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Kontron unveils Tiger Lake Type 6 module and SBCs

Oct 1, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,214 views

Kontron announced a Linux-friendly “COMe-cTL6” COM Express Compact Type 6 module and “VX3060” VPX blade with Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs. A 3.5-inch SBC is in the works.

Kontron recently announced several embedded boards based on Intel’s latest 10nm processors. Earlier this week we covered Kontron’s new Elkhart Lake based COM Express and SMARC modules. Here we look at some new Kontron products built around the higher-end and similarly 10nm based 11th Gen Tiger Lake Core platform: the COMe-cTL6 COM Express Compact Type 6 module and VX3060 VPX blade. The COMe-cTL6 is the first Tiger Lake board we’ve seen that supports the recently announced “GRE” Tiger Lake models with TSN and functional safety features.

Kontron’s Tiger Lake lineup (clockwise from top): COMe-cTL6, 3.5-inch SBC, and VX3060
(click image to enlarge)

Briefly, the VX3060 is a 3U VPX form-factor SBC that upgrades an Intel 3rd Gen Core based model. Available in 1GbE and 10GbE SKUs, the rugged board supports 8K multi-head displays and offers M.2, USB Type-C, and optional XMC interfaces, among others.

VX3060 detail views in GbE (left) and 10GbE configurations
(click image to enlarge)

Kontron also said it is working on a 3.5-inch SBC with Tiger Lake that will provide SATA 3.0, M.2, and at least one 2.5GbE port. Four simultaneous, independent 4K@60fps displays will be supported via 4x DisplayPorts. This appears to be the 3.5″-SBC-TGL that was teased in early August on a Kontron-Asia product page that has since been removed. Highlights include up to 64GB DDR4, quadruple independent 4K displays, and 3x M.2 slots. For full specs, see our earlier coverage.

Last month, Kontron announced that it had acquired the PiXtend line of Raspberry Pi based industrial controller boards from Qube Solutions. We will keep our eyes out for new Pixtend product introductions.



The COMe-cTL6, which is also referred to as the COMe-cTL6 (E2), runs Linux, Win 10, or VxWorks on a Tiger Lake CPU built into a 95 x 95mm Compact Type 6 form factor. We have seen the same pairing in Congatec’s Conga-TC570 and Adlink’s cExpress-TL modules.

Like Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake, the 11th Gen Tiger Lake is a 10nm design, but updated with SuperFin technology and Intel’s Willow Cove microarchitecture. In addition to providing a significant CPU boost, Tiger Lake offers a huge graphics improvement with its Intel Gen12 Iris Xe graphics. Intel Xe, which is available on all the Core-i7 and -i5 models offered by Kontron, is stocked with up to 96 EUs compared to 64 on Ice Lake’s Intel Gen11. Iris Xe supports 4x simultaneous 4K displays and offers improved neural network inferencing with Intel DL Boost. Tiger Lake also adds support for PCIe Gen 4 and the up to 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4).

Kontron does not use the five 12-28W UP3 and four 7-15W UP4 dual and quad-core Tiger Lake models announced a month ago. Instead, the COMe-cTL6 supports the embedded-focused UP3 “E” and “GRE” models that Intel unveiled last week, which we covered in our Adlink report.

COMe-cTL6 list of Tiger Lake options (left) and more detailed comparison of sub-SKUs
(click images to enlarge)

The “E” and “GRE” models offer extended purchase availability and have slightly lower base and Turbo frequencies than the similarly named UP3 siblings without the “E” suffix. The TDPs remain the same.

The “GRE” models add Intel Time Coordinated Computing (Intel TCC) and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) networking features, which are also supported on Intel’s lower-power “RE” Elkhart Lake Atom-6000E SoCs. In addition, the Tiger Lake GRE parts provide the Intel Safety Island functional safety (FuSa) features found on the Elkhart Lake “FE” models.

Although all the “E” and “GRE” 11th Gen models have wider operating ranges than the standard models, the standard COMe-cTL6 SKUs listed for the 3x “E” Core processors have 0 to 60°C operating ranges while the 3x “GRE” SKUs offer -40 to 85°. Kontron also lists an extended -25 to 75°C option, and it’s possible all the SKUs offer a choice of commercial, extended, and industrial ranges on request.

COMe-cTL6 (preliminary image) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The fastest model here is the E-series Core i7-1185G7E, a quad-core CPU clocked to 1.2GHz (12W), 1.8GHz (15W), 2.8GHz (28W) and 4.4GHz Turbo. The i7-1185G7E offers the highest-end 96EU version of Iris Xe Graphics. This also appears to be the only model that Kontron supports with optional 1TB of onboard Intel Optane NVMe flash, which uses the module’s single PCIe Gen4 x4 interface.

The COMe-cTL6 is limited to 48GB DDR4-3200 compared to 64GB on the Adlink and Congatec models. However, 16GB of the total is soldered for greater reliability. Some SKUs offer 8GB or no soldered “memory down” RAM. Some of the SKUs support in-band ECC (IBECC) RAM.

You get a choice of an Intel I225LM or I225IT LAN controller for up to 2.5GbE. The GRE parts offer Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) network sync, which is used for time-critical applications that require low transmission latencies.

The COMe-cTL6 provides 5x PCIe 3.0 lanes in addition to the single PCIe Gen4. On request, you can remove the Ethernet to get a sixth lane or remove the Ethernet and the module’s dual SATA III interfaces to get 8x total Gen3 lanes.

The module offers 3x DDI DP++ interfaces and dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS or eDP. You also get 4x USB 3.1, 4x USB 2.0, 2x serial RX/TX, and single SPI, LPC, SMB, and Fast I2C. Other features include HD Audio, a staged watchdog, RTC, and TPM 2.0 and vPRO support.

The COMe-cTL6 has an 8.5-20V input range with ACPI 6.0 power management. Humidity resistance is compliant with IEC 60068-2-78. Carrier boards, heatspreaders, and active coolers are optional.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the “coming soon” COMe-cTL6 and VX3060 blade. More information may be found in Kontron’s announcement and COMe-cTL6 and VX3060 product pages.

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