Kontron announced today the new embedded Mini-ITX motherboard KTQ87/mITX based on 4th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors and the Intel Embedded Q87 chipset. The new motherboard offers engineers leading-edge embedded processing performance as well as up to 4K graphics in a compact ATX-compliant footprint.

It provides a 35% increase in graphics performance compared to its predecessors and a higher floating-point performance as well as improved data en- and decryption while the thermal footprint has practically remained the same. With these improvements and with the long-term availability as well as the high-quality design, the Kontron KTQ87/mITX sets a new benchmark for all mid-range to high-performance embedded applications in markets such as industrial automation, medical, gaming and digital signage.

With the Mini-ITX form factor engineers can immediately launch into developing system designs based on the broad, ATX-compliant ecosystem. By making a Mini-ITX board available parallel to the processor launch, Kontron enables simultaneous engineering and roll-out along the entire value creation chain from chip vendor up to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Building a design on a seven year long-term available embedded motherboard ensures that OEM installations will always have the same function and functionality which dramatically simplifies updates and after sales service. The high-quality design of the Kontron embedded motherboards with features such as solid capacitors (POSCAP) additionally improves application reliability and availability in the field – even in the harshest of environments. In addition, the embedded feature set contributes to enabling the long-term availability of applications in all the various embedded and intelligent system markets up to cyber physical systems.

The feature set in detail
The Kontron embedded Mini-ITX motherboard KTQ87/mITX is based on the Intel Q87 Express chipset and supports up to 16 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM. It can be equipped either with dual-core or quad-core 4th generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors with up to 3.1 GHz (3.9 GHz for Turbo Boost). For application-specific extension cards it offers one PCI Express Gen 3.0 slot as well as one Mini-PCIe.

Further peripherals can be connected via four SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) and ten USB 2.0 ports as well as the Kontron- specific embedded feature connector which executes up to 160 GPIO, analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) minimizing the BOM and design-in efforts for individual I/O functionality.

Complementary, Kontron offers the KT Evaluation Breakout Board, which further simplifies and accelerates system designs by providing direct access to features such as system monitoring, case-open sensing, thermal system management and much more via the feature connector.

The embedded motherboard supports up to three independent hi-res displays or a 4K display which are connected via DisplayPort++. This enables direct connection of DisplayPort 1.2 panels and HDMI/DVI monitors with adapter cables. Besides the hi-res support, it also features hardware acceleration to dynamically improve video quality and it further supports stereoscopic 3D, adding another dimension to applications such as digital signage, gaming and entertainment.

Two GbE LAN – one with Intel AMT 9.0 – allow for extended networking options and out-of-band management, minimizing the need for on-site maintenance. A wide range of storage media can be connected via six SATA interfaces with 1.5/3/6 Gbit/s and RAID 0/1/5/10 functionality plus the mSATA (mini-SATA) socket for state-of-the-art, on-board SSD. HD audio, two COM ports and a Trusted Platform Module 1.2 for safety-related applications top off the feature set of the new motherboards.

The new Kontron embedded Mini-ITX motherboard KTQ87/mITX is available now in EFT quantities. Series production is scheduled to start in Q3 2013. The board supports Windows 7 and 8, Windows Embedded Standard 7 and 8, VxWorks, as well as several Linux distributions (Red Hat Enterprise, Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise, Red Flag Linux and Wind River Linux, among others).