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PowerPC-equipped CompactPCI board runs embedded comms

Posted: 29 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:compactpci powerpc? sbc? single-board computer? men micro? f13?

If you're designing an embedded communications system or networking equipment, take a look at the connectivity and processing capabilities of this new CompactPCI PowerPC SBC (single-board computer) from MEN Micro. It's called the F13. It's suited as a control element for network routers and switches, storage subsystems, network appliances, and print and imaging devices.

Depending on your application, the F13 can be configured with either of two next-generation 833MHz PowerQUICC III microprocessors from Freescale Semiconductor. You can configure it with a Freescale MPC8540 or MPC8560. These processors typically dissipate as little as 7.4W.

On-board FPGA

In addition, the F13 is equipped with an Altera Cyclone FPGA (field programmable gate array). The FPGA can be used to implement multiple parameterized blocks of IP (intellectual property, reducing design and test time for application-specific input-output (I/O) or other functions.

If your design demands a wide operating temperature range, one version of the F13 will operate over the extended industrial temperature range of -40C to 85C.

The F13 features several communications-oriented interfaces on its front panel, including a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, one Fast Ethernet interface, and a serial UART.

Additional telecommunications interfaces such as ATM, E3/T3, and HDLC, can be supported through the on-board FPGA. This I/O is routed to the rear when it's implemented. Graphics and other I/functionality can also be configured in the Cyclone FPGA. Logic cores are also available for downloading from MEN's function library.

Capacious memory

The F13's on-board memory capacity is also significant. The F13 supports an SO-DIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module) slot for as much as two Gbytes of 133-MHz DDR (double data-rate) RAM, and up to 1-Gbyte of NAND flash. A real-time clock and several watchdog monitors are also included on the F13. Comprehensive board support packages are also available. They're based on MEN Micro's MENMON BIOS for PowerPC processors, and support Linux, VxWorks, and QNX operating systems.

The F13 is priced at about $1,300 for single units.

- Alex Mendelsohn


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