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The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

December 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

ENABLING THE

INTERNET OF THINGS COMs vs. SBCs: Which to Use When Identify and Save Power in A/D Conversion PCI Express Moves Out over Cable An RTC Group Publication


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ENABLING THE INTERNET OF THINGS

72 Energy Harvesting for Self-powered Distributed Sensors and Sensor Networks

74 PCIe-based 2-Channel, 1.5 GHz per Channel HighSpeed Digitizers

TABLEOF CONTENTS

76 AdvancedMC Packet Processor Module Based on Cavium OCTEON II

DECEMBER 2010

Departments

Technology in Context

TECHNOLOGY DEPLOYED

COMs vs. SBCs

Standards Update

Express versus SBC: Deciding Gbit/s SAS and Beyond: 6Editorial 18 COM 406Emerging Spare the Juice—SWaP Is a Hot Topic Which to Use and Where Storage Standards Set the Course for the Future Insider 8Industry Latest Developments in the Embedded TECHNOLOGY CONNECTED Marketplace Juergen Eder, GE Intelligent Platforms

12 Article Index 60Annual A Review of the Previous Twelve Months in RTC Magazine

Small Form Factor Forum No Mulligan for Embedded Standards

72

Products & Technology Newest Embedded Technology Used by Industry Leaders

EDITOR’S REPORT

PCI Express over Cable

Sam Barnett, Maxim Integrated Products

Industry watch

Leading the Way in Enabling 26 PCIe over Cable Goes Mainstream 46Wi-Fi: the “Internet of Things” Steve Cooper, One Stop Systems

TECHNOLOGY IN SYSTEMS Analog to Digital Conversion

A-to-D 32 Compression-based Converters: Reaching New Low Power Limits in Quantization

Lew Adams, GainSpan

ATCA Meets LTE – Speeding from Backplanes to Broadband 5640G Sven Freudenfeld, Kontron

Fred Tzeng, ZeroWatt Technologies

Customizable SoCs

Continues for the “Sweet Spot” in Configurable ASIC/SoC 14Quest Design Tom Williams

RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

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DECEMBER 2010 Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, johnr@rtcgroup.com

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tom Williams, tomw@rtcgroup.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Colin McCracken and Paul Rosenfeld MANAGING EDITOR Marina Tringali, marinat@rtcgroup.com COPY EDITOR Rochelle Cohn

Art/Production CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jason Van Dorn, jasonv@rtcgroup.com ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, kirstenw@rtcgroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christopher Saucier, chriss@rtcgroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Maream Milik, mareamm@rtcgroup.com WEB DEVELOPER Hari Nayar, harin@rtcgroup.com

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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 Editorial Office Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief 245-M Mt. Hermon Rd., PMB#F, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 Phone: (831) 335-1509 Fax: (408) 904-7214

Published by The RTC Group Copyright 2010, 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.

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Untitled-6 1

To Contact RTC magazine:

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE 10/16/09 11:43:57 AM


Copyright © 2010 Kontron AG. All rights reserved. Kontron and the Kontron logo and all other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are recognized. Rev. # G104us01

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EDITORIAL DECEMBER 2010

Spare the Juice—SWaP Is a Hot Topic

O

ver the past couple of years there has been a marked growth in the concern for minimizing power consumption in all kinds of devices as well as in life in general. This has not previously been the norm and still appears somewhat unique, especially in a nation that still has places like the Las Vegas strip. But it is happening. Possibly the proliferation of portable, batterypowered devices has been a big impetus. Concern from sectors like the military for size, weight and power (SWaP) optimization has certainly played a role. The realization in the industrial sector of the amount of power consumed by electric motors—about 65 percent of all electricity used in factories—has spurred costsaving efforts aimed at better motor control. Recently I chaired a panel at the AdvancedTCA Summit on infrastructure where the presentations centered on power management and cooling issues, among related topics. It came out that in a typical data center, depending on a number of variables, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the total power budget is devoted to simply forcing air through the facility to dissipate the heat produced by all the silicon on all the boards in all the rackmount chassis in such a building. How do we bring those numbers down? Well, more efficient cooling technologies might help, but the main way is to reduce the power dissipation of the silicon in those systems. This example explains why there is such a concentration in the semiconductor industry on low power and power management for all systems, not just the handheld and mobile devices. For example, in this issue of RTC, we have an article from ZeroWatt on a compression technology for A-to-D converters that analyzes the signal characteristics to minimize power consumption. Power consumption at the component level is also a major concern for advanced storage systems and can also be seen in the article on 6 Gbit/s SAS in this issue as well. Attacking the cumulative consumption of all silicon devices is needed to make significant advances in optimizing SWaP. We are seeing innovations in software development and analysis tools aimed at getting a better picture of the details of power consumption. These include such things as the ability to

6

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

Tom Williams Editor-in-Chief

predict how long a device may be placed into one of several sleep modes and still be reliably available for the next scheduled task. In addition, several vendors are introducing probes that can help correlate power usage with the code being executed. In the example of the data center, reduction in silicon power consumption reduces the heat that must be dissipated (i.e., power wasted) and as a consequence, the power that must be consumed to move the air thus saving electricity and—not inconsequentially—dollars. Such a two-tier example could be extended to the factory floor where heat must also be carried away from equipment, but also in terms of using computer intelligence to reduce the power consumption of those motors that are responsible for so much of the electrical bill. Such things as open- and closed-loop variable speed drives are becoming more economical and more widely used thanks to the miniaturization and cost drops in the computer intelligence needed. Motor control is also moving into more intelligent controllers that can dynamically monitor the motor’s load as the load changes and calculate the amount of power needed at any time for the required RPM and torque. Such techniques can not only save on power consumption, they can also increase the life span of the motor. Increasingly, we see the application of the sort of intelligence used to manage the power in silicon and then in integrated computer systems, spreading out into the aforementioned “life in general.” Computer intelligence is well known to be widely used in hybrid vehicles, but is now also showing up to reduce the fuel consumption of more traditional internal combustion engines. Likewise, we are all now familiar with the efforts to build out the Smart Grid—an effort that is dependent on extensive data networks, intelligent monitoring of conventional and newer alternative sources of energy, and which also includes as a necessary element, intelligence in everyday household appliances. All of these are rich opportunities to apply the low-power devices and the expertise that has gone into developing them to the issues of more efficient power consumption in the world at large.


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INDUSTRY

INSIDER DECEMBER 2010 PCI-SIG Releases PCI Express 3.0 Specification PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express (PCIe) industry standard input/output (I/O) technology, has announced the availability of the PCIe Base 3.0 specification to its members. The PCIe 3.0 architecture is a low-cost, high-performance I/O technology that includes a new 128b/130b encoding scheme and a data rate of 8 gigatransfers per second (GT/s), doubling the interconnect bandwidth over the PCIe 2.0 specification. PCIe 3.0 technology also maintains backward compatibility with previous PCIe architectures and provides the optimum design point for high-volume platform I/O implementations across a wide range of topologies. Possible topologies include servers, workstations, desktop and mobile personal computers, embedded systems, peripheral devices and more. The PCIe 3.0 specification extends the data rate to 8 GT/s in a manner compatible with the existing PCIe 1.x and 2.x specifications and products that support 2.5 and 5 GT/s signaling. This bit rate represents the most optimum tradeoff between manufacturability, cost, power, complexity and compatibility. Based on this data rate expansion, it is possible for products designed to the PCIe 3.0 architecture to achieve bandwidth near 1 gigabyte per second (Gbyte/s) in one direction on a single-lane (x1) configuration and scale to an aggregate approaching 32 Gbyte/s on a sixteen-lane (x16) configuration. The new 128b/130b encoding scheme also allows near 100% efficiency, offering a 25% efficiency increase for 8 GT/s as compared to the 8b/10b efficiency of previous versions, which enables the doubled bandwidth. This evolutionary specification integrates a number of enhancements to the protocol and software layers of the architecture. These enhancements range in scope from data reuse hints, atomic operations, dynamic power adjustment mechanisms, latency tolerance reporting, loose transaction ordering, I/O page faults, BAR resizing and many more extensions in support of platform energy efficiency, software model flexibility and architectural scalability.

VPX REDI Standard Reaches ANSI/VITA Ratification

The VME Bus Industry Trade Association (VITA) has announced the ratification by ANSI and VITA of the VPX REDI base specification and several dot specifications. VPX REDI is a computing standard defining mechanical specifications for cooling and maintenance strategies for VPX systems. VPX is an embedded computing platform utilizing the latest in a variety of switch fabric technologies in 3U and 6U Eurocard format modules. VPX REDI was inspired by the need for higher density electronics, increased power draw that requires more effective cooling strategies, and rugged and maintainable modules. VPX REDI targets the requirements of Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) platforms for defense and aerospace, defining mechanical design implementations for embedded computing modules with

8

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

three primary design objectives: Accommodating cooling methods including forced air, conduction and liquid cooling; adding features compatible with ESD covers required for two-level maintenance strategies; and facilitating module designs with components on the secondary side of the circuit board. The following VPX REDI specifications have been ANSI/ VITA ratified. •A  NSI/VITA 48.0-2010: Ruggedized Enhanced Design Implementation Mechanical Base Specification, which defines a mechanical implementation for plug-in units. • A NSI/VITA 48.1-2010: Mechanical Specification for Microcomputers Using Air Cooling Applied to VPX • A NSI/VITA 48.2-2010: Mechanical Specification for Microcomputers Using Conduction Cooling Applied to VPX

• ANSI/VITA 48.5-2010: Mechanical Specification Using Air Flow-through Cooling Applied to VPX

Emerson and Mercury Team to Promote Interoperability in Mil/Aero

Emerson Network Power and Mercury Computer Systems have announced today that they will collaborate to promote interoperability on open standards-based subsystems for military and aerospace applications. This alliance seeks to provide interoperability between the companies’ rich range of embedded computing solutions, in order to enable defense customers to migrate their performance away from proprietary closed architectures to flexible open solutions, reducing risk and lowering development and deployment costs as a result. This alliance combines the

strengths of both companies— Mercury’s leadership in highperformance signal and image processing, open standards hardware and software and systems integration and services—with Emerson Network Power’s leadership in standards-based embedded computing technology for the telecommunications, industrial automation, aerospace/defense and medical markets.

VIA Labs Scores USB-IF Certification for USB 3.0 NAND Flash Controller

VIA Labs has announced that the VIA Labs VL750 USB 3.0 to NAND Flash Controller has been certified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) for SuperSpeed operation, ensuring high quality multimedia and more immersive and compelling applications. The comprehensive suite of tests conducted as part of the USB-IF Compliance and Certification Program ensures that certified devices are interoperable and backward compatible with existing USB devices, while also offering the speed and power enhancements of the new USB 3.0 specification. Moreover, the VIA Labs VL750 packs this SuperSpeed punch within a single chip controller, eliminating the need for a second bridge chip and enabling more compact, more powerefficient and more cost-effective Flash drives. As a USB-IF-certified product, the VIA Labs VL750 will be added to an Integrators List of compliant SuperSpeed USB devices, which is available to manufacturers at www.usb. org/developers/compliance. This List enables manufacturers to quickly find USB 3.0 components that have met the USB-IF Certification and Compliance Program criteria.


The VL750 is a highly integrated, single chip USB 3.0 to NAND Flash solution. Featuring a 4-channel memory controller with interleaving support, blisteringly fast data transfer speeds of 100 Mbyte/s or more can be achieved. In USB 2.0 mode, the VIA Labs VL750 offers classleading performance with transfer speeds of up to 35 Mbyte/s.

Report Shows Modular Form Factors Build Good Growth

A new report from IMS Research, analyzing the world market for embedded computer boards and modules, expects

modular form factors, such as COM Express, to grow strongly over the next few years. World COM Express revenue growth is forecast at over 20% year-onyear, with annual revenues reaching over $270 million in 2014; unit shipments of over 790,000 are projected. The COM Express standard offers the advantages that application development, and therefore time-to-market, is quicker than with most other standards; board customization is easy and inexpensive (even for low volumes); and product lifecycle costs are lower. The modular format of the COM Express standard and

its compatibility with emerging ultra-small form factors, such as nanoETXexpress, will continue to drive adoption. Form factors that have a modular approach give OEMs and end users the advantage of interchangeability. This flexibility allows companies to cherry-pick the boards and modules that best match the application. Also, if a certain part of the system needs updating or replacing, then only that part is affected; which gives a cost and time advantage over nonmodular solutions, as the rest of the system remains unchanged. The modular approach to embedded computer boards and

modules will become increasingly important in the near future as advantages of cost, time-to-market and system flexibility pull end users away from adopting other board types.

New Virtex-7 HT Devices Enable 100 - 400 Gbit/s Apps and Beyond

A new family of Virtex-7 HT FPGAs from Xilinx has produced 28 Gbit/s serial transceiver performance required for next-generation 100 - 400 Gbit/s applications. The 28nm FPGAs are intended to enable communication equipment

RTEC10 is an index made up of 10 public companies which have revenue that is derived primarily from sales in the embedded sector. The companies are made up of both software and hardware companies being traded on public exchanges. All numbers are reflected in U.S. Dollars. Learn more at rtcmagazine.com Closing Price 52 Week Low 52 Week High Market Cap

RTEC10 Index

50.08

—

—

182.38

Adlink Technology

1.81

1.79

1.83

217.45M

Advantech

2.82

2.78

2.85

1.00M

445.24

445.24

445.24

101.61M

Enea

6.18

6.05

6.18

111.72M

Interphase Corporation

1.37

1.29

1.37

9.35M

Kontron

9.72

9.60

9.79

541.10M

Mercury Computer Systems

19.49

19.47

19.95

474.68M

Performance Technologies

1.67

1.65

1.70

18.56M

PLX Technology

3.49

3.48

3.59

129.48M

RadiSys Corporation

9.01

8.87

9.10

218.85M

Company Market Performance

Elma Electronic

Market Intelligence & Strategy Consulting for the Embedded Community Complimentary Embedded Market Data Available at: www.vdcresearch.com RTEC10 involves time sensitive information and currency conversions to determine the current value. All values converted to USD. Please note that these values are subject to certain delays and inaccuracies. Do not use for buying or selling of securities.

RTCRTC MAGAZINE RTC RTC RTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE DECEMBER AUGUST JUNE JULY MAY 2010

9


INDUSTRY INSIDER

vendors to develop the integrated, high-bandwidth-efficient systems necessary to keep pace with the exploding global demand for more bandwidth in the wired infrastructure and datacenters. The new devices are equipped with the industry’s highest-speed and lowest jitter serial transceivers available in an FPGA to support stringent optical and backplane protocols, according to the company. Built with four to sixteen 28 Gbit/s transceivers complying with OIF CEI-28G, the Optical Internetworking Forum’s Common Electrical I/O specification for 28 Gbit/s, Virtex-7 HT devices are designed to interface to nextgeneration CFP2 and QSFP2 optical modules that will be used in next-generation 100 - 400 Gbit/s system line cards. The devices also have up to seventy-two 13.1 Gbyte/s transceivers and can offer up to 2.8 Tbyte/s full duplex

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

throughput. This extends the Virtex family’s total system performance, with 2x the logic capacity, 1.3 greater memory bandwidth, 2x better static power efficiency, and now 2.7x higher bandwidth over comparable competing devices. The devices’ feature mix allows for a wide range of applications, from low-cost 100G “smart gearbox” chips with 290,000 logic cells to the world’s first 400 Gbit/s FPGA with 870,000 logic cells including applications from 100 Gbit/s, 2 x 100 Gbit/s or 400 Gbit/s interfaces, and efficient connectivity to legacy system side interfaces based on 3 Gbit/s or 6 Gbit/s as well as 10 Gbit/s ASICs and ASSPs. This means Virtex-7 HT FPGAs can be used in applications such as 100 Gbit/s line cards supporting Optical Transfer Unit-4 (OTU4) transponders, muxponders or service aggregation router SAR (), lower cost 120 Gbits packet

processing line cards for high demanding data processing, multiple 100G Ethernet ports bridges, 400 Gbit/s Ethernet line cards, base stations and remote radio heads with 19.6 Gbit/s Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) requirements, and 100 Gbit/s and 400 Gbit/s test equipment.

CANopen SIG Service Robots Established

CAN in Automation (CiA) has established the CANopen SIG (Special Interest Group) for service robots. Several Japanese research institutes and companies participated in the inaugural meeting, which took place in Tokyo. It was agreed to standardize the mapping of the Robot Technology Component (RTC) specification to CANopen network technology. This would allow service robot manufacturers

to make easy use of off-the-shelf CANopen devices such as motion controllers and sensors. The robot application software will call RTC functions (middleware) while the CANopen details are hidden to the software engineer. This will simplify software development and would allow reuse of already existing RTC programs. The RTC specification has been developed by the nonprofit OMG (Object Management Group). The scope of the SIG also includes the development and maintenance of recommended practices for existing CANopen profiles to be used in service robot applications (e.g. CiA 402 motion controllers, CiA 404 sensors, CiA 406 encoders, CiA 418/9 batteries and chargers). If necessary, the SIG will develop and maintain dedicated CANopen profiles for service robot subsystems such as grippers or multi-axes controllers.

12/2/10 11:46:09 AM


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SMALL FORM FACTOR

FORUM

Colin McCracken & Paul Rosenfeld

No Mulligan for Embedded Standards

Y

ou can’t take a mulligan with embedded standards. Mulligan is a highly technical golf term. A mulligan occurs when a golfer hits a ball that goes deep into the woods, or drops into a pond or just dribbles off the tee. Worse yet, the divot flies farther than the ball. Golfers like to “take a mulligan”—that is, hit another ball from the same spot with the hope the second shot will be better. It’s officially a mulligan if the golfer counts one stroke on the scorecard instead of three (original shot, second shot and one shot penalty). In plain language, it’s called a do-over. Over the past few years, there has been a tendency by embedded standards organizations to “take a mulligan” if a new standard doesn’t hit the mark. These embedded standard “doovers” have taken two forms. The first form is the equivalent of a golfer hitting three balls from the tee and playing the “best” one while picking up the other two. In the embedded standards game, each shot is called a type. Since the developers can’t agree on one particular standard, there are two, five or more types developed, which vary in pin definition and/or form factor in the hope that one or two of them will stick and become pervasive. It’s left to SFF manufacturers to figure out which type they will implement. Getting it wrong leaves a lonely “industry standard” product in the marketplace without any backup ecosystem, with a significant cost in terms of wasted R&D effort and the time delay in bringing the winner to market. The second form of embedded standard mulligan is the equivalent of hitting a second shot and ignoring the first one. This second form of mulligan is frequently disguised as the first form by calling each “shot” a type. The original shot (type) is not replaced—just ignored and allowed to atrophy. In many ways, this second form is even more insidious than the first one—especially if the standard is introduced by a long standing, well respected standards body. Many SFF board suppliers may have signed on for “type 1.” OEMs may have written type 1 support into their RFPs. There may be dozens of type 1 products on the market.

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

Yet the introduction of type 2 may cut off further development of the type 1 ecosystem, rendering type 1 products orphans. Often, OEMs can’t tell that the type 1 ecosystem is dead. Again, there is significant cost in terms of a large amount of wasted R&D effort and significant confusion in the marketplace. There is an answer to the problems brought on by the second form of mulligan. As long as type 2 maintains upward compatibility from type 1, meaning that any type 1 product would interoperate with type 2 products, the investment in type 1 products is protected. That makes sense. But there is a deep-seated bias on the part of many engineers that gets in the way of this simple solution: Engineers are perfectionists. Not a bad thing when designing a circuit board with hundreds of chips and thousands of traces. You want a team committed to getting it done right the first time. They believe the great idea of a type 2 standard—add some new signals, drop some old ones—cannot be constrained by “artificial” compatibility issues. Especially when a standard is new to the market with only a few dozen products or so in the ecosystem. In standards organizations, all the participants are usually engineers without marketing folks to drive the solution from a customer point of view. To be fair, there are many, many great engineers who participate in these activities who take a customerdriven perspective and to whom compatibility is a big issue. The battle is joined and the outcome is frequently in doubt until the bitter end. So what’s the answer? Take the time to get it right the first time. Involve as many members of the organization as possible (or even non-members and end users). Avoid having one company’s solution rammed through as a standard without a thorough review by a broad set of members. Avoid intimidation from big members or chip suppliers who want it done “their way.” Don’t try to make everybody happy. And most of all, look with extreme suspicion on those who say “to heck with compatibility—my way is better.” Frequently, it’s not.


editor’s report Customizable SoCs

Quest Continues for the “Sweet Spot” in Configurable ASIC/SoC Design Targeting sensor and control applications, a new technology platform from Microsemi—which recently acquired Actel—plots a distinct direction in single SoC devices that can be adopted to a wide range of application needs. by Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

F

or some time now, there has been a quest underway among a number of semiconductor vendors. The “Holy Grail” of this particular quest is to devise the ideal piece of silicon that unites on a single die the optimum in low power consumption, low cost, reliability, security,

integration, performance, configurability and programmability. The kitchen sink is optional. While that certainly sounds like a tall order—even a mythical goal—there are some very realistic attempts to get there. The latest is a technology effort that is

Power Regulation and Management Microsemi

Analog-to-Digital (Data Acquisition)

Actel

Microsemi

Control Processing

Drivers and Bridges

Glue Logic Data Processing PHY (*RF Chain)

Digital-toAnalog

Actuators Transducers PHYs

Transceivers

Figure 1 With the acquisition of Actel by Microsemi, elements from both companies are being brought together to create a new generation of customizable systems on chip.

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

emerging from the recent acquisition of Actel by Microsemi. It is aimed at producing configurable and programmable SoCs for sensing and control applications—as opposed to mainly data plane applications where the demand is primarily for high bandwidth and gate density. Such SoCs typically integrate a microcontroller core with its peripherals, timers and memory interface with other elements such as A/D and D/A conversion, network interfaces such as PHYs, custom peripherals and specialized processing elements. Data plane applications, increasingly supported by SRAM FPGAs, concentrate on moving large amounts of data while performing specific operations such as protocol conversions or certain DSP operations. The acquisition of Actel, according to Microsemi V.P. of Product Development, Esam Elashmawi, brings Actel’s existing expertise in SoC design into the mix with Microsemi’s extensive technology in such areas as analog, power management, RF transistors and amplifiers, bridges and D/A (Figure 1). Actel has already explored both soft and partially hard-celled SoCs with its Fusion products, which are basically FPGA fabrics with a soft ARM core and other IP. The latest venture is the SmartFusion family, which combined a hard-gate implementation of the ARM Cortex-M3 and its suite of peripherals along with an FPGA fabric and an analog processing subsystem. Since the acquisition, Actel is being renamed Microsemi’s SoC Product Division and is announcing its new 65nm embedded flash platform, on which its nextgeneration flash-based customizable SoCs will be built. The technology also features a new, expandable 4-input LUT architecture. Densities are expected to increase an order of magnitude, offering twice the performance compared to the previous generation. The new platform will also offer significantly lower dynamic power while enhancing the so-called Flash*Freeze feature developed by Actel to provide lower static current. Future devices will also include industry standard bus interfaces. However, one of the more significant aims of the 65nm effort is to also allow


editor’s report

MCU DSP

eNVM

SERDES

Analog

65nm Embedded Flash Platform Figure 2 Based on the new 65nm Flash technology, various functional blocks can be integrated into the fabric and implemented as either soft blocks or blocks of hard gates.

Flash Freeze + Power (Typical @ 25C)

0.350 0.300

IGLOO Power

0.250

Power (mWatts)

integration of hardened intellectual property such as embedded microprocessor cores, DSP blocks, high-speed transceivers, memory interfaces, nonvolatile flash memory and programmable analog on the same chip as the FPGA fabric. One can imagine a family of devices aimed at markets that would otherwise require custom ASICs to meet their size, integration and power requirements. Such requirements have traditionally been the bane of such designs as satellites, which require the ultimate in processing power, reliability, integration of very specific and often very specialized processing elements as well as low power consumption. Satellites are, of course, not high-volume consumer devices that can spread the cost of developing an ASIC over a vast number of units. However, the requirements of a satellite system are uncompromising and thus the cost of developing a custom ASIC for such an application can be enormous. And then if there is a change in requirements or a mistake in the original ASIC design, it’s back to the design system and the fab for another very expensive turn of the silicon. Obviously, a satellite system is just an extreme example of applications that can benefit from the goal of this quest. There are many more in industrial control, aerospace and defense, alternative energy, medical, transportation, homeland security networking. An ASIC simply cannot be reconfigured or reprogrammed for another specialized application and really is just an SoC that has been customized and fully fabricated as an integrated circuit. What it looks like Microsemi is aiming toward, or what makes sense in this context, is a family or families of devices that center on a CPU or MCU implemented in hard gates with other functions either also implemented as hard-gate designs or programmed into the FPGA fabric as discrete functions that can themselves be configured or programmed to the precise needs of the application. There would also be some open FPGA fabric for the implementation of specific IP for whatever needs there might be. For example, a specific DSP algorithm might be needed

0.200 0.150

New 65nm Platform Power

0.100 0.050 0.000 0

10000

20000

30000

40000

50000

60000

70000

80000

Equivalent LUTs Figure 3 The Freeze*Flash power-saving technology brought from Actel’s IGLOO product to the 65nm platform can offer even more effective power saving.

for some special signal conversion and could be implemented as IP in the FPGA fabric. On the other hand, that same DSP function might be so widely used that it would make sense to offer a version of the customizable SoC with it implemented in hard gates for better performance and power consumption. Having a general-purpose platform technology that allows those decisions and trade-offs to be made in response to market demands without full-blown fab manufacturing would be key to such a strategy. And that appears to be the implication of what Microsemi is trying to do with the 65nm technology (Figure 2). For example, if there is a SERDES block,

it could be implemented in Flash FPGA in terms of, say, PCI Express or hardened for performance and cost. Other parts of the SERDES block might be left undifferentiated by the manufacturer to be configured or programmed by the customer with whatever special IP is desired, or such IP could be supplied by the vendor at the customer’s option. With the acquisition of Actel, Microsemi also got its Flash*Freeze technology, which is used in the current generation of Actel IGLOO FPGAs to enable easy entry and exit from ultra-low-power mode in which the device retains its state while now consuming under 2μW (Figure 3). The device retains its ability to conRTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

15


editor’s report

trol power management based on external inputs (such as keyboard). In addition, the 65nm platform has gone to a 4-input lookup table (LUT) with dynamic clock gating as well as an 18x18 multiply/accumulate structure for more efficient DSP, whether soft or hard wired. So far, Microsemi is announcing a technology direction as a result of its acquisition of Actel and has not announced any products, which are slated to roll out in early 2011. The implications of the move, however, must be seen in the context as perhaps first a direct challenge to the Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) products currently on the market from Cypress Semiconductor. While these

currently are based on the 8-bit 8051 and the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 architectures, there is certainly room in that house for countermoves to both SmartFusion and whatever comes out of the 65nm platform. In addition, both Xilinx and Intel are gearing up to introduce products combining hard-gate implementations of CPUs and FPGA fabrics. It appears clear, then, that a growing number of semiconductor manufacturers are targeting devices that offer a broad choice of integration in terms of functional blocks. These blocks will be configurable and programmable, but they will also be available in choices of softor hard-wired implementation in differ-

ent combinations on families of devices offered as configurable and customizable commodity parts. Microsemi Irvine, CA. (800) 713-4113. [www.microsemi.com].

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Technology in

context COMs vs. SBCs

COM Express versus SBC: Deciding Which to Use and Where COM Express physically partitions the I/O section from the processor and memory into two modules where an SBC combines them in one. Are these two rivals or are there clear reasons for choosing one over another for specific applications? by Juergen Eder, GE Intelligent Platforms

I

s Computer-On-Module (COM) the SBC COM magic bullet for embedded applicaConnectors to ploration tions? Which platform technology best Backplane your goal COM serves the embedded market requirement: k directly COM Express modules or standard Single age, the source. Board Computers (SBCs)? Will COM Exology, press take over the traditional market for d products standard SBCs? These and similar quesBaseboard tions were posed when COM Express platform technology was originally introCPU Interface duced. Now that COM Express is gaining Chipset Connectors Memory market share, the COM Express versus SBC discussion is heating up again. Figure 1 First, it is important to understand that SBC versus COM Express plus baseboard. nies providing solutions now COMs are different from SBCs. A COM ion into products, technologiesan andintegrated companies. Whether goal is to research the latest is basically circuityour compoation Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you nent on a larger scale. In other words, take ways plugs onto a baseboard in order to SBC’s compute core and I/O functions are you require for whatever type of technology, achieve functionality similar to a typical implemented on one PCB, and represent cut out and productsan youSBC, are searching for. the processor, chipset, memory, DC/DC and some supporting CompactPCI or VME SBC (Figure 1). a fully functional computing platform. COMs have been around for several When plugged into the chassis, powered, components, and put them on a separate smaller printed circuit board (PCB). Add years. But it wasn’t until ETX and COM and loaded with the operating software as interface connectors for all signals—and Express that module technology really well as drivers, it is ready to execute an the result is a COM. came into its own and now is widely ac- application. System engineers do not need Then take what is left of the SBC— cepted as a viable, beneficial technol- to deal with the SBC design and can focus the I/O connectors and other components ogy. So how do standard slot SBCs now 100% of their time on system integration such as bridges, Super I/O, add new COM compare with COM Express—and what and getting the application running. interface connectors and call it a base- advantages does each technology offer to Form factors and the most important board. The bottom line is that a COM al- the user? SBC interfaces are standardized. Standardization guarantees interoperability Where SBCs Shine between boards. It decreases time-to-marGet Connected The first advantage of SBCs is that ket for the whole system while—thanks to with companies mentioned in this article. they are complete and ready to use. An optional mezzanine slots—still offering www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

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technology in context

Figure 2 Single board computers like GE’s Core i7-based VR12 are better suited to harsh environments.

practice for the BSP and SBC hardware to be delivered together to provide outof-the-box convenience. Simply plug the SBC into the system, load the Operating System and BSP, then run the application to use the SBC’s functionality. In a number of cases, such as where SBCs are used in standard 19-inch chassis with a backplane providing the data path between boards, several processor blades can be clustered in one system to increase overall system performance. Systems with backplane architecture assure that performance can be increased on demand by simply adding another SBC. A dual-processor SBC can be used to accelerate performance when a single processor board reaches its performance limits. Does the application require high availability? Is hot swap support required? This is the domain of SBCs in CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA and AdvancedMC form factors. Specifications for SBC designs, guidelines for a high-availability system infrastructure, special middleware and shelf management functions minimize the downtime of systems.

Where SBCs Fall Short Figure 3 COM Express technology is also capable of being ruggedized as shown by GE’s b COM2-L1100 board.

the freedom to semi-customize. Additionally, SBCs usually have a user-defined I/O area to address specific market segment needs. SBCs also enjoy a broad product portfolio with a huge number of SBCs available today. The selection ranges from low performance SBCs up to high-end server class SBC platforms, from designs for communications-centric applications up to SBCs that are a perfect fit for defense/ aerospace applications, and from SBCs intended for number crunching to SBCs for demanding graphics in a single slot. I/O Expansion can very often be accomplished through the use of standardized mezzanine cards. Adding I/O functionality or increasing performance by upgrading to faster or more LAN ports, for example, is easily done. Simply exchange or add I/O boards into the chassis, or add

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

PMCs, XMCs or AdvancedMCs onto the SBC itself. A wide range of standardized mezzanine modules with application-specific I/O functions is readily available. SBCs are often used in very demanding environments so there is the need for, and in the case of SBCs, the ability to provide extreme ruggedization. Extreme temperatures, high shock and vibration as well as contamination like dust, salt fog and humidity are common elements of such environments. Industry-wide specifications enable the design of rugged SBCs for harsh environments without compromises in platform hardness and interoperability (Figure 2). In order for the board to function correctly, SBC hardware and the board support package (BSP) software, usually consisting of the operating system and drivers, must be symbiotic. It has become the

Customizing an SBC is fairly easy as long as the modification is small—for instance, removing a function. Adding a new function is a different story. The SBC’s processor chipset and surrounding I/O are in close context due to the singleboard design. As such, adding a function can require complex design and layout changes on the high-speed portion of the SBC. SBCs can also face challenges in terms of space constraints. Applications that are space-constrained and need a very small computing system in order to fit into a machine may prohibit standard SBC use. Sometimes the smallest available SBC form factor is too large, a backplane is required, or the available space has complex dimensions that make SBC/ chassis use impossible.

Where COM Express Shines

The hallmark of COM Express is the flexibility and control it gives the developer over the design of the I/O. In COM Express, the baseboard form factor is not standardized. This enables the designer to


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technology in context

develop any size and form needed to fit the available space. The baseboard design can exactly match the requirements. Customization is simple, which helps to minimize the cost of the final computing platform. Also, the system designer keeps control over application-specific I/O requirements by developing a baseboard in-house. COM Express offers ready-to-use off-the-shelf modules that can work with

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any carrier board with a compatible connector. COM Express technology is standardized through PICMG. The interface connector pin-out is defined industrywide as are the form factors. Modules are designed to match the specification. By following the COM Express specification when designing the baseboard, the integrator can choose modules from a range of suppliers.

11/11/10 10:59:38 AM

There is also flexibility in the choice of form factors. Three standardized COM Express form factors are available: Extended (150 x 110 mm), Basic (125 x 95 mm) and Compact (95 x 95 mm). All follow the COM Express pin-out specification. The positions of the COM Express interface connectors, as well as the mounting holes, are exactly specified so that modules are interchangeable. Very small solutions with an inclusive baseboard can be achieved to meet various performance and I/O needs. The result is a combination of design simplicity along with flexibility in the choice of processor and I/O. A baseboard designer, not needing to deal with highperformance interfaces like processor-tomemory and processor-to-chipset signal paths, can focus on the I/O part of the solution. Special expertise in high-speed design and expensive equipment is not needed. The advantages are shorter timeto-market and lower cost development. COM Express solutions offer a great advantage when it comes to a new processor/chipset generation. An older module can be exchanged for a next-generation module of the same pin-out (Type). That means the original baseboard can be leveraged in an upgraded, higher performance solution. On the other hand, the module can stay the same, and the baseboard can be upgraded to add new functionality. In this case, impact on the BIOS and driver is limited and they require minimal work. COM Express is a great technology for adding on-demand processing functionality to other blade architectures such as AdvancedTCA or to proprietary form factors due to its size, flexibility and cost advantage. COMs also offer a high degree of freedom and are very advantageous when space is limited. By developing a baseboard to meet the application’s exact requirements, the solution or system chassis can be of almost any imaginable dimensions. When a module reaches its end of life, it is very simple to exchange it with a next-generation module. Typically, the core processing elements such as the processor and chipset on the module have a shorter life cycle than components on the baseboard. Module exchange increases


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technology in context

the life of the total solution, minimizes total cost and shortens time to revenue.

Where COM Express Falls Short

COM Express does require a certain amount of collaboration between I/O and module designers. Designing a baseboard in-house is similar to being part of an SBC design team. The baseboard and module designers need to work closely to-

A C R O M A G

gether from the concept to final baseboard qualification. Any baseboard implementation or modification needs to be supported by the module supplier’s BIOS. Ruggedization can also be an issue. COM Express, by default, was designed for applications in benign environments. No specification or guidelines exist for ruggedization because the module design is totally independent of baseboard form

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4/15/10 3:55:38 PM

factor and chassis dimensions. Dimensions of the baseboard, height, I/O ports used, how it is integrated into the application, all influence shock and vibration behavior. Every COM Express implementation demands a different approach. Nevertheless, ruggedization can be achieved (Figure 3). However, a close relationship with the module supplier is again recommended to make it happen. The module, of course, also needs a rugged configuration. Scalability is limited to the exchange of the COM for higher performance. Highavailability systems and the use of several COM Express modules in a cluster are not defined in the COM Express specification. A system in COM Express is limited to the module plus the baseboard. COM Express solutions are typically built with the performance levels of mobile processors or lower. Server and workstation performance levels, as well as dual processors or multiprocessing, are the domain of SBCs. For the foreseeable future, COM Express modules will remain single processor, multicore modules. Standard SBCs and COM Express modules both have a place in today’s system designs. In some cases, they are competing technologies. In others, they address different market needs. COMs, especially COM Express, opened new market segments and enlarged the total embedded market potential. At the end of the day it is always the user’s decision as to which technology best fits the specific application’s unique requirements and priorities. If the choice is not clear, creating a decision matrix with the relevant application-specific proof-of-fact points may help to make the decision. GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [www.ge-ip.com].


Technology

connected PCI Express over Cable

PCIe over Cable Goes Mainstream Having backplane performance levels available over a cable expands 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, medical imaging and many more. by Steve Cooper, One Stop Systems

I

n 2007 the PCI-SIG approved the PCI Express External Cabling Specification that defines how PCI Express can be implemented over a standard cable. This new capability allows the full bandwidth of the PCIe bus to be utilized within multiple chassis systems and small local networks. Over the past three years, hundreds of applications have been implemented using PCIe over cable for high-speed I/O, bus expansion and local networking. In these applications, using PCIe provides the benefits of high performance, low power and reduced costs. Some examples are: • Medical – CAT scanners, PET scanners, dental scanners and other imaging • Office documentation centers – Highend copy centers • Entertainment – HD cameras, film editing and theater projectors • Instrumentation – Oscilloscopes and test equipment • Data Storage – Disk and flash arrays x1

• HPC – GPU acceleration and interCPU communications • Military – signal acquisition and analysis • Other – PC expansion slots Although PCIe is well known as the PC backplane interface standard, it is less known as a high-speed cabling interface. Previous parallel bus structures such as PCI-X couldn’t easily be routed over a cable due to signal integrity problems. The serial technology and embedded clocking used within PCIe allow it to be used at full speeds across a motherboard or over a cable. The cable specification defines four cable connectors—for x1, x4, x8 and x16 links—providing a wide range of price and performance (Figure 1). At the low end, the x1 cable provides a 2.5 Gbit/s interface over a low-cost cable. At the high end, a x16 cable provides 128 Gbit/s over a more expensive cable. Adapter modules supporting the various cable sizes and are available in a num-

Gen 1

Gen 2

Gen 3

2.5Gb/s

5Gb/s

8Gb/s

x4

10Gb/s

20Gb/s

32Gb/s

x8

20Gb/s

40Gb/s

64Gb/s

x16

40Gb/s

80Gb/s

128Gb/s

TABLE 1 PCIe performance by generation and lane width.

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

ber of form factors supporting desktops, laptops, CompactPCI, CompactPCIe, VMEbus, AMC and XMC. Both the PCIe cables and adapter cards are now available from multiple sources (Figure 2).

Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3 Performance

One of the techniques used to create high performance with PCIe is the use of embedded clocking within each differential signal pair. By embedding the clock within the signal stream, there is no distortion or time delay between the clock signal and the data. The clock rate used within each PCIe signal is 2.5 GHz for Gen 1, 5 GHz for Gen 2 and 8 GHz for Gen 3. PCIe interface components automatically detect the speed capability of the other side of the link, and only utilize Gen 2 or Gen 3 timing if both sides are capable of that performance level. The performance of various PCIe lane widths is shown in Table 1. These performance levels are identical whether the bus is routed over a backplane or over the PCIe cable. Most PCs today have a mixture of Gen 1 and Gen 2 PCIe slots. Similarly, I/O boards are available in a mix of Gen 1 and Gen 2. Low cost boards, such as USB or Ethernet controllers, are typically Gen 1, whereas higher performance boards such as RAID controllers and graphics cards are generally Gen 2. Gen 3 systems and add-in boards are expected to become available


technology connected

in 2011. The first systems supporting Gen 3 will be based on Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPU, which brings PCIe Gen 3 directly out of the CPU chip. The first Gen 3 addin cards are expected to be graphics boards from Nvidia and AMD/ATI. With its industry standardization, high performance and low costs, PCIe over cable is well suited for connection to high-speed I/O, bus expansion and local networking. Many designers are choosing PCIe as a connection from a PC to their high-performance I/O device. This usage model is sometimes called “USB on steroids,” since the data rate of PCIe over cable is 20 to 80 times faster than USB. Designers are now developing a wide variety of I/O devices that directly connect to PCIe over cable. These applications include disk arrays, flash disk arrays, video editing subsystems, HD video cameras, handheld scanning devices and many other data acquisition subsystems.

Figure 1 PCIe cables come in four sizes supporting x1, x4, x8 and x16 link widths.

Usage Models

PCIe over cable is also being used as a simple, yet high performance means of bus expansion. In this model the PCIe backplane bus is conceptually stretched to operate over a cable to a second backplane physically located within a second chassis. These expansion chassis offer up to 20 additional add-in board slots for either laptops or servers. By using bridges and switches within the expansion chassis backplane, a variety of PCI, PCI-X and PCIe slots can be supported. Some of the most economical expansion chassis are based on passive backplanes that have direct connections for PCIe cables. These backplanes are designed in the ATX form factor, so they can be used within standard PC-compatible cases (Figure 3). A variation of the bus expansion usage model is the use of a standard PC connected to an industrial bus subsystem. This combination provides applications with the best of both worlds—a cost-ef-

Figure 2 PCIe over cable adapter modules are available for desktop, laptop and industrial bus structures.

fective, robust PC for the human interface and general computing and an industrial or instrumentation bus-based subsystem (such as PXIe, CompactPCIe, or VMEbus) for the specialized I/O. Since the connection rate of the PCIe cable is equal to the PCIe backplane rate, the performance of this repartitioned system is equal to the

architecture where the CPU board is in the native form factor of the industrial bus. PCIe can also be used for direct communications between PCs. In this model, PCIe over cable can be used for highspeed memory-to-memory transfers and/ or used as a very fast TCP/IP connection, with application compatibility to standard RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

27


technology connected

MEN Micro’s Rugged COMs for Harsh Environments

physically separate communicating with PCIe over cable. The TCP/IP mode allows users to utilize TCP/IP applications to conveniently communicate between PCs, map and share disk drives, printers, etc. Applications that are adopting PCIe over cable for local networking include medical imaging, document center internal data transfer, instrumentation data sharing and high-performance computing inter-networking.

Figure 3 This ATX form factor expansion backplane contains direct PCIe cable connections.

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Advantages versus Other Cable Standards

Whether being used for high-speed I/O, bus expansion or as a high-speed network, there are several advantages associated with PCIe over cable—low cost, low power, high bandwidth and software transparency. These advantages derive from the fact that today’s CPU components and chip sets directly drive PCIe as their expansion bus. Thus, the PCIe cable adapter cards are quite simple. The adapters simply route the signals from the motherboard out to the

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Untitled-1 1

Node PC

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

3/31/10 11:02:09 AM

PCIe can be used as a high-performance networking architecture, connecting multiple PCs with software transparency to Ethernet.


technology connected

PCIe cable connector and provide some signal conditioning to guarantee the signal integrity is met at the other end of the cable. Because these adapters are simple, they are inexpensive. Because they don’t convert the PCIe protocol into anything else, they are high performance and don’t require any software drivers (for the I/O expansion models). As an I/O expansion protocol, PCIe can be used in place of other protocols including: StarFabric, External SAS, Fibre Channel and USB. Compared to each of these, PCIe is the highest performance since there are no protocol conversions or timing delays. No cable connection can transfer data faster than the PCIe slot is capable of, and PCIe over cable is by definition at 100% performance. Any adapter that has to convert PCIe into a different protocol, send the data over the cable, and then convert it back to PCIe at the other end of the cable so that it can communicate with I/O devices, will necessarily be slower—both in throughput and latency—than a pure PCIe over cable solution. For networking, the comparison is PCIe versus 1 Gbit and 10 Gbit Ethernet. 1 Gbit Ethernet is clearly the most well accepted and lowest cost solution. 10 Gbit Ethernet continues to demand high prices, particularly for switches, and is used sparingly. PCIe over cable is much higher performance, but also more expensive than 1 Gbit Ethernet. PCIe over cable compares favorably, however, to 10 Gbit Ethernet. In this comparison, PCIe spans a much broader performance range—2.5 Gbit/s for a x1 Gen 1 up to 128 Gbit/s for a x16 Gen 3—than 10 Gbit Ethernet. In general, a PCIe network will perform 2-4 times as fast as 10 Gbit Ethernet, while requiring half the power and costing half as much. The PCI-SIG cable specification doesn’t specify fiber optic solutions for PCIe. However, several vendors have introduced active fiber optic cable products for PCIe. These cables plug into the standard PCIe over cable connector and then convert the signals into optical signals and send them over fiber optic cables. The primary advantages of these products is that the fiber cable can span considerably longer distances—typically up to 500 meters, and that the optical signals are completely immune to EMI interference. Two types of applications are utilizing PCIe over cable with active fiber optic

30

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

11/3/10 10:46:36 AM

cables. First are outdoor data acquisition and security systems where the distance feature is key. The second is within heavy industry factory floor applications where the fiber optic natural immunity to EMI (from welding and other machines) is key.

PCIe as a Network

PCIe was originally defined to support CPU-to-I/O communications, with a single PC serving as the bus interface host. Multicomputing can be accomplished using PCIe through a combination of non-transparent bridging and CPU-to-CPU communications software. This technology expands the applicability of PCIe to a wide variety of highend applications, including radar and sonar analysis, medical imaging, test and measurement and high-performance computing (HPC) inter-communications (Figure 4). The use of PCIe as a networking architecture is beginning to gain significant traction. This applies both to inter-blade communications (within a blade server) as well as external PCIe over cable connections between servers. Large HPC clusters with hundreds of interconnected nodes are currently being designed based on PCIe networking. The ability to run PCIe over cable at full performance with software transparency opens up a range of new application possibilities for CPU to I/O system re-partitioning. Low cost host bus adapters extend the PCIe bus structure to expansion chassis or dedicated PCIe I/O hardware. PCIe over cable provides a simple and low cost method for extending 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 super-fast USB of sorts. Designing compatible end-points is straight forward because the PCIe interface is available as a gate array library. When CPU-to-CPU communications are added to PCIe, the cable interface can be used as a high-performance cabled network. A x8 cabled network with Gen 2 timing will transfer data at 40 Gbit/s—or 40 times faster than today’s 1 Gbit/s Ethernet interfaces. One Stop Systems Escondido, CA. (877) 438-2724. [www.onestopsystems.com].


1GHz PC/104 SBC

Supports Networking and Communications Hardened for harsh, industrial environments, the low power PCM-VDX-2 PC/104 single board computer is designed for medical, transportation, communication, and control applications. It is packed with serial, USB, Ethernet ports, and GPIO; and offers -40°C to 85°C extended temperature operation. • • • • • • •

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Fanless, low power 1GHz Vortex86DX processor PC/104 Bus compliant form factor (90 x 96 mm) 512MB of soldered-down onboard DRAM 1MB of battery-backed SRAM CompactFlash socket Optional 512MB onboard SSD flashdisk Full-featured I/O includes: • Two 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports • Four USB 2.0 ports • Four serial RS-232/422/485 ports • ESD protection on LAN, USB, and serial ports • 16 lines of general purpose I/O • PATA, LPT, PS/2 KYBD and Mouse controller • Mini PCI and PC/104 expansion connectors • WDT, RTC, status LEDs, and beeper Extended temperature -40°C to +85°C operation Runs Linux, DOS, and other x86-compatible operating systems Downloadable drivers available Responsive and knowledgeable technical support Long-term product availability

The PCM-VDX-2 can be customized by depopulating certain features or adding soldered-down flash memory, CompactFlash card retention clip, and/or a Mini PCI video card. Understanding long-term product availability is a critical issue for our customers, the PCM-VDX-2 is offered beyond 2017. Contact us for additional product information and pricing. Our factory application engineers look forward to working with you.

Call 817-274-7553 or Visit

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technology in

systems

Analog to Digital Conversion

Compression-based A-to-D Converters: Reaching New Low Power Limits in Quantization The potential for power savings in analog to digital conversion can be significant if compression technology can be employed to reduce power consumption based on the signal’s characteristics. by Fred Tzeng, ZeroWatt Technologies

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

Analog Signal

Digital Output

Traditional A/D

Analog Signal

Z-Press Signal Compressor

11010...

A/D

Traditional Quantization in Amplitude

ZeroWatt Quantization in Amplitude 1.5

Wasted Space!

1 0.5 0 -0.5

Wasted Space!

Not Power Efficient

-1 0

100

200

300

400

500

Time

No Wasted Space!

1

Normalized Voltage

Normalized Voltage

11010...

ZeroWatt ADC Chip

1.5

-1.5

Digital Output

Z-Press Signal De-Compressor

Traditional ADC Chip

600

700

0.5 0 -0.5

Very Power Efficient

-1 -1.5

0

Not Power Efficient

Figure 1

10

20

30

Frequency (MHz) (a)

200

40

300

400

500

600

Time

700

*10-8s

ZeroWatt Quantization in Spectrum No Wasted Space!

Normalized Power

Nyquist Sampling Rate

Wasted Space!

0

100

*10-8s

Traditional Quantization in Spectrum Normalized Power

I

n traditional analog-to-digital conversion, the signal is “blindly” converted without any consideration to the signal type or statistics. As a result, the conversion process wastes a great deal of power. If the signal type or statistics are used wisely, the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) power can be pushed to its lower limit. A new approach to ADCs uses a proprietary signal compression data conversion technique, Z-press, which delivers significantly lower power than traditional techniques. All these benefits come at no degradation to the signal-to-noise-anddistortion ratio (SINAD) and conversion rate compared to the traditional ADCs. Furthermore, Z-press needs no prior knowledge of the signal type. Simply plug in your signal input and the ADC will automatically adapt to the power-optimized state of the input signal. The broader/commercial impacts of this ADC are major benefits in extended battery life, lower design costs, higher channel density and simplified system design in many electronic systems, particularly in medical imaging, wireless infrastructure, instrumentation and military applications. For example, in digital beamforming and phased array applications, there could be thousands of ADCs

Nyquist Sampling Rate

Very Power Efficient

0

10

20

30

Frequency (MHz)

40

(b)

(a) Traditional quantization in the amplitude and frequency domain, and (b) compression-based quantization in the amplitude and frequency domain.


tech in systems

per device and therefore lowering power consumed by ADCs is a critical objective. With advanced ADCs that consume much less power, several critical objectives can be attained: 1) Battery life of portable devices can be almost doubled in certain systems, or 2) number of channels per device can be doubled, and/or 3) system resolution or speed can be enhanced, and/or 4) device form factor can be reduced due to higher channel density per chip. With these benefits, end users can gain more accurate detections with lower cost systems and enhanced portability.

Parameter

20 MS/s Mode

Unit

10

10

Bits

+0.38/-0.44 +0.24/-0.51 <1 1.2

+0.47/-0.52 +0.29/-0.61 <1 1.7

LSB LSB LSB %FS

SNDR at: F in = F sample /7 F in = F sample /4

57.8 57.2

56.2 54.7

dBc dBc

ENOB at: F in = F sample /7 F in = F sample /4

9.3 9.2

9.0 8.8

Bits Bits

SFDR at: F in = F sample /7.1 F in = F sample /4.1

71.1 72.3

66.7 64.6

dBc dBc

1.8 1.8 0.71 0.42

1.8 1.8 0.71 1.1

V V mA mA

1.9 2.0 2.0

3.2 3.3 3.4

mW mW

0.317 0.340

0.325 0.381

pJ/step pJ/step

1.8Vp-p 10 MHz sinewave

1.8Vp-p 20 MHz sinewave

RESOLUTION STATIC ACCURACY DNL INL Offset Error Gain Error DYNAMIC ACCURACY

Overview of Operation Principles

In traditional analog-to-digital conversion, the full voltage scale and input spectrum up to half the Nyquist rate (here defined as equivalent to the ADC sampling rate) is quantized, as pictured in Figure 1(a). As can be seen in Figure 1(a), all the red-outlined space represents area not instantaneously occupied by the signal in the amplitude domain. Quantization of this wasted space results in power inefficiency. In Figure 1(b) a signal compressor-decompressor engine is used around the ADC to focus only on the signal, resulting in little wasted space and significantly improved power efficiency. Similarly, the traditional ADC suffers from inefficient signal digitization in the frequency domain because the signal is not always occupying the entire spectrum band up to half the Nyquist rate, and in most applications is concentrated at certain frequency portions as shown in Figure 1(a). In contrast, the new approach can recognize that there is wasted frequency spectrum when not instantaneously occupied by the signal and quantize only the signal spectrum in a highly power efficient manner (Figure 1(b)). Figure 2(a) shows the power profile of a traditional 10-bit, 50 MS/s successive approximation ADC digitizing the Rayleigh distributed ultrasound signal in Figure 3. This is compared to the power profile of a 10-bit 50 MS/s advanced compression ADC as shown in Figure 2(b).

10 MS/s Mode

POWER CONSUMPTION VDD_A VDD_D IVDD_A 2 IVDD_D 2 Total Power at: DC Input Sinewave F in = F sample /7 Sinewave F in = F sample /4 FIGURE OF MERIT F in = F sample /7 F in = F sample /4 INPUT CLOCK DIGITAL OUTPUT

10 parallel bit streams each at 10/20 MS/s

CHIP CORE AREA

0.138

TECHNOLOGY 1 2

mm2

0.18ÂľM BiCMOS using only CMOS transistors

Whenever possible, the input sinewave is scaled at -0.82dBFS from a 1.8V full-scale. Specified at Fsample/7.

Table 1 Performance results from the first generation design of the compression ADC.

The traditional ADC is non-adaptive and uses no compression, while the use of compression data conversion enables the signal to be adapted to its lower power limit. Clearly the compression quantiza-

tion method can achieve significant power savings, and depending on circumstances, can achieve more than 10 times compared to the traditional method.

RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

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Tech In Systems

1.5 Traditional ADC Avg. Power 12.1 mW

10 5 0

0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Time *10-8s (a)

6 5 4 3 2 1 0

1

ZeroWatt ADC Avg. Power 0.918 mW

0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Time *10-8s (b)

Normalized Voltage

Power Miliwatt

Power Miliwatt

15

0.5 0 -0.5

-1 -1.5

0

100

Figure 2

Full Scale VDD=1.8V

1

Fraction of Total Distribution

0.8

0.6

0.4

85% of signals below 0.5V

0.2-

0 0.5

1

1.5

Signal Voltage (V)

Figure 3 CDF of Rayleigh distributed signal.

Compression ADC in Relation to Signal Probability Distribution Functions

One may wonder whether the compression ADC may benefit when dealing with real-world signals because both large and small voltage signals are present in a probability distribution. Furthermore, the same could be said about the frequency of the signal, as it may very well occur at half the Nyquist rate. To consider how an advanced com-

34

300 Time

a) Traditional ADC power consumption, and (b) ADC power consumption using compression.

0

200

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

pression ADC can be very powerful under realistic signal conditions, we look at the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of a simple Rayleigh distributed signal shown in Figure 3, which is a signal that occurs frequently in wireless and medical imaging applications. In this case the signal is also backed off from the full scale by four times its average amplitude in order to avoid clipping of the signal. As can be seen, more than 85% of the time the signal is below 0.5V,

400

500

600 700 *10-8s

Figure 4 Rayleigh distributed ultrasound signal.

so the compression ADC can work well in such cases. The benefits of the compression ADC can be better understood through a reallife application—ultrasound systems. In ultrasounds, the signal at the input of the ADC can be visualized by the signal in Figure 4. Multiple reflected ultrasound waves from the walls of the human body and organs arrive at the ADC with pulses of varying amplitude at arbitrary times. As can be observed, there are many “blank” spots between the pulses such that signal compression can offer a huge advantage. Traditional ADCs cannot simply turn off during the “blank” spots because they do not know when the next echo is coming back, and turn on/off time would range from 100s of nanoseconds to a few microseconds. Furthermore, the ultrasounds are usually pulsed carrier waves between 2-15 MHz while the ADC runs at 20-80 MS/s. As a result, the signal is oversampled 4-8 times at the ADC. Therefore, a great deal of the signal spectrum lies far below the Nyquist frequency, where again frequency compression can be advantageous.

Results of Compression ADC Designs and Future Work

ZeroWatt has been involved in lowpower ADCs and has previously developed a first generation ultra-low-power ADC based on proprietary low-power compression techniques. Parts of this base design will be reused in the next round of adaptive compression-based ADC to lower the power even further. With the combination of first generation design and


Tech In Systems

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300

the new compression techniques, it is estimated we can bring more than 10 times lower power than the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadingedge ADC for certain signals. Measurements have been completed for the first generation compression ADC. A sample spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) measurement is shown in Figure 5. The results shown in Table 1 were accomplished in the first design. The second generation adaptive compression ADC design uses a proprietary adaptive compression technique to lower the power even further. The adaptive method will allow the power consumption to wiggle dynamically according to the signal. Adaptation bandwidth and other parameters can be set by the user to optimize power consumption. The sampling speed, resolution and power achieved are 50 MS/s, 12 bits and < 5mW, respectively, suitable for digital beamforming and phased array channels. So far, the completed design is able to achieve the results shown in Table 2 for the next-generation ADC.

200

Technology and Competition

Incoherent Test 10 MSPS Fin= 1.40845 MHz Ain= -0.82 dBFS SFDR = 71.1 dBc

10

0

10-2

S F B D

10-4

10-6

10-8

10-10

10-12

0

0.5

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

FREQUENCY (Hz)

Figure 5

4

4.5

5 x 106

ZeroWattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generation-1 compression ADC SFDR test with Fin=Fsample/7.1.

Figure of Merit (fJ/conversion)

600 500 400

Industry Avg. 342 fJ/conv.

100

ZeroWatt 30 fJ/conv.

0

Figure 6

Industry ADC Products

Industry ADC figures of merit versus compression ADC.

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Untitled-3 1

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

By using a compression and decompression system around our ADCs, we are able to bring the analog-to-digital conversion process to its lower power limit. Even with the best circuit design techniques, the technology is still far ahead in low power because we do data conversion based on

11/11/09 3:45:15 PM


Tech In Systems

instantaneous signal fluctuations. Figure 6 shows how the technology is able to outpace the typical industry average for ADC figure of merit (FoM), defined as

Power FoM = 2ENOB * fclk

where ENOB is the effective number of bits and fclk is the sampling frequency. The plot shows various competitor products compared to that of ZeroWatt. The power consumption used here is based on a Rayleigh distributed signal, 8x oversampling, 4x full scale voltage back-off for the rms signal value, and implementation in a 0.13Âľm CMOS process. ZeroWatt Technologies Cerritos, CA. (949) 433-2917. [www.zerowatt-tech.com].

Sampling Rate

50 MS/s

Resolution

12 bits

ENOB (at 10 MHz)

>11.5 bits

Power (for typical Rayleigh signal)

Analog: 1.4 mA from 1.2V Digital: 2.3 mA from 1.2V

Figure of Merit

30.4 fJ/conversion

ADC Core Area

<0.25 mm2

SFDR

<< 72dBc

DNL

<1LSB

INL

To be tested during measurements

Fullscale Input

1V Differential

Digital Output Configuration

Programmable Serial

Process

0.13Âľm Digital CMOS

TABLE 2 Performance figures from the second generation design of the compression ADC.

Freescale e500 Computer On Module (COM) The CSB1880, designed, developed and manufactured by Cogent Computer Systems, Inc., is a high performance, network oriented, PowerPC based Computer on a Module (COM). The CSB1880 provides a small, powerful and flexible engine for embedded Linux based GIGe networking applications of all kinds. y y y y y y y y y y

1.25GHz Superscalar e500 Core w/512KB L2 Cache 512MByte 64-Bit Wide DDR2-667 Memory with 8-Bit ECC 64MByte NOR with Secure ID, and 512MByte SLC NAND Two PCIe x4 Port (or one x4 and Two x2's) Two 10/100/1000 ports via BCM5482S to Copper/Fiber PHY Two SATA Gen 2 (1.5Gbit or 3.0Gbit/sec) Channels Three 480Mbit USB 2.0 Host Ports <7W Typical, 12W Maximum, <3W in Jog Mode 95mm x 95mm x 8mm (using 5mm COM Express Connector) Linux 2.6.x BSP with available 1 year of support

Development Kit includes CSB1880 COM, CSB1801 uATX Carrier and Case, with 1 Year of Support and Updates The CSB1880 is manufactured in our in-house state of the art, lead-free surface mount manufacturing line. All products carry a 1-year warranty and are available in commercial and industrial temperature versions. Cogent also offers standard and custom carrier boards, plus royalty free licensing options for the CSB1880.

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&RJHQW&RPSXWHU6\VWHPV,QF ,QGXVWULDO'ULYH6PLWKILHOG5, WHOID[ZHEZZZFRJFRPSFRP 11/9/10 10:23:24 AM


technology deployed Standards Update

6 Gbit/s SAS and Beyond: Emerging Storage Standards Set the Course for the Future Over the years the industry has continued SAS innovation on multiple fronts. Continuing extensions of its physical and protocol building blocks will enable robust, highperformance storage and storage subsystems that meet the needs of today and will grow to meet those of tomorrow.

by Sam Barnett, Maxim Integrated Products

S

erial Attached SCSI (SAS) technology offers a wealth of benefits to the enterprise server, storage enclosure and storage networking customers. These include high reliability and performance, mixed enterprise/desktop drive support and improved economies of scale. SAS is even being evolved into an island SAN support fabric. As the T10 Standards Committee continues its charge forward, SAS as a storage interconnect and storage networking technology continues to gain momentum not only in midrange environments but also in the enterprise—a space that was once dominated by channel-oriented technologies. Although SAS was originally envisioned as a serial replacement for parallel SCSI, its overall development, in terms of functionality and performance, has grown by leaps and bounds. Most recently, the T10 Standards Committee completed work on and ratified the standard on which 6 Gbit/s SAS is based.

6 Gbit/s SAS Technology

SAS is the evolutionary follow-on to the parallel SCSI interface. Like other serial storage technologies such as Serial ATA, SAS was originally envisioned as only a point-to-point connection mechanism to replace a multi-drop parallel bus, but through two generations of

40

MONTH 2010 DECEMBER 2010 RTCRTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE

serial technology it has evolved to become much more. 6 Gbit/s SAS not only provides for a faster interconnect rate, versus 1.5 Gbit/s and 3 Gbit/s, but it delivers a wide array of enterprise features including zoning. It also provides for enhanced receive performance based on adaptive decision feedback equalization technology (DFE). Similarly, spread spectrum clocking (SSC) was added for electromagnetic interference (EMI) mitigation. Numerous other features were added but will not be covered here. The industry objectives for 6 Gbit/s SAS include: • Preserve 3 Gbit/s SAS usage models • Maintain 1.5 Gbit/s SAS, 3 Gbit/s SAS and SATA compatibility • Reduce the number of cabling and connector options • Double transfer performance to 6 Gbit/s SAS • Improve cost/performance and power/bandwidth ratios • Reduce number of connections per Gbit/s • Support 10m copper interconnects

6 Gbit/s SAS achieved these industry objectives and more. In fact, it provides further extensions to the base 6 Gbit/s SAS specification. It also delivers additional enterprise features including optical interface support, as well as enhanced power management and control. The 6 Gbit/s speed enhancement addressed several of the industry objectives for 6 Gbit/s SAS. Not only did the speed grade improvement provide for better overall system and interconnect performance, it paved the way for the adoption of SSDs (Solid State Drives)—one of the few target mechanisms that can take advantage of the multi-gigabit transfer rates offered by 6 Gbit/s SAS. Maintaining backward compatibility with earlier generations, such as 3 Gbit/s SAS, was required for legacy device support and required significant engineering development both in the standards body and the component community. In addition, the overall improvement in bandwidth allows more devices such as drives and controllers to exist in the same domain without bumping into bandwidth limitations resulting in poor performance and ultimately I/O starvation. Also key to supporting legacy environments and cabling distances (up to 10m copper), was the adoption of decision feedback equalization (DFE) technology in 6 Gbit/s SAS interfaces. A decision feedback equalizer is a nonlinear equalizer that uses previous detector decisions to eliminate inter-symbol interference (ISI) that can result in bit errors on the serial link. In other words, the distortion caused by previous serial bits is subtracted to produce a more accurate version of the bit being sampled. The


Technology deployed

Equalized samples

Forward filter rx

+

Filter

+

Zx

Tap Weights Demodulated samples input ex Error signal for adjusting weights

Detector Zx

Quantizer -

+

Decision

Digital data output

Quantized samples

Tap Weights Filter Feedback filter

Figure 1 A Simple Decision Feedback Equalizer. Courtesy: Ta Ha, and Tuan Do-Hong. Decision Feedback Equalizer. Connexions. 14 Nov. 2007

result is a serial receiver that is substantially more tolerant of the challenging signal environments seen in more complex storage systems that make use of the higher frequency data links provided (Figure 1). Without DFE technology, it is unlikely that support of aggressive channel models would have been possible at the 6 Gbit/s SAS signaling rate and beyond. Another key electrical feature of the 6 Gbit/s SAS specification is the introduction of Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC) requirements (center and down-spread) for 6 Gbit/s SAS links. Support is optional at lower speed links such as 3 Gbit/s SAS and 1.5 Gbit/s SAS. SSC is employed to reduce the peak amplitude of radiated emissions. This is often useful in electrically “noisy” environments where electromagnetic interference (EMI) is of concern. SSC is accomplished by varying clock rates to spread emissions over a wider range of frequencies. Figures 2, 3 and 4, respectively, illustrate a nonspread signal, a down-spread signal and a center-spread signal.

tions in traffic patterns or data demands. Zoning not only improves storage efficiency by allowing multiple non-shared data entities to access and share the same domain, but it also blocks initiators from accessing each other or any dedicated devices. Further, zoning provides for improved security when multiple organizations share a common domain of storage, such as cloud computing environments.

Advanced Connectivity

Unlike other enterprise storage technologies, SAS was not originally envisioned as needing to support any connection technology other than passive copper and then only with limited channel lengths (up to 10m). It quickly became clear that an active interface, either copper or optical, would be required as intra-datacenter interconnects demanded greater flexibility. To accommodate these needs, the T10 working group introduced advanced connectivity options for the SAS protocol in 6 Gbit/s SAS. The SAS response to these market demands is the Advanced Connectivity Roadmap, which offers improved capabilities beyond today’s widely deployed Mini-SAS connector with the denser and more flexible Mini-SAS High Density (HD) interconnect. The Mini-SAS HD offers remarkable improvements in SAS capabilities with enhancements targeting four main areas. It provides more box-to-box, server-to-storage and rack-to-rack connections, with increased deployment options and delivery of more flexible capacity within a SAS domain. Advanced Connectivity provides superior connections because of characteristics such as double the density of the MiniSAS connector to support higher port-count densities. It is also electrically improved—less cross-talk, better signal-to-noise ratio and improved passive signaling. Cable lengths are also improved due to active copper cables lengthened to 20m and optical cables lengthened to 100m. It should be noted that active copper connections, supporting dis-

SAS Zoning

Enterprise storage system adoption of SAS started with the advent of 3 Gbit/s SAS. Customers of this type of storage system need high levels of functionality, control and security. Although many vendors implemented proprietary zoning schemes in early SAS components, 6 Gbit/s SAS sought to standardize zoning for better interoperability. Zoning has many different applications in enterprise storage systems. However, it is most often utilized in environments with multiple initiators, such as blade servers or clustered file server environments. The purpose is to associate a subset of each of the storage devices with a particular initiator. Zoning is accomplished using a structure roughly analogous to that of a file system. A zone is the equivalent of a folder or directory and can either be “hard” or “soft.” In hard zoning, each device is assigned to a particular zone, and this assignment does not change. In soft zoning, device assignments can be changed dynamically by the storage administrator to accommodate varia-

Figure 2 A non-spread signal.

RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

41


technology deployed

Figure 3

Figure 4

A down-spread signal.

A center-spread signal.

tances greater than 20m, are also possible using the standard external Mini-SAS connector. This is accomplished by reassigning a ground signal on the connector, thus providing power to the active components within the cable. Deploying this standardized approach to achieving longer cable runs on the Mini-SAS connector is entering the market and will become a common usage model for 6 Gbit/s SAS. Unlike the Mini-SAS HD connector, the Mini-SAS connector lacks the cable management facilities and is limited to 6

Gbit/s SAS operation. Several vendors, cooperating at industry plugfests, have proven the robustness of these active copper environments on Mini-SAS and find it more than adequate for many application environments. In addition, connectivity management is now possible due to these added enhancements including connection discovery, cable plant management, improved serviceability and reliability, plus lower total cost of ownership (TCO) through ease of error isolation and servicing. Finally, converged connectivity is achieved by using a single connector to support a variety of interconnect types, having a provision for consistent management across these connections and using a consistent method for port management and scaling.

Power Management/Control

ADLGS45PC

Intel Core 2 Duo / Celeron M, PCI/104-Express v1.0, 1.20GHz - 2.26GHz SBC 'PS)JHI1FSGPSNBODF &YUFOEFE5FNQFSBUVSF3VHHFE"QQMJDBUJPOT

FEATURES t *OUFMÂĽ$FMFSPOÂĽ.$PSFÂ&#x2122;%VP 4''

t *OUFMÂĽ(4*$).&$IJQTFU%%3 t .)[%3".o6QUP(# t -"/$POUSPMMFSTY(CJU-"/ $35-7%4 ADLGS45PC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Shown without ADL Thermal Solution.

Applications

Automotive Communications/Networking *OEVTUSJBMt.FEJDBM .JMJUBSZ"FSPTQBDFt4FDVSJUZ 5SBOTQPSUBUJPOt8JSFMFTT.PCJMF

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42

Untitled-13 1

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

12/6/10 10:58:09 AM

A traditional server or storage enclosure may make use of a variety of SAS components that run the gamut from HBAs and RAID controllers, to expanders, signal conditioners and target devices that include SSDs as well as standard rotating media devices. Each component communicates with its peer through high-speed physical layer structures (PHYs). In general, PHYs are responsible for up to 70% of the total power consumed by a given component. As shown in Figure 5, the percentage of power consumed by the expander device in its I/O (PHY) alone represents more than 70% of the total device power consumption in a typical operating configuration. While other SAS components may have higher power consumption in their core area due to a higher core logic-to-PHY ratio, PHY power consumption still represents the lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s share of overall dissipation in high-speed storage silicon components. Component power consumption is directly related to cooling burdens associated with a server or storage enclosure. In fact, direct cooling costs are second only to equipment operating costs, in terms of electricity usage in data centers today. In the past little emphasis was placed on chip power efficiencies since lower output amplitudes and operating frequencies generally equated to lower power demands. For example, in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s server systems, the cost of operating a 1U server in a datacenter environment often exceeds the actual cost of the server


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itself in a single year of operation. Given the escalation in overall energy costs over the last two decades, the information technology industry has come under great pressure to effectively manage power at the component level. As such, system vendors are increasingly turning to their component suppliers and to technical standards bodies in an effort to spur invention that can help enable overall power savings. Effective management of a SAS componentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PHY power consumption provides the biggest benefit potential to overall SAS system power efficiency. 6 Gbit/s SAS addresses this management need with three tiers of PHY power states: 10:13:28 AM â&#x20AC;˘ Active PHY power (full power) â&#x20AC;˘ Partial PHY power (lower power) â&#x20AC;˘ Slumber PHY power (lowest power) Of the three states, partial and slumber both refer to lower PHY power conditions than the active state. In the active PHY power state, a SAS device PHY is fully enabled and is capable of transmitting information and responding to received information without needing to change the PHYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power condition, although the PHY may consume more power than when in a lower power condition. While both the partial and slumber PHY power states operate at lower power consumption levels than the active state, they differ in the treatment of pending connection requests. While in the partial power state, a connection request will wait for up to 10 microseconds for the PHY to achieve full power to honor the connection request, and then begin transmitting or receiving information. If a connection request is made to a PHY in the slumber power state, the connection request will be rejected using the OPEN_REJECT (RETRY) mechanism and the requesting device will retry its connection attempt at a later time. During this type of wake-up attempt, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;slumberingâ&#x20AC;? PHY is given 10 milliseconds to reach its full power state or else the link is reset and the connection attempt is aborted. Maxim Integrated Products Sunnyvale, CA. (408) 737-7600. [www.maxim-ic.com].

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INDUSTRY

WATCH

Wi-Fi: Leading the Way in Enabling the “Internet of Things” With innovations in power consumption and management, reduced costs and ease of installation and provisioning, it is desirable, and now easy, to embed Wi-Fi into swarms of devices—medical monitors, home appliances, building control systems and real-time location tags to name just a few. by Lew Adams, GainSpan

A

new dimension has been added to the world of information and communication technologies: from anytime, anyplace connectivity for anyone, we will now have connectivity for anything. Connections will multiply and create an entirely new dynamic network of networks—an “Internet of Things.” The “Internet of Things” is about connecting products that create, store and consume data via the Internet. This allows processing to provide results that people can more easily use. It is primarily driven by embedded devices—low-bandwidth, low-repetition data capture and low-bandwidth data-usage “appliances” that communicate with each other and provide data via user interfaces. Countless products simply require packets of data to be intermittently delivered—home information displays, smart appliances and thermostats, remote patient monitoring devices, smart digital signs, luggage tags that know where your luggage is and on and on. IMS Research forecasts that the number of Internet connected devices would pass the 5 billion mark by August 2010

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

Networking Services DHCP IRC RPC

DNS LDAP SSH

FTP MGCP TLS/SSL

HTTP NNTP Telnet

IMAP NTP

Transport TCP

UDP SCTP

DCCP RSVP ECN

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IPv6 ICMPv6

IGMP IPsec

Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11i 802.11e

WPA/2 Personal WPA/2 Enterprise EAP WMM

WPS Wi-Fi Direct

Figure 1 Wi-Fi can take advantage of a variety of well-established communication protocols.

with a projection of 22 billion by 2020. There will be 15 billion devices by 2015, according to Intel. Telecommunications infrastructure giant Ericsson predicts 50

billion Internet-enabled devices by 2020. And there are even numbers mentioned as high as 1 trillion devices connected to the Internet by 2013 according to Cisco.


INDUSTRY WATCH

Secure Wi-Fi Data

Secure Internet Data

• Socket layer encryption • Wi-Fi encryption

• Socket layer encryption

Data

Data

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SSL

Broadband ISP Gateway

Wi-Fi Connects the Internet of Things

Public Internet

Wi-Fi AP

Application Server • SSL enabled

Wi-Fi Devices & Equipment • WPA/2 enabled • SSL enabled

Figure 2 In the scenario with Wi-Fi devices connected to a LAN and to the Internet, both WPA/2 and SSL are used to ensure data security during transmission.

Custom Native Application

Provision

Connect

GainSpan GS1011M Module

Ad-hoc

• Serial to Wi-Fi • Interface • GainSpan • Networking • Services • OTA Firmware • Updates • TCP/IP stack • DHCP Client • DNS Client

Wi-Fi AP Infrastructure

Figure 3 Connecting a Wi-Fi-enabled device with a native application.

Getting all these “things” connected is critical in order to keep track, monitor and control them. When designing in connectivity—or Web-enabling new or existing products—device manufacturers look to differentiate their offerings in order to enable a product that delivers higher quality and value to the end user. They look at four key factors: ease of

provisioning the device, sending and receiving valuable data, ease of diagnosing issues and the ability to update firmware when deployed. By focusing on these factors, they can improve the experience of end users with streamlined configuration, new services, faster support and rapid fixes to bugs or upgrades.

Wi-Fi will play a leading role in getting all these “things” connected. Wi-Fi is the most widely deployed technology today—it is IP by definition and is the de facto wireless LAN technology with over 2 billion Wi-Fi devices deployed. Shipments of 770 million and 1 billion chipsets are forecasted for 2010 and 2011 respectively, according to ABI research. Wi-Fi is one of the top 10 world-changing technologies developed and deployed in the last decade. It is mature and secure with well proven encryption, authentication and end-to-end network security and a strong certification body. That’s not to say that other technologies won’t play a role. A combination of wireless communications/connectivity services will be used—2G, 3G, satellite, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and proprietary technologies. IP-based technologies will dominate, however, because they link directly to the Internet. 2G or 3G connections will be an obvious choice to connect devices over a Wide Area Network (WAN). But as the number of devices increases, they will interconnect locally through a Local Area Network (LAN) to share a WAN connection for bandwidth aggregation and network connection cost reasons, similar to what we see today in networking computers. Wi-Fi has experienced rapid adoption since its introduction, and its growth has taken place in three waves. In the first wave of Wi-Fi adoption, the bulk of devices connected to the Internet were access points and routers, PCs and laptops and their associated peripherals. Today over 1 billion computers are regularly connected to the Internet and this number is growing. The second Wi-Fi wave included smartphones and other consumer electronics devices. Wi-Fi improved smartphone usability and offloaded data traffic from mobile networks at hot spots, enterprise and home Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi exRTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

47


INDUSTRY WATCH

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• Wi-Fi client device with PIN on label • or displays PIN

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• User reboots device

• User reboots device

• APs & Wi-Fi client devices • complete association and • authentication

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Figure 5 Wi-Fi protected setup with a WPS-enabled device.

tended the Internet’s reach from the home office to consumer devices where users of gaming consoles, DVD, DVR and other innovative set-top boxes benefited from real-time content delivery, streamlined provisioning (e.g. no need to run Ethernet cables to the living room), up-to-date firmware and faster issues resolution with fact-based support. The third Wi-Fi wave is for interconnecting objects as opposed to computers or people. Connecting “things” to the Internet has different characteristics than the first two waves, where increasing connection speed was essential. Things generally trans-

mit short bursts of data, such as temperature or humidity, at regular intervals. Sometimes the devices, such as smart plugs, have no display or keypad, and must still be very easy to provision by an average consumer. These devices, such as wristband tags, are often small and battery operated and hence power consumption and dissipation must be limited. In some applications, the device might not even need a separate host processor. In a network of connected things, greater reach is more important than high throughput, in order to minimize infrastructure cost, but each access point might be connected to a much larger number of nodes.


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INDUSTRY WATCH

Embedded Internet Requirements

The third Wi-Fi wave brings with it a set of requirements for device manufacturers that overlaps with requirements from the first two waves yet are unique due to the characteristics of deeply embedded devices. There are four key factors that need to be considered. It is a given

that devices manufacturers are more and more looking at IP connectivity. The three other concerns, however, must also be addressed: security, low power consumption and ease of provisioning. The main reason to incorporate WiFi is to enable communication to devices, equipment, computers and/or servers.

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Communication is the foundation for exchange of device data, configuration management, diagnostics and firmware updates. TCP/IP, of course, is the most pervasive set of communication protocols. These protocols have many standardsbased, interoperable implementations that meet embedded device footprint requirements and are available off the shelf and even with open source implementation. Since computer, smartphone and server platforms all have TCP/IP stacks, connecting Wi-Fi devices with inherent embedded TCP/IP stacks to these platforms is trivial. And because the protocols are modular (Figure 1), designers can select only those required for their systems. With Wi-Fi, rather than reinventing the wheel, engineers can use these proven and deployment hardened protocols, allowing them to focus on applications that provide value to the end user. Wireless communication is inherently susceptible to eavesdropping. Wi-Fi, however, has proven end-to-end security. Consumers are familiar with a handful of settings of WPA/2-personal, common in home Wi-Fi Access Points (AP). Enterprise IT departments are familiar with WPA/2-enterprise, which incorporates enterprise class Wi-Fi APs and AAA servers to automate authentication and authorization of hundreds of Wi-Fi devices. Both WPA cases encrypt Wi-Fi frames transmitted into the air. Device manufacturers must decide whether to incorporate Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt TCP/UDP payloads between the Wi-Fi access points and the Internet. If a device connects to a LAN and has multiple users with varying credentials and data privacy requirements, device manufacturers should incorporate SSL. If a device merely communicates to remote machines on the Internet, SSL is not needed; here, the question is one of verification level. Manufacturers can design the Wi-Fi device/client to verify server credentials and server certificate. For added security, the server can verify the Wi-Fi device/client’s credentials. Figure 2 shows the data path from Wi-Fi de-


INDUSTRY WATCH

vices, Wi-Fi AP and an application server on the Internet. Whether the embedded device is line or battery powered, power consumption is critical. Power consumption is high for laptops typically running on 4000-7000 mAh batteries and is lower on phones with 700-1500 mAh batteries. Lots of

“Things,” however, will be running for a long time on coin cell or AAA batteries with 250 mAh to 1000mAh. To manage power consumption, device manufacturers have design options at three levels: RF, chip and firmware. At the RF level, Wi-Fi Power Save Polling (PS-Polling) puts the device to

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sleep while coordinating with the Wi-Fi AP. A Wi-Fi client in PS-Polling mode periodically listens to the Wi-Fi AP and only transmits and receives when necessary. When enabled, the Wi-Fi device alerts the AP that it is going into PS-Polling mode and the AP then buffers data. The device listens for every AP beacon or multiple beacon periods depending on power consumption requirements. For each beacon period, the Wi-Fi device determines data availability. When data is available or needs to be transmitted, the Wi-Fi client sends a PS-poll frame to the AP that it is ready to exchange data. At the chip and firmware levels, firmware can enable and disable hardware subsystems. The Wi-Fi client can go into deep-sleep or standby mode for a prolonged period of time (much longer than an AP beacon period of typically 100 ms). With the device on, the firmware can enable and disable the radio, sensors, CPU cores, etc. on the chip and also enable and disable discrete components on the board. For example, the main CPU can be sampling sensors and processing and storing data in persistent memory while the RF subsystem is off. At a set period or when data storage is full, the firmware can turn the RF subsystem on to transmit and receive. Depending on latency, sampling period and/or power consumption requirements, designers can find the optimal balance for their design. A critical need of embedded systems on the “Internet of Things” is a communication system that is easy to implement and use. Since many embedded devices do not have user interfaces (UIs), provisioning these devices onto the Wi-Fi network has not been easy—until now. The Wi-Fi Alliance and GainSpan have developed technologies that streamline provisioning, regardless of the end-user’s technical knowledge. Three simple provisioning solutions are available, depending upon circumstances: 1) native applications, 2) browser and embedded Web server and 3) Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). These solutions are available whether device manufacturers have laptop or smartphone applications


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INDUSTRY WATCH

that end-users or service personnel access to configure, monitor, control and/or update the embedded device, or whether they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an application because theirs is a standalone device. In either case, device manufacturers can design a two-step procedure: Provision and Connect. Native applications: Device manufacturers with existing applications or those planning custom applications running on a laptop or smartphone, can extend their applications by incorporating prebuilt modules such as the GainSpan GS1011M. For example, by using a Wi-Fi Ad-hoc connection between laptop and Wi-Fi module, developers can update the application to capture the userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wi-Fi AP and use a protocol over UDP to transfer Wi-Fi and IP settings to the Wi-Fi module. Once the Wi-Fi AP settings are in place, the user simply reboots the device; the embedded Wi-Fi module automatically authenticates and associates to the Wi-Fi AP (Figure 3). Browser & embedded Web server: If

a custom application is not available, device manufacturers can use GainSpanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s embedded Web server and configuration pages. The user simply connects their laptop or smartphone to the Wi-Fi device via a Wi-Fi Ad-hoc connection. The user types in the Wi-Fi device IP address to log in, inputs the Wi-Fi AP settings and reboots the Wi-Fi device. The Wi-Fi device authenticates and associates to the Wi-Fi AP (Figure 4). Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS): With a WPS-enabled device, users can provision for Wi-Fi with either a push of a button or input of a PIN code, allowing a Wi-Fi network to be set up with ease. For example, users can press a button on a WPS-enabled device to initiate handshaking and securely transfer Wi-Fi AP settings from the AP to the device. With the exchange completed, the Wi-Fi client reboots, authenticates and associates with the AP. Or the user can access the Wi-Fi AP configuration page, input and save the Wi-Fi client PIN. When Wi-Fi boots, it

uses the PIN information to initiate the handshaking protocol to receive the Wi-Fi AP settings securely (Figure 5). Billions of deployed devices already have Wi-Fi embedded in them. The third wave has begun. In this third wave, manufacturers are replacing proprietary and point-to-point wireless technologies with low-power Wi-Fi to reduce cost, increase security, provide flexibility and offer easier integration with the IT infrastructure. All benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity. GainSpan San Jose, CA. (408) 673-2900. [www.gainspan.com].

Extreme Environment Barebones Â&#x2018;Â&#x2122;ÇŚÂ&#x201D;Â&#x2018;ƤÂ&#x17D;Â&#x2021; Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x2021;Â&#x17D;ĚžÂ&#x2013;Â&#x2018;Â?ĚżÂ&#x2018;Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2018;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2018;Â&#x161; &Ä&#x201A;ŜůÄ&#x17E;Ć?Ć?Ç Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;ͲϰϏΣʹϳϏΣĹ˝Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ĹśĹ?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹľĆ&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśĹ?Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2DC; /ĹśÄ?Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ä?ĹŻÇ&#x2021;Ä?ŽžĆ&#x2030;Ä&#x201A;Ä?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;ĨƾůůĨÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Í&#x2013;ŜŽÄ?ŽžĆ&#x2030;Ć&#x152;ŽžĹ?Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ć?Í&#x2DC;

High-End IntelÂŽ Coreâ&#x201E;˘2 Duo with PCI Expansion &Ä&#x201A;ŜůÄ&#x17E;Ć?Ć?Ĺ˝Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÍ&#x2013;Ç Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ć?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ć?ͲϰϏΣʹϳϏΣĆ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹľĆ&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśĹ?Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2DC; tĹ?Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśĹ?Ä&#x17E;ŽĨ/ÍŹKĹľÄ&#x201A;ĹŹÄ&#x17E;Ć?ĨŽĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ĺ&#x2021;Ä&#x17E;Ç&#x2020;Ĺ?Ä?ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Í&#x2022;Ć&#x152;ĆľĹ?Ĺ?Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ç&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x17E;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;ĹľÍ&#x2DC;

Expertise only an Industry Leader can provide. ^Ä&#x17E;ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ä?Ć&#x;ĹśĹ?Ä&#x201A;Ä?ŽžĆ&#x2030;ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2022;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x17E;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;ĹľĨĆ&#x152;Žž>Ĺ˝Ĺ?Ĺ?Ä?^ĆľĆ&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻÇ&#x2021;Ĺ?Ć?Ć?Ĺ?ĹľĆ&#x2030;ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Í&#x2014;WĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ͲÄ?ŽŜĎĹ?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161; Ć?Ç&#x2021;Ć?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹľĆ?Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ĨÄ&#x17E;Ä?Ć&#x161;ĨŽĆ&#x152;Ä?Ĺ˝Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä?ĆľĆ?Ĺ?ĹśÄ&#x17E;Ć?Ć?Î&#x2DC;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć?ĹŹĆ&#x161;Ĺ˝Ć&#x2030;ĆľĆ?Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2022;tĹ?ĹśÄ&#x161;Ĺ˝Ç Ć?Î&#x2DC;>Ĺ?ŜƾÇ&#x2020;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;ĹŻĹ˝Ć&#x2030;ĹľÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ç&#x20AC;Ĺ?Ä?Ä&#x17E;Ć?ĨŽĆ&#x152; Ĺ?Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Ç&#x2021;Ć?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹľÄ?ĆľĆ?Ć&#x161;ŽžĹ?Ç&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÍ&#x2022;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ç Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;ĹŻĆ&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;ŽĨŽŜůĹ?ĹśÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć?ŽƾĆ&#x152;Ä?Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x201A;ĹŻĹŻÇ Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ĺ?ĹśÄ&#x201A;ĨÄ&#x17E;Ç Ä?ĹŻĹ?Ä?ĹŹĆ?Í&#x2DC;

Learn More > www.logicsupply.com/itx Š 2010 Logic Supply, Inc. All products and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

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Software Technology

Delivering Software Quality and Security through Test, Analysis & Requirements Traceability

e : info@ldra.com w : www.ldra.com 


INDUSTRY

WATCH

40G ATCA Meets LTE – Speeding from Backplanes to Broadband With 10 Gigabit Ethernet already well established, the huge increase in mobile communications is demanding yet more speed and bandwidth with a path beyond. Long Term Evolution (LTE) is ready to take this to 40G and to serve as a network architecture for the future well after that. by Sven Freudenfeld, Kontron

H

ow much is a Yottabyte? Well if you don’t instantly know the answer let me tell you it’s extremely big, 1024 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes to be exact. That’s a Lottabytes— sorry couldn’t resist. One step down in the hierarchy is the zettabyte, (a mere 1021 bytes = 1 billion terabytes), and according to the Cisco VNI Forecast, “Annual global IP traffic will exceed three-quarters of a zettabyte (767 exabytes) in four years.” One step under the zettabyte is the exabyte, and looking at Cisco’s forecast for mobile traffic, by 2014 our mobile networks will be transporting 3.6 exabytes of data/month—OMG! We are already seeing tremendous increases in the data traffic carried in the mobile network as there is a massive shift in content and usage models. With Android-based phones adding to the market boom kicked off by the iPhone, and a wide range of new tablets about to join the iPad for our mobile delectation, mobile broadband subscriptions are going through the roof. According to ABI Research, “At the end of 2009, there were 181 million HSxPA subscriptions, with overall

56

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE

mobile broadband subscriptions growing to 271 million, representing a year over year growth rate of 43%.” With sales of data and Internet-enabled mobile devices on a similar growth curve, we can easily see what will be filling that zettabyte.

New Infrastructure for a New Network

This dramatic increase in mobile broadband subscriptions will have a dramatic impact on the network infrastructure as data traffic continues to grow. A shift to a new generation of equipment and architecture is being put in place to manage this data expansion. It is known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) and is the brainchild of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The 3GPP was established late in 1998 as key telecommunications standards bodies recognized the need for a unified approach. An evolution of the General System for Mobile Communication (GSM) was the initial focus for 3GPP as they worked to produce Technical Specifications and Technical Reports that would lead to new radio access and core

developments. 3GPP’s scope grew as they helped create specifications for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and edge. They then went on to lead the development of standards including—High Speed Packet Downlink Access (HSDPA), High Speed Packet Uplink Access (HSUPA) and finally LTE, where work began as early as 2004. The core standards work for LTE went on through 2007, and in early 2008 the first signs of adoption were seen as several vendors began shipping LTE test equipment. Late in 2009 the first LTE services became available in Oslo and Stockholm provided by the Swedishbased operator TeliaSonera AB. Any mobile network requires two primary components, a Radio Access Network (RAN) that connects to and manages subscriber devices and a core network that will route and switch voice and data traffic to the desired destination. The LTE architecture primarily describes the evolved RAN while the broader packet interconnect system is known as System Architecture Evolution (SAE). The starting point for SAE was the GPRS core network. Building on that, 3GPP worked to


INDUSTRY WATCH

MME S-GW / P-GW EPC (Evolved Packet Core) S1

E-UTRAN

eNB

eNB

x2

eNB: E-UTRAN NodeB MME: Mobility Management Entity S-GW: Serving Gateway P-GW: PDN (Packet Data Network) Gateway

eNB

eNB

Figure 1 LTE network architecture. SyncE and IEEE 1588 support On central switch blade

Figure 2

Network Processing/P-GW

Servicing GW !

Network Processing/P-GW

Switch blade

Servicing GW

Sys Mgr

Switch blade

1G

Sys Mgr

10G/40G

MME Application/Signaling

• The P-GW manages end devices or UE and their connectivity to external Packet Data Networks. An end device may connect with more than one PGW simultaneously while gaining access to multiple PDNs. Policy enforcement, packet filtering, charging support, lawful Interception and packet screening are some of the functions handled by the PGW. • The SGW is the foundation for mobility between eNodeBs as well as linkages to other 3GPP technolo-

MME S-GW / P-GW

MME Application/Signaling

greatly simplify the architecture and create an all-IP network (AIPN) that would be capable of supporting a RAN that had significantly higher throughput and lower latency. Another key goal of SAE is to create an infrastructure where multiple heterogeneous RANs can coexist and work together (Figure 1). The all-IP network is built out as the Evolved Packet Core (EPC). The EPC is constructed from three components: The Packet Data Network Gateway (P-GW), Serving Gateway (SGW) and Mobility Management Entity (MME). The division of labor and roles within the EPC are: • The MME has significant responsibility as it is the primary controlnode for the LTE RAN. The MME’s responsibilities include: • User authentication through interaction with the HSS (Home Subscriber Server) • Selection of the SGW and P-GW • Idle mode User Equipment (UE) tracking and paging procedure including retransmissions • A significant part of the bearer activation/deactivation process • Replication of the user traffic for lawful interception applications • Mobility and interaction between the LTE and 2G/3G access networks

!

Redundant

Multi-functional 40G ATCA system with SyncE and IEEE-1588 support.

gies. All user data packets are routed and forwarded by the SGW. The EPC is surrounded by the LTE RAN or evolved UTRAN (eUTRAN). One way the 3GPP simplified the overall architecture and improved core efficiency

is by keeping traffic out that doesn’t need to be there. The RAN therefore has the ability to route traffic within the same or adjacent cells. In contrast to current architectures where a combination of two elements (NodeB and RNC) control the RAN, LTE has a single element called the RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

57


INDUSTRY WATCH

eNodeB. Responsibilities of the eNodeB include: connection mobility control, dynamic allocation of the uplink and downlink, radio admission control, radio bearer control and radio resource management. It is LTE that promises significant enhancements in the area of speed/bandwidth and latency. Definitions allow for peak bit rates of more than 100 Mbit/s in the downlink and greater than 50 Mbit/s

A C R O M A G

in the uplink, while latency, measured in terms of Round Trip Times (RTT) should be less than 10 ms. Frequency division duplexing (FDD) and time division duplexing (TDD) modes are both supported with LTE along with a scalable range of operating frequencies in bandwidths from 1.25 MHz to 20 MHz. As one looks at everything that is required to build out these new LTE-SAE

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3/4/10 12:14:38 PM

networks one can see how the design challenges for equipment vendors will be extensive. As the service providers migrate to these new all-IP networks, the equipment created by the TEMs will need to improve in terms of capacity, coverage and cost metrics. The rate of adoption and deployment continues to accelerate so “time-to-market” issues have become even more acute. Taking all this into account, plus the fact that LTE calls for significant improvements in the areas of bandwidth and latency, an outsourced solution that can hit all the requirements would be extremely attractive. Creating an LTE network element requires that the hardware platform must provide certain specific features. These include a backplane like the one in Figure 2 that can provide more than 10GbE to support high-bandwidth network processing along with low-latency packet switching capabilities. It should be standards-based for time-to-market advantage, provide scalability and extensibility and be designed for resiliency, reliability and high-availability functionality. It is also essential that such a platform provide support for IPv6, MPLS and IPsec protection as well as Sync. E and IEEE1588 support. AdvancedTCA (ATCA) technologies have been growing in popularity as they meet all the open standards requirements for telecommunications platforms. PICMG, the standards body that is responsible for ATCA, is taking steps to enhance the specification with respect to the specific requirements for LTE. One of the most exciting changes that vendors across the ecosystem have been following closely is the move to faster backplanes. In this case that means backplanes that will be capable of delivering 40 Gbit per second.

New PICMG 40G Standards

Having evolved from first generation 1 Gbit/s versions, 10G fabrics have been available in ATCA backplanes and systems for some time now. With the IEEE Ethernet standard (802.3) at its core, option 9 of the PICMG 3.1 standard provides the definitions for today’s switched Ethernet backplanes. A single 10 Gbit/s interface is created through the aggregation of


INDUSTRY WATCH

4 x 2.5 Gbit/s links each using 10GBASEKX4 PHYs. Even though there are four lanes involved, a single MAC is presented to the application and a similar strategy will be used to deliver 40G backplanes. Thanks to the work of the IEEE Higher Speed Study Group, a new revision (802.3ba) of Ethernet was approved earlier this year. It is this new “ba” version that provides the foundation on which PICMG will base R2 of the 3.1 standard. R2 will set the rules for how ATCA backplanes, switches and enabled blades can support 40G speeds. Following the same aggregation strategy as its 10G predecessor, the new 40GBASE-KR4 PHY will be used. In this case four lanes of 10G will be combined and presented at the MAC layer as one 40G stream. Given the architectural similarity to the current 10G solution, the leading ATCA companies already have products close to being finalized. Kontron is one of those companies and they have laid a clear migration path to 40G such that their customers can get development projects started now rather than having to wait, thus speeding timeto-market further.

ment can begin immediately. Using the fully compatible 10G internal infrastructure, platforms can be fully deployed, and as the 40G elements become available starting in early 2011, they can easily be updated with new switching and multicore processing blades. With an easy and “in-situ” upgrade strategy and no “forklifting” required, there is no need to introduce unneces-

sary delay. With the holiday season nearly upon us we know one thing for sure, and that is there are lots more mobile devices hitting the network and taking us one step closer to reaching that Yottabyte. Kontron Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. [www.kontron.com].

40G-Ready AdvancedTCA Platforms

For Telecom Equipment Manufacturers who are developing LTE solutions, there is a full range of ATCA blade and application-ready platforms already using 10G technologies. These will soon be augmented with the addition of 40G capabilities. Already field proven in 10GbE applications, the 14-slot OM9140 carriergrade platform uses the AT8904 10GbE Switch. Fully supported in this platform are the AT8404 10GbE Carrier Blade, and the AT8050 10GbE AdvancedTCA processor blade, which supports both Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series Processors. Various combinations can be created using this modular platform and each will come pre-integrated, validated and tested to accelerate new application designs for faster market deployment. A 40G-ready ATCA platform already has been created comprising a 40G chassis, 40G backplane and advanced cooling. This is suitable for TEMs preparing for 40G-based LTE platforms since developUntitled-5 1

59

2/17/09 4:47:07 PM RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

DECEMBER 2009

JANUARY 2010

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

December 2009

January 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

Unleashing the Power oF

MULTICORE

Unleashing the Power of Multicore

www.rtcmagazine.com

WIRELESS DATA ACQUISITION GOES LOW POWER

Wireless Data Acquisition Goes Low Power

FPGAs Link PCIe to Specialized I/O High Availability Moves Beyond Telecom

Color Machine Vision: Eyes for Quality

SUMIT–ISM Merges Legacy and Advanced I/O

Programmable Automation Controllers Merge PLC and PC

2009 Editorial Index An RTC Group Publication

An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Editorial

Industry Insider................................................................. 8

Industry Insider................................................................. 8

Small Form Factor Forum............................................. 10

Small Form Factor Forum............................................. 10

Products & Technology................................................. 45

Products & Technology................................................. 56

Editor’s Report

Editor’s Report

Life in the Cloud (sans Harp and Halo)..................................... 5

AMCC Becomes AppliedMicro—with the Focus on Low-Power Processing............................................................................. 24 by Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Industry Insight

Standards Updates SUMIT-ISM—Uniting Legacy and Advanced I/O in a Stackable Form Factor . ........................................................................ 24 by Gary Harris, VersaLogic

Solutions Engineering

High Reliability in Small Spaces High Availability Moves Beyond Telecom .............................. 18 by Bill Yaman, GoAhead Software

System Integration

Unleash the Power of Multicore Multicore Silicon and Virtualization Software—Made for Each Other .................................................................................... 32 by Rob McCammon, Open Kernel Labs

The Multicore Developer’s Toolbox........................................ 36 by David N. Kleidermacher, Green Hills Software

Embedded Technology, Multicore, and Virtualization. Are You Keeping Up?.......................................................................... 42 by Casey Weltzin, National Instruments

Whither the Smart Grid............................................................ 7

Advancing Advances in Technology....................................... 12 by Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology in Context—FPGAs—Is Bigger Always Better? Low-Cost PCI Express-Compliant FPGAs Enable a Plethora of Peripherals............................................................................ 16 Greg Lara, Xilinx

Technology Connected—Wireless Data Acquistion

Low Power Wireless Data Acquisition Brings Flexibility and Low Maintenance.......................................................................... 22 Daniel M. Dobkin and Lew Adams, GainSpan

Technology in Systems—Programmable Automation

Controllers Programmable Automation Controllers Bring Together the Best of PLCs and PCs . ................................................................. 28 David Crump & David Hill, Opto22

From Energy Visibility to Energy Savings in Commercial and Industrial Buildings ............................................................... 36 Malay Thaker, Arch Rock

Technology Deployed—Machine Vision in Factory Automation Color Machine Vision—Untouched by Human Eyes .............. 40 Ben Dawson, Dalsa Corporation

Industry Watch—Programmable Devices Graphics Processors Running General-Purpose Code Set to Revolutionize Embedded Computing ........................................ 44 Simon Collins, GE Intelligent Platforms

Embedded Digital Filtering on Programmable Mixed-Signal Devices. .............................................................................................50 Kendall Castor-Perry, Cypress Semiconductor

60

DECEMBER 2010 2009 RTC MAGAZINE


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

FEBRUARY 2010

MARCH 2010

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

February 2010

March 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

NETWORKED DEVICES

DESIGNING SECURITY

FOR

Networked Devices Designing for Security

www.rtcmagazine.com

MACHINE TO MACHINE

SYSTEMS SPEED TRANSPORTATION

Machine to Machine Systems Speed Transportation

Security for Networked Devices

A SPECIAL CEO PANEL CompactPCI’s Big Role in Control and Automation LightPeak—A First Peek at Intel’s Optical Interconnect

Manage Power with Sleep Modes and Power-downs

Advances Multiply Embedded Memory Options

Wireless Networks Tackle Building Management An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Cyber-Vulnerability Sees the Light of Day................................ 7

Industry Insider................................................................. 8 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 9 Products & Technology................................................. 44 Editor’s Report—Developments In Embedded Processors

New Intel Processor Family Extends the Embedded Span of x86........................................................................................ 12 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Special Section—CEO Network Security Panel

Dan O’Dowd, CEO, Green Hills Software ............................... 20 Joann Byres, CEO, Byres Security ........................................ 22 Adrian Turner, CEO, Mocana ............................................... 24 Greg Nicoloso, CEO, Eurotech . ............................................ 26

Technology in Context— CompactPCI in Control and Automation High-Tech Control and Automation Apps—a Natural for CompactPCI........................................................................... 16 David Pursley, Kontron

Technology Connected—Security for Network Devices

Utilize Open Standards to Protect Control System Networks...28 Scott Howard, Byres Security and Lisa Lorenzin, Juniper Networks for The Trusted Computing Group

Technology in Systems—Sleep Modes and Power-Downs

Energy Management in Multicore Designs with Embedded Virtualization ......................................................................... 32 Gernot Heiser, CTO, Open Kernel Labs

Low-Power in Small Systems Made Simple ......................... 36 Pete Dombrowski and Don Muller, Eurotech

Technology Deployed—Wireless Building Management

Re-Inventing Wireless Building Automation for Smaller/Retrofit Jobs ..................................................................................... 40 Simon Leblond and Hami Chanon, SCL Elements

New Designs Keep Cool in Smaller Spaces An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Software Quality a Matter of Life or Death—and Not Just for the User................................................................................... 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 6 Small Form Factor Forum

Software Compatibility with the Flick of a Switch.................... 8

Products & Technology................................................. 45 Editor’s Report—Optical Interconnects

Low-Cost Optical Interconnect Points the Way to Major System Developments........................................................................ 10 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology in Context—Embedded Memory options Phase Change Memory will Change Memory System Design.14 Jim Handy, Objective Analysis

Improving RAID Storage Systems with Non-volatile Write Journals .............................................................................. 18 Ravi Prakash and Shivendra Singh, Cypress Semiconductor

Technology Connected—Supervisory Systems

Autonomous UIs—A New Path for Customizing Application Look, Feel and Function ....................................................... 24 Robi Karp, CEO, Fluffy Spider Technologies

Technology in Systems—Mechanical Design for Cooling

Thermal Analysis and Heat Sink Design Optimize Cooling of High-Performance Modules .................................................. 28 Michael Haskell, Advanced Thermal Solutions

Technology Deployed—M2M Systems in Transportation Providing Data in Real Time: Machine to Machine Systems Smooth Transportation ........................................................ 32 by Kurt Hochanadel, Eurotech

Monitoring the Railway with Technology and Keeping Both Running ............................................................................... 36 Dana Earl, Salient Systems and Russ Nieves, Xembedded

Industry Watch—Advances in Processor Technology Intel’s Core i7: What It Means to the Embedded Market ....... 40 Richard Kirk, GE Intelligent Platforms

RTC RTCMAGAZINE MAGAZINE DECEMBER DECEMBER2009 2010

61


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

APRIL 2010

SECURITY

MAY 2010

DESIGNING for SECURITY

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

April 2010

May 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

ASPs:

NEW DEVICE CLASS BRINGS NEW POWER TO EMBEDDED

ASPs: New Device Class Brings New Power to Embedded

www.rtcmagazine.com

EmbEDDED movES To ThE hEaRT of

GREEN ENGINEERING

FeaturePak: New Modular I/O Specification Gains Ground

Ethernet Moves to 40 Gbit, Takes Aim at 100 Gbit

USB and/or PCIe— Which to Use When?

Bring out the Promise of Multicore

Small Modules Roar in Data Acquisition An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Software Quality a Matter of Life or Death—and Not Just for the User................................................................................... 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 7 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 9 Products & Technology................................................. 46 Editor’s Report—ASPs: A New Class of Devices

The Application Services Platform: A New Class of Device for Embedded Development and Systems . ................................ 12 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology in Context—Advances in Small Form Factors Introducing the FeaturePak Embedded I/O Expansion Standard...............................................................................16 Jonathan Miller and Rick Lehrbaum, Diamond Systems

Bigger Jobs in the Same Space ............................................22 Martin Mayer, Advanced Digital Logic

Technology Connected—USB and/or PCI Express?

PCIe? USB? Sorting Out Two COM / SFF Design Decisions ... 26 John Hentges, ACCES I/O Products

USB and PCI Express: Advanced, Evolving Interconnects for Embedded Systems . ........................................................... 30 Akber Kazmi, PLX Technology

Technology in Systems—Marrying COMs and Carriers

Designing for Performance and Longevity: COMs With Carrier Boards . ................................................................................ 34 Christine Van De Graaf, Kontron

Technology Deployed—Data Acquisition with Small Modules High-Speed Digitizers Recapture Innovation as ADCs Yield to FPGAs ................................................................................... 38 Anthony Hunt, Signatec

Industry Watch—Touch Screen Technology From Your Finger to the Screen – How Touch Screens Understand .......................................................................... 42 Steve Kolokowsky and Trevor Davis, Cypress Semiconductor

Embedded Moves to the Heart of Green Engineering

Touch Screen Input Battles the Noise An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Power, Processing and Communication................................... 6

Industry Insider................................................................. 8 Small Form Factor Forum............................................. 10 Products & Technology................................................. 50 Editor’s Report—New Developments from the Field

Power Analysis Debug, Java and Specs ............................... 12 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology in Context—Making the Most of Multicore Multi-core Software: To Gain Speed, Eliminate Resource Contention............................................................................. 14 Steve Graves, McObject

Optimizing Multicore Software for Embedded Processors...... 22 Stephen Blair-Chappell and Max Domeika, Intel

Gap Remains Between Multi-core Potential and Software Realization............................................................................. 23 Eric Heikkila, Venture Development Corporation

Technology Connected—Ethernet Hits 40 Gbit, Aims at

100 Gbit High Levels of Interface Integration to Enable 10, 40 and 100 Gbit/s Ethernet Rates over Optical Nets ................................ 28 David Yeh, AppliedMicro

Technology in Systems—Touch Screen Input Technology

Facing the Challenges of Touch Screen Design ................... 34 Arild Rødland, Atmel

Technology Deployed—Green Engineering Fiber Optics Is the Path to Reliability in Wind Turbine Generators and Wind Farms ................................................. 40 Mickaël Marie, Avago Technologies

Energy Harvesting and Power Balance in Wireless Sensor Networks ............................................................................. 44 Martin R. Johnson, Illumra and Eugene You, EnOcean

Embedded Computing for Energy Efficieny: More than Just Vendor Marketing Hype ........................................................ 47 Richard Dean, Venture Development Corporation

62

DECEMBER 2010 2009 RTC MAGAZINE


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

JUNE 2010

JULY 2010

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

June 2010

July 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

HYPERVISORS UNLEASH THE POWER OF

Hypervisors Unleash the Power of Multicore

MULTICORE

www.rtcmagazine.com

MEDICAL DEVICES: SMALLER, MORE POWERFUL, MORE CRITICAL

Low-Power CPUs: Make Them Really Work in Small Spaces

Pick the Right Small Form Factor SBC

CompactPCI Can Team with PXI

Embedded Java Moves to Multicore

Tight Integration for Better Motor Control

Tools and Discipline Assure Software Quality

An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Cyber War—Coming to a Nightmare Near You........................ 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 6 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 9 Products & Technology................................................. 41 Editor’s Report

Intel’s “Tunnel Creek”—A New Thrust for the Atom into Embedded ............................................................................ 10 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology in Context—Low-Power CPUs A Call to ARMs: Auto Industry Quality Standards Provide Path to SWaP-C Reduction ............................................................... 12 David Jedynak, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems

Keeping Cool as Low-Power CPUs Bring Intelligence into Small Spaces ................................................................................ 16 Ciaran MacNeill, VIA Technologies

VME Single Board Computers Attract Growing Share of LowPower CPUs ........................................................................ 18 Eric Hiekkila, Venture Development Corporation

Technology Connected—Using CompactPCI and PXI

CompactPCI and PXI Enable Advanced Measurement and Control in Embedded Applications ........................................ 20 Patrick Webb, National Instruments

Technology in Systems—Hypervisors and OSS for Multicore

Hypervisors Leverage Multicore Processors for Embedded Systems ............................................................................... 26 Kim Hartman, TenAsys Corp.

Look Before You Leap: Hypervisors Present New Design Challenges for Embedded Developers .................................. 30 Yi Zheng, QNX Software Systems

Hypervisors Ease the World of Multicore Processors ........... 34 Robert Day, LynuxWorks

Technology Deployed—Motor and Motion Control Tightly Integrated Devices Yield More Efficient Motor Control.38

Medical Devices: Smaller More Powerful, More Critical

An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

NASPI: Building the Foundation for New Opportunities for Embedded .............................................................................. 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 6 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 9 Products & Technology................................................. 42 Editor’s Report—From M2M to Sys2Sys

DDS Component Links Incompatible Network System Interfaces to Build Multisystem Applications . ....................... 10 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology Connected—Quality Assurance for Software

Advanced Static Analysis: Evaluating Tools to Optimize ROI...18 Paul Anderson, GrammaTech

Time to Rethink Software Testing for Embedded Devices .....22 Paul Henderson, Wind River

Technology in Context—Small Form Factor SBCs Stackable Single Board Computers: Choosing between the Form Factors ........................................................................ 14 Dr. Qi Chen, Adlink Technology

Technology in Systems—Embedded Java

Java Tackles Multi-Core Complexity ..................................... 26 Kelvin Nilsen, Atego Systems

Technology Deployed—Medical Devices Ensuring Software Quality in Embedded Medical Devices . ... 30 Elijah Kerry, National Instruments

Cost Reduction & Time-to-Market Drive Medical OEM Outsourcing of Embedded Computers ................................. 31 Erich Heikkila, Venture Development Corporation

Medical Device Software: Why Has It Gone Code Red? ...... 34 Bill StClair and Nat Hillary, LDRA

Embedded Technology Powers Healthcare Device Accessory to Improve Patient Ventilator Monitoring . .............................. 38 Pete Dombrowski, Eurotech

Yvonne Lin, Actel RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010 2009

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ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

Industrial Computer

AUGUST 2010

Manufacturer

Introduces Its FIRST QueensBay Platform!

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

August 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

RuGGed And ReliAble: embedded PoweR moves inTo

TOUGHER PLACES

Rugged and Reliable: Embedded Power Moves Into Tougher Places

Tools and Techniques Smooth the Path to FPGA Development Factory Automation: Make it Modular and Flexible Extending the Reach of Wireless Networking An RTC Group Publication

PICO822, Pico-ITX Board Ź Ultra Low Power Intel® Atom™ Processor E600 Series with Intel® PCH EG20T Ź Optional onboard SATA FLASH storage (8/16/32 GB ) Ź Rich I/O including 2 x COM, 5 x USB 2.0 (1 Client), Gigabit Ethernet, SMbus, & 8 Channel Digital I/O Ź Integrated Intel® GMA600 graphics engine Ź LVDS, & Backlight Brightness Controller Ź ACPI S0, S3, S4, S5 Supported Ź Single Voltage Input: +12V DC Visit Us at RTCC Santa Clara, CA – January 27th, 2011 for more details! Email Us: info@axiomtek.com or Call Us: 1.888.GO.AXIOM

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Editorial

System on Chip(or Two)Coming to a Design Near You?........... 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 6 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 8 Products & Technology................................................. 44 Editor’s Report—Connected Medical Revolution

Digital Medical Devices Fueling a Quiet Revolution in Health Care ..................................................................................... 10 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Technology in Context—FPGA Development 14.. Goldilocks and FPGA Development – A Methodology That’s Just Right . ........................................................................... 14 Jeff Milrod, BittWare

Three Keys to Unleashing the Full Horsepower of the FPGA ..18

Are you sure you’re protected?

Ivo Bolsens, Xilinx

Technology Connected—Wireless NetworksMobile

In-Home Wireless: The Next Frontier for Industrial Engineers.24 Cees Links, GreenPeak Technologies

Technology in Systems—IRugged and Reliable

Designing the World’s Toughest Computing Systems............ 28 Ray Tabladillo & Ben McMillan, Parvus

Lessons in Performance, Ruggedness and Reliability for Commercial Embedded Markets . ......................................... 32 Nancy Pantone & Keith Taylor, Kontron

Vaccine USB

Technology Deployed—Factory Automation Systems Industrial-Strength Computerized Machine Management . .... 36

USB Virus Detector with LED Indicator

Overcoming Concerns about Wireless PACs and I/O in Industrial Automation . ........................................................................ 40

• No software installation • Up-to-date virus definitions • Detects malware such as STUXNET

Ian Gilvarry, Intel

Jean Femia, Opto22

visit us at: www.hsc-us.com / or call us at: 949-756-2028

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE


LOOKING FOR EXTREME SOLUTIONS?

X Marks the Spot. At Extreme Engineering Solutions, you’ll find products that are designed from the ground up to handle any environment. From boards to integrated systems, our embedded solutions are rugged and reliable–ensuring your application is a success, no matter how extreme the conditions. Embedded solutions that always hit the mark. That’s the Extreme way.

Extreme Engineering Solutions 608.833.1155 www.xes-inc.com


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

What’s up, Buttercup?

SEPTEMBER 2010 The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

September 2010

Meet Fury. At just 2.5” square, InHand’s Fury™ is based on Texas Instruments™ next generation OMAP DaVinci™ DM3730 Cortex-A8 ARM & TI DSP dual-core processor. Fury offers a wide range of peripherals & PowerVR SGX™ graphics accelerator & TMS320C64X+ DSP for video &audio CODEC acceleration. InHand’s Siren™, TI’s Sitara™ AM3703 based SBC, is also available. Visit www.inhand.com.

www.rtcmagazine.com

OpenVPX Takes on Tough

Open VPX Takes on Tough Industrial Tasks

Industrial Tasks

Upgrade Your Industrial Net to Optical Getting the Heat Out of Tight Spaces Robotic Systems: Sense, Think, Act! An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Solid State Storage: Will the Enterprise Fuel Upheaval in the Embedded Space?................................................................... 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 6 Small Form Factor Forum............................................. 10 Products & Technology................................................. 46 Editor’s Report—Robotic Research

True Robots Differ Substantially from Other Automated Systems ............................................................................... 12 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

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Technology in Context—OpenVPX The Quest to Navigate the OpenVPX Standard: VITA 65 ........ 14 Ken Grob, Elma Electronic

Is There Life Beyond Defense and Aerospace for VPX? . ...... 18 Ben Klam and Dave Barker, Extreme Engineering Solutions

Beamforming Systems Moving Toward New VPX and FPGA Solutions ............................................................................ 22 Rodger Hosking, Pentek

Technology Connected—Options for Industrial Networks

Upgrade Existing Industrial Networks with Fiber Optics ........ 28 Mickaël Marie, Avago Technologies

Technology in Systems—Thermal Management in Tight

Places Thermal Management and Power Integrity in Tight Spaces .. 34 Syed W. Ali, Nexlogic

Technology Deployed—Robotic Systems Prototyping Autonomous Robots with FPGAs ........................ 38 Jamie Brettle, National Instruments

Industry Watch—Medical Devices Transitioning From Analog to Digital in Medical Designs ...... 42 Joseph Sankman, Microchip Technology

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE


INDUSTRIAL

AEROSPACE

SYSTEM ON A CHIP

MEDICAL

AVIATION

CONSUMER

THREADX: WHEN IT

REALLY COUNTS When Your Company’s Success, And Your Job, Are On The Line You Can Count On Express Logic’s ThreadX® RTOS

Express Logic has completed 14 years of successful business operation, T H R E and our flagship product, ThreadX, has been used in over 800 million electronic devices and systems, ranging from printers to smartphones, from single-chip SoCs to multiprocessors. Time and time again, when leading manufacturers put their company on the line, when their engineering team chooses an RTOS for their next critical product, they choose ThreadX. Our ThreadX RTOS is rock-solid, thoroughly field-proven, and represents not only the safe choice, but the most cost-effective choice when your company’s product

simply must succeed. Its royalty-free licensing model helps keep your BOM low, A D and its proven dependability helps keep your support costs down as well. ThreadX repeatedly tops the time-to-market results reported by embedded developers like you. All the while, Express Logic is there to assist you with enhancements, training, and responsive telephone support. Join leading organizations like HP, Apple, Marvell, Philips, NASA, and many more who have chosen ThreadX for use in over 800 million of their products – because their products are too important to rely on anything but the best. Rely on ThreadX, when it really counts!

Contact Express Logic to find out more about our ThreadX RTOS, FileX® file system, NetX™ Dual IPv4/IPv6 TCP/IP stack, USBX™ USB Host/Device/OTG stack, and our new PrismX™ graphics toolkit for embedded GUI development. Also ask about our TraceX® real-time event trace and analysis tool, and StackX™, our patent-pending stack size analysis tool that makes stack overflows a thing of the past. And if you’re developing safety-critical products for aviation, industrial or medical applications, ask about our new Certification Pack™ for ThreadX.

Newnes

d Edition

Secon

E REAL-TIM ED EMBEDD ADING RE MULTITH

adX for ARM, Coldfire, With Thre ices with append ctures Now archite PowerPC MIPS and

œÀÊ>ÊvÀiiÊiÛ>Õ>̈œ˜ÊVœ«Þ]ÊۈÈÌÊÊÜÜÜ°À̜ðVœ“ÊUÊ£‡nnn‡/,  8 L. Lamie Edward Copyright © 2010, Express Logic, Inc. ThreadX, FileX, and TraceX are registered trademarks, and NetX, USBX, PrismX, StackX, and Certification Pack are trademarks of Express Logic, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

M CD-RO INCLU DED


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

OCTOBER 2010 The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

October 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

Embedded Technologies Tackle the Smart Grid

EMBEDDED TECHNOLOGIES TACKLE THE

Smart Grid

PCI Express—New Applications, New Generation Solid State Drives Challenge Old Assumptions Smarter Chips Ease System Management An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

The World of Embedded Systems Continues to Expand—But How Far into the Consumer Realm?........................................ 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 6 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 7 Editor’s Report—New Developments in Embedded Processors

Intended or Not, Intel and ARM Appear More Directly Competitive ......................................................................... 12 Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

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Technology in Context—Solid State Storage “SWaP” the HDD Form-Factor SSDs in Embedded System 12:26:25 PM Design . ................................................................................ 16

Extreme Embedded Performance! Intel Core 2 Duo processor - standard EBX footprint VersaLogic’s “Mamba” single board computer provides extreme performance and high reliability for the most demanding embedded applications. It combines a 2.26 GHz Intel® Core™2 Duo processor, highperformance video, and extensive on-board I/O on an industry standard EBX platform. Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q

Technology Connected—Advances With PCI Express

All Aboard! The PCI Express -- Generation 3 . ....................... 20 Akber Kazmi, PLX Technology

System Area Network Speeds Data Transfer between Servers with PCI Express.................................................................... 24 Joey Maitra, Magma

Technology in Systems—System Monitoring and

Management Using Intelligent Mixed Signal FPGAs for Hardware Platform Management ........................................................................ 30 Mark Overgaard, Pigeon Point Systems

2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor Up to 8 GB DDR3 RAM Dual gigabit Ethernet Mid power. 18.5W typical PC/104-Plus expansion Industrial temp. (-40º to +85ºC) version High-performance video and audio Standard EBX format (5.75” x 8”)

Technology Deployed

An Ounce of Prevention: Bringing Real-Time Monitoring to the Grid ...................................................................................... 34 Supreet Oberoi, Real-Time Innovations

Smart Phones for the Smart(er) Grid . .................................. 38

Mamba is backed by VersaLogic’s long-term (5+year) product availability guarantee and legendary quality. Customization is available even in low volumes. Evaluate one today! Call 800-824-3163 for information or visit www.VersaLogic.com

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Adrian R M Proctor, Viking Modular Solutions

12/8/10 1:44:36 PM

Eugene Fodor, Digi International

Information, Not Enforcement, Is Key to Smart Grid Success.................................................................................42 Jason Williamson, Altia, Inc.

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE


ANNUAL ARTICLE INDEX

NOVEMBER 2010

Embedded User Interface Solutions

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

November 2010

www.rtcmagazine.com

Open VPX:

Getting from Spec to System

Eliminating GUI Design Challenges

Open VPX: Getting from Spec to System

ARM and Power Modules Go After the Details Preconfigured Industrial PCs—Think Inside the Box Wearable Computers Morph to Fit the User An RTC Group Publication

Editorial

Try our new GUI Design Tool FREE for 30 Days! www.AmuletTechnologies.com

Can the Cloud Simplify Remote Maintenance?......................... 5

Industry Insider................................................................. 8 Small Form Factor Forum............................................... 9

Visit Amulet at the RTECC show in Santa Clara, CA on January 27, 2011.

Products & Technology................................................. 46

sales@amulettechnologies.com 888.374.8688

Getting to Low Power Consumption Depends on the Right Data—and Using it................................................................ 14

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Editor’s Report—Homing in on Power Management Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief

12/7/10 2:11:03 PM

Technology in Context—ARM and Power Modules Power Architecture Technology Enabled Differentiated solution for LTE ................................................................................. 18 Fawzi Behmann, Power.org

VIA Embedded Boards Feature VX900 for Stunning Multimedia Playback 1080P Videos of VC1, H.264, MPEG-2 & WMV9

Appropriately ARMing the Embedded World . ........................ 22 Susan Wooley, Micro/sys

Technology Connected—Network Convergence

The Internet of Things and the Convergence of Networks . ... 26 Stamatis Karnouskos, JP Vasseur, Patrick Wetterwald, Jerald Martocci, Ted Humpal and Ming Zhu, The IPSO Alliance

Technology in Systems—OpenVPX Part 2

Navigating OpenVPX: Developing and Building Systems Using OpenVPX Profiles................................................................... 30 Ken Grob, Elma Electronic

EPIA-M850 Mini-ITX Board with Nano™ E CPU, Full HD Video Support, SATA, GigaLAN, COM, USB, VGA/HDMI/LVDS & PCIe

Applications

Technology Deployed—Preconfigured Industrial PCs Preconfigured Industrial Computers Make Inroads on RackBased Systems...................................................................... 34 Joseph Primeau, Acromag

Industry Watch

Digital Signage System Infotainment Devices Online Streaming Video HDTV Multimedia Playback Device

Modern Wearable Computers – Form and Function Still Reign..................................................................................... 38 Tiziano Modotti and Haritha Treadway, Eurotech

Application of PSoC in Electronic Medical Devices ................ 42 Sammy Lee, Cypress Semiconductor

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DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE


products &

TECHNOLOGY Energy Harvesting for Self-powered Distributed Sensors and Sensor Networks

A new thermoelectric power generator converts waste heat into electrical energy for a variety of self-powered applications in the wireless sensor, automotive, aerospace, industrial and medical device markets. The eTEG HV37 from Nextreme is capable of producing 1.0 mW of output power and an open circuit voltage of 170 mV at a 10K ∆T in a footprint of only 6 mm2. At 50K ∆T, the HV37 produces 24 mW of power and an open circuit voltage of 850 mV. The module is extremely thin: only 0.6 mm high, and can be configured electrically in series to produce higher voltage and power outputs. Nextreme’s eTEG devices generate electricity via the Seebeck Effect where a voltage is produced from the temperature differential produced by heat flow through the device. The high voltage output of the HV37 is enabled by Nextreme’s proprietary micro-scale thermoelectric technology. Certain applications (e.g., generating power off the heat of the human body, or generating power for wireless sensors) require a high density of thermoelectric elements in order to generate power at low temperature differentials. Nextreme’s patented thermal bump fabrication process can achieve thousands of elements per square centimeter. Nextreme offers thermal modeling, design and engineering services to deliver fully optimized energy harvesting solutions. Nextreme routinely conducts analytical and numerical thermal modeling at all design levels from component to module to subsystem. Advanced analysis of complex systems, components or packages often requires more detailed modeling to understand heat flow and thermal gradients. Nextreme, Durham, NC. (919) 597-7300. [www.nextreme.com].

Small Form Factor Conduction Cooled Chassis Features Composite Materials

A new, rugged 6-slot 3U OpenVPX (or 7-slot 3U CompactPCI) conduction-cooled chassis is designed for harsh environments. The SFF-6 Small ATR-style small form factor baseplate conductioncooled chassis is the newest member of Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic System’s Hybricon family of advanced military COTS electronic packaging solutions and features the company’s CoolWall thermal technology to support system heat dissipation up to 400W. This ATR-style chassis, fabricated from a proprietary mixture of composite materials and aluminum, speeds and simplifies the integration of high-performance, low-power embedded COTS subsystems designed for use in space, weight and power (SWaP)-constrained environments. The chassis is fabricated from a proprietary mixture of composites and aluminum. This patent pending CoolWall technology provides significantly higher thermal conductivity than aluminum at lighter weight. It is designed for rugged airborne and ground mobile application environments with extended temperature, shock & vibration tolerance. The chassis comes with a military power supply for MIL-STD-704F aircraft or vehicle use. It supports 6-slot OpenVPX, VPX-REDI 1”pitch backplane and is designed to the latest OpenVPX, VPX and REDI draft specifications. Custom configurations and integration are available. Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems, Littleton, MA. (978) 487-282. [www.cwcelectronicsystems.com].

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DECEMBER 2010 2009 RTC MAGAZINE

Core i5/i7-based PICMG 1.3 System Host Board with FourCore Technology

Aimed at customers who are seeking lower power consumption while remaining at the forefront of new technology, a new system host board (SHB) supports a choice of Intel’s latest Core i5 or i7 processor with the Mobile Intel QM57 Express chipset in a PICMG 1.3 standard form factor with DDR3 SDRAM, DVI-I, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, Audio and USB. The new ROBO-8210VG2AR from American Portwell offers up to 8 Gbyte DDR3 1066/800 SDRAM on two 240-pin DIMM sockets; a Gen 5.75 3D graphics engine (integrated in the Intel Core i5/i7 processor); dual display via DVI-I interface; iAMT 6.0 and external TPM via TPM module; dual Gigabit Ethernet based on PCI-E x1, high-bandwidth I/O interface; rich I/O connections such as FDD, two Gigabit Ethernet, serial ports, parallel port and USB 2.0; and four onboard SATA ports to support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10. Built-in support for the Gen 5.75 3D graphics engine provides improved 3D multimedia capabilities including Microsoft DirectX 10, Shadier Model 4.0, MPEG-2 and OpenGL 2.1. This graphics performance is made possible by the SHB’s use of the Intel GMA X4500. The ROBO-8210VG2AR’s highspeed performance is made possible by channeling the output of the Core i5/i7 processors and Mobile QM57 Express chipset through dual Gigabit Ethernet. American Portwell, Fremont, CA. (510) 403-3399. [www.portwell.com].


PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGY

24-port GbE ATCA Base Switch Blade with Fastpath Networking Software

A 24-port GbE AdvancedTCA (ATCA) Multilayer Base Switch Blade is based on the Broadcom BCM56312 switch chip. It supports up to thirteen GbE ports for a 14-slot PICMG 3.0 ATCA system, with six egress GbE ports and two 10GbE SFP+ uplink ports via front panel access. The aTCA-3150 from Adlink Technology incorporates Broadcom’s Fastpath networking software and is designed for ATCA adopters (NEPs & TEMs) who require AMC modularity, Gigabit layer 3 switching, a scalable control-plane engine and highavailability Base Interface. The Adlink aTCA-3150 is equipped with Broadcom’s Fastpath networking software. Fastpath takes advantage of Broadcom BCM56312 switch silicon, which supports features such as 802.1Q2005 Virtual LANs with port-based VLANs, IEEE 802.3ac VLAN tagging, IEEE 802.3ad link aggregation, 802.1D-2004 Spanning Tree, RFC 4541 IGMP snooping and port mirroring. The aTCA-3150 also includes Fastpath's management module to provide VLAN, SSL 3.0, TLS 1.0, SSH 1.5 and 2.0, secure FTP and Telnet. The aTCA-3150 equipped with Fastpath enables equipment manufacturers to deliver professional-grade features such as VoIP and security at affordable price points for the small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) market. The aTCA-3150 provides a COM Express Type 2 site for expansion with a processing subsystem, allowing users to tailor processing power to application demands. In addition, two mid-sized AMC bays for I/O expansion are also supported to suit the needs of different applications. The aTCA-3150 provides 10/100/1000Base-TX GbE and layer 3 switching on Base Interface with support for 14-slot shelves. It offers six front panel RJ-45 egress Gigabit Ethernet copper ports plus two 10Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ optical uplink ports in connection with the Base Interface domain. The aTCA-3150's switch blade design incorporates awith powerful Freescale Get Connected technology and companies providing solutionsGbE nowswitch MPC8313E PowerQUICC II Pro 333 MHz processor for local management functions. This processor is used for managing the BCM56312 Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration and for hosting the Fastpath networking software switching and management modules. Pricing starts at $3,815.

Ad Index

Adlink Technology, San Jose, CA (408) 495-5557. [www.adlinktech.com].

Transient Recorders Merge High Speed, High Precision and Long Memories

A family of LAN-controlled transient recorders includes several high-speed modules that offer sampling speeds of 240 MS/s or 120 MS/s at 14-bit or 16-bit vertical resolution. The new compact TPCX24014 and TPCX-12014 series Elsys Instruments combine measurement precision featuring vertical and offset accuracy specified at ±0.1% of full scale (typically ±0.07% after auto or induced calibration) with greatly increased sampling speeds. Housed in a single-width PCI slot, the new transient recorders feature analog bandwidth at Nyquist frequency of 120 MHz for 240 M/sec versions and 60 MHz for 120 M/sec versions. They are suitable for a diverse range of power measurement applications including inverters, frequency converters, engine control and medical device testing. The new modules feature four single-ended channels that can be switched into two true, fully differential channels. Four differential channel recorders are obtained by mechanically and electrically integrating a pair of two-channel differential units. The new data acquisition units offer many features such as a large input voltage range of up to 100V and an offset range of up to FSR on all sensitivity settings, 50Ohmand 1 Mega Ohm inputs, advanced trigger capabilities with external trigger inputs, programmable anti-aliasing filters, ICP current supply for piezoelectric sensors and digital input markers. Each input channel can be individually triggered, a feature unique to Elsys recorders. For example, four full trigger circuits are available on a four-channel recorder to obtain logic triggering such as "AND" and "OR." However, synchronization can be established as well with many associated channels. Advanced trigger modes include slew rate, pulse width, pulse pause, period, missing event, window in, window out as well as the usual edge pos/neg triggering, with trigger hysteresis values set by the user. Pricing starts at $12,400 for a 4-channel TPCX-24014 and at $11,450 for a 4-channel TPCX-12014. Delivery is six weeks ARO. Elsys Instruments, Monroe, NY. 845-238-3933. [www.elsys-instruments.com].

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 Power Supply Card for Embedded Systems in technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. Aircraft and Ground WhicheverVehicles level of service you require for whatever type of technology, Get Connected A rugged DC/DC converter will help you connect with the companies and products youextended are searching for. card is designed for

www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected temperature operation (-40° to +85°C), high shock and vibration levels, and demanding voltage transient conditions experienced by military ground vehicles (MIL-STD-1275D) and aircraft Getincluding Connected technology andsurges. companies prov (MIL-STD-704F) platforms, 250V with spikes and 100V Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into pro The ACS-5180 from Parvus is a stand-alone card and can be integrated datasheet and fromDuraNET a company, speak directly with an Application Engine into DuraCOR mission computers routers and switch subtouch withinput the right resource. Whichever level ofMILservice you requir systems. Featuring robustin voltage protections and onboard Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and produc STD-461 EMI filtering, the card will typically eliminate the need for www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected additional in-line power conditioning/EMI filtering integrated into such embedded systems. With a rugged mechanical design, this small form factor card is designed as the bottom card in a PC/104 system stack to operate without heatsinking or any active cooling and provide resistance to high levels of shock and vibration. This highly efficient, galvanically isolated power supply can supply 80 watts of power in military / civil ground vehicle, shipboard and aircraft applications over the PC/104 (ISA) bus, PC/104Plus (PCI) bus, or screw clamp terminal. Key Features include a voltage input of 28.0 VDC, voltage outputs up to 80 watts at +5V@ 16A; +12V@ 2A and +3-3V@8A. Power input protection includes reverse polarity, voltage transient, surge, spike, over curGet Connected with companies and rent and1500V galvanic DC. Power output protection includes products featuredisolation in this section. filtered output, current fold-back plus remote shutdown support and status www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected indication. Formal qualification compliance testing is in process for MILSTD-810G, MIL-STD-1275D, MIL-STD-704F, MIL-STD-461E.

Products

Parvus, Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. [www.parvus.com]. Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected

RTC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010 2009

73


PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGY

Sensors Provide Interoperability with EtherNet/IP Networks

A Series of sensors compatible with EtherNet/IP devices provides high speed, accuracy and durability in the varied tasks of linear position sensing for industrial automation equipment and machinery. The EtherNet/IP protocol was developed by Rockwell Automation and is managed by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA). The availability of this interface on the MTS R-Series models will enable connectivity with a large installed base of control devices that utilize the EtherNet/ IP protocol. The R-Series EtherNet/IP sensor offers high performance with the reduced cabling and lower overall system cost provided by Industrial Ethernet. The R-Series sensors are available in a variety of mechanical styles ranging from 25 mm to 20,000 mm. Position and velocity measurements can be provided for multiple locations on the sensor to ensure optimum control characteristics even when driving complex, multi-position tasks. The R-Series sensors feature position-sensing resolution as low as 1 micron (0.00004 in), which can be adjusted at the factory or in the field. For most applications the standard RH (rod-style typically used in hydraulic cylinders) and RP (profile extrusion-style for easy machine mounting) sensors are used with the standard-type sensor magnets. Other housings styles, such as flexible sensing elements or detached electronics, are available for space-constrained applications. MTS Systems, Sensor Division, Cary, NC. (919) 677-0100. [www.mtssensors.com].

Compact, Rugged Server Class System Uses High-End Xeon CPUs

A server class rugged 1U computer system for the embedded military market is based on the highest performing processors on Intel’s road map, the Quad and Dual Core Xeon chipset. Incorporating these processors in a small, rugged module fulfills the new Virtual Machine Server concept, and the U.S. Army’s mandate of a minimum of 3 GHz processors for its systems. The S279 Axiom from General Micro Systems is available with the latest Intel Xeon—either two Quad Core LP, with up to 2.7 GHz of power, or two Dual Core, with up to 3 GHz. Dual Core variants operate in environments ranging from -40C to +85°C and Quad Core variants from -40C to +80°C. Through its patented cooling technology, which eliminates gap pads, GMS has been able to successfully package these super high-performance processors in such a small envelope and still meet rugged system shock and vibration requirements. The miniature 1U rugged Axiom measures only 11” x 7” x 1.75” and is compliant to MIL-STD 810G, MIL-STD 704E and MILSTD 461F. With I/O interfaces such as PMC/XMC, MiniPC and ExpressMini, as well as custom I/O via SAM and SAMVideo, the Axiom is suitable for Headless Network servers or Virtual Machine systems hosting six to eight independent images of different operating systems, each with a specific mission. Each “image” may have its own bootable drive or share one drive array, RAID or NAS. The Axiom incorporates the ATI Radeon E4690 MXM graphics chipset, which delivers more than three times the 3D graphics performance of previously available modules, with low CPU utilization and brilliant picture quality. Its visual capabilities make the Axiom a natural for the military in areas such as video surveillance, radar processing, target acquisition and synthetic vision. Additionally, the Axiom supports up to 32 Gbytes of 144-bit ECC DDR2 memory, features an ultra-fast dual Front Side Bus, each with up to 1333 Mega Transfers per Second, has dual 10 GigE ports and three GigE ports with TCP/IP Offloading engine, ultra-high-performance Dual Pipe video with dual DVI-I ports, and up to 256 Gbytes of 1.8” rugged SSD (optional). The Axiom is available with or without a removable drive, and is compliant with VxWorks, Linux and WindowsXP/7/Server 2008 software. Single quantity pricing starts at $18,000. General Micro Systems, Ranch Cucamonga, CA. (909) 980-4863. [gms4sbc.com].

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DECEMBER 2010 2009 RTC MAGAZINE

PCIe-based 2-Channel, 1.5 GHz per Channel High-Speed Digitizers

A PCIe-based wideband A/D board captures two synchronized analog channels at sampling rates up to 1.5 GHz, or one channel up to 3 GHz when interleaving the ADC data. 1 Gbyte of onboard memory configured as a large FIFO and a PCIe x8 bus ensures that the PX1500-2 from Signatec can continuously sustain long recordings at up to 1.4 Gbyte/s through the PCIe x8 bus (both mechanical and electrical) to PC disk storage without any break in the analog record. The PX1500-2 can be set up to use either a transformer-coupled front end or an amplifier connection. The transformer connection can only be set for AC-coupled operation and has a frequency capture range of 5 MHz to 2 GHz. The amplifier can be set for either ACcoupled or DC-coupled operation with a frequency range of up to 1 GHz. In addition, the PX1500-2’s frequency synthesized clock allows the ADC sampling rate to be set to virtually any value from 200 MHz—the minimum allowable ADC clock—up to 1500 MHz, offering maximum flexibility for sampling rate selection. Additional divide-by-2 circuits are provided for sampling at even lower frequencies. Up to three PX1500-2 boards may be interconnected in a Master/Slave configuration via a ribbon cable that connects at the top of the boards. In this configuration, the clock and trigger signals from the Master drive the Slave boards so that data sampling on all boards occurs simultaneously. Up to 18 boards can be set up for fully synchronized operation by utilizing the SYNC1500-6 as the clock and trigger source for six master boards, where all 18 boards can function synchronously even when placed into different PC chassis. Signatec, Newport Beach, CA. (949) 729-1084. [www.signatec.com].


PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGY

AdvancedMC Packet Processor Module Based on Cavium OCTEON II

New 3U VPX SBC Features 8-Core Processor

Kontron, Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. [www.kontron.com].

An OpenVPX-compliant single board computer (SBC) is designed for demanding space- and weight-constrained environments such as unmanned vehicles and is based on the 8-core Freescale QorIQ P4080 processor. The SBC312 from GE Intelligent Platforms delivers substantial processing performance while maintaining power consumption and heat dissipation at the level of earlier dual core 3U VPX single board computers. The sixth 3U VPX SBC platform announced by GE, the SBC312—which is also available with the QorIQ 4-core P4040 processor—provides an optimum technology insertion opportunity for existing users of the SBC310 and SBC330, further enhancing their sustainable competitive advantage. The SBC312 is available in five air- and conduction-cooled ruggedization levels for maximum reliability in military/aerospace applications, and is also available in VITA-48 format for 2-level maintenance. It features up to 4 Gbytes of dual channel DDR3 memory, and provides significant flexibility, allowing the SBC312 to be configured to precisely meet the demands of a broad range of applications and environments. Two x4 PCI Express Gen2 links are provided, each of which can be configured as four x1 PCI Express links. One link can be optionally configured as 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Two 1000BaseT ports are provided, together with two serial ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two SATA ports and up to eight GPIO ports. A PMC/XMC mezzanine site is also provided to enable application-specific functionality to be added. The SBC312 will benefit from GE’s broad software roll-out for QorIQ platforms, including GE Intelligent Platforms’ P2P software, which provides PCI Express peer-to-peer connectivity, together with BSPs for VxWorks 6.x; SDKs for Linux (Open Embedded) and Wind River Linux; a full Deployed Test suite; Wind River Hypervisor support; and Integrity from Green Hills Software.

A second generation of AdvancedMC packet processor modules features the Cavium Networks OCTEON II CN6335 MIPS64 6-core processor. The Kontron AdvancedMC packet processor module AM4211 has already garnered interest from 4G network equipment vendors seeking a faster time to deployment using standards-based hardware platforms such as AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA. Platform design considerations for the Kontron AM4211 include using it as an eNodeB and LTE network element component or, in combination with full-scale AdvancedTCA blades, as a co-processor Network Interface Card (NIC). The module can be scaled across both MicroTCA (Picostation, Microstation to Macrostation) and 14-slot AdvancedTCA platforms. The new features of the CN6335 processor support 1x 10GbE to the front and software configurable interfaces to the fabric with either 2x PCIe x4 or SRIO, which expands its application usage when configuring systems in combination with standards-based third-party digital signal processing (DSP) AMCs. The CN6335 processor also ensures the Kontron AM4211 delivers optimal performance per watt. This includes increased data plane performance with twice the performance per watt over existing alternatives; high density computing (9 GHz) within a stringent thermal budget (< 40W on 12VDC) making it a suitable candidate for an AMC system component. It is interoperable with third-party AMCs based on DSP and FPGA. With direct connectivity to FPGA/DSP AMCs in a MicroTCA platform, it is a complete solution for MAC processing and L3-L7 processing on a single chip, achieving a high throughput of up to 15M packets per second (pps). Some key features of the Kontron AM4211 with the CN6335 processor include the support of SRIO in addition to PCI-e Gen 2 and XAUI, plus a set of advanced hardware acceleration capabilities. This includes: 10 Gbps+ for security, TCP packet processing and QoS; 4 Gbps for third generation DPI, 10 Gbps+ for compression; 80 Gbps+ for RAID/XOR/ DeDup; and a schedule/synch/ordering engine for unlimited flows. The AM4211 supports GbE on Ports 0 and 1 connected to the CN6335 processor for control plane functions.

ZigBee Module Has Longer Range, Higher Output Power

Designed for ZigBee Pro applications, a new module runs the full ZigBee Pro software stack and Smart Energy profile, enabling applications such as smart meters, smart grid, building automation, remote control and HVAC. With its strong transmit power, the MeshConnect module from California Eastern Laboratories is built on the EM357 Zigbee IC from Ember. The MeshConnect delivers superior range and performance even compared to other Ember-based modules. At +20 dBm power output, the new MeshConnect module provides extended range measured in miles, better in-home penetration for smart meters, and overall increased link reliability for all devices. Unique among modules in its class, the MeshConnect EM357 module includes generous onboard external flash memory to enable convenient over-the-air software upgrades in the field, saving what would be thousands of hours of manual field upgrades in many instances. The new EM357 module adds breadth and depth to the expanding family of MeshConnect products, which includes the MeshConnect System on Chip IC, the original MeshConnect module for simple 802.15.4 applications and the MeshConnect Extended Range module. Pricing is under $19 in thousand-piece quantities. California Eastern Laboratories, Santa Clara, CA. (408) 919-2500. [www.cel.com].

76

DECEMBER 2010 2009 RTC MAGAZINE

GE Intelligent Platforms, Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [www.gefanucembedded.com].


Accelerating Your Success.

Three Times the Power People. Products. Services. The powerful combination of Avnet and Bell Microproducts provides the expertise you need to accelerate your success. Our combined team gives you access to world-class resources. Bringing industry leading line cards together, we now deliver the most extensive inventory of brand name systems, embedded hardware, displays, storage and software. And, with our enhanced services you have access to Avnet’s leading ISO integration centers, financial solutions and supply chain strategies.

1 800 332 8638 www.em.avnet.com/embedded ©Avnet, Inc. 2010. All rights reserved. AVNET is a registered trademark of Avnet, Inc.

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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, Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products you are searching for.

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Advertiser Index 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 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, Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products you are searching for.

www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected

Company

Page

Website

A&D Technology......................................... 49................................. www.aanddtech.com Absolute Analysis....................................... 21........................ www.absoluteanalysis.com ACCES I/O Products................................... 59......................................www.accesio.com Acromag..................................................24,58.................................www.acromag.com ADLINK Technology America, Inc................ 13........................www.adlinktechnology.com Advanced Digital Logic............................... 42......................................www.adl-usa.com Advantech Technologies, Inc....................... 22................................. www.advantech.com Amulet Technologies.................................. 70....................www.amulettechnologies.com Arbor Solutions........................................... 4.............................. www.arborsolution.com ARM.......................................................... 43........................................... www.arm.com Get Connected with companies and Avnet......................................................... 77.........................................www.avnet.com products featured in this section. Axiomtek. ................................................... 64................................... www.axiomtek.com www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected BittWare.................................................... 50.....................................www.bittware.com CM Computer............................................. 80.......................................cmcomputer.com Cogent....................................................... 38................................... www.cogcomp.com Connect Tech Inc........................................ 44.............................. www.connecttech.com CoreSolid Storage...................................... 10.......................www.coresolid-storage.com DelkinConnected Devices............................................ 66........................................ www.delkin.com Get with companies and products featured in this section. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected Diamond Systems Corporation.................... 79........................www.diamondsystems.com Dolphin Interconnect Solutions.................... 75..................................www.dolphinics.com DTx Inc....................................................... 37............................................ www.dtx.com ELMA Electronic Inc................................... 39................................www.acttechnico.com Express Logic............................................. 67.............................. www.expresslogic.com Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc............. 65...................................... www.xes-inc.com GE Intelligent Platforms............................... 7.......................................... www.ge-ip.com GrammaTech.............................................. 44.............................. www.grammatech.com Green Hills Software, Inc............................ 23............................................www.ghs.com Hagiwara Sys-Com U.S. Co, Ltd.................. 64.......................................www.hsc-us.com InHand Electronics...................................... 66.......................................www.inhand.com Innovative Integration.................................. 71........................... www.innovative-dsp.com Interface Concept....................................... 48........................www.interfaceconcept.com IXXAT........................................................ 45..........................................www.ixxat.com Klocwork.................................................... 68................................... www.klocwork.com Kontron America......................................... 5.......................................www.kontron.com Lauterbach................................................. 30................................. www.lauterbach.com LDRA Technology, Inc................................. 55........................................... www.ldra.com Logic Supply, Inc........................................ 54................................ www.logicsupply.com McObject LLC............................................ 25................................... www.mcobject.com MEN Micro, Inc.......................................... 28.................................. www.menmicro.com National Instruments.................................. 11.............................................. www.ni.com One Stop Systems...................................... 69.........................www.onestopsystems.com Phoenix International................................... 4..................................... www.phenxint.com The PTR Group........................................... 53............................... www.theptrgroup.com Red Rapids, Inc.......................................... 36........................................... redrapids.com Solid State Drives Showcase....................... 16................................................................. The Math Works, Inc................................... 2................................. www.mathworks.com Themis Computer....................................... 52.......................................www.themis.com TrygTech.................................................... 51.....................................www.trygtech.com Vector Software ....................................... 19..................................www.vectorcast.com

Products

Company

Page

Website

VersaLogic Corporation.............................. 68..................................www.versalogic.com Via Technologies........................................ 70........................................ www.via.com.tw WDL Systems............................................. 17................................www.wdlsystems.com Wind River Systems, Inc............................. 35....................................www.windriver.com WinSystems............................................... 31................................www.winsystems.com Xembedded, Inc......................................... 29............................... www.xembedded.com

End of Article

U.S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation Required by 39 USC 3685.1)Title of Publication: RTC magazine. 2) Publication Number 1092-1524. 3)Filing Date 10/01/2010 4)Frequency of issue is monthly. 5)Number of issues published annually: 12. 6)Annual subscription n/a. 7)Complete Mailing Address of Known Offices of Publication: The RTC Group, Getprice: Connected 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CAarticle. 92673 Orange County. 8)Complete Mailing Address with companies mentioned in this of Headquarters of General Office of Publisher: The RTC Group 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected Clemente, CA 92673 Orange County, California. Publisher: John Reardon, The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Orange County, CA 92673. Editor: Tom Williams,905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Orange County, California. Managing Editor: Marina K.Tringali. The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Orange County, CA. 10) John Reardon, Zoltan Hunor. The RTC Group; 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. Clemente, CA 92673 Orange County, California.11)Known Bondholders Holding 1 Percent or More of www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. 12)Tax Status: The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed during the preceding 12 months. 13)Publication Title: RTC magazine. 14)Issue date for Circulation data: August 2010 RTC magazine. 15)Extent and Nature of Circulation: average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months (Net press run): 20,000. Number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 17,083 a)Total number of copies (net press run). b)1. Paid/ requested outside-county mail subscriptions stated on form 3541. (Include advertiserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proof and exchange copies)/Average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months:15,532, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 17,859. b) 2. Paid in-county subscriptions (include advertiserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proof and exchange copies)/average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months/number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: n/a. b)3. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales and other non-USPS paid distribution/average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: n/a, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: n/a. b)4. Other classes mailed through the USPS/average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: n/a, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: n/a. c)Total paid and/or requested circulation [sum of 15b. (1), (2), (3) and (4) average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 15,532, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 17,859. d) Free distribution outside of the mail (carriers or other means)/ average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: n/a, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: n/a. f) Total free distribution (sum of 15c. and 15e.)/ average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 1,505, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 2,109g) Total distribution (sum of 15c and 15e)/ average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months:17,083 number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 19,968. h) Copies not distributed/ average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 46, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 32. I) Total (sum of 15f and g)/ average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 17,083 number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 20,000. i) Percent paid and/or requested circulation (15c divided by 15f times 100)/ average number copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 91.16, number copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 89.44 16. Publication of statement of ownership. Publication will be printed in the December issue of this publication. 17)Signature and title of the editor, publisher, business manager or owner: Marina K.Tringali(Managing Editor)10/01/2010. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subjected to criminal sanctions(including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including multiple damages and civil penalties).

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.

78

DECEMBER 2010 RTC MAGAZINE


Conduction Cooling Has Arrived! Y

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Heatspreader transfers heat to enclosure

Compatible PC/104 Expansion Cards From Diamond Systems

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© 2010, Diamond Systems Corporation. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Order Today: sales@diamondsystems.com USA Toll Free: +1-800-367-2104 Headquarters: +1-650-810-2500 www.diamondsystems.com


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 9  9

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VPX

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Suggested BUS

-12VDC

+12VDC

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28VDC

PSU Models

+3.3VDC

Backplane DC

%/#64 Vin Options 5KZ*GZ*2 Power Supply Options

Max Input Power Excluding Rear Fans

A-475W

40A

22A

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22A

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12A

850W

B-450W

20A

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20A

45A

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12A

800W

C-475W

20A

22A

16A

8A

700W

C-575W

20A

22A

21A

12A

850W

† All Inputs except 28VDC : 48VDC / 270VDC / Autorange 90-264VAC @ 47-880Hz / 200VAC-3Phase @ 47-880Hz

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RTC magazine  

December 2010

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