Nvidia Tegra 3 mini-ITX mainboard surfaces from Kontron

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Times are definitely good for devs and modders looking for cheap Android-Linux hardware to turn into small little desktop computer or HTPCs.

Several new devices have hit the market over the last year, including the $35 Raspberry Pi. Now some new hardware from Kontron has surfaced that seems destined to bring smartphone and tablet hardware to a desktop mini-ITX mainboard.

The bare-bones board is powered by an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, along with an integrated low-power GeForce GPU. The processor runs at 900 MHz and offers impressive 3D graphics performance - with total energy consumption hovering just under 7 W.

According to Kontron, the rather respectable specs make the board ideal for a wide variety of graphics and video oriented embedded applications, including thin clients and mini PCs.

Other hardware on the mainboard includes an integrated chipset that can be fitted with up to 2 GB of DDR 3L memory. The Nvidia GeForce GPU supports 1080p resolution video, while the board has an HDMI 1.4a output. Additional key features include a single mPCIe expansion slot, a mPCIe/mSATA expansion slot, and a single specific mPCIe slot for an onboard 3G modem. Storage is handled by dual SD card slots.

Other connectivity options? Three USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports, integrated Ethernet controller, and multiple audio outputs.

Unfortunately, pricing and availability are unknown at this time. In addition, Kontron doesn't specifically mention the operating systems the device is tapped to support, but it seems reasonable to assume you can run Android or a variety of Linux flavors on the board, which will likely carry a fairly inexpensive price tag.