A17 - Embedded Single Board Computer with PowerPC MPC8548 (Product Discontinued)

The A17 is an advanced PowerPC based single-board computer for embedded applications and can act as a master or a slave in a legacy VMEbus environment. Using the TSI148 bridge controller the CPU card provides 2eSST performance levels while maintaining backwards compatibility with older standards such as VME64 and VME32. The 2eSST protocol is based on synchronous data transfer and thus doubles the theoretical VME transaction bandwidth to transfer rates of up to 320 MB/s.

The A17 is controlled by an MPC8548, or optionally an MPC8543 PowerPC processor (alternatively with encryption unit) with clock frequencies between 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz. The SBC is equipped with ECC-controlled DDR2 RAM for data storage, with a Flash disk for program storage as well as with non-volatile FRAM. The board provides front-panel access for two Gigabit Ethernet and two COM interfaces via four RJ45 connectors. Another two Gigabit Ethernet channels are available at the optional P0 rear connector to support Ethernet on the backplane complying with ANSI/VITA 31.1-2003.

The two PMC slots on the A17 support PMC modules working with 32-bit/33-MHz up to 64-bit/66-MHz. One of the mezzanine slots supports rear I/O and can also be used for XMC modules with a PCI Express x1, x2, or x4 link.The second (PMC only) slot is connected to the onboard FPGA and can thus act as the physical layer for additional functions implemented in the FPGA. The PMC/XMC slots allow flexible extension to the A17, adding functions such as graphics, mass storage, further Ethernet, or a simple FPGA-backed physical layer.

Even more I/O functions such as graphics, touch, CAN, binary I/O etc. can be realized as IP cores in FPGA for the needs of the individual application.

The A17 comes with MENMON support. This firmware/BIOS can be used for bootstrapping operating systems (from disk, Flash or network), for hardware testing, or for debugging applications without running any operating system.


  • PowerPC MPC8548 (or MPC8543), up to 1.5 GHz
  • 1-slot 2eSST VMEbus master and slave
  • Up to 2 GB (ECC) DDR2 RAM
  • Flash Disk, FRAM
  • 2 Gb Ethernet, 2 COMs at front
  • 2 Gb Ethernet via P0
  • 2 PMC slots (1 slot also XMC)
  • FPGA for individual I/O functions
  • MENMONBIOS for PowerPC cards
  • -40 to +85°C screened


PowerPC PowerQUICC III MPC8548, MPC8548E, MPC8543 or MPC8543E
  • 800 MHz up to 1.5 GHz
  • Please see Standard Configurations for available standard versions.
  • e500 PowerPC core with MMU and double-precision embedded scalar and vector floating-point APU
  • Integrated Northbridge and Southbridge
  • 2x32 KB L1 data and instruction cache, 512 KB/256 KB L2 cache integrated in MPC8548/MPC8543
  • Up to 2 GB SDRAM system memory
    • Soldered
    • DDR2 with or without ECC
    • Up to 300 MHz memory bus frequency, depending on CPU
  • Up to 4 GB soldered Flash disk (SSD solid state disk)
    • Higher capacity possible if components are available
    • FPGA-controlled
  • 16 MB boot Flash
  • 128 KB non-volatile FRAM
  • Serial EEPROM 8 kbits for factory settings
Mass Storage
Up to 4 GB soldered ATA Flash disk (SSD solid state disk)
  • Higher capacity possible when components are available
  • FPGA-controlled
  • Ethernet
    • Up to four 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet channels
    • Two RJ45 connectors at front panel
    • Two front LEDs per channel to signal LAN Link and Activity
    • Two channels accessible via rear I/O on connector P0 complying with ANSI/VITA 31.1-2003 (option)
  • Two RS232 UARTs (COM1/2)
    • Two RJ45 connectors at front panel
    • Data rates up to 115.2 kbit/s
    • 16-byte transmit/receive buffer
    • Handshake lines: CTS, RTS
  • GPIO
    • 31 GPIO lines
    • FPGA-controlled
    • Connection via PMC1 board-to-board connector J4
Front Connections
  • Two Ethernet (RJ45)
  • COM1/COM2 (RJ45)
  • XMC/PMC 0 and PMC 1
Rear I/O
  • Two 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet on P0 (option)
  • Mezzanine rear I/O: PMC 0 on P2
Mezzanine Slots
  • Two slots total, one slot usable for PMC or XMC
  • One XMC slot
    • Compliant with XMC standard VITA 42.3-2006
    • PCI Express links: one x1 or one x2 or one x4
  • Two PMC slots
    • Compliant with PMC standard IEEE 1386.1
    • Up to 64-bit/64-MHz, 3.3 V V(I/O)
    • PMC I/O module (PIM) support through J4 complying with VITA 35 (PMC 0)
  • Real-time clock with battery backup
  • Temperature sensor, power supervision and watchdog
  • Reset button in ejector handle
  • One power good LED, three user-configurable LEDs at front
Local PCI Bus
  • 64-bit/66-MHz, 3.3 V V(I/O)
  • Compliant with PCI Specification 2.2
  • TSI148 controller
  • Compliant with VME64 Specification
  • Supports VME32, VME64, 2eVME and 2eSST (VITA 1.5)
    • Optional single 5V supply for operation in VME32 systems
  • Slot-1 function with auto-detection
  • Master
    • D08:D16:D32:D64:A16:A24:A32:A64:BLT:MBLT:RMW
  • Slave
    • D08:D16:D32:D64:A16:A24:A32:A64:BLT:MBLT
  • DMA
  • Mailbox functionality
  • Bus timer
  • Location Monitor
  • Interrupter D08(O):I(7-1):ROAK
  • Interrupt handler D08(O):IH(7-1)
  • Single level 3 fair requester
  • Single level 3 arbiter
Electrical Specifications
Supply voltage/power consumption:
  • +5 V (-3%/+5%), approx. 2.2 A
  • +3.3 V (-3%/+5%), approx. 1.1 A
  • +12 V (-5%/+5%), only provided for PMCs that need 12 V
  • -12 V (-5%/+5%), only provided for PMCs that need 12 V
Mechanical Specifications
  • Dimensions: standard double Eurocard, 233.3 mm x 160 mm
  • Weight: 490 g (incl. heat sink, without XMC/PMC modules)
Environmental Specifications
  • Temperature range (operation):
    • -40..+85°C
    • Airflow: min. 10 m³/h
  • Temperature range (storage): -40..+85°C
  • Relative humidity (operation): max. 95% non-condensing
  • Relative humidity (storage): max. 95% non-condensing
  • Altitude: -300 m to +3,000 m
  • Shock: 15 g, 11 ms
  • Bump: 10 g, 16 ms
  • Vibration (sinusoidal): 1 g, 10..150 Hz
  • Conformal coating on request
220,017 h @ 40°C according to IEC/TR 62380 (RDF 2000)
PCB manufactured with a flammability rating of 94V-0 by UL recognized manufacturers
Conforming to EN 55022 (radio disturbance), IEC 61000-4-2 (ESD) and IEC 61000-4-4 (burst)
Software Support