Author: Gräbner, G.
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TUAPL03 Solving Vendor Lock-in in VME Single Board Computers through Open-sourcing of the PCIe-VME64x Bridge 131
  • G. Daniluk, J.D. Gonzalez Cobas, M. Suminski, A. Wujek
    CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
  • G. Gräbner, M. Miehling, T. Schnürer
    MEN, Nürnberg, Germany
  VME is a standard for modular electronics widely used in research institutes. Slave cards in a VME crate are controlled from a VME master, typically part of a Single Board Computer (SBC). The SBC typically runs an operating system and communicates with the VME bus through a PCI or PCIe-to-VME bridge chip. The de-facto standard bridge, TSI148, has recently been discontinued, and therefore the question arises about what bridging solution to use in new commercial SBC designs. This paper describes our effort to solve the VME bridge availability problem. Together with a commercial company, MEN, we have open-sourced their VHDL implementation of the PCIe-VME64x interface. We have created a new commodity which is free to be used in any SBC having an FPGA, thus avoiding vendor lock-in and providing a fertile ground for collaboration among institutes and companies around the VME platform. The article also describes the internals of the MEN PCIe-VME64x HDL core as well as the software package that comes with it.  
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