PCI Express cards support legacy serial data links

Although some embedded standards now push communications data rates into the multi-gigahertz range, many industrial automation, retail, test systems, and defense applications still rely on RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 serial data links. To combine this technology with the latest PCI Express standards, ACCES I/O Products released six new isolated serial communications cards with speeds up to 3 Mbps. The PCIe-ICM card RS-232 port provides full modem control signals with data communication rates up to 921.6 kbps, while the RS-422 and RS-485 modes support speeds up to 3 Mbps. Existing serial peripherals can connect directly to onboard, industry-standard DB9M connectors. While the PCIe-ICM cards incorporate type 16C950 UARTS and use 128-byte transmit/receive FIFO buffers to decrease CPU loading and protect against lost data in multitasking systems, they are compatible with legacy serial peripherals. ACCES I/O Products provides a driver support package including a Windows terminal program for testing COM ports. The cards install as standard COM ports in all operating systems including DOS, Linux (including Mac OS X), and Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7. Prices range from $269 to $479, depending on options