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9 May 2007

Variable Solutions for CompactPCI Express Systems

MEN Mikro Elektronik offers an uncomplicated and cost-effective migration solution from 3U CompactPCI to CompactPCI-Express. In order to guarantee a smooth migration with existing old hardware and software, as well as for configuration of hybrid systems, MEN, in cooperation with Schroff, have developed their own concept: the CompactPCI Express.

The advantages as to data rate, compatibility and costs of CompactPCI Express compared with the old CompactPCI are all combined here. The specially developed hybrid backplane from Schroff, MEN’s scalable Intel® product family, a CompactPCI Express extension board and an XMC carrier board enable variable system configurations.

Hybrid Backplane

The key product is an eight-slot hybrid backplane which does not need a bridge or an active logic. The four slots on the left are designed for 32-bit CompactPCI and rear I/O on P2. The four slots on the right are reserved for CompactPCI Express. The dual CompactPCI Express system slot is situated in the middle of the backplane and is designed as a four-link configuration. Three peripheral CompactPCI Express slots are accessed with four links x one lane each. Whilst two of the peripheral slots are accessed with one link x one, a third slot is accessed with two links x one.

Side Card to CompactPCI Express

Thanks to the F602 side card, a family of CompactPCI boards become system slot SBCs in a CompactPCI Express system. The side card, which is equipped with XJ2 and XJ3 connectors, supports four PCI Express links with one lane each and is connected to the CPU card via a robust connector. In addition, it offers a USB, a COM and a DVI connector and can be equipped with a SATA hard disk.

The F602 is suited for F14, F15 and F17 single-board computers, which offer a wide range of performances from the Intel Core 2 Duo with 64-bit architecture and multicore technology via the Core Duo down to the extremely low power Pentium M and Celeron M variants with a frequency range of 1GHz up to more than 2GHz. The PCI Express lanes, which are not needed for the CompactPCI Express extension, are used for the gigabit Ethernets ports on the SBC. The CPU boards additionally offer typical PC functions like SATA, USB, graphic, etc. and are equipped with up to four GB DDR2 RAM and CompactFlash or alternatively a PATA hard disk.

Multiple System Solutions

In a system configuration with the F14, F15 or F17 single-board computer and the CompactPCI Express F602 side card, three additional slots can be used both on the CompactPCI bus and on the CompactPCI Express bus.

Conventional I/O like binary or analog signals are, like before, connected left of the SBC to the parallel bus, as its data rates are more than sufficient for these applications. The serial side (the CompactPCI Express bus right of the SBC) is best suited for functions like Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet or high-end graphic with high data-rate requirements. For that purpose, MEN has developed the XMC carrier board F700. One of the first XMC modules comes from MEN as well and is equipped with four gigabit Ethernet channels.

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