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Robust Mini-ITX board uses soldered-on AMD CPUs

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

Kontron announced a mini-ITX motherboard that offers both solid capacitors and a choice of soldered-on processors from AMD. The KT690/mITX (BGA) provides “an increased level of robustness,” support for up to 16GB of DDR2 RAM, plus PCI, PCI Express Mini, and Mini PCI Express expansion, the company says.

The new KT690/mITX (BGA) is said to be aimed at "cost-sensitive embedded applications, primarily in areas such as gaming, digital signage, POS/POI, medical technology and industrial and Panel PCs." The device is a descendant of the KT690/mITX, first released by Kontron in fall 2007.

As the similar names imply, the KT690/mITX (BGA) is much like its predecessor in terms of form factor, ports, expansion slots, and other capabilities. However, the earlier board had a processor socket that was designed to accept various dual-core AMD Turion 64 X2 or single-core AMD Sempron CPUs. The new version uses soldered-on ball grid array CPUs as well as new solid capacitors, both of which increase long-term stability, according to Kontron.

Kontron's revamped KT690/mITX (BGA)
(Click to enlarge)

Kontron says standard CPUs on the KT690/mITX (BGA) can be either a single-core AMD Sempron 210U, which has a 15-Watt TDP, or a dual-core Turion Neo X2 L325, with an 18-Watt TDP. Six other processors, which were not detailed, may be specified "for individual projects in large quantities," the company adds.

The KT690/mITX (BGA) inherits the numerals in its elaborate name from AMD's M690T northbridge, introduced in April 2007. Also employed is AMD's SB600 southbridge, which — as in the case of this system — can provide a total of 10 USB 2.0 ports.

Kontron and AMD tout the chipset's integrated graphics, which uses an ATI Radeon X1250-based core with an 8X PCI Express interface. As implemented here by Kontron, it provides up to 2048 x 1538 pixel resolution, 2D and 3D acceleration, 3D texture support, and hardware-based video decoding.

As did the earlier socketed version, the Kontron KT690/mITX (BGA) provides a variety of graphics outputs, including VGA and DVI-D ports plus onboard dual-channel LVDS. S-Video output is an available option, adds the company.

Other interfaces are said to include two gigabit Ethernet ports, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, and two serial ports (apparently internal). Of the ten USB 2.0 ports that have already been mentioned, four have Type A connectors on the board's coastline.

While the KT690/mITX was limited to 4GB of RAM, the BGA version now lets operating systems — Linux, VXWorks, Windows Embedded Standard 7, and "the complete Windows family," are specifically cited — spread their wings in up to 16GB of DDR2 RAM. The board again is expandable via a CompactFlash socket, a PCI slot, a PCI Express x8 slot, and a Mini PCI Express slot, Kontron adds.

Features and specifications cited by Kontron for the KT690/mITX (BGA) include:

  • Processor:
    • AMD Sempron 210U, with 1.5GHz clock speed and 15-Watt TDP
    • AMD Turion Neo X2 L325, with 1.5GHz clock speed and 18-Watt TDP
    • 6 x others available via special order
  • Chipset — AMD M690T northbridge and SB600 southbridge
  • Memory — 2 x 200-pin SODIMM sockets, supporting up to 16GB of RAM
  • Storage — 4 x SATA 150/300 and 1 x ATA133 drive interfaces
  • Display:
    • Resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 (CRT), 1600 x 1200 (LVDS), and 1600 x 1200 (DVI)
    • 2D acceleration via 128-bit engine, capable of processing multiple pixels per clock
    • Game acceleration, including support for Microsoft's DirectDraw
    • DirectX 9.0 support
    • 3D texture support, including projective 3D textures
    • OpenGL support
    • Hardware acceleration for MPEG and WMV9 playback
  • Expansion:
    • CompactFlash socket
    • 1 x PCI
    • 1 x Mini PCI Express
    • 1 x PCI Express 8x (in a 16x connector)
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x RS-232 serial (internal)
    • 10 x USB 2.0 (four internal and six external)
    • PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports
    • bidirectional parallel port with SPP, ECP, and EPP modes; shared floppy drive option
    • 8-channel GPIO
  • Dimensions — 6.7 by 6.7 inches (170 x 170 mm)
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C)

Kontron's release did not cite pricing, but the KT690/mITX (BGA) appears to be available now. Further information may be found on the company's product page, here.

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