The new Kontron MARS (Mobile Application platform for Rechargeable Systems) modular development platform facilitates the development and implementation of efficient power supplies for mobile applications. MARS is an optimized reference design for ETX, ETXexpress (COM Express-compliant), and microETXexpress solutions and is easily transferable into customer-specific designs. Apart from management interfaces for smart batteries, helpful power features such as extended input voltage ranges (i.e. industrial voltage ranges or voltage for in-vehicle PCs), connection possibilities for all ATX voltages, and backup battery support for battery replacement during operation are offered by the modular reference design.
In a first step, MARS will be available as a complete evaluation board for Kontron's ETX-PM with an Intel Pentium M processor in connection with the ETX-eval starter kit in January 2007. Additional board support packages for COMs from Kontron will follow in February 2007. The Kontron MARS reference design is supplied as an evaluation board including IP (Intellectual Property) that is ready to use out of the box. Kontron makes the MARS design layout and switching data available in ORCAD format. Simply copy and paste into the custom baseboard layout. Customers thereby profit from an extremely short time to prototype.
The Kontron MARS reference design manages up to 2 smart batteries. Depending on the application, the smart batteries can be operated with or without the support of the operating system. Extended energy management can be programmed via the standard SM bus accesses. Via the Kontron MARS, important data such as state of charge and temperature for the smart batteries, current MARS states, and much more information can be analyzed for energy management.
Kontron MARS Reference Designs:
- The smart battery system manages the charging and discharging processes of up to 2 smart batteries in parallel (ca. 10% more yield) or serial operation. Transfer of the SBS state data, e.g., state of charge and temperature, is done via an SMbus on ETX, ETXexpress and microETXexpress baseboards;
- The input buck-boost converter extends the input voltage range to 5-28 V and enables power supply with an ATX power supply unit or DC voltage;
- An ATX-compliant power supply is available, through a dual buck converter, for ETX, ETXexpress and microETXexpress COMs. It supplies voltages of 5 V, 5 V_STB, and 12 V as well as connection options for - 5 V and - 12 V or + 3.3 V via a DC/DC switching controller.
- The buck-boost converter increases the battery output voltage if a backup battery with Vmin < 12 V is used.
An evaluation board for the connection of 2 smart batteries, a manual including functional descriptions, and 1 SM bus and 2 ATX power cables are included are included in every Kontron MARS package. The MARS starter kit from Kontron will be available in January 2007.