MEN Micro Introduces 6U VMEbus A14 SBC for Industrial Applications

9/21/2005 - A new PowerPC-based VME64 single-board-computer (SBC) from MEN Micro provides a range of communications-oriented capabilities for embedded industrial applications in harsh conditions. MENís single-slot 6U VMEbus A14 is equipped with either the MPC8540 or the MPC8560 processors from FreescaleTM Semiconductorís PowerQUICCTM III family.

ďThe A14 with its Cyclone® field programmable gate array (FPGA) from Altera® has a great deal of versatility in terms of its input/output (I/O),Ē said Ernest Godsey, president of MEN Micro, Inc. ďFor applications like robotic control or industrial monitoring systems designers can configure a wide variety of I/O in the FPGA. And if itís a telecommunications application, the MPC8560 itself includes several interfaces that are specific to telecomm, like ATM, ET3/T3 or HDLC. Regardless, system designers can quickly implement application-specific I/O right on the A14.Ē

The A14 also features either two PMC slots or three PC-MIP slots for PCI-based plug-in mezzanine modules with specialized capabilities or additional I/O. The PowerQUICC III processors have several interfaces integrated on-chip. Several of these, including two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a Fast Ethernet interface and a serial interface, are routed to front panel connectors.

I/O configured in the Cyclone FPGA is available at the rear of the A14 via small transition modules called SA-AdaptersTM. Typical functions implemented in the FPGA include graphics, touch screen, audio enhancements, CAN bus, digital I/O or additional USB or serial ports. Intellectual property (IP) cores for the A14ís FPGA are available through MENís function library or from other sources. FPGA contents are loaded from boot flash memory before the processor boots up. The configuration of the FPGA can be altered dynamically while the system is running.

Rugged and Low-Power
MEN can deliver a version of the A14 that will operate over the extended industrial temperature range from -40 to 85 degrees C. With either of the PowerQUICC III processors, the A14 consumes relatively low power of just seven to eights Watts, depending on the configuration.

On-board resources include extensive memory, including four gigabytes (GB) of error correcting coded (ECC) DDRAM for main memory and one GB or more of NAND flash memory for program storage. An IDE connector on the A14 can be used to install a micro-hard disk drive on-board.

The A14 has two 32-/64-bit, 33/66 MHz PCI bridge devices. One bridge connects the A14ís PCI bus to the VMEbus while the other is a PCI-to-PCI bridge. The latter of the two bridges ensures interoperability among any of the A14ís add-on PMC or PC-MIP modules, which could be operating at different speeds. The PCI-to-VME bridge has a dual-ported SRAM buffer and can access the A14ís local PCI bus.

Comprehensive board support packages based on MENís BIOS for PowerPC processors, MENMON, are available for Linux, VxWorks and QNX.

Pricing and Availability
The A14 is available now from MEN Micro, Inc. Pricing starts at $1,914 for single units. In the United States, MEN Micro products are sold through a national network of technical manufacturer's representatives. For sales information, call 512-267-8883, send faxes to 512-267-8803 or email For more information on the A14, this press release, a product photo and collateral materials are available at

About MEN Micro
MEN designs, manufactures and sells board-level industrial real-time and embedded computer products. The flexibility inherent in MENís standard products allows system platforms to be custom configured for a wide range of applications. In addition, the company develops custom boards and systems for OEMs, end users and system integrators. MENís products include Embedded System Modules (ESM), VMEbus and CompactPCI compute platforms with Intel Pentium, Motorola 68000 or PowerPC processors, and a wide selection of M-Module or PC∑MIP mezzanine I/O modules. The MEN product lines support the most widely used operating systems, including Windows NT, VxWorks, OS-9, QNX and Linux.

MEN was founded in 1982 in NŁrnberg, Germany, as MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH. The company has subsidiaries in France, MEN Mikro Elektronik SA; the United Kingdom, MEN Micro, Ltd., and the United States, MEN Micro, Inc. A network of technical distributors services and supports the rest of the world.

Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OS-9 is a trademark of Microware Corporation. VxWorks is a trademark of WindRiver Corporation.

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