MEN Micro, Inc. (Ambler, PA) introduced the Universal Submodule (USM) development packages for M-Modules and PMCs that turn specialized I/O requirements into a series of standard products. The product implements a board’s desired functionality through one or more IP cores in an FPGA, augmenting the flexibility of M-Modules and PMCs with individual functionality. The same USM may be used on M-Modules, PMC modules, XMCs, and conduction- cooled PMC modules. Operating temperature is -40 to 85°C.

The included field programmable gate array (FPGA) package is composed of a Nios processor and memory control and bridges. The USM plugs into the base respective mezzanine, with corresponding line drivers located on the USM. The Nios soft-core processor is implemented on an Altera Cyclone II FPGA to provide local intelligence.

I/O signals are routed through a front-end SCSI connector. The kit protects against component obsolescence, as the mezzanine lifecycle will not depend on commercially available products. IP cores can be imported into a newer FPGA and tailored to current needs. The development kit enables development of user-specific I/O, and includes a base M-Module (M199 equipped with an FPGA, 32 MB DRAM, and 8 MB Flash) or a base PMC module (P599 equipped with an FPGA, 32 MB DRAM, and 2 MB Flash). Also provided is a wire-wrapped USM plug-in module; a test board that receives I/O signals from the FPGA that enables the implementation of a debug interface for the Nios processor; and an SCSI cable to connect base module and test board.

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Embedded Technology Magazine

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

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