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PCIe—Poised to Dominate the Future of Backplanes? The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

September 2007

www.rtcmagazine.com

3U VPX On Target for Small, "Ruff and REDI?"

An RTC Group Publication

Squeeze Multiprocessor Designs onto Multicore High Availability: Can You Manage It?


GE Fanuc Embedded Systems

MicroTCA™ minus the surprises. Application-ready platforms take the ‘time’ out of time to market. The process of getting a hardware platform up and running can be full of nasty little surprises, like cooling issues, interoperability problems, power distribution challenges and even component availability. Unless, of course, you choose a pre-validated, pre-tested and pre-integrated MicroTCA™ platform from GE Fanuc Embedded Systems. We spend a lot of time putting the system together for you, so you can spend your time fine-tuning your applications. With one of our systems, you can jump right in, knowing that all the cards speak to each other and to the MCH, that the OS and drivers work, that the IPMI

functions flawlessly and that you just got a huge jump on your competition. To make things go even smoother, we have developed one of the biggest selections of AdvancedMC™ cards on the planet. Everything from Cavium Octeon™ packet processors to Intel® Pentium® M processors, Gigabit Ethernet to OC-12, and VGA to GPS. With our pre-validated systems and AdvancedMC selection, the only surprise you may encounter is just how easy MicroTCA can be.

MicroTCA 2000 Prevalidated Modular Platform

www.gefanucembedded.com/microtca

© 2007 GE Fanuc Embedded Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


TABLEOF CONTENTS September 2007

Departments

5 Editorial There’s Got to be a Better Way Industry Insider developments in the 7 Latest Embedded Marketplace Publisher’s Letter

Form-Factor Boards 11 Small Up and Coming & Technology 40 Products Newest Embedded Technology used by Industry Leaders

Technology in Context The Future Face of Backplanes

12 PCI Express

Steve Cooper, One Stop Systems

Solutions Engineering

3U VPX:

On Target for Small, Ruff and REDI Cover Photo: Designed for space-constrained applications, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing’s 3U VPX3-125 is a next step in the evolution of rugged small form-factor Single Board Computers.

VME, VPX and Beyond

VPX: Small, Rugged and REDI 20 3U Michael Monroe, Elma Bustronic

VPX: Rugged, High28 3U Performance Small Form-

Factor COTS Comes of Age Jing Kwok, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing

Industry Insight

From Multiprocessor to Multicore

16

28 CompactPCIe Form-Factors

3U VPX Board with Single or Dual Power Architecture Cores and Two 4-Lane PCI Express fabric ports

from Multiprocessors 34 Moving to Multiple Cores William Lundgren, Kerry Barnes and James Steed, Gedae

Software and Development Tools Managing High Availability

Driving High-Availability

44 Latest Core 2 Duo Embedded CPU Powers COM & XTX Modules

45

New LabView 8.5 Supports Multicore Development for Embedded Design

Environments 38 Operating through Open Source John Fryer, Motorola Embedded Communications Computing

Building a Highly Available

Station Controller Using 46 Base COTS Components Asif Naseem, GoAhead Software

Digital Subscriptions Available at www.rtcgroup.com

September 2007




september 2007 Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, johnr@r tcgroup.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Warren Andrews, warrena@r tcgroup.com

Editorial

EDITOR-IN - CHIEF Tom Williams, tomw@r tcgroup.com MANAGING EDITOR Rebecca Bauer, rebeccab@r tcgroup.com COPY EDITOR Rochelle Cohn

Art/Production

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jason Van Dorn, jasonv@r tcgroup.com ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, kirstenw@r tcgroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christopher Saucier, chriss@r tcgroup.com DIRECTOR OF WEB DEVELOPMENT Marke Hallowell, markeh@r tcgroup.com WEB DEVELOPER Brian Hubbell, brianh@r tcgroup.com

Advertising/Web Advertising WESTERN REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Stacy Gandre, stacyg@r tcgroup.com (949) 226 -2024 WESTERN REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Lauren Hintze, laurenh@r tcgroup.com (949) 226 -2014 EASTERN REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Nancy Vanderslice, nancy v@r tcgroup.com (978) 443 -2402 EMEA SALES MANAGER Marina Tringali, marinat@r tcgroup.com (949) 226 -2020

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industry

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

To Contact RTC magazine:

Free Online www.rtcmagazine.com Spotlighting the Trends and Breakthroughs in the Design, Development and Technology of Embedded Computers. Search Archived Editions along with the Latest News in the Embedded Community. www.rtcmagazine.com

HOME OFFICE The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, www.rtcgroup.com EASTERN SALES OFFICE The RTC Group, 96 Dudley Road, Sudbury, MA 01776 Phone: (978) 443-2402 Fax: (978) 443-4844 Editorial Office Warren Andrews, Editorial Director/Associate Publisher 39 Southport Cove, Bonita, FL 34134 Phone: (239) 992-4537 Fax: (239) 992-2396 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief 245-M Mt. Hermon Rd., PMB#F, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 Phone: (831) 335-1509 Fax: (408) 904-7214

An RTC Group Publication



September 2007

Published by The RTC Group Copyright 2007, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.


september 2007

EDITORIAL

There’s Got to be a Better Way by Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

H

ere we sit at the beginning of the 21st century burning oil and coal. Not only that, we are also tearing up the planet to find them and fighting wars to control oil, at least. Everybody knows this can’t continue, that resources will get scarcer and hence more expensive, but here we sit like some dazed drug addict refusing to acknowledge the situation. And at this point I’m just talking about generating electricity. Transportation is a whole different, albeit related, matter. The vast majority of our electricity is produced by electromagnetic induction, which as we all know, involves moving a conductor through a magnetic field causing current to flow in the conductor. The process essentially converts kinetic energy into electricity—with varying degrees of efficiency. We build enormous power plants, coal-fired, oil-fired, nuclear plants and hydroelectric dams fitted with huge generators whose mighty armatures turn to produce our power. And, with the exception of hydroelectric, how do we turn these generators? By boiling water. Yes, coal, oil and nuclear-powered plants all boil water to turn turbines that run the generators and that has consequences that we have taken for granted for generations. One of them is centralization. Large facilities being more efficient than small ones, the motivation is toward centralized power plants. The inefficiency that comes from this is the losses incurred in distribution over the grid. We’ve been doing it this way since the 20s and the grid that has evolved over that time is so rickety and vulnerable to attack that the power industry is terrified of making any major changes. Even newer sources of alternative energy like wind power tend to be concentrated where there is a good source of kinetic energy, namely wind, to turn the propellers that turn the generators. Anyone who has driven through California’s large wind farms will appreciate that they are there because that’s where the wind is. Many of the gains achieved by using wind are still offset by the inefficiency of centralized distribution. Now what does all this rehashing of our antique power grid have to do with embedded systems? A lot. For producing power, “There’s got to be a better way.” There is so far only one proven technology that produces electricity by a means other than electromagnetic induction and that is solar

power. Advances in efficiency, life expectancy and fabrication (such as solar film) are coming at a furious rate. There are roof shingle solar panels and even grid-synchronous panels that have internal inverters to connect directly to the grid. Solar panels inherently lend themselves to decentralization—but only under a new distribution model that would heavily depend on distributed computer processing and networking, technologies that are already well understood. There have been attempts in Germany to install large solar facilities that cover whole hillsides and they have led to opposition over spoiling whole areas of land. This is not only symptomatic of backward thinking; it is also unnecessary. We still need a grid. But with intelligent metering and networking, distribution can be kept much more localized than it is today with attendant reduction of transmission losses. Organizations like the Zigbee Alliance are already pioneering wireless distributed metering to eliminate sending meter readers around in trucks every month. By the same token, intelligent meters at every solar node could easily take advantage of recent developments in powerful, small form-factor boards with on-board networking, both wireless and wired Internet, to start building a modern, efficient solar-based power grid with panels on virtually every rooftop. Power bills would then reflect the power that a given node contributed to the grid versus how much was drawn off the grid in a given period. These would have to communicate with central servers for both billing and load balancing, as well as working with the existing centralized facilities on the new grid. As an added advantage, such a decentralized intelligent grid with huge numbers of distributed networked nodes would be far less vulnerable to attack and massive outages than the precarious thing we’re dealing with today. It would represent a huge opportunity for applying embedded control, monitoring and networking for participating vendors in addition to those developing and supplying the underlying solar technology. We can go on this way or we can change. And we can change by taking advantage of our technology and our initiative as a massive economic and national opportunity because, “There’s got to be a better way.” September 2007




THE ADVANTAGES ARE CLEAR Motorola is the clear choice for MicroTCA™. Motorola’s cutting edge MicroTCA products can help cut your costs, risk and design cycle while increasing your flexibility. Whether your applications need specific I/O, flexible packaging, ruggedization or a choice of processors, we can customize solutions to meet your needs. That’s why our MicroTCA products are quickly being adopted for network-centric applications across telecommunications, defense, aerospace, industrial and medical industries. Looking for a clear advantage over the competition? HELLOMOTO™ See why Motorola should be your first choice for MicroTCA solutions at: motorola.com/computing/MTCA

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. MicroTCA and the MicroTCA logo are trademarks of PICMG. All other products or service names are the property of their respective owners. © Motorola, Inc. 2007. All rights reserved.


IndustryInsider september AUGUST 2007

Both companies are heavily committed to the VITA 46/48 (VPX/ VPX-REDI) standards; this commitment combined with Micro Three years after the 2004 launch of the ETXexpress specification, which has become the Memory’s Serial RapidIO IP will PICMG COM Express (COM.0) standard, Kontron has defined a new footprint variant of the Combolster VMetro’s VPX product puter-On-Modules (COMs) standard: nanoETXexpress. introduction. The nanoETXexpress specification is targeted to deliver power-saving COMs with mid- to highIn addition to providing performance x86 technology on a footprint of only 55 mm x 84 mm. This is 39 percent of the origiVMetro a broader embedded nal COM Express module Basic form-factor 125 x 95 mm footprint and 51 percent of microETXexproduct portfolio, the acquisition is intended to enable further dipress (95 mm x 95 mm). The new COM form-factor follows the PICMG COM Express standard and versification into a new market will be 100 percent compliant with the COM.0 Type 1 connector. The locations of the identically sector for the company through mapped pin-outs will also be 100 percent COM.0-compliant. sales of Micro Memory’s Umem According to Kontron, the goal of the nanoETXexpress specification is to build PCIe-based NVRAM cards. These products COMs on the smallest possible form-factor. Many new applications that will benefit from the nano are solid-state, non-volatile ranGet Connected with technology and size include handheld units for medical, companies providingmobile solutionsdata now solutions and other emerging applications dom access PCI memory cards that have not been possible as of yet due to resource size restrictions. The specification documentation for that increase performance while Get Connected is a new for further exploration nanoETXexpress will be under a non-disclosure agreement intoavailable products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal in Q4 2007. Kontron plans to maintaining reliability in storage is to research the latest datasheet a company, launch its first nanoETXexpress-based COM from in Q2 2008. speak directly servers and appliances that are with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the currently utilized by leading Tier goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. I/II OEMs to satisfy applications level of service you require is foran whatever type ofmilestone technology, VMetro Acquires Micro Arch Rock, Whichever Sensinode stration important in the rapidly growing segments Get Connected will help illustrating you connect with the companies and productsMemory how open standards Conduct First of Enterprise Network Storage. you are searching for. will accelerate the adoption of VMetro and Micro Memory Interoperability Test of With this acquisition, www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected wireless sensor networks. The have announced that VMetro has IETF 6LoWPAN Standard VMetro expects to leverage Milong-standing IETF emphasis acquired 100% of the shares of Wireless sensor network cro Memory’s U.S.-based operaon ‘rough consensus and runMicro Memory. VMetro is a provendors Arch Rock and Sensinode tions, which will enable selling ning code’ is highlighted here vider of embedded computing, have conducted the first successinto programs where U.S. Engiin a pragmatic standard leading data recording, storage and protoful interoperability demonstration neering and Manufacturing facilrapidly to multi-vendor interopercol analyzer products for over 20 of the IETF 6LoWPAN standard ities are strongly favored—espeGet Connected with technology and companies providing now ability.” years.solutions Micro Memory, a privately for IPv6 communication over the cially those programs that involve Get Connected resource for further exploration technologies and companies. Whether sensitive your goal is information to research the latest whose technical teaminto products, held U.S.-based company with IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radio. is a newCuller, subject to speakRock directlymade with ansubstantial Application Engineer, or jump to ain company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you at Arch headquarters Chatsworth, CalThe test, completed datasheet early in from July,a company, United States International Trafin touch with the right contributions resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, to the draft stanifornia, has provided board-level was the first to show two indefic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Get Connected will help yousaid, connect with the companies and products you are searching for. dard, “Over the past decade products for streaming signal and pendent implementations of the which limit the involvement of www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected we have seen a proliferation of image processing, real-time data Internet Engineering Task Force non-U.S. personnel. Additionally, wireless mesh routing specificaacquisition, memory nodes and (IETF) 6LoWPAN standard comVMetro’s sales offices in Europe tions from industry forums and Enterprise Network Storage for municating with each other over a and Asia will open up untapped proprietary protocols, but none over 30 years. low-power wireless network. markets for Micro Memory’s is compatible with any of the othMicro Memory’s real-time The IETF 6LoWPAN stanproduct lines. ers.  The introduction of a simple embedded system products are dard defines how IP communicaIP option opens a path to converexpected to add breadth and depth tion is conducted over low-power gence and mainstream adoption.” Lantronix Announces Third to VMetro’s embedded Digital wireless IEEE 802.15.4 personalThe IETF 6LoWPAN workSignal Processing (DSP) and Annual Wireless Design area networks; it utilizes IPv6, the ing group was formed in 2004 high-performance data recordContest latest and most scalable version to address the challenge of ening offerings. Micro Memory’s Lantronix has announced the of the ubiquitous Internet Protoabling wireless IPv6 communicaMemory-Only Node products are 3rd edition of its popular Wirecol. In March 2007 Arch Rock tion over the newly standardized building blocks for adding bulk Get Connected with companies and less Design Contest. This year’s introduced the first commercial Get Connected products featured in this section.in IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radio storage to DSP and Recording sys-in thiscontest with companies mentioned article. challenges engineers, stuimplementation of 6LoWPAN www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected for devices with limited space, tems. Thewww.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected Micro Memory VITA dents and hobbyists to develop a its Primer Pack/IP offering, folpower and memory, such as sen41 (VXS) products strengthen creative and practical wireless lowed shortly by Sensinode with sor nodes. VMetro’s existing VXS position. its NanoStack protocol solution. Dr. David E. Culler, Arch Rock cofounder and chief techGet Connected with companies mentioned in this article. nology officer, said, “This demonwww.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Kontron Introduces Smallest ETXexpress-Compatible Footprint

Ad Index

Products

End of Article

www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected

September 2007




Industry Insider

product using Lantronix’s new MatchPort b/g, an 802.11 b/g embedded wireless device server module. With MatchPort b/g, contestants can add Wi-Fi to virtually any electronic device with a serial interface so it can be accessed, monitored and controlled wirelessly over the Internet. To enter, contestants simply submit their application concept through the Lantronix Web site and later submit a working prototype design. All design entries must be received on or before March 3, 2008. Winners will be announced at the Embedded Systems Conference (April 14-18, 2008) in San Jose, Calif. Entries will be judged on technical merit, originality, business value, cost-effectiveness and design optimization. In addition to travel compensation to the awards ceremony at ESC, Lantronix will award cash prizes for the following categories: • First Place – $6,000 • Second Place – $4,000 • Third Place – $2,000 • Best Entry from a Student/Edu cational Facility – $3,000 • Most Likely to Succeed – $2,000 a new category this year for the most commercially viable design

The 2007 WDC winners included: First Place ($6,000): Damien Hubaux and his engineering team from CETIC in Belgium for their SAND (Smart Adaptable Network Device) System, a small, autonomous and flexible embedded system based on a “soft processor.” The SAND System can be used by transportation companies looking to acquire objective data about its driver’s behavior in order to better train workers and decrease fuel consumption. Second Place ($4,000): Kevin Hubbard, from Washington, for his WiFi Clock, a fully functional alarm clock with Internet access. With its unique features, the WiFi



Untitled-2 1

September 2007

8/28/07 11:10:16 AM

Clock provides end users an innovative design to retrieve customized, real-time information such as weather, news or e-mail. Third Place ($2,000): Mohamad Abou El-Nasr, assistant professor at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Egypt. His Wi-Aquarium allows users to remotely control and monitor an aquarium anytime from anywhere in the world, and ensures an optimum aquarium environment and healthy fish. All contest details, including rules, entry form and more information on past winners, can be found at www.lantronix.com/ wirelesscontest.

Azonix Acquires the MRD Division of Kontron America

Azonix Corpora, a Division of Crane Corporation, has announced an agreement to acquire the MRD Division of Kontron America, a Division of Kontron Embedded Computers AG, of Munich, Germany. Azonix is a solution provider of rugged computers and displays primarily for the Oil and Gas Exploration, U.S. Military and Automation Markets, and will purchase all of the assets of the MRD Division, a developer of rugged computers and flat panel displays for the Military, Oil and Gas Exploration, and Test & Measurement Industry. MRD will assume the Azonix name once details are finalized. Azonix intends that the combination of MRD will help create best in class in the rugged computer/display markets. It combines the strong manufacturing and supply chain of Azonix with the innovative and forward-thinking engineering team of MRD. The action is aimed at helping increase Azonix’ competitive position in the marketplace, enhance its strategic objective of market diversification, and serve to strengthen our ability to survive the cyclical nature of our current markets. It is also projected to provide benefits such as improved


Industry Insider

manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies, increased innovative and value-added solutions, as well as enhanced strategic relationships.

Adaptec, AIC/Xtore, Emulex, Finisar, Fujitsu CPA, Intel, LeCroy, LSI, Marvell Semiconductor, PMC-Sierra and 3ware.

SCSI Trade Association Completes Seventh SAS Plugfest

IBM and Excendia Join to Deliver Speech-Enabled Mobility

The SCSI Trade Association (STA) held its seventh Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) plugfest July 23-27, 2007 at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). The plugfest was attended by both STA member and non-member companies. Tests made available to attendees included single zoning, multiple zones and interoperability of Serial ATA (SATA) drives in an SAS environment Mike Fitzpatrick, senior research executive, Fujitsu Computer Products of America and chairperson of the SAS Plugfest Technical Committee, stated, “Since the first SAS plugfest in March, 2004, SAS technology has made great strides in functionality, SATA interoperability and acceptance by the storage market. The recent plugfest continued SAS product fine-tuning with results that indicate the successful completion of the first generation of SAS. Particularly significant were the results of zone testing, as zoning is becoming an important part of data management within a SAS datacenter.” Backward compatibility is key to the SAS user’s ability to easily mix and match SAS and SATA technologies and to flexibly maximize storage cost. In the interest of backward compatibility, 3 Gbit/s SAS will be tested over several future plugfests, including those where 6 Gbit/s SAS will also be tested. It is essential that 3 Gbit/s SAS be compatible with 6 Gbit/s SAS as well as the earlier 1.5 Gbit/s SATA. The next SAS plugfest is anticipated for early 2008 when 6 Gbit/s SAS products start to become more widely available. STA Member Companies attending the Plugfest included

Excendia, a developer of speech-enabled unified communications and speech mobility solutions, announced today the availability of Excendia Virtual Assistant on IBM WebSphere Voice Server. The solution provides mobile workers with handsfree, eyes-free access to their business information and office communications tools from any telephone. Using speech commands, users can access and manage their phone calls, e-mails, appointments and contacts while on the road, driving or visiting customers. They can listen and reply to their e-mail messages, review and schedule appointments, call contacts by name or send them voice e-mails. Excendia uses the IBM WebSphere speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies to understand user voice commands and deliver text content over the phone. Excendia Virtual Assistant acts as a bridge between the user and her/his office messaging and telephone infrastructure to deliver new and unique services. In fact, Excendia uses the business data to make the phone intelligent, and uses the company phone to make corporate data accessible remotely.

Dual-Core Processors on AMC, cPCI and VME

AdvancedMC™ � up to 2.0 GHz Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® processor LV � up to 16 Gbytes DDR2 ECC SDRAM � double-width/full-height � for AdvancedTCA® or MicroTCA™

3U/6U CompactPCI® � choice of Intel® Core™ Duo processor, ® Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor or ® ® dual Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors � up to 8 Gbytes DDR2 ECC SDRAM � extended temperature operation available � rugged versions available

VME/VXS � choice of Intel® Core™ Duo processor, ® Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor or dual Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® processors � up to 8 Gbytes DDR2 ECC SDRAM � extended temperature operation available � rugged versions available

http://www.gocct.com Email: info@gocct.com Tel: (781) 933-5900 All Trademarks acknowledged

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Sept07/US

September 2007



9/5/07 10:02:17 AM


What’s the matter? Power supply won’t reach that far? There it is. Wide open space. Just crying out for your best ideas. Like portable medical imaging devices that you can use on the battlefield. Or emergency networks that keep everyone connected — even during a hurricane. Or…? So what’s holding you back? Certainly not battery life and power supplies — at least not anymore. New ultra-low power Intel® embedded technology will support designs of less than 7 watts. Now how far away can you get carried on that idea? To learn more go to: http://developer.intel.com/design/info/896.htm

Intel Embedded Technology. Igniting Innovation. Intel and the Intel logo are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Copyright © 2007 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.


Small Form-Factor Boards Up and Coming

O

ver the past weeks I’ve been talking to some of our friends in the PC/104, Com Express and other small form-factor board communities and have come to some interesting realizations. First off, in the past, I’ve been casual in referring to the small formfactor board market as PC/104 and derivatives—often in headlines and taglines we referred to small form-factor subsystems generically as simply PC/104. It turns out that’s wrong. First, the “derivatives” have far outstripped the original PC/104 products and concept. But more important is that the embedded computer market has far outrun the bounds of standard form-factor boards and is now playing to the tune of a different drummer. Second, while I viewed the small form-factor business as a staple in the embedded computer business, I failed to recognize how widespread the technology was and the overall dimensions of the business. PC/104 itself, the brainchild of Dave Feldman, Rick Lehrbaum and the crew at Ampro back in the early 1980s, has outrun its own headlights. The underlying ISA and even PCI chipsets are fast moving toward end of life, and capabilities are limited. However, despite much of traditional PC/104 CPU and chipsets moving toward obsolescence, such products continue to fill an important niche in relatively low-technology embedded applications. There are thousands of applications that don’t need any more power than a 386 or 486 can deliver, yet are being pushed up the technology ladder because of end-of-life issues. It’s been estimated by market research firms that the total market for PC/104 CPU and I/O cards has reached somewhere between $400 and $500 million annually. That’s about as much as the venerable VMEbus is managing to scrape out these days. Further, if we start to include the other small form-factor boards, that number swells to well over $1 billion. According to some sources there have been over 500,000 ETX modules shipped over the past few years. In addition, it’s currently estimated that there are approximately 60 different small form-factor offerings on the market today including several that incorporate PCI Express. One of those garnering increasing attention is EPIC Express, first introduced in these pages almost a year ago. This holds out increasing promise as it fits well into the markets and volume expectations of many application areas, including upgrades to

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

September 2007

the transportation, pipeline and other commercial infrastructure, factory automation and control, medical instrumentation and other areas. Criticism has recently been leveled at the PC/104 consortium for not keeping pace with changes in technology. Personally, I’m surprised that it has survived as long as it has and continues to have members that have been posting double-digit growth rates over the past several years. However, as the embedded computer business—and particularly that for small form-factor systems— continues to grow almost exponentially. Has, perhaps, the consortium lulled member companies into some belief that they need not go and plow new territory? The new world is embracing wireless technology, even greater portability, lower power and more flexibility. From the portable scanners in the hands of clerks in drug and grocery store aisles to new biometric security devices, passport and driver’s license scanners, small form-factor boards are going to be very much on the horizon and will undoubtedly take on a variety of form-factors. PC/104 has enjoyed a good useful life and will wind down gracefully as components go to end of life and there is no longer economic viability in alternative approaches such as implementing functions in programmable logic. Further, the number of small form-factor approaches is swelling as the demand increases. Often these approaches are somehow, if not directly, competitive. That begs the question: can a single trade association supporting several different competitive approaches survive—even if they address slightly different applications? Did we learn the lesson of Futurebus+? The bottom line is that there is some combination of price, power, flexibility and ruggedness that will determine the applicability of a particular subsystem to a product. As applications swell and as volumes increase, the significance of standard form-factors becomes of decreasing significance. Certainly this has been obvious in many of the systems we see out there today that are complete systems roughly based on some standard, but without the need for interoperability. It has to be remembered that the market determines the success or failure of a product family, not the existence of some fiat standard.

Warren Andrews Associate Publisher September 2007

11


Technology InContext

The future face of backplanes

PCI Express: The Future Face of Backplanes PCI Express is transforming backplane design and bringing performance back in-line with today’s CPU and I/O performance. New bus performance and features are reshaping the usage model of the backplane system.

Ad Index by S  teve Cooper One Stop Systems Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the ackplane systems have a long hisgoal of Get tory of providing flexible, modular Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, expansion capability for Get systems Connected will help you connect with the companies and products relatively low cost. In some you systems are searching for.

B

at a where the physical constraints orwww.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected lowestpossible cost constraints warrant, system designers reduce or forego a bus structure and design all the desired functions into a single monolithic design. But, more often than not, some form of modular system Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now expandability is designed in. As compoGet Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research t nents continue to get smaller and faster, datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connect will backplane structures go the wayinof touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, the dinosaurs? Probably not—the Get ecoConnected will help you connect with the companies and products you are searching for. nomic case for backplane designs is simwww.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected ply too strong. In the bus/board marketplace, designers take advantage of off-the-shelf Figure 1 Backplane architectures such as this CompactPCIe backplane facilitate boards and enclosures where they can, rapid time-to-market for high-end low to medium volume applications. and develop custom boards and software where needed to complete the application. This approach greatly reduces ware. This typifies several application Included among the economic advanR&D time and expense and takes advan- areas, including instrumentation, test tages for the continued use of backplane tage of the combined market economies equipment, communications, military architectures is the reduction of R&D exof scale for the off-the-shelf modules and high-end medical equipment. One used. Such an economicGet model works with of the highest performance backplanes Connected companies and Get Connected products featured in this section. well for low to medium volume applicaavailable is the CompactPCIe backplane with companies mentioned in this article. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected tions with a fair amount of unique hard- shown in Figure 1.

Products

12

End of Article

September 2007 Get Connected with companies mentioned in this www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected


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Which Way do You Want Your 10Gb Ethernet?

2500MB/sec 10G b 250MB/se

c 1Gb

Software Stack Conventional NIC Technology

Silicon Stack Critical I/O XGE

Silicon Stack Technology from Critical I/O. 10Gb Ethernet at Wire Speed. [Problem] You’re expecting 10Gb Ethernet to deliver a whole lot more performance to your embedded system. But what if you invest in it and get no gain at all? The performance of nearly all existing 1Gb applications are limited by the software overhead associated with the TCP/IP protocol stack. This bottleneck is in the software stack, not the network hardware. So, simply upgrading to 10Gb pipes will not improve your system’s performance. [Solution] Unlike conventional Ethernet interfaces or processor-based “offload” products, Critical I/O’s Silicon Stack technology eliminates this inherent bottleneck by offloading protocol processing to silicon; thereby achieving sustained line-rate performance, microsecond latency, and rock-solid deterministic behavior. And, Silicon Stack is 100% compliant with Ethernet standards, allowing you to leverage existing applications and hardware.

XGE Silicon Stack Ethernet vs. Software-based Stack

Software Stack 10Gb

1Gb

10Gb

40 varies with protocol

250

2500

1Gb Throughput max sustained rate in MBytes/sec Host Overhead

Very High

Latency

125 μsec

Determinism typical variation Reliability

Silicon Stack

Horrible ± 200 μsec Poor when under heavy load

Very Low 12 μsec

5 μsec

Rock Solid ± 1 μsec Excellent under all load conditions, no dropped data


Technology InContext

penses. Integrating off-the-shelf modules is much easier than designing and debugging a monolithic system from scratch. In lower volume applications, where the R&D costs often exceed the cost of the purchased hardware, reducing R&D as much as possible is key to economic success. In the future when engineering resources are even scarcer than they are now and time-to-market pressures dominate, more and more designers will take advantage of off-the-shelf modules to complete their designs. The reduction of engineering expenses and the time required to produce a given solution, saves not only considerable cost, but also gets the resulting product to market more quickly. In many situations, the value of quicker time-to-market is considerable. Economically, accelerating the revenue and profit stream makes a considerable difference in a project’s return on investment. This is compounded by the market share effect, where the products that reach the marketplace sooner have greater marketplace success. Modular systems allow individual elements to be upgraded over time without requiring a full system redesign. A designer can typically get two or three technology infusions within the same base design with relatively little additional effort. These product upgrades extend a product’s market competitiveness at a relatively modest cost. There is also an advantage in terms of lower per-unit costs. Some designers argue that designing with modules connected over a backplane is more expensive than the cost of a monolithic solution. And in high-volume consumer applications this is true. However, in low to medium volume applications, it makes sense to use off-theshelf modules that are produced for many users in much higher volumes than any one user would need. The lower production costs for a manufacturer who is producing modules in 1,000-unit quantities versus a user who might produce 50 units, more than covers the module maker’s profit margin mark-up. It seems clear that markets for highend equipment will continue for the foreseeable future. And with the rapid pace of technology advances, this equipment will

need to be continually redesigned and enhanced to enable new features. It also seems clear that the economics of busbased designs will also remain valid. The combination of a solid market need and an economically valid solution will keep bus-based solutions alive and well for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the number of standard form-factors is proliferating. Due to the pressures of reduced engineering and accelerated time-to-market, more and more designers are looking for offthe-shelf modules upon which to base their designs. And because of the diversity of applications, there is clearly no “one size fits all” backplane solution. Historically, the marketplace seemed to settle on a small number of form-factors that provided a range of capabilities, but also a fair amount of commonality. Going forward, however, there are already more than 60 unique board form-factors defined for use with the PCIe bus. It appears that the standards bodies are more concerned with allowing maximum flexibility than in enforcing form-factor discipline. Thus, it will be left to the marketplace to determine which of the many “standard” form factors become successful. Figure 2 shows PCIe boards in the desktop, laptop and CompactPCIe form-factors.

PCIe Dominance

With PCIe becoming established as the PC bus for the next decade, it will also dominate as the electrical bus in all other form factors. This is inevitable because PCIe is a very well-defined, high-performance, low-cost bus structure and because it has the marketplace of 200 million PC units per year driving the underlying components. PCIe comes out of the Intel chip sets. PCIe is the bus that Ethernet, graphics, disk controllers and virtually all new I/O components interface with. Libraries exist where PCIe interfaces can simply be “dropped in” to custom gate array devices. In a few years time, it will be nearly impossible to design a system product that doesn’t include PCIe. Other bus structures may continue to exist in specialized niches or as secondary bus September 2007

15


Technology InContext

structures along side of PCIe. Although even this usage model will be curtailed as PCIe adds additional performance and multicomputing capabilities. Even though PCIe is already one of the fastest bus structures in the market, the PCI-SIG is committed to driving several generations of backward-compatible performance upgrades. The first performance upgrade, known as Gen 2 timing,

doubles the transfer rate of each lane of PCIe from 2.5 Gbits/s to 5.0 Gbits/s. Since most boards utilize x4 or x8 lane connections, the Gen 2 data rates will typically be 20 or 40 Gbits/s. The first PCs to include Gen 2 timing are expected to be generally available at the end of 2007. This technology should become available within the bus-board modules by the end of 2008.

The PCI-SIG also recently announced the basic timing and performance for Gen 3 PCIe. The individual lane performance for Gen 3 will double again, increasing transfer rates to 10 Gbits/s per lane. Gen 3 technology is expected to become available by 2010. Backward compatibility will be achieved by each bus interface component starting the bus training cycle us-

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 2

16

September 2007

PCIe boards in the desktop (a), laptop (b) and CompactPCIe form-factors (c).


Technology InContext

Figure 3

PCIe over cable extends the bus to expansion chassis or dedicated I/O.

ing the Gen 1 timing. If both sides of the interface are compatible with Gen 2 or Gen 3 timing, they will both jump to the higher performance. PCIe was originally defined to support CPU-to-I/O communications, with the basic PC serving as the usage model. CPU-to-CPU communications are more critical within the bus-board industry as designers commonly utilize multiple CPU boards to achieve complex solutions. Typically one CPU board captures incoming data, then passes the data onto one or more CPUs to perform data manipulation. Then, often another CPU is used to display the resulting graphical representation. This style of multicomputing is being added to PCIe through a combination of non-transparent bridging and CPU-to-CPU communications software. When available in late 2007, this technology will expand the applicability of PCIe to a wide variety of high-end applications, including radar and sonar analysis, medical imaging, test and measurement and communications equipment. For CompactPCI applications that currently utilize 2.16 Ethernet over the backplane, the advent of CPU-to-CPU communication over PCIe represents a compelling reason to upgrade to the new CompactPCIe architecture.

PCIe over Cable

The ability to run PCIe over cable at full performance with complete software transparency opens up a range of

new application possibilities. Low-cost host bus adapters as shown in Figure 3 extend the PCIe bus structure to expansion chassis or dedicated PCIe I/O hardware. PCIe over cable makes it easy and economical to extend applications that need more I/O boards than will fit in a single chassis to a multi-chassis solution. PCIe over cable can also be used as a high-performance peripheral connection—a sort of super-fast USB. Designing compatible end points is straightforward because the PCIe interface is available as a gate array library. When CPU-to-CPU communications are added to PCIe later this year, the cable interface can be used as a high-performance cabled network. A x8 cabled network with Gen 2 timing would transfer data at 40 Gbits/s—or 40 times faster than today’s 1 Gbit/s Ethernet interfaces. Having backplane performance over a cable will expand the PCIe usage model to encompass many high-end multi-chassis applications including I/O expansion, disk array subsystems, high-speed video and audio editing equipment and medical imaging systems.

PCI Express Adoption

The adoption rate for PCIe in various form-factors is shown in Figure 4. Currently, PCIe is incorporated in nearly 100% of desktop PCs, 70% of laptops and 5% of the traditional bus-board applications. This progression of acceptance

September 2007

17


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Technology InContext

Adoption Rate for PCIe in Various Form Factors August 2007

100%

75% Desktop

Laptop

2006

2007

CPCIe

SHBe

50%

25%

Figure 4

2008

2009

2010

The adoption rate for PCIe in various form-factors—desktop, laptop, system host board (SHBe) and CompactPCI.

is consistent with the acceptance for the original PCI bus. Acceptance of new bus structures within the traditional bus-board marketplace tends to follow the PC and laptop marketplaces for several reasons. First, the applications within the bus-board marketplace are much more complex than a PC or laptop, and require considerably more time to develop both the hardware software elements. Second, the lifespan of high-end products is typically 3 to 5 years versus the 6-month to 1-year life spans for PCs or laptops. This means that it takes up to 5 years before each new high-end product comes up for redesign, greatly slowing the infusion of new bus technology. Given that the PC marketplace has already transitioned to PCIe, and that this market drives the component manufacturers, it seems inevitable that PCIe will be adopted as the primary bus structure within all backplane buses for the next decade. It may not be sexy, but copper and fiberglass appear to be sufficient to meet backplane needs for at least another decade. Design considerations such as controlled impedance and differential pair length matching become

much more important with the higher speed buses, but they are still within the parameters supported by multilayer printed circuit boards made from FR4 material. Backplane layer counts are also expected to remain similar to today’s backplanes, as the number of physical interconnections remains the same. Alternative technologies such as optical interfaces through a backplane or backplanes made from exotic materials will have to wait at least another decade before they are needed within the mainstream marketplace. Backplane technology tends to change at a slower rate than many other computing technologies. Major bus structure changes occur only once every 10 to 12 years. Even when the transition is clear, it takes many years for applications to fully convert to the new technology. PCIe is here now in the desktop and laptop PCs, and the technology represents the future face of backplanes. One Stop Systems Escondido, CA. (760) 745-9883. [www.onestopsystems.com].

September 2007

19


solutions engineering

VMe vpx and beyond

3U VPX: Small, Rugged and REDI With so many new architectures and form-factors there often seem to be a multitude of solutions for every application. One new formfactor may not be getting the attention it deserves because it has been in the shadow of its larger 6U sibling. It is 3U VPX. by M  ichael Munroe Elma Bustronic

Mechanical Form-Factor

When the features of 3U VPX are examined, the strength of this compact architecture becomes clear. The

20

September 2007

1.60 (0.063 in)

Max. Component Height Secondary Side 4.06 (0.160 in). Includes Board Thickness 14.70 (0.579 in) Max. Component Height 13.72 (0.540 in) Primary Side

7.65 (0.301 in) .00 (0.000 in) 7.25 (0.285 in)

100.00 (3.937 in)

21.65 (0.852 in)

50.45 (1.986 in)

84.70 (3.335 in) 2.50 (0.098 in) Guide Rail Clearance 2 PLS.

3

U VPX is much more than just a half-size version of 6U VPX. Unlike 3U VME’s relationship to 6U VME, 3U VPX can support the same speed and bandwidth of its larger 6U brother. Unlike the trade-off between 3U cPCI and 6U cPCI, 3U VPX doesn’t require the user to make such a dramatic decision between bus width and I/O capability. It is true that 3U VPX has a much more limited number of potential I/O channels than the larger 6U version. However, with two fabric connectors offering 32 differential bi-directional channels (64 links total), 3U VPX probably has more than enough connectivity for most applications. One popular system configuration that a number of individuals have inquired about is a 3U VPX system with four x4 transport channels for the card to card topology and the remaining 16 bi-directional channels used for rear panel I/O.

Figure 1

160.00 (6.299 in) 170.60 (6.717 in)

3U-160 x 5 HP conduction-cooled module (XPedite 8070 – Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc.).

mechanics of the form-factor are particularly compelling when compared to other small serial fabric solutions (Figure 1). 3U VPX compares favorably to

the other smaller form-factors with regards to total available PCB area as well as total front panel space as shown in Table 1.


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SOLUTIONS Engineering (d) (a)

VPX Twisted Ring

2

1

3

5

4

1

2

3

4

5

6

VPX

VPX

VPX

VPX

VPX

Payload

Payload

Payload

Payload

Payload

VPX Switch

A

6

B C (3 hops from end to end both directions)

(b)

P1 cPCIe

GigE

VPX Cluster

5

1

6 3

4 RJ45

Logical View P2

(c)

VXP Dual x4 Rings 2

1

3

4

5

Fat Pipe

Port CD

Fat Pipe

Port 1 Port 2

G

config3

Port 3

H

config4 conf ig5

Port 4

I

PCIe

RJ45

E F

Star Switch VITA 46.20 2

D

Port AB

conf

ig 6

Port 5

J

conf

ig7

K

conf

ig8

L

conf

ig9

M

conf

ig10

Port 9

N

conf

ig11

Port 10

O

conf

ig12

Port 11

P

Port 6 Port 7

Thin Pipes x2

Port 8

Port 12

Ports AB and CD in slots 1-5 would be fat pipes (x4) and would on one twisted ring which would be the primary VITA 46 fabric such as PCIe, sRIO or 10G Ethernet (10GBASE KX-4).

Figure 2

Some possible interconnect topologies for 3U VPX: a) twisted ring, b) hybrid mesh with star fabric overlay, c) dual ring or looped pipeline and d) a hybrid topology combining a fat pipe fabric with a star or dual-star thin pipe fabric.

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8/6/07 9:54:47 AM


SOLUTIONS Engineering

The 3U VPX module is based on Eurcard packaging standards defined by IEEE 1101.1, IEEE 1101.10 and IEEE 1101.11. This is a widely supported modular packaging system that is also used by VITA 1.0, 1.1, 41.x, 46.x, CompactPCI, CompactPCI Express, PXI, PXI Express, VXI and VME in Physics. The modular approach is cost-effective for prototyping and small volume production but has also been executed cost-effectively in sheet metal for higher volume requirements. One ergonomic success of the 3U x 1.0” Eurocard front panel is a very rugged insertion/ejection lever handle with an integrated micro-switch. Front panels with bezel opening to allow access to a PMC mezzanine card are also readily accomplished with Eurocard front panels as narrow as 0.8”. While many other form-factors are still grappling with how to best accomplish conduction-cooling, 3U VPX conduction-cooled modules are already available from two suppliers. VPX modules can be built to the older IEEE 1101.2 conductioncooling standard or the newer VITA 48.2 or 48.3 configurations. VITA 48.3 even provides a design for liquid flow-through cooled 3U VPX modules. Another feature that is attractive for 3U VPX is that the form-factor is compatible with existing PMC mezzanine modules as well as the newer XMC mezzanine modules. The substantial existing ecosystem of PMC modules means that many interface standards can be supported immediately, through the use of either XMC/PMC carrier cards or VPX SBC cards with a PMC/ XMC socket.

The MultiGig Backplane Connector

The pin and socket backplane connector used by VPX has been on the market for a number of years and is also being utilized by the VXS architecture. This modular connector is available in versions for differential signaling, single-ended signaling (many system management signals are single-ended) as well as for high power. The connector has recently been

Pitch

“Y”

“X”

PCB Area

Front Panel

“Y”

“X”

3U VPX Vita 46

1.0

100.0

160.0

16,000

3,243

25.2

128.7

3U cPCI PICMG 2.0

0.8

100.0

160.0

16,000

2,587

20.1

128.7

Express Mezzanine VITA 56

0.6

73.5

140.3

10.312

1.028

13.7

75

MicroTCA PICMG AMC.0

0.8

73.5

172.6

12.686

1,395

18.9

73.8

EPIC

n/a

115

165.0

18,975

n/a

EPIC Express

n/a

90.2

95.9

8.65

n/a

ATX Short Card Table 1

Nominal PCB area and front panel area.

tested by a number of end users and has met all requirements for shock, vibration and signal integrity. Because it is a press fit connector with a footprint designed for the demands of differential signaling, it is efficient to install, and backplanes can be repaired if necessary. The design

of the MultiGig connector system was specifically focused at avoiding damage during insertion as well as for superior electrical performance. The flexibility of the backplane interconnect topologies is an important feature. The 3U VPX architecture has

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Untitled-3 1

AM September9/12/07 2007 10:11:20 23


SOLUTIONS Engineering

Row A

Row B

Row C

Row D

Row E

Row F

Row G

Row H

Row I

PA-RX3+

PA-RX3-

GND

GND

PA-TX3+

PA-TX3-

GND

GND

P1-SE0

GND

GND

PA-RX2+

PA-RX2-

GND

GND

PC-TX2+

PC-TX2-

GND

PA-RX1+

PA-RX1-

GND

GND

PA-TX1+

PA-TX1-

GND

GND

P1-SE1

4

GND

GND

PA-RX0+

PA-RX0-

GND

GND

PA-TX0+

PA-TX0-

GND

5

PB-RX3+

PB-RX3-

GND

GND

PB-TX3+

PB-TX3-

GND

GND

P1-SE2

6

GND

GND

PB-RX2+

PB-RX2-

GND

GND

PC-TX2+

PC-TX2-

GND

PB-RX1+

PB-RX1-

GND

GND

PB-TX1+

PB-TX1-

GND

GND

P1-SE3

GND

GND

PB-RX0+

PB-RX0-

GND

GND

PC-TX0+

PC-TX0-

GND

PC-RX1+

PC-RX1-

GND

GND

PC-TX1+

PC-TX1-

GN

GN

P1-SE4

GND

GND

PC-RX0+

PC-RX0-

GND

GND

PC-TX0+

PC-TX0-

GND

PC-RX1+

PC-RX1-

GND

GND

PC-TX1+

PC-TX1-

GND

GND

P1-SE5

GND

GND

PC-RX0+

PC-RX0-

GND

GND

PC-TX0+

PC-TX0-

GND

PD-RX1+

PD-RX1-

GND

GND

PD-TX1+

PD-TX1-

GND

GND

P1-SE6

GND

GND

PD-RX0+

PD-RX0-

GND

GND

PD-TX0+

PD-TX0-

GND

PD-RX1+

PD-RX1-

GND

GND

PD-TX1+

PD-TX1-

GND

GND

P1-SE7

GND

GND

PD-RX0+

PD-RX0-

GND

GND

PD-TX0+

PD-TX0-

GND

1 2 3

7

A

B

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Table 2

D

E

F

G

J1 and J2 differential signal assignments.

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9/12/07 5:14:40 PM


SOLUTIONS Engineering

Embedded Box PC

Wafer Type

ROW I

ROW H

ROW G

ROW F

ROW E

ROW D

ROW C

ROW B

ROW A

1

Power

12v

12v

12v

12v

none

3.3v

3.3v

3.3v

3.3v

2

Power

12v

12v

12v

12v

none

3.3v

3.3v

3.3v

3.3v

3

Power

5v

5v

5v

5v

none

5v

5v

5v

5v

4

Single Ended

GND

SM2

SM3

GND

-12V_ AUX

GND

SYSRESET

NMMRO

GND

5

Single Ended

GND

GAP*

GA4*

GND

3.3V_ AUX

GND

SM0

SM1

GND

6

Single Ended

GND

GA3*

GA2*

GND

+12V_ AUX

GND

GA1*

GA0*

GND

7

ODD DIFF

TCK

GND

GND

TD0

TD1

GND

GND

TMS

TRS T*

8

EVEN DIFF

GND

REF_ CLK-

REFCLK+

GND

GND

RES_ BUS-

RES_ BUS+

GND

GND

Table 3

Connector J0 provides power and system utility signals.

three backplane connectors in each slot. The J0 contains power at three voltage levels and such system signals as geographic address, power fail, JTAG and a reference clock. The other two connectors provide a total of 64 differential signal pairs and associated reference grounds (Table 2). The J1 and J2 connectors can be configured as x1, x2 or x4 channels. The MultiGig connector supports XAUI 2.5 Gbit/s signaling and is scaleable to at least 6.25 Gbit/s. Because the VPX architecture allows the end user to define how the differential channels in J1 and J2 can be used, there is great flexibility to emphasize either channel interconnect mapping or rear panel I/O. The layout of both the J1 and J2 connectors is shown by the chart of pin assignments in Table 2. It should be mentioned that the J1 and J2 connectors can also be configured entirely for single-ended applications. However, even when configured for differential signaling some single-ended pins are always available.

Channel Interconnect Topologies

The most common configuration for 3U VPX cards that has been requested and described in the literature thus far is for two x4 10 Gigabit chan-

nels at the top of the J1 connector. A single 10 Gbit/s channel is far more bandwidth than is available in previous parallel buses and is even more bandwidth than a PCIe graphics card would require. The remaining channels in J1 together with those in the J2 leave 24 XAUI-capable bi-directional ports that can be utilized entirely for rear panel I/O if desired. Traditionally, a channel comprised of one or two bi-directional links is referred to as a “thin pipe.” A channel comprised of four bi-directional links is referred to as a “fat pipe.” The 24 thin pipe channels remaining can be used by a PMC or XMC mezzanine or simply allow the 3U VPX modules to interface with external equipment, networks, displays or storage systems. For more complex topologies, the entire J1 connector can be configured as four 10 Gigabit channels for slot-to-slot transport. This still leaves the 16 XAUIcapable bi-directional thin pipes in J2 for user I/O. The number of possible topologies for the VPX architecture is only limited by the imagination of the system architect. A few examples shown here are twisted rings (Figure 2a), meshes with a star fabric overlay (Figure 2b), and dual rings (Figure 2c). Figure 2d shows a hybrid topology that combines a fat pipe fabric with a

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SOLUTIONS Engineering

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star or dual-star thin pipe fabric. This particular topology is being standardized in the VITA 46.20 committee. Vita 46.20 adds a secondary star or dual-star thin pipe network. This secondary fabric is used for out-of-band signaling via Gigabit Ethernet. Such a secondary fabric can be used for system management functions and for other purposes such as software and firmware upgrades to individual cards. This is similar to the base fabric that has been a key feature of the AdvancedTCA architecture from the beginning. The topology illustrated in Figure 2b could represent the VITA 46.20 architecture. Notice that an additional slot of CompactPCI Express is shown in a slot following slot 6. There is no reason why the thin pipe star defined in VITA 46.20 could not be used for PCI Express rather than Gigabit Ethernet. Making the thin pipe network PCI Express would make it particularly convenient for bridging 3U CompactPCI Express to a 3U VPX system, thereby increasing the number of available boards for configuring complete systems. In fact, many of the 3U VPX boards announced thus far utilize cPCIe signaling, making this hybrid cPCIe concept a very realistic possibility.

Power Capability and Flexibility IDE Flash Drive Carrier Board with Micro SD Interface

SD

-ID

E-4

0/4

4

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info@tri-m.com

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26

Untitled-4 1

fax: 604.945.9566

September 2007

3/1/07 10:31:23 AM

Connector J0 provides 3.3, 5.0 and 12-volt power as well as utility signals (Table 3). It is allowed to bring as much as 275 watts onto a module, which would require an advanced cooling approach such as VITA 48.3. However, this upper limit is only due to cooling; the connector design and assignments could supply even greater power to a module, if there were a way to cool such a module. There are two factors that should always be taken into consideration when making an architectural decision. The first is the available ecosystem of compatible components. A program manager must evaluate the level of support that is available or expected to be available by

the time the system under consideration must be deployed. The second consideration is the specific identity of the suppliers and partners who will be expected to provide system components. Ideally, when a program manager conducts an inventory of VPX suppliers, he or she will find that their existing favored suppliers are among the supporters of the architecture under consideration. After all, to become a favored supplier is the result of a complex layering of relationships, capabilities and operating practices over time. Your prime suppliers probably know you and your market areas already and are therefore likely to best understand your requirements for a new system under development. VPX has a number of characteristics and features that will be of significant utility for the Mil-Aero and rugged industrial market segments. At the present time, there is no other small formfactor architecture with such a compelling collection of features. Making the architecture even more attractive is the fact that such cards are already on the market today and the schemes for conduction-cooling and rugged packaging are already defined in detail. A look at the companies already supporting this new architecture makes it clear that it will be a significant contender for MilAero and industrial rugged applications requiring high-speed signal processing, and a compact, rugged, front-accessible card size. Elma Bustronic Fremont, CA. (510) 490-7388. [www.elmabustronic.com].


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solutions engineering

vme vpx and beyond

3U VPX: Rugged, HighPerformance Small FormFactor COTS Comes of Age Filling the need for small form-factor, rugged modules with high compute performance and rich data transfer, 3U VPX appears to be ahead of the Ad pack. Index by J ing Kwok Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the mall form-factor COTS boards goal of ofGet Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. fer unique benefits for rugged ap-level of service you require for whatever type of technology, Whichever Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products plications, which frequently sufyou are searching for. from size, weight and power (SWaP)

S

as datalink equipment, mission computers and IFF units to the use of a standard open architecture module size. While the fer 6U VME form-factor rose to become the www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected limitations. Now, with the 3U version of de facto board architecture for COTS the VPX and VPX-REDI board standards, computing, the complementary 3U verrugged, high-performance small form-facsion of VME never achieved significant tor (SFF) COTS has come of age. 3U VPX adoption, primarily because of its lack of hits all of the “sweet spot� requirements, rear-panel I/O. Figure 1 The VPX3-125 from Curtissincluding quantity of user I/O pins, bandFindingnow themselves without a satGet ConnectedWright with technology and companies providing solutions is a 3U VPX board width, support for advanced cooling and isfactory SFFand roadmap VME Get Connected is awith new resource exploration into products, technologies companies.within Whether the your goal is to research th single for or further dual Power datasheet from a company, speak directlycores with anand Application or jump to a company's page, the goal of Get Connect protective metal covers to support line systemtechnical integrators looking Architecture two Engineer,ecosystem, in touch with the right resource. level of fabric service you require for type ofneed technology, replaceable module (LRM) applications. to whatever meet the for rugged, high-per4-laneWhichever PCI Express Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products you are searching for. For high-performance computing, the 3U formance SFF computing that supports ports. VPX standards far exceed whatwww.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected has been rear-panel I/O, previously had no option available from alternative small form- and growing pressures to integrate more but to turn to non-VME solutions, derived factors (SFFs), such as 3U CompactPCI processing performance into smaller primarily for benign (non-rugged) tele(cPCI), PICMG Express and the in-de- spaces, have driven the need for a rug- communications and network-centric apvelopment Rugged MicroTCA. Until the ged, high-performance small form-factor plications, such as the 3U CompactPCI, availability of 3U VPX, military system that directly addresses the unique needs PICMG Express and, more recently, the designers have had to turn to non-COTS of aerospace and defense (A&D) applica- AMC/MicroTCA form-factors. While solutions to obtain all these features in a tions and their harsh environments. The each of these architectures has its own single board architecture. 3U form-factor (100 x 160 mm) has proven inherent benefits and ideal niche uses, for Over the last several decades, the popular as a satisfactory size and shape A&D applications, these alternate options VME architecture reached its ascen- for embedded computing. The 3U size Connected companies and Get Connected dancy as the most popularGet open standardwith provides a modularity/capability tradeproducts featured in this section. with companies mentioned in this article. embedded board architecture. During off, attractive for smaller platforms, and www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected that time, vastly increased chip densities opens up a range of smaller systems such

Products

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September 2007 Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected

End of Article

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SOLUTIONS Engineering

SFF Parallel Bus Architectures VME

Compact PCI

SFF Serial Bus Architectures PICMG Express

3U VPX

Rugged MicroTCA

Board Size

100x160mm

100x160mm

100x160mm

100x160mm

73x181mm

Board Area

24.8

24.8

24.8

24.8

20.5

User IO Pins

0

75 as “system” 105 as “peripheral”

30

72P2+32diffP1+4P1=108

None Defined

Conn Contact

Dual Beam

Dual Beam

Dual Beam

Dual Beam

Single Beam

Bandwidth

A24/ D16=20MB/s

32/33=133MB/s

24 lanes PCIe=12 GB/s

16 lanes PCIe/ SRIO=8/10 GB/s

40 lanes Fabric sharing w/ user IO

Conduction Cool

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

In Development

Liquid Cool

No

No

No

Yes

No

LRM

No

No

No

Yes

No

Shock and Vibration Performance

Good

Good

Good

Excellent

In Development

Table 1

Small form-factor parallel bus architectures and small form-factor serial bus architectures.

have required designers to accept significant performance compromises. In response to the growing need for high-performance SFF solutions, leading A&D COTS vendors and military contractors joined together under the auspices of the VSO to define the next-generation high-performance rugged board architecture. The resulting standards, VPX (VITA 46) and VPX-REDI (VITA 48), greatly increase I/O bandwidth and provide support for serial switched fabrics, such as Serial RapidIO and PCI Express. They provide the first open standard definition for the use of protective metal covers, enabling a COTS solution for the military’s preferred LRM (line replaceable module) approach for in-the-field board-level repair and maintenance. While employing a new, high-bandwidth connector type, the MultiGig RT2 and enhanced ruggedization, including built-in ESD (electro-static discharge) protection and the above mentioned protective covers, the VPX standards also retained many of the popular features of the legacy VME ecosystem, such as support for VME electrical signals (enabling hybrid VME/VPX systems to be fielded), and the 1” pitch chassis standard. This approach eases the transition from legacy VME systems into the new VPX technology, while protecting existing investments in legacy hardware and software development. To fully understand the significance of the technology advancements that 3U VPX brings to embedded COTS system integration, it’s useful to compare and contrast the functionality of the various SFF options that it supersedes (Table 1).

3U CompactPCI

3U CompactPCI (cPCI) has found increasing popularity in space- and weight-constrained defense and aerospace applications in recent years. But for the higher-end applications, such as radar and signal processing, 3U cPCI’s bandwidth is not well suited to support serial switched fabrics such as Serial RapidIO and PCI Express. It is also unable to take full advantage of the high-speed interconnects prevalent on new multicore proces-

1 30Untitled-3 September 2007

8/7/07 10:04:51 AM


SOLUTIONS Engineering

sors such as Freescale’s 8641, with dual 8 lane PCI Express ports (or Serial RapidIO), and P.A. Semi’s 1682 with 24 flexible SERDES engines. cPCI’s 32-bit PCI bus can run at 33 MHz for a 7-slot system (66 MHz for a 5-slot system), providing a maximum transfer rate of 264 Mbytes/ s but cannot provide the intercard bandwidth required in higher-performance systems. Also, cPCI’s connectors provide a maximum bandwidth of 1 to 1.5 Gbits/s, which is insufficient for many high-speed signaling requirements. 3U VPX is a superior alternative to 3U cPCI for high-end, bandwidth-intensive applications. The 3U version of VPX is compatible with many existing COTS enclosures and chassis because it preserves the PICMG 2.0 Rev. 3 air-cooled O&I envelope and follows the VITA 30.1 standard for conduction-cooled designs. Even better, VPX supports significantly greater bandwidth than cPCI. It uses the Tyco MultiGig 7-row RT2 connector, which is rated to support signaling up to 6.25 Gbits/s and higher with advanced SERDES technologies. Each 3U VPX card is equipped with two 16-column 7row RT2 connectors along with an 8-column 7-row RT2 utility connector. The two 16 column connectors provide 64 highspeed differential pairs and 16 signalended signals. Additionally, a new VPX “dot-spec,” VITA 46.9, defines mapping for PMC and XMC differential I/O.

REDI. Unlike cPCI though, PICMG Express does provide support for high-speed serial switched fabrics, with 24 lanes of PCI Express (12 Gbytes/s). PICMG Express also suffers when it comes to user I/O pin counts. Its 30 user I/O pins are much less than 3U cPCI’s 75 user I/O pins (for system card: 105 when peripheral) and significantly fewer than the 108 user pins provided by VPX.

Rugged MicroTCA

Rugged MicroTCA is currently in the specification development stage. It leverages AMC boards, bringing the 73 x 181 mm form-factor mezzanine cards used in ATCA into the backplane environment. There are no user I/O pins defined on this SFF, but user I/O may be available at a later date to be shared on the 40 lanes of serial fabric that they support. Rugged

PICMG Express

PICMG Express was designed to bring serial technology to the cPCI formfactor. Its initial use is in the instrumentation industry. It uses a new connector and defines several backplane topologies. The PICMG Express SFF board architecture retains the 3U form-factor, like cPCI and VPX, but it lacks support for conduction cooling, which is available with both cPCI and VPX, frequently a critical requirement for the harsh temperature extremes, from desert tarmac to high atmosphere flight, commonly demanded of A&D COTS boards. PICMG Express does not have support for advanced cooling techniques, such as liquid cooling, supported by VPX-

September 2007

31


SOLUTIONS Engineering

MicroTCA is defined to work in several disparate environments, from outdoor telephone pole environments to rugged conduction cooled environments. It remains to be seen how well the single beam connector performs in rugged applications as this specification is in development and test data is not yet available. Again, like PICMG Express, MicroTCA does not currently support either conduction cooling or liquid cooling. And

this SFF also lacks support for the protective metal covers that enable the safe in-the-field removal and replacement required for LRM maintenance.

VPX: Designed for Military Duty

The VPX standard was developed to directly address the special requirements of high-performance military and aerospace embedded applications. To survive in the harsh environments typical of these

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programs, and to ease in-the-field maintenance and repair, VPX includes integrated electro-static discharge (ESD) protection and support for metal covers. Today the cost of repairs comprises a large part of the sustaining cost of deployed systems. By enabling technicians to remove and replace system modules, such as pluggable processing and I/O boards, without special training or tools directly at the platform, VPX embraces the military’s preferred Line Replaceable Module (LRM) model, which eliminates the cost and logistics associated with replacing and sparing complete subsystems. To address the ESD protection requirement, the 7-row RT2 connectors used in VPX have a unique ground-strip element that acts as a miniature lightning rod for any ESD sources, ensuring that any signal contacts are not struck by ESD directly. To address the need for mechanical protection as well as providing ESD protection for exposed component leads and board traces, an LRM-capable module needs to conform to the VPX-REDI (VITA 48) specification, which defines extended mechanical formats applied to the overall board outline and connector system of VPX. These extended mechanical formats include versions with full top and bottom covers that provide the handling capabilities required to support the LRM maintenance concept. 3U VPX is enabling MIL COTS vendors such as Curtiss-Wright to design powerful processing solutions. These small form-factor single board computers (SBCs), such as Curtiss-Wright’s new VPX3-125 (Figure 1), can deliver 2x the processing power and 12x the interconnect bandwidth (with only 2/3 the power dissipation) of 3U SBCs released as recently as a year ago. For space/weightconstrained applications with high-speed signaling and bandwidth requirements in harsh deployed environments the trend is VPX. Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (613) 599-9199. [www.cwcembedded.com].

1 32Untitled-1 September 2007

6/19/07 10:50:39 AM


con:card+

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT

from multiprocessor to multicore

Moving from Multiprocessors to Multiple Cores The advent of powerful multicore architectures like the Cell Broadband Engine can significantly enhance applications that were already boosted multiprocessor approaches. The trick lies in Ad by Index knowing how to optimize the newly available resources. Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now

by W  illiam Lundgren, Kerry BarnesGet and James Steed Connected is a new resource for further exploration Gedae into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, he use of multiple processing elements Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products PowerPC you aredesearching for. PowerPC has become essential to software

T

to processors, and even the choice of processors themselves, can be delayed until www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected velopment. A variety of multicore and the final stages of software development. Mem Mem DSP processors are available. While each Through experimentation and analysis, processing core is capable of doing a variengineers can find the optimum impleety of tasks, some processing elements may mentation, not just enabling the search Bus be better suited to some tasks than others. for better software, but also reducing risk Using traditional development methods, to the project Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions nowby allowing the implementhe choice of processor for each task must tation parameters—that used to be set in Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research th be done at the beginning of development. coding—to altered an Connect PowerPC speak directly with an PowerPC datasheet from a company, Application Engineer,stone or jumpbefore to a company's technicalbe page, the goalin of Get in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whateverfashion. type of technology, By making this choice early, the planning iterative Connected will help you and products you are for.of some of the benefits of Memconnect with the companies Mem of the partitioning and mapping of Get work Ansearching example www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected to processors can be done before coding using this approach to software developis started to minimize risk to the project. ment is the work recently done to move Figure 1 Quad PowerPC arrangement However, this preplanning requires much a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) benchfor processing synthetic technical experience and insight both in the mark from a quad PowerPC DSP system aperture radar. type of problem and the capability of the to the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) processors. The sense of experimentation processor. The SAR algorithm consists of that moves most engineers and program- software. Using a model of the software three main components: range processing, mers into entering science is shackled and that can be constructed on a single work- a matrix transpose and azimuth processrestrained by the necessary structure need- station, the tool generates separate threads ing. The range and azimuth processing ed to help improve the chances of getting an and executables to construct the parallel have many compute-intensive vector opexpensive project through to fruition. implementation, and many types of proGet Connected companiescan and be supported using the same Other options are available. Softwarewith cessors Get Connected products featured in this section. with companies mentioned in this article. development tools are available that au- infrastructure. Using these software dewww.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected tomate the implementation of distributed velopment tools, the distribution of work

Products

34

September 2007 Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected

End of Article

Get Connected with companies mentioned in this a www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected


INDUSTRY Insight

erations, including FFTs, inverse FFTs and vector multiplies. The work of the range and azimuth processing can be easily distributed to multiple processors, but distributing this work requires the matrix transpose to be distributed—what is called a “corner turn.” The existing SAR benchmark was implemented in Gedae, a programming language and multithreading compiler that enables experimentation with many different processors and processor topologies. Gedae was used to generate an implementation for the quad PowerPC system, as shown in Figure 1. Each PowerPC in the system runs at 500 MHz and has 256 Mbytes of memory. While the 500 MHz processors are several years old, the suitably ample memory allows the large SAR images to be processed one at a time. In other words, once distributed, one SAR image easily fits in the four memories. Because of this ample memory, the corner turn operation is implemented easily by sending the i-th section of the subimage on the j-th processor to the j-th section of the subimage on the i-th processor; a very trivial implementation of a distributed matrix transpose. The quad PowerPC implementation achieves a frame rate of 3 Hz. Using traditional development techniques, re-implementing this application on the Cell/B.E. processor presents a significant programming project. The Cell Broadband Engine Architecture is a heterogeneous multicore architecture developed through a collaboration between Sony, Toshiba and IBM. The current implementation of the Cell/B.E. processor combines one Power Processing Element (PPE) with eight identical Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE), as shown in Figure 2. The PPE is a dual-threaded PowerPC core, and each SPE contains a high-speed processor with its own 256 Kbyte local store and DMA (Direct Memory Access) engine. Using the SPEs effectively is a key programming challenge when targeting the processor. While pro-

cessing can be put on both PPE threads, the power of the processor is only unleashed when the SPEs are heavily utilized. Using the SPEs heavily means the software developer must overcome the hurdle of the SPE’s 256 Kbyte local storage. The existing SAR implementation was not created to support processors with

only 256 Kbyte of local memory. As we have discussed, a trivial implementation of the corner turn operation is possible on the quad PowerPC board because of the system’s large memory. On the Cell/B.E. processor, this trivial implementation is not possible. In addition, the implementation of the range and azimuth processing in the

SPE

SPE

SPE

SPE

SPE

SPE

SPE

SPE

LS

LS

LS

LS

LS

LS

LS

LS

DMA

DMA

DMA

DMA

DMA

DMA

DMA

DMA

Element Interconnect Bus

Memory Controller

PPE

Figure 2

Bus Interface Controller

The Cell Broadband Engine has eight synergistic processing elements (SPEs), each with its own 256 Kbyte local storage (LS) and DMA engine, which communicate over the bus with each other and with the power processing element (PPE).

Range Processing

PPE is bottleneck causing SPEs to idle during transpose

Azimuth Processing

PPE Transpose

Multiple firings with sends and receives implement strip mining

Figure 3

On the Cell/B.E., the method used with the Quad PowerPC approach causes too much idleness in the SBEs.

September 2007

35


INDUSTRY Insight

Range processing Distributed transpose Azimuth processing

Figure 4

Doing the matrix transpose optimized for the Cell/B.E takes advantage of the available power of the SBEs.

previous implementation takes advantage of the ability to fit the entire SAR frame in memory. While this storage is also not possible on the Cell/B.E., the processor’s highly efficient vector processing on the

36

September 2007

SPE cores along with its highly efficient interprocessor communication mean that a significant gain in frame rate can still be possible if the developer can overcome the difficulties of programming the SPEs.

The first issue to tackle when moving this SAR application to the Cell/B.E. processor is fitting the range and azimuth processing onto the SPEs. In the processing of stripmining, a large data buffer is processed chunk by chunk instead of en masse. The benefits of using vector-optimized routines are still realized because the chunk size is still large when compared to the size of the memory, however we have decomposed the data so that it will actually fit in the SPE’s local storage. This technique is often used to reduce cache misses, and it is just as relevant to using the SPEs. Sophisticated programming tools can handle this stripmining of the data automatically without changing the code of the application. The user specifies that he must decompose the data in order to fit it on his target processors, and the tool analyzes the processing to determine how to do the decomposition and automatically adjust the implementation accordingly. The second issue to tackle is how to implement the matrix transpose. Because the data has been stripmined and is being processed chunk by chunk, the transpose must be altered to use the data chunk by chunk. While the trivial transpose implementation we used on the PowerPC is not possible, an equally trivial implementation is possible on the Cell/B.E. processor. While the SPEs have 256 Kbytes of local storage, there is a large amount of unmapped memory available on the system that can be used to collect the chunks of data before performing the transpose. While the quad PowerPC board’s trivial implementation had no real drawbacks, collecting the data in unmapped memory forces the SPEs to remain idle while the PPE performs the transpose. This behavior can be seen in the Gedae Trace Table (Figure 3). Each line at the top of the table represents a separate processing core in the Cell/B.E. Architecture. Four SPE cores are used to perform the range and azimuth processing; the gap in the middle is when the PPE is performing the data collection, transpose and data distribution required for this centralized implementation of a transpose, taking roughly 50%


INDUSTRY Insight

of the time. While this implementation of the SAR algorithm already outperforms the quad PowerPC implementation, reducing the centralization of the transpose operation will significantly increase performance, keeping the load on the highly efficient vector processing SPE cores and off the more general-purpose PPE cores. Because the data set is too large to be done only in the SPEs’ memory and because collecting it all in unmapped memory has shown to be inefficient, another approach is needed to perform the transpose. This decentralized implementation still uses unmapped memory, however we do not collect the data there. We only use it as intermediate storage for a few chunks of data at a time as the chunks flow from one processor to another. Instead of requiring the PPE to transpose the data, we simply have the SPEs read each chunk from the unmapped memory in transposed order. This streaming of the chunks of data through the unmapped memory allows the matrix transpose to be performed in a more distributed manner. With this change, the entire SAR algorithm is performed on the eight SPEs of the Cell/B.E. processor, and each of the eight cores is very highly utilized. A Trace Table illustrating this dense execution is shown in Figure 4. With the decentralization of the matrix transpose, the frame rate of the Cell/B.E. implementation exceeds 135 Hz, approximately a 45x improvement over the quad PowerPC implementation. While we have focused on the programming issues that were tackled to move this SAR benchmark from a DSP system to a radically different multicore processor, there is a wealth of other issues that were addressed with full automation, with no work required by the programmer. Threads were automatically created for the new target system, and the run-time thread scheduler was automatically launched on each core to manage those threads. The communication between cores was fully integrated into the threads, utilizing the DMA engine to provide efficient transfers, even when the implementation shifted from

using four processing elements to nine. Optimized vector libraries were linked in to the generated executables to provide the most efficient FFT and vector multiply implementations for the SPEs and PPE. Many of the mundane aspects of developing applications for the architecture were addressed by the tool so the developer was free to concentrate on the interesting problems in getting the SAR algorithm on the Cell/ B.E. hardware. As seen with the porting of this SAR algorithm, the use of automated implementation has significantly empowered us in being able to easily run the benchmark on new architectures, whether it is a change in processor type, change in number of processors, or even something as radical as moving to the Cell/B.E. processor. Because the partitioning and mapping can be done after coding is completed, a majority of the code is reused regardless of target processor, and the tool automates many of the optimizations needed to create an efficient implementation for that architecture. In addition, the analysis tools around the Gedae programming language allow the developer to easily identify issues in the implementation, allowing the developer to quickly adapt the implementation to the new topology. By being able to easily benchmark an application on radically different hardware, software developers will have much more freedom as to which processor is used for which task and can determine, through experimentation, which implementation provides the best performance.

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Untitled-2 1

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37

8/14/07 9:20:39 AM


Software & development TOolS

managing high availability

Driving High-Availability Operating Environments through Open Source With the increasing acceptance of standards-based hardware, such as AdvancedTCA, there is growing focus on how a transition can be made to standards-based high-availability software operating environments.

nd

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by J ohn Fryer Motorola Embedded Communications Computing

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he Service Availability Forum (SA Forum) is a consortium of communications and computing companies working together to develop high-availability (HA) and management software specifications. Its approach has been to create a set of mpanies providing solutions now for HA implementations in a structured manservices necessary ploration into products, technologies and your goal but is to research latest ner independent ofcompanies. specificWhether applications, highly the cognizant of pplication Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you requirements rvice you requirethe for general whatever type of technology, of those applications. SA Forum anies and products youThe are searching for. standards provide the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the core functionality to abstract hardware through the Hardware Programming Interface (HPI) specification, and to abstract an application’s use of HA frameworks and services through the Application Interface Specification (AIS). This relationship is illustrated in Figure 1. However, HA operating environments are much more than just the implementation of these services. They include many additional, currently non-standardized services and capabilities that can depend on the application space and deployment requirements. For the purposes of this discussion, AIS is the relevant specification, which continues to evolve. For major equipment manufacturers to move away from their Get Connected internal solutions—which often have a long heritage and are very with companies mentioned in this article. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected stable—they need a small number of implementations that they can leverage to meet their requirements. Open source projects

End of Article

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Figure 1

The SA Forum interfaces allow the management middleware to interact via the application interface on the one hand and the platform interface on the other hand.

are a way to achieve this objective, driving cohesion within the Telecom and related industries. The OpenSAF project is an example of the benefits and challenges of using open source software.

The OpenSAF Project

The OpenSAF project has released an implementation of an HA operating environment (Figure 2). It is based on the SA Forum B.01.01 AIS specification. The original code base is currently de-


Software&DevelopmentTools

Beyond AIS

System Description (BOM)

OpenSAF Structure Management Access Service

System Resource Monitor

SAForum Checkpoint Service

SAForum Message Service

Distributed Tracing Service

Availability Manager

SAForum Cluster Membership

SAForum Availability Management Framework

Message based Checkpointing Service

HPI Integration Service

SAForum Lock Service

SAForum Event Distribution Service

Message Distribution Service (MDS)

LEAP

Figure 2

The Open SA Framework implementation includes many of the SAF services plus additional ones needed to complete a deployable solution.

ployed in carrier networks and as such is a stable foundation from which to evolve an open source project. The B.01.01 specification was published in January 2005 and represented the services that had been developed by the SA Forum at that point in time. In addition to AIS services, OpenSAF also uses the SA Forum HPI-defined APIs for integration with the underlying platform. HPI provides a standards-based mechanism for interacting with the hardware of an underlying platform and has been implemented on many COTS and proprietary hardware platforms. The Availability Management Framework (AMF) is one of many services associated with the AIS B.01.01 specification. This service provides a framework to coordinate all of the redundant services within a cluster in a distributed computing environment using a number of redundancy models. It also monitors the health of application components and executes recovery and repair procedures per a configured policy, depending on the redundancy model selected. The Cluster Membership Service (CLM) provides applications with membership information about all nodes within the cluster. All the services and actions within the AIS domain are on a cluster-wide scoping. The Message Service (MSG) and Lock Service (LCK) are also based on the AIS B.01.01 specification. MSG provides a buffered message passing system based on queues. Messages can be written to or read from these queues, and messages are maintained during application switchover. LCK, on the other hand, is a distributed lock service for use within a cluster when multiple processes may be competing for access to a shared resource. It supports two lock models: one for exclusive access and one for shared access. Another service provided by the specification is a publish/ subscribe, multipoint-to-multipoint, asynchronous communications mechanism called Event Service (EVT) that distributes events within the cluster. In this case, subscribers are anonymous, meaning they can join/leave without any publisher interaction. Another important service is the Checkpoint Service (CKPT), which provides a facility for processes to record checkpoint data incrementally. The checkpoint data can be retrieved after failover or switchover and application execution resumed in the correct state. The replicated data can then be stored in multiple nodes within the cluster, but will be deleted after a set time to avoid accumulation of unused checkpoint data.

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The AIS B.01.01 set of services represents the core functionality of a highly available system, but it is not sufficient for a working implementation. OpenSAF Release 1.0 implements a number of additional infrastructure services and capabilities that are necessary for a deployable highly available operating environment. These services represent what might be described as a “proprietary lock-in” in the context of a commercial product offering and it is therefore critical that they are included in OpenSAF to ensure broad market adoption. One of these services is the System Description Services, which is an XML-based definition of the software and hardware components of an OpenSAF system that includes configuration sequences, automated recovery and repair policy definitions. This is essential for the system to know how to react when faults and failures occur. An associated service is the Availability Manager, which implements the recovery and repair of system-wide application services when a software or hardware failure is detected in an HA system. The replication of large amounts of data—such as state information for thousands of calls, with fast transitions from standby to active and low latency as required by telecom applications—is another very important service. This is called the Message-based Checkpoint Service. The Management Access Service provides the availability of system-wide access points for all management operations by tracking the locations of objects to be viewed and controlled using various methods. These include both the command line interface (CLI) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), which offer a persistent store for rapid recovery from failures. The OpenSAF system also supports a system resource monitor, which enables applications to subscribe to system resources and receive alerts when thresholds are crossed, triggering appropriate action before a critical situation occurs, rather than simply reacting to failures as they occur. For example, a “low memory” alert might result in reducing application throughput by means of the HPI integration service, which then integrates the HPI managed hardware platform with OpenSAF. OpenSAF also utilizes this service in recovery and repair of hardware and software faults such as rebooting a node on failure. The above services all represent activities that fall within the scope of the SA Forum charter, which is to develop API specifications for HA services. Although not directly specified by the SA Forum, the implementation of the above services must themselves be highly available. OpenSAF uses the same constructs and services to achieve HA as the user applications themselves.

Beyond SA Forum

There are a number of capabilities necessary for implementing an HA operating environment that fall outside of the SA Forum domain—since by its charter, the forum is restricted to API specifications. Some of the internal “inter-services” necessary for the overall implementation include a messages distribution service, which is a lightweight, high-performance, reliable, peerto-peer messaging service that provides the foundation for distributed middleware. This service allows distributed processes and applications to communicate within the scope of a cluster.


Software&DevelopmentTools

Software portability using Layered Environment for Accelerated Portability (LEAP) is another service required for overall implementation. LEAP is an OS abstraction layer that allows OpenSAF and customer application code built with the LEAP abstractions to be used in multiple OS environments without modification. Although the industry trend is toward the use of Linux as a common base for application development, there are still many applications that have different requirements. Lastly, the Distributed Tracing Service provides a mechanism for applications to post fault-related information to the system—a critical de-bugging element in a distributed system and not something provided by traditional operating systems.

SA Forum and OpenSAF Differences

OpenSAF Release 1.0 is based on the SA Forum AIS B.01.01 specification. Since it was published, the forum has continued to evolve to the current specification level, B.03.01. This specifies additional services that are implemented in different ways by OpenSAF, simply because they are necessary for an HA operating environment and because they were not available when the B.01.01 AIS specification was published. Some of the additional services associated with the SA Forum include the Information Management Model (IMM), which represents the various logical entities that comprise an SA Forum cluster, specified in the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and manipulated by the information management model service API.

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The equivalent functionality is provided in OpenSAF by a combination of the OpenSAF system description, which is based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML), and the Management Access Service, which supports a much broader attribute definition designed for system and application-wide use. As such, the SA Forum service objects can be mapped in a similar way to those specified by the SA Forum information model. The Notification Service (NTF) explains an incident or change in status and is, to a great degree, based on the ITU-T fault management model. In addition, OpenSAF uses the well-known mechanism of TRAPs as offered by SNMP to emit cluster-wide notifications. The log service (LOG) (also under the umbrella of additional services) enables the applications to express and forward log records about cluster-significant events through well-known log streams that lead to particular output destinations such as a named file. The naming service (NAM) provides a mechanism by which human-friendly names are associated with objects, so that these objects can be looked up given their names. There is no exact equivalent in OpenSAF, as the timer service (TMR) provides a standard interface for timer management on a system-wide basis. The equivalent functionality in OpenSAF is supported by the timer service built within LEAP.

Additional Work Areas

The Software Management Service (SWM) represents one of the most complex areas relating to high availability. Open-

AM September8/28/07 2007 11:17:15 41


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SAF does not currently include a software management service because the genesis implementation was considered too architecturally specific. This is a key area that will have to be addressed by the OpenSAF project. In addition, the capability to have a single HA operating environment that supports both traditional C/C++ and Java applications is a very exciting prospect for both the SA Forum and the OpenSAF community. It represents a promise of a much greater community of developers creating highly available applications. Both the SA Forum specifications and the OpenSAF project will continue to evolve over time. There are a number of additional important areas that both organizations are working on, and which represent significant enhancements. OpenSAF Release 1.0 represents a stable, HA operating environment implementation that is currently deployed in multiple carrier field trials. One of the key challenges of the project is how to take the current B.01.01 implementation and upgrade it to the current revision of the SA Forum specifications. This may require re-engineering by the OpenSAF project team, but it also represents an opportunity for upgrading areas of the current implementation to incorporate new ideas. As an open source project, there is no guarantee that OpenSAF will follow the proposed newer specifications of the SA Forum. Fortunately, there is close cooperation and significant overlap between the principal contributors to OpenSAF and representation in the SA Forum. One of the challenges faced by the SA Forum in developing additional services is the ripple effect these new services have on the existing services. Working with purely theoretical specifications makes each development a significant intellectual challenge. A key opportunity presented by OpenSAF is to test new SA Forum specifications and propose modifications, as well as additional tried and tested new services to accelerate the work of the SA Forum. The desire for close cooperation between the SA Forum and OpenSAF means that the OpenSAF project must be established with the correct guidelines to achieve this objective and yet create the meritocracy necessary for a successful open source project. This will be achieved by the creation of an OpenSAF consortium that will assume stewardship for the code, and will guide the evolution of the code base through a board of directors composed from the membership. OpenSAF is an open source project specifically designed to drive alignment and broad adoption around an industry-evolved implementation, which will help to avoid industry fragmentation and clearly communicate to application developers how they should create their own solutions using standards-based HA software. OpenSAF Release 1.0 is a stable implementation representing an excellent starting point for the evolution of broadly adopted code. Close cooperation between the OpenSAF community and the SA Forum will ensure a smooth migration from the current code base to a future implementation compliant with the latest SA Forum specifications. Along the way, OpenSAF will have the ability to support ongoing work within the SA Forum and accelerate the development of new SA Forum AIS services. The OpenSAF Project [www.opensaf.org].


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Software & development TOolS

managing high availability

Building a Highly Available Base Station Controller Using COTS Components High-availability management middleware is key to helping developers build systems with COTS components that are carrier grade and are deployed where uninterrupted service availability is a fundamental requirement. by Asif  Naseem GoAhead Software

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Notification Log AMF MIB HPI MIB Alarm Management

Platform Resource Management Service

Hotswap Management Service

Cluster Membership Checkpointing

Availability Management Framework

Application Services

Platform Management Services

Information Model Mgmt

Availability Management Services

Applications

Systems Management Services

B

uilding a carrier-grade network element capable of providing continued service availability in the presence of failures is a complex undertaking. Historically, telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) have designed and built such systems from the ground up using the specialized, in-house expertise they have developed and nurtured over decades. Many TEMs—especially the tier 1’s—have invested a significant amount of time and resources in developing software services, often referred to as high-availability middleware, essential to building network elements that provide five nines or better service availability. Recently, however, such middleware is becoming the focus of various independent software vendors (ISVs), who are providing software products that package a collection of key services that can be acquired off-the-shelf and employed in system design and implementation. Helping this proliferation are the key standards efforts such as the application programming interface (API) specifications published by the Service Availability Forum. The Forum has provided two sets of API specifications: a hardware abstraction layer termed Hardware Platform Interface (HPI), and an application abstraction layer called the Application Interface Specification (AIS). Together these specifications, when implemented, allow for portability of service availability middleware as well as applications that comply with them. A specific example of how to build a highly available wireless network element using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components can be given using the case of a Base Station Controller (BSC).

Distributed Messaging

Messaging Management Database Resource Virtual IP

SNMP Agent

Cluster Management

Event

Console

Base

Foundational Services Kernel Hardware Platform Running Standard Operating System

Figure 1

Anatomy of a highly available network element.

Anatomy of a Highly Available System

Broadly speaking, there are six categories of essential services that are required in building such a system. The centerpiece of any high-availability middleware is its availability management services. Systems management services enable the creation of both external and internal management functionality. Application services are targeted primarily at developers to simplify the development of applications for highly available systems. Plat-


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Software&DevelopmentTools form management services interface with a particular hardware platform’s management capabilities, to ensure proper discovery of resources and subsequent population of a system model. Foundational services provide a variety of functionality that system developers can utilize to build highly available systems. The kernel is a small, reliable, cross-platform foundation for all services, and helps abstract platform-specific capabilities into generic, platform-independent capabilities. The services that comply with the AIS specification are represented by the red blocks in Figure 1. Assuming all of these services are conveniently available in a package to the system designer, let us dive into how one would build a base station controller that processes voice calls from a number of base stations that it aggregates. Designing such a system typically involves establishing system requirements, determining the deployment configuration and mapping middleware capabilities to the desired solution In establishing system requirements, a base station controller must provide three key functional elements. Operations, administration and maintenance (OA&M) satisfy the requirements of the functional areas described by the acronym. Effectively, this element is the system manager responsible for monitoring the state of the system, and providing an interface to the outside world, e.g., to an element management system. Secondly, call control provides the voice processing services within the system. This element communicates with the OA&M element as well as with the third element, media control, which manages the switching configuration for the media on which the voice calls are transmitted and received. For uninterrupted service availability, each of these functional elements needs to be highly available. One common and logical way to ensure this is to provide redundant pairs of each of these functional elements in the system, and to ensure that these PSU1

PSU2

FAN1

elements operate in independent fault zones, with each element designed to run on its own node. We will assume that the system will be designed using some standards-based bladed system such as ATCA, Blade Center, etc., so that each of the functional element instances will run on a blade within the shelf. Figure 2 depicts a deployment configuration for the base station controller. The hardware components or resources in this deployment configuration include the following: • The Shelf – a platform that hosts the hardware components required for the system. Each shelf includes redundant Ethernet base interfaces to eliminate the network as a single point of failure. • OA&M Node – a blade that hosts the OA&M functional element. The OA&M services are expected to operate with a 2N redundancy model. • Call Control Node – a blade that hosts the call control functional element. There are two call control nodes in the system running the same set of resources, and the two call processing services operate with a 2N redundancy model. • Media Control Node – a blade that hosts the media control functional element. There are two media control nodes in the system running the same resources, and the two media control services operate with a 2N redundancy model. • ShM – redundant shelf managers are responsible for monitoring the hardware through the internal management interface for the shelf, such as IPMI, including detecting the removal or insertion of new hardware components. • Switch – redundant switch blades each providing the switching logic for one of the Ethernet base interfaces. • PSU/Fan – these power supply units and fans are simply shown to represent non-intelligent FRUs that are needed for the shelf to be operational.

FAN2 ShM2

CallControl2: CallControlNode

OAM2: OAMnode

Switch1

ShM1 OAM1: OAMnode

CallControl1: CallControlNode

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PSU1

Figure 2

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MediaControl3: MediaControlNode

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Switch2

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Switch1

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Deployment configuration of a highly available Base Station Controller. September 2007

Having established the systems requirements, and identified the deployment system configuration with appropriate redundancy policy, it is necessary to map the essential middleware services to meet the base station availability requirements. In our base station controller, the middleware services would be designed to be available on all of the blades hosting the key functional elements of the system. Each element would include deployment of only those services that are required for the domain-specific role of the node. The key functional elements that would benefit from high availability and systems management capabilities are, as described earlier, the nodes providing the OA&M, call control and media control functions.

OA&M Nodes

For these nodes, the middleware has been configured to be manager-capable (Figure 3), such that the nodes can be


Software&DevelopmentTools

OA&M Node

Mass Storage Modules for VMEbus and CompactPCI®

SNMP Agent

Information Model System Model

IMM Manager

PRMS

Notification

Log

AMF Manager

AMF Client

Cluster Management

Distributed Messaging

SRP Figure 3

PMC CompactFlash Module

Manager-capable OA&M node.

designated either the manager or standby manager node by the management middleware. Because these OA&M nodes will be the manager and standby manager nodes, the information model is present on the manager and is replicated to the standby manager node. This mapping of the node roles is consistent with the domain-specific role these nodes have in the system as well. Because the OA&M services are operating in a 2N redundancy model, logically the OA&M service on each node would be represented as a service unit in the Availability Management Framework (AMF) system model, and those service units would edrock_04.indd be members of a 2N OA&M service group. The application processes that provide the OA&M functionality would also be represented as AMF components within the OA&M service unit and would affect the high-availability states of the containing OA&M service unit for the node. The purpose of each of the services enabled on the OA&M nodes is as follows: • Cluster Management Service (CMS) – required on all cluster nodes, and in this case, the node is configured to be managercapable • Distributed Messaging Service (DMS) – required because it is used by the management middleware services as the communications infrastructure for both intra-node and inter-node communication • A MF Manager – manages the AMF system model and implements the required AMF policies; also performs replication of AMF system model state updates to the standby manager node • A MF Client – required to perform the node local AMF operations for managing the lifecycle of AMF components on the node • IMM Manager – required because this is a manager-capable node; manages the information model within the Information Model Management (IMM) service, including replication of all information model updates to the standby manager node • Notification (NTF) Service – on a manager-capable node, fulfills the same role as the other management services (IMM, AMF, etc.) and provides reliable notification services to the cluster

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Software&DevelopmentTools

Call Control Node AMF Client Event

Checkpointing

Cluster Management

Distributed Messaging

SRP Figure 4

Deployment of a Call Control Node.

Media Control Node AMF Client Messaging

Cluster Membership

Cluster Management

Distributed Messaging

SRP Figure 5

Deployment of a Media Control Node.

• Log (LOG) Service – on a manager-capable node, the Log Service fulfills the same role as the other management services (IMM, AMF, etc.) and provides reliable logging services to the cluster • Platform Resource Management Service (PRMS) – represents the state of the system’s hardware resources in the AMF system model and propagates HPI events by way of the NTF service; also facilitates the implementation of custom hot swap and alarm management for the system and relies on a HPI client library to access the HPI APIs • SNMP Agent – supports the MIBs required for the system by processing incoming requests related to the supported MIBs, as well as generating traps and notifications described in the MIBs It is likely that other services would also be useful on an OA&M node, such as the Management Database Service.

Call Control Nodes

These nodes have been configured to be client-only (Figure 4), such that the nodes can never be designated either the manager or standby manager node by the management middleware. This mapping of the node roles is consistent with the domain-specific role these nodes have in the system as well, because these nodes are expected to perform the business logic of the system and not necessarily manage the other system components. Because the call control nodes are using a 2N redundancy model, logically, the call control service on each node would be represented as a service unit in the AMF system model and those service units would be members of a 2N call control service group. The application processes on each call control node that provide the call control functionality would also be represented as AMF components within the call control service unit for the node in the AMF system model, which affects the high-availability states of the containing call control service unit for the node.

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The purpose of each of the services enabled on these nodes is briefly described below. • Cluster Management Service (CMS) – required on all cluster nodes, but, in this case the nodes are configured to be clientonly • Distributed Messaging Service (DMS) – required because it is used internally by the management middleware services for intra-service communication • Event (EVT) Service – potentially used to send and receive management requests/responses from/to the OA&M nodes; can also be used to checkpoint the state of the call control applications between the nodes • Checkpoint (CKPT) Service – potentially used to checkpoint the state of the in-progress calls between the active and standby call processing applications on the nodes • A MF Client – required to perform the node local AMF operations as requested by the AMF manager for managing the lifecycle of AMF components on the node

Media Control Nodes

For the media control nodes, the management middleware has been configured to be client-only—the same as the call control nodes (Figure 5). This mapping of the node roles is consistent with the domain-specific role these nodes have in the system. Because the media control nodes are using a 2N redundancy model, the media control service on each node would be represented as a service unit in the AMF system model, and those service units would be members of a 2N media control service group. The application processes on each media control node that provide the media control functionality would also be represented as AMF components within the media control service unit for the node in the AMF system model, which affects the high-availability states of the containing media control service unit for the node. Notice that the set of services utilized on this node are very similar to the services utilized on the call control nodes. The primary difference between the configuration of the media control and call control nodes is the set of AIS application services configured to be available on the media control nodes. The message (MSG) service is potentially used to send and receive management requests/responses from/to the OA&M nodes, where incoming management requests would be retained in a designated message queue even if the media control application(s) are currently unavailable to receive the request. The cluster membership (CLM) service is used by the media control application processes to determine when cluster nodes have entered or left the cluster. When a node leaves the cluster, the media control applications could use the “node left” notification as a trigger to clean up any media switching configuration related to the call processing applications that are no longer available due to the node exiting the cluster. So there we have it! A highly available Base Station Controller that is designed and developed using COTS components. GoAhead Software Bellevue, WA. (425) 453-1900. [www.goahead.com].


Pump Up Your ARM ® Powered Design! October 2-4 2007 Santa Clara Convention Center

ARM Developers’ Conference and Design Pavilion

Strengthen your skills and speed your time-to-market Only the ARM Developers’ Conference offers: �

� �

Over 90 track sessions providing a complete end to end design tutorial for leveraging ARM IP in advanced embedded applications Combined tutorials with Portable Design Conference Design Centers and exhibitions from leading ARM licensees and Connected Community members offer a full complement of workshops and presentations Forums and analyst presentations on industry trends

Plus: through the combination of track sessions, presentations and company design centers you will be fully immersed in leading strategies and methodologies for building complex designs with the ARM architecture. And Finally-- Conference Delegates who pre-register before September 10 receive the conference proceedings on a 4 GB iPod Nano to take home!

Register early and save!

www.arm.com/developersconference

Co-Located with the Portable Design Conference & Exhibition


&TECHNOLOGY

Products

Low-Power COM Module with SATA Support

A low-power COM module based on the AMD Geode LX 800 processor and CS5536 companion chipset is targeted for markets such as medical automation, gaming, instrumentation, POS, mobile computing and transportation where low-power, medium performance and extended graphic support is required. The ETX-GLX from Adlink Technology is based on the AMD Geode LX 800 processor and CS5536 companion chipset and supports up to 1 Gbyte DDR400 memory in a single SODIMM socket. It can optionally be equipped with 128 Mbyte or 256 Mbyte DDR400 memory soldered on the module. The ETX-GLX supports advanced display features such as CRT support up to a resolution of 1920 x 1440 and single or dual channel 24-bit LVDS panels at up to a 1600 x 1200 resolution. This module can also optionally be equipped with a Focus Enhancement TV encoder chip that supports both standard and high-definition TV output. This ETX 3.02-compliant module further incorporates a 10/100Base-T Ethernet port, a PATA EIDE controller supporting both PIO and UDMA modes, a dual port SATA controller, four USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports, one parallel port (SPP/ECP/EPP), one PS2 keyboard/ mouse interface, an AC’97 audio interface and power management functionality. The module includes BSP support for Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Linux and Vxworks, and is aimed at applications that require guaranteed long production life support. Pricing starts at $299 with volume discounts available. Adlink Technology. Irvine, CA. (970) 377-0385. [www.adlinktech.com].

Mini-ITX Embedded Digital Video Board with Core 2 Duo

An embedded digital video motherboard in a Mini-ITX form-factor is powered by an Intel Core2 Duo processor with integrated video capture function. The Mini-ITX form-factor and low-power consumption of the Intel Core 2 Duo processor will help software companies design a very compact video surveillance solution. DVMB-554E embedded digital video motherboard from Advantech has integrated PCIe video capture and provides the small footprint required for DVR solutions. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor offers cool thermal performance while providing high-power computing. DVMB554E is optimized for processor-intensive video analysis and object tracking applications. PCIe support delivers generous bandwidth, more than enough to pump four channels of integrated video capture at D1 resolution, up to 120/100 frame per second. A complete SDK with demonstration programs will allow software companies to customize their application for this new platform. Software companies can provide advanced video functions like automated PTZ tracking, unattended operation and multi-camera associated tracking. The Mini-ITX formfactor (170 x 170 mm) easily accommodates the unit into the limited spaces required by POS-DVR, ATM-DVR, video analysis boxes for IVS, or Hybrid DVR platforms. Compared to traditional PCs, DVMB-554 has specific functions like a low-power processor, compact size and onboard video to benefit the system integrator for vertically oriented video applications. Advantech. Irvine, CA. (949) 789-7178. [www.advantech.com].

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Touch Screen Embedded Panel PC for Low-Power, No-Noise Applications

A new compact embedded panel PC features a 7” touch panel LCD and fanless lowpower design, along with a compact 8.39” x 5.71” x 2.87” frame for use in applications such as kiosks, electronic manufacturing, factory automation and transportation systems.

The NuPPC-0701T from Adlink Technology is powered by a 1.0 GHz Intel Celeron M processor, 915GME + ICH6-M chipset and 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (up to 512 Mbytes). The NuPPC-0701T supports a variety of data storage and connectivity options: one CompactFlash slot, three USB ports and 10/ 100BASET Gigabit Ethernet ports. The resolution of the HMI display supports up to 800 x 480 with a brightness of 400 cd/m2. Adlink also offers a professional customized service to improve competitive advantages and reduce the total cost of ownership for our customers. Customization options include CPU type, memory, operating system and extended IO functions. The NuPPC-0701T is available now, priced starting at $1,495 and is available with volume discounts. Adlink Technology. Irvine, CA. (970) 377-0385. [www.adlinktech.com].


Kitting Solutions for TFT LCD Displays with Industrial Single Board Computers

A range of kitted TFT LCD solutions includes LCDs and industrial single board computers. Apollo Display Technologies develops complete TFT LCD systems, consisting of a display, adapted industrial single board computer (SBC) from IBase and all accessories—completely tested and ready for use. These systems or “kits” consist of combined and coordinated components, as many as 10 depending on the application. Apollo is now offering kits for TFT LCDs ranging in size from 6.5” to 82” diagonal used in a wide variety of industrial applications as well as medical, ruggedized, marine and digital signage. The kits typically include an Apollo LCD, the appropriate IBASE industrial SBC, matched BIOS, a backlight inverter and data interface cables with multiple O/S choices. The IBase component of the new Apollo TFT LCD kits may be a CPU card (full-size, half-size or industrial backplane), industrial motherboard (Mini-ITX, ATX, Micro ATX or Networking), Disk-Size SBC (5.25”, 3.5” or ECX), ETX (COM Express module, ETX CPU module or ETX baseboard), Compact PCI board, or PC/104 Plus module. Using a modular system, Apollo can combine these components in different ways, supplying cost-efficient standard kits as well as custom versions adapted to individual requirements. Pricing varies depending on customer requirements. For example, a standard kit including a 15” XGA LCD, IBASE IB881 with Intel ULV CPU, matched BIOS, backlight inverter and data/inverter interface cables is priced at approximately $655.33 in 1,000 piece quantities. Apollo Display Technologies. Ronkonkoma, NY (631) 580-4360. [www.apollodisplays.com].

Evaluation Board for Low-Cost Secure Internet Protocol Controller

An evaluation board aids programming the iChip CO2064, Connect One’s low-cost, small footprint Internet Protocol (IP) controller that targets cost- and resource-constrained machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, where encryption and security is required. The II-EVB-600 supports many upper layer Internet protocols using either AT+i commands or the iChipConfig Utility, and can be used for evaluation and development of secure Wi-Fi, LAN, cellular or dial-up networking, offering developers maximum flexibility in connectivity. The board acts as a complete stand-alone platform, which enables developers to fully test out, develop and debug the functionality of the CO2064’s firmware without any modifications to the customer’s development environment. The II-EVB-600 facilitates the CO2064 iChip’s memory management. To minimize footprint, CO2064 iChip offers 256 Kbytes of memory, enough to run all networking stacks, and does not need dedicated flash while using the available system flash for storing the device firmware. The chip features an open architectural design where developers choose the Internet protocols required for their applications. Using on-chip firmware, developers can send and receive e-mails with or without attachments, perform FTP or use a built-in Web server for remote control and management of the system and application. The SerialNET (Device Server) mode offers a plug-and-play operating mode that enables the connection of any device with an RS-232 interface to the Internet via Modem, LAN Ethernet, Wi-Fi or Cellular, without changing anything on the device’s hardware or software. The II-EVB-600 is priced at $575. Connect One. San Jose, CA. (408) 572-5675. [www.connectone.com].

1 Gbyte Ethernet LAN Controller in PC/104-Plus Format

A 1 Gbyte LAN controller connects industrial PC/104-Plus computers and control systems to Ethernet networks. The 32-bit MSMGE104+ from Digital-Logic is based on an i82541 network controller and supports data transmission speeds of 1000/100/10 Mbits/s. For network access, it is equipped with a RJ-45 port. A setup program controls the I/O address section and the IRQ number. The board consists of an Ethernet IEEE802.3 network interface with 10BASE-2 and 10BASET connections. Selections are performed by setting jumpers or by using software tools supplied with the Ethernet tool disk. Drivers for Windows and Linux are available. The card is connected to the 32-bit PCI bus and requires only one PCI resource. The MSMGE104+ requires a 3.3V power supply and operates within the standard temperature range of -25° to +70°C (1 Gbyte). On request, it is also available for an extended operating temperature range from -40° to +85°C (100 Mbyte). The MTBF (mean time between failures) is specified with over 100,000 hours. Digital-Logic. Luterbach, Switzerland, +41 (0)32/ 681 58 40. [www.digitallogic.ch].

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Products&TECHNOLOGY MicroTCA Backplane in Cube Format

Designed in the Cube-style format, a new MicroTCA backplane from Elma Bustronic features 6 AdvancedMC, 1 MicroTCA Carrier Hub and 1 Power Module slot. The backplane has a Star topology and fits in a 4U-wide Cube-style MicroTCA portable enclosure at the bottom for a Cooling Unit and at the top for temperature sensors. The 12-layer routing includes 12 ports, including Fat Pipe lanes and allocations for PCI Express traffic. The pinout of Connector 2 of the MCH is the first alternative pinout defined in the MicroTCA Spec. This pin-out contains half a Fabric (FabricB) and three clock networks. The Fabric on this connector is not used at all, instead, the according Ports 2 and 3 of the AMCs are connected directly between the cards. Elma Bustronic also offers MicroTCA backplanes in both Star and Dual Star topologies and in Pico and Subrack formats. Pricing is under $1,000 depending on volume and configuration requirements.

Elma Bustronic. Fremont, CA. (510) 490-7388.[www.elmabustronic.com].

Panel-PC V Boasts Scalable Multicore Processors

A new Panel-PC in a selection of popular touch screen sizes comes equipped with Intel Core Duo T2500 technology on a COM Express-compliant, scalable ETXexpress Computer-On-Module (COM). The new V Panel Express from Kontron with embedded multicore processor technology is suitable for running real-time control, visualization (human machine interface) and other tasks—such as security protocols and firewalls for teleservices—simultaneously. Previously these applications had to be run on two or more dedicated systems. OEMs now need only one IPC for multiple functions, each running on a separate core. Besides these new possibilities, the Kontron V Panel Express is suited for conventional high-end rugged computing applications such as industrial imaging including high-speed data transcoding and processing. The Kontron V Panel Express has a maximum RAM of 2 Gbytes, and can be equipped with two CF Cards and up to two SATA hard drives. With a variety of interface options, such as two serial ports, five USB ports (1 x front and 4 x rear), 1x DVI-I, as well as two LAN 10/100/1000 Base-TX, the Kontron V Panel Express easily adapts to customer-specific requirements. Two free PCI slots are available for expansion. Integrated watchdog and power management functions complete the package. The Kontron V Panel Express supports Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, as well as Linux and Embedded Linux. Cooling allows for passive and fanless cooling at maximum processor performance. The display size is scalable from 12- to 17-inch. The front bezel is available in stainless steel and can be customized for an OEM-specific look and feel. Kontron. Poway, CA. (858) 677-0877. [www.kontron.com].

VME64/VME64x/2eSST 6U SBC Based on Intel Pentium M up to 1.8 GHz

A full 6U VME CPU board offers system developers the functionality of VME 64x parallel bus capabilities as well as the opportunity to use x86-compatible software components. The CPC600 from Fastwel is based on Intel Pentium M CPUs running at 1.8 GHz from their long-term manufacturing program, and on Tundra Semiconductor Tsi148, which is the highest bandwidth VME64 bridge chip available. This bridge provides a data exchange rate up to 320 Mbytes/s (2eSST protocol) between the south bridge and the VME peripheral cards and is backward compatible with VME32, VME64 and VME64x protocols. The Fastwel CPC600 has a wide selection of communication capabilities—four independent Gigabit Ethernet channels, two of which are available at the front panel and two are routed to the P0 backplane connector according to the VITA31.1 standard. This allows using CPC600 in cluster systems with packet switching via backplane. Gigabit Ethernet controllers are connected via PCI-X bus, giving the opportunity to reach data exchange rates of up to 950 Mbytes/s. Therefore, using CPC600, VME system developers have at their disposal a choice of three high-speed communication channels—two Gigabit Ethernet and highest bandwidth VME parallel bus—in building a highly efficient architecture for data, networking, command and control modules and monitoring information exchange. CPC600 uses an onboard graphics controller for video signal output. Designers may choose from two display protocols: VGA and LVDS. The VGA interface is available through a front panel connector; supported resolutions are up to 2048 x 1536 at 75 Hz. LVDS signals are routed to the P0 backplane connector and are available via an available rear I/O board—RIO680 CPC600-01 version has a site, where either a 1.8” HDD or a 64-bit PMC module is installed. CРC60002 version is capable of carrying an additionally a 2.5” HDD at the expense of heat sink size. Operating temperature range for the industrial version of CPC600 is -40° to +85°С; a commercial version is intended for operation at temperatures from 0° to +70°С. CPC600 supports different operating systems from real-time to wide spread industrial automation systems. Fastwel. Brooklyn, NY. (718) 554-3686. [www.fastwel.com].

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USB Data Acquisition Module Offers 1 MHz 16-bit A/D

A data acquisition module with a USB interface and software support for use with PCs offers users eight differential or 16 single-ended analog inputs with seven programmable input ranges. The USB 1616HS from Measurement Computing offers a wide variety of analog input, and digital and frequency I/O in one compact and low-cost package. In addition, a simple plug-in expansion module can quadruple the analog input channel count for up to 32 DI/64SE channel inputs, and there are 24 digital I/O lines. Any analog input can measure voltage or thermocouples—any thermocouple (TC) type on any channel. The unit’s oversampling mode includes line-cycle rejection for ultra stable TC and low-level voltage measurements, even in the presence of AC power line noise. Synchronous I/O allows all analog inputs, digital I/O and counter/timer I/O to be synchronized resulting in precise time correlation between all I/O. In addition, there are low-latency control outputs that can respond to inputs in as fast as two microseconds. Software support includes Measurement Computing’s TracerDAQ 2.0, data logging, viewing and analysis application, Universal Library function library and Universal Library for LabView as well as the InstaCal installation, calibration and test utility. Pricing starts at $1,399. Measurement Computing. Norton, MA. (508) 946-5100. [www.measurementcomputing.com].

Gigabit Media Converter for Remote Management

Quad Fast Ethernet Controller for Multiple Configurations

A single-slot, 3U, CompactPCI network controller features Quad Fast Ethernet (QFE) for expanded control of multiple network configurations including firewalls, gateways, routers and fieldbus data concentrators based on industrial Ethernet. The new 32bit, 33 MHz F211 from MEN Micro is qualified for an extended temperature range of -40° to +85°C (-40° to +185°F), making it ideal for harsh and mobile applications. The IEEE 802.3u-compliant network controller features four fullduplex/half-duplex channels that support 10Base-T and 100Base-TX physical layers and provide auto-negotiation, collision and link detection with a maximum data transfer of 200 Mbits/s per channel. Each of the four channels has a unique MAC/IP address, enabling the F211 to function in a redundant mode when the lines are used in parallel, especially useful for high-availability systems. The F211 has a high isolation voltage of 1,500V and a low power consumption of 3.3V. The front panel features four standard 8-pin RJ45 connectors. Optional conformal coating further ensures the controller’s resistance against rugged conditions. The F211 comes with drivers for Windows, Linux, QNX and VxWorks. Other OS support is available upon request. Pricing is $544 MEN Micro. Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. [www.menmicro.com].

An industrial-grade gigabit media converter product offers conversion between a 10/100/1000BaseT(X) connection and 1000BaseSX/LX/LHX/ZX, allowing users to extend the distance between copper-based connections with fiber optic cables. The IMC-101G from Moxa Technologies has an open SFP slot that allows users to plug in the appropriate SFP optics to suit a variety of applications. Since media converters are relatively inexpensive, the IMC-101G gives system managers an economical means of extending the distance of existing networks for remote management. The IMC101G can extend transmission distance up to 80 kilometers (with single mode fiber), and broaden the bandwidth to 1000 Mbits/s. Each IMC-101G converter comes with Link Fault PassThrough, which gives system maintainers an efficient means of troubleshooting broken links. In addition, the IMC-101G has a relay output warning alarm to help prevent damage and loss, supports redundant power inputs, and the casing is IP30-rated. The standard IMC-101G models support an operating temperature range of 0° to 60°C, and the wide temperature models can be used in a temperature range of -40° to 75°C. DIN rail or panel mounting options are available.

Elma Bustronic Releases VXS Payload Extender Boards

Moxa Technologies. Brea, CA. (714) 528-6777. [www.moxa.com].

Elma Bustronic. Fremont, CA. (510) 490-7388. [www.bustronic.com].

New VXS payload extender boards from Elma Bustronic are designed to bring a circuit card completely out of a card cage or enclosure so that it can be tested or debugged. This provides access to both sides of the test board. There are test points for all of the lines on each 160-pin connector and the MultiGig P0 connector. Elma Bustronic used creative engineering to solve a major problem in developing the VXS Extender Board—the lack of a right angle receptacle for VXS in the marketplace. The company produced a rigid-flex-rigid PCB design to get around the problem. The solution entails a right angle pin connector that plugs into the backplane, connected to a flex circuit that wires to the straight receptacle to receive the plug-in board. The VXS Extender Boards come in a 10-layer stripline design for the rigid PCB and microstrip design for the flex circuit portion. Also featured is an ammeter, which measures the current and has a digital indicator on the front panel showing the status. Elma Bustronic also offers extender boards in VXI, VME, AdvancedTCA and CompactPCI architectures. Other system accessories include load boards, power interface boards, shelf managers, system/voltage monitors and more. Pricing is under $3,000 depending on volume and configuration.

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Products&TECHNOLOGY Wireless Access Point/Bridge and AP Client for Outdoors

A multipurpose wireless Access Point/ Bridge and AP Client comes housed in a rugged IP68/67-certified weatherproof enclosure to withstand any extreme climatic conditions. AWK1200 series from Moxa Technologies is fully compliant with IEEE802.11 g/b and is available in two different models: one is industrial IEEE802.11g/b wireless Access Point/Bridge, and the other is industrial AP Client. The mechanical design offers seamless protection against the effects of dust and water. Flexible deployment can be achieved by the IEEE802.3af Power-overEthernet (PoE). The operating temperature ranges from -20° to 70°C. Wireless security is enhanced using WEP, WPA/WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and IEEE802.1X authentication to guarantee a safe wireless networked environment. The AWK-1200 has a detachable antenna design, which gives you the flexibility of choosing your own special-purpose antenna to reach the longest distance possible, instead of being limited to the standard models. Moxa offers two kinds of antennas. The AN+T-1-D-12 is a directional antenna type with 12 dBi gain, and the ANT-1-O-09 is an omni-directional antenna type with 9 dBi gain.

Field-Oriented Control for Increased Motor Efficiency and Cost Savings

A significant improvement over standard Hall-based and sinusoidal approaches for motor control, the Ion digital drive from Performance Motion Devices features field-oriented control for greater motor efficiency, and higher top-end rotation speed than alternate methods for brushless DC and step motors.. Field oriented control also offers a significant improvement over standard variable speed drive techniques. Designers using this approach can achieve higher top speeds, and increase motor efficiencies up to 95%.

Moxa Technologies. Brea, CA. (714) 528-6777. [www.Moxa.com].

AMC Board with Four Copper Gigabit Ethernet Ports.

The LAN AMC board from One Stop systems is a single-width, full-height AdvancedMC (AMC) module that offers four Gigabit Ethernet copper ports. This enables telecom equipment manufacturers to easily add multiple 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports to networking equipment that utilizes the new AMC form-factor. OEMs can use the LAN AMC board in high-performance embedded systems according to MicroTCA specifications. AMC cards are switch-fabric-based, hot-swappable and fully managed for use in carrier and enterprise-class applications. Designed to deliver full wire-speed performance on all four Gigabit ports simultaneously, the LAN AMC board is based on two Marvell Yukon 88E8062 Gigabit Ethernet Controllers. The 88E8062 controller is based on Marvell’s Concurrent Data Streaming (CDS) architecture that utilizes a highly innovative scheme to reduce the impact of system and peripheral latencies on PCIe throughput to enable superior data streaming and application performance. Each network interface on the LAN AMC can auto-sense speed, simplex, duplex and flow control, and detects polarity (no need for cross over cables) and cable lengths. The front panel of the board supports four IEEE 802.3ab-compliant connections over 1000BaseT Cat-5e copper wire through industry standard RJ-45 connectors. The Quad-port LAN AMC lists for $1,011 and is available immediately. One Stop Systems. Escondido, CA. (760) 745-9883. [www.onestopsystems.com].

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The Ion Digital Drive is a fully enclosed, single-axis module that provides high performance motion control, network connectivity, and amplification in a rugged, easy-to-use package for DC brush, brushless DC or step motors. ION can be programmed using ProMotion, a Windows-based exerciser which allows quick and easy drive set up or C-Motion and VB-Motion software libraries which let users develop their own applications in C/C++ or Visual Basic. The Drive is CE marked and RoHS compliant. Prices start at $199 in OEM quantities. Performance Motion Devices. Lincoln, MA. (781) 674-9860. [www.pmdcorp.com].


Open Source RTOS Targets Microchip DSCs and MCUs

DSPnano is an open source RTOS and Eclipse-based tool set that increases small embedded signal processing system development productivity and reliability. OEM users can develop faster and better applications in less time to meet stretch market goals using these off-the-shelf products. RoweBots Research has launched Version 2 for the 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controller (DSC) and PIC24 microcontroller (MCU) families from Microchip Technology. DSPnano is suited for small signal processing development by engineers who need stringent control over their environment and revel in simplicity.

Software Verification for Dual-Mode Wireless Handsets

A scalable, embedded verification platform enables the development of software integral to the new wireless digital handsets supporting both standard cellular telephony and push-to-talk two-way radio service. STRIDE 2.1 from S2 Technologies ensures the delivery and carrier acceptance of each handset in record time. The new dual-mode wireless handset platform supports walkie-talkie, phone and data services while integrating a sophisticated software platform that typically serves applications such as phonebook manager, calculator, speakerphone, calendar, world clock, voice recording, assisted GPS and text messaging. STRIDE 2.1 provides reusable, automated testing to support process optimizations and best practices, while enabling development teams to more effectively validate and integrate code. The result is a software engineering strategy that emphasizes early and continual automated software testing to build in quality at the outset, provide better visibility into software stability and increase the predictability of product releases. By promoting early verification of software that often comes from multiple sources, STRIDE 2.1 enables engineering organizations to more readily test and ensure the reliability of integrated software earlier in the development process. The current starting price is $8,300. Current STRIDE 2.0 licensees are eligible to receive STRIDE 2.1 as a no-cost upgrade. S2 Technologies. Cardiff, CA. (760) 635-2345. [www.s2technologies.com].

From Microchip’s PIC24 16-bit MCUs through the dsPIC 30 30 MIPS DSCs to the dsPIC 33 40 MIPS DSCs, DSPnano offers seamless support including: • C/C++ integrated development environment (IDE) based on Eclipse with a highly productive user interface • DSPnano operating system level simulator • seamless integration with Microchip’s MPLAB IDE for instruction level simulation, compiling and debugging • integrated DSP RTOS with full POSIX capabilities and a tiny foot print to minimize training time and processor size • DSP libraries with 650 functions for off the shelf tried and proven processing • complete I/O minimizing development and integration • integrated with MPLAB IDE to use the MPLAB ICD 2 and MPLAB REAL ICE debugging and emulation hardware development tools DSPnano offers flexibility, which allows developers to quickly change processor sizes to that most suitable to the current application. This flexibility is exactly what is required for lean product development. DSPnano V2 is hosted on Windows XP and Vista for x86 platforms. Support for the entire dsPIC DSC product line and the PIC24 MCU line is available. Pricing starts at $499 for a single user. Open source royaltyfree licenses start at $3,999. RoweBots Research. Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario. (519) 208-0189. [www.rowebots.com].

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Products&TECHNOLOGY 14-Slot 3U PXI Chassis Includes LCD Display, DVD, Keyboard and Touchpad

A 14-slot, 3U portable PXI chassis is fully compliant with the PXI specification, rev. 2.2. The PXIS-2690P from Adlink Technology is designed for military, aero-defense, field testing and in-vehicle testing applications by providing a touch panel 15” LCD display, keyboard, touchpad, DVD combo drive and 500W power supply in an aluminum alloy frame. Designed for ruggedness and stability, the PXIS-2960P has been tested for a variety of shock and vibration situations—such as those experienced in outdoor applications. Three onboard 120 mm x 120 mm x 25 mm fans deliver an airflow rate of 223.5 cfm to help ensure proper operation even in high-temperature environments. The 13 peripheral slots of the PXIS-2690P support a variety of 3U PXI/CompactPCI modules such as digitizers, waveform generators, multimeters, data acquisition cards, analog output cards and digital I/O cards. The PXIS-2690P is available now and is competitively priced starting at $6,450, with discounts in volume quantities. Adlink Technology. Irvine, CA. (970) 377-0385. [www.adlinktech.com].

EtherCAT Servo Drives Revitalize High-Performance Automation

Two open standard EtherCAT-compatible Accelnet servo drives deliver 18A and 36A peak, respectively and combine Accelnet versatility along with Ethernet speed for centralized control of multi-axis automation. The new drives, parts AEP-90-18 and AEP-90-36 from Copley Controls, drive brushless and brush motors and run on 20 - 90 VDC power. Adding EtherCAT compatibility to Copley’s Accelnet drives provides a combination of speed and operating modes, including torque, velocity, trajectory tracking, point-to-point and homing. Multiple choices for encoder feedback include Endat 2.2, Hiperface, incremental and analog encoders. High-performance multi-axis robotic arms often require real-time servo-loop adjustments in response to loads being lifted and arms extended. Motion on one axis can also affect loading on other axes. Optimal control of multi-axis robotic arms is best achieved with a centralized controller that handles path planning and manages all position and velocity control loops. The controller commands high-bandwidth current loops within each arm-positioning drive. Such centralized control places a heavy burden on the communication network between controller and drives. EtherCAT’s ultra fast data transmission enables 100 drives to be updated in less than 100 usec. Copley supports the new drives with comprehensive software tools that capitalize on the CANopen DSP-402 device profile of EtherCAT. All network management is taken care of automatically by a few simple commands. Copley supports two levels of development environments. Copley Motion Libraries (CML) link into a C++ application program. Copley Motion Objects (CMO) are COM-compatible objects for Visual Basic, NET and LabVIEW. The new drive’s dimensions are 7.7” x 3.9” x 1.2” (196 x 99.6 x 30.5 mm). Interfaces include two 100BASE-TX ports, analog ±10V inputs, as well as multiple digital inputs and outputs. Copley Controls. Canton, MA. (781) 828-8090. [www.copleycontrols.com].

Isolated 24-Channel 1-Amp Driver Card for PC/104

A 24-output isolated driver card for the PC/104 form-factor has all output drivers and is capable of sinking 1A of current. In addition, with the 4I37 from Mesa Electronics, all output drivers have overload protection and clamp diodes. The 4I37 can drive solenoids, lamps and large relays with power supply voltages up 28 VDC. Outputs are organized as two 12-bit ports for fast updating. Output switching time is less than 2 usec. Galvanic isolation between logic and power circuitry keeps the up to 24 amps of return current from interfering with CPU logic and also allows the use of loads with a common positive ground. All 24 bits can be read back allowing unused output to be used as inputs and to verify output switching. Price of the 4I37 is $112 in quantity 100. Mesa Electronics. Richmond, CA (510) 223-9272. [www.mesanet.com].

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September 2007


VME Dual PMC SBC, High Performance/ Watt using Intel Core 2 Duo

Suitable for low power intensive processing applications where the dual processor cores can access up to 4 Gbytes on board DDR2 ECC SDRAM at up to 6.4 Gbytes/s, the VP 417/03x from Concurrent Technologies comes with two 66 MHz PMC sites, suitable for a wide range of PMC modules. The board also includes extensive I/O functionality and can support VITA 31.1. Commercial and extended temperature versions are now available, and ruggedized, conductioncooled or air-cooled versions will be available shortly. The VP 417/03x supports the 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 processor (in a socket) or 1.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L7400 processor (soldered), each with 4 Mbytes L2 cache shared between the cores. Both processors support 64-bit operating systems. By using appropriate operating systems and applications software, a computing performance increase of over twice an Intel Pentium M processor is achievable, and yet the Intel Thermal Design Power (TDP) for the 2.16 GHz dual core processor is 34W versus 27W TDP for the single core 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium M processor 760. The Intel E7520 server class chipset and Intel 6300ESB ICH are used to complement the processor to achieve a high-performance, yet low-power core architecture.

Supporting two 66MHz PCI-X PMC sites and expansion for two more PMC sites (all with rear I/O), this highfunctionality board offers an array of functions—analog graphics, keyboard, mouse, 2x RS-232/422/485, 2x USB and EIDE interfaces. The front panel supports dual PMC, analog graphics, keyboard and mouse interfaces, and includes an additional USB and an additional RS-232 interface. To cater for embedded applications, there is 64 Mbytes of application flash memory. For a wider range of applications, there is an ATA100 EIDE P2 interface, an onboard EIDE option for CompactFlash modules or an onboard SATA150 2.5-inch disk drive. As well as the industry standard PC interfaces, other features available include a watchdog timer, long duration timer and LAN boot firmware. The VP 417/03x supports many of today’s leading operating systems, including Linux, Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Solaris, LynxOS, QNX and VxWorks. Concurrent Technologies. Woburn, MA. (781) 933-5900. [www.gocct.com].

PC/104-Plus Board with Two StarFabric Interfaces

A highly integrated PC/104 Plus peripheral board with two StarFabric interfaces is based on the StarGen SG2010 controller, a PCI bridge chip, which transmits the parallel PCI data into a serial format for the data communication via StarFabric. The MSMSF104+ from Digital-Logic works with all common PC/104-Plus CPU boards and provides a data rate of up to 2.5 Gbits via two off-the-shelf RJ45 cables. The peripheral board expands the capabilities of the PCI bus by providing higher levels of scalability and reliability to PCI-based systems and by using the advanced features of StarFabric. As StarFabric uses the PCI bus alternatively either as transparent or non-transparent bridge to the network, the PCI software and driver may be used unchanged. This technique offers some more advantages. With

the help of StarFabric switches, up to 1,000 network nodes can communicate with each other, and it is possible to build clusters by linking several CPU units to a network. In addition, StarFabric is remarkable for its hot-plug capability and its DOS and Windows software compatibility. Further operating systems are in preparation. The MSMSF104+ requires a typical 5V/250 mA power supply and operates within the standard temperature range of -25° to +70°C at a relative humidity between 5% and 90%. On request, a version with a temperature range of -40° to +85°C is also available. The board resists shock of up to 10g and vibrations from 5 Hz to 2000 Hz. The MSMSF104+ works in different operating modes. In root mode, it is connected with a PC/104-Plus CPU board and operates as a typical peripheral board with bridge functionality as a transceiver. In leaf mode it works as a receiver and operates with one to three peripheral boards. In this case it takes over all functions of a CPU, generating the PCI clocks, interrupts, GNT/REQ, reset signals and the 3.3V and 5V voltage. As soon as the CPU is started with the root mode StarFabric chip, all PCI chips are initialized and provided with device numbers. This applies also to all peripheral boards that are connected via the StarFabric network. Digital-Logic. Luterbach, Switzerland, +41 (0)32/ 681 58 40. [www.digitallogic.ch].

September 2007

59


Products&TECHNOLOGY Wideband Voltage Controlled Oscillator Keeps it Down to 25 mA

A new voltage-controlled oscillator operates from 100 MHz to 200 MHz with a control voltage range of 0V~5V. This VCO features a typical phase noise of -108 dBc/Hz @ 10 KHz offset and has excellent linearity. The model CVCO55CW-0100-0200 from Crystek is packaged in the industry standard 0.5-in. x 0.5-in. SMD package. Input voltage is 5.0V, with a max current consumption of 25 mA. Pulling and Pushing are minimized to 2.0 MHz and 2.0 MHz/V, respectively. Second harmonic suppression is -10 dBc typical. The CVCO55CW-0100-0200 is ideal for use in applications such as digital radio equipment, fixed wireless access, satellite communications systems and base stations. Pricing for the CVCO55CW-0100-0200 will start at $10.39 each in volume. Crystek. Ft. Myers, FL. (239) 561-3311. [www.crystek.com]

FPGA Development Card with MRAM and Onboard Programmer

An FPGA development card for Actel ProASIC3 FPGAs includes 512 Kbytes of 35 ns non-volatile magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) and an onboard device programmer. Measuring 2.4” x 1.0”, the standard A3P-MRAM development card from Domain Technologies comes with an Actel A3P1000 in an FGG256 package. For development of applications that don’t require so much FPGA fabric, a lower-cost version with an A3P250 device installed is also available. The A3P-MRAM development card comes with its own built-in USB-based device programmer. All FPGA device programming and software debugging of implemented microcontroller designs is carried out via the A3P-MRAM’s built-in USB interface. The only additional hardware required to design, develop and debug FPGA embeddable microcontroller designs is a mini-B USB cable. The onboard device programmer and standalone programming GUI is 100% compatible with STAPL files generated by the Actel’s Libero integrated development environment. In addition to the onboard device programmer, the same mini-B USB interface is used for accessing the A3P-MRAM’s onboard JTAG emulator/debugger. When used with Domain Technologies BoxView real-time debugger and Integrated Development Environment, the onboard JTAG emulator allows developers to debug their customized Actel’s Core8051 or Silicon Laude 8051 microcontroller designs without having to attach a separate JTAG emulation pod. The A3P-MRAM-1000 and A3P-MRAM-250 are priced starting at $750 and $640 respectively. The BoxView debugger is sold separately for $450. Domain Technologies. Plano, TX. (972) 578-1121. [www.domaintec.com].

1U MicroTCA Deployable Unit with Advanced Cooling

Dual-Head Digital Graphics Expander for Multi-Display Upgrade

An external multi-display upgrade that is a compact box sits outside the system and connects to the VGA output of compatible computers. The multi-display configuration delivered by DualHead2Go Digital Edition from Matrox Graphics permits working with multiple full-screen documents or applications simultaneously—eliminating the need to constantly open, close, or minimize applications. DualHead2Go Digital Edition is suitable for CAD, GIS, dispatch, security and process control professionals looking for a simple and cost-effective solution to increase productivity. It is an external device that can add multi-display support to notebooks or other computers with no available expansion slots. The operating system detects the DualHead2Go Digital Edition as an ultra-widescreen monitor, which is then split into two or more standard resolutions compatible with the attached displays. DualHead2Go Digital Edition also enables support for high-resolution panels, offering a stretched desktop of up to 3840 x 1200 (or dual 1920 x 1200) across two analog or digital displays. It includes support for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows XP-64 bit operating systems and Mac OS X v10.4, and is compatible with many desktops and notebooks. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $229. Matrox Graphics. Montreal, Quebec. (514) 822-6000. [www.matrox.com].

A new 1U MicroTCA solution from Elma, called MicroBox, was created in cooperation with the MicroBlade, an early developer of MicroTCA infrastructure products. The MicroBox has the smallest form-factor of any deployable MicroTCA unit in the industry. It features up to 10 modules (mid-size, single width) in a 45 mm height x 465 mm width x 210 mm depth.  The five module bays can be filled with a wide range of module configurations in single or double modules or full, mid, or compact sizes.   The side-to-side cooling configuration of the MicroBox does not have any bends in the airflow path and offers the most efficient use of space. The MicroBox can cool the chassis with fans on the side of the unit within the overall 1U height. Thermal studies show that it dissipates 35W per module (mid-size, single width) and has eight (2 x 4) fans providing 20 CFM each at 1.5” of water. The MicroBox features a 384 watt Power Module and a J-TAG Switch Module (JSM) from MicroBlade, and one MicroTCA Carrier Hub (MCH). It also offers hot-swap pluggable fan trays and filters. They are separately removable and managed and the fans detect if the filter is removed. The backplane for the MicroBox features slots for six AMC, one power module, one MCH, one JSM and connections to two cooling units. Elma Electronic. Fremont, CA (510) 656-3400. [www.elma.com].

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September 2007


1-Watt x86 Processor Raises Power Efficiency Bar

With an idle power of just 0.1 watt, the 500 MHz Via Eden ULV processor from Via Technologies has been designed from the ground up to meet the low-power requirements of a wide range of industrial, commercial and ultra mobile applications. The fanless 500 MHz Via Eden ULV achieves unprecedented speed for a full x86 processor within a 1-watt power envelope, opening up new realms for silent yet powerful system designs. Within the 21 mm x 21 mm NanoBGA2 package, the Via Eden ULV processor enables the x86 platform to squeeze into a smaller, lighter chassis than ever before. The new processor can be combined with the ultra compact Via CX700/M system media processor, an all-in-one

digital media chipset with a maximum operating power of 3.5 watts, supporting a wide range of multimedia, connectivity and storage options and enabling system platforms with a maximum power of less than 10 watts. Specifically targeted at applications where ultra-cool, ultra-quiet and highly reliable performance is essential, the passively cooled 500 MHz Via Eden ULV processor is ideally suited to developers looking to build ultra-low-power systems. These benefits have been recognized by several leading embedded industry players. Based on the Via CoolStream Architecture, the 500 MHz Via Eden ULV processor is manufactured using an advanced 90 nm process, which enables speeds of up to 500 MHz with power consumption of 1W peak power and as low as 100 mW (0.1W) idle power. Integrated into the processor is the Via StepAhead Technology Suite, which boasts an extensive array of performance-enhancing features including the Via V4 bus at 400 MHz, 16 pipeline stages, advanced branch prediction and an efficiency-enhanced 128 Kbyte full-speed exclusive L2 cache, ensuring the processor’s low power consumption doesn’t come at the expense of performance. The 500 MHz Via Eden ULV integrates the Via PadLock Security Engine, which features a comprehensive set of security tools to enable real-time military-grade encryption of data. AES encryption, Secure Hash Algorithm SHA-1 and SHA-256 and a Montgomery Multiplier to accelerate the encryption process used under RSA and other public key transmissions are all enabled at unbeatable speeds, as well as NX Execute Protection to prevent worms from propagating, and dual quantum based random number generator.

M-Module Offers Advanced Analog Output Functionality

Four grounded voltage or current channels provide exceptional analog output functionality in the new M37N module from MEN Micro. The four channels feature an acquisition time of <8.5 µs and can be individually adjusted as well as updated automatically and simultaneously. This makes the M37N suitable for applications requiring high-speed data acquisition, superior timing resolution and precise measurement found in automated test environments, process control systems and sensor measurement applications. The M37N, the latest addition to the company’s M-Module product line, supports a load resistance of more than 600 ohms and features an electrical isolation of 500V for increased noise immunity and reliability. Low-noise DC/DC converters that can be used over an extended temperature range of -40° to +85°C (-40° to +185°F), generate the isolated supply voltages of ±15V for the voltage outputs and +15V for the current outputs. Voltages can also be optionally supplied by an external source. The voltage range of the new M-Module is -10V to +10V; its output current ranges from 0 mA up to 20 mA; and voltage resolution is 16-bits at an accuracy of 0.1% with extended values possible via additional calibration. Pricing for the M37N starts at $932. Delivery is six weeks ARO. MEN Micro. Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. [www.menmicro.com].

PCIe Camera Link Frame Grabbers for HighBandwidth Apps

A family of frame grabbers has the capability of connecting Camera Link cameras through the PCI Express (PCIe) interface. The MVS-8600e family from Cognex combines Cognex’s VisionPro machine vision software with Camera Link cameras and PCIe, allowing customers to achieve new levels of performance and value when addressing the most challenging automated inspection and quality assurance applications. “PCI Express is the best match for higher bandwidth Camera Link cameras,” said Marilyn Matz, Cognex senior VP, Semiconductor and Electronics.” The new Cognex MVS8600e frame grabbers are available in cost-effective single-channel and dual-channel models that increase throughput even with extremely large images. Like all Cognex frame grabbers, the MVS-8600e models are equipped with highperformance machine vision software tools that locate objects or patterns, measure their geometric properties, detect defects and read characters and codes with reliable, accurate and repeatable results. The MVS-8600e Series PCIe Camera Link frame grabbers are currently available. Cognex. Natick, MA. (1-877-264-6391). [www.cognex.com].

VIA Technologies. Fremont, CA. (510) 683-3300. [www.via.com.tw]. September 2007

61


Products&TECHNOLOGY Serial-to-Ethernet Gateway Offers Instant Internet Interface

A reliable plug ‘n’ play gateway module converts the RS-232 protocol into TCP/IP protocol and enables remote checking, managing and control of devices via Ethernet and TCP/IP by connecting existing RS-232 equipment at up to 230 Kbits/s to a network. The WIZ100SR from Saelig is a protocol converter that automatically converts and transmits data sent by serial equipment to TCP/IP data and converts the received TCP/IP data into serial data for the equipment. Simple software set-up lets users rapidly create a 10/100 Mbits/s Ethernet interface with a maximum serial rate of 230 Kbits/s. WIZ100SR is a compact 2” x 1.2” board with 0.1”-spaced pins that allows any device with serial inputs and outputs to be Ethernet/Internet-enabled for less than $29! WIZ100SR offers TCP, UDP, IP, ARP, ICMP, IGMP, Ethernet MAC, PPPoE protocols on a 10/100 Base-T auto-detecting Ethernet network. WIZ100SR ensures stability and reliability since it uses the hardwired TCP/IP stack IC W5100 from Korea’s specialist TCP/IP IC house WIZnet. Power required is 3.3V at 150 mA, but the I/O lines are 5V-compliant to maintain suitability with older equipment. An Evaluation/Set-up kit WIZ100SR-EVB provides DB-9 and RJ-45 connectors for quick hookup, CD (Configuration Program, Schematic, Manual), a 5V 500 mA Power Adapter and Serial and UTP cables. Quantity one pricing is $29. WIZ100SR-EVB Evaluation Kit is priced at $189.

DSP-Based 4-Axis Stepper and Servo Motion Control Card

A stepper and servo motion control card offers an onboard DSP with motion ASIC for simplified implementation of time-critical motion sequences. The PCI-8174 from Adlink is for use in applications such as semiconductor frontand back-end equipment, TFT/LCD manufacturing equipment, electronic assembly and testing equipment, automatic optical inspection equipment, flight or vehicle simulator in military and

Saelig, Pittsford, NY. (888) 772-3544. [www.saelig.com].

RoHS-Compliant Serial Controller PCI Boards for High-Speed Performance

Two new PCI multiport serial controllers offer RoHS-compliance engineered for high-speed, highthroughput applications in the industrial and military industries. The Apollo (Model 4022P) and Saturn (Model 4522P) from Carlo Gavazzi support both SPARC Solaris and Linux drivers. The Apollo Multiport offers four ports from one PCI Bus slot with full modem support on all ports. Optimizing performance with a 128 byte FIFO data buffer on each port, the Apollo Multiport’s onboard hardware and software flow control on all ports ensures data integrity. The Saturn Multiport is available with four ports from one PCI Bus slot, and each port is assignable for synchronous or asynchronous communications. Compatible with Sun synchronous communications protocols, the Saturn Multiport offers optional synchronous communications protocol software for Sun Solaris, including X.25 and HDCL LAPB. The Apollo and Saturn Multiports are both Universal PCI board-compatible with PCI Local Bus Specification Revision 2.2 and operate in either a 5.0V or 3.3V signaling environment. Interface options include RS-232 or RS-422/RS-485 with DB-25 connectors via an external breakout box. With data transfer rates of up to 256 Kbits/s synchronous and 230.4 Kbits/s asynchronous, full duplex, the Apollo and Saturn Multiports are ideal for modem connectivity, Internet access remote access, and real-time data feeds. Industrial and military users can employ the Apollo and Saturn Multiports to access public data networks, link central locations to branch offices, connect high-speed modem banks and DSUs, and add peripherals to department LANS. Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions. Brockton, MA. (800) 926-8722. [www.cg-cs.com].

video game, dispenser machinery, and cutting or carving machinery. The PCI-8174 can operate as a stand-alone controller by executing all processes in the hardware layer, and can simultaneously execute a sequence via the motion ASIC without consuming CPU resources, making the card suitable for interrupt control and synchronization among multiple axes. With the DSP onboard design, the PCI-8174 can also support firmware customization. The PCI-8174 delivers many features for pick-and-place, gantry, line scan and dispenser applications: high-frequency pulse output rates of up to 6.55 MHz, software security protection to prevent illegal copying of custom software, a card index switch for multiple cards in a system, serial connectivity for multiple axes among multiple cards, and on-the-fly speed and position change while the axis is in motion. The multi-axis operation design of the PCI8174 allows linear interpolation using up to all four axes and circular interpolation using any two axes. The PCI-8174 offers continuous contouring and outputs backlash correction pulses before sending commands when a direction change occurs during interpolation to ensure flawless velocity continuity. With 13 home moving modes to choose from, the motion card is well suited for a variety of mechanical design and operating restrictions. The PCI-8174 is priced starting at $1,190 and volume discounts available. Adlink Technology. Irvine, CA. (970) 377-0385. [www.adlinktech.com].

62

September 2007


Family of Networking SoC Coprocessors for High-Volume, Low-Cost Products

A family of turnkey, dedicated networking coprocessor system-on-chip (SoC) solutions enables OEMs to embed serialto-Ethernet connectivity and Web services into a new class of high-volume, price-sensitive products so they can be remotely managed over the Internet. With royalty-free application and network firmware included, the DeviceLinx XChip SoC family from Lantronix speeds time-to-market because virtually no additional coding or licensing commitment is necessary to enable network connectivity into any product with a microcontroller. The XChip family offers manufacturers a line of softwarecompatible device networking solutions across a product’s life cycle—from external boxes, to boards, to modules, to chips. Built using the industry-standard CMOS process, the XChip is a highly integrated x86 class processor that includes a built-in Ethernet MAC and 10-100 PHY, 256 Kbyte zero wait-state SRAM, up to 11 GPIOs and a high-performance serial UART in a compact 12 mm x 12 mm 184 BGA RoHS-compliant package. A compact and efficient design, it not only conserves board space, but the XChip can also reduce overall product bill of materials by removing the need for an external MAC/PHY chip. The firmware and network protocol stack includes TCP/IP, UDP, BootP, DHCP and AutoIP. XChip also features (depending on model) a Web server with support for three simultaneous Web sessions, e-mail triggering on in-band serial data patterns or configurable pins inputs, and a variety of configurable options for serial-to-Ethernet tunneling (baud rate, flow control, port number, data packing control intervals, inactivity timeout and MTU size). • The DeviceLinx XChip SoC product family includes: • XChip Direct – Embedded Device Gateway SoC Coprocessor • Provides serial-to-Ethernet connectivity, designed to efficiently move commands, status and information over IP networks • XChip – Embedded Device Server SoC Coprocessor • Provides serial-to-Ethernet connectivity, built-in Web server and 256-bit AES encryption • XChip AR – Embedded Programmable Device Server SoC Coprocessor Provides serial-to-Ethernet connectivity, built-in Web server, advanced SSH/SSL secure connectivity and advanced Web services including AJAX, CGI and RSS Lantronix. Irvine, CA. (949) 453-3990. [www.lantronix.com].

Secure Supervisor with Tamper Detection Meets PCI Voltage, Temp Requirements

Specifically designed to meet the stringent requirements of payment card industry-PIN entry device (PCI-PED) certification, the DS3650 from Maxim integrates a batterybackup controller, system power monitor, CPU supervisor, temperature sensor and two tamperdetection comparators. The high integration and security features of the DS3650 make it suitable for point-of-sale (POS) terminals, PIN pads and other equipment where data protection and security is critical. The DS3650 provides two tamper-detection comparator inputs to interface with and provide low-power continuous monitoring of, resistive anti-tamper meshes, external sensors and digital interlocks. This secure supervisor constantly monitors primary power; in the event of failure, it automatically switches to an external battery power source to keep the device and external circuitry alive. The DS3650 also constantly monitors battery voltage and initiates a tamper response when the battery voltage becomes abnormal. To facilitate recovery analysis after a tamper event occurs, an elapsed-time seconds counter freezes the value of a free-running 32-bit counter. Additionally, a user-programmable, internal digital temperature sensor provides a tamper response in the event of a thermal attack and freezes temperature and voltage values for recovery analysis. Packaged in a lead-free, 4 mm x 4 mm, 16-ball CSBGA for added security, the DS3650 is fully specified over the -40° to +85°C extended temperature range. For tracing purposes, each device is inscribed with a unique 4-bit serial number. Maxim Integrated Products. Sunnyvale, CA (800) 998-8800. [www.maxim-ic.com].

Extended Temperature, High-Density Serial Communication PMC

A new PMC communication module provides four channels of high-performance RS-232/RS-422/ RS-485 selectable serial connectivity. The serial channels on the TPMC467 from Tews Technologies can be individually programmed to operate as RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 full/half duplex interfaces. In addition, programmable termination is provided for the RS-422/RS-485 interfaces. After power-up all serial I/O lines are in a high impedance state for critical applications. Physical connection is achieved through front panel I/O with four RJ45 Modular Jack connectors. Each RS-232 channel supports RxD, TxD, RTS, CTS and GND. RS-422 and RS-485 full duplex supports a four-wire interface (RX+, RX-, TX+, TX-) plus ground (GND). RS-485 half duplex supports a twowire interface (DX+, DX-) plus ground (GND). All channels generate interrupts on PCI interrupt INTA. For fast interrupt source detection the UART provides a special Global Interrupt Source Register. Each serial channel of the PMC module has separate 64 byte receive and transmit FIFOs to significantly reduce the processing overhead required to provide data transactions to the transceivers. Tews Technologies. Reno, NV. (755) 850-5830. [www.tews.com]. September 2007

63


Products&TECHNOLOGY Dual-Processor AdvancedTCA Server Blade Targets Wireless Infrastructure Apps

A quad-core AdvancedTCA blade for communications infrastructure applications features a pair of dual-core, Intel Xeon processors, a high-speed ATCA switched fabric, a mid-size AdvancedMC expansion bay, redundant IPMI system management, and an optional 2.5-inch SAS hard drive. Emerson will demo the new blade from June 19-21 at NXTcomm in booth number 2875. The KAT6200 from Emerson Network Power features a pair of server-class Woodcrest Xeon LV5138 dual-core processors, each running at 2.13 GHz and equipped with four Mbytes of L2 cache. The two processors, utilizing an Intel 5000P memory controller hub, share access to 16 Gbytes of RAM. The KAT6200 also provides carrier-grade features including 16 Mbytes of persistent SRAM for event logging, and redundant 2 Mbyte firmware banks, which protect existing firmware in the event of an unsuccessful upgrade. To maximize system throughput, the KAT6200 provides separate ATCA control/management and data planes. The KAT6200 also features a high-performance ATCA fabric interface, which makes it suitable for converged packet-based telecom infrastructure applications requiring high data throughput. An Intel 6321ESB I/O Controller provides two Gigabit Ethernet channels to the ATCA base fabric. The memory controller hub provides two Gigabit Ethernet channels to the ATCA High-Speed Fabric. The KAT6200 features redundant PICMG 3.0 Intelligent Platform Management Interfaces (IPMI), which extend to the AdvancedMC (AMC) site. This interface, which incorporates dual I2C-based Intelligent Platform Management Buses (IPMB), enhances system management by making it easy for shelf management controllers to monitor, control and manage the KAT6200 and attached AMC modules. The KAT6200’s onboard AMC expansion bay can support a single mid-size, hot-swappable AMC card, or an onboard 2.5-inch SAS hard drive. The KAT6200 baseboard provides three high-performance interfaces to the AMC site: Gigabit Ethernet (x2), PCI Express (x4) and dual SAS interfaces. Software support for the KAT6200 includes Carrier Grade Linux. Emerson Network Power Embedded Computing. Madison, WI. (800) 356-9602 [www.emersonembeddedcomputing.com]

Network-Ready Data Acquisition in a Single Box for Real-Time Response

A new data acquisition system combines a 5-slot PCI backplane and a 10-slot Eurocard cage in an industrial-grade chassis. A Pentium M processor runs server software on a board that occupies one of the PCI slots. This software, and the software running on data acquisition boards themselves, protects the application from local or network-related delays. The DAPserver 400 and DAPserver 400R models from Microstar laboratories each include a SATA hard drive. Both models have front-panel handles suitable for equipment installed in 19-inch industry-standard racks, and arrive fully assembled and ready to connect to a network. The DAPserver 400R uses the same components as the DAPserver 400, built into specially engineered packaging for rugged environments. Microstar Laboratories preloads every DAPserver with all the software needed to start development right away. DAPserver products conform to the signal-interfacing channel architecture used by Microstar Laboratories: signal connectors on 3U (100 mm high) Eurocard B (220 mm deep) boards—Eurocards—that often pre-process a signal. A DAPserver can contain up to ten of these Eurocards, and it can connect to many more in other rack-mounted industrial enclosures. Most Microstar Laboratories Eurocards multiplex inputs or outputs to or from DAP boards. Many perform additional functions. The Web site gives the full range, arranged in these eight main function groups: • simple termination • simple multiplexing • anti-alias filtering • simultaneous sampling • isolation • counter/timer • quadrature-decoder • signal conditioning A DAPserver has Windows software and the DAPtools Professional software package—including full versions of DAPcell network software and DAPstudio development software—preloaded on the hard drive. The remaining four PCI slots can contain any current DAP boards and software combined into a single synchronized system. Microstar Laboratories. Bellevue, WA. (425) 453-2345. [www.mstarlabs.com].

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September 2007


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ACCES I/O Products..............................31..............................www.accesio.com Advanet Technologies............................ 41.......................www.advanettech.com

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ARM Developersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Conference.................51 www.arm.com/developersconference BittWare................................................32............................. www.bittware.com

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National Instruments.............................21.......................................www.ni.com One Stop Systems.................................39.................www.onestopsystems.com

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Performance Technologies...............13, 67...................................... www.pt.com Phoenix International...............................4............................ www.phenxint.com

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products featured in this Plc....................9................................. section. Concurrent Technologies www.gocct.com

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Corvalent..............................................57................................... corvalent.com

Real-Time & Embedded

Critical I/O............................................14.............................www.criticalio.com

Computing Conference.......................... 47..................................www.rtecc.com

Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. Digital Logic AG.....................................25......................... www.digitallogic.com

Red Rock Technologies, Inc...................49....................... www.redrocktech.com

Elma Bustronic Corp..............................16.................... www.elmabustronic.com

Seagate Technology.................15, 17 & 19............................. www.seagate.com

ELMA Electronic, Inc..............................42.................................. www.elma.com

Sealevel Systems..................................23............................. www.sealevel.com

Fastwel Corp.........................................30.......................www.FastwelCorp.com

Sensoray Company................................24............................www.sensoray.com

GE Fanuc Embedded Systems..................2............. www.gefanucembedded.com

Swell Software......................................36.....................www.swellsoftware.com

Harting, Inc...........................................22...............................www.harting.com

Targa Systems, L3 Communications.......42............................... www.l-3com.com

Harting, Inc. EPT....................................33.........www.harting.com, www.ept.com

TRI-M Systems......................................26.................................. www.tri-m.com

Hybricon Corporation...............................8.............................www.hybricon.com

Ultimate Solutions, Inc..........................18................................. www.ultsol.com

IEI Technology.......................................37....................... www.usa.ieiworld.com

VadaTech..............................................27............................www.vadatech.com

Intel......................................................10...................................www.intel.com

Vector Electronics & Technology, Inc......42.........................www.vectorelect.com

McObject LLC........................................49............................www.mcobject.com

VersaLogic Corporation..........................29.......................... www.versalogic.com

Micro Memory LLC.................................68..................... www.micromemory.com

WinSystems..........................................43........................ www.winsystems.com

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Motorola.................................................6............................ www.motorola.com

RTC (Issn#1092-1524) magazine is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodical postage paid at San Clemente and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RTC, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Ride-a-long enclosed.

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September 2007


One-Stop Shopping  Bring Us Your List Everything you need for your CompactPCI® Applications Performance Technologies’ CompactPCI® products and solutions are the industry’s most capable and complete open-standards offerings for telecom, aerospace and defense, and commercial applications. We create innovative and robust solutions that enable you to get your products to market faster. Our integrated solutions include: Advanced Managed Platforms™ : These flexible, scalable platforms are ideal for a wide range of compute-intensive applications. Coupled with exceptional support services, we have what you need to quickly and cost-effectively develop and deploy your system. High-Performance Blades: Single and dual-core SBCs, Ethernet switches, intelligent shelf management, voice processors, serial and T1/E1 communications I/O, and RAID storage blades.

Platforms. Blades. Software. Support. Many solutions. One vendor.

NexusWare ® : Our CGL 3.2-registered and POSIX-compliant Linux distribution includes a full operating system, development tools, protocols, HA middleware, and SA Forum-compliant APIs. Best of all, NexusWare's total integration with our blade and platform solutions means you have shorter development cycles. Contact Performance Technologies today and bring us your product development shopping list.

Phone: 585.256.0200

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www.pt.com/amp

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E-mail: info-request@pt.com


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