Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Freescale intros Embedded Board Solutions Initiative

embedded world 2012, NUREMBURG, GERMANY: To help manufacturers lower hardware engineering costs, speed time to market and reduce design and software complexity associated with advanced multicore processors, Freescale Semiconductor is working with its extensive ecosystem of board vendors to broaden availability of its processors based on Power Architecture and ARM technologies in standardized, off-the-shelf single board computing (SBC) and system-on-module (SOM) form factors.

The highly flexible solutions resulting from this initiative are expected to allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to focus on differentiating IP instead of lower-level printed circuit board (PCB) hardware and board support package (BSP) software development tasks. The program is intended to provide OEMs and ODMs with board bring-up services, as well as early access to documentation, BSPs and silicon.

“For many years, Freescale has developed a deep ecosystem of board partners, but this new initiative is intended to take availability of our world-class silicon to new levels,” said P.Y. Ferrard, Freescale’s VP of sales and marketing for Global Channel and Ecosystem Partners. “The program’s engineering support and joint marketing efforts are intended to dramatically boost the number of Freescale-based, production-ready systems available from the world’s top board vendors.”

According to preliminary data from IMS Research’s latest study of the global embedded computer board space, the 2011 market totalled more than $3 billion (USD), and is forecast to grow at an average rate of six percent through 2016.

Today at Embedded World, two leading board vendors outlined plans for forthcoming boards based on advanced Freescale multicore processors. Mercury Computer has introduced an OpenVPX system incorporating two QorIQ AMP series T4240 processors, and Kontron plans to have a Computer-on-Module based on Freescale’s i.MX 6 Series technology later this year.

“The support and early access to silicon made possible by Freescale’s embedded board initiative allowed Mercury to create a robust board solution incorporating Freescale's next-generation QorIQ processors at the alpha silicon stage,” said Steve Patterson, VP of Product Management for Mercury. “Freescale has helped us begin creating complex products earlier than ever before. By giving our customers an early indication of the advanced products coming from Mercury Computer, Freescale’s program is a win-win for all involved.”

“Kontron is pleased to extend our strategic relationship with Freescale,” said Dirk Finstel, CTO, Kontron. “Freescale’s embedded board solutions initiative strongly supports Kontron’s aggressive growth plan of providing application-ready platforms, engaging new customer applications and creating new devices. The program allows Kontron to create scalable products on both ARM- and Power Architecture-based products to better address growing application demands such as long-term availability and extended temperature ranges.”

Other board vendors at Embedded World 2012 supporting Freescale QorIQ communications processors and/or i.MX applications processors include Advantech, Boundary Devices, Compulab, Congatec, Digi International, Emerson, iWave Systems, Microsys, MSC, Novtech, Seco and TQ Group.

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