Kontron launches SMARC Certified Design Partner Program

21 August 2014

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Kontron is launching the SMARC Certified Design Partner Program which has been set up to support customers in application-specific integration of SMARC Computer-on-Modules. Within this programme, customers can make use of the entire scope of hardware integration services ranging from evaluation and development to complete system and software integration. This results in accelerated time-to-market and highly qualified and standard conform implementation of SMARC modules.

Kontron Certified Design Partners are trained on SMARC-based carrierboard designs and offer with their extensive I/O know-how customer-specific carrierboard designs based on SMARC Computer-on-Modules. A further focus in the program is the software aspect of hardware integration, i.e. OS image creation, driver adaptations or the integration building blocks such as the new Intel Gateway Technologies for the Internet of Things. The first SMARC Certified Design Partners to qualify are b-plus, Fortec, HY-LINE, ies, and Next-System.

Jens Wiegand, CTO at Kontron explains: “The Certified Design Partner Program aims to ease the integration of SMARC modules into customer-specific applications. One particularly important goal of the Partner Program is to expand and intensify the individual software services within the hardware integration of the modules and carrierboards to enable engineers to focus on developing new services required for the Internet of Things. So the more application-ready platforms including value adding services are available, the better engineers are equipped to achieve tough roadmap goals.”

Michael Sieg, Managing Director of b-plus GmbH, comments: “For a large number of OEMs, dealing with a new platform such as SMARC presents a challenge. The implementation efforts are becoming more and more complex, especially for all the internet-connected applications with high security demands. Parallel to this, the global competition is stepping up and fast time-to-market is required, even when developer teams are pushed to their capacity limits. It is therefore essential to offer extensive services for efficient hardware integration for ARM as well as x86 appliances accomplished by a fitting software environment making the whole customer systems power saving and reliably working in mobile and extended temperature applications. I’m sure that with our SMARC modules and complementary carrier boards as well as the Kontron Certified Design Partner Program we can offer a very efficient solution to this.”

Sustainability and reliability

Martin Steger, Managing Director of ies GmbH, intelligent embedded systems says: “The SMARC standard has just come at the right time for us. For many years now, we have been active in several markets with demands for ultra low-power, versatile and high-performance Computer-on-Modules. Especially for markets with a long-term view for 10 years and more the SMARC form factor gives a better future sustainability and reliability than any other formfactor on the embedded market today. We can envisage some very attractive projects in these areas and thanks to Kontron’s Certified Partner Program we are in a position to accomplish these for our customers with maximum efficiency.”

Markus Bullinger, Managing Director of Fortec comments: “The standardisation of modules for ARM- and x86-based SoC processors is an essential step in implementing the added value of a standardised form factor in the low-power, SFF appliances arena. The demand for application agility and therefore the flexibility for standard-based cross platform designs is growing fast, so it is a consistent step to extend the proven Kontron Certified Design Partner Program to embrace the SMARC Computer-on-Modules.”

Robert Gausterer, Managing Director of Next-System, explains: “In combination with our display business we offer our customers a high-value chain from one source. Our field of expertise covers, for example, simple machines, like money-counting machines and ranges to mobile display-controlled cashier systems such as are used, for example, in buses and trains. The new SMARC modules are tailored to meet exactly these applications, so that as a Kontron Certified Design Partner we can safely apply our core competences to innovative low-power applications with a high level of flexibility and re-use – even for cross-architecture usage models.”

Guido BrĂ¼ning, Managing Director of HY-LINE says: “Credit card-sized, low-power SoC modules are a great fit for embedded computing designs. Leveraging these SoCs is even more attractive with standardised cross-platform SMARC modules. On top of these standard components, we offer engineers fast entry into the application-specific system configuration with additional, off-the-shelf components, such as displays, latest touch technologies, cover glasses, or SSD memory. We even care for the power supply by providing fully tailored LiIon battery packs. In addition to these standard building blocks, we help engineers in the Kontron Certified Partner Program to set up their dedicated engineering environment in a minimum of time. This includes project-based finetuning of the OS, kernel modification, and the hardware-relevant adaptation of customers’ software. All this contributes to a faster ‘time-to-design-in’ and a higher design-in efficiency.”

For further information on the SMARC Certified Design Partner Program and Kontron SMARC Computer-on-Modules, please visit the SMARC landing page or the dedicated product pages of the latest modules:

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