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
- One SCSI fixed disk
- 1.44-inch floppy
- 40x CD-ROM drive
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
Display wall controllers have become a critical component
in control rooms for industries such as:
- Process control
- 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,
John Stark, Director of Marketing
3073 Teagarden St.
San Leandro, CA 94577