Powerful graphics capabilities define Thin Mini-ITX motherboards

22nd October 2015
Barney Scott

congatec AG is to extend its industrial-grade Thin Mini-ITX motherboard portfolio to include graphics-rich conga-IA4 boards with 14nm Intel Pentium and Celeron processors (codenamed Braswell) and full Windows 10 support. Compared to their predecessors, the Thin Mini-ITX boards offer increased computing and graphics performance as well as support for up to three 4k displays.

Despite the distinct performance gain, the power requirement has been lowered to 3W SDP (Scenario Design Power), which enables energy-saving, fanless system designs. With their construction height of just 20 mm, the Thin Mini-ITX motherboards allow for flat system designs and can even be integrated into slim Panel PCs. The new industrial-grade Thin Mini-ITX motherboards are designed for deployment in applications where conventional motherboards do not suffice in terms of robustness, interference resistance, 24/7 operation as well as long-term availability.

Target applications of the boards include, among others, cash register systems, scales and vending machines, gaming and digital signage applications as well as industrial HMIs, Panel PCs and thin clients in manufacturing, logistics and clinical environments. congatec's Thin Mini-ITX motherboards are differentiated from similar industrial-grade offerings by the added value of extensive documentation as well as congatec's integration support. Continuous software support with regular security upgrades for UEFI and software drivers round out congatec's services.

The conga-IA4 Thin Mini-ITX boards come equipped with 14nm Intel Pentium or Celeron processors with a 3 to 4W SDP (Scenario Design Power) and a 4 to 6W TDP (Thermal Design Power) as well as up to 16GB of fast Dual Channel DDR3L 1600 RAM. The integrated Intel Gen 8 Graphics means that applications benefit from high image quality with up to three 4k resolutions (3840x2160) with the latest 3D features such as DirectX11.1 and OpenGL 4.2. The integrated video engine provides judder free decoding of H.265/HEVC-compressed videos with maximum CPU offload and encoding for two 1080p H.264 video streams with 60Hz in real time.

The extensive range of interfaces includes, alongside a PCIe x1, two Mini PCIe slots as well as four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 for specific extensions. Up to two CSI-2 camera sensors can be connected directly via the feature connector. In addition, two Gigabit Ethernet, one mSATA 3.0, one SATA 3.0, two UART plus 8 GPIO and HD Audio are also provided. congatec offers operating system support for Linux and all popular Microsoft Windows variants, including Microsoft Windows 10. A wide range of design-in-simplifying accessories, such as cooling solutions, I/O shields and cable sets round out the offering.

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