We’ve seen low power ARM-based processors show up in everything from smartphones to set-top-boxes, from tablets to USB thumb drive-sized PCs. Now a company called Kontron is slapping together Mini-ITX computer motherboard featuring an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor.

In other words, unlike the Raspberry Pi and other ARM-based mini-computers, the upcoming Kontron KTT30 MiTX motherboard will fit into any off-the-shelf computer case designed for a mini-ITX board.

Kontron KTT30

That could make the KTT30 a starting point for a DIY low power computer with a TDP of under 7 watts.

While Windows doesn’t yet run on ARM-based processors, there are a wide range of Linux-based operating systems including Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora that support ARM chips. And of course there’s always Google Android.

The KTT30 could also provide an alternative to the $299 Google Nexus Q media streaming device or the upcoming Ouya $99 video game console for those looking to build their own systems.

The Kontron KTT30 features a 900 MHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor and features HDMI 1.4a output, an Ethernet jack, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 SD card slots, audio jacks, and miniPCIe slots. It can support up to 2GB of RAM and it can handle camera input, USB mass storage devices, and other peripherals.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but given the specifications, I think it’s safe to say the KTT30 will cost more than a $49 VIA APC and less than a $199 Google Nexus 7.

via Blogeee and Fanless Tech

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7 replies on “Kontron slaps a Tegra 3 processor onto a Mini-ITX motherboard”

  1. would it be impossible for Intel to install an ARM chip on x86 motherboards for dual booooting?

  2. ARM based standard sized motherboards would be great in the future. Too bad, right now, they can’t really compete with price (guessing here) and software/driver support. Would be a great choice when building systems with low power (both processing and energy consumption) requirements.

  3. How easy would it be to install Ubuntu for ARM on this? Would it be the same as installing on x86 hardware?

    1. The Problem is that nVidia is just about the worst ARM SoC Manufacturer when it comes to OpenSource Drivers.

      So getting Ubuntu drivers for GUI and Video Acceleration would be a real hassle and every new Linux Kernel or XServer Version you’d have to pray that nVidia releases a new binary blob driver to make it work.

      The very best Documentation and therefore OpenSource support you’ll get for Ti OMAP, closely followed by Samsung Exynos SoCs.

      1. OMAP 3/4/5 use PowerVR GPU’s, which lack an Open Source driver. Samsung seem to be making some effort to support their Exynos chips under Linux with a KMS/DRM driver. The 3.5 kernel included 2D acceleration.

    2. I really hope ARM motherboards and software support take off. I like having a lot of choices when slapping together a new computer. Can’t wait until it’s as easy as x86 computers.

  4. I wouldn’t be too sure about the pricing. I read somewhere that Kontron specialize in industrial solutions, and that they charge premium prices for their motherboards. This one could be as much as $400-$500, for example. They certainly don’t have much presence in the retail market.

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