IndustryPack® modules are computer boards that interface with the IndustryPack (IP) mezzanine bus, a device used to provide input/output (I/O) capabilities in general-purpose computer systems. IndustryPack is a registered trademark of GreenSpring computers and a specification maintained by the VITA standards organization (VSO) of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). IndustryPack modules are available in two sizes. Single-size modules are 1.8” x 3.9” (45.3 cm2). Double-size modules are 3.6” x 3.9” (90.6 cm2 ). With both types of devices, components can have a maximum height of 0.29” (7.4 mm). Single-size modules use two 50-pin connectors: one to interface with the carrier board and one to interface with the I/O via the carrier board. For example, a 6U carrier board provides slots for four single-size or two double-size IndustryPack modules. Locating six modules on a 6U is possible but impractical since all of the I/O lines must leave the carrier board.
There are several types of IndustryPack modules. Examples include adapters, bus interfaces, digital I/O modules, analog I/O modules, analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters. Serial communication and memory modules are also available. Devices that are used with motion control interfaces often use an incremental encoder with RS422 or transistor-transistor logic (TTL) for position feedback. Typically, a digital filter is used for noise suppression. Some IndustryPack modules include programmable or optically isolated channels. Others provide counters and timers or an integrated oscillator for timing and signal-generation purposes. Most devices include a universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter (UART) for handling asynchronous serial communications.
Selecting IndustryPack modules requires an analysis of performance specifications such as the total number of channels and the throughput rate, the transmission speed in Hertz (Hz). Most IP modules operate at either 8 MHz or 32 MHz. The bus width determines the number of bits (8, 16, or 32) that can be transmitted at a time in parallel. Some IndustryPack modules require -12 V or 12 V for operation. Others require 5 V. Specifications for IP modules include transducer type, signal voltage, number of interrupts, wait states, converter accuracy, temperature range, humidity, and mean time before failure (MTBF). For devices that include an integral oscillator, factors to consider include oscillator frequency and amplitude.