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PICMG 2.17 backplane can meld StarFabric, CompactPCI

Posted: 13 Nov 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:bustronic? backplane? network module? picmg 2.17? compactpci backplane?

Designed for applications that need to eclipse the traditional performance of CompactPCI systems, Bustronic Corp.'s new PICMG 2.17-compliant backplane offers the capabilities of StarFabric technology while maintaining compatibility with CompactPCI.

The technology is aimed primarily at high-speed communications, such as voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) and telecom, but can also be applied to medical imaging, defense, and industrial automation.

"It is basically for anyone who is bumping up against the performance limitations of CompactPCI," said Justin Moll, marketing manager for Bustronic. "The switched fabric across the backplane allows a lot more bandwidth and the inherent redundancy of a point-to-point fabric."

The 17-slot PICMG 2.17 Development Backplane is designed for prototype development of a system that complies with the recently ratified PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) 2.17 specification. The PICMG 2.17 technology offers higher performance than traditional CompactPCI systems by allowing for point-to-point, rather than serial-type, connections across the backplane.

The development backplane allows system designers to test the implementation of StarFabric along with standard cards using the CompactPCI bus and/or the H.110 computer telephony bus.

The 17-slot PICMG 2.17 Development Backplane features 10 basic node slots, dual fabric slots, two node slots with H.110, a StarFabric system slot with CompactPCI and H.110, and two standard CompactPCI slots with H.110.

The topology allows testing of system designs in various configurations, with a separate segment for CompactPCI and H.110. "This allows someone who is designing in StarFabric to use a bunch of different configurations," said Moll. Possible configurations include CompactPCI without StarFabric, StarFabric without CompactPCI and H.110, StarFabric, and H.110 without CompactPCI and all three technologies together.

The PICMG 2.17 backplane is part of a Bustronic series that features StarFabric links that are redundant between the fabric slots and the StarFabric system slot. Point-to-point links are established between fabric slots and P3 and P5 node slots. Each link comprises four transmitting pairs and four receiving pairs for 2.5Gbps full-duplex bandwidth.

"The distinguishing feature of this is it allows you to have a regular CompactPCI single-board computer in there, along with some regular line cards, but at the same time you could have a StarFabric slot and cards with StarFabric links on them," Moll said. "So you could use CompactPCI for your control plane and StarFabric for your data plane."

Pricing for the PICMG 2.17 series starts at $698.

- Charles J. Murray

EE Times

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