Kontron mini-ITX motherboard features Intel Atom processor

Kontron AGvisit website


Kontron is extending its line of embedded mini-ITX motherboards with a new, ultra-low-power variant, the Kontron KTUS15/miTX, which is based on the Intel Atom processor with up to 1.6GHz and the highly integrated Intel System Controller Hub US15W.

With a combined thermal design power of less than 5W for the processor and chipset, the Kontron KTUS15/mITX motherboard is suitable for solar/battery-powered mobile, in-vehicle or stationary applications that require low power consumption, excellent electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and a simple, rugged cooling concept. The smallest ATX-compliant footprint of only 170 x 170mm, in combination with a board height of only two USB stacks (20mm), gives system developers the freedom to design extremely slim and, as required, fully closed and highly protected systems.

The space-saving processor and highly integrated system controller hub on the Kontron KTUS15/mITX leave enough room to install up to 32GB of CF-media parallel to the motherboard, enabling the development of maintenance-free systems without fault-sensitive, rotating non-volatile media. Designed for optimal compatibility and high reliability, the Kontron KTUS15/mITX embedded motherboard offers numerous high-quality features such as the network controller from Intel for hassle-free network communications. Other quality enhancing details include a comprehensive set of interfaces, including two SDIO sockets that enable peripherals such as RFID or laser scanners, card readers, keyboard, keypad and mouse, printers and WLAN or GPRS communication networks to be connected directly to the motherboard. The flexible two PCIe x1 and one PCI slot thereby remain free for application-specific extensions. This flexibility speeds time to market for system designs. Moreover, the integrated Intel Trusted Platform Module (Intel TPM 1.2) and the wide range power supply (5–25V) options further simplify system design for a vast range of embedded markets, such as POS/POI, kiosk, medical, multimedia, rugged tablets and industrial automation.

New market opportunities

Ulrich Gehrmann, CEO of Kontron, states: "It gives us great pleasure to launch this new mini-ITX board using the Intel Atom processor. Kontron has vast experience in offering embedded platforms using Intel architecture, and we believe the Intel Atom processor will open many new market opportunities in areas that demand low power and scalability within the embedded Intel architecture roadmap."

Joe Jensen, general manager for the Embedded Computing Division at Intel Corporation, adds: "Thanks to its extremely low power consumption, the Intel Atom processor enables the development of extremely slim and passively cooled energy-sensitive embedded applications that require the full feature set offered by mini-ITX motherboards. Kontron's implementation of the Intel Atom processor on ATX compliant embedded motherboards will give developers an ultra-low-power variant."

Despite its extremely low power requirements, the Kontron KTUS15/mITX motherboard features impressive processing performance while offering up to seven years' availability with the 1.1GHz or 1.6GHz Intel Atom processors for long-lifespan product platform designs that demand excellent reliability and performance. Kontron's rigorous testing and quality control measures reduce the potential of board failures and the need for system servicing. With a high-speed digital logic motherboard design using a 12-layer stacking PCB, Kontron ensures signal integrity, reduces radiation, improves signal quality and aids in the decoupling of the power bus, resulting in high quality electromagnetic compatibility and superior motherboard quality and performance for the Kontron KTUS15/mITX.

Furthermore, Hyper-Threading Technology and Intel Virtualisation Technology improve system performance in the latest multi-threading and dual-OS applications. Via the Intel System Controller Hub US15W, Kontron's latest mini-ITX embedded motherboard addresses up to 1GByte of DDR2-RAM. The integrated graphics engine, with 2D/3D acceleration and directX 9 not only supports dual independent displays, but also boasts hardware-supported WMV9, H264.A and MPEG2 decoding, which dramatically reduces the load on the CPU when playing HD-videos. Displays can be connected via the on-board CRT (1280 x 1024) and dual-channel LVDS (1366 x 768) interfaces as well as optional DVI or HDMI ports. Two PCIe x1 and one PCI slot are available for application-specific expansion cards. Mass storage media are easily connected via two Serial ATA 150/300 and one ATA100 interface. There is also an on-board flash socket for CF type II media currently up to 32GBytes (and above 32GBytes as they become available).

Networking options

The Kontron KTUS15/mITX embedded motherboard connects to networks via a 10/100/1000 network controller from Intel. External embedded peripherals can be directly connected via eight USB 2.0, two RS232 (up to four RS232 if desired), one bi-directional LPT as well as a PS/2 interface, without the need for expansion cards. AC97-compliant HD audio rounds off the feature set.

For OEMs that want to get products utilising the new Intel Atom processor to market quickly without impacting their internal resources, Kontron offers custom systems design, pre-production, manufacturing and fulfilment services utilising Kontron's new KTUS15/mITX and Kontron's system development and manufacturing expertise.

The Kontron KTUS15/mITX embedded motherboard solution with low total cost of ownership offers various hardware monitoring functions through Kontron's API (Application Programming Interface) software. The Kontron KTUS15/mITX supports Windows XP (Windows Embedded Enterprise), Vista, Windows CE (Windows Embedded Standard) and Linux. Samples are available now.

More information on the Kontron KTUS15/mITX is available at

© Copyright 2006-14 Damte Ltd.