The eAutomation Group of Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) has released the PCI- 1625U, an 8-port RS-232 universal PCI communication card. The PCI-1625U functions as a self-contained computer and features an onboard DSP processor that can take over the processing load from the host PC. The PCI-1625U includes 1 MB of SRAM, which can store serial data and reduce host CPU loading. When the PCI-1625U initializes, it can download the driver software into its onboard DSP. A universal PCI connector is compatible with the 3.3 V PCI bus and 5 V PCI bus. A utility program called ICOM Tools is included that can test the PCI card performance by analyzing the port status.

The menu commands and toolbar buttons of ICOM Tools act as a PC-based data scope, enabling users to set a trigger condition, capture the communications data, and monitor the signal status. The PCI- 1625U is designed for industrial applications where a PC needs to communicate with terminals, modems, or other instruments. Users can install four PCI-1625U cards for a total of 32 ports in a PCI bus-based PC.

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This article first appeared in the January, 2007 issue of Embedded Technology Magazine.

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