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FPGA-based 6U SBC Offers Triple Redundancy for Critical Applications

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A 6U FPGA-based, triple-redundant CompactPCI (cPCI) single board computer uses a lock-step architecture to keep software development costs low and to make the new board suitable for highly mission-critical applications as found in the avionics and railway markets. The lock-step architecture provides a redundant computing system that runs the same set of operations in parallel, so the programming only views hardware components once. Developed according to DO-254 as a safe computer for controlling the freight load system of the Airbus A400M, the single-slot D602 from Men Micro is now available as a COTS component 

The 900 MHz PowerPC 750, the 512 Mbyte main memory and the internal structure of the FPGA are triple-redundant. Critical functions, such as voters, implemented as IP cores in the FPGA ensure that at least two of the three redundant components provide the same result to guarantee safety. The system remains completely operational even if one of the three redundant components fails, providing the required availability for highly critical systems.

 Additional redundant components include the Flash banks, the PSUs and the clock oscillators as well as the additional ECC protection for the Flash and the FRAM. Diagnosis mechanisms (BITE, e.g. extensive self tests) help detect latent errors before they lead to a system error. For the same purpose, the design is oriented toward strictly deterministic operation avoiding interrupts and DMA. The D602 provides two PMC slots, one of which is used for an AFDX connection. Both PMC modules are accessible at the front in the standard version, but can be accessed via rear I/O when used in a conductive-cooling system. Pricing starts at $14,193. .

MEN Micro
Ambler, PA.
(215) 542-9575.
[www.menmicro.com].