A standardized multiplexing intermediate interface. It does not usually
connect directly to a processor or a peripheral, but provides a standardized
interface to which a number of peripheral interface adapters and a single
computer interface controller can be connected. The peripheral adapters may each
have different functions, e.g. digital to analog converter, level changers,
parallel to serial converter, and thus have different interfaces facing outward
from the CAMAC. Similarly the controller module connects to the CAMAC interface
but the outward-facing interface can be chosen to suit the available computer.
The name CAMAC was chosen to symbolize this characteristic of looking the same
from either direction.
The adapters are typically a single printed circuit card that plugs into the
internal 86-way connector. The outward-facing connections are usually mounted on
a panel attached to the circuit card or may be made via a second connector
mounted above the 86-way CAMAC connection. The interface is widely used for
connecting instruments and transducers to computers.
CAMAC was proposed as a standard by the UK Atomic Energy Authority and
further development and documentation was done by the European Standards of
Nuclear Electronics and the Nuclear Instrument Module Committee of USA. It has
also been adopted and documented as a standard by IEEE. The internal electrical
interface, the size of the cards, and the physical parameters of the casework
and connectors are defined by the standard.