Unique Architecture / Seamless Integration

At North Atlantic Industries (NAI), our Custom-On-Standard-Architecture™ (COSA®) designs provide an intelligent platform and operating system (OS) independent approach, making the application software (SW) both simple to write and portable. The hardware includes embedded firmware (FW) that interfaces directly to the SW Application Programming Interface (API). Together, the FW/SW offer seamless software application integration for the NAI COSA I/O and communication functions.

COSA Software / Hardware Foundation

COSA designs incorporate an innovative mix of on-board processors and FPGAs that perform “built-in” complex and time-critical tasks to implement motion control, process control, monitoring, data transfer requirements, and communication protocols, as well as extensive Background Built-in-Test (BIT). The architecture provides the ability for each I/O function to perform “pre-processing” of data, unburdening the host and leaving the SBC free to handle the processing of high-level system requirements.

API/Libraries (SSK-Software Support Kits) - supplied free of charge

With COSA, intelligent I/O functions have fixed memory maps that can be expanded as enhancements are added, without impacting existing code. All I/O memory-mapped function data is available on the system bus interfaces (i.e., VME, cPCI, PCIe) and Ethernet. Our Software Support Kits (SSKs) provide high-level APIs to read/write from/to the I/O functions, eliminating the need to write customized function driver software for the specific processor types (i.e., Intel®, NXP®, ARM®, etc.). Keeping up with technology insertion is seamless, as future processor upgrades require no new device drivers and will work with existing I/O cards.

Common operating system-specific SSKs are supplied with source code and board-specific library APIs to facilitate system integration— independent of the SBC used.  The SBC-specific Board Support Package (BSP) does not need to be updated when new or enhanced function support is added; the SSK libraries are independent of the BSP. The low-level API Register-Transfer-Level (RTL) library is written in ANSI-C for portability and used in multiple OS platforms such as Windows® NT/2000/XP/Vista/7, Wind River® VxWorks®/Linux, and other RTOS (LynxOS®). In addition to the source code, SSKs include HTML-formatted help documentation defining board-specific library functions and their respective parameter requirements.

The latest version of a board-specific SSK can be downloaded here. A Quick-Start Software Manual is also available for download where the SSK contents are detailed. For other operating system support, contact the factory.