Industrial-Grade Motherboards of German Engineering Quality - High Processing Performance for Graphically Intensive Applications

03/05/2021 Know-How

Since Kontron’s acquisition of Fujitsu’s Industrial Mainboard Division, the transition process has been now been completed. Kontron is not only continuing Fujitsu’s business seamlessly, but is also developing it further with new developments “designed & manufactured in Germany”.

At the end of 2019, the first motherboard models were being relocated to Kontron. Since then, the complex process of integrating the motherboard business has been successfully completed - not only the full portfolio and the collected expertise, but also the entire production capacity were transferred to Kontron. The Fujitsu motherboards are produced by Kontron's production partner Katek Mauerstetten, around 40 miles from Fujitsu's previous mainboard production site in Augsburg, with the usual high quality standards.

"Despite the large portfolio of boards and peripheral devices, the transfer of the mainboard production from Fujitsu to Kontron was almost completely smooth," said Mario Klug, Senior Manager Product Marketing Boards at Rutronik. "We were able to maintain support at usual for our customers in particular due to the continuity of having the same points of contact. Kontron managed - despite the challenges of COVID-19 with disruptions to the component supply chain - to serve our backlog without any major delays. That deserves our respect."

Continuity and Development

Long-term deliveries, technical support, repairs and the continuation of the product portfolio are in professional hands at Kontron. The company has brought over many former Fujitsu employees with skills in key fields such as R&D, product management, marketing, production, sales and support. This not only ensures that the appropriate expertise that has been established in development in particular since the days of Fujitsu/Siemens continues to flow into new designs, but also allows Fujitsu customers and partners to continue relying on their contacts that they know and trust.

To ensure that production was adapted quickly, that production costs remain competitive and the quality level remains high, Katek Mauerstetten employs the same processes and equipment that were previously used by Fujitsu, and in some cases has even improved them, with solder paste printing, wave soldering systems with solder masks for the double-sided SMD process, improved 3D AOI instead of 2D AOI (as was previously used at Fujitsu), in-circuit testing (ICT) and universal function testing (UFT). This enables Kontron to continue offering the full Fujitsu portfolio of motherboards, all-on cards and accessories. The model designations and revisions have remained the same, and existing certifications remain valid or will be renewed. In addition, the product lifecycles were significantly extended. The motherboard portfolio is now being expanded with new products.

New Kontron Board "Designed by Fujitsu"

The D3713-V/R mITX marks the start of a new era for high-quality motherboards "designed & manufactured in Germany". The new D3713 motherboards are fitted with powerful AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 processors. Their graphical performance make them among the best products in the embedded market, offering good value for money. This makes them appealing for customers for a variety of industries, for example for graphically intensive applications in kiosk, infotainment, digital signage and professional gambling systems, in medical displays, thin clients and industrial PCs. With a TDP (Thermal Design Power) that currently ranges from 12 to 54W, the processors are extremely scalable, from motherboards that are cooled entirely passively through to systems with cooling systems precisely tailored for each board that Kontron offers as validated accessories.

Superior Performance Thanks to New AMD Microarchitecture

The "Zen" high-performance architecture from AMD offers an improvement over previous architectures of 52% in terms of instructions per cycle and a 200% improvement in GPU throughput per cycle. For the conventional embedded computing segment, the AMD Ryzen V1000 processors and AMD R1000 processors are especially attractive, with three times the performance per watt compared to the AMD R Series SoCs and four times the performance per euro.

Different Industries, Different Requirements

Each individual target market and each individual application has individual needs. In the kiosk segment, for example, there are strict requirements on robust design, with wider temperature ranges playing a larger role in outdoor applications. Internal LVDS/eDP display connectors are almost more common in kiosk applications than in the digital signage segment. With the ability to connect up to four 4K displays, it is possible to create innovative signage applications or integrate multiple virtual digital signage players in a single system. High reliability in continuous operation is enormously important for all applications.

While infotainment applications also use the high graphical performance on larger displays to be viewed from greater distances, casino gambling and arcade systems place greater value in premium graphical output. In this area, 4K is displayed right in front of the user's eyes, sometimes in connection with ultra-brilliant curved displays. This is where the high graphical performance of the new AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000/R1000 series is especially valuable. For customers in the gambling segment, the fact that a single microarchitecture can be scaled from high-end upright casino systems to low-end video lottery terminal systems, reducing development costs and making servicing easier, is also of interest.

One PCB Design for Different Markets

Fujitsu boards have long been recognized for meeting the requirements of many different applications. The new Kontron D3713-V/R Mini-ITX motherboard is no different. Kontron also now uses a wide-range power input of 8 to 36V instead of supporting ATX PSUs, or offers flexible storage and expansion options by means of two low-height M.2 sockets with Key B (2 lanes) and Key M (4 lanes) support. With its careful choice of LAN controller, Kontron also supports features such as Time Synchronized Networking, which is of interest both for Ethercat applications as well as OPC UA implementations. Dual LAN is also on board for Industry 4.0 installations. The 4×4K DisplayPort, an embedded DisplayPort and the Dual Channel LVDS (24-bit) provide maximum display support.

The new boards are high-quality and offer a wealth of interfaces, with no need to cut corners in terms of cost. The aim is to achieve full connectivity with highly scalable platforms and cost-optimized system designs.

For low-cost and fully certified system designs, Kontron offers a SMARTCASE kit for the D3713. The SMARTCASE S711 provides customers with highly flexible configuration options, consisting of the board, CPU, memory, expansion cards, BIOS, cooling system and case. Extensive tools enable customers to adjust fan curves and BIOS defaults independently or to integrate a customized boot screen logo.


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