Acromag Releases PMC Analog I/O with a Re-configurable FPGA | Automation.com

Acromag Releases PMC Analog I/O with a Re-configurable FPGA

August 262005
Acromag Releases PMC Analog I/O with a Re-configurable FPGA
Wixom, MI: Acromag’s new PMC-AX modules enable users to implement complex, customized analog I/O embedded computing solutions. Application-specific logic routines and algorithms can be downloaded into the on-board reconfigurable FPGA, a Xilinx® Virtex-II® with up to 24,000 logic cells, to control operation of the I/O channels. These modules are ideal for high-speed, high-resolution A/D and D/A functions. Inputs are sampled at up to 65 MSPS and processed by the FPGA without CPU intervention. Typical uses include sonar, sounding systems, satellite downlink controllers, automated test equipment, and simulation instrumentation. Modules start at $2500 with varying performance levels and optional extended temperature operation (–40 to 85°C) available to meet a broad range of requirements.

Powerful and versatile, these PMC modules are designed around a reconfigurable Xilinx® Virtex®-II FPGA. A variety of models can be ordered with a 1M, 2M, or 3M-gate FPGA featuring 12K, 17K or 24K logic cells respectively. All of these DSP-capable FPGAs feature versatile logic resources, large on-chip memories, and a high-speed interface.

A choice of 14-bit A/D converters provides four channels with either 20MHz or 65MHz sampling. Two channels of 900KHz 16-bit D/A are also standard on all models. The PCI bus interface is handled by a PLX® PCI 9056 device which provides 32-bit 66MHz bus mastering with dual-channel DMA support.

The board also has 1MB of dual-ported RAM for data storage and 2MB of flash memory for the FPGA code. With the 256 x 36-bit dual-ported memory, users can hold data prior to DMA transfers into system memory for maximum efficiency. An additional 1Mb of internal FPGA memory is available for A/D and D/A data FIFO buffering. For configuration, users have the flexibility to store their FPGA code in flash for loading upon power-up or to modify signal processing operations on the fly by downloading new code into the FPGA from the PCI bus as requirements change.

An Engineering Design Kit provides basic information required to develop a custom program for the Xilinx FPGA. Utilities help users load VHDL into the FPGA, and to establish DMA transfers between the FPGA and the CPU. It is recommended that users be familiar with Xilinx development tools. Acromag’s Engineering Design Kit includes a compiled FPGA file and example VHDL code provided as selectable blocks with examples for the local bus interface, read/writes, and change-of-state interrupts to the PCI bus.

For easy integration of the boards with embedded Windows® applications, Acromag developed a DLL driver software package for compatibility with Microsoft® Visual C++™, and Visual Basic. Example files with “C” source demonstration programs provide easy-to-use tools to test the operation of the module.

For connectivity with real time application programs, Acromag offers C libraries for VxWorks®, QNX®, and other operating systems. The libraries provide generic routines (source code included) to handle reads, writes, interrupts, and other functions. Demonstration programs enable the developer to quickly exercise the I/O modules before attaching the routines to the application program. This diagnostic tool can save hours of troubleshooting and debugging. Free Linux example programs are also available.

Acromag has been developing and manufacturing measurement and control products for more than 45 years. They are an international corporation with a world headquarters near Detroit, Michigan and a global network of sales representatives and distributors. Acromag offers a complete line of embedded I/O products including bus boards, mezzanine modules, wiring accessories, and software. Industries served include military, aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and scientific research laboratories.

For more information about Acromag products, call Inside Sales or Marketing Communications at (248) 624-1541, (800) 881-0268, FAX (248) 624-9234, or write Acromag, Inc. at P.O. Box 437, Wixom, MI 48393-7037 USA. Information is also available on the Internet at www.acromag.com.
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