The standard RapidIO protocol provides for serial and parallel communication between chips, boards, and systems. The serial version of the standard has gained acceptance among chip vendors as a proven way to communicate information rapidly over just a few connections. To help ensure the compatibility between products, three companies, Freescale Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx sent representatives to meet at Tundra Semiconductor (Ottawa, ON, Canada) to test the compatibility between products. Tests involved Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMCs) from Freescale and Texas Instruments, an ML32x FPGA development board from Xilinx, and a development baseboard from Tundra. The latter board provided communications to the Xilinx board through coaxial cables and linked to the AMC boards through standard connectors. The tests aimed to ensure “Device A” would work properly with “Device B.”
According to Tom Cox, executive director of the RapidIO Trade Association (RTA), the tests built on the association’s RapidIO Interconnect Specification Device Interoperability and Compliance Checklist (1.3 specification). Tests checked device-to-device electrical connections as well as how well devices met the RapidIO specification. These collaborative efforts uncovered a few minor problems and differences the companies quickly corrected. The meeting of the RapidIO group has inspired Tundra to establish the RapidIO Interoperability Lab, or RIOLAB, at its facility. The Tundra staff will work with vendors of standard devices, FPGAs, and ASICs to test and ensure compatibility of products that include RapidIO interfaces. Although the lab will operate at first under the auspices of Tundra, it will maintain an unbiased approach to testing and will provide standardized test results to all vendors who request testing. And the lab will operate as a not-for-profit organization in association with the RTA. Both Tundra and the RTA plan to spin off the lab as an independent entity within 12 to 24 months. Designers can find out more about the lab and about the RTA at www.rapidio.org.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.