Pico-ITX motherboard with Ti Sitara 3874 for rugged SFF appliances

September 20, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Kontron's low-power embedded motherboard with extended temperature range accelerates the development of ARM-based smal-form-factor (SFF) designs

The Kontron KTAM33874/pITX motherboard is equipped with the Ti Sitara 3874 processor and provides tablet PC class performance and a range of standard and embedded computing interfaces. With its Pico-ITX compliance it offers OEMs the possibility to realise cost-efficient SFF embedded appliances based on a standardised form factor. OEMs can now exploit, with ARM, the whole ecosystem which to date has been used for x86 technology. This helps to reduce hardware development costs in comparison to full custom designs and increase long-term availability. If no individual hardware adjustments are required, then the board, which supports Linux, Android and Windows WEC7 is application-ready and can be immediately deployed. Kontron offers in-house hardware-related software services, so that individual driver implementations and configuration-specific images can be provided.

The Pico-ITX board, based on the ARM Cortex A8 single-core processor, has a low TDP (Thermal Design Power) which makes it suitable for compact, fanless applications. It is also the first Kontron motherboard designed from scratch for the extended temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. Examples of application areas for the new Kontron Pico-ITX motherboard are autonomous battery- or solar-powered outdoor systems or mobile or stationary dual-display applications such as Box PCs, HMIs and thin clients. The target markets include building and home automation, industrial automation, digital signage and transportation as well as medical and military; the board will have a minimum of 7 years long-term availability. On its 100 x 72 mm sized standard small form factor there is an extensive range of interfaces; and on-board Flash memory mean that there is no need for OEMs to source any additional components. A SIM card slot and the low average power consumption of less than 5W facilitate the development of appliances in self-sufficient continuous operation in environments without power supply or network lines.

The KTAM3874/pITX is available with the single-core Texas Instruments Sitara 3874 microprocessor (MPU) for the extended temperature range with 800-MHz Cortex A8 technology.