Advantech”s eAutomation Group released the PCI-1625U, an eight-port intelligent RS-232 universal PCI communication card. The card is designed for industrial applications where a PC needs to communicate with terminals, modems, or other instruments. Users can install up to four cards for a total of 32 ports in any PCI bus-based PC. The card is virtually a self-contained computer that has an onboard DSP processor that will take over the processing load from the host PC. The card has one MB of SRAM, which can store serial data and reduce host CPU loading effectively. When the PCI-1625U initializes, it will download the driver software into its onboard DSP. There’s a universal PCI connector that is compatible with both the 3.3 V PCI bus and the traditional five V PCI bus. Included is a utility program called ICOM Tools that will test the PCI card performance by analyzing the port status. The menu commands and toolbar buttons of ICOM Tools act as a PC-based data scope that lets users set a trigger condition, capture the communications data, and monitor the signal status.