VMEbus-PC for Automation

Pentium III based PC for VME

Rastatt/Kaufbeuren, Germany, July 31, 2000 - Gamma7, the latest product in ROTEC?s line of high-performance Industrial PCs offers the functionality of a complete Pentium III PC for use in a VMEbus system.

The computer core is based on an Intel Mobile Pentium III processor (Coppermine), with 500 MHz clock. The selected design is Mobile Module MMC2, used frequently in notebooks. The major advantage of this processor type is the energy-saving technology: power consumption is only 10 W. In comparison, the Pentium III (500 MHz) desktop version requires 28 W.

The Intel 440 BX chip set ensures 100% PC compatibility and, consequently, an open hardware architecture. 256 KB L2 cache are already integrated in the processor. The main memory can be configured with SDRAM modules, ranging from 32 MB to 256 MB. Access occurs with 100 MHz clock.

IDE-compatible 2.5" hard disks are used for mass storage. Hard disks currently available on the market have capacities ranging from 6 GB to 20 GB. Alternatively, IDE-compatible silicon disks of currently up to 1 GB can be used in harsh environments (regarding temperature, shock and vibration).

Gamma7 can communicate with other computers via a Local Area Network (LAN). An NE2000 compatible Ethernet interface is already integrated on-board. This network connection enables the user to connect to a 10 Mbit/s (10Base-T) or a 100 Mbit/s (100Base-Tx) network.

The powerful 3D graphics interface allows simultaneous operation of a LCD and a CRT monitor. Digital connection of LCD monitors for distances of up to 10 m are made possible by a DVI (Digital Video Interface). For true color displays (16.7 million colors), the graphics controller supports LCDs with a resolution of up to 1600 x 1200 pixels. It is controlled through the PCI bus and has already up to 8 MB graphics memory integrated.

The Universe II PCI/VME bridge component is used for VMEbus interface to implement, in conformance with standards, functions that are required according to VME specification for operation as system controller, VMEbus master, and VMEbus slave. These functions include arbiter, bus requester, bus timer, interrupter, interrupt handler, etc. Furthermore, the component provides advanced functions like VME mailbox and local interrupt controller. The component offers numerous registers for configuring VMEbus interface, status information, and communication, including registers for triggering interrupts or resets on the VMEbus. These registers are mapped in the PCI bus I/O area. 256 kB SRAM memory links the Gamma7 and VMEbus. The memory offers access from the PCI bus and VMEbus (shared SRAM). Hardware-supported byte swapping facilitates data exchange between Intel and Motorola CPUs. A battery prevents data loss after a power outage.

The modular design provides several different system extension options. Two extension options are available, if the user requires additional functions (e.g., additional serial ports COM3/COM4, fieldbus interface, etc.). If the Gamma7 is extended to 6U, standard PC cards can be inserted into the two ISA slots. Alternatively, the right-hand side can be extended. PC/104 mdoules are used here for additional functions.

PC compatibility allows the use of standard operating systems and application software. ROTEC offers pre-installed systems with Windows 9x, Windows NT or VxWorks. The VisionControl software package provides a platform for control system tasks that enables easy visualization design, standardized field bus protocols, multitasking, real-time capabilities, and modern programming techniques according to IEC61131-3.

The watchdog increases system security by monitoring programs and detecting software errors, e.g. endless loops, that jeopardize the system?s real-time capability. In addition, an NMI timer is included for cyclical and deterministic hardware interrupts of the operating system. Time slices from 0.1 ms to 10 ms can be programmed. Furthermore, any PC interrupt

can be redirected to the NMI ("n out of m" selection).

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