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FMC Marketing Alliance

Recently, there has emerged a greater need for different front panel IO functionality within systems. Typically, this front panel IO functionality was fixed on 3U or 6U form factor cards, or it was configured with PMC or XMC modules. Previously, 3U and 6U form factor card design used a fixed front panel IO, which addressed a particular function. Changing the front panel IO functionality meant replacing the 3U or 6U cards. PMC and XMC modules provided configurable front panel IO for 3U and 6U form factor cards. However, PMC and XMC modules use much of the 3U and 6U carrier card area.

FPGA Mezzanine Card, or FMC, as defined in VITA 57, provides a specification describing an I/O mezzanine module with connection to an FPGA or other device with reconfigurable I/O capability. The low profile design allows use on popular industry standard slot card, blade and motherboard form factors, including VME, VPX, CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA, PCI, PXI, and many other low profile motherboards. The compact size is highly adaptable to many configuration needs and compliments existing common low profile mezzanine technology such as PMC, XMC, and AMC.

Purpose

The purpose of the FMC Marketing Alliance is to establish an ecosystem of interested parties that promotes and creates name recognition, as well as grow adoption of the FMC specifications and technology. The alliance is responsible for educating, training, and promoting the capabilities of the FMC family of specifications and informing the broader community and press.

Scope

The FMC Marketing Alliance is focused on the advancement of the FMC family of technology other related activities on the FMC roadmap. The FMC Marketing Alliance will promulgate the specifications emerging from the VSO Working Groups to develop a relevant ecosystem.

Companies that develop FMC products are encouraged to contact VITA to join the FMC Marketing Alliance.

The FMC specification defines:

  • IO mezzanine modules, which connect to carrier cards
    • Low profile design allows use on popular industry standard slot card, blade and motherboard form factors, including VME, VPX, CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA, PCI, PXI, and many other low profile motherboards. The compact size is highly adaptable to many configuration needs and compliments existing common low profile mezzanine technology such as PMC, XMC, and AMC.
  • A high-speed connector family of connectors for IO mezzanine modules
    • Supporting up to 10 Gb/s transmission with adaptive equalized I/O
    • Supporting single ended and differential signaling up to 2 Gb/s
    • Numerous I/O available
  • The electrical connectivity of the IO mezzanine module high-speed connector
    • Supporting a wide range of signaling standards
    • System configurable I/O functionality
    • FPGA intimacy
  • The mechanical properties of the IO mezzanine module
    • Minimal size
    • Scalable from low end to high performance applications
    • Conduction and ruggedized support

The FMC specification has two defined sizes that are referred to as a single width, and a double width module. The single width module has a width of 69mm and the double width module has a width of 139mm. The depth of both is 76.5mm.

The FMC mezzanine module uses a high-pin count 400 pin high-speed array connector, HPC. A mechanically compatible low-pin count, LPC, connector with 160 pins can also be used with any of the form factors detailed in this standard.

FMCs are being used in a wide range of markets, environments, and carrier card form factors supporting a wide range of I/O interfaces. The standard describes options to create modules for operating in a range of environments from passively cooled to fully ruggedized conduction cooled.

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