Carrier Cards Interface XMC Mezzanine Modules to PCI Express Bus

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A simple and cost-effective solution allows a PC to communicate with an XMC mezzanine module over a PCI Express (PCIe) bus. System developers can insert XMC modules on the carrier card to perform a variety of signal processing functions. The APCe8675 carrier card from Acromag has a PCIe x8 interface that supports up to eight serial lanes for rapid data transfer between the plug-in XMC module and the host PC computer. These carriers are suitable for high-performance industrial and scientific research computing systems. They are also useful to test advanced systems for defense and aerospace applications that will be deployed later on rugged embedded computer platforms such as VME, VPX, or CompactPCI.

Now system developers can build powerful computers with an array of FPGA modules using a high-speed interconnect fabric similar to those of high-end VPX systems, but in a low-cost PC chassis. Several rear I/O connectors enable high-speed serial interfaces between neighboring carrier boards using XAUI or Aurora protocols. These ports simplify board-to-board connections with twinax or internal SCSI-3 cables to left and right adjacent carrier cards.

One XMC socket interfaces up to eight serial I/O lanes to the carrier’s PCIe x8 edge connector. The other XMC socket routes to a pair of 4-lane serial ports for board-to-board connections that support up to five high-speed (5 Gbit/s) transmit/receive differential or LVDS pairs. A 64-pin PMC rear I/O socket routes 32 LVDS I/O to a SCSI port for additional board-to-board communication.

An integrated fan provides a constant airflow across the XMC module since most PCs cannot provide sufficient cooling to dissipate heat generated by large FPGA devices. The carrier card is also ready for use with a conduction cooling thermal frame. Standard model, single unit pricing starts at $700.

Wixom, MI.
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