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Kontron KTT30 packs a Tegra 3 into an mITX case

Kontron KTT30 packs a Tegra 3 into an mITX case

Kontron's KTT30 mini-ITX design is clever and feature-packed, but with no news on pricing it's too early to get excited.

The single-board computer market is set to get increasingly crowded as embedded computing specialist Kontron prepares to launch a mini-ITX motherboard packing Nvidia's latest Tegra 3 system-on-chip (SoC) processor.

Joining the incredibly popular Raspberry Pi - which is being produced at the rate of 4,000 units a day yet still has an 11-week lead time on new orders - the Kontron KTT30 is the company's first design to be based around a mini-ITX form factor. Although this makes it significantly larger than the Pi at 170mm x 170mm, it also means the system is easy to integrate into existing mini-ITX cases.

Kontron's focus on PC builders is clear just by looking at the KTT30's expansion capabilities. The board includes up to 2GB of DDR3L memory, a mini-PCIe slot, a combined mini-PCIe and mSATA slot, and support for a 3G modem with onboard SIM socket. Storage is provided either through the mSATA connector or via two full-size SD card slots, while three USB 2.0 ports - two full-size, one micro - provide host and device connectivity for peripherals. The network connectivity, too, gets a significant boost, with a single port providing gigabit Ethernet.

To take full advantage of the quad-core Tegra 3 chip's multimedia capabilities, the KTT30 supports 1920x1080 output through an HDMI 1.4a port or 2048x1563 through the 24-bit LVDS connector. Like the Pi, a DSI connector is also included with support for displays of up to 1440x900 - and all three video outputs can be used simultaneously and independently. Audio is provided via analogue input, output and microphone connections, as is S/PDIF digital audio both in and out.

Sadly, not everything about the KTT30 is quite so impressive. The Tegra 3 chip is clocked down to 900MHz to hit the target full-board power consumption of under 7W at load, while the system also lacks the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) port of the Pi - although two RS232 serial ports are included. Kontron has also yet to indicate pricing, although with the added complexity of the board and the far more powerful - if underclocked - Tegra 3 processor, expect it to cost several times more than the rival Pi.

Kontron's latest SBC device is entering a new yet rapidly growing market for hobbyist boards: VIA's rival APC 8750 boasts a similar neo-ITX mounting system, while the Hardkernel ODROID-X packs a faster 1.4GHz quad-core SoC processor.

Thus far, however, no devices have come close to rivalling the Raspberry Pi's low retail price - and with both RS Electronics and Farnell now taking orders for multiple boards from both individuals and businesses, its popularity is likely to skyrocket in coming weeks.

7 Comments

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IvanIvanovich 16th July 2012, 17:07 Quote
I wish one of these companies would be smart enough to put 6-8 sata ports on the board. These would be absolutely perfect for file servers, they are really missing a huge section of the market for these type of boards.
mikeyandrewb 16th July 2012, 22:26 Quote
So, can this run Windows 8 RT or whatever it's going to be called? That could make it quite useful....
Adnoctum 17th July 2012, 00:52 Quote
And be prepared to pay out your backside for the board. Kontron stuff is expensive if you aren't buying by the 100s/1000s and value adding by building a commercial product out of it.
Kontron boards aren't for enthusiasts, and are not DIY friendly. A Raspberry Pi alternative it isn't.
loftie 17th July 2012, 06:32 Quote
To my knowledge, you wont be able to buy Windows 8 RT
fluxtatic 17th July 2012, 07:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyandrewb
So, can this run Windows 8 RT or whatever it's going to be called? That could make it quite useful....

For the love of god, no. It's been splashed everywhere that there will not be a retail release of WinRT. It's OEM-only, and will only run on certain ARM processors. Some secret sauce behind the scenes means it will only run on those processors blessed by MS, in OEM devices.

Sorry to be a bit of an ass about it, but it's been the same every single time another Pi-alike is announced - someone in the comments asking "will it run WinRT?" when one of the very first things announced about it was that there would be no retail release and it would only run on the devices allowed by MS. Sadly, think of it like iOS. Not to say you shouldn't set about fixing that so arbitrary ARM processors will run it, if you've got those sorts of skills (god knows I don't.) You'd make a whole lot of Windows fans happy (until MS sued you until you were dead, at least.)
Gareth Halfacree 17th July 2012, 07:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
Sorry to be a bit of an ass about it, but it's been the same every single time another Pi-alike is announced - someone in the comments asking "will it run WinRT?" when one of the very first things announced about it was that there would be no retail release and it would only run on the devices allowed by MS.
It's the ARM-specific "but will it run Crysis?" :p
Cthippo 25th July 2012, 23:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
I wish one of these companies would be smart enough to put 6-8 sata ports on the board. These would be absolutely perfect for file servers, they are really missing a huge section of the market for these type of boards.

This. Fileserver is what I think of every time I see one of these little boards. You could have a full NAS box with GBe in the space and power consumption of a USB external drive.
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