Low-profile PCIe Watchdog Timer card protects against mission-critical system failures

November 2, 2017 Rich Nass

ACCES I/O Products has developed a dedicated watchdog timer card based on PCI Express (PCIe). Dubbed the PCIe-WDG-CSMA, the card can monitor the operation of either application code or an operating system. Or it can be configured to initiate a system reset in case of lockup. The board can also be used to monitor various system hardware parameters, such as voltage, humidity, temperature, and light.

Applications that can take advantage of the PCIe-WDG-CSMA include kiosks, industrial automation, military/mission-critical, asset management and tracking, retail, medical, embedded OEM, temperature measurement, and any others that require self-reliant, robust, reliable systems.

Supplementing the standard features expected from a watchdog timer, the PCIe-WDG-CSMA includes four general-purpose optically isolated digital inputs, two isolated FET outputs to control/switch external devices, two non-isolated digital inputs/outputs, and six dedicated A/D inputs which includes a security light sensor that can be used to detect if the darkened interior of an enclosure is opened.

Other features: watchdog open collector reset outputs; humidity and temperature measurement, monitor, and alarm; RGB LEDs to provides at-a-glance status visible at the card mounting bracket; and an on-board speaker allows for customized audible notification of detected events. Extended temperature operation (-40°C to +85°C) available.

The list of available accessories includes cables and screw terminal breakout adapter boards for quick and easy connectivity. Customization options include conformal coating, custom software/product-labeling, and more. Most popular operating systems are supported. Prices start at $195.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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