New I/O Concept from MEN Micro Combines Cost-Effective FPGA Flexibility with Expanded I/O Functionality on a 3U CompactPCI Board

Compact universal SA-Adapters provide the physics for legacy serial I/O, fieldbus interfaces and other small I/O functions

AMBLER, Pa. November 2008 - MEN Micro Inc., a world-renowned provider of embedded computing and I/O solutions for demanding industrial, mobile and harsh environment applications, has released a new 3U CompactPCI board that combines the flexibility of user-defined FPGA technology tailored to specific application requirements with compact universal SA-Adapters boards, which provide the physics for legacy serial I/O, fieldbus interfaces and other small I/O functions. The new F215 Universal Interface Board provides the most diverse set of I/O configurations available for embedded computing systems.

The combination of these two technologies enables a host of different I/O interfaces on one board, including RS232/422/485, HDLC, InterBus-S, CAN bus and binary I/O, making the F215 ideal for a virtually unlimited number of embedded applications. In addition, the board's -40°C to +85°C operating temperature and soldered components enables the F215 to perform particularly well in rugged applications.

Two SA-Adapters, each connected using a 9-pin D-Sub connector, can be mounted directly on the F215. If additional adapters are needed for more front-panel space, up to six can be added, connected to the carrier via a ribbon cable. The F215 comes in a standard configuration with five pre-defined functions on a two-slot front panel: two CAN interfaces, two UARTs and one eight-channel binary I/O interface.

All of the board's I/O functions are enabled via FPGA, making it a very flexible, inexpensive solution for serial I/O. The F215 can be configured with a simple customized I/O combination or function as high as a specialized eight-port CAN card or an intelligent three-slot I/O board with a Nios soft core.

The FPGA automatically loads from a 4 MB serial Flash after power-up. It is also possible to access the Flash from the CompactPCI bus to update its contents. An optional 32 MB of DDR2 SDRAM can serve as a large buffer memory to complement the FPGA functions in more complex protocols. The F215 accommodates MEN Micro's wide range of standard FPGA IP cores or ones that are custom developed for customer applications as well as third party IP cores.

Pricing for the F216 Universal Interface board starts at $419. Delivery is six weeks ARO.

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