Computer/Embedded Technology


ARCNET PCI card compatible with old and new PCs

19 May 2004 Computer/Embedded Technology

With the migration of most PC motherboards from a 5 V PCI to a 3,3 V PCI signalling environment, Contemporary Controls has introduced a universal voltage PCI ARCNET network interface module that is compatible with both new 3,3 V PCI and older, 5 V computers. The PCI20U is a drop-in replacement for the PCI20, 5 V PCI Card.

The PCI20U Series of ARCNET network interface modules (NIMs) links PCI and PCI-X bus compatible computers with the ARCNET LAN. Allowing for jumperless configuration and plug-and-play operation, it operates with either an NDIS driver or a null stack driver in a Windows environment.

The PCI-compliant add-in card (64 x 120 mm) is a 32-bit interface, 33 MHz bus, card that is supplied with both standard height and one-half height brackets.

Since the PCI20U is a universal voltage PCI card, it can be used in either a PCI-X slot or conventional PCI slot. The original PCI20 could only be used in a 5 V PCI slot. PCI-X is an enhancement to the original PCI Local Bus Specification enabling devices to operate at speeds up to 133 MHz. If a PCI20U is installed into a bus capable of PCI-X operation, the clock remains at the 33 MHz frequency and other devices on that bus are restricted to using conventional PCI protocol.

The PCI20U Series comes in six versions. The 'CXB supports a 2,5 Mbps coaxial bus configuration usually requiring no hubs. The 'CXS uses a 2,5 Mbps coaxial star transceiver. The 'TB5 supports 2,5 Mbps twisted-pair bus cabling with RJ45 connectors. The EIA-485 models are supplied with a 3-position screw terminal connector. The '485D supports non-backplane mode DC-coupled EIA-485. The '485X provides non-backplane mode AC-coupled EIA-485 operation while the '4000 supports backplane mode AC-coupled EIA-485 operation.



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