SIL 4 Certification via MEN Micro's Rugged CompactPCI PlusIO SBC

Three CPUs on one board optimizes safety-critical systems

AMBLER, Pa. November 2012 – MEN Micro Inc., a world-renowned provider of embedded computing and I/O solutions for mission-critical industrial, mobile and harsh environment applications, offers a new safe CompactPCI PlusIO SBC that integrates three Intel Atom E680T processors on one card. The F75P features two redundant CPUs with independent RAM and Flash memory for increased system safety as well as a third processor that controls the I/O interfaces.

Designed for critical railway applications, including positive train control (PTC), safety management and signal control, the board is certifiable to SIL 4 (safety integrity level), but the F75P’s functional safety characteristics make the board useful in a variety of rugged embedded applications. These include traffic signal control, industrial control and medical environments.

Independent supervisor units monitor the environmental conditions of the two control CPUs and put the system into a safe state if proper operational parameters are not met. The board offers both fail-silent and fail-safe architectures. For example, the fail-silent architecture provides that if a processor provides a faulty output, the information is not passed through the system. Fail-safe ensures that the complete system shuts down, as in the case of an error requiring, for example, the train to stop.

Using two Intel Atom E680T processors, each with 512 MB DDR2 RAM and operating at 1.6 GHz, the F75P combines the benefits of a redundant multiprocessing system with the ruggedness and flexibility of the CompactPCI PlusIO standard on a single card.

The third Intel Atom E680T, featuring 1 GB DDR2, controls the I/O, passing on the commands sent by the two control CPUs to the interfaces across an internal, FPGA-based Ethernet link.

The new F75P offers multiprocessing capabilities on one SBC, providing a small footprint, low-power solution that saves board space, integration costs and system weight, while providing flexibility for various application environments.

For even more system reliability, two F75P SBCs can be clustered. If one card fails, the second can take over from hot or cold stand-by, and operation can continue. An event logger allows tracing and simple read out of any hardware and application events.

Standard front I/O includes one VGA interface, two Fast Ethernet and two USB, while the rear provides access to one PCI Express port, four USB, one SATA and two Fast Ethernet.

Every F75P-based system can be certified up to SIL 4; a corresponding certificate from TÜV SÜD is now in preparation. It comes with a complete certification package including the "safety case" document for the F75P.

As with all MEN Micro’s rugged products, the F75P features an extended temperature range of -40°C to +85°C, compliance to EN 50155, conformal coating and an assembly of M12 connectors, making it a safe and robust solution, especially in rail applications where space is at a premium.

Pricing for the F75P is $3,945. Delivery is six to eight weeks ARO.

For additional information, visit or contact Stephen Cunha, MEN Micro Inc., 24 N. Main Street, Ambler, Pa. 19002; Phone: 215-542-9575; Fax: 215-542-9577; E-mail:

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READER SERVICE INQUIRIES: Please forward all reader service inquiries to Stephen Cunha, MEN Micro Inc., 24 N. Main Street, Ambler, Pa. 19002; E-mail:

About MEN Micro Inc.

Since its inception, MEN Micro has focused on innovation, reliability and flexibility to develop standard and custom embedded boards and systems that employ the highest technology and innovations. The company provides a robust offering of highly reliable embedded computing and I/O solutions widely used in extreme environmental conditions found in industrial and safety-critical applications.

MEN Micro offers more than 100 standard embedded boards and systems based on Intel and PowerPC with corresponding BIOS, BSP and driver software as well as a host of custom solutions. In addition to CompactPCI, CompactPCI PlusIO, CompactPCI Serial and VMEbus SBCs, the company’s products include DAL and SIL certifiable safe computer assemblies; ESMexpress, ESMini and ESM Computer-On-Modules; PMC, XMC and M-Modules as system-independent mezzanine I/O standards; box and display computers; and network components, gateways and Ethernet switches.

Starting with development, through design-in and beyond, MEN Micro provides its customers with advice and support as well as environmental qualification services in accordance with industry standards. MEN Micro is the US subsidiary of MEN Mikro Elektronik in Germany, which has over 200 employees worldwide and is a member of several industry associations, consortiums and alliances.