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Silent server gains Intel Core CPUs, rugged design

Oct 22, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Kontron announced a new rackmount Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS) with a more rugged and easier maintained chassis. The Kontron KISS 4U Q57 is equipped with 64-bit Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors and the Intel Q57 Express chipset, and offers PCIe and PCI expansion, multiple storage options, dual gigabit ports, ten USB 2.0 ports, and four serial ports.

This year, Kontron has launched a number of devices with 32nm Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, ranging from COM Express modules to shoebox PCs to AMC cards (see links at end of story). Now its line of KISS industrial servers gets the Core treatment along with a more rugged chassis. The device is aimed at medical, industrial image processing, military, high-end audio processing, storage, and simulations applications, says the company.

Kontron KISS 4U Q57, open and shut

(Click to enlarge)

The KISS 4U Q57 builds upon Kontron's line of KISS devices, including the similarly 4U, dual Intel Xeon 5500/5600 KISS 4U KTC5520, announced in June. Last year, Kontron introduced the KTQ45, which employed the slightly smaller KTQ45/ATXE main board and supported Core 2 Duo E8400 and Q9400 processors.

As the name implies, the KISS 4U Q57 is equipped with Intel's Q57 chipset. Customers can mate the Q57 with one of three Intel Core CPUs: the Intel Core i3-540 (dual cores, 3.06GHz), Core i5-660 (dual cores, 3.33GHz), or Core i7-860 (quad cores, 2.8GHz).

The KISS 4U Q57 supports a number of advanced security, storage, and remote-management features available with the Intel Core processors. For example, it offers Intel Active-Management-Technology (iAMT 6.0), Intel's Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2), and the new Intel Rapid-Storage technology, which offers fast data access and higher data security for SATA RAID and AHCI systems, says the company. Kontron also supplies its Kontron PC Condition Monitoring System (PCCM) for remote health monitoring of the hardware.

A rugged new chassis

Although identically dimensioned to the previous KISS 4U KTC5520 at 19 x 18.58 x 6.96 inches (482 x 472 x 177mm), the KISS 4U Q57 debuts a new, more robust system chassis that will be applied to future KISS 4U server designs. The temperature range remains at 32 to 122 deg. F (0 to 50 deg. C), but the chassis now comes standard with IP20 ingress protection and optional IP52 protection, says Kontron.

The Kontron Industrial Silent Server 4U Q57 is said to live up to its name with a sub-35 dBA noise rating. In addition, the hot-swap chassis fans can now be accessed on the front for easier maintenance, says the company.

The power supply offers extended voltage support that "fulfills the 80 plus standard which certifies a high degree of efficiency," says Kontron. Other chassis enhancements are said to include an improved inner safety catch lock that offers better protection against shock and vibration.

PCIe expansion and RAID storage options

Compared to the KISS 4U KTC5520, the KISS 4U Q57 offers less memory (up to 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM instead of 96GB), but more storage and I/O.

The KISS 4U Q57 offers six SATA interfaces with on-board RAID 0/1/5/10 support. Kontron manages to fit in a third 5.25-inch bay compared to the KISS 4U KTC5520, while also offering room for a 3.5-inch drive and an optical drive. A variety of shock-protected storage options are available including Kontron's KISS DA and KISS Stor product lines.

PCI expansion options are fairly similar to the KTC5520 model, with four PCI Express slots of varying types, and three PCI slots. 

Like the KTC5520, the KISS 4U Q57 provides dual gigabit Ethernet ports, but it expands the available USB 2.0 connectivity. In the spec list below, we reflect the data sheet, which lists 10 USB ports total, with two-front-facing and eight rear-facing ports. However, the press release pegs the total at 12 USB ports, with two on the front, four on the rear, and six more available via headers.

Dual COM (RS232) ports are supplied on the back of the unit along with two additional COM connectors on the motherboard, one of which is configured for RS485, says Kontron. Other I/O includes audio ports, a PS/2 port, a VGA port, and — according to the press release, but not the datasheet, a DVI-D port.

The KISS 4U Q57 is validated for Red Hat Linux, Windows XP, and Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit), says Kontron. The server can be configured to meet customer-specific requirements, tested as a complete system, and delivered as an independently certified solution.

Features and specifications listed by Kontron for the KISS 4U Q57 include:

  • Processor — Intel Core i3-540 (dual cores, 3.06GHz), Core i5-660 (dual cores, 3.33GHz), or Core i7-860 (quad cores, 2.8GHz)
  • Chipset — 5520 I/O hub and ICH10R I/O controller
  • Memory — up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM
  • Storage:
    • 3 x 5.25-inch
    • 1 x 3.5-inch (external)
    • 1 x 3.5-inch (internal)
    • 1 x SLIM optical drive
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI Express x16
    • 1 x PCI Express x4
    • 2 x PCI Express x1
    • 3 x 33MHz PCI 2.3
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 10 x USB 2.0 (2 x front, 8 x rear)
    • 1 x VGA
    • 1 x PS/2
    • audio mic-in, line-in, line-out
    • 3 x RS232
    • 1 x RS485
  • Power — 100-240 V AC 400 W (80+); optional AC 650 W (80+); AC Redundant 500 W
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 122 deg. F (0 to 50 deg. C)
  • Ruggedization — shock 15g, 11ms; vibration 2g, 10-500Hz; IP20 protection (optional IP54)
  • Noise — 35 dBA (40 dBA with redundant PSU)
  • Dimensions — 19 x 18.58 x 6.96 inches (482 x 472 x 177mm)
  • Weight — 33 pounds (15kg)


The Kontron KISS 4U Q57 will be available in EMEA in mid November and in the Americas and APAC in Feb. 2011, says Kontron, which did not list pricing. The Kontron PCCM Condition Monitoring implementation will be completed in January.

More information may be found here.

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