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Congatec expands to SBCs, starting with mini-ITX

May 21, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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COM pioneer Congatec unveiled its first SBC: a Linux-ready Mini-ITX motherboard, with AMD’s G-Series SoC, extensive I/O, and PCIe and mini-PCIe expansion.

Long-time computer-on-module vendor Congatec AG is now moving into single board computers and OEM services, starting with the “Conga-IGX,” its first industrial Mini-ITX motherboard. The board is designed for “cost-sensitive visualization and control applications,” says the company.



Conga-IGX
(click image to enlarge)

Congatec SBCs will include 7+ years availability, global technical support, extended manuals, specifications, and customized design services. ODM services “may include the development of carrier boards or cooling solutions, full-custom designs or even complete and fully tested systems that are provided with all necessary approvals,” says Congatec.

Like Congatec’s Conga-TCG COM Express Type 6 module, the Conga-IGX can run Linux or Windows on AMD’s Embedded G-Series system-on-chip, featuring 28nm fabricated “Jaguar” core technology and integrated AMD Radeon graphics. Considering the popularity of the G-Series SoC, we’re not sure why it’s taken so long for Mini-ITX boards to adopt it. In March, we saw our first one in Aaeon’s EMB-KB1, and now it appears DFI has launched KB160 and KB161 Mini-ITX boards based on the AMD SoC.



Conga-IGX block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

On the Conga-TCG, you get a choice of two dual-core G-Series variants — the 1GHz, 9W TDP GX-210HA and the 1.65GHz, 15W GX-217GA — plus the quad-core, 2GHz GX-420CA with 25W TDP. The Radeon graphics are said to support Universal Video Decoder 4.2 for seamless processing of Blu-rays with HDCP (1080p), MPEG-2, HD, and DivX (MPEG-4) video. It also supports DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.0, and OpenCL 1.1.

Display support includes an onboard 18/24-bit LVDS interface, as well as coastline DisplayPort 1.2 and DVI/HDMI 1.4a ports. The Conga-IGX supports dual independent displays, and the DisplayPort also enables ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology for panorama view and multi-streaming. ATI Eyefinity lets you control up to two displays per graphics port in daisy chain mode, according to Congatec.



Conga-IGX port detail
(click image to enlarge)

You can load up to 16GB of DDR3/DDR3L 1600MHz RAM onto the board, and storage options include dual SATA 3.0 connections and an mSATA interface. For expansion, there’s a PCI Express x4 slot and a mini-PCIe slot.

Coastline ports include dual gigabit Ethernet, keyboard and mouse (PS/2), audio jacks, and dual RS232 COM ports, with a COM3 interface available internally. There are nine USB ports altogether, including four USB 2.0 ports on the coastline, plus three more USB 2.0 interfaces onboard, as well as two for USB 3.0. Other onboard I/O includes GPIO, a parallel port, and SPDIF.



Conga-IGX coastline ports
(click image to enlarge)

The 12V/19-24V power supply is accompanied by ACPI 3.0 power management. The Conga-IGX can run fanless at 0 to 60°C, and passive, active, and passive heatpipe coolers are optional. There’s also an optional mini-tower chassis.

 
Summary of Conga-IGX specs

Specifications listed for the Conga-IGX include:

  • Processor — AMD Embedded G-Series SoC:
    • GX-420CA — quad-core CPU @2.0GHz; 25W TDP; 2MB L2 cache; AMD Radeon HD 8400E GPU @600MHz)
    • GX-217GA — dual-core CPU @1.65GHz; 15W TDP; 1MB L2 cache; AMD Radeon HD 8280E GPU @450MHz)
    • GX-210HA — dual-core CPU @1GHz; 9W TDP; 1MB L2 cache; AMD Radeon HD 8210 GPU @300Mhz
  • Memory — 2x SODIMM sockets; up to 16GB total DDR3/DDR3L 1600MHz RAM
  • Storage — 2x SATA (6.0Gb/s); mSATA (6.0Gb/s)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • Display:
    • DVI-I port (with HDMI 1.4a support)
    • DisplayPort 1.2
    • single/dual channel 18/24-bit LVDS
    • Supports dual-independent displays
    • ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
  • Audio:
    • Mic-in, line-out jacks
    • SPDIF out interface
    • Realtek ALC 671, 5.1-channel HD codec
  • USB ports (9x total):
    • 4x USB 2.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 interfaces with socket for internal stick
    • 3x USB 3.0 interfaces
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x RS-232 COM ports (FIFO, 16550 compatible)
    • COM3 serial interface (FIFO, 16550 compatible)
    • 1x PS/2
    • 8x GPIO lines — 4x in, 4x out
    • LPT Parallel
  • Expansion interfaces — PCIe x4 slot; mini-PCIe slot with USB 2.0
  • Other features — Optional TPM; optional mini-tower chassis
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C; optional passive, active, and passive heatpipe coolers
  • Power:
    • DC 12V/19-24V supply
    • ACPI 3.0 power management
    • 3.3V auxiliary supply voltage on PCIe (wake-on)
    • CPU state C6 “deep power down” available on multimedia engine
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 6.7 inches (170 x 170mm); Mini-ITX form-factor
  • Operating system support — Linux; Windows 7/8, WES, WEC7

 
Congatec’s expansion to SBCs

Congatec has been a mainstay of the embedded world, having released Linux-ready COMs since at least as far back as 2008. The company cites a 2013 IHS study saying it has been the leading provider of COMs in Europe since 2012. Yet only now is it making the move to SBCs. Congatec says it is “diversifying to ensure continued annual growth of more than 20% in the long term.”

“This market is considered difficult because Mini-ITX boards are easily exchangeable,” stated Congatec CEO Gerhard Edi. “That is however nothing new for us, since COMs are equally interchangeable between manufacturers by definition. Our success is founded on our technical support, our product quality and customer orientation.”

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Conga-IGX. More product details may be found at Congatec’s Conga-IGX page.
 

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