Pentek Debuts Four-processor VME Board for Embedded DSP Applications

6/3/2003 - Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, introduced a high-performance four-processor VME board with two different expansion module sites. The VIM (Velocity Interface Mezzanine) site provides a high-speed, buffered I/O port for functions such as digital receivers and wide-bandwidth data acquisition. The PMC (PCI mezzanine card) site provides access to a wealth of industry-standard I/O functions from a variety of manufacturers. By offering both expansion sites, the Model 4295 provides I/O options that blend flexibility and performance on a VME board targeting high-performance signal processing.

The board packs four MPC7410 PowerPC processors into a single-slot 6U VME board, providing as much as 16 GFLOPs of floating-point signal processing power for such high-performance applications as radar, sonar, signal intelligence and image processing. Each PowerPC processor has its own Marvell GT-64260 node controller with a local SDRAM controller and dual 64-bit 66 MHz PCI bus interfaces. Three on-board 64-bit PCI buses facilitate interprocessor communication, the ability for processors to share their local memory, and connection to global memory, backplane I/O and the VMEbus. In addition to the shared resources, two of the processors have a private link to a VIM site for high-speed 32-bit data transfers. All four processors have equal access to the PMC site.

In addition to the mezzanine module sites for I/O, the board has additional built-in I/O peripherals including front panel 10/100 Ethernet and RS-232 interfaces and an optional backplane RACE++ interface. An industry standard VME64 interface connects the board to the VMEbus.

A PowerPC Tradition
The Model 4295’s configuration and architecture are similar to the company’s 4294 quad-processor board introduced last year, which offers dual VIM sites. Developers can readily port code to the new 4295, effectively increasing the range of I/O options for their designs. “High-bandwidth I/O is important to our customers, but there are lots of other miscellaneous I/O functions that people need to accommodate,” says Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. “The best way to provide that is by using PMC. By including both PMC and VIM on board we have added flexibility without sacrificing I/O performance.”

The 4295 is the latest in a series of processor boards that Pentek has developed around the AltiVec G4 PowerPC. “This is evidence of Pentek’s commitment to the AltiVec architecture,” says Hosking. “It is our third offering and more are planned.” The level of software support the company provides also reveals this commitment.

Pentek offers a full board support package (BSP) with drivers for the VxWorks operating system. Pentek also offers its ReadyFlow Board Support Libraries for developers who need to optimize hardware performance. Further, the company makes available MPI Software Technology’s VSI/Pro, a software package based on the Vector Signal and Image Processing Library of scientific and engineering functions. The libraries and packages are targeted for use with the Wind River Systems Tornado II software development environment.

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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