The MESA 7I80DB is a low cost, general purpose, FPGA based programmable I/O card with 100 BaseT Ethernet host connection. The 7I80DB that uses standard parallel port pinouts and connectors for compatibilty 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 7I80DB replaces, each I/O bit has individually programmable direction and function. The 7I80DB has a simplified UDP host data transfer system that allows operation in real time if required and compability with standard networks for non-real time applications. Dual FPGA configuration EEPROMs allow simple recovery from programming mistakes. The 7I80DB provides 68 I/O bits (17 per connector). All I/O bits are 5V tolerant and have pullup resistors. A power source option allows the 7I80DB to supply 5V power to breakout boards if desired. This 5V power is protected by a PTC. 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. All motion control firmware is open source and easily modified to support new functions or different mixes of functions.
There are currently six 7I80DB compatible breakout cards available from Mesa, the 7I74 through 7I78 and 7I85. The 7I76 is a step/dir oriented breakout with 5 axis of buffered step/dir outputs, one spindle encoder input, one isolated 0-10V analog spindle speed plus isolated direction and enable outputs, one RS-422 expansion port, 32 isolated 5-32V inputs and 16 isolated 5-32V 300 mA outputs. The 7I77 is a analog servo interface with 6 encoder inputs, 6 analog +-10V outputs, one RS-422 expansion port, 32 isolated 5-32V inputs, and 16 isolated 5-32V 300 mA outputs. The7I80DB supports four breakout cards so for example a 20 Axis step/dir configuration or 24 axis analog servo configuration is possible with a single 7I80DB and four Mesa breakout cards.