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FPGA-Based Carrier Card Reduces Processor Board Count

TEK Microsystems (Chelmsford, MA) has announced the PowerRACE® 3A carrier card combining highdensity FPGAs, an onboard switched fabric, PowerPCs, and PMC interfaces. High-speed I/O and image processing are performed in one slot. The PowerRACE-3A uses two 800-MHz 440GX PowerPC processors to support throughput without incurring host processor overhead. Currently supporting the RACE++ interconnect fabric, future implementations will be fabric-agnostic. An onboard fabric allows each PMC site to transfer data concurrently to off-board RACE++ ports, FPGA processing, or memory, eliminating fabric contention and maximizing system performance. The card can be configured with one of the more than 30 available TEK PMC modules.

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PowerPC Single-Board Computer for Mil/Aero Applications

Cornet Technology Communications (Springfield, VA) has introduced the Celero CVME-7448S PowerPC single-board computer available for the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) VersaModule-Eurocard (VME) community. The computer provides a single-board solution for embedded military and aerospace designers.

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Load Switches Offer Thermal & Packaging Performance for Portables

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME) offers the FPF100x family of IntelliMAX™ load switches featuring WL-CSP or MLP packaging, integration (slewrate control, ESD protection, and load-discharge capability), and lowvoltage operation of 1.2V. The FPF1003, FPF1005, and FPF1006 are designed to enhance thermal and electrical performance in portable applications such as cell phones, cameras, PDAs, peripheral ports, and hot-swap supplies.

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Gigabit Ethernet Test Solution for Compact Platform

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (Quebec City, Canada) has launched the FTB-8510 Packet Blazer Ethernet test module for the FTP-200 Compact Platform. The combination of the Ethernet test module with the Compact Platform provides field technicians with Ethernet testing capabilities in a lightweight and compact form factor. Features include RFC 2544 testing (including frame loss, throughput, and latency), multiple-stream generation and analysis, Ethernet quality-ofservice testing, and packet jitter (frame-delay variation).

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Embedded Software Verification for Early Device Testing

S2 Technologies (San Diego, CA) has released the STRIDE 2.0 embedded software verification platform providing infrastructure and tools that enable development teams to perform testing, verification, and integration of embedded software. By using STRIDE, developers do not have to wait until final integration and testing to identify software issues. STRIDE’s virtual-platform approach lets developers exercise code without writing test code, remove software dependencies, simulate new or missing functionality, capture internal software transactions or events, leverage scripting for automation, and apply other tools to the embedded software verification process.

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Low-Profile Surface-Mount Inductors for Small PCBs

Datatronic Distribution (Romoland, CA) offers the DR331-5 surface-mount inductor for designers of small, compact, or portable electronic equipment with limited printed circuit board (PCB) space. The inductor is 0.39" tall, and measures 0.263 × 0.220".

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Ethernet Switch With Port-Based VLAN Support

The PRV-1059 VLAN-enabled 5-port PC/104 Ethernet switch from Parvus Corp. (Salt Lake City, UT) is designed and tested to MIL-STD-810F, and features low power consumption of 1.5 watts and extended-temperature operation to 85°C.

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Embedded Databases: Data Management for Real- Time and Embedded Systems

The term embedded database was coined in the 1980s to mean a database management system (DBMS) that is embedded into an application, in contrast to large central databases (nowadays, usually client/server DMBSs a la Oracle). The first embedded databases had little or nothing to do with embedded systems, which were largely 8-bit, or possibly 16-bit, devices that performed a very specific function. Any data processing requirements were promoted to a higher layer in the system architecture. Embedded systems, like all other facets of computing, have matured and gained faster (32-bit) processors, memory, and more complexity. This has further confused conversations about embedded systems and embedded databases. Today, the term embedded database encompasses databases embedded into software applications, as well as the more modern client/server database design (although embedded client/several varieties are much smaller than their enterprise-level DBMS cousins such as Oracle or DB2). In fact, while embedded databases comprise a sizeable chunk of the overall database market, they show remarkable diversity in important respects such as programming interfaces, storage modes, and system architecture. This article examines some of these differences to help in choosing the right embedded database system for a given project.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Software, Architecture, Embedded software, Architecture, Embedded software, Data management
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MILS: An Architecture for Security, Safety, and Real Time

The unrelenting growth and integration of embedded controls, information processing, and communications has created a need for systems that provide robust protection for resources and services in the face of serious threats. Formerly diverse requirements for different kinds of systems are now being merged into combined requirements to be met by a single system. To address this trend, a partnership of government, industry, and research institutions are developing the MILS (Multiple Independent Levels of Security/ Safety) architecture. Although being pursued initially for defense applications, MILS provides a foundation for critical systems of all kinds. Its security, safety, and real-time properties make it suitable for such diverse applications as financial, medical, and critical infrastructures. Based on a new breed of commercially available high-assurance products, MILS provides a modular, flexible, component- based approach to high-assurance systems.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Cyber security, Architecture, Cyber security, Collaboration and partnering
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Liquid Cooling Takes Aim at Gamer PC Applications

Recent technical advances in graphics processing units have accelerated the proliferation of high-power graphics processing units (GPUs) and multiple GPUs in high-end gamer PC applications. Characterized by very high heat loads, this application is causing increasing numbers of OEMs to investigate alternative methods, such as liquid cooling, to achieve the level of thermal management needed for dramatically higher system-power levels. Traditional GPU cooling strategies, such as those combining a heat pipe, heat sink, and fan, provide diminishing thermal performance at 120W per chip. Alternatively, the aggressive cooling requirements of gamer PCs and other high heat-flux processor applications are proving to be fertile ground for “non-traditional” approaches that offer at least 25% better thermal performance, as typified by advanced liquid-cooling systems (LCS) (see figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Displays, Displays, Cooling
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