Congatec AG
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Press Releases

25. November 2007

The perfect quick start for COM Express™

An engineering head start is offered by the congatec COM Express™ starterkit

Deggendorf, November 27, 2007 – The conga-CKIT is a complete quick-start-kit packaged in a single case and is now available for testing all of the available features offered by the PICMG defined COM Express embedded module concept. With this extensive kit it's possible to create COM Express embedded applications quickly and efficiently.

The conga-CKIT consists of an evaluation carrier board, a debug card, a HDA (High Definition Audio) adapter, a DVI-D ADD2 card, an ATX power supply, a CD-ROM drive, a memory stick, a universal flat panel adapter board, all the cables as well as congatec software tools and board support packages for all congatec COM Express modules. This field-tested package can considerably reduce engineering efforts.

The COM Express evaluation carrier board allows the user to explore all of the COM Express features. It provides 4x PCI Express x1 Slots, PCI Express Graphics Port (PEG x16), 4 PCI Slots, one Express Card slot, one Mini PCI Express Card and 4 Serial ATA connectors. An additional Super-IO chip, which is fully supported by the congatec Embedded BIOS, generates additional serial and parallel interfaces. The schematics of the congatec evaluation carrier board are included with the starterkit and can be used as a reference design when creating your own COM Express carrier board.

The conga-Cdebug enhances the COM Express starterkit by providing a complete debug platform. This board enables debugging even within a custom COM Express design. Simply plug the conga-Cdebug between the carrier board and the CPU module. All the signals are now routed through the conga-Cdebug, which is completely transparent to the application. conga-Cdebug shows the LPC or PCI postcodes, displays PCI bus activity (using 4 LEDs for Command Byte Enable) as well as the status of 4 GPIO's. The custom system can be controlled by the integrated power and reset buttons. The onboard firmware hub can be utilized for testing customized BIOS versions. A separate power source can also be connected. Interfaces such as SATA, USB and VGA allow for the monitoring of headless embedded systems. Using the conga-Cdebug means that it's no longer necessary to design debug features into your customized carrier board thereby reducing size, engineering input and production costs.

The DVI-D ADD2 card that's included in the kit provides the ability to test the SDVO to DVI-D conversion. When plugging this card into the PEG connector the COM Express CPU module automatically recognizes the card and switches the PCI Express lanes routed to the PEG connector to SDVO mode.
The conga-FPA1 (Flat panel Prototype Adapter 1) is also included in the kit. It is an universal flat panel adapter board that has been designed to be compliant with the new EPI (Embedded Panel Interface) standard. It can be used for either prototyping, demonstration purposes or for debugging certain issues. It may also serve as a reference for the implementation of panel adaptations on customer specific carrier boards.

COM Express supports AC'97 and High Definition Audio (HDA) digital audio interfaces. HDA supports sampling rates up to 192 kHz, dynamic plug configuration, Dolby 7.1 and much more. Utilizing the congatec HDA adapter all HDA features can be easily tested. The schematics for this card are freely available and can be used as a reference for customized carrier boards.

The conga-CKIT does not contain a CPU module. COM Express  modules are available starting with the 500 Mhz AMD® Geode® LX800 up to the 2.16 GHz Intel® Core® 2 Duo.

The conga-CKIT is now available for 920 Euro + Tax.