Ultimodule introduces modular building blocks for embedded systems

Sunnyvale, CA—Ultimodule Inc. recently introduced its portfolio of modular hardware and software building blocks that accelerate time to market for embedded systems.

By Control Engineering Staff December 16, 2003

Sunnyvale, CA— Ultimodule Inc. recently introduced its portfolio of modular hardware and software building blocks that accelerate time to market for embedded systems. The portfolio is an open, integrated environment comprised of hardware modules with system control logic and intellectual property (IP) in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs); blocks of application-optimized software; and an integrated development environment (IDE) called Device Studio for Ultimodule.

Designers can use Ultimodule’s building blocks to eliminate redundant front-end system design, and quickly put together a working system that closely approximates an intended final solution. The portfolio is ideal for building fast prototypes and small volumes, and an Ultimodule design can be easily migrated into a high-volume custom board or ASIC solution.

Ultimode adds that a major benefit of its solution is that it uses FPGAs throughout to add or change processor, memory, I/O, or system control logic interfaces, as well as application-specific IP. This utility is not typically found in such a small form factor and provides significant flexibility to experiment with different devices and performance levels. Ultimodule also offers design services to helps users customize FPGAs to include additional IP.

Ultimodule hardware includes IP and interfaces for CPU, memory, peripherals, and bus inter-connection, as well as intelligent digital and analog I/O and multifunctional I/O. Application-optimized software for automated control supports soft PLC, motor control, motion control, camera control, multiple operator and machine interfaces, Internet connectivity, and Web services for remotely interacting with control processes or any enabled industrial device.

‘Our building blocks and tools are geared to help the designer move from prototype through to a high-volume solution, which may take the form of a single FPGA or a single module or board with all the customer’s proprietary IP and software,” says Melissa Jones, Ultimodule’s president. “We can be an ideal partner for the designer who wants the flexibility to re-use blocks in many configurations to try out and implement various functionalities, and also for a chip or IP company that wants a vehicle to demonstrate their solution in an optimized working environment rather than on a basic development board.’

Ultimodule also announced the availability of its first starter kit, UM-SK-100, which allows users to evaluate, prototype, and create a working product. The kit is geared toward industrial automation, but it can be used to develop any general embedded system due to its expandable na-ture and easy-to-access I/O connectors.

The UM-SK-100 kit contains an SCM220 smart controller module with a 33-MHz IDT MIPS CPU; 4 MB SDRAM; 512KB parallel Flash; 64-KB serial EEPROM; 16-MB SmartMedia Flash; Spartan2 FPGA with 150 K Gates; and a CAN 2.0b controller. It also contains a CB100 carrier board for the SCM220, which provides power and physical connectors; a USMD8IO optically isolated 8 Digital I/O module; CB102 passive carrier board to connect other modules; 24 V dc power supply; serial debug cable; and a

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor