New tool box ensures durability at low cost for VME equipment manufacturers
Embedded Systems Conference, San Francisco - booth #723 - April 22, 2003 - PLDApplications (PLDA – www.plda.com), a leading provider of high-speed interconnect solutions for the design community, and its sister company ReFLEX Consulting (ReFLEX – www.reflexconsulting.com), an FPGA-based solutions provider, today announced the immediate availability of a low-cost solution to manage interfaces on VME bus. This VME IP Platform for FPGAs or ASICs allows in particular to replace obsolete components.
The VME IP Platform
Made up of modules for FPGAs or ASICs, the tool box aims at managing interfaces on the VME bus. It is in fact a generic IP platform compliant with VMEbus specification (ANSI/IEEE 1014-1987) and supporting all of its combinations.
Customizable VHDL/Verilog source code and complete simulation environment are provided, together with a self running test bench that uses "script-like" files and can generate "transaction reports".
These codes are systematically delivered through a complete system-design to implement them according to each customer specific requirement. An FPGA or ASIC-based turnkey solution is therefore provided with its own source codes, ready for electronic board integration.
A low-cost solution
The VME interface can be implemented for less than $10 in medium-sized volume, for example on a Cyclone FPGA from Altera.
Personalized IPs: an original yet necessary approach
Most of the time, as many manufacturers have adapted and implemented the VME standard in a proprietary way, each project turns to be specific. A card working in a given VME system, indeed, might not be supported by another system designed by another provider.
Designed as a fully customizable solution, the VME platform from PLDA and ReFLEX differs from other "ready-to-use" offers based on closed IP blocks delivered as a black box.
The additional services provided on a case by case basis with the VME IP Platform from PLDA and ReFLEX aim at delivering a complete and turn-key solution on a FPGA or an ASIC to fit with any customer specific requirement. For example, a new module can be designed for a specific application. PLDA and ReFLEX can also conduct obsolete component replacement in existing applications (e.g. Cypress VIC068A) or realize VME bus interfacing with another bus (VME-PCI bridge for instance).
Obsolescence still a critical problem despite VME bus lion's market-share
The VME bus is mainly used in military, transport, automation/robotic, telecommunication and network applications. With a 43% market share, it is widely predominant in real-time or embedded applications (source VDC). Nonetheless, as the market seems to decline a bit, component providers tend to reduce their offer, thus creating the twofold problem of interface components obsolescence and raising costs of the components still available.
A typical project cycle includes four milestones:
- Customer's "VME requirements" are analyzed, reviewed and signed-off; the VME platform from PLDA and ReFLEX supports every personalization demand from any VME equipment manufacturer.
- VME tool kit and test bench are personalized to meet these requirements through customized services.
- Tests, certifications and integration processes are conducted
- The required VME module is delivered together with its source codes and its own personalized simulation environment.
This professional and very organized process allows to support each particular project whatever its functional or architecture context and, as each implementation can be reproduced, fulfills customers component replacement objective at low cost.
VME solutions from PLDA and ReFLEX are presented at Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco, CA from April 23 to April -25, 2003 (PLDA booth #723)
About PLDApplications - www.plda.com
PLDApplications (PLDA) designs, delivers and supports a catalogue of high quality interfacing and processing standard digital products. Its highly-skilled R&D team specializes in programmable logic-based electronic systems and intellectual property (IP), with a strong focus in the PCI and derivatives market (PCI-X, CompactPCI, PCIExpress, PC104/PC104+)
Complete solutions from PLDA include megafunctions license, hardware, software, consulting services as well as full technical support provided directly from the IP designers.
Founded in 1996, PLDA is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France. Its products are available worldwide thanks to a strong distribution and partnership network wowen with companies including Altera and Reflex Consulting (complete distributors list is available on PLDA website).
PLDA is the 2nd PCI IP core vendor worldwide with more than 20% market share (source: Gartner Dataquest 2001).
About ReFLEX Consulting - www.reflexconsulting.com
The tailor-made solutions arm of the PLDA/ReFLEX group, ReFLEX Consulting (ReFLEX) positions itself as a provider of turnkey solutions based on FPGAs and ASICs. This original approach leans on intellectual property (IP) platforms and customization services; it allows to limit risks, costs and time-to-market in applications where closed and ready-to-use IP blocks don't meet customers expectations.
The first company in the world to be awarded the "Certified Design Center" stamp by Altera Corporation, ReFLEX posted a 30% revenue growth in 2002 at € 750,000.
The PLDA/ReFLEX group supports more than 300 customers worldwide including Airbus Industries, Alcatel, BT Research Labs, CERN, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Lockheed Martin, NEC, Nokia, Northrop Grumman, Philips, Siemens, Sony, STM, Sun, Thales and Toshiba.