Low Cost, Rugged 4-Port Opto-Isolated Serial PCIe MiniCard -- Ideal for add-on Serial Ports in Embedded Applications in Harsh Environments

Diamond Systems introduced a rugged, low cost 4-port multiprotocol opto-isolated serial port module in the popular PCIe MiniCard form factor measuring 30 x 51mm. The DS-MPE-SER4OPT offers 4 RS-232/RS-485 opto-isolated serial ports in a PCIe MiniCard form factor.

4-Port Optoisolated PCIe MiniCard Serial Module
4-Port Optoisolated PCIe MiniCard Serial Module

Diamond Systems, a leading global supplier of compact, rugged, embedded computing solutions for real-world applications in a broad range of markets, today introduced a rugged, low cost 4-port multiprotocol opto-isolated serial port module in the popular PCIe MiniCard form factor measuring 30 x 51mm.

The DS-MPE-SER4OPT offers 4 RS-232/RS-485 opto-isolated serial ports in a PCIe MiniCard form factor. Each port offers 16C550 compatibility and ultra-deep 256-byte TX/RX FIFOs. Maximum data rates are 1Mbps in RS-232 mode and 10Mbps in RS-485 mode. The board is available preconfigured for 4 RS-232 ports, 4 RS-485 ports, or a combination of 2 RS-232 and 2 RS-485 ports. I/O signals are provided on two miniature latching connectors, with 2 ports per connector.

Each pair of serial ports on the DS-MPE-SER4OPT offers up to 500V isolation from the system ground. Optoisolation increases reliability in applications with long cable runs, where a difference in ground potential can cause significant ground loop currents, damaging non-isolated boards and equipment. Isolation on this miniature board is achieved through a combination of highly integrated isolated power + data components, careful component placement and layout, and a safety-enhancing insulation film on the bottom side, which prevents accidental contact with components on the carrier board.

Extended temperature capability of -40°C to +85°C enables the board to operate in environments with extreme temperature swings, such as vehicles or outdoor installations. In addition, the board may be custom-configured with 0-ohm resistors in place of jumper blocks for increased ruggedness in high-vibration environments.

The DS-MPE-SER4OPT serial port PCIe MiniCard is the second member of a growing family of PCIe MiniCards from Diamond Systems, following the 4-port high speed RS-232/422/485 card introduced earlier in 2013. This new board provides safe, high speed serial connectivity in harsh environments where isolation is important.