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QNX RTOS library supports DAQ, control cubes

Posted: 25 Dec 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data acquisition card  DAQ card  RTOS  real-time operating system  OS 

Supporting recently introduced hardware, United Electronic Industries (UEI) announced the addition of complete QNX RTOS support for its PowerDNA (Distributed Networked Automation) series of data acquisition and control cubes.

PowerDNA cubes are 4-by-4-by-4-inch or 4-by-4-by-5.8-inch Ethernet-based data acquisition and control devices. Each PowerDNA Cube consists of a core module (with processor and network interface) along with three or six open I/O slots, or layers.

You configure a cube system by selecting appropriate UEI I/O boards. You can choose from analogue input boards (with resolutions of 16-, 18- or 24bits, signal input boards (to 100V or 0-20mA), and analogue output boards (developing up to 40V). There are also digital I/O, counter/timer, CAN Bus interfaces, multi-port RS-485 and RS-232 serial I/O, and power conversion boards.

Deterministic timing
Using these and the PowerDNA QNX library, QNX developers can obtain the functions provided by UEI's standard Windows and Linux interfaces, and can also use the deterministic timing afforded by QNX.

The PowerDNA QNX Library can be deployed on any host computer running the QNX RTOS, and connected to a PowerDNA cube over an Ethernet 10/100Base-T connection.

What's more, the library is compatible with all popular versions of QNX, including revisions 4.x and 6.x. In addition to the library, the support package includes example and demonstration programs, as well as documentation.

Three modes
The QNX library supports three operating modes. In Immediate Mode the host polls data from, or writes data to, the cube in a fully software-controlled manner.

In the DMAP mode the cube acquires data paced by its internal clock, transferring each scan independently over the network to the host. DMAP mode is specifically designed for high speed realtime control applications. A patented protocol guarantees 1,000 analogue/digital I/O points are updated in less than 1ms.

Finally, there's a circular buffer mode. In the ACB (Advanced Circular Buffer) mode, the cube acquires data paced by its internal clock, and then transfers it into buffers over the network to the host. This buffer ensures no data is lost during times when the network is busy performing other tasks.

QNX for PowerDNA is priced at Rs.13,656 ($300). The QNX PowerDNA run-time licence costs Rs.1,365.60 ($30) per installation.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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