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Rugged SBCs deliver 1.4GHz processing performance

Posted: 30 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Aitech? 3U CompactPCI? C901? SBC? single-board computers?

Aitech's 3U CompactPCI SBCs

Aitech Defense Systems Inc. has announced two power-saving, rugged 3U CompactPCI single-board computers (SBCs) that promise improved processing performance of up to 1.4GHz and broader memory and I/O options.

Available in commercial, rugged and military levels of ruggedization, the company said these new SBCs are powerful, durable and versatile enough to satisfy applications ranging from mission computers and mission control subsystems, to fire-control processing, platform stabilization and remotely piloted vehicles.

Aitech C901 SBC and its low-power version, the C901L, feature next-generation Freescale 7448 PowerPC processors with on-chip L1 and enhanced L2 caches and AltiVec Technology, which provide capacity for enhanced processing power even in I/O intensive applications. Both models can be used in CompactPCI subsystems as system controllers or as CompactPCI peripheral boards capable of supporting up to six additional cards on the cPCI backplane, while providing clock, arbitration and interrupt functions, Aitech said.

Power savings
A fully populated C901 with 512Mbytes DRAM operates at a typical power consumption of 24W at 1.4GHz processor speed. The C901L version reduces that power consumption to less than 17W at 1GHz for applications where power dissipation concerns are more critical than processor speed.

For additional power savings, both models offer a user-programmable Dynamic Frequency Switching mechanism that reduces processor speed when processing demands are low. This permits an optimum balance between processing power and energy conservation, Aitech said, giving the C901 SBCs the best power/performance ratio (MIPS/Watt) among rugged 3U CompactPCI PowerPC SBCs available on the market.

Both board configurations provide up to 1Mbyte on-chip cache memory, 200MHz memory buses and 2Gbyte Flash memory. They also offer six standard variants of I/O capabilities including multiple choices of GB Ethernet ports, Fast Ethernet ports, USB ports, high-speed serial ports and up to eight discrete I/O channels. An industry-standard PMC slot allows for installation of additional modules and functionality.

An advanced, highly integrated Discovery III system controller functions as both the memory controller for the processor and as its bridge for the two PCI bus ports. Memory capabilities to support processor and user application needs include up to 1Gbyte of DDR SDRAM with error-check-and-correction protection, 64Mbyte Boot Flash Memory, 128Kbyte User Flash Memory, 128Kbyte Autostore NVSRAM and up to 2Gbyte NAND Flash memory. In addition to the high-performance processor and extensive supporting memory arrays, the board architecture is designed to utilize all bus interfaces to the maximum potential.

Thermal managementAvailable in both rugged conduction-cooled and air-cooled formats, the highly integrated designs of the C901 and C901L maximize performance and versatility, the company said. Their thermal management features are comprised of two thermal sensors positioned at temperature-critical locations to monitor and report temperature data to the user's application software. Intelligent mechanical designs, including custom heatsink modules with metal frames, allow for optimal heat dissipation from the board.

Both the C901 and C901L are compatible as energy-saving one-to-one drop-in replacements for Aitech's earlier model C900 SBC based on the Freescale 7447A processor design. And like all boards in the Aitech C900 Series, they are available with complete board support packages for WindRiver VxWorks and Green Hills Integrity RTOS, including drivers for all on-board resources that enable a user to take full advantage of the board's powerful features.

Pricing for the C901 starts at $5,300. Delivery is from stock.

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