News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

COM Express modules offer new Intel CPUs

Mar 3, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Kontron announced two COMs (computer on modules) sporting recently introduced Intel CPUs. The 95 x 95mm microETXexpress-PV offers Intel's “Pineview” Atom N450, D410, or D510, while the 125 x 95mm ETXexpress-AI comes with 32nm Core i5 or i7 CPUs clocked at up to 2.53GHz, the company says.

Kontron's new COMs differ in size, but both use the same pinouts and baseboard interface connector design. The larger ETXexpress-AI uses the 125 x 95mm (4.92 x 3.75 inch) ETXexpress format that became the basis of the PICMG COM Express standard. The smaller microETXexpress-PV uses the 95 x 95mm (3.75 x 3.75) microETXexpress format that has been proposed for standardization under the COM Express Compact moniker.

Comparison of COM Express form factors
Source: Kontron
(Click to enlarge)

Both modules also use CPUs that were announced by Intel only recently. In the case of the microETXexpress-PV, that means a choice of three different "Pineview" CPUs unveiled in December, the N450 or D410 (both single-core) and dual-core D510. The ETXexpress-AI, meanwhile, gets four 32nm Core i5 and i7 CPUs, chosen from the 12 embedded-specific processors Intel released last month.


Kontron has already covered the waterfront when it comes to microETXexpress COMs and Atom CPUs. In May of last year, for instance, it released the microETXexpress-DC, a module that employed the Atom N270 CPU and 945GSE chipset, and was claimed to have a maximum power consumption of 12 Watts. And at the beginning of this month, it launched the microETXexpress-XL, using the 1.33GHz Atom Z520PT (and SCH US15WPT northbridge/southbridge) for a cited power consumption of under eight watts.

Incorporating on-chip graphics and requiring only an I/O controller (either the NM10 or ICH8), the Pineview Atoms come in between their predecessors as far as power consumption is concerned. Intel says the single-core, mobile-oriented N450 uses 5.5 Watts; the desktop-oriented D410 uses 10 Watts; and the D510 uses 13 Watts.

Kontron microETXexpress-PV

According to Kontron's preliminary data sheet for the new microETXexpress-PV (above), the module, which may be ordered with any of the above Pineviews, uses between eight and 18 Watts depending on model. It's possible that the device also includes the power-saving, proprietary S5 Eco mode that was touted for the microETXexpress-DC, though this wasn't specified.

Like the microETXexpress-DC, the microETXexpress-PV has a single DIMM socket, said to accept up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Onboard SSD (solid state disk) storage, said to be a feature of the earlier module, is not cited here, however.

Kontron says the microETXexpress-PV includes 18-bit LVDS graphics and supports VGA resolutions up to 1400 x 1050 pixels. Compatible with the COM Express Type 2 pin-out, the module serves up three SATA ports, eight USB ports, and a gigabit Ethernet port. The module also supplies 32-bit PCI expansion, five PCI Express x1 lanes, I2C, SPI, and LPC, according to the company.

Features and specifications listed by Kontron for the microETXexpress-PV include the following:

  • Processor — 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, D410, or D510
  • Chipset — ICH8M
  • Memory — Up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Display — Supports 18-bit LVDS and VGA displays with resolutions up to 1400 x 1050 pixels
  • Expansion (via COM Express Type 2 pin-out):
    • 1 x 32-bit PCI
    • 5 x PCI Express x1
    • I2C
    • SPI
    • LPC
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O (also via COM Express Type 2):
    • 3 x SATA
    • 1 x PATA (optional)
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • Audio I/O
  • Power:
    • Consumption — 8 to 18W depending on CPU
    • 4.75 to 18VDC input range
  • Operating temperature — n/s
  • Dimensions — 3.75 x 3.75 inches (95 x 95mm)


As already mentioned above, Kontron's ETXexpress-AI uses a slightly bigger 4.92 x 3.75-inch format. As a result, the device has room for one of four more-advanced CPUs from Intel, as follows:

  • The dual-core Core i7-610, with a standard clock speed of 2.53GHz, a TurboBoost frequency of 3.20GHz, and a TDP of 35 Watts
  • The dual-core Core i5-520, with standard clock speed of 2.4GHz and a 2.93GHz TurboBoost frequency, plus a 35-Watt TDP
  • The dual-core Core i7-620LE, clocked at 2.0GHz with a 2.80GHz TurboBoost frequency, plus a 25-Watt TDP
  • The dual-core Core i7-620UE, clocked at 1.0GHz with a 2.13GHz TurboBoost frequency, plus an 18-Watt TDP

On the ETXexpress-AI, these 32nm CPUs result in estimated power consumption ranging from 20 to 40 Watts, according to Kontron. Backed up by Intel's QM57 chipset (block diagram,here), they're said to include onboard PCI Express x16 graphics and dual-channel DDR3 memory support, the chipmaker says.

Kontron ETXexpress-AI

Kontron says the ETXexpress-AI (above) has two DIMM sockets that jointly accept up to 8GB of DDR3 memory. The module includes Intel's Active Management Technology 6.0 and is available with an optional TPM (trusted platform module), the company adds.

According to Kontron, the ETXexpress-AI provides eight USB 2.0 ports, four SATA ports, plus a PCI Express x16 interface, six PCI Express x1 interfaces, and 32-bit PCI. The module is also said to include gigabit Ethernet and provides both LVDS and VGA graphics output (maximum resolution not specified).

Features and specifications listed by Kontron for the ETXexpress-AI include the following:

  • Processor:
    • Core i7-610, with clock speed of 2.53GHz, TurboBoost frequency of 3.20GHz, and 35-Watt TDP
    • Core i5-520, with clock speed of 2.4GHz, TurboBoost frequency of 2.93GHz, and 35-Watt TDP
    • Core i7-620LE, with clock speed of 2.0GHz, TurboBoost frequency of 2.8GHz, and 25-Watt TDP
    • Core i7-620UE, with clock speed of 1.0GHz, TurboBoost frequency of 2.13GHz, and 18-Watt TDP
  • Chipset — QM57
  • Memory — Up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM
  • Display — Supports LVDS and VGA
  • Expansion (via COM Express Type 2 pin-out):
    • 1 x 32-bit PCI
    • 6 x PCI Express x1
    • 1 x PCI Express x16
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O (also via COM Express Type 2):
    • 4 x SATA
    • 1 x PATA
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • Audio I/O
  • Power:
    • Consumption — 20 to 40W depending on CPU
    • 8 to 18VDC input range
  • Operating temperature — n/s
  • Dimensions — 4.92 x 3.75 inches (125 x 95mm)


Kontron says the microETXexpress-PV supports Linux, BxWorks, as well as Windows XP, XPe, and Windows 7. Early field test samples will be available in Q2 2010, with series production beginning in Q3 2010, the company adds.

The ETX-express-AI is said to support Windows 7, Windows XP, VxWorks, and Linux, including Red Hat Enterprise, SuSE, Red Flag and Wind River Linux. The device is sampling now, and serial production will begin during the first half of the year, says Kontron.

More information on the microETXexpress-PV may be found on the company's website, here, and ETXexpress-AI, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.