Perle Systems Application Note
Soridis, a systems engineering company specializing in the development and installation of transportation information systems, designed and implemented the SNCF InfoGare (InfoTrain) system. SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais) is France’s state-owned national railway providing various transportation services including railway, road and overseas transportation of goods and passengers. SNCF manages more than 800 million passengers and 135 million tons of freight annually and is responsible for more than 30,000 kilometres of track. It is headquartered in Paris, France.
Soridis along with SNCF, developed the InfoGare system to provide real-time information for travelers in France by means of video monitors set in station buildings and on station platforms. The goals of InfoGare are to:
The information is supplemented by messages such as “train approaching” or “train delayed,” according to the train’s actual position. All of the information is continuously updated to reflect changing traffic conditions.
The InfoGare Architecture
In each railway station Soridis installed a server running Solaris to control the video monitors. Each server houses two Perle UltraPort 4 port RS-232 serial cards to handle the communication with the video monitors. Due to the high electrical interference in the railway environment, Soridis developed a rack unit to provide balanced V.11 lines because of their high noise immunity characteristics. The Perle UltraPort serial cards are connected to these rack units near the server and the V.11 lines are run out to the monitors. This provides the reliable data transmission solution SNCF required.
Choosing Perle Ensured Minimal Impact on the Installed Architecture
During a migration to Solaris 8, the serial card supplier that Soridis was using before Perle Systems, announced that they would no longer update their drivers to support new operating systems. Soridis therefore had to source a new supplier.
Very quickly the company settled on Perle Systems UltraPort Serial Cards. The commitment from Perle in the continuity of its product lines was the deciding factor in this choice. The UltraPort product line is compatible with all major operating systems and bus types used in the market (Universal PCI and PCI Express). The selected model, with four RJ-45 ports on board, perfectly matched the desired initial configuration. Therefore with UltraPort from Perle Systems and any server chosen by Soridis, they are assured of having an operational card without needing to make modifications to equipment or cables.
“We want a supplier with products that could be easily integrated into our systems with minimal modifications and compatible with any server and operating system”, explains Jean-Michel Frémont, client support manager at Soridis. With Perle Systems the objective was met without worries.
Perle's extensive range of Serial Cards make it easy to add 1 to 512 serial ports to Linux, Unix and Windows servers. Extremely flexible solutions capable of supporting a variety of applications