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I purchased a stereo camera vision system that process the data using an FPGA which uses a PC-104+ interface (typically used by embedded applications) to connect to an embedded computer. I would like to connect it to a laptop. Does anyone know of a method to connect it? I believe through a PCI adapter that enables connection to laptop.

Thanks for your time

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    While specialized adapters may be possible, don't overlook the idea of putting it in the system for which it is intended and proxying results through a network interface. – Chris Stratton Feb 9 '15 at 23:26
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    It's sounds to me like your PC104 Camera Processing Board is connected to a CPU board (as typical with PC104 boards). If so, this CPU board has any number of interfaces on it to connect to another laptop (serial, USB, Ethernet, +). If not, another PC104 board should be able to get you're going. – kenny Feb 10 '15 at 0:23
  • @ChrisStratton Thanks for the advice but the problem is that this is a mobile application involving a moving robot platform (with the laptop on top of it) and thus the camera can only be on the robot using it (which doesn't have an embedded computer to accept the PCI card). – Amr Morssy Feb 11 '15 at 11:54
  • @kenny Thanks for the advice but the problem is that this is a mobile application involving a moving robot platform (with the laptop on top of it) and thus the camera can only be on the robot using it (which doesn't have an embedded computer to accept the PCI card). – Amr Morssy Feb 11 '15 at 11:55
  • How big do you think a pc-104+ computer is? I'd expect it to stack with your board and be smaller than the laptop, though using both (laptop does probably have better raw computes) would admittedly have a power/weight penalty. At the risk of handwaving you might be able to get some bridge from PCIe to legacy PCI to PC-104+, but that may not be your average laptop anymore. You could also look at reshuffling the FPGA code to backend through a USB bridge (CY7C68013A or more modern descendent), eSATA, or perhaps even Ethernet. – Chris Stratton Feb 11 '15 at 12:46
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Its unlikely to be possible, and if it is possible its not going to be cheap or easy.

PC104+ is essentially a PCI interface and the biggest problem you'll have is finding a laptop which exposes a PCI interface to the outside world.

If your laptop has a CardBus slot then you're off to a bit of a start, since this is another flavor of PCI (the CardBus controller is essentially a PCI bridge) so its theoretically possible that someone has made a CardBus to PC104+ bridge device - but the demand for such a thing would be so low that even if it does exist it would be astronomically expensive.

Another option would be if your laptop has a dedicated docking station (a 'real' docking station, not a USB port-expander), and if this docking station contains at least 1 PCI slot.
You could then plug a PCI-PC104+ adapter into the docking station and dock the laptop there.
Unfortunately these 'real' docking stations seem to have been becoming more and more scarce for a number of years already for a number of reasons so it unlikely that you're going to find this option either.

So although its possibly technically do-able I don't think its likely that its going to be economically or practically possible ... sorry ...

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  • @brhans I did some research and found something called PCI to express card adapter. I looked that up and found an express card to USB adapter will that work you think? I'm sorry this is not my field of study so I don't have knowledge on the topic. Please let me know thanks. – Amr Morssy Feb 11 '15 at 12:00
  • It's not out of the question that such a chain of hardware might work, but getting the software to cooperate may be quite challenging even if it is all open siurce code you can work on. In other words, get the adapter from somewhere with a stellar return policy. – Chris Stratton Feb 11 '15 at 12:52
  • If that adapter is what I think it is, then it adapts the wrong way as its intended to plug into a PC with PCI slots (which you don't have). As others have suggested, what you really should do is ditch the laptop and put a small embedded PC104+ PC on your robot. – brhans Feb 11 '15 at 13:17

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