Personal-computer-based frame grabbers, image-processing accelerators, and display controllers are available from more than 100 vendors. But, despite the plethora of products available for the PCI bus, more-expensive VMEbus versions of these products are not readily available.
Personal-computer-based frame grabbers, image-processing accelerators, and display controllers are available from more than 100 vendors. But, despite the plethora of products available for the PCI bus, more-expensive VMEbus versions of these products are not readily available. Of those companies that build VME-based products, many target the military and aerospace markets. In these markets, embedded rugged systems have long been focused on the VME form factor. This month, we look at VME-based-product companies and their technologies, products, and applications.
Military and aerospace
Aitech Defense Systems (Santa Clara, CA) offers ruggedized computer products to the defense, telecommunications, aerospace, and heavy-industry markets, including VMEbus boards, power supplies, enclosures, and complete computer systems. The company's Web site describes the two imaging products it currently offers: the V510 video digitization/compression card and the V530 Pentium board with MPEG-2 encoding/decoding. In addition, the company offers two PMC mezzanine cards for real-time MPEG-2 encoding and MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 decoding.
3U and 9U
Offering a range of 6U and 3U VMEbus- and CompactPCI-based products from commercial to full military systems, Dynatem (Mission Viejo, CA) also provides stand-alone, embedded single-board computers in off-the-shelf and customized versions. On this Web site, you'll find descriptions of the DFG and DGC2 products. Whereas the DFG is a 3U video frame grabber featuring autodetection of NTSC or CCIR video, 512 x 486-pixel frame capture in 1/30-s, 8-bits/pixel, and optional graphic overlay, the DGC2 6U module can overlay graphics onto NTSC video.
Designer and manufacturer of hardware and software products for real-time image processing Octec (Bracknell, Berks, England) offers a number of modules for target detection and identification. Available in both 6U VME and PMC formats, the boards can be integrated with the company's tracker products or can be operated as stand-alone modules. On the company's Web site, there are descriptions of image-tracking products, image processors, and software, along with company news, profile, and contact data.
Command and control
Primagraphics (Litlington, Nr. Royston, Herts, England) designs graphics and imaging products for the global radar command and control markets. This Web site describes the company's range of commercial-off-the-shelf products that provide radar preprocessing, scan conversion, tracking, and display.
Providing scalable multiprocessing solutions for real-time applications, Sky Computers (Chemsford, MA) offers modular families of motherboards and daughtercards for VME, desktop, and embedded systems. This Web site presents a complete list of the company's products, an overview of high-performance computing, numerous technical papers, and an on-line company newsletter.
Defense and medicine
Military applications such as radar and sonar and medical applications using MRI, CT, and digital x-ray technologies are the target markets for the Mercury Computer Systems (Chelmsford, MA) series of RACE++ multicomputer products that support CompactPCI-, VME-, and PCI-based systems. In addition to product descriptions, this Web site includes technical articles, technical literature, and dates of training seminars and events.