Kontron EAPI simplifies access and control of hardware resources - Embedded.com

Kontron EAPI simplifies access and control of hardware resources

With the launch of its Kontron Embedded Application Programming Interface (Kontron EAPI), Kontron has standardized the access and control of hardware resources for embedded applications. Kontron EAPI is compliant to the PICMG’s EAPI but is independent of form factors and operating systems. The platform has an extended feature set, including a library of API functions for getting information from all new Kontron embedded computing platforms.

The new EAPI helps to minimize OEMs’ development work and the time spent on initial designs up to cross-platform migrations, including validation and verification. Kontron’s EAPI enables remote monitoring and control functionalities, resulting in improved service, easier maintenance and a lower total cost of ownership.

The first products to be fitted with the new Kontron EAPI are the Kontron embedded motherboard KTQ45, the Kontron COM Express Computer-on-Module nanoETXexpress-SP and Kontron’s MICROSPACE MPCX line of industrial PCs. All new platforms to be launched after this announcement will also be supported. No matter what Kontron platform is used in the future, developers will find an identical set of function calls for dedicated tasks.

The software interfaces to the hardware can be easily linked to any higher programming language like C++ or Java, making software and application development a much simpler job. Moreover, developers can utilize the knowledge that has gone into creating the solution, even when migrating to another Kontron platform. This ensures the best time to market as well as reducing the amount of work needed for validation and verification.

OEMs can even leverage the Kontron EAPI to offer value-adding services to their customers. Some possible value-adds include, but are not limited to, remote hardware monitoring and enhanced servicing plans.

“We want to reduce R&D costs for our customers. With Kontron EAPI they can handle the fast technology changes much easier. Due to standardization the complexity to access I/Os is now dramatically reduced. And this not just for a single board, but across all platforms”, explains .

Kontron EAPI is compliant to the PICMG’s EAPI as defined in the latest COM Express specification, COM.0 Rev. 2, but extends its feature set by additional function calls such as basic system information (e.g. CPU, memory, HDD, battery), temperature and voltage monitoring, CPU performance and thermal control. Moreover, Kontron EAPI includes more form factors — from AdvancedTCA to VPX — and all functions can be called remotely via internet. Developers using this will benefit from the safety of an independently standardized programming interface combined with high convenience and an extended feature set.

Dirk Finstel, CTO of Kontron, explains how the Kontron EAPI differs from existing standards: “Some standards already exist, of course, such as IPMI, and PICMG’s EAPI. But these are limited to dedicated form factors and functionalities. With Kontron EAPI we’ve combined the best features of all major standards, added further enhancements and provide now most easy usability – on all Kontron platforms. We provide a middleware package that unifies the way all Kontron embedded platforms are handled, independent from form factor or OS. This isn’t only for one product category, but for our entire product range. Since the different form factors are handled by different organizations, we think that a company-driven cross-platform approach is the ideal focal point for such a demanding task. We will add further capabilities as soon as they are feasible for scalability and standardization. So Kontron EAPI 1.0 is just the first step in achieving highly convenient system integration.”

For more information, visit www.kontron.com.

The Kontron Global Software Design Center
Through the Kontron Global Software Design Center, Kontron has extended its in-house design services for customer applications. While continuing to offer local software support, the Kontron Global Software Design Center is the company’s central service point for handling the increasingly complex software functionalities of customers’ embedded computing solutions.

For more information about the Kontron Global Software Design Center, visit the Kontron Design Center.

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