Communication front-end processor

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Communication front-end processor

Postby ptaa32 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:51 pm


Our communication front-end processor (CFEP) needs a modernization. The design is from 1991 and is based on a PC running a real-time multi-tasking kernel (RTKernel) and is developed in ANSI C. Its main purpose is to interface different external systems to our Integrated Communication, Surveillance and Security system (ICSS).

The CFEP talks with the attached subsystems using their 'native' interfaces and protocols. Each of these protocol handlers are running as RTKernel tasks. A separate task is communicating with the ICSS server. Inter-task communication is done via RTKernel message queues. A Router task is responsible for routing messages to/from the individual I/O tasks. In addition, there is a Supervisor task that monitors the system for proper operation.

The user interface is via a std VGA screen/keyboard. There are static windows for each subsystem plus the Router. The traffic is monitored in real-time, and the operator can inject 'simulated' messages to/from any subsystem.

RTKernel is started from DOS, and uses the DOS file-system and printing services. Communication I/F is via ISA multiport serial cards. Today it can be a challenge to find a PC with ISA bus, so an upgrade of the CFEP is becoming a must. The new one should support 2-20+ serial ports, Ethernet, TCP/IP and a USB memory-stick.

I have considered several options for a more modern and flexible CFEP. One of my favorites is a modular system based on Atmel ATmega processors. COTS modules are available for most of the needed I/O, and then some. I2C could be used as a bus for internal communication.

However, I have been fascinated by the XMOS architecture, and would like to look closer into the possibilities and consequences in using it for the new CFEP. Questions come to mind:

* Which of the ready-made cards are most suitable for building an open-ended CFEP?
* What would be required between the XMOS cards and the I/O connector backplane (RS-232, Ethernet, USB ...)?
* Will it be suitable for mounting in a fan-less dustproof box?

Any comments/ideas would be most welcome.

Kind regards,

Per-Tore Aasestrand
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Postby shawn » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:58 am

1: It's security so if you can afford the expense I whould purchase this kit.
I think there's enough expansion pins to accomplish your goals. ... opment-kit

2: There is an excellent video on the interconnect , thanks go's to Ayewin Oung.

3: I don't see a fan on the kit, oh wounderfull kit.

Good Luck,

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