TRENDS: QuickLogic designs embedded PCI solution for military

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Engineers at QuickLogic Corp. have designed a 32-bit/33MHz embedded PCI controller for military applications with large data transfer requirements such as real-time video imaging.

Mar 1st, 2000

By John McHale

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Engineers at QuickLogic Corp. have designed a 32-bit/33MHz embedded PCI controller for military applications with large data transfer requirements such as real-time video imaging.

About 50 percent of the QuickLogic QL5232M is an embedded PCI core, while the other half is a reconfigurable field programmable gate array, explains Jon Ewald, military marketing program manager.

QuickLogic officials believe their solution a more efficient use of silicon than the current trend toward soft intellectual property on a field programmable gate array (FPGA), Ewald says. Competing approaches, he claims, also have many licensing issues and questions about who will fix a part when it breaks down.

The QuickLogic device's PCI core is one-time programmable, yet systems designers can configure the other half in any way they want, Ewald explains. The QL5232M combines a customizable PCI interface with 50,000 system gates of programmable logic and 25 kilobits of RAM. The part guarantees zero wait-state PCI timing over the entire military temperature range of -55 to 125 degrees Celsius.

The QL5232M uses QuickLogic's ViaLink metal-to-metal interconnect technology and ESP architecture for fast design cycles and low system costs. The device operates as a 32-bit/33 MHz master/target controller, and the zero-wait state PCI master provides transfer rates of 132 megabytes per second. An independent 33 MHz PCI bus and local bus that runs as fast as 160 MHz clock the device. It has customizable DMA and PCI configuration spaces.

QuickLogic leaders also expanded their embedded standard product technology by adding several QuickRAM family devices to their military portfolio. The QuickRAM family embeds as many as 25,344 bits of high-performance SRAM in an array of user-configurable logic, enabling large RAM, ROM, and FIFO functions to run at speeds as fast as 200 MHz.

"The use of [embedded standard products] and FPGAs in military applications continues to increase," Ewald says. "Our portfolio now offers a variety of ceramic devices for mission-critical applications, most of which are footprint compatible with our military plastic offerings to reduce development costs."

Independent PCI bus and local bus clocks make the most of total system throughput by enabling the user's custom function to run as fast as 160 MHz - faster than the 33 MHz PCI clock speed. Additional features include a customizable DMA controller and PCI configuration space, support for 5.0-volt and 3.3-volt PCI buses, and Compact PCI compliance.

The company also has released its QL5232 PCI development kit, which includes a high-speed 32-bit PCI add-in card, compiled drivers, and documentation. The 208-CQFP will be available in 4Q99 for MIL-STD-883 and mil-temp ceramic.

For more information on the QL 5232 PCI controller and QuickLogic contact Jon Ewald by phone at 408-341-4134, by fax at 408-990-4040, by mail at QuickLogic, 1227 Orleans Drive, Sunnyvale, Calif. 94089, by e-mail at ewald@quicklogic.com, or on the World Wide Web at http: www.quicklogic.com.

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