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CompactPCI  16-Port Intelligent Serial Communications Controller
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Description Product description in English
Beschreibung Produktbeschreibung auf Deutsch
CU1-CHORUS - 16 UART Channels on a CPCI 6U Board
PDF documents available here
Product Information Product information in PDF format - English
Produktinformation Produktinformation im PDF-Format - Deutsch
Datenblatt PDF Dokument, CU1-CHORUS Datenblatt, Deutsch
User Manual PDF Document, CU1-CHORUS User Manual, English
Software Manual PDF Document, EKF i960 Driver Software Manual, English
MON960 UG PDF Document, User's Guide MON960 Monitor/Debugger, English
Download area for drivers i960 Drivers
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CompactPCI  Intelligent 16-Port Asynchronous Interface
16 x UART 16C550 powered by local i960 processor

Despite emerging communication standards like FireWire, Fibre Channel or Gigabit-Ethernet: the most common data interface in use is the RS-232 (asynchronous serial interface).

Most industrial computer systems however (in this manner comparable to their office desktop companions) are limited to 2 serial ports, often charged already by peripherals like mouse and modem. In addition, the typical COM ports are generating considerable interrupt load when operated with higher Baudrates, hence reducing noticeable the host CPU performance.

The solution to these problems is a multi-port UART interface board with local intelligence for preprocessing and buffering the serial data streams.

A total of 16 serial ports (16550 type UART) provides the intelligent CompactPCI® hostadapter CU1-CHORUS, each capable of bitrates up to 230.4kbps.

Equipped with the powerful embedded processor i960RP(D), the board profits from the built-in PCI bridge as interface to the CompactPCI® system bus. 8MB DRAM and 4MB Flash EEPROM offer generous local data buffering and program space.

The serial ports are configured as RS-232, or any other standard (e.g. RS-485) by means of a rear transition board and PHY interface modules.

Hence the CU1-CHORUS is ideally suited for all hard real-time applications with demand for serial interfaces, e.g. data aquisition, data concentration and machine control.

CU1-CHORUS - 16 Asynchronous Serial Interfaces on a 6U CompactPCI Board


Five of the serial ports are ready to use RS-232 configured, reachable by the corresponding 9-pin D-Sub connectors protruding through the front panel of the CU1-CHORUS. In addition, all 16 UART channels are wired as TTL-level signals to the rear connectors J4/J5. By employing external transition modules with built-in transceivers, not only the RS-232, but also any other popular industrial standard as RS-422/485 can be realized, including isolated interfaces.

The CU1-CHORUS hardware supports the I2O interface. This is a layered, standardized driver concept, modeled after the OSI reference, suitable especially for intelligent I/O sub-processors.

The EKF drivers treat the CU1-CHORUS module as 16C550 compatible COM ports. The drivers allow arbitrary names e.g. COM3..COM18 to be associated with the ports of a CHORUS.

Developers might prefer to collect serial data for block transfers or local preprocessing directly on the CHORUS board.Program and data can be stored in a generous amount of local memory (8MB DRAM and 4MB Flash EEPROM). As a development tool, EKF provides the resident monitor/debugger MON960, which allows stand-alone operation and download of programs via CPCI bus or serial interface. Furthermore EKF can offer turn key ready application programming support.

Use of the CU1-CHORUS frees the host-CPU from critical low level tasks, an essential criterion for real-time applications. Because the CHORUS can be supplemented by a variety of external transition (transceiver) modules for popular serial interface standards, it is a smart and flexible solution to many different industrial applications, offering a fast time to market at moderate cost.

CU1-CHORUS - a Comprehensive Solution

CU1-CHORUS with Rear-I/O Transition Board CU9-1-BASE

CU9-1-BASE Rear-I/O Transition Board with CU7/CU8 PHY Modules

CU9-1-BASE Rear-I/O Transition Board with CU7/CU8 PHY Modules

The rear-I/O signals, derived from the CU1-CHORUS, are passed via its CPCI connectors J4/J5, across the backplane, to the additionally available transition board CU9-1-BASE. There are sixteen CU9-internal headers (H1..H16) provided for attachment of up to 16 rear-I/O PHY interface modules of the CU7-RS485 and CU8-RS232 series across micro-ribbon flat cables.

The PHY interface modules can be directly mounted to the 6U/12HP back panel of the CU9-1-BASE transition board. In order to avoid possible signal conflicts, your CompactPCI system must be stuffed with a suitable P4/P5 backplane for rear-I/O (J4 on the CU1-CHORUS is coded with a brown key). A single slot P4/P5 backplane is available from EKF (see ordering information table).

CU1-CHORUS - Block Diagram

CU1-CHORUS - Block Diagram

CU1-CHORUS - Component Assembly Drawing

CU1-CHORUS - Component Assembly Drawing
Technical Specifications
Printed Circuit Board Dimensions 6U Eurocard (233x160mm2), front panel width 20.3mm (4HP), mechanics constructed with respect to EMC requirements, ejector lever
CPU Microprocessor Intel i960RP/RD, 3.3V, 33/66MHz, clocked by system bus (local oscillator provided when operated as stand-alone)
Memory 8MB FPM/EDO DRAM, 32-bit, 4MB FLASH ROM (SMT) 28F160S5 (Intel, Sharp), 32-bit
Utilities Watchdog and 5V/3.3V voltage-supervisor MAX705, serial EEPROM 4KByte I2C, optional: ACCESS.bus interface
Firmware Mon960 Monitor/Debugger available
Serial Interfaces Interface Type asynchronous, serial protocol: 1 startbit; 7 or 8 databits; 1 or 2 stopbits; optional even/odd parity; standard bitrates up to 230.4 kbps
Serial Interface Controller 16 x 16C550 asynchronous communication element, Texas Instruments TL16C550C or equivalent
Physical Interface UARTs 1-5 only: RS-232/V.24 by 75185 transceivers, all UARTs: TTL level signal additionally
Connectors SP1-SP5 front panel mounted 9-pin D-Sub male connectors (RS-232E, PC compatible)
Connectors J4/J5 TTL-level signals routed to optional J4 and J5 connectors for arbitrary use with rear I/O transition board and PHY interface modules providing the external transceiver circuitry
Drivers serial drivers (COM port emulation) available for Windows NT4.0 and Windows 2000, others forthcoming
Connector J1 32-Bit DMA Bus Master (133MBps)
5V Interface
Power Consumption Connector J1 +5V ±5% 0.5A max. (consumption of optional rear-I/O PHY transceivers not included)
+3.3V ±0.3V 0.7A (i960RP) 0.9A (i960RD) max.
+12V ±5% 0.1A max.
-12V ±5% 0.1A max.
Commercial Grade Version Operating temperature 0-70°C
Humidity 5-90% non condensing
Specifications are subject to change without further notice
Ordering Information
Alias Ordering Number Short Description
CHORUS CU1-1-CHORUS 6U, CompactPCI 16-port serial asynchronous interface subsystem with i960RP CPU/bridge, 4MB Flash, 8MB DRAM, MON960, 5 ports configured as RS-232 directly available from the front panel, all ports additionally routed across optional J4/J5 as TTL level signals for use with rear I/O transition board and PHY interface modules
RS485 CU7-1-RS485 RS-485/RS-422 Rear I/O PHY interface module, 1 port, 2.5Mbps two wire transmission line (half-duplex party line), electrically isolated
RS485 CU7-2-RS485 RS-485/RS-422 Rear I/O PHY interface module, 1 port, 2.5Mbps 4-wire transmission line (full-duplex point-to-point), electrically isolated
RS232 CU8-1-RS232 RS-232E/V.28 rear-I/O PHY interface module, including flat cable assembly
  CU9-1-BASE Transition board, bridging function between CU1-CHORUS (J4/J5) and rear-I/O PHY interface modules, 16 ports, 6U/12HP back panel, be sure to order the CU1-CHORUS with built in J4/J5 connectors for rear-I/O
  932.2.01.000 Single slot P4/P5 rear-I/O backplane, suitable for CU1-CHORUS and CU9-BASE
EKF is an ISO-9001 certified company
EKF Elektronik GmbH • Philipp-Reis-Str. 4 • 59065 Hamm • Germany
Phone +49 (0)2381/6890-0 • Fax +49 (0)2381/6890-90 • E-Mail