Mercury has transformed RACEway from a proprietary, supplementary datapath connection to a standard, high-performance extension to the VME system bus. RACEway is also a VSO (ANSI) standard. And as a standard, third-party vendors are developing RACEway-based boards and products for the high performance market. Over two dozen RACEway products are available from these vendors. These products take advantage of RACEway's high-performance 160 Mbyte/sec paths to move data across the VME backplane or across boards without impacting the basic VMEbus.
The VME bus won the system bus wars. It clobbered Multibus and scared away other competition, including Futurebus. Yet in its triumph, VME bus finds itself being bypassed for higher performance data transfer technology.
VME delivers a respectable 40, 80, and 160 Mbytes/sec transfer rates for VME, VME64, and VME64 with 2eSST (Source Synchronous Transfer) burst transfers. Those speeds are fine for many industrial, control, and telecom applications. However, for others, VME simply does not have the bandwidth capacity. These applications include high-end signal processing, signature analysis, specialized graphics, and backbone telecom projects. And VME is not going to go away. Unfortunately (or fortunately for VME), system buses have longer lives than most government programs. Investments in bus infrastructure, technical expertise, software, and hardware are hard to walk away from. So many buses get upgraded (ISA/PCI, PCI-64-bit, STD 32, etc.) rather than being abandoned.
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