Inaugural Freescale Technology Forum Features RapidIO Technology

7/1/2005 - RapidIO® technology and products prevailed at the inaugural Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Florida, June 20-24, beginning with the keynote address, which included an on-stage demonstration of Freescale's AdvancedTCA platform with serial RapidIO technology. Other forum highlights included RapidIO and AdvancedTCA panel discussions, product announcements from Fabric Embedded Tools, Freescale, Jennic, MontaVista, and QNX; numerous demonstrations in the technology lab; a Best of Show award; and hours of technical training.

"This event proved to be an outstanding success for RapidIO technology, from products to demonstrations, and most importantly to the tremendous attendance at every RapidIO technology-related session, demonstration and event," said Iain Scott, executive director of the RapidIO Trade Association. "The unanimous consensus from participants — and the unofficial theme of the event — was 'Let's Design with RapidIO Technology.'"

Product News

During the forum, Freescale hosted its first "Best of Show" Awards, and Fabric Embedded Tools Corporation's RapidIO Network Management/Diagnostic Tool, RapidFET won an honorable mention. RapidFET brings a powerful graphical user interface (GUI) to the embedded developer that lets the user visually interact with a system map. RapidFET saves the software developer from having to be a protocol expert just to send a "hello world" message across a RapidIO network. It saves the board designer from having to debug a problem with a command line tool using ever complicated switch hop counts and port indexing. It has the power of a network management tool and yet still gives you the low level control of a command line monitor.

"If the level of interest and the high level of RapidIO-related activities at Freescale's Technology Forum are indicator of its real-world impact, it looks like the technology is in the process of carving out a significant and permanent market niche," commented Lee Goldberg, an editor from the popular analogZONE site. "The abundance of technology demonstrations, well-attended technical forums, and honest-to-goodness products all point towards the beginning of widespread acceptance across a surprisingly broad range of applications. While we can expect GbE and "vanilla" SerDes technologies to dominate many cost-sensitive applications, RapidIO's low power consumption, and actual cost per Gbit/s of useable capacity make it well-positioned to become the technology of choice whenever performance and reliability matter."

Technical Training
The RapidIO panel, RapidIO Readiness Review: Perspectives on RapidIO Technology Adoption jump-started the Freescale Technology Forum on Monday. Panel members representing Freescale, Tundra, QNX, and Lucent presented their points of view on the state of affairs with RapidIO technology from the perspective of standards, chips, software, and systems. Lee Goldberg, from the analogZONE site, provided an independent industry perspective. RapidIO Trade Association executive director, Iain Scott, served as moderator, fielding questions from the attendees. The panel consensus was that RapidIO technology has reached critical mass in the communications marketplace.

RapidIO technology was featured in more than 15 hours of technical training comprising a hands-on AdvancedTCA and Interconnect workshop, as well as a wide selection of sessions including RapidFabric. Extensions: Traffic Management Using RapidIO Technology; Pros and Cons of Using RapidIO Technology, PCI Express and Gigabit Ethernet for Embedded System Connectivity; RapidIO for Linux: Kernel Support for RapidIO Solutions; Freescale's ATCA and AMC Open Development Solutions; Media Gateway and RNC System Design Simplification Using RapidIO Technology.

The Freescale Technology Forum.s Technology Lab included significant participation by RapidIO Trade Association member companies including ENEA, Fabric Embedded Tools Corporation, Freescale, GDA Technologies, Mercury Computer Systems, MontaVista, QNX, Silicon Turnkey Express, Tundra Semiconductor, and Wind River, most of which featured RapidIO demonstrations. Arnewsh, the training company which provides detailed training RapidIO on customer sites was also present.

About The RapidIO Trade Association
The RapidIO Trade Association and its global members drive the RapidIO. interconnect architecture. This ISO-certified, open-standard seamlessly enables the chip-to-chip, board-to-board, control, backplane and data plane interconnections needed in high-performance networking, communications and embedded systems. RapidIO-based products are shipping now, including silicon chips, boards and systems. Detailed information on the RapidIO specification, products, design tools, member companies, and membership is available at

RapidIO® is a registered trademark and RapidFabricTM is a trademark of the RapidIO Trade Association.

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