Kontron Publishes Embedded Electronic Brain Specs for RISC-based COMs

6/14/2005 - 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 standard for RISC-based systems available worldwide. Kontron has already received expressions of interest from other potential manufacturers. The specification is available for download at www.e2brain.com/Specification.pdf.

The new E2Brain open Computer-On-Module standard offers an economical option for cost-sensitive embedded computer applications, an area where proprietary designs have dominated so far. 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.

Partners are welcome
Kontron is about to open discussions with other providers and OEMs in order to push forward the establishment of an E2Brain consortium. The objective of this consortium will be 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 Norbert Hauser, Vice President Marketing EMEA with Kontron AG. “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," adds Hauser.

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of embedded computer technology, Kontron has initiated the development of a variety of today’s recognized 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 kicked off a new standard for RISC-based solutions as well.

E2Brain offers steadily growing
To date, four evaluation kits had been made available. In parallel with the publication of the specification, Kontron has now released two more evaluation and development kits to the market 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) – and the integration of all the necessary drivers – and the complete package of hardware equipment for the kits, including the power supply, RAM, etc., 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.

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