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Transport PC runs hardened OpenWrt hypervisor on Elkhart Lake

Apr 27, 2021 — by Eric Brown 431 views

Kontron’s “TRACe-B104-TR/IV” transport computer has an SEC-Line OpenWrt hypervisor that runs on Intel’s Elkhart Lake with hot-swap SATA, 3x GbE, PoE+, 3x USB, DP, DIO, 3x M.2, and mini-PCIe.

Kontron announced a transport computer designed for a “wide range of demanding rail and bus applications, from onboard gateways and network video recorders to passenger infotainment, Wi-Fi, diagnostic and smart vehicle servers, as well as ticketing systems and UCPe/SDWANs.” The TRACe-B104-TR/IV runs on the quad-core, 1.8GHz/3.0GHz Atom x6425E from Intel’s latest, 10nm Elkhart Lake generation and is the first Elkhart Lake based transport system we have encountered.

(click image to enlarge)

As a default, the TRACe-B104-TR/IV is loaded with the same hardened, OpenWrt Linux based SEC-Line hypervisor used on last year’s Skylake or Apollo Lake based Kontron SR-TRACe-G40x railway server/router. SEC-Line provides features including hardware root of trust, cybersecurity protection, virtualization, and fleet management tools. (For more details on SEC-Line, see our earlier report.) Windows 10 IoT and Win 10 are also available.

The TRACe-B104-TR/IV ships with 8GB or 16GB DDR4-3200 and 64GB soldered eMMC. There is an external 2.5-inch SATA III bay with hot-swap capability, as well as 2x M.2 B-key 3042/3050 slots, one of which supports SATA. Both support USB 3.1, USB 2.0, and PCIe, with options including 5G/LTE modems, LoRaWAN, GPS, and more.


In addition to the dual M.2 B-key slots, you get an M.2 E-key 2230, which is typically used for WiFi/BT, plus a full-size mini-PCIe slot, which like the E-key supports PCIe and USB 2.0. There are 4x covered nanoSIM sockets plus 7x SMA and 1x TNC antenna holes with caps.

All four of the expansion slots are hardware resettable via a built-in CPLD controller that provides a watchdog and HW monitoring. The CPLD also controls power, reset, LEDs, hotswap, and DIOs.

The TRACe-B104-TR/IV provides 3x insulated GbE ports with rugged M12 X-code connectors, 2x of which supply PoE+ PSD with a combined 30W. Other features include DP++ 1.4, 2x USB 3.1, and insulated USB 2.0 with M12 A-code.

There are also 2x insulated RS232/422/485 ports via DB9, insulated DIO (4x-in, 4x out) with a DB25 connector, and an audio I/O port via DB9. The system is further equipped with an RTC with 6-day backup via Golden Cap, as well as TPM 2.0, reset and hot-swap buttons, and 5x LEDs including 2x user lights.

The system measures 280 (or 306) x 186 x 60mm, depending on the presence of wall-mount brackets. It also ships with rack mounting. An insulated, M12 K-code connector supplies a 24/48VDC input with ignition support. You also get an EN50155 class S2-C1 PSU with active reverse polarity protection. Options on request include 72/110VDC (rail) and 12/24VDC ITxPT (road) power supplies.

The IP40-protected system has an EN50155 OT4 compliant -40 to 70°C operating range with support for up to 10 minutes at 85°C. A variety of industrial-grade storage and modem modules are optional. Compliances are also listed for additional road and rail specs.

Further information

The TRACe-B104-TR/IV is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Kontron’s announcement and product page.

(advertise here)

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