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Embedded Patch-board Controller

emBRICK is an open-source, modular-plugin I/O-hardware for direct sensor/actor adaption in a  professional environment.

By using an efficient and compact open frame construction and a simple SPI coupling method, it is an unique applicable embedded control solution form 1 to more than 1000 I/Os.

This new class of controllers we simply call EPC (= Embedded Patch-board Controller).


emBRICK is a single master, multiple slave I/O-system. The different modules can be plugged together to get the required amount of I/Os. This combines in a perfect way the cost-efficient and tailored characteristics of a dedicated embedded system with the ready to use and flexibility of a PLC system.

Master-Bricks – the brain

  • Every embedded controller can act as an master (stack-codes available)
  • Intelligent Master (standalone) or coupling mode
  • Available masters platforms:
    PIC24, PIC32, Cortex-M3, Cortex-M4, ARM9, ARM11

Slave-Bricks – the workers

  • typical dimensions: 44/55/66/88/110 x 72 x 10 mm
  • low power (typical 50mW/module)
  • simle cores: PIC16F15xx, PIC24FJxx (others planed)
  • over 40 different modues with varoius usage available
  • economic open frame solution with optional cover

Typical Usage

Bricks can be used by different mechanical mounting. Typical installation types are:

Single – as Expansion

Patch-Board – as unit in small enclosures

Top-Hat Rail – for use in a control cabinet

Merge – to become a customized solution

Test with emBRICKTest with emBRICK

Open & Free

To ensure a high acceptance, it is an open and free system. E.g. besides buying existing devices, everyone can develop and produce his own emBRICK components to realize easily his individually tailored, cost-efficient and industrial-suited measure and control system.

Become a partner.

Use a standard and open source hardware/software system like many others plattforms do (Rasberry Pi, Beaglebone, Arduino, …).

After signing the cost free licens agreement you can get the circuit diagrams of various standard boards and the protocol-stack software.

With this you are able to develop and produce customized boards for your own usage (also commercial).

Only mass producing EMS (without an own application) have to pay a licence fee of 1€ per brick.


Beside the simple hardware installation, also the low level drivers are generic and aupplies an automatic configuration. This works together with many establiesche application programming systems together. You can concentrate on you application software.


When deveoping emBRICK the focus was to realize small and mid-size control systems as a replacement for a classic PLC but also of an embedded System.

The mission of emBRICK is an open and free I/O system to

“build compact and industrial suited electronic control systems by assembling small existing/own embedded boards (bricks)”

via a SPI-based local interface and optional remote buses (LAN, WLAN, CAN, RSxxx, …).


emBRICK combines in a perfect way the cost-efficient and tailored characteristics of a dedicated embedded system with the ready to use and flexibility of a PLC system.

Programming Platforms

emBRICK can be programmed by various system, languages and IDEs (=integrated development interface). Currently for master units the following systems are available (others planed):

  • OS / RTOS
    Windows, Linux, FreeRTOS, proprietary
  • Programming languages
    C, C++, IEC61131, Model-based (by implementing UML)
  • Model-based / Soft-PLC
    CODESYS, radCASE, Enterprise Architect
  • C, C++, IDEs
    MSVC, Coocox (GCC), MPLab (Microchip), Geany (Rasberry Pi), every other C/C++ IDE