application requirements from a very low-power Intel Atom processor-based implementation to a powerful Intel Core2 Duo processor system. The rugged embedded computer can be configured for either 28VDC (complying to MIL-STD-1275 or MIL-STD-704) or 115VAC input power to provide compatibility with full range of ground vehicle, UAV, airborne or shipboard requirements.

Representing proof-of-concept and the system’s I/O flexibility, the live demonstration at MILCOM shows the Kontron COBALT coupled with a four-channel MPEG Micro-4 video encoder. Similar to how it would be deployed in a ground vehicle or UAV application, the Kontron COBALT is used to manage and control multiple live video feeds streaming over Ethernet for display on a monitor.

The Kontron COBALT in brief

The Kontron high-performance embedded computer COBALT comes with Intel Atom or Core 2 Duo processors and 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of DDR2 RAM. An optional solid state drive with up to 512GB provides rugged and reliable data storage. For external communication it features dual Gb Ethernet ports and a range of standards-based interfaces like 2x USB, 5x RS-232/422. Optional interfaces include 1x ARINC429, 1x MIL-STD-1553, GPS and GPIO as well as an integrated eight-port Ethernet switch (managed or unmanaged). All interfaces are executed via rugged MIL connectors. The Kontron COBALT systems are configurable with Linux or Windows operating systems and can be tested to assure conformance with program-specific software.

For more information on the Kontron high-performance embedded computer COBALT, please visit the company’s website.