congatec and Kontron sign COM-HPC evaluation carrier board standardisation agreement

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The two leading embedded and edge computing companies, congatec and Kontron, have concluded a cooperation agreement to standardise the design schematics of COM-HPC evaluation carrier boards.

The agreement will also see the publication of these schematics in public design guides.

The goal is to improve design security through standardisation, to reduce OEMs’ NRE costs, and to accelerate their time-to-market for new modular high-performance embedded and edge computing solutions based on the new COM-HPC standard.

The two German competitors will cooperate not only to improve standardisation but also to raise supply security through dual sourcing strategies. Global supply bottlenecks have drastically increased OEMs’ sensitivity over the past two years and the two companies are looking to address this need for high supply chain security by improving interoperability through joint carrier board design initiatives.

congatec and Kontron said that they will increasingly focus on plug & play capabilities so that Computer-on-Modules from either vendor can be used on any evaluation carrier board from either company to enable real multi-vendor COM and carrier strategies.

The initial focus of the cooperation is the standardisation of evaluation carrier boards for the COM-HPC Client and Server form factors, with further module standards such as COM Express and SMARC to follow.

Customers will now be able to use not only the design guides but also the carrier board layouts as best practice benchmarks for their own designs. As international threat scenarios have increased, the new standardised and interoperable evaluation carrier boards will follow highest cybersecurity requirements.

“This cooperation represents a new level of standardisation. Even with the different module specifications and official PICMG carrier board design guides, there are still only a few efforts to ensure real interoperability on the evaluation carrier board level. And up to the application level, for that matter. It is therefore very valuable that we will now tackle these challenges together to achieve ultimate application-ready interoperability”, explained Konrad Garhammer, COO and CTO at congatec.

Previously both companies have worked closely together in the PICMG and SGET standardisation committees and having played a significant role in shaping current standards.

“Based on this experience, we are convinced that the carrier board standardization efforts will also be executed with mutual appreciation of the respective inputs,” emphasises Michael Riegert, CEO Kontron Europe and COO IoT Europe, Executive Board Member at Kontron AG.

Both companies emphasize that the cooperation relates exclusively to the standardisation of evaluation carrier boards and that module development will remain strictly separate, as this core business is highly competitive.