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From: CompactPCI Systems, Volume 4 - Number 2, March/April 2000

While Compact PCI has been embraced by the telcos, 
it has also found a home in a variety of other industries.

The following application stories provide insight into three very different places 
you'll find Compact PCI/PXI in use today:

- Display wall controller for control room applications  
-
Load weighing system for trucking 
-
Automotive testing of cam-position sensors

Display wall controller for control room applications

By John Stark

Jupiter Systems has used Compact PCI technology to create a unique display wall controller which meets its customer's reliability, and ease of use requirements, while delivering high-performance graphics to as many as 124 monitors or projectors simultaneously.

The Jupiter 870 series controller utilizes a 6U Compact PCI backplane coupled with a dual Pentium III-based motherboard with built-in dual 10/100 Mbits/sec Ethernet devices and an I/O module that contains:

- One SCSI fixed disk
- 1.44-inch floppy
- 40x CD-ROM drive

- Standard serial, parallel, and USB ports

There are seven available Compact PCI slots for expansion peripheral devices. Each Compact PCI expansion slot typically contains a Jupiter proprietary graphics card providing up to four output graphics channels and four video input channels. With high output channel density, a single chassis can drive up to 28 individual monitors or projectors. Using Compact PCI expansion cabinets, up to 124 output display channels and up to 32 video inputs are possible. Graphics output resolutions (per channel) of 640x840 to 1600x1200, and color depths of 8, 16, and 24 bpp are possible.

High performance Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Red Hat Linux display drivers virtualize the output of the graphics cards to create a single logical screen from multiple outputs. Application windows can be moved and resized freely over the entire array of output devices, and large numbers of application windows can be opened simultaneously without overlap. Overall resolution is the accumulation of each output. For example, with 12-channel display system configured in 4x3 (4 wide, 3 high) array with each channel output being set to 1280x3072 pixels.

 

 

 

 

 

Display of full frame rate NTSC or PAL video is possible with included Jupiter software. Video windows can be moved and resized freely over the entire desktop surface; built-in scaling engines allow video to be resized up to that of the entire display. Video windows can be "grabbed" and saved to disk for later use.

Display wall controllers have become a critical component in control rooms for industries such as:

- Process control
- Telecommunications
- Transportation
- Public utilities

Higher reliability, greater performance, and the promise of little or no downtime are prime drivers of the purchasing decision. To meet these needs, graphics cards are hot-swappable, and can be removed while the unit is in operation. In addition to hot-swappable graphics cards, the 870 series includes ho-swappable redundant power supplies and hot-swappable fan assemblies. The rear I/O panels are separate from the front-loaded Compact PCI slots, allowing the removal of hot-swap devices without touching the cabling at the back of the unit. This can dramatically reduce MTTR, and is simple enough that anyone, not only trained technicians, can perform the operation.

 

For further information on this article or Jupiter products, contact:

John Stark, Director of Marketing
Jupiter Systems
3073 Teagarden St.
San Leandro, CA 94577

Tel: 510-667-9000

14/Compac PCI/March-April 2000


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