Strength in numbers
Kaufbeuren, Germany, January 19, 2006: Kontron AG has joined with four other companies to found the E²Brain Interest Group (Embedded Electronic Brain): these pioneering companies are MAZeT and Ultratronik, both from Germany, Odyssee (France), and UniControls (Czech Republic). The goal of the E²Brain Interest Group is the joint development and marketing of RISC-based COMs designed around E²Brain the recently published COM standard from Kontron. The creation of this interest group reinforces E²Brains claims as a new standard. Users will benefit from an expanded range of available services for E²Brain and a greater range of RISC-COM products. By the middle of 2006, membership of the E²Brain Industrial Group should be approximately 15 companies; not only COM manufacturers, but also COM integrators and OEMs are invited to join the E²Brain Interest Group. Interested parties can find more information about the E²Brain Interest Group at www.e2brain-ig.com
"The foundation of the E²Brain Interest Group became necessary sooner than we had hoped when we published the E²Brain standard," says Norbert Hauser, Vice-President Marketing with Kontron AG. Additional E²Brain boards will be developed and brought to market at a rapid pace. Therefore, in order to ensure uniform global development of the E²Brain standards, it was necessary to found an open E²Brain consortium. "Our goal is to make E²Brain modules the state-of-the-art technology for embedded RISC designs within a few years and thus decisively change the market for customer-specific development of RISC-based solutions," comments Winfried Wolf, Product Manager for E²Brain, on the founding of the interest group. The success of ETX in the x86 field underlines how much the odds are in favor. Today the ETX Interest Group standard, published by Kontron in 2000, is the undisputed market leader in its segment.
How seriously the founding members take the further development of E²Brain is shown by the current reference designs, which do not come just from Kontron: MAZeT recently launched the E²Brain-compliant MEB 5200 with MPC5200 from Freescale. In addition to standard PC interfaces such as PCI, IDE, USB, and 10/100 Mb Ethernet, industrial standards such as CAN, I²C, or SPI are also available. Ultratronik will soon be offering an E²Brain called UMC-AU1550 with AMD Au1550 and integrated security engine from SafeNet. Odyssee, in turn, sees its own strengths in customer-specific designs. For example, as a specialist for rugged designs, Odyssee has recently designed Kontrons EB8540/41 into an internal communication facility for a submarine. UniControlls strengths are in the development of industrial controls and rail traffic technology.
The names of the E²Brain Interest Group founding members should send a signal to OEMs: the members of the interest group offer full service, second source as needed, and a broadly diversified E²Brain portfolio. While there were six E²Brain COMs at the publication of E²Brain, today there are already eight, and by the Embedded World there should be twelve E²Brain COMs available. Thus, the E²Brain Interest Group also fulfills seismographic functions for state-of-the-art processors in the field of embedded RISC technology.
The new E²Brain open computer-on-module standard offers an economical option for cost-sensitive embedded computer applications, an area where proprietary designs have so far dominated. The use of exchangeable and scalable standard modules offers system integrators a considerably reduced time to market. Until 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 and extended temperature range. The E²Brain specifications are available for download at http://www.e2brain-ig.com.