VMEbus SBC targets safety-critical applications.

Press Release Summary:

Developed according to DO-254, 64-bit Model A602 is intended for use in planes and trains. Board's 900 MHz PowerPC 750 processor, 512 MB system memory, local PSUs, clock oscillators, and Flash memory are built up to be redundant, ensuring operation in critical applications. Diagnostic mechanisms help to detect latent errors before they lead to system error. Standard I/O includes sextuple UART, I²C bus, and RS232 interface. For realizing additional I/O, 2 PMC slots are provided.

Original Press Release:

Triple-Redundant VMEbus SBC for Extremely Safety-Critical Applications

  • Developed according to DO-254, up to DAL A
  • Triple-redundant
  • Lock-step architecture
  • PowerPC® 750, up to 900 MHz
  • 64-bit VMEbus master

    Nuremberg, Germany - Mobile applications are the most important target market of MEN Mikro Elektronik. Following many years of experience in the railway and vehicle markets, MEN now also enters the extremely safety-critical avionics market. An important prerequisite to achieve this was the certification to EN 9100 in October 2008.

    Safety Above All

    The A602 is a 64-bit VMEbus SBC in double Eurocard format and has been developed according to DO-254 especially for applications in a plane (up to DAL-A) or a train (up to SIL 4).

    The most special feature which assures the extreme safety of the single-board computer is the triple redundancy of the hardware components. The PowerPC processor 750 with up to 900 MHz, as well as the 512 MB system memory, the local PSUs, the clock oscillators and the Flash memory are built up to be redundant, ensuring operation in critical applications.

    The FPGA is triple-redundant as well and accommodates critical functions as IP cores. These critical functions are voters, for example, which monitor that at least two of the three redundant components of the board provide the same result in order to guarantee safety. The system remains completely operational even if one of the three redundant components fails, providing the required availability.

    By building up a lock-step architecture, software overhead is kept extremely low, because virtually the hardware components are visible only once for the programming.
    Standard I/O is realized in the FPGA and is accessible via rear I/O. It includes a sextuple UART, an I²C bus and an RS232 interface, which can optionally also be led to the front. For realizing additional I/O two PMC slots are provided on the board. The first can be accessed via front or rear I/O and can be used with all standard PMC modules. The second slot is specially reserved for connection of an AFDX PMC via rear I/O.

    Additional diagnosis mechanisms (BITE, e.g., extensive self tests) help to detect latent errors before they lead to a system error, increasing safety and availability. For the same purpose, the design is oriented towards strictly deterministic operation avoiding interrupts and DMA.

    MEN Mikro Elektronik - Profile and Mission

    Embedded Solutions - Rugged Computer Boards and Systems for Harsh, Mobile and Mission-Critical Environments

    Since its foundation in 1982 our company designs and manufactures failure-safe computer boards and systems for extreme environmental conditions in industrial and safety-critical embedded applications.

    With over 200 employees and subsidiaries in France and the USA we have an annual revenue of around 30 million Euros with an export share of about 50%. Customized solutions make for more than half of our revenue. In addition the standard product range includes far more than 100 different computer boards with Intel® and PowerPC® with the corresponding BIOS, BSP and driver software, manifold I/O boards and completely configured systems based on:
  • ESMexpress®, ESMini(TM) and ESM(TM) Computer-On-Modules
  • 3U and 6U CompactPCI®, CompactPCI® PlusIO, CompactPCI® Serial and VMEbus
  • PMC, XMC and M-Modules(TM) as system-independent mezzanine I/O standards
  • Rugged Ethernet Switches
  • Box Computers and Display Computers

    The consistent use of FPGA technology gives us high flexibility when configuring customized and standard products.

    Our products are used worldwide as control, measuring, and test or simulation computers in all kinds of embedded applications. These are extremely safety-critical mobile markets like railway, buses, agricultural machines, commercial vehicles, avionics and shipbuilding as well as other mission-critical applications. Computer systems in such applications are in operation up to 24 hours every day and often need to be available for 10 years and longer. Ideally no failures must occur to avoid costly downtimes of machines or danger to human life.

    We are certified to EN 9100:2003 (aerospace), IRIS (railway), ISO 9001:2000 (quality management) and ISO 14001:2005 (environmental management) in order to meet the severe quality requirements in critical applications and to offer our customers the highest quality in products and services while considering environmental protection and occupational safety on the basis of a recognized quality management system.

    Our aim is to constantly improve and to provide the highest technology and innovation level. Our business ethics is determined by the principles of the United Nations' Global Compact Initiative (human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption).

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