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23 November 2010

Kontron Introduces the World’s First PCIe/104 Embedded Single Board Computer

Kontron has introduced the world’s first PCIe/104 embedded single board computer (SBC) based on the Intel Atom E600C processor series with industrial temperature range, which pairs an Intel Atom E600 series processor with an Altera Field programmable gate array (FPGA) in a single package. With the new Intel Atom E600C processor series, along with IP definable applications, the Kontron MICROSPACE MSMST adds significant flexibility to SBC-based applications. OEMs will benefit from a simplified application design, reduced development efforts, faster time-to-market and lower total cost of ownership.

With flexible FPGA I/O options, the Kontron MICROSPACE MSMST allows OEMs to efficiently develop designs with the exact I/O requirements needed to address applications in markets such as automation, medical, transportation, energy, military and communications. Validated IP cores are available for CAN-bus, serial interfaces (SPI Master / UART) and PCI-Express, I2C and GPIO. This makes configuring the platform a quick and easy task. OEMs only need the required IP core and corresponding high-speed mezzanine cards (HSMC) to carry out the interfaces.

For further I/Os, Kontron also offers FPGA programming services. This flexibility, combined with the x86/FPGA technology ecosystem of IP cores and HSMCs, makes the Kontron PCIe / 104 MICROSPACE MSMST an ideal SBC for dedicated RISC platforms.

“The launch of the Intel Atom E600C processor series with integrated Altera FPGA marks a new era in embedded computing,” explains Dirk Finstel, CTO of Kontron. “Customers get the flexibility of an FPGA with attractive x86 performance on an integrated multi-chip module. The standard chipset is no longer needed. This paves the way for even more cost-efficient dedicated applications, which obtain their new range of functions simply via FPGA programming. Customers profit from faster upgrades, more flexibility and, on top of that, long-term guaranteed IP availability over lifecycles of dedicated components. For customers who require a high-level of individualization, there is the option of realizing these differentiations on multi-functional COTS platforms only via software and by this ensuring the use of this IP in the long term.”

“Intel’s configurable Atom processor series provides additional flexibility for customers who want the choice to customise embedded solutions with proprietary I/O or acceleration,” said Doug Davis, vice president and general manager, embedded and communications group, Intel. “With the latest Intel Atom processors powering the Kontron single board computer, developers may differentiate their designs by reacting quickly to changing market segment requirements and meet the varied needs of embedded devices.”

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, which include the processors, FPGAs, IP Cores, drivers, board support packages (BSPs) and support for various operating systems (for example Windows, VxWorks, Linux, etc.). Kontron’s global software design centre also offers FPGA programming as an optional software service for customers. In addition, Kontron also offers complete design and production services with the revision controls, supply chain management, regulatory test services and industry-specific requirements, such as ITAR or ISO 13485 medical device manufacturing.

The feature set in detail

The Kontron PCIe / 104 MICROSPACE MSMST is equipped with the Intel Atom E600C processor series ranging up to 1.3GHz with up to 2GB on-board DRAM system memory. Since all components are validated for the extended temperature range from -40°C to +85°C, the Kontron MICROSPACE MSMST is industrial temperature capable by design. The power-optimised Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (Intel GMA 600) with up to 128MB, 18/24b LVDS and SDVO interface is integrated in the processor. Video signals are carried out by optional media boards for VGA or DVI. Optional SPDIF (out) and two analog stereo connections for line-out and mic-in take care of the high-definition audio signals.

Storage media can be connected by 2x SATA300. 2 x USB 2.0 and an optional 1 x Gb LAN are also available. The integration of numerous customer-specific I/O options is enabled via the PCI Express bus of the PCIe/104 SBC or via the HSMC interface. The trusted platform module (TPM) is responsible for the high-level of security and reliability by carrying out the hardware encryption of all the transmitted data.

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