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‘Milestone’ standard strengthens Kontron’s entry into ARM market

Kontron low power embedded architecture platform

In a bid to strengthen its entry into the ARM market, Kontron has announced its newly defined Computer on Module (COM) standard for its upcoming ultra low power embedded architecture platform family.

According to the embedded computing specialist, the new standard marks a 'significant milestone' in its positioning within the ARM market. ADLINK has announced it has already committed to support the new standard.

The new COM standard features a slim form factor designed for Kontron's future ultra low power off the shelf platforms, including embedded handheld devices and rugged tablets, as well as box pcs and HMI systems. Kontron believes that by extending the COM usage model to risc architectures with scalable and modular solutions, its new module standard bridges the gap between current proprietary industrial offerings and offerings from the consumer market.

According to Kontron, the new COM standard was developed to encompass a new range of modules for ARM and SOC processors. Based on the 314pin MXM 3.0 connector which is 4.3mm in height, it is said to enable durable and slim designs with a cost efficient horizontal card edge/goldfinger connection. The connector is also available in a shock and vibration proof construction suitable for harsh environments.
Kontron states that the standard enables new interfaces specifically for the new ARM and SOC platforms including video outputs such as LVDS. In the future, the standard will also allow for the use of DisplayPort 24bit rgb and hdmi.

Dedicated camera interfaces are included in the standard in a bid to address the problems of working with inefficient standards that are stretched between the x86 feature set and lean ARM and SOC I/Os. Two module footprints are initially covered under the standard: a short module measuring 82 x 50mm; and a full size module measuring 82 x 80mm.

"Our strategic entry and massive investment is spearheaded not only by upcoming product launches, but moreover by a new Computer on Modules form factor standard for these new products," said Dirk Finstel, cto of Kontron. "This emphasises our commitment to the standardisation of scalable technologies right from the onset. We have been very successful with embedded form factor standardisation and particularly with ETX and COM Express standards. Now we have begun to mirror this success story in the ARM and SOC market segment, which complements that of x86 technology. Compared to the current ARM and SOC approach, which is characterised by full custom designs alone, customers benefit from the new massively reduced R&D investment costs, by utilising application ready platform solutions, that have not been available in their sectors prior to this standard. And we are very happy to have ADLINK on board to support this standard. This will accelerate its success."

The first Kontron ARM based module early field testing platforms will be available in Q1 2012, with official product launches expected shortly after.

Chris Shaw

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