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PC/104 SBC bridges factory networks

Jul 31, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

SSV Embedded Systems announced a PC/104-format single-board computer (SBC) designed for gateways, routers, and proxy servers in industrial networking settings. Based on a 32-bit ARM/XScale network processor, the CP/465 offers dual Ethernet interfaces and PC/104 expansion, and comes pre-installed with SSV's own Embedded Gateway… Linux distribution.

(Click for larger view of the CP/465)

With dual Ethernet interfaces and a specialized network processor, the CP/465 is designed to connect two TCP/IP networks in industrial and factory automation settings. Typically, one network would be a general-purpose LAN, while the other might be a second set of wires carrying “real-time” Ethernet or another specialized protocol. Specialized protocols running atop TCP/IP and commodity networking gear are increasingly replacing expensive Fieldbus-based control systems, according to SSV, creating demand for “powerful and flexible” gateway systems capable of translating between various IP network protocols.

The CP/465's IXP465 processor is clocked to 533MHz, and it integrates an encryption/authentication unit, as well as packet processing engines. The system has 256MB DDR1 SDRAM and 32MB NOR flash, with further expansion available from an underside CompactFlash slot and the stackable PC/104 interface. In addition to the dual Ethernet capability, I/O includes two USB ports, as well as serial, SPI, and I2C interfaces.

CP/104 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The CP/465's integrated Precision Time Protocol (PTP/IEEE 1588) support is said to improve routing performance. Its Ethernet cable diagnostic support helps detect network malfunctions such as cable breaks, says the company.

Specs listed for the CP/465 include:

  • Processor — 32-bit Intel IXP465 ARM MCU clocked at 533MHz
  • Memory — 256MB DDR1 SDRAM
  • Flash — 32MB NOR flash
  • Flash expansion — 1x CF-Card slot
  • PC/104 Expansion — 16-bit ISA and 32bit PCI Expansion Bus Connectors
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet (supports star and Industrial Ethernet ring topologies)
  • USB — 2 x USB (Host/Device)
  • Serial — 2 x UART Serial ports
  • I2C — 1x I2C (Inter Integrated Circuit)
  • SPI — 1 x SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface)
  • Encryption support — ES/AES-CCM/3DES/DES/SHA-1/SHA-256/SHA-384/SHA-512/MD-5
  • Operating system — Embedded Gateway Linux

SSV offers a starter kit that includes the CP/465 with Embedded Gateway Linux pre-installed in NOR flash. The distribution includes a web server and a web-based interface. The kit also contains two LAN adapter cables with RJ45 connectors, two RS-232 cables with 9-pin Sub-D connectors, a pluggable power supply, plus a CD-ROM and manual.


The CP/465 will be available in the third quarter of this year, says SSV. Pricing was not disclosed. More information may be found here.

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