It all started with industrial PCs more than 30 years ago; when the industry began developing specialist PC-based systems designed for continuous use in harsh industrial environments. These devices quickly proved very popular and developed into a class all of their own: the world of Embedded Boards and Modules was born. After the first modular approaches with PC-104 in 1992, the first modern, low-profile module standard appeared in early 2000: The ETX standard invented by Jumptec (today Kontron).
The rest, as they say, is history. Embedded computers have become smaller and smaller and increasingly powerful. Today, the module market is dominated by the three vendor-independent standards: COM express, Qseven and SMARC. The latter two also support non-X86 architectures including various ARM families.
Modules as technology drivers and perfect for IoT clients
SMARC, the latest of these standards (Version 2.0 released in June 2016) has clearly shown what can be done with a footprint of just 82x50mm²! For new projects in particular, SMARC supports a remarkable number of display and peripheral interfaces, not to mention hardware support for time-sensitive networking (TSN). Perhaps, therefore, it’s not so surprising to see such a large number of newly introduced SMARC modules at Embedded World this year (more about SMARC in this WhitePaper).
At the same time COM express continues to excel by delivering maximum computing power - right up to embedded high performance computing (eHPC) - while Qseven is a proven and cost-effective platform for compact industrial and IoT systems (more about COM Express eHPC in this WhitePaper).
Motherboards: cost-efficient all-in-ones
While modules usually require a carrier board, embedded boards (motherboards and single-board computers or SBCs) feature all peripheral interfaces on a single board. If the existing interfaces on the selected board type cover your specifications these boards represent a fast, secure and very cost-effective solution.
Kontron recognizes the many diverse challenges of the embedded industry. These demand increasingly innovative solutions. Flexibility and know-how are compulsory in order to find the right solution to a specific problem. With this, software integration becomes more and more important; especially in the context of cloud integration or linking with the (industrial) internet of things. Various operating systems, such as Windows, Linux or even real-time operating systems have been integrated using specific board support packages (BSPs) in line with the respective hardware platform. This means that customers receive pre-integrated, out-of-the-box solutions, allowing them the freedom to focus entirely on their application software or app.
Boards & more
Providing assistance in planning and system architecture, Kontron enables its customers to create connectivity by design. For example, when creating specific module carrier boards, customers can use extensive toolkits and individual training and coaching provided by experienced on-site Kontron engineers. If required, the Kontron service team will provide further support to accelerate development cycles. This may be for the realization of special interfaces on the carrier board, the development of a baseboard or even a full-custom board of any kind and design. The support available covers all relevant areas including processor and operating system selection, board technology, cooling concept, chassis selection and network integration.
Furthermore, Kontron can call on the additional support of its parent company, S&T, with its many years of experience in the IT, cloud and server sectors.
The key to security
The intrinsic security design of Kontron boards and modules is complemented by the optional Approtect solution developed with its partner WIBU. Approtect is not dependent on a specific platform and is available for most Kontron embedded systems. Not only does it enhance security it also enables completely new licensing and business models for the applications and apps of Kontron’s customers.
We’re on trend at Embedded World 2018!
In addition to addressing the ongoing hot topic of security, Kontron is in perfect harmony with the main topics and trends being featured at Embedded World 2018. These include solutions for
high-end edge and embedded computing (eHPC) for which Kontron is showcasing its innovative range of embedded cloud and real-time networking with TSN modules, as well as new SMARC solutions.
So, if you’re attending Embedded World 2108, do take the opportunity of visiting Kontron on booth 1-478 in hall 1. Our know-how is the key to your solution!
All Kontron boards and modules are designed in Germany and built to the highest German quality standards. They are suitable for continuous use under the harshest industrial conditions and adhere to all recognized embedded computing industry standards. Kontron has more than 30 years of experience in embedded computing and with this brings the peace of mind of a big brand when it comes to all service matters.
If you are interested, discover more on our website: www.kontron.com