ESC 2005: WinSystems’ PC/104-Plus module hooks to Gigabit Ethernet

At Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005), WinSystems' exhibited its new PC/104-Plus Module that connects to Gigabit Ethernet networks.

By Control Engineering Staff March 10, 2005
PPM-Gigabit module requires only +5 V supply at 270 mA (1.35 W). The device operates in a 0 to +70 °C temperature range.

At Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005), WinSystems ‘ exhibited its new PC/104-Plus Module that connects to Gigabit Ethernet networks. Designated the PPM-Gigabit, the module is designed for high-performance networking at 1,000 megabit per second (Mbit/s) data rates over Ethernet. PPM-Gigabit module was developed in response to customer demands for high-speed connectivity for industrial embedded applications, says WinSystems.

“PPM-Gigabit module is fully PC/104-Plus-compliant, supporting increased bus throughput necessary for higher-performance networking systems,” according to the company. It incorporates Intel ’s fifth-generation 82541ER integrated Ethernet controller, which reportedly “handles gigabit traffic with low network latency and minimal internal processing overhead.” The module and controller have a direct 32-bit peripheral component interconnect (PCI) interface to the bus and support 10, 100, and 1,000 Mbit/s data transfers in both full- and half-duplex environments. PPM-Gigabit applies the latest DSP architecture, said to implement digital adaptive equalization, echo cancellation, and crosstalk cancellation to improve performance in noisy environments.

The module will “auto-detect” and self-configure to match the speed of its link partner. It will also support two-pair and three-pair cable downshift. The controller is designed for independent transmit/receive queues to limit PCI bus traffic; its PCI interface maximizes use of bursts for efficient bus usage. If a user needs additional Ethernet connections, multiple PPM-Gigabit boards can be installed on a PC/104-Plus stack.

Each PPM-Gigabit module ships with an EEPROM that contains configuration information about device architecture, addresses, interrupts, and so on. The EEPROM enables board configuration all by software. An onboard, industry standard RJ-45 connector simplifies network linking via standard CAT5 twisted-copper cables. LEDs provide visual indication of the link status and network activity and speed. The module measures 90 x 96 mm (3.6 x 3.8 in.) and weighs only 84 grams (3 oz). Pricing for PPM-Gigabit is $249, with delivery from “stock to three weeks.”

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,