Interview with Martin Steger, iesy

»With OSM we follow the open source concept«

26. November 2021, 12:00 Uhr | Tobias Schlichtmeier
Martin Steger is the managing director of iesy.
© iesy

The OSM standard of the SGeT has been specified since 2020. The embedded specialist iesy already presented the first modules at embedded world, and an evaluation board should have followed at SPS. Martin Steger explains why it is worth investing in OSM modules.

Martin Steger is the owner and managing director of iesy from Meinerzhagen. The company has been developing and manufacturing electronic products for over 55 years. Iesy is a specialist for individual embedded computing solutions. With a network of reliable partners and suppliers, the company helps meet complex requirements with harmonized, modular applications. In doing so, Iesy is actively involved in the development & definition of new standards.

Mr. Steger, what is the origin of the new standard - Open Standard Module (OSM)?

Martin Steger: In September 2019, we launched a working group in the Standardization Group for Embedded Technologies (SGeT) together with our partners Kontron and F&S Elektronik Systeme. The goal was to create a new embedded computer module standard - it should be a simple and cost-effective alternative to previously existing computer module standards. As chairman of the SDT.05 (Standardization Development Team) working group, I was able to incorporate the know-how and preliminary work of iesy's engineers into the new design. A major advantage here was the experience we have gained in the electronics field over more than 55 years.

Thanks to our good access to the embedded market and the daily exchange with the different market participants, we know the requirements and concerns of our customers very well. For example, the desire for highly efficient further processing of computer modules. Just one year later, the working group presented its results and defined the first freely accessible and universal standard for directly solderable and scalable embedded modules.

How do you see the OSM standard taking off?

At embedded world 2020, the first manufacturers - including iesy - presented their concepts for future OSM developments. Our first modules are based on the form factors »Size-0« as well as »Size-S«. At the SPS 2021 trade fair in Nuremberg, we wanted to present these to the professional audience for the first time together with a specially developed evaluation board. At embedded world 2022, we plan to offer the first production-ready modules and the mentioned evaluation board ready for use and delivery for the first tests.

What advantages do you see in the solderable modules of the OSM series?

Certainly the factors such as small size, scalability and cost efficiency should be mentioned here. In terms of size, the »Size-0« with just 15 x 30 mm is almost unique as a defined standard application. The largest module, the »Size-L«, with its 45 x 45 mm is also very compact for its performance class.

In addition, we can further process the modules automatically in the SMT assembly process. This has a very positive effect on the cost structure in production, test & total cost of ownership (TCO). Likewise, the use of expensive connectors is a thing of the past with OSM. With the OSM footprints, a very robust and power-dense connection to the base board is established, so that OSM is also ideally suited for applications in unusual environments. Another advantage is the open source concept on which the standard is based. Data is made available by iesy via a Git repository, which developers worldwide can access directly.

OSM Modul Size-S
An OSM module from iesy in Size-S.
© iesy

For which audience is OSM interesting?

With its broad performance spectrum, OSM covers all requirements of an open embedded system in its maximum configuration. Thus, it is ideally suited for use in edge computing or IoT systems. The small Size-S solder modules already have digital and analog video interfaces, several Gbit LAN ports and a Camera Serial Interface (CSI). On Size-L modules, a total of up to 79 interfaces are available on 662 pins. Developers will be pleased to know that 58 GPIOs are available for future expansion.

What is the current development status in your company and when can we expect the first modules?

In addition to our Size-0 module with ESP32 microcontroller, we wanted to present our Size-S with the Rockchip CPU »PX30« at the SPS in Nuremberg. In addition, we  planned to introduce our evaluation board, on which developers will be able to extensively test OSM modules of all four sizes in the future. Series production will start in the 1st quarter of 2022.

Looking ahead - where do you see OSM in the embedded market in the long term?

I am sure OSM will find its place in the market in the future - because it meets the requirements for flexibility, miniaturization as well as costs from our customers. The current situation of component shortages also illustrates these aspects. With its functions and interfaces, OSM covers a wide range of application areas and is thus suitable for numerous applications.

Thank you very much for the interview Mr. Steger.

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