RoHS-Compliant PC/104 Module Has Eight Serial Ports each with 15kV ESD protection
WinSystems today introduced the PCM-COM8-G, a RoHS-compliant, 8-channel PC/104 asynchronous communications module. It is well suited for embedded applications requiring a large number of serial I/O ports. Each channel supports RS-232, RS-485, and RS-422 electrical levels to interface to a wide variety of serial communications devices such as modems, data collection equipment, and distributed I/O terminals. The board is designed to work in PC/104-expandable embedded computer systems running Windows® CE, Windows® XP embedded, Linux, QNX, VxWorks, and DOS. A PCM-COM8-G will operate over the full industrial temperature range of -40° to +85° Centigrade. "WinSystems is committed to reducing lead content in an environmentally-friendly, technologically feasible and cost-effective manner without sacrificing performance, quality, or reliability", said Robert Burckle, Vice-President of WinSystems. "The introduction of the PCM-COM8-G board is an ongoing part of WinSystems' program to meet the RoHS Directive." A 16C854 serves as the serial communication controller for the PCM-COM8-G. It is an improved version of the 16C554 UART with higher operating speed and lower access time. The unit contains on-chip software programmable baud rate generators with data rates selectable through 115,200 bits per second. Each channel has a 128 byte transmit and receive FIFO. This increases the service interval giving the external CPU additional time for other applications and reducing the overall UART interrupt servicing time. Four selectable levels of FIFO trigger interrupt and automatic hardware/software flow control are supported for maximum data throughput especially when operating in a multi-channel environment. Automatic hardware or RTS and CTS flow control is used to prevent data overrun to the local receiver FIFO and remote receiver FIFO. Interrupts are also available to give the status of RTS and CTS flow control. The board is shipped in a standard configuration that supports RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485 on all channels which are selected via onboard jumpers. Only +5 volts is required for the board since Maxim MAX211 RS-232 transceivers generate the plus and minus voltages on the chip. This chip also has a high ESD rating of 15kV and will support data rates up to 115,200 bits per second. RS-422 and 485 electrical levels are also supported on all eight channels. The RS-422/485 configuration provides separate balanced transmit and receive signal pairs. Resistor termination networks are on the PCM-COM8-G board for impedance matching and biasing.