A complete range of PXI systems from MEN Mikro Elektronik includessystem controller, I/O boards and mezzanines. Both 4U and 7U systems,which include boards, software and enclosure, are available in amodular format.
The majority of MEN CPU boards support operation in PXI systems,but to maximise performance on these PXI system controllers, MEN haschosen to use Pentium III processors with P4 versions due later thisyear.
Both CPU boards are equipped with a Pentium III / 850MHz and alsohave 256Mbyte DRAM, a CompactFlash slot, graphics, watchdog,real-time clock, FastEthernet and additional serial interfaces. Assystem controllers they already have a 40Gbyte hard disk on the boardbut only require one PXI slot in the double Eurocard version and twoslots in the single Eurocard version.
I/O is provided via modular and flexible mezzanine modules whichuse two ANSI mezzanine standards: M-Modules and PCMIPs. Theseare integrated into PXI systems using both 6U and 3U PXI carrierboards.
M-Modules functions are typically used for instrumentation taskssuch as digital multimeters and oscilloscopes, function generators,measuring data acquisition cards, switches, counter modules, analogand digital I/O, IEEE488 and also connect to different fieldbus.PCMIPs add functionality to the PXI system controller by manyof today's common serial interfaces (Ethernet, FireWire etc.) andalso by fieldbus connections (CAN, Profibus etc.).
A stable and robust universal driver interface allows the range ofI/O functions to run with various software environments includingLabWindows/CVI for Measurement Studio.
In addition, IVI drivers are available for the device classesdefined by National Instruments (multimeters, function generators andswitches).
The two basic systems from MEN are designed so that they can beadapted to different requirements. The system for double Eurocards isoptimized for maximum volume for complex applications. The 7U 19inrack comes with a 14-slot PXI backplane (max. 21 slots), 650Wopen-frame power supply unit and temperature-controlled fans. It hasspace for CD-ROM and floppy-disk drives or special additionalinstruments of the user.
For single Eurocards, the emphasis is on compact packaging, whichcan also be used in mobile applications or under more severeenvironmental conditions. The 4U rack is 42HP wide and 315mm deep. Ithas a 7-slot PXI backplane, temperature-controlled fans and a 250-Wpower supply unit that can be connected at the front.
The base systems in both formats include a Pentium III systemcontroller and Windows.
Published in Emebdded Systems (Europe) June 2002