FOLLOWING the successful launch of the E²Brain (Embedded Electronic Brain), Kontron is now publishing the complete design specification, making the first open Computer-On-Module (COM) standard for RISC-based systems available worldwide. Kontron has already received expressions of interest from other potential manufacturers. Kontron products are available from Dominion Electronics Pty Ltd .
The new E²Brain open COM standard offers an economical option for cost-sensitive embedded computer applications, an area where proprietary designs have recently dominated. The use of exchangeable and scalable standard modules offers system integrators a considerably reduced time to market.
Up to now, these advantages were limited to development with x86 technology, but with the E²Brain standard, they are now also available to RISC-based applications.
E²Brain modules stand out because of their high processing and communication performance with low energy requirements, according to Kontron.
Kontron will open discussions with other providers and OEMs to establish an E²Brain consortium. The objective is to promote cross-manufacturer development of the now open COM standard for customer-specific, RISC-based embedded computer systems and to consolidate the standard requirements of E²Brain. Users will benefit in particular from independent development of the specification.
"We are very pleased to have once again launched an open standard for the industrial and embedded market with E²Brain,” says Vice President Marketing EMEA with Kontron AG, Norbert Hauser.
"Computer-On-Modules target today's largest market in embedded computing technology - proprietary design. We assume that the more open standards become available for COMs, the more they will fulfill their potential for large unit numbers and large growth, because they will be more present in the minds of the OEMs and perceived as a reliable, multi-purpose alternative to development completely in-house."
As one of the world's leading manufacturers of embedded computer technology, Kontron has initiated the development of a variety of today's recognised standards and has collaborated in the development of many other standards. Examples include PICMG 1.2, ATCA, embATX, ETX, and ETXexpress based on COM Express (by PICMG), among others. All of these solutions are x86-based. With E²Brain, Kontron has now set a new standard for RISC-based solutions as well.
To date, four evaluation kits have been made available. In parallel with the publication of the specification, Kontron has now released two more evaluation and development kits for the EB8540 and EB405 modules. The kits include everything a customer needs for the activation and software development of the E²Brain modules EB8540 (Freescale PowerPC MPC8540) and EB405 (AMCC PowerPC 405EP).
Thanks to preinstalled Linux Board Support Packages (BSP), the integration of all the necessary drivers, and the complete package of hardware equipment for the kits, including the power supply (RAM), the E²Brain modules can be brought into operation without any preliminary effort. Thus, application developers can begin testing target systems even before the final target hardware is available in the form of a specific carrier board.
The E²Brain specification is available to review by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with E²Brain in the subject line. A PDF document will be forwarded via email.