5/6/2004 - The decision to use a particular processor in an embedded design speeds up by evaluating with off the shelf COMs based on that processor. To give customers a wider choice of solutions, STMicroelectronics is keen to work with Kontron, the worldwide market leader in embedded computer technology, to offer its STPC family of processors on COMs developed and produced by Kontron. As an extensive provider of embedded computer modules, boards, systems and system solutions, Kontron is keen for its products to host all processors that are relevant to the embedded market. The STPC family processors from STMicroelectronics have been selected by Kontron. STPC ELITE are ideal for low-cost high-volume embedded applications.
The inclusion of STPC Elite processors into the development roadmaps of DIMM-PC and ETX Computer On Modules allows Kontron to offer the advantages of modular technology in areas such as building security, low-end numerical control, SOHO appliances, GPS/GPRS solutions, set top boxes and in low power test and measuring equipment. Engineers wishing to make use of STPC Elite processors are now no longer limited to developing their own complex designs from scratch. Instead they can use the same processor on a "plug & Play" module and, thus, save time by focusing focus on implementing the application-specific features of their designs on a baseboard. The latest processor to be hosted on Kontron's COMs is the 133 MHz STPC Elite, which is also used in two of Kontron's PC/104 MOPS CPU boards.
Denis Chateau, Product Marketing Manager at STMicroelectronics' Microcontroller Division / CMG remarked: "We're delighted that Kontron has chosen to use our STPC product line in their modules. Kontron will extend the use of these products into application areas that are not directly accessible by ST, potentially leading to a significant growth in sales of these products. Typical volumes for the use of Computer On Modules are up to 50,000 units per year. Beyond these volumes, economy of scale may favor a more direct design, using the semiconductor components without a module concept."
Matthias Huber, product manager for embedded modules at Kontron added: "STPC Elite processors demonstrate an excellent combination of compact size, optimal power consumption, good performance and an availability of five years or more. This is of particular interest to space-critical modules such as our ETX and DIMM-PC. As well as being deployed in classical x86 applications, STPC Elite processors are becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for proprietary embedded intelligence in low-end embedded computer products, since standard PC features are embedded into the processor. These features include Ethernet and embedded web services."
An Evaluation Kit is Born
Kontron and STMicroelectronics' evaluation kit includes a 133 MHz STPC Elite processor, an ETX board with baseboard, a power supply and everything a developer could possibly wish for: A ready to use compiled version of Windows CE.net is supplied pre-installed on a CompactFlash card. The Microsoft Platform Builder 90-day demo license allows access to a suitable development environment and all relevant device drivers. Therefore, initial tests can be carried out immediately after booting Windows CE.net. The evaluation kit is available beginning April 2004 Customers will benefit from Kontron's extensive sales and distribution support and will also save time and money utilizing a ready to use evaluation platform instead of building an own solution . The future launching of similar embedded kits is planned to coincide as closely as possible with the launching of new processors. This will shorten the evaluation phase carried out before the design-in process and thus result in a quicker arrival at mass production. Computer On Modules further reduce development times since they relieve engineers of the most complex design tasks. In addition software engineers save time in software development by using the pre installed Windows CE operating system and Platform Builder. Developers are therefore able to focus on project specific issues such as peripheral integration and development of the application itself.
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