Buliding a PCI I/O Card

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Thread Starter

Adam Hunt

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Andrew Kohlsmith

Basically you need a chip to interface to the PCI Bridge. There are chips which give you lots of I/O on a single chip; all you'd be doing was
buffering/etc if you went that route.

There is also a chip (have to look it up now) which basically provides an ISA interface but plugs into a PCI slot. I have one of these (It was sold as a PCMCIA-PCI bridge) and would make your ISA designs fit seamlessly into a PCI slot. If you're interested I'll grab the part number for you.

Regards,
Andrew


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Rajesh Mehta

Hi Andrew!

I have an existing ISA card installed at a site. I need to replace the PC in which it is installed.

As you are aware, the PC's with ISA slots are almost obsolete at least not future protected.

Is there a converter card available off the shelf which will fit into the PCI slot of the new PC and provide ISA connection for the old card?

Thanks in advance
Rajesh Mehta
 
Hello,

PLX makes a PCI to local bus (ISA , Microprocessor, etc) chip that is pretty popular. One of the chips has an available PCI to ISA development kit that is a PCI board with an ISA connector at the top, complete with schematics and test code, etc. I have researched it in the past but never ended up buying it. The development kit is pretty cheap (under $500 I
think).

I am assuming that you have already looked at existing PCI data aquisition cards and need to do something custom?

~Ken

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Andrew Kohlsmith

> Is there a converter card available off the shelf which will fit into the
> PCI slot of the new PC and provide ISA connection for the old card?

There is a chip which connects to a PCI bus and provides an ISA bus interface for an old design. I will find the number and post it here today.
I don't know of any cards which have a PCI bus and a ISA bus socket but using this chip it shouldn't be difficult to make one.

Regards,
Andrew
 
Hello Rajesh,

There are a couple of problems wiht this that I know of, the biggest being if you are using third party software. Since PCI maps IO and memory at a non predictable way, you need to use PCI system calls to retrieve the starting address of the PCI board based on the vendor ID and device ID. This pretty much requires custom drivers of some sort. I think that you can buy a PCI board that has an ISA bridge chip on it (PLX makes such a board for development purposes), but again you have software issues.

My advice to you is to use a half size or a full size Single board computer that plugs into an ISA passive backplane. This architecture has been around for years, and is pretty popular in the industrial sector. I did just this when I upgraded a computer in a laser system we use here at my work. I simply bought a passive backplane and a SBC. It looks to software just like a regular PC. You add a little to the cost, but the serviceability is much better. I like to use the ADLink NuPro computers for price and reliability factors ... there is also Advantech and soem others that you can use.

ISA is a great architecture for slow and medium speed applications and I don't see it dying out in the industrial sector any time soon.

:eek:)

~Ken


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Rajesh Mehta

Thanks Ken,

I shall dig further and if I can get this going, it will be really great as I am in a bit of fix over this issue.

Thanks again,

Regards
Rajesh
 
P
I was wondering if you ever found a solution on how to hook up an ISA card to a PCI slot, I need a fix here at my work and would appreciate any information you could provide me.

Paul

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