Aitech A174 I/O expansion subsystem
Aitech’s compact A174 is an I/O expansion subsystem that enables embedded designers to easily increase the functionality of rugged embedded systems, especially in avionics applications. Using a standard Ethernet interface, the product can connect to a multiple-client/multiple-server architecture, acting as a server with the avionics computers acting as clients.
The device is designed for maximum system flexibility. Each client (avionics computer) can access and control the I/O resources on any networked A174, which can conversely be individually reached by any client on the network. The subsystem accommodates multiple client processor architectures (PowerPC, Intel, ARM) and operating systems (OS), ensuring flexibility when adding capabilities to avionics computers. For network connectivity, the product supports one GbE (1000 BaseT) interface or two Fast Ethernet (10/100 BaseT) interfaces.
Only the physical layers of the subsystem are dedicated devices. All I/O interfaces are implemented on the unit’s Intel Cyclone V SoC FPGA, which keeps power consumption minimal, while enabling convenient customisation and additional system functionality. The Cyclone features dual ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processors with up to 1 GB of 32-bit DDR3L memory and 128 MB of SPI Flash.
The compact footprint and minimal weight of the rugged device, coupled with the number of available I/O interfaces, provide versatility. I/O interfaces include ARINC-429, analog and isolated discretes with optional RS-232/422/485 Serial and MIL-STD-1553B (BC/RT/MT) ports. System resources include temperature sensors and an elapsed time recorder as well as a pre-installed Linux Embedded operating system and drivers, server application and test sample applications. The product also includes extensive Built-in Test (BIT) capabilities.
Other attributes include EMI/RFI filtering of I/O signals, natural convection cooling and a standard 28 V power input (16–32 VDC) with 50 ms power holdup time support, as well as being environmentally sealed. Power consumption is typically 13 W, with a maximum of 18 W, and there is an extended operating temperature of -40 to +71°C.
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