Charge SOM: The one SOM to charge them all

09.04.2024
 · 
3 min read

Chargebyte brings their first charge controller based on NXP Semiconductors chip exclusively, running Open Source EVerest technology stack

Chargebyte announced at Embedded World 2024 a charge controller based on an NXP® Semiconductors applications processor running the EVerest technology stack. The newly developed chargebyte “Charge SOM” fully supports the EVerest technology stack for EV charging and comes with extended enterprise support for EVerest, based on PIONIX solution BaseCamp. This joint product development is a further important milestone as the EV charging industry is increasingly focusing on reducing incompatibility and improving reliability and interoperability.

In light of the growing use of electric vehicles these efforts are crucial to reach the next scale level of e-mobility for which a better charging experience will be decisive. The decision by chargebyte to use LF Energy EVerest stresses the need for a uniform software basis to achieve these goals. LF Energy EVerest is an open source modular framework for EV charging, consisting of multiple modules which can be configured and customized for any necessary use case.

EVerest covers many major industry standards, such as ISO 15118-2/-20, OCPP 1.6/2.0.1 (OCPP 2.1 planned), IEC 61851, CHAdeMO (planned), as well as flexible logic to connect all of them. The EVerest project was initiated by PIONIX GmbH and contributed to Linux Foundation Energy in early 2022. It is licensed under the commercially friendly Apache 2.0 license.

Specifications Charge SOM

The Charge SOM integrates all common features and interfaces for versatile AC and DC charge controllers. It is based on a PHYTEC phyCORE-i.MX93 System on Module (SOM) and will be produced by PHYTEC. The embedded manufacturer will also develop and produce customized baseboards for the Charge SOM, to significantly reduce time to market.

Alex Dopplinger, Global Marketing Director for the Building and Energy Segment at NXP, endorses this strong collaboration between hardware, software and system vendors: "We are excited to see how EV charging equipment makers can leverage this open-source, scalable, and flexible solution to speed up product development and reduce support effort across a broad range of platform types."

Martin Kranzfelder, Chief Product Owner at chargebyte and visionary behind the Charge SOM concept, expresses: "The Charge SOM module offers an exceptionally adaptable means of integrating charging controllers into AC and DC charging stations. It distinguishes itself as an open-platform solution within the industry, often compared to the Raspberry Pi for its versatility and tailored precision to meet charging station demands. Its introduction marks a significant achievement for our company.”

Marco Möller, Co-Founder and PIONIX CEO, is enthusiastic about the Charge SOM: “When we started the EVerest project, we chose two principles to guide our work: standardization and adaptability. It's great to see that Chargebyte does not only share these principles, but also embrace them in the Charge SOM".

Mario Haas, who leads the EV charging efforts at PHYTEC, remarks: “The Charge SOM reflects our dedication to delivering practical solutions for AC/DC charge controllers. Utilizing our expertise with the phyCORE-i.MX93 System on Module and our SBC+ service for customized mainboard designs, we are able to streamline integration and accelerate the time to market.”

Tech Specs Charge SOM

Host Controller

  • i.MX 93 applications processor (1.7 GHz / 1 GB RAM / 8 GB eMMC)

Supported Standards

  • ISO 15118-3 (HomePlug GreenPHY)
  • IEC 61851 / SAE J1772 (Basic EV signaling)

Safety (Co-Processor)

IEC 61508 for:

  • CP Monitor
  • 4 x PT1000 Sensors
  • Switch Control
  • Isolation Monitoring

Security

  • EdgeLock® SE050 Secure Element for plug and trust hardware-based key storage
  • RTC for precise timekeeping
  • Integrated EdgeLock secure enclave in i.MX 93 applications processor

Interfaces

  • USB: 2 ports for versatile connectivity
  • Ethernet: 1 x 10/100 Mbit/s
  • SPI: 2 channels for serial communication with peripherals
  • RS232 TTL: 3 channels for serial data transmission
  • CAN: 2 channels (RX/TX) for robust, error-resistant communication
  • LVDS: 1 channel for high-speed data transfer
  • Specialized inputs/outputs: CP, PP, PE, PLC_P, PLC_N for control and monitoring of charging processes
  • PT1000: 4 channels
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