Pentek Launches Industry's First On-Board Fibre Channel PowerPC VME Board With Extensive I/O and Mezzanine Options

1/7/2003 - Pentek, Inc. introduced the industry's first on-board Fibre Channel VME board that offers an extreme high-density solution with a huge variety of I/O and real-time processing options. The Model 4205 comes standard with a Motorola PowerPC MPC7455 processor and two programmable Xilinx Virtex-II FPGAs.

This baseboard accommodates up to two VIM-2 (Velocity Interface Mezzanine) modules, one VIM-4 module, or one VIM-2 and one PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) module. I/O capabilities include built-in Ethernet, RS-232, VME64, dual RACE++ and a front-panel 1- or 2-Gigabit Fibre Channel interface. The Fibre Channel interface can be replaced as provisions were made for future development utilizing other high-speed interfaces such as Gigabit Ethernet, Serial FPDP and Rapid I/O. Any of these interfaces can be included without exceeding the one-slot configuration.

"The Model 4205 was designed for flexibility and is our premier I/O solution," said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. "Engineers who want our high-performance VIM I/O to capture signals, but don't need the computational power of a quad processor baseboard, or would like to use VIM in conjunction with PMC, now have a less expensive, ala carte one-slot solution. For those engineers requiring greater bandwidth for real-time and data recording applications, the high-speed Fibre Channel and dual RACE++ interfaces deliver the required data rates. And to offload computationally-intensive processing functions from the MPC7455 processor, or for application-specific IP, we have added two programmable on-board FPGAs."

High-Performance Interfaces
Optional FibreChannel, an industry-standard high-speed serial data transfer interface, is most commonly used to connect systems and storage in point-to-point or switched topologies making the 4205 perfect for data recording applications.

RACE++, a switch fabric data backplane, provides multiple paths between source and destination to reduce data congestion and bottlenecks. RACEway provides the high-speed data flow path required in applications such as image processing, radar or sonar. Since the 4205 offers dual RACE++, greater bandwidth is achievable and data can flow faster and more freely through the system.

With the built-in front panel Ethernet interface, the 4205 can also act as a slot-one controller, thereby eliminating the need for an additional board.

Sophisticated Processing and Data Flow Features
The 4205 features Motorola's MPC7455 host processor, a high-performance, low-power implementation of the G4 AltiVec PowerPC. The MPC7455 offers 5.4 Gflops of processing power and is ideal for leading edge computing and signal processing applications.

The two on-board Xilinx Virtex-II Series XC2V1000 FPGAs contain hardware multipliers, logic constructs and generous memory resources to support demanding digital signal processing applications such as demodulators, transforms, forward error-correction, and digital filtering.

For optimizing specific applications, various data flow and control architectures for the FPGAs can be selected from a menu of built-in configurations. Larger FPGAs are available for custom signal processing configurations and algorithms.

Powerful Software Tools
Pentek's VxWorks board support package and drivers provide software developers with a complete library of hardware initialization, control and application functions, and include support for the on-board Fibre Channel interface. Used in conjunction with the Tornado II software development environment, it dramatically reduces application development time. Pentek's ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries provide support for Pentek PMC and VIM mezzanines. They consist of C-callable libraries for board-specific functions that speed application development with pretested examples. Pentek’s GateFlow FPGA technology tools allow customers to extend the standard factory functions of the FPGAs on the 4205 and Pentek mezzanine modules. 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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