The Embedded Box

02 January 2010

Kontron was showing for the first time at the SPS/IPC/Drives show two new industrial computers, both based on the 1.6 GHz Intel® Atom™ N270 processor and both of them based exclusively on passive cooling. As in all modern industrial computers, they offer a broad variety of interfaces, from various fieldbuses to serial communications, including digital I/O, CAN, USB, and Gigabit Ethernet.

The Embedded Box PC, CB 252
The Embedded Box PC, CB 252

Following the introduction of the Kontron CB 751 last year, Kontron's new CB 752 in a rugged aluminium chassis is the second edition of a standard product from Kontron's application-specific, configurable Concept Box series, which adheres to Kontron’s ‘form follows function’ principle meaning that the dimensions, system assembly and feature set of the Embedded Box PCs can be defined individually. For integration in future application areas, Kontron offers the Box PC with different mounting options for vertical and horizontal operation plus a rack-mount option.

Additional cabling work can be cut out due to the Wi-Fi option. Customer-specific extensions can be carried out via a Mini PCI Express slot.

On the front of the Kontron CB 752 there are two Gbit LAN ports, four USB ports, two serial,  a VGA and optional DVI, CAN bus and one RS422/485 port. On the back panel, the Embedded Box PC provides four GPIO connections that can be configured as input and output, 2 additional USB 2.0 interfaces and HD audio.

As an option, the Embedded Box PC offers Wi-Fi with two antennas at the back and non-volatile NVRAM.

The MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) has been specified at approximately 100,000 hours which corresponds to more than 11 years of non-stop (24/7) operation.

It runs Linux Embedded, Microsoft Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE 6.0.

The Micro Client: Panel PC

A second introduction at the show was a fanless thin client Panel PC with four screen sizes from 7 to 15 inches. Also based on the 1.6 GHz Intel® Atom™ N270, the IP65-protected Micro Client IIA Panel PC with resistive touch screen is intended to serve as a universal HMI (Human Machine Interface) for various visualisation tasks.

These PCs are designed for the control and monitoring of equipment, machinery, and plants, so they support all current thin client concepts from RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) for Microsoft Windows-based servers to Linux based open platforms with browser based Java clients.
Operators benefit from such open concepts through the open and runtime license-free access to both centralised and decentralised (web) server applications.

Kontron’s latest panel PCscan also be used for several visualisation tasks without requiring any application-specific software to be installed on the client.

The Micro Clients feature SATA and CompactFlash boot functionality.

They can also be remotely booted via Ethernet. This facilitates the administration of the complete solution, since only the software on the respective industrial server must be administered.

Like the Embedded Box, the Micro Clients offer a comprehensive interface selection: 2 x 10/1000 Ethernet, 2 external USB 2.0 ports (plus an additional USB port on the front of the larger sizes), serial and CAN bus interfaces, as well as additional field bus interfaces as an option.

They also feature sophisticated embedded graphics for intuitive GUIs, as well as touch-beep for multimedia-oriented operating and monitoring applications including acoustic feedback. The fanless design enables silent operation, reduced maintenance costs, and lower total-cost-of-ownership due to the impressive MTBF of over 40,000 hours.

Micro Clients support Windows CE, Windows XP Embedded, and Embedded Linux.

Further information on the embedded fanless Box PC Kontron CB 752 is available at:

Further information on the Kontron Concept Box series is available at:

For more information about the Kontron Micro Clients IIA, please visit:

For more information about Kontron Panel PCs, please visit:

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