Kontron’s chassis monitoring board CMB enables effective condition monitoring and management for VME and VPX systems

12th September 2011
ES Admin
The new Kontron chassis monitoring board CMB is a unified solution for VPX and VME systems to streamline system monitoring and management of rugged applications. The Kontron CMB centralizes out-of-band monitoring and management of installed boards and relevant system parameters such as temperature, airflow and power supply in mission-critical COTS systems with high demands on reliability, availability and ruggedness. OEMs and system developers will benefit from the Kontron CMB, which is already deployed in VME chassis used for a satellite navigation system program, through optimized application development and improved Total Cost of Ownership.
The new Kontron CMB is the synthesis of Kontron's experience in delivering highly available (99.999%+ uptime) telco systems with the expertise of 20 years of rugged embedded computing expertise. Instead of relying solely on chipset and firmware implemented management features, the Kontron CMB uses the proven and tested approach of an additional monitoring hardware. This helps OEMs to optimize system availability since a reset or system crash does not influence the crucial monitoring and management solution. Additionally, the Kontron CMB is designed for multi-board and multi-vendor environments, as it is based on common interface technology such as I²C and GPIOs to provide comprehensive out-of-band chassis management and monitoring functionality.

Its high MTBF, according to the MIL-HDBK217F-2 standard, ensures its success in a wide range of environments from ground benign conditions (603,005 h at 25°C) to extremely demanding air rotary wing applications (20,485 h at 55°C). Its extremely compact footprint and low power requirements (< 1 W) simplifies system development for space-restricted applications. System designers can use the chassis monitoring board to continuously and simultaneously monitor and control up to eight power modules, eight temperature sensors and eight fans in addition to out-of-band monitoring and management of up to eight installed VME or VPX boards is possible. Beyond monitoring, OEMs can use the Kontron CMB to remotely power up / down and reset boards, fans and power supplies. This enables additional functionality such as variable computing capacity to allow minimal power consumption while the system operates in surveillance mode, switching to maximum computing capacity in activity mode. This also allows the Kontron CMB to disable an interface that is not working correctly or has been compromised. Furthermore, the Kontron CMB collects and forwards relevant data on the installed boards including inventory information, health status and boot stage. This simplifies the lifecycle management of VME- or VPX-based field replaceable units and helps to minimize their TCO

The Kontron chassis monitoring board CMB features an integrated microcontroller which runs a multi-threaded monitoring application on the Freescale MQX real-time OS. The multi-thread approach of the monitoring software enables extremely fast response times and a short boot time of less than a second. The Kontron CMB also performs comprehensive self-tests to check components and safeguard the correct monitoring functionality. Communication to remote applications or higher application software can be carried out via command line interface on a serial line or via Ethernet. Furthermore, an integrated TCP/IP stack provides support for DHCP, Telnet and HTTP for LAN- and WAN-based solutions.

The Kontron CMB is available now as a board or as an option in Kontron’s preconfigured VME and VPX development platforms for quick and simple application evaluation.

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