Mecalc 860T Project

Mecalc 860T board

Mecalc 860T board for VxWorks development in 2000.

Mecalc with Wiggler

This work was done between January and March, 2000. There are no bound projects or circuit diagrams to post, as I did none of the design; only porting and BSP work. The learning curve would have been at least a month. The photo on the right was the board I was given with an evaluation copy of WindRiver’s VxWorks real-time kernel. The board was partially populated as I did not need the VME interface, which was also being debugged at the time by a Mecalc VHDL specialist. The $150 Wiggler debug pod was connected to a Mecalc adapter board to use a smaller connector.

The Mecalc PowerPC 860T board was an upgrade to their previous 68030 board, for use in their data acquisition racks. Motorola had loaned them a 860T ADS board which I used to migrate the new WindRiver kernel and the Ethernet driver. The driver needed a fair amount of instrumentation around it, as we were not given source code, however, after several calls to the Paris support office with per second billing, it came fairly close. We eventually found the parameter settings and got the 100 Mbps driver running.

The board was based on a well written Motorola application note and placed memory in standard address locations. The VME interface code was developed in-house, so there were no issues. The highly integrated device meant that little external to the processor needed debugging. The Ethernet PHY was a LXT970A from Level One (acquired by Intel in 1999). Status LEDs along the front of the card simplified porting the BSP. Some documentation to download code and test using the LEDs shown at the lower left hand side of the above photograph are available here (PDF 758 kBytes).

The original 860T board work followed a long line of development boards. To see what Mecalc does more than ten years later, visit their website at for some awesome technology.