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ARIA: a COM express SOM with more than 10year longevity for the railway market


At the turn of the first decade of the 2000s, all-in-one integrated CPU and FPGA solutions did not yet exist: this made the use of features with large quantities of necessary calculations very expensive, both in terms of effectiveness and time.

Specifically speaking, this customer project was oriented to improve the energy distribution system from the energy cable source to any part of the train reducing the loss as much as possible. In this context, having a system with FPGA + CPU is recommended because the response time can be higher than any other system so the efficiency can be increased of some base points with enormous savings in terms of electricity annual consumption.


The combination of the task-oriented FPGA part with the general-purpose CPU makes the finished product more efficient than before thanks to the fastness response of the control system. DAVE Embedded Systems, therefore, created an innovative System On Module capable of integrating these two components (CPU and FPGA): ARIA.

In this configuration, the CPU has a supervisory and intermediary role between the global system and the FPGA, which performs the necessary processing and distributes energy efficiently. In particular, the system allows managing the stored electric power, distributing it in a weighted way among the requesting elements of the train (e.g. brakes, engine, wagon illumination, ...), according to dynamically defined requirements from time to time.

DAVE Embedded Systems' KEY ROLE:

DAVE Embedded System, with its acknowledged passion and ability, had the foresight to create and supply a brand new product out of the ordinary, developing the hardware part of the final system available off-the-shelf.

For this project, DAVE Embedded System created ARIA, a nowadays standard System On Module whose CPU is based on NXP/Freescale MPC512x Power PC Architecture microprocessor, specifically designed to support fast high-computing capacity. 

Further information about ARIA module can be found at https://www.dave.eu/products/som/freescale/mpc512x_aria


The Company works in collaboration with the Railway industries and, at the time of the project (the lates 2000s), did not have the technologies integrated with CPU, essential for their needs. In particular, it deals with the creation of systems capable of distributing the accumulated energy between the various parts of a train: for this reason, it needed to find a partner capable of devising a non-existent hardware component instead.

The solution conceived by DAVE Embedded Systems allows a much smarter distribution, thanks to the speed and precision of the integrated all-in-one CPU and FPGA system.

The result is, therefore, suitable for managing the parts responsible for supervising the equipment.


This system can be better explained with the following application block diagram:

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