Posted by John McHale AMBLER, Pa., 4 Sept. 2010. MEN Micro Inc. now offers the 6U field programmable gate array (FPGA) -based, triple-redundant A602 64-bit VMEbussingle board computer (SBC) that uses a lock-step architecture keeping software development at a minimum for avionics applications. The A602 runs the same set of operations in parallel to ensure that the programming only views the hardware components once, Men Micro officials say. The single-slot, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) A602 developed according to RTCA DO-254 offers reliability and economical implementation with high reliability up to Design Assurance Level (DAL) A (catastrophic) in avionics and up to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 4 in trains -- the most stringent level in each class. The 900 MHz PowerPC 750, the 512-megabyte main memory and the internal structure of the FPGA are triple-redundant. Critical functions, such as voters implemented as IP cores in the FPGA, monitor at least two of the three redundant components to provide the same result to guarantee system reliability. In the event one of the three redundant components fails, the system remains completely operational providing the required availability for highly critical systems. Other redundant components in the SBC include local PSUs, Flash memory and clock oscillators. In an effort to increase safety and availability, additional diagnosis mechanisms (BITE, e.g. extensive self tests) help detect latent errors before they lead to a system error. The design is oriented towards strictly deterministic operation for the same purpose -- to avoid interrupts and DMA. Standard I/O contained in the FPGA is accessible via the rear and this includes a sextuple UART, an I2C bus and an RS232 interface that can also be led to the front. The A602 also provides two PMC slots, one accessed via the front or rear I/O that can be used with all standard PMC modules and the other for an AFDX PMC connection via rear I/O. Operating temperature is -40 to 50 degrees Celsius with qualified components. Pricing for the A602 is $12,994. For more information visit http://www.menmicro.com/products/01A602-.html.