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Rugged IoT gateways offer choice of i.MX6 or RPi CM3 computers

Mar 4, 2019 — by Eric Brown 1,282 views

Kontron’s has launched two rugged KBox IoT gateways that run Yocto Linux on the Raspberry Pi CM3 (KBox A-330-RPI) and dual-core i.MX6 (KBox A-330-MX6). The systems offer 10-year availability and industrial I/O including CAN.

Designed for cost-sensitive industrial control and gateway applications, Kontron’s new KBox A-330-RPI and KBox A-330-MX6 gateways feature compact, 111 x 76 x 25mm dimensions that make them a good fit for space-constrained environments such as control cabinets, says Kontron. The fanless gateways join a large family of embedded KBox computers such as last year’s Intel Kaby Lake based KBox B-201.

KBox A-330-RPI (left) and KBox A-330-MX6
(click images to enlarge)

The KBox A-330-RPI runs on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, the latest COM version of the Raspberry Pi. It supplies a quad-core, Cortex-A53 Broadcom BCM2837 SoC (typically clocked to 1.2GHz) with a 400MHz VideoCore IV GPU. The 67.6 x 30mm module also ships with 1GB of LPDDR2. Kontron turned to the Raspberry Pi CM3 for its Passepartout development board, but it would be too large to fit inside the KBox A-330 footprint.

Kontron did not mention the COM or mainboard inside its KBox A-330-MX6, which offers a more modest, dual-core, Cortex-A9 based NXP i.MX6 (typically 1GHz or 1.2GHz) with Vivante GPU. Kontron sells i.MX6 modules including its SMARC sAMX6i. Unlike the KBox A-330-RPI, the MX6 model provides support for CODESYS PLC, EtherCAT, PROFINET, Modbus, and CANopen fieldbus protocols.


The KBox A-330 gateways ship with a Yocto Project based Linux stack, and the RPI model should be able to run most Raspbian applications. Other features include 10-year availability and optional DIN rail mounting.

The two devices offer similar feature sets including 1GB soldered DDR3L (KBox A-330-MX6) or LPDDR2 (KBox A-330-RPI) RAM and 4GB eMMC. Both KBox A-330 models provide 2x USB ports and 2x 10/100 “Fast” Ethernet ports. The RPI model provides a Power-over-Ethernet option via the Raspberry Pi PoE HAT. The gateways also provide HDMI (MX6) or micro-HDMI (RPI) ports with 1080p video support.

Industrial I/O includes RS232 and a choice of RS485 or CAN. The MX6 model supplies 4x digital 24V/800mA outputs while the RPI model is listed with 4x “digital IOs.” The RPI model also adds an internal Raspberry Pi HAT compatible GPIO header.

The KBox A-330 gateways feature 9-32VDC inputs that default to 24V. The systems provide 0 to 55°C support as well as vibration resistance (5-500 Hz, 1G acc. IEC 60068-2-6) and shock resistance (half-sine, 15g, 11ms acc. IEC 60068-2-27). There’s also humidity tolerance (93% @ 40°C, non-condensing) and support for up to 5,000-meter environments.

The KBox A-330 gateways are available with the optional, modular SUSiEtec IoT framework from Kontron’s sister company S&T Technologies. Kontron also offers optional security features such as secure authentication and data encryption on a per project basis.

Further information

The KBox A-330-RPI and KBox A-330-MX6 are available at undisclosed prices. More information may be found in Kontron’s announcement and on the KBox A-330-RPI and KBox A-330-MX6 product pages.

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