Beyond chip sets: Unsung desktop PCI building blocks speed CompactPCI products to market

CompactPCI AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA Systems — April 13, 1997

What about CompactPCI boards not found on the desktop? System designers considering the CompactPCI bus for their project’s hardware platform are attracted, not only by its bandwidth and Eurocard packaging, but by the promise of time to market and cost advantages. The prevalence of PCI on desktop PCs provides a wealth of PCI chip sets that can be easily be ported onto the 3U or 6U Eurocard form factor of CompactPCI, cutting development time and speeding projects to market. One obstacle arises, however: the requirements of systems serving telecommunications, data communications and other CompactPCI application areas vary greatly from the demands of desktop PCs. What happens when functions not available on desktop PCI cards are required for a CompactPCI system? As manufacturers and customers continue to partner on CompactPCI-based projects, the need to develop special interfaces will increase. This article addresses that question by looking at the infrastructure of tools supporting the PCI market — a wealth of development resources available to CompactPCI designers.

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