3/1/2005 - Kontron Embedded Modules introduces a new CPU slot card concept with PISA® Express at Embedded World. The new concept implements both PCI and PCI Express via a single half-size slot. Just as with the successful ISA and PCI PISA standard, which was developed by Kontron in 1996 and has found numerous supporters, the gap between proven, established and new high-performance expansion assemblies is bridged using a minimum of slot space. In the classic format, this would require full-size slot assemblies. PISA Express is thus ideal for the development of space-saving embedded systems that need fast PCI Express performance, but cannot do without proven PCI I/O assemblies. Moreover, the CPU board sits much more firmly in the slot thanks to the two-level interface, and is therefore more resistant to vibrations. The open specification, freely available at no cost, will be ready for download at www.pisa-express.com as of Q2, 2005. As with PISA, other companies are invited to participate in this market with PISA Express.
PISA Express boards communicate via the 360-pin standardized slot with a maximum of two PCIe x1 slots, one PCIe x4 slot, one PCIe x16 slot, three PCI slots, as well as with one LPC bus and two Express cards. Furthermore, the power supply for the expansion assemblies is also provided via the slot in accordance with ATX and BTX standards. Thus, PISA Express offers an ideal balance between new interface technologies for Firewire, Gigabit LAN or Framegrabber, among others, as well as graphics and established PCI expansion cards which - like ISA cards - will still be in use for a long time to come. Moreover, PISA Express will convince you with its customized, space-saving and application-specific passive backplane and the quick interchangeability of all active components.
Partners already in sight
Among the globally represented suppliers of the PISA standards, a majority has already signaled that they will also support the PISA Express specifications. Thus, the most important criterion for a successful new form factor has already been met. Kontron expects the first competitors' boards to be released in early 2006. Serial production at Kontron will begin in the second half of 2005.
The first PISA Express board: RAPTOR/PM
The first PISA Express-compatible CPU slot board from Kontron will carry the product family name RAPTOR and will be equipped with a 1.8GHz Intel® Pentium® M 745 or 1.0GHz Intel ULV Celeron® M 373 processor, as well as the Intel 915 / ICH6 chipset, along with a 533 MHz processor bus. Besides the wide variety of PISA Express expansion interfaces, it also boasts a number of attractive on-board features: communication is controlled via two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, three USB 2.0 ports, sound, four serial and one parallel port, as well as PS2 keyboard and mouse. Up to three internal hard drives can be connected via two serial and one parallel ATA interfaces. A third SATA pinout for external storage media is also available. Monitors can be connected via both DVI A&D and JILI. A DDR/DDR2 SDRAM slot is available for RAM as needed.
As a product family, all RAPTOR assemblies will have an identical pinout, not only on the slot, but also with the most important standard interfaces on the boards. This simplifies upgrading within the newly created PISA Express slot PC line. Moreover, the board processors are not simply plugged in, but firmly soldered, so that RAPTOR is designed for even the harshest industrial applications.
About PCI Express
PCI Express is particularly attractive because one PCIe x1 slot with 250 MB/s in full duplex operation is almost twice as fast as one PCI slot, and the PCIe x16 slot offers performance of approximately 16 GB/s per direction. That is clearly more than AGP. Another major advantage for system performance is that PCI Express establishes point-to-point connections via switches. Therefore the connected I/O assemblies no longer have to share bandwidth and slow plug-in cards don't slow down faster ones.
Kontron Embedded Modules GmbH
94469 Deggendorf, Germany
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