| Portwell, Inc., a member of the Intel® Embedded Alliance, has extended its family of industrial PICMG 1.3 backplanes for PICMG 1.3 system host boards (SHB) to be the only company with the most completed product family on the market . Portwell now provides 15 PCIe compatible devices in a choice of server-centric (from six to 19 slots) or graphic-centric (from five to 13 slots). The features of the expanded family include a selection available for node chassis and rack mount chassis up to 4U, PCI-X buses that support up to 16 PCI-X expansion slots, PCIe x16, PCIe x8, PCIe x4 and PCIe x1 combinations, USB and SATA ports and support for legacy PCI slots. This makes Portwell's extended family of PICMG 1.3 industrial backplanes the ideal choice for applications in medical systems, semiconductor wafer inspection, system automation, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) X-ray inspection and the telecommunications markets.
Meeting the Demands of Today’s Industrial PC System
"We developed and have now extended our Back Plane family of industrial PICMG 1.3 backplanes so we can help today’s systems engineers make better headway in resolving the issues that surround add-on device expansion and how to approach it effectively," says Vincent Liao, PM Manager of Advanced Product Research Department.
"It is an established fact that the ongoing demand for higher speed technology has pushed the envelope for add-on device expansion," he explains. "Subsequently, we have seen the migration from parallel buses such as ISA, PCI and PCI-X to the serial bus architecture of PCI-Express (PCIe) and the growing use of PICMG 1.3 SHBs and backplanes.
"Simply changing slots to the higher speed PCIe will not solve all the problems. There are still a huge number of legacy systems in the field with standard or custom PCI and PCI-X add-on devices," he stressed. "And the issue is further complicated by the fact that PICMG 1.3 has two main target applications: server-centric (PCIe x8, x4 and x1) and graphic-centric (PCIe x16 and x1). There is no simple interconnect between them.
The Need for Speed
"Since there is no single solution that can address all of these issues, Portwell decided that the best way we can help system engineers and program managers is to provide a growing selection of backplanes from which they can choose. This is the plan for our expanding Back Plane PBPE product line," confirms Vincent. "Portwell’s PBPE family not only supports the current need for speed but it also addresses the other problem that systems engineers and program managers faces... the ability to support legacy technology."
An Extensive Selection of Industrial PICMG 1.3 Backplanes
Portwell’s PBPE family already includes a comprehensive range of industrial PICMG 1.3 backplanes:
Server-centric Industrial Backplanes
Graphic-centric Industrial Backplanes
- PBPE-19AG64: 19-slot [PCIe x16 (1, x8 signal), PCIe x8 (1, x4 signal), PCI-X (16)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-14AD64: 14-slot [PCIe x8 (1), PCIe x4 (1), PCI-X (8), PCI (3)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-08P41: 8-slot [PCIe x16 (2, x8 signal), PCIe x8 (1, x4 signal), PCI (4)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06V464: 6-slot [PCIe x4 (1), PCI-X (4)] vertical PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06A364: 6-slot [PCIe x16 (2, x8 signal), PCI-X (2), PCI (1)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06P2: 6-slot [PCIe x16 (2, x8 signal), PCIe x8 (1, x4 signal), PCI (2)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-13A8: 13-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCIe x1 (3), PCI (8)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-12A9: 12-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCIe x8 (1, x4 signal), PCI (9)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-12AA64: 12-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCI-X (8), PCI (2)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-07P4: 7-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCIe x4 (1), PCI (4)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06V: 6-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCIe x1 (4)] vertical PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06V3: 6-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCIe x8 (1, x4 signal), PCI (3)] vertical PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06P3: 6-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCIe x4 (1), PCI (3)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-06P4: 6-slot [PCIe x8 (1, x4 signal), PCI (4)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
- PBPE-05A364: 5-slot [PCIe x16 (1), PCI-X (2), PCI (1)] PICMG 1.3 backplane.
Protecting the Investment
According to Martee Huang, Sales VP of Portwell, Inc., the upgrade solution provided by Portwell’s expanding PBPE product line will help industrial users protect the millions of dollars currently invested in legacy systems.
"The PBPE family will encompass support for legacy boards such as PCI-X while providing a viable upgrade path toward today’s high speed PCIe boards," says Martee. "As a result of this recent expansion, Portwell’s current PBPE family of PICMG 1.3 industrial backplanes provides support for PCIe x16, x8, x4 and x1, PCIe to PCI-X support for PCI-X 64-bit 133 MHz and all the way through to PCI 32-bit 33MHz legacy support. Not only that," adds Martee, "but Portwell has other products for its PBPE family in the pipeline. A 1U PICMG 1.3 backplane to 4U 19-slot backplane are all under consideration."