Acromag adds PCIe cards to expand I/O function in rugged servers

A 10-inch AcroPack module carrier card with four I/O mezzanine slots for smaller mission computers and compact servers with fewer and shorter PCIe expansion bays has been developed by Acromag.

The company’s newest PCIe carrier card joins the AcroPack rugged I/O module family and is particularly suitable for use in smaller mission computers and servers with reduced-depth expansion slots. The APCe7043 ¾-length PCIe card lets system developers install a mix of up to four I/O function modules in expansion slots that cannot fit a full-size card over 10 inches long, explains Acromag.

AcroPack I/O modules are based on the PCI Express mini card (mPCIe) standard and available for a wide variety of analogue I/O, digital I/O, serial communication, FPGA, MIL-STD-1553 and CAN bus. The AcroPack carrier and I/O modules are designed for rugged applications and are well-suited for use in military, aerospace, oilfield and industrial applications where size, weight, and power (SWaP) optimisation is required, says Acromag. Typical applications include data acquisition and control, test and measurement, simulation, and communication operations.

Although the APCe7043 expansion board is only 10-inches long (3/4-length PCIe), says Acromag, it can interface four plug-in AcroPack mezzanine I/O modules to the computer’s PCI Express bus. Two of the four mezzanine slots have sockets for optional isolated power supplies to support the use of isolated I/O modules. Field I/O signals are routed directly to the AcroPack modules through four 68-pin VHDCI connectors on the faceplate without any loose internal wires.

 “This ¾-length PCIe expansion board offers great I/O versatility when using short-depth mission computers or rugged servers,” explained Robert Greenfield, Acromag’s business development manager. “Now when size and weight restrictions impede the ability to use a full-length card, there is a 10-inch alternative to the limited capabilities of a half-length card that still fits in many smaller computer chassis.”

AcroPack mezzanine modules improve add a down-facing 100-pin connector to the mini PCI Express architecture which securely routes the I/O through a carrier card to its integrated external connectors, eliminating internal cables and metalwork modifications.

More than 25 models are available for data acquisition, signal processing, test and measurement, command/control, and network communication applications. Software tools support embedded applications running on Linux, Windows, or VxWorks operating systems (OS).

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