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A work of art?

Validating the first VME renaissance ‘masterpiece’. By Sally Wolfe.

The first product supporting Motorola’s VME Renaissance is a single board computer which Motorola calls a ‘renaissance masterpiece’. It says this because the MVME6100 embodies the complete collection of technologies in the first wave of the VME Renaissance, including PCI-X onboard interconnects, PCI-X mezzanine sites and the 2eSST (double edge synchronous source transfer) protocol across the backplane.
By far the most challenging technology is implementation of 2eSST. Some time ago, Motorola started a project – codenamed Tempe – to create a PCI-X to 2eSST VME bridge chip. That project was completed in December 2003 and the resulting chip – the TSI148 – is being produced by Tundra Semiconductor for the VME market. The MVME6100 is the first VME product to incorporate the TSI148.
It was important the chip was ‘right first time’. To increase this probability, the intelligence in the TSI148 was tested using simulation and emulation. The logic was simulated on as many as 30 workstations running test vectors 24 hours per day for months. These simulations uncovered many defects, which were corrected and retested long before the chip ever went to fab. The down side of simulation was that it would take days to execute logic that would run in real time in less than a second.

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Graham Pitcher

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