Aitech introduces easy I/O expansion using standard Ethernet brings more versatility to rugged avion
Aitech now offers the compact A174 that enables embedded designers to easily increase the functionality of rugged embedded systems, especially in avionics applications. Using a standard Ethernet interface, the new I/O expansion subsystem can connect to a multiple-client/multiple-server architecture, acting as a server with the avionics computers acting as clients.
The A174 is designed for maximum system flexibility. Each client (avionics computer) can access and control the I/O resources on any networked A174, which can conversely be individually reached by any client on the network. The I/O expansion subsystem accommodates multiple client processor architectures (PowerPC, Intel, ARM) and operating systems (OS), ensuring the most flexibility when adding capabilities to avionics computers. For network connectivity, the A174 supports one GbE (1000 BaseT) interface or two Fast Ethernet (10/100 BaseT) interfaces.
Only the physical layers of the subsystem are dedicated devices. All I/O interfaces are implemented on the unit’s Intel Cyclone V SoC FPGA, which keeps power consumption minimal, while enabling convenient customization and additional system functionality. The Cyclone features dual ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processors with up to 1 GB of 32-bit DDR3L memory and 128 MB of SPI Flash.
The compact footprint and minimal weight of the rugged A174, coupled with the number of available I/O interfaces, makes the unit a highly versatile expansion subsystem. I/O interfaces include ARINC-429, analog and isolated discretes with optional RS-232/422/485 Serial and MIL-STD-1553B (BC/RT/MT) ports.
System resources include temperature sensors and an elapsed time recorder as well as a pre-installed Linux Embedded operating system and drivers, server application and test sample applications. To ensure the highest reliability, the A174 also includes extensive Built-in Test (BIT) capabilities.
The A174 offers other important attributes to provide reliable and versatile system expansion, such as EMI/RFI filtering of I/O signals, natural convection cooling and a standard 28V power input (16-32 Vdc) with 50 msec power holdup time support, as well as being environmentally sealed. Power consumption is typically only 13 W, with a maximum of 18 W, and the A174 offers an extended operating temperature of -40°C to +71°C.