After some deliberation, San Jose, California-based embedded systems developer Force Computers Inc is entering the PowerPC market with what it is touting as the first PowerPC systems optimised for real-time applications. There are two products: the CPU-60xRT is targeted at the high-end of the market, the IBC-60x board is for applications that require lots of […]
After some deliberation, San Jose, California-based embedded systems developer Force Computers Inc is entering the PowerPC market with what it is touting as the first PowerPC systems optimised for real-time applications. There are two products: the CPU-60xRT is targeted at the high-end of the market, the IBC-60x board is for applications that require lots of input-output and configuration options. With Motorola Inc 68000 and Sparc products, plus PowerPC under its belt, Force is now heading for microSparc-III, UltraSparc and 68060 pastures, but did not give details. The PowerPC boards have been developed in conjunction with Creative Electronic Systems SA, Geneva, Switzerland, which provided the PCI bus technology. Chris Williams, Force’s European product marketing manager, said the boards incorporate a prioritised and application-dependent interrupt mechanism. According to Williams, PowerPC products have until now used a personal computer-style interrupt in which all interrupts are delivered through a single c hannel, meaning all sources have to be polled to detect the request source. Other features include Linked List Direct Memory Access, providing high-speed transfers between local PCI bus and VMEbus, a dedicated input-output co-processor for handling tasks such as VME data transfers, plus the use of Error Correction Code memory. Both boards support PowerPC 603 or 604 processors running at 66MHz and 100MHz respectively and support VxWorks, pSOS+ and LynxOS real-time kernels. The CPU-60xRT and IBC-60x perform at 55 SPECint92 and 65 SPECfp92 respectively, configured with a 66MHz PowerPC 603, or 140 SPECint92 and 145 SPECfp92 with a 100MHz PowerPC 604. Force expects the boards to find their way into industrial control, telecommunications and aerospace applications. The CPU-60xRT VME board is a single slot single board with from 8Mb to 128Mb RAM and 512Kb of optional L2 cache which can be plugged onto a base board with a 10Base-T Ethernet interface, 16-bit fast wide SCSI-2, an IEEE 1284 parallel port, direct PCI-to- VME64 interface and a PMC, that is PCI Mezzanine Card, expansion slot. This slot enables input-output to be taken out via the P2 VME connector on the board, easing system integration and enabling PCI Mezzanine Card modules for secondary bus systems. General availability is scheduled for September. The IBC-60x board is a dual PCI Mezzanine Card system meant for applications that require maximum input-output flexibility and configuration options, with from 8Mb to 128Mb RAM, up to 8Mb of Flash memory, two RS232 serial input-output ports, Ethernet interface, direct PCI-to-VME64 interface and two of the expansion slots. The IBC-60x is to ship in the fourth quarter, but no prices were given.