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A17 - Embedded Single Board Computer with PowerPC MPC8548

6U VME64

The A17 is a PowerPC based embedded computer for industrial automation. The VME 2eSST master SBC features an MPC8548 or MPC8543 processor and M-Module mezzanine slots.

Download data sheet

  • A17 Product ImageA17 6U MPC8548 VMEbus 2eSST CPU Board
  • A17 Product Image

Main Features

  • 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
A17 Product Image

Technical Data

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
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
  • Linux
  • VxWorks
  • QNX (on request; support of the FPU is currently not provided by QNX)
  • OS-9 (on request)
  • For more information on supported operating system versions and drivers see Software.


  • Several PowerQUICC III types with different clock frequencies
  • MPC8548 or MPC8548E
    • 1 GHz, 1.2 GHz, 1.33 GHz or 1.5 GHz
  • MPC8543 or MPC8543E
    • 800 MHz or 1 GHz
  • System RAM
    • 512 MB, 1 GB or 2 GB
    • With or without ECC
  • Flash Disk
    • 0 GB up to 4 GB (and more, if components are available)
  • FRAM
    • 0 KB or 128 KB
  • Ethernet
    • Two additional Gigabit Ethernet channels on VMEbus P0 rear connector for ANSI/VITA 31.1-2003 support (only with MPC8548)
    • Only two channels (at front) instead of four with MPC8543
  • PCI Express links: one x8 link
    • Reduces operation temperature range because of higher DDR SDRAM clock
  • The onboard FPGA offers the possibility to add customized I/O functionality.
  • FPGA Altera Cyclone II EP2C35
    • 33,216 logic elements
    • 483,840 total RAM bits
  • Connection
    • Total available pin count: 31 pins
    • Functions available via PMC slot 1 connector Pn4
  • You can find more information under 'FPGA Design'
Single 5V supply for operation in VME32 systems
Some of these options may only be available for large volumes.
Please ask our sales staff for more information.

Ordering Information

Systems & Card Cages

MEN delivers turn-key systems completely installed (hardware, operating system, accessories), wired and tested. Different rack sizes, power supplies and backplanes on request.
For details please contact your local sales representative.



General Linux BSP for A17, EM9, EM9A, EK9, F50C, F50P and XM50


MDIS5 System (and Device Driver) Package (MEN) for Linux. 
This software package includes most standard device drivers available from MEN.


MDIS5 low-level driver sources (MEN) for 16Z034_GPIO, 16Z037_GPIO and 16Z127_GPIO


VxWorks 6.4/6.5 BSP (MEN) for A17, EK9, EM9, EM9A, F50C, F50P and XM50


VxWorks 6.9 BSP (MEN) for A17, EK9, EM9, EM9A, F50C, F50P and XM50


MDIS5 low-level driver sources (MEN) for 16Z034_GPIO, 16Z037_GPIO and 16Z127_GPIO


MDIS5 System (and Device Driver) Package (MEN) for VxWorks. This software package includes most standard device drivers available from MEN.

MENMON is an MEN firmware/BIOS for PowerPC platforms.

MENMON (Firmware) (MEN) for A17 (object code)


Data Sheets
Errata & Technical Information
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