Rugged and fanless COM Express modules extend use of 4th-gen Intel Core processors

November 27, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
A range of Kontron Computer-on-Modules (COMs) is tailored for the most robust and maintenance-free system designs in the high performance class of embedded systems.

Kontron says its introduction extends the usage model of 4th-generation Intel Core processor technology to compact and rugged fanless options with the launch of the Kontron COMe-cHL6 COM Express compact Computer-on-Modules. The new modules in the compact form factor (95 x 95 mm) are equipped with the ULT versions of the 4th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 and Intel Celeron processors, formerly codenamed ‘Haswell’. ULT stands for ultra-low TDP (thermal design power) which limits the power consumption of these new Computer-on-Modules to options that are tailored for fanless and fully-enclosed system designs. The modules also cater for the most robust and maintenance-free system designs in the high performance class of embedded systems, and consequently help engineers to reduce the systems’ bill of materials as well as the customers’ total cost of ownership.

Application areas can be found in all the performance-hungry but power-restricted, multi-touch multi-display systems such as HMIs in automation, medical imaging, digital signage and point of sale as well as surveillance and security. The modules also address the industrial-grade tablet PC market for various industries including logistics, retail and manufacturing. You can evaluate these benchmark Computer-on-Modules on all Kontron COM Express pin-out type 6-compliant starter kits. Kontron also offers standardised migration support services to accelerate the design-in phase.

The modules, with pin-out type 6, are scalable to cover a broad application range from high-end 1.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor performance to cost-optimised Intel Celeron designs. With Intel AVX2 and OpenCL 1.2 they boost floating point performance as well as parallel processing density. Up to 16 GB of energy-efficient DDR3L RAM can be mounted. Multi-display designs are enabled by three independent display outputs, via 2x DP++ (DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI) and 1x Dual Channel LVDS. Standard interfaces include 4x SATA 6Gbit/sec ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0 and 8x USB 2.0. Application-specific extensions on the carrier board are connected via 4x PCIe x1 or 1x PCI x4. An additional