Kontron has announced the availability of the intelligent power-on built-in test solution Kontron PBIT on its VPX / OpenVPX and VME processor boards which serves to improve the reliability, safety and security of mission critical installations.
Kontron PBIT provides developers, OEMs, system integrators and users a modular and scalable set of uniform test routines to assess the health status and configuration for both boards and complete systems. With this additional feature all levels of the supply chain benefit from Kontron’s power-on built-in test solution PBIT through improved diagnostics, minimised maintenance and reduced debugging efforts. This results in increased availability and improved safety and security for developing, deploying and running embedded and ruggedised systems for the military, aerospace or transportation segments.
The Kontron PBIT is available as an option for all current and future Kontron 3U and 6U VPX / OpenVPX and VME processor boards, where it is stored in a non-volatile memory. Although hosted on the CPU board, Kontron PBIT not only checks the on-board components such as controllers, sensors and RAM, but also looks for peripheral components across the backplane, XMC / PMC slots and those connected via USB and SATA. Especially beneficial to system tests is the innovative learning mode, which enables Kontron PBIT to capture even intricate system configurations.
Compared to the complex procedure of programming the system configuration, capture mode supports OEMs and system integrators with a drastically simplified and more reliable system identification. On deployed systems Kontron PBIT can check the correct system configuration and even identify transient errors such as faulty cables or connectors by comparing the previously captured configuration with the currently identified configuration. Also, it can be used to minimise the risk of security breaches in fielded computers by preventing the system boot when an unauthorised USB stick, for example, is found during the system configuration check.
Kontron PBIT can be automatically launched after the firmware boot by the BIOS or EFI on x86 CPU boards or Uboot on PowerPC CPU boards, or started interactively from the firmware prompt. Independent of the underlying CPU architecture, Kontron PBIT incorporates a common set of firmware sub-commands, thus simplifying the usage even when different CPU boards are being used.
Its modular and scalable structure allows dedicated configuration and customisation enabling easy adaption to the application-specific needs. Furthermore, with Kontron PBIT, OEMs can also use the central CPU board as the main test console, thus centralising system management and consequently further reducing any system maintenance and service work.
The test results from the Kontron PBIT solution are stored in an on-board memory, which is also accessible via the OS making remote access to results possible and a cost-efficient alternative to on-site diagnosis. Furthermore, test results can be accessed via Kontron’s chassis monitoring board (CMB) via the system management bus on VPX and VME backplanes. The results can be visualised to the operator via LEDs at the front of the system or via serial line or network (http or SNMP) for remote solutions facilitating a complete management and test solution with minimal effort.
Kontron PBIT is available now as an option on all future and currently available Kontron VPX / OpenVPX and VME processor boards such as the Kontron VX3030, VX3035, VX3230, VX6060, VM6050 and VM6250 Kontron PBIT is an integral part of all Kontron VPX and VME developer kits, to support system developers and OEMs when developing their individual embedded and ruggedised military, aerospace or transportation applications.