The MESA 7I98 is a low cost, general purpose, FPGA based programmable I/O card intended for motion control appications and with a 100 BaseT Ethernet host connection. The 7I98 that uses standard parallel port pinouts and connectors for compatibility with most parallel port interfaced motion control / CNC breakout cards/ multi axis step motor drives, allowing a motion control performance boost while retaining a reliable real time Ethernet interface. Unlike the parallel port that the 7I98 replaces, each I/O bit has individually programmable direction and function.
The 7I98 has a simplified UDP host data transfer systems that allows operation in real time and compatibility with standard networks. The 7I98 provides 3 parallel port compatible I/O ports with a total of 51 I/O bits (17 per connector). All I/O bits are 5V tolerant and have selectable pull-up or pull-down resistors. A power source option allows the 7I98 to supply 5V power to breakout boards if desired. This 5V power is protected by per connector PTCs.
Firmware modules are provided for hardware step generation, quadrature encoder counting, PWM generation, digital I/O, Smart Serial remote I/O, BISS, SSI, SPI, UART interfaces and more. Configurations are available that are compatible with common breakout cards and multi axis step motor drives like the Gecko G540 and Leadshine MX3660. All motion control firmware is open source and easily modified to support new functions or different mixes of functions.
There are currently nine 7I98 compatible breakout cards available from Mesa, the 7I74 through 7I78 and 7I85, 7I85S, 7I88 and 7I89. The7I98 supports three breakout cards.