New Busless PMC Carrier Card Allows the Use of Configurable FPGA Modules in a Stand-alone Mode

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Acromag's new PMC carrier card delivers power to a PMC module and regulates the PCI bus start-up sequence to enable independent use of FPGA modules in embedded computing applications.

Busless PMC Module Carrier Card

“After introducing our PMC modules with configurable Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs, many customers asked for a way to use them independently in engineering bench prototyping and test systems” states Joseph Primeau, Acromag’s embedded sales and marketing director.

Acromag introduced the APMC4110 busless PMC module carrier card that allows use of a PMC module in an independent stand-alone mode. This carrier card delivers power to a PMC module and regulates the PCI bus start-up sequence to prevent a system lock-up by the connection to the local bus. The APMC4110 is ideal for custom computing applications based on a re-configurable FPGA module operating independently of VME, CompactPCI, or other bus-level resources. With the busless carrier card, no expensive card cage or other computer chassis is required. Pricing starts at $275.

“After introducing our PMC modules with configurable Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs, many customers asked for a way to use them independently in engineering bench prototyping and test systems” states Joseph Primeau, Acromag’s embedded sales and marketing director. The Virtex-5 FPGA modules offer plenty of computing power and a number of engineers would like apply the DSP and logic capabilities without all the costly overhead of a full embedded system with a backplane, rack, CPU card, and more. Acromag’s PMC-VFX module even has a hard-core PowerPC on the configurable FPGA to provide additional processing abilities for a stand-alone implementation.

As a single-slot non-intelligent carrier, the board acts simply as an adapter to route signals to and from a PMC module. The user has full access to the field I/O via two 50-pin ribbon cable connectors.
Using an external power supply, this carrier card allows use of any industry-standard PMC module. The on-board DC-DC converter creates +3.3VDC from the external +5VDC source, lowering the number of external power connections required.

For troubleshooting, a 14-pin Xilinx JTAG connector facilitates boundary scan debugging. Users have access to the TDI, TDO, TCK and TMS signals. Also, a manual reset button allows the user to force a PCI reset when needed. The voltage monitor helps prevent code execution errors during power-up, power-down, or potential brown-out conditions if the +5V DC supply dips too low.

Acromag has designed and manufactured measurement and control products for more than 50 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.

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Robert Greenfield
Acromag
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