Pentek Now Shipping Quad-PowerPC VME Board Featuring Low-Power AltiVec Processors for Embedded DSP Applications

7/2/2002 - Based on the success of the Model 4294, a quad Motorola AltiVec-based board for high speed/high performance real-time signal processing applications, Pentek, Inc. today announced a significant upgrade and software migration path using the lower-power MPC7410 PowerPC processors. The MPC7410 incorporates enhanced cache features, allowing users to directly map cache to the main memory; this permits increased determinism on critical sections of processing code. The newly enhanced 6U VME board is configured with four MPC7410s and provides up to 16 GFlops of floating-point signal processing.

Software development is now easier with Pentek's VxWorks Board Support Package (BSP) and Drivers, Model 4996, offering software developers a complete library of hardware initialization, control and application functions. Used in conjunction with Wind River's Tornado II, it speeds application development by providing a high-level API for accessing all of the processor board's memory and communication resources and control of the board's I/O interfaces and VIM I/O modules.

For developers who need to bypass the drivers to optimize hardware performance, Pentek offers ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries, Model 4999, an extensive collection of C-callable functions and example code designed to speed the development of high performance application software. Functions include mezzanine board control, DMA data transfers, data formatting and interrupt resource management. By providing a consistent and intuitive API across different I/O products, ReadyFlow reduces development time not only during the initial development stage, but any time new hardware is added to the system.

Also available is MPI Software Technology's VSI/Pro, an implementation of VSIPL scientific and engineering functions optimized for the PowerPC and ported to VxWorks. The VSI/Pro math library is based on the Vector, Signal and Image Processing Library and includes linear algebra, signal processing, image processing, scalar functionality, and vector and matrix functions.

“Combining the AltiVec PowerPC with its powerful vector-processing engine and nearly twenty years of experience in embedded DSP technology, Pentek has again responded to market demand for unprecedented levels of performance and functionality," said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. “With outstanding software development tools and superior data flow architecture, the 4294 unleashes the full processing power of the AltiVec. Now system designers have an ideal foundation for RISC embedded applications that require higher performance and substantial peripheral functions on a single board.”

Unique High Speed Data Paths and Direct Peripheral Interfaces
The Model 4294 has four identical processor nodes containing interface and memory resources ideally matching the I/O capabilities of the MPC7410 to high-performance system interfaces. Each of the four nodes includes its own Galileo GT-64260 node controller for connecting the PowerPC to local memory, applications specific VIM I/O modules and to shared global resources. Three types of local memory resources are provided for each MPC7410 node: a fast 2 MB level 2 cache, a large 32 MB SDRAM and a nonvolatile 4 MB FLASH memory for initialization, self-test and boot code.

Each processor is equipped with its own VIM mezzanine connector, providing a private high-speed synchronous bi-directional FIFO (BI-FIFO) that buffers 32-bit parallel data transfers between the mezzanine and the MPC7410. This VIM architecture allows simultaneous I/O data transfers to all four processors without the bus contention inherent in all other quad PowerPC board designs where processors are forced to share I/O interfaces.

The four Galileo controllers provide two independent 64-bit, 66 MHz PCI bus interfaces for each processor. The first PCI bus joins the four processors with a dedicated high-speed inter-processor communication link. Each processor’s SDRAM is accessible by any other processor through this bus at rates up to 528 MB/sec. The second PCI bus connects each processor to global SDRAM, global FLASH memory and an RS-232 serial port. A bus bridge to a third 64-bit PCI bus provides processor access to VMEbus, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, a second RS-232 serial port and RACE++. This triple 64-bit PCI bus architecture virtually eliminates bottlenecks for high-speed data transfer applications.

For the latest pricing and availability information, please contact Mario Schiavone by phone at (201) 818-5900 ext. 229, or by email to

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