Embedded Insider October 2006

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms - Embedded Insider GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
Volume 1, Number 1 - quarterly October 2006

Our New Look. Look for it.

he integration GE Fanuc Embedded Systems, Condor Engineering and GE FANUC is a giant step toward our long-term vision of creating a different and better kind of embedded company. Behind the scenes there has been a flurry of activity aimed at melding these three organizations into one unified new company. Perhaps the first and most visible results of that work is our new logo and the new look for newsletters, websites, advertising and other marketing materials.

In line with the GE corporate identity, and the overall theme of “Imagination at work,” we have created a simple, clean and approachable format that we believe will make it easy for customers and partners to find the information they need. GE has made a major commitment to the embedded market place, and we hope our new design look reflects this exciting new company.

Introducing GE Fanuc Embedded Systems.
Imagine what we can do for you now.

Some things, however, have not changed. You can still expect superior quality of design and the added value of a partnership with GE. You can still depend on a strong global infrastructure of development, service and support; advanced supply chain management and a history of manufacturing leadership; plus our long-standing commitment to Six Sigma quality in all we do. With 30 years of global service to the embedded systems industry, we will continue to offer the experience, stability, resources, and strength you have come to rely on.

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New High Density MIL-STD-1553 PMC Interface

High-Density Card Saves Valuable I/O Space

The EPMC-1553 is available in commercial, rugged and conduction-cooled configurations, designed specifically for embedded applications by Condor Engineering, a part of GE Fanuc Embedded Systems.

Available with 1, 2, 4 or 8 dual-redundant, fully compliant 1553B/1760 interface channels, the EPMC provides 128 Kbytes of RAM per channel, along with 8 bi-directional avionics-level and 8 RS-485 differential discretes.  All channels are multi-function, supporting simultaneous operation of a Bus Controller (BC), (1 or 31) Remote Terminals (RT), and Bus Monitoring (BM).  An IRIG-B option is available.

I/O connections are available from either the front bezel or via the P14 connector. Also included with the EPMC-1553 is CORE-API, a flexible, easy-to-port API provided in source code.  Board support packages for Windows XP, 2000, Me, NT, 98, 95, and VxWorks are provided.

> EPMC-1553 Product Page

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10Mbit MIL-STD-1553 PMC

P-10SF Brings Higher Performance in Small PMC Package

The P-10SF is the first PMC module on the market to offer 10Mbit data throughput for MIL-STD-1553 over RS-485.  Available with 1 or 2 dual-redundant, fully compliant 1553/1760 interface channels with 8 discrete lines usable for RT address lines and BC triggers, the P-10SF offers BC or single RT or Bus Monitor operational modes.  Advanced features include full error detection, programmable IGT and RT response times, BC scheduling, and “one-shot” operations.

The P-10SF card is designed to industry standard conduction-cooled specifications and is available in commercial and extended temperature configurations.  I/O connections are available from either the front bezel or via the P14 connector.  The P-10SF is also available integrated on a PCI or 3U CompactPCI carrier card.

> P-10SF Product Page

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Single-channel. high-performance PMC adapter card is ideal for disk, tape, CD-ROM or other storage media

The PMC-USCSI320BP supports single-ended or differential signaling for asynchronous or synchronous SCSI operations, and convenient physical I/O access is available via a 68-pin SCSI-III connector on the PMC's front panel. This PMC features the LSI Logic LSI53C1020 ULTRA320 SCSI controller chip with SCSI SCRIPTS processor support, which allows bus transfer rates up to 320 MB/s synchronous across a 16-bit SCSI bus. The PMC-USCSI320BP PMC supports Direct Memory Access (DMA) with 256 bytes of FIFO and is compliant with standard single-wide PMC IEEE P1386.1 and PCI 2.2 specifications.
The PMC-USCSI320BP is backwards compatible with Fast SCSI, ULTRA SCSI, ULTRA2 SCSI, and ULTRA160 SCSI devices. Drivers for Solaris®, Linux®, and Microsoft® Windows® 95/98/NT/2000 are available. Conduction Cooled Version Available: PMC-USCSI320CC

> ULTRA320 SCSI PMC Product Page

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AdvancedTCA® Carrier Blade Family

Two or Four-bay AdvancedTCA carrier blades supporting AMC.1, AMC.2, AMC.3 AdvancedMC modules

The AT-AMC series of carrier blades are ideal for system designers creating high-performance telecommunications solutions using AdvancedMC modules with specific networking features such as LAN/WAN and storage I/O capabilities. Telum AdvancedMC modules allow AdvancedTCA servers to be optimized for next-generation IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) IP-centric applications. The family includes these features:

  • 2 (double-wide) or 4 (single-wide) bay, AMC.1, AMC.2, AMC.3-compliant AdvancedMCs
  • x2 Gigabit Ethernet interface to all AdvancedMC bays (Common Options Region)
  • Fully supports PICMG 3.0 Carrier blade and AMC.0 AdvancedMC module hot-swap functionality
  • Carrier Management Controller (Carrier IPMC) supporting IPMI v1.5 system management
  • Supports Automatic Protection Switching  and telecom clock generation, distribution and control
> AT-AMC Product Page

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Intelligent Network Processor-Based AdvancedMC™

Multi Service Telum™ 1204-O3 AdvancedMC is designed for high availability edge access applications

Designed for convergent gateway and ATM to IP interworking applications like convergent 3G wireless, VoIP, Media Gateways, DSLAMs and Switch/Routers, the Telum 1204-O3 offers flexibility and high performance (750,000 packets per second). The module's versatile interworking capability allows it to independently interconnect between any supplied protocols, which can be selected on a per-port basis. For increased adaptability, a full set of IP services can be offered over any Layer 2 protocol including ATM AAL5, PPP and Ethernet.

The Telum 1204-O3 is essentially a gateway in an AdvancedMC module format specifically designed to facilitate the migration from legacy networks to IP-based networks. This product is flexible and software configurable, and includes features such as:

  • Up to 4 Ports of OC-3/STM1
  • AMC.0 MMC with IPMI v1.5 and Hot Swap capable to reduce down time
  • Automatic Protection Switching (APS) allows high availability & redundancy
  • Carrier Grade Linux® driver support
> Telum 1204-O3 Product Page

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VME Intel® Pentium® M Processor-based Single Board Computer

6U VMEbus V5D demonstrates commitment to the life-cycle of V5 Line

The V5D SBC is the next generation in our popular V5 product line that started with the V5A. The V5D continues to keep this SBC line updated with the latest technology while maintaining backwards compatibility to the existing product lines to ensure program longevity for our customers.

  • 1.4 GHz low voltage Intel Pentium M processor
  • Pin-compatible with V5C single board computer
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 ports
  • Hardware byte-swapping capability

The V5D includes the Intel® 855GME Chipset which provides a 400 MHz Front Side Bus interface and a memory controller with a 64-bit 266 MHz memory interface that services up to 1 GB of DDR SDRAM. It also includes an internal SVGA video controller with 2D and 3D graphics engines and a 350 MHz 24-bit RAMDAC that can drive an analog CRT monitor at resolutions up to 1600 x 1200.

> V5D Product Page

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6U CPCI PowerPC® Processor-based Single Board Computer

6U PICMG® 2.16 C2K SBC delivers I/O flexibility and rugged options

The C2K uses the 1 GHz MPC7447A or 1.4 GHz MPC7448 Freescale™ processor and extensive I/O ports for improved performance and flexible, rugged functionality. It integrates the Marvell® MV64460 System Controller (Discovery III) Bridge chip, which includes a high speed DDR333 SDRAM controller with 167MHz interface that can service memory up to 1GBytes. For increased I/O expansion, the C2K hosts two 64-bit IEEE1386.1 PMC sites, and the PLX PCI 6254 CompactPCI® Backplane Bridge allows the C2K to operate as a system controller or peripheral processor card.

The IPMI and hot swap capabilities of the PICMG 2.16-compliant C2K make field operation and maintenance easier. The C2K gives engineers a great deal of flexibility with multiple I/O, including three Gigabit Ethernet ports, four RS-232/RS-422 ports, four RS-422/485 ports, two 1.5Gbps SATA ports, and three high-speed USB 2.0 ports. The convection model also provides one high-speed USB 2.0 port at the front panel and 16 programmable GPIO ports with independent interrupts.
Download the C2K datasheet here:

> C2K Product Page

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AFDX - Swift and Sure Footed

By John Bruno

Avionics Full Duplex (AFDX) systems bring extraordinary speed and superior reliability to the transfer of data between aircraft systems. AFDX also brings other improvements such as reduced wire runs and weight.

An AFDX system is composed of the Avionics Computer Systems that provide a host computing environment, the Avionics Subsystems (flight control, GPS, tire pressure monitoring system, etc), and each Avionics Computer System contains an embedded AFDX End System that connects the Computer System to the AFDX Interconnect.

The AFDX Interconnect is a Full Duplex, switched Ethernet interface, not ARINC 429 or MIL-STD-1553. Original Ethernet is Half Duplex, and uses the Carrier-Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) media access protocol and repeater hubs. The issue with Half Duplex Ethernet is that with multiple hosts connected to the same communication medium, and with no central coordination, it is possible for two hosts to transmit “simultaneously” such that their transmissions “collide.” 

It is theoretically possible for Ethernet packets to repeatedly collide. In fact, there is a chance for an infinite chain of collisions, in which case the packet would never be successfully transmitted. In Half Duplex mode very large transmission delays are possible, and this situation is not be acceptable in an avionics data network.

Full Duplex, Switched Architecture overcomes the issue of collisions on bus-based Ethernet. As shown in Figure 1, each Avionics Subsystem—autopilot, heads-up display, etc. — is directly connected to a Switch over a Full Duplex link that comprises two twisted pairs — one pair for transmit (Tx) and one pair for receive (Rx).

Figure 2. Full-Duplex Switch Architecture 
Figure 1: Full Duplex Switch Architecture

The Rx and Tx buffers can store numerous packets in FIFO order. The role of the CPU is to move packets from the incoming Rx buffers to the outgoing Tx buffers. It examines each arriving packet to determine its destination address and sends it to the correct Tx buffer(s). The packet is copied into the Tx buffer(s) via the Memory Bus, and transmitted in FIFO order to the selected Avionic Subsystem or to another switch.

With this Full Duplex switch architecture, the contention encountered with Ethernet is eliminated, simply because the architecture completely eliminates collisions. In actual practice, two totally redundant switch architectures are employed.

Theoretically, an Rx or Tx buffer could overflow, but if  buffer requirements are planned correctly in the original design, this cannot happen. With AFDX, a message may not get out immediately, but it will be not be delayed for more than a given time interval, say no more than 400 microseconds.

GE Fanuc Embedded Systems has been involved in avionics protocol support for decades, and we currently offer a wide selection of high performance, proven AFDX /ARINC 664 products, with either hardware or software-based AFDX engines. Because we offer both hardware and software-based AFDX implementations, we give you the option of choosing the AFDX that’s right for your application.

We supply high performance AFDX development, test and simulation tools for PCI, CompactPCI and PMC formats, in addition to conduction-cooled VME End Systems. Our flexible single or dual channel hardware and powerful software development tools at the frame and End System levels have been chosen to provide support for both the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380.

BusTools/AFDX, our Windows XP/2000-based GUI tool for traffic monitoring, analysis and generation, makes it easy to view, log, analyze and create AFDX network traffic at the Adapter, End System, Virtual Link or Port levels. With our wide range of product offerings, GE Fanuc Embedded Systems has become the AFDX supplier of choice.

> To view AFDX Tutorial

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MicroTCA™ Ratification Announced

By Jeff Marden

MicroTCA™, the most highly anticipated embedded specifications to be released in a decade, has been unanimously ratified, and is about to be published. This is very exciting news for those of us on the subcommittees and working groups who have labored long and hard to get the details hammered out.

More importantly, this is a significant breakthrough for the entire embedded computing community. MicroTCA takes what has been learned from AdvancedTCA® and delivers it in a small and yet incredibly potent package. Because of this, I believe MicroTCA will spread from communications applications into the rest of the embedded market space.

There have been a lot of rumors about exactly what was included in the final specification, and there may be a significant amount of confusion. So in the next few paragraphs I would like to give a short, birds-eye view of what I consider to be the most significant features of MicroTCA.

What is MicroTCA?
MicroTCA is a modular backplane/chassis system which uses AdvancedMC cards slotted directly into the backplane. AdvanceMCs were originally designed to plug into AdvancedTCA carriers, but MicroTCA allows them to be used like blades. The goal of this new platform was to extend the features of AdvancedTCA farther out into the telecom network by creating a smaller form factor. However, MicroTCA has generated considerable interest outside traditional telecom applications because of its size, cost and high availability features.

MicroTCA Carrier Hub
AdvancedMC  “min-blades” were originally designed to plug into ATCA carriers, so MicroTCA systems have to replicate that environment. However, once that requirement is met, the specification allows quite a bit of leeway because there a number of different potential interconnects, and there is even the possibility that for smaller, simpler systems the carrier functions will be placed on the backplane.

Full AdvancedMC Module Support
As per the Statement of Work for the MicroTCA specification development, AdvancedMC Module are supported without modification to the Module form, fit or function.

Card Sizes
The original AdvancedMC form-factors have been incorporated into the MicroTCA spec, however, no AMC.0 ECN changes are addressed. This means MicroTCA supports four different mechanical sizes of cards which can be slotted into a system: Full- and Half-height, Single and Double widths, and there are provisions for mixing these four different sizes within one system.

Chassis Sizes
The range of potential system sizes here is pretty amazing. Everything from “pico” which is a couple of cards, a power supply and a fan, to full sized, rack-mountable chassis. This is another exciting feature of MicroTCA: the fact that it can scale so far up and so far down in size and capability.

Management Features
MicroTCA offers all the management capabilities that are part of AdvancedTCA because, once again, the systems are based on that foundation. These management capabilities include low-level hardware management services based on Intelligent Platform Management (IPMI) and high-speed management services based on IP protocol suites.

Scalable Availability
In some instances, MicroTCA units will be placed near the edge, or at the very edge of the network. Because of this, they do not always require 99.999% availability. The loss, for example, of a single WiMAX base station at a network edge is probably not a disaster. So MicroTCA allows for differing implementations of redundancy in power supply, cooling, management and switching based on the location of the equipment in relation to the network core.

Now the fun begins
If the history of technological innovation teaches us anything it is the simple fact that the “best” technology does not always win—VHS vs. Beta being the most oft-cited example. There’s just no way to predict what will happen with new technologies, so it will be a lot of fun to see how MicroTCA fares in the next few years.

From a purely technological point of view, MicroTCA certainly looks like a winner but it will have to pass a number of tests before we declare it a success. Will it achieve high enough production levels to meet its pricing goals? Will a strong vendor base develop? Will it find acceptance outside the telecom market? Only time will tell, and now that the specification is ratified, the clock is ticking.


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Visit Us
Join GE Fanuc at the 2006 Intel Embedded Solutions Road Show. .
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October 09 - 11, 2006
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 October 17, 2006
Light Reading Advanced TCA (East)
Boston, MA

August 22, 2006
Detroit, MI

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