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cPCI SBC targets entertainment systems in vehicles

Posted: 26 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:compactpci? single-board computer? sbc? men micro? eurocard sbc?

A new CompactPCI single-board computer (SBC) from MEN Micro meets the operating standards for transportation applications. The 3U Eurocard SBC features Transmeta's 800MHz Crusoe TM5900 processor, and is suited for mobile or stationary entertainment and information applications in the transportation industry.

The F8 supports the industrial temperature range of -40C to 85C and meets or exceeds transportation specifications of the European EN50155 standard for railway systems. Because the Crusoe-based F8 is code compatible with Intel Pentium processors, the F8 is capable of running PC software.

The F8 meets the requirements for transportation applications, according to the company, including reliability, operating temperature, humidity, shock, and vibration. It can be deployed as a standalone computer or as a system-slot controller in a CompactPCI card cage. Both Windows and Linux operating systems are supported.

The F8's 800MHz Crusoe TM5900 processor has an integrated Northbridge, which MENs says consumes no more than 5W of power. The 235MHz graphics controller on the F8 has 24bit RAMDAC memory and supports resolutions up to 1,600 x 1,200 pixels. It can control two independent digital screens with different or identical images. And it can also drive three monitors at once, two with digital video interfaces (DVI) and one analog cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. For cable connections of considerable length, the F8 features two DVI connectors on its front panel.

The F8 includes a 250,000-gate Cyclone FPGA from Altera, which can be configured to provide a number of I/O interfaces.

The I/O modules that can be loaded into the Cyclone FPGA are written in VHDL code and are linked internally in the device using a standard wishbone bus. Externally, the FPGA uses the PCI bus of the board's processor. The FPGA can also be programmed with application software, which is loaded dynamically at runtime.

In addition, the F8 supports small, plug-in I/O modules, called SA adapters that provide the physical interfaces on the board's front panel for the FPGA's I/O functions. The F8 can support eight SA adapters.

The F8 is available now, with prices starting at $1,434 for single units.

- Susan Rambo

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