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June 2017, Volume 19 – Number 6 •

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL

Avionics Designs Rely on Ethernet, 1553 and More





An RTC-Media Publication RTC MEDIA, LLC

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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL


COTS (kots), n. 1. Commercial off-the-shelf. Terminology popularized in 1994 within U.S. DoD by SECDEF Wm. Perry’s “Perry Memo” that changed military industry purchasing and design guidelines, making Mil-Specs acceptable only by waiver. COTS is generally defined for technology, goods and services as: a) using commercial business practices and specifications, b) not developed under government funding, c) offered for sale to the general market, d) still must meet the program ORD. 2. Commercial business practices include the accepted practice of customer-paid minor modification to standard COTS products to meet the customer’s unique requirements. —Ant. When applied to the procurement of electronics for he U.S. Military, COTS is a procurement philosophy and does not imply commercial, office environment or any other durability grade. E.g., rad-hard components designed and offered for sale to the general market are COTS if they were developed by the company and not under government funding.

June 2017 Volume 19 Number 6

FEATURED p.10 Multi-Function Trend Drives Ethernet, 1553 and More SPECIAL FEATURE Ethernet, 1553 and Other Interconnect Winners 10 16

Multi-Function Trend Drives Ethernet, 1553 and More


The Engineer Boss

Jeff Child

Case Study: SoCs and FPGAs Tackle Facial Tracking—Part 1


The Inside Track

Timothy Hunter, HCL Rochester, Denes Molner, IXI Technology


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

TECH RECON Jeff Child’s Top Power Supply Innovations 20

High Performance DC-DC Converter / Filter Combo Serves SWaP Needs Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Embedded Software for Safety Critical Systems 24

Ada Language: Trusted Tool for Safety Critical Systems Jose Ruiz, AdaCore

Coming in June See Page 45 On The Cover: A MV-22 Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 departs USS Bataan during Amphibious Squadron Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training at sea, Sept. 15 2016. PMINT familiarizes Marines and sailors with amphibious operations and to safely execute embarkation training in preparation for future pre-deployment exercises. (U.S. Marines photo by Lance Cpl. Hernan Vidana).

DATA SHEET PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup 30 31

PC/104 at 25 Years: Still Going Strong and Small Jeff Child

PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

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COTS Journal | June 2017



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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

The Engineer Boss


want to give a long overdue shout-out to the Engineer Boss. This is not any one individual—but rather a phenomenon in our embedded computing and electronics industry. Anyone whose worked in this industry is very familiar with the Engineer driven company. These are typically small companies—usually start-ups— whose founder and/or top management are an engineer. Over the years, I’ve grown to have a great affection for the Engineer Boss. He or she runs a company that emphasis the technical innovation of its products, and has a deep knowledge personally of the technology, engineering and design that goes into what they sell. Some—though not all—of such Engineer-driven companies tend to put less emphasis on marketing and communications. I’ll be honest, those companies can be a little frustrating for us on the media side. That’s because in the more extreme cases they don’t commit a lot of resources to producing press releases, web content and other marketing collateral that are useful to us technology editors. Some also don’t spend any marketing dollars on advertising. (Although some do. Thank you!). In the past couple decades, many of those small Engineer-led companies in the embedded board business—I could probably name more than 100 off the top of my head—were swallowed up in a continuous cycle of mergers and acquisitions. That process led to the formation of a handful of $100 million-plus sized corporations that now dominate our industry. Still, a healthy number of those smaller engineer-led vendors remain and thrive. Such small vendors are usually able to leverage niche-expertise or are simply more able and willing to supply smaller defense subcontracts that don’t make sense for larger vendors. Meanwhile, the over-$100 million companies out of necessity moved to a more corporate-style structure and have evolved beyond the Engineer-driven culture. Don’t get me wrong, those larger companies are doing incredibly interesting and exciting things, and their impact on the defense industry has been extremely positive. They are just off-topic for what I’m focusing on here. There are valid reasons why some Engineer Bosses have chosen not to put much emphasis in self-promoting and “getting the word out”. Particularly in the defense business, a successful company with unique, compelling technology can enjoy long term lucrative sales. They feel they know who their customers are, and their customers know them, so why reach outside those circles? And with the barriers of entry so high in military electronics, it’s difficult for competitors to swoop in and displace established suppliers. But when mar-


COTS Journal | June 2017

kets shift, there can be great opportunities missed if those outside your traditional customer base have never heard of you. Quite often these days I run across Engineer Boss led companies that are in the process of beginning a shift to do more “getting the word out”. I’ve come to realize that these are times when we as technology journalists need to double-down and give them all the help and support we can. Engineer Bosses and their companies invariably have a great story to tell about their expertise and technology. To be fair they have to be willing to put the effort in from their side. But even if it takes extra work to get information out of them or to tell their story, they deserve the effort. Shifting gears, this will be my last issue of COTS Journal as Editor-in-Chief. I am excited to be moving on to new challenges. I started at The RTC Group fifteen years ago, with the last twelve as Chief Editor of this publication. If you’ll forgive the contradiction, I am both proud and humbled by COTS Journal’s legacy. It’s many years of success were thanks to no one individual. When RTC Group CEO John Reardon along with Warren Andrews and Pete Yeatman launched COTS Journal in 1998, the launch was aided by the father of the COTS movement himself: former Secretary of Defense Dr. William Perry. My friendship with Pete, Warren and John pre-dates my joining the company, so I felt more than at home when I joined the team way back in 2002. I am grateful to them for many rewarding years of collaboration and fellowship. There’s more joy in celebrating successes and less pain in overcoming set-backs when you experience them with people you respect—and that was what I had with this team. My thanks also to my friend Chris Ciufo who preceded me as COTS Journal’s Editor-in-Chief during the years of publication’s most challenging “growing pains” and from whom I learned an enormous amount about the defense industry—leaving me ready to take his place in 2005. The idea of this publication and its success have never been about any one person. I hope that during my tenure I have carried on the mission of COTS Journal as the leading media source covering technology and products for designing embedded computers and electronics into military systems. To all of you readers and to the advertisers of COTS Journal: Thank you for engaging with us and supporting us over the years. Here’s wishing you all a fond farewell.

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INSIDE TRACK Elbit Systems Tapped to Develop Cockpit Display Units for F-35 Aircraft Elbit Systems of America has announced that it was awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to develop a cockpit display replacement for the F-35 aircraft (Figure 1). The development contract is for the Technology Refresh 3, Panoramic Cockpit Display Unit. The value of the award was not in a material amount. The award further expands Elbit Systems of America’s work on the F-35, which already includes power amplifiers, structures, and sustainment work. In addition, Elbit Systems of America, together with Rockwell Collins, also supplies the F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System, through their joint venture Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems (RCEVS). Elbit Systems of America and its parent company, Elbit Systems offers an array

of displays to enhance the pilot’s situation awareness and mission effectiveness. The company’s solutions include: Configurable slim design, lightweight displays in a variety of sizes with intuitive user interface and high-definition touch screens; Smart displays that provide extensive processing and interfacing capabilities, including embedded digital mapping; High-definition head-up displays; Full night vision goggle capabilities; and Virtual embedded training capabilities. Elbit Systems of America Fort Worth, TX (817) 234-6600

Raytheon GaN-based AESA Radar Breaks 1,000 Hour Milestone Raytheon has announced that its gallium nitride-powered Active Electronically Scanned Array proposed upgrade to the Patriot Air and Missile Defense has surpassed more than 1,000 hours of operation in just over a year (Figure 2). That is half the time of a typical testing program, according to the company. During the course of the 1,000 hours, Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA prototype radar routinely demonstrated 360-degree capability by working together with a second GaN-based AESA antenna that was pointed in a different direction. As targets flew out of one array’s field of view and into another, the two arrays seamlessly passed information back and forth, tracking the target continuously. The main array also detected and


COTS Journal | June 2017

Figure 1 The development contract is for the F-35’s Technology Refresh 3, Panoramic Cockpit Display Unit.

systems. A number of current and expected future Patriot Air and Missile Defense System partner nations in Europe and Asia have expressed interest in acquiring GaN-based AESA.

Figure 2 Raytheon’s re-engineered proposed Patriot radar prototype leverages two key technologies—active electronically scanned array and gallium nitride circuitry. tracked tactically maneuvering fighter jets and thousands of other aircraft. Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA radar will work with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System and other open architectures. It maintains compatibility with the current Patriot Engagement Control Station and full interoperability with NATO

Raytheon Waltham, MA (781) 522-3000 www.raytheoncom

DARPA Teams with BAE Systems to Improve UAS Adaptability Under two recently awarded contracts from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) worth a combined $5.4 million, BAE Systems is developing technology that will enable compact UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) to conduct multiple mission tasks with single, multifunction payloads that can adapt to

changing battlefield situations and mission needs in real time. DARPA’s program, called CONverged Collaborative Elements for RF Task Operations or CONCERTO, focuses on supporting communications, radar, and EW systems with a flexible RF architecture that uses shared common hardware, enabling multifunction systems that meet the low-SWaP requirements of compact UAS. The converged systems will be able to efficiently switch between intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; networking; and combat operations support missions without physical payload changes. BAE’s part of the project involves maximizing the RF capabilities of the hardware (bandwidth, frequency, distance, and field of view) to ensure that all missions can be accomplished from the same components. BAE Systems


INSIDE TRACK Mil Market Watch Are Mil/Aero Embedded Developers Practicing Safe Coding? Andrew Girson, CEO Barr Group Coding standards, static analysis, and code reviews are all well documented defect-reducing techniques and should be a part of any software development team’s arsenal of process steps. So, it was not only surprising—but alarming—to find out that over 40 percent of software engineers developing embedded devices for military and aerospace applications have no security requirements in their specifications. This is just one of several disconcerting findings coming out of Barr Group’s recently published 2017 Embedded Systems Safety & Security Survey. Over 1,700 qualified respondents took part in the survey and of those that noted that their product category was “Defense/Aerospace”, the following results were found in relation to their current development project (Figure 4):

Figure 3 HAMMR incorporates an AESA fighter radar mounted on a ground vehicle or towable trailer to provide continuous 360-degree protection against multiple ground and airborne targets. is also developing a flexible, virtual RF processing engine that can be reconfigured to quickly support diverse and simultaneous operating modes. As processing technologies become increasingly diverse, the company’s virtualization technology can provide adaptability and scalability to a variety of platforms. BAE Systems Nashua, NH (603) 885-3653

NGC Demos Army’s HAMMR Multi-Mission Radar Capability The U.S. Army selected Northrop’s Highly Adaptable Multi-Mission Radar (HAMMR) to demonstrate its multi-mission capability at the 2017 counterrocket, artillery and mortar (CRAM) test at Yuma Proving Ground earlier this year. HAMMR is a multi-mission sensor that provides the warfighter with situational awareness, counter-fire operations, air defense, early warning and airspace management capabilities.

During this test, the system successfully detected and identified Groups I and II UAVs, providing real-time situational awareness to the operator. HAMMR also validated its ability to connect to the Army’s Forward Area Air Defense command and control system. HAMMR incorporates an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fighter radar mounted on a ground vehicle or towable trailer to provide continuous 360-degree protection against multiple ground and airborne targets (Figure 3). The modular self-contained system includes on-board prime power and cooling, AESA and radar electronics, and operator/ maintainer display modules. These modules support multiple packaging concepts, making HAMMR easily adaptable to multiple vehicle types, fixed installations and C2 interfaces. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA (310) 553-6262

Figure 4: A high percentage of mil/aero developers are working on projects where critical safety process steps are not required. - 10% are not using any coding standard - 27% are performing no static analysis - 33% are doing no code reviews or only partial code reviews - 41% are working against specifications with no security requirements In an industry where safety and security are of utmost importance, it’s startling that such a high percentage of mil/aero developers are working on projects where these process steps are not required. Of course, quality and reliability begin at the system level, with good strategy, solid requirements, and strong specifications. It is quite disturbing that the survey results show a lack of emphasis on security for mil/ aero designs. While security is often a feature not considered central to the stated purpose of a generic embedded or IoT device, when it comes to the defense and aerospace industries, there should be no doubt that security needs to be strategic and tactical. Security must be considered by the architects devising the overall system and there must be requirements, specifications, and tests/verification as part of the actual development process so frontline coders know that their code will be measured against security metrics and act accordingly in their development practices. See online version for a link to the survey results ( https://barrgroup. com/Embedded-Systems/Surveys/2017-embedded-systems-safety-security-survey ) Barr Group, Germantown, MD (866) 65-EMBED.

COTS Journal | June 2017


SPECIAL FEATURE Ethernet, 1553 and Other Interconnect Winners


COTS Journal | June 2017


Multi-Function Trend Drives Ethernet, 1553 and More In this era of multifunction solutions and system level approaches, 1553 and other military/avionics interfaces now exist as part of solutions that take an integrated approach. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


ow with an incredible over 40 years under its belt, MIL-STD-1553’s longevity is remarkable. Popular as an avionics databus and for other military I/O purposes, 1553 enjoys a huge installed base. The 1553 bus continues to play a role in a wide variety of systems such as tanks, ships, missiles and satellites. The interface is particularly admired for its reliability. For more than three decades, 1553 has been a staple in flight and mission-critical systems aboard military aircraft. It’s even used on newer platforms such as the F-22 and F-35. The challenge today has become how to support the requirements of legacy interface schemes like 1553 while accommodating the performance needs of nextgeneration computing and electronic subsystems. I/O schemes such as 1553 and ARINC 429 are still considered good for pure control applications. That said, those interfaces aren’t in the same bandwidth range as today’s modern interconnects. Several multipurpose communications protocols provide options to suit emerging needs. The question becomes one of using bridging or some other technique to get the best out of legacy military I/O schemes like 1553, while at the same time leveraging

COTS Journal | June 2017



newer solutions, like using Ethernet as an I/O interconnect. Along that continuum, 10 Gbit Ethernet and Fibre Channel have jockeyed to satisfy these needs. Meanwhile, a pair of larger trends has altered the 1553 landscape somewhat. On the one hand, a number of rugged box-level solutions have emerged that include 1553 alongside several other interface technologies. On the other hand, 1553-only boards make less sense at today’s level of integration. As a result, there are many so-called multifunction board and mezzanine products that combine 1553 with other board or box-level I/O functionality.

Avionics Simulator Example An example of 1553 I/O being part of a larger system solution, is United Electronic Industries’ PowerDNA Cube. UEI’s PowerDNA Cube and its I/O interfaces were selected by ZedaSoft, a simulation and visualization software company, to provide the US Army’s Distributed Test Control Center (DTCC) with an AH-64D Apache simulator (Figure 1). Having last year won a contract from AI Signal Research Inc. (ASRI), ZedaSoft’s simulator integrated with UEI hardware and I/O was employed to support the US Army’s various aviation and communication system testing activities. ZedaSoft’s Reconfigurable Cockpit System (RCS) serves as the pilot’s station, while the Reconfigurable Desktop System (RDS) serves as the co-pilot/gunner station. ZedaSoft’s Experimenter Operator Station (EOS) controls system testing. The RCS was customized to an AH64D realistic configuration which includes a wide variety of robust electronics including touch-screen multi-function displays, MetaVR’s five channel image generator, Simulation and Control Technologies’ control loading system, Bihrle Applied Research high fidelity flight model and a 120 degree horizontal and 60 degree vertical out-thewindow visual display. The two PowerDNA (Distributed Networked Automation) Cubes installed act as the simulator linkage I/O and avionics interfaces including MILSTD-1553. The cube is a 4- x 4.1- x 4-inch compact, rugged, Ethernet based interface with flexibility that allows the user to configure one or more cubes to match the specific I/O requirements. 12

COTS Journal | June 2017

Figure 1 UEI’s PowerDNA Cube and its 1553 interfaces were tapped by ZedaSoft to provide the US Army’s Distributed Test Control Center (DTCC) with an AH-64D Apache simulator.

MIL-STD-1553 for Space For its part, many of Data Device Corp.’s (DDC) interesting 1553-related developments in the past 12 months have been part its space-qualified line of products. An example is DDC’s Total-Space ACE and TotalSpace RT chips. Total-Space ACE (shown) offers full 1553 BC, RT, MT, and RT/MT functionality to interface directly to a host processor, while the Total-Space RT is an RT-only terminal ideal for interfacing with systems without a host processor, such as an FPGA or simple logic. Both versions feature an extended -55 to +125 degrees C temperature range, and 300 Krads total dose and >85 MeV-cm²/mg SEE (Single Event Effects) radiation hardening required for the extreme environmental conditions encountered in mission critical space applications. The devices feature compact, singlepackage design that includes transceivers, transformers, protocol and memory, and provides highly efficient operation requiring only 3.3V power. This simplifies PC board layout, power supply design, and minimizes board area and power consumption and dissipation. According to DDC, the TotalSpace ACE and Total-Space RT are the first fully integrated space-grade MIL-STD-1553 terminal products. The Total-Space ACE integrates MIL-STD-1553 protocol, host

interface logic, memory, transceivers and transformers into a 1.63- x 1.13-. x 0.25-inch ceramic flatpack package. The co-fired ceramic package provides a very low thermal impedance between the transceivers and other chips and the bottom of the case. Integrating the transformers into the hybrid guarantees a match between the 1553 transceivers and transformers, as the transceivers are trimmed while paired with their respective transformers. These hybrids minimize PC board area, weight, and power while maximizing reliability (MTBF), all important parameters for the designers of space borne systems. In addition, DDC’s latest generation of 1553 hybrids are fully hardware and software compatible with the earlier SP’ACE and SP’ACE II hybrids. DDC has served the space industry for more than 3 decades as an approved supplier to NASA, ESA and JAXA.

1553 and Intelligent I/O Approach In keeping with its long-time strategy of an “Intelligent I/O” approach, North Atlantic Industries provides a wide variety of I/O function options on their board-level products. Its lasted example released in April was the 79G5, a single-slot, half-size, PCle board that can be configured with up to three intelligent I/O and communication


function modules. The 79G5 PCle multifunction I/O and communication board is well suited for a wide range of applications with high-density I/O requirements. This includes digital and analog I/O, position control and measurement/simulation and communication interface applications. The 79G5 has been designed for environments with operating temperature ranges of 0 to 70 degrees C. Background Built-in-Test (BIT) continually checks and reports on the health of each channel. The 79GF is built on NAI’s Custom-On-Standard-Architecture (COSA), which supports more than 40 different intelligent I/O, communication, measurement and simulation functions. These preexisting, fully-tested functions can be combined quickly and easily in an unlimited number of ways. Each I/O function has dedicated processing, unburdening the system processor from unnecessary data management overhead. Among those 40 I/O functions the communications related offerings include ARINC 429/575, CANBus, MIL-STD-1553B (Single/Dual/Quad Channel, Dual Redundant) and Serial communications.

1553 on PXI Express Now long established as a leading form factor for instrumentation and test, PXI Express is very popular among military and aerospace system developers and test engineers. A leading force in PXI Express National Instruments last year embarked on a collaboration with avionics interface expert Astronics Ballard Technology. The collaboration agreement between Astronics Ballard Technology of Astronics and National Instruments (NI) calls for NI to will market and sell Ballard PXI avionics products through its global sales channel, which includes sales teams in over 40 countries, 700 field engineers, and over 35,000 unique customer accounts. Another division of Astronics: Astronics Test Systems established the initial collaboration

Figure 2 Astronics Ballard Technology’s multi-protocol interface card features a modern instrument driver for NI LabVIEW and includes 2 channels of MIL-STD-1553 and 16 channels of ARINC 429.

COTS Journal | June 2017



with NI to provide an updated line of PXIbased test instruments. The Astronics Ballard Technology products NI now represents include the advanced OmniBus II avionics interface cards for use with PXI Express for MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, and multi-protocol (Figure 2). Ballard also developed a new modern instrument driver for use with NI LabVIEW

software and the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module. The driver provides an improved tool set for intuitive and efficient development of bus configurations and applications. Ballard worked with NI to create an expansive library of MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 examples that demonstrate the feature set of the Ballard interface to be used with PXI Express and reduce application de-

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COTS Journal | June 2017

velopment time.

Ethernet and Mixed-Protocol I/O In yet another example of merging Etherent and multiple avionics I/O flavors, AIM-USA has added Mixed Protocol Support to AIM’s Ethernet based interface family. The new product with Mixed Protocol support combines MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC429 data bus test and simulation capabilities in 1 ANET device (Figure 3). The ANET-MxAy Mixed Protocol ANET has a maximum of 2 dual redundant MILSTD-1553 streams and up to 12 ARINC429 channels. The MIL-STD-1553 section offers concurrent Bus Controller, Multiple RT Simulator (31) with a Mailbox and Chronological Monitor functions. All the ARINC429 channels are fully software programmable for Tx/Rx mode as well as Lo (12.5kBit/s) and Hi Speed (100kBit/s) operation. According to AIM, the company originally developed the mixed protocol ANET for a unique customer requirement, but because of its generic nature and full flexibility, the mixed protocol ANET is suitable for all test, simulation and monitoring applications. Taking full advantage of the already introduced ANET hardware and software concept with flexible on-board processing capabilities, the device can even be turned into a dedicated standalone autonomous data converter from ARINC429 to MILSTD-1553 or vice versa, into a data logger and many other applications. Standard ANET features like IRIG-B I/O, Discrete I/O, Trigger I/O and a general purpose USB2.0 port for hosting USB devices are available for the mixed protocol ANET with the Ethernet Interface supporting 10/100/1000 Ethernet links. An on board buffered Realtime Clock (RTC) is also available per default. The ANET-MxAy is offered with the standard AIM ANET housing as well as a ‘rugged’ housing variant. Since the API interface of the mixed protocol ANET is compatible to the API of the individual MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC429 ANET inter- faces as well as to the other AIM supported form factors, a very efficient migration path exists for the customer’s application soft- ware. The common and powerful ANET features such as the on-board Python scripting, customer written C Applications and optional Engine ( for


Figure 3 The ANET-MxAy Mixed Protocol ANET combines MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC429 data bus test and simulation capabilities in 1 ANET device. It has two dual redundant 1553 streams and up to 12 ARINC429 channels.

execution in the box) are also avail- able via the embedded LINUX based application support processor. AIM-USA Trevose, PA (267) 982-2600 Astronics Ballard Technology Everett, WA (425) 339-0281 BGG Chesapeake, VA (757) 366-9211 Data Bus Products Manhasset, NY (516) 365-3946 Data Device Corp. Bohemia, NY (631) 567-5600 North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100 United Electronic Industries Walpole, MA (508) 921-4600

COTS Journal | June 2017


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SPECIAL FEATURE Ethernet, 1553 and Other Interconnect Winners

Case Study: SoCs and FPGAs Tackle Facial Tracking—Part 1 A facial tracking system design example examines the issues and tradeoffs of using FPGA technology versus other alternatives in a power-constrained environment. Timothy Hunter, Principal Engineer, HCL Rochester Denes Molner, Engineering Director, IXI Technology


he world of military embedded computers is facing challenges on multiple fronts. Compute demands continue to increase as software application complexity increases. Energy consumption, time integrated power, targets continue to decrease. Data volumes are growing whether it be the capacity of local information storage or movement of data across local or remote networks. Finally, the number, type and performance of IO interfaces is growing.

System-Level Approach For military, aerospace and industrial OEM’s meeting all of these demands require


Figure 1 Major components of a facial tracking system.


COTS Journal | June 2017

a system level solution. It is not enough to simply design hardware or software as standalone entities. The solution provider must balance and optimize all these variables to meet specific product requirements. The surveillance and military UAV markets have a set of requirements that highlight the issue facing embedded computers. Remote sensing devices operating on battery power or devices operating on energy supplied by an engine with a limited fuel supply require careful power management to provide maximum operating time and maximum data processing. Let’s look at facial tracking which is a common function

Embedded Computer

within the general category of video processing and object recognition. A simplified facial tracking system consists of a camera, embedded computer with video frame storage and software to process and display the resulting images (Figure 1). Basic operation consists of capturing frames and temporarily storing those frames in the embedded computer’s memory. Various types of image processing operations are required to prepare the image for analysis. Typical image preprocessing operations include color conversion and filtering. Figure 2 depicts a typical Facial tracking system with an input image presented to the



Figure 2 Depicted here is a typical Facial tracking system. An input image presented to the camera captures a frame of data and transmits the video data to the embedded computer. camera which captures a frame of data and transmits the video data to the embedded computer. The embedded computer in turns preprocesses the data doing color conversion and filtering and passes the resulting image to the facial detection/tracking sys-

tem. If the facial tracking algorithm detects a face(s) it will identify the face by drawing a yellow box around each face in the picture. The resulting boxes are merged with the raw input image and the final image displayed on a local monitor.

Performance and Cost If we now explore the performance and cost attributes of implementing a facial tracking system we must first understand how the facial tracking system operates. The facial detection algorithm takes the

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COTS Journal | June 2017



preprocessed video frames and performs a variety of image processing steps. The facial detection using a process called Histogram of Oriented Gradients or HOG. HOG divides an image into cells and examines each cell looking for intensity gradients—areas where the image is transitioning from light to dark or vice versa. The larger the change from light-todark the “stronger” the gradient is. The algorithm further looks at a fixed number of orientations 0/45/90/135/180/225/270 and 315 degrees and calculates the gradient at each orientation. A histogram of the gradient “strength” and angle is then computed and compared to a data base for the object of interest. Figure 3 shows a picture and the associated HOG. Notice the distinct gradients around the eyes and nose. This algorithm is very amenable to facial recognition type algorithms. A closer examination of the HOG image processing pipeline is shown below in Figure 4a. It consists of creating a grayscale

image then calculating the gradients for the basic orientations. Once this is done each cell is given a score which is then normalized across blocks of image data. The final score is then compared to a template for faces and a determination of whether a face match occurs. Wherever a face match occurs an outline box is drawn around the region. One strategy would be to execute the entire pipeline in software running on a multi-core processor. All the data is stored in the embedded controller’s local memory. Depending on the frame rates and image sizes performing this simple function at 30 FPS require an i3 processor running at 3GHz.

Execution is FPGA or GPU? A different strategy is to examine the image processing functions and determine what operations might be better suited for execution in an FPGA or GPU or other targeted hardware. Since cameras often have proprietary high-speed video interfaces

either an FPGA or ASIC is required to capture the video data. In our example we assume an FPGA is used to connect and capture video data. The camera sensor capture, gradient image analysis and identifying the strong gradient can be pipelined directly in the FPGA without requiring any core CPU processing (Figure 4b). The binning and block normalization are better suited to a general-purpose CPU. Finally, the maximum score and template comparison can be accelerated using the FPGA again. This combination of FPGA and CPU enable the facial tracking to be performed on an Atom Baytrail class SoC at 30 FPS. The combination of a lower performance SoC together with a targeted FPGA provides equivalent performance at a cost savings of less than 50 percent. There 4 key parameters a system designer will need to optimize. These parameters might include but are not limited to: (1) A general purpose CPU benchmark such as CPUMark and normalized to

Figure 3 A picture and the associated HOG (Histogram of Oriented Gradients). Notice the distinct gradients around the eyes and nose.


COTS Journal | June 2017


Figure 4a and Figure 4b (a) A closer examination of the HOG image processing pipeline. (b) The camera sensor capture, gradient image analysis and identifying the strong gradient can be pipelined directly in the FPGA without requiring any core CPU processing

cost - CPUMarks/$; (2) Normalized cost; (3) Device TDP power and (4) Specific performance metric—in this case video Frames Per Second. This Part 1 article has explored the performance and cost benefits through optimal functional partitioning. Part 2—to be published in a later issue of COTS Journal—will examine the issues of energy consumption, data storage/movement, communications and I/O. IXI Technology Yorba Linda, CA (714) 221-5000

JEFF’S PICKS Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

High Performance DC-DC Converter / Filter Combo Serves SWaP Needs


ower supplies have a direct impact the cooling and mobility of defense platforms. Issues like the need to accommodate multi-voltage electronics, operate at wide temperature ranges and serve distributed system requirements all add up to some daunting design challenges. And for military system designs, reducing SWaP (size, weight and power) is a leading priority. Power supply vendors play their part in that trend by providing more efficient power conversion combined with ever more compact devices. To push the limits in power density, voltage range, wide temperature range and advanced filtering schemes, DC-DC and ADDC conversion products must juggle a lot of masters Designs that enable conversion technologies to be compliant to military standards are especially in demand. The need to meet noise and power related standards such as MIL-STD-461, MIL-STD-704 and MIL-STD-1275. For this month’s Editor’s Pick section COTS Journal evaluated several rugged display systems based on three aspects: technology leadership, design innovation and market relevance. The winning product is Vicor’s DCM VIA family of ruggedized modular DC-DC converters (Figure 1). Last month the company released two new MIL-COTS (M-Grade) versions, with 270V (160 – 420V input voltage range) DCM 3714 VIA family and nominal output voltages of 24V and 28V 20

COTS Journal | June 2017

Figure 1 Jeff’s Pick this month is Vicor’s DCM VIA family of MIL-COTS (M-Grade) DC-DC converters with 270V (160 – 420V) input voltage range, nominal output voltages of 24V and 28V with up to 500 Watts of output power.

with up to 500 Watts of output power.

Low-Profile Package The units feature a thermally adept, low profile (9.3 mm) VIA package, with wide input voltage range specifications and isolated, regulated high efficiency outputs. The DC-DC converter family, features enhanced functionality and performance, including EMI filtering, transient protection, inrush current limiting, as well as a secondaryreferenced control interface for trim, enable and remote-sensing. Complementing these high voltage MIL-COTS DCM VIA’s is a new MFM 270V filter module (MFM filter).

This extremely dense, low profile filter provides front-end transient protection and EMI filtering when used with any Vicor M-Grade 270V DCM 3714 VIA module. This combination enables military power systems engineers to rapidly meet conducted emissions and conducted susceptibility requirements per MIL-STD-461E/F and input transients per MIL-STD-704F. The MFM 270V filter module is housed in a 1714 VIA package (size: 1.76- x 1.40- x 0.36-inches / 44.6 x 35.5 x 9.3-mm), accepts an input voltage of 160 – 420 VDC and can deliver up to 640 Watts of power. With its high frequency zero voltage switching (ZVS) topology, the DCM converter is able to provide high efficiency across the input line range. Modular DCM converters and downstream DC-DC products support efficient power distribution, providing superior power system performance and connectivity from a variety of unregulated power sources to the point of load. The devices leverage the thermal and density benefits of Vicor’s ChiP packaging technology, the DCM module offers flexible thermal management options with very low top and bottom side thermal impedances. Vicor Andover, MA (978) 749-8359

...and the Runners Up Dual Output DC-DC Converters Feature Advanced Encapsulation The dual output VXR Series DC-DC converters from VPT are optimized for a broad range of programs from military ground vehicles to commercial and military aircraft, the VXR Series products feature wide input voltage ranges and advanced packaging technology for superior operation in harsh environments. The VXR Series now includes both single and dual output offerings from 7 Watts to 100 Watts as well as 2 to 20 Amp EMI filters (Figure 2). The VXR Series dual output DC-DC converters feature two independently controlled and isolated outputs which provide zero cross-regulation. Each output can be configured as positive, negative or stacked allowing for a broad range of output voltage configurations. The converters feature V-SHIELD, an integral epoxy encapsulation technology which incorporates EMI shielding and dual-sided thermal conduction. It is highly resistant to chemical, solvent and salt environments and is fully compatible with high-volume manufacturing processes including wave solder, cleaning solvents, high-pressure sprays and aqueous wash. An additional update to the VXR Series family of DC-DC converters is the capability of the single output converters to now meet the 100 Volt surge requirement of MIL-STD-1275 as well as DO-160. The 100 Volt surge operation is achieved without adding external components to the converters.

Figure 2 The VXR Series DC-DC converters include both single and dual output offerings from 7 Watts to 100 W as well as 2 to 20 Amp EMI filters. They feature two independently controlled and isolated outputs which provide zero cross-regulation.

VPT Blacksburg, VA (425) 353-3010

Rugged 3V 350W Power Supplies Provide Four Configurable Outputs Gaia Converter’s ultra wide input voltage range DC/DC converter—the High Rel MGDD-40 series, targets military and airborne applications. The voltage ranges are ideal for complying with MIL-STD-1275, 704 or DO-160 standards without additional front end protection device (Figure 1). The ranges are 9-60 V and 80V /1s and 4.5-33V and 45V /100ms. According to Gaia that performance is achieved thanks to Gaia’s proprietary switching techniques while also keeping efficiency over 90 percent. With two outputs ( for parallel, serial or symmetrical operation) of 3.3V, 5V, 12V, 15V and 24V, they can cover a wide variety of needs such as single 5 to 48V output, +/- 15V or 2x24V outputs for example. The MGDD-40 Series have a wide temperature range of -55 to +105 degrees C and are potted to fit rugged military and airborne environmental conditions. The MGDD-40 is packaged in a very low profile 0.33- and 1.5-x1.75-inch housing. The units are full featured and protected with zero to full load regulation, trim and on/off capability, adjustable UVLO, soft start, embedded EMI filter as well as over-current and over-temperature protection. They can also be synchronized and/or paralleled for added power or N+1 redundancy. Designed for rugged applications, the MGDDI-40 series do not use any optocoupler.

Figure 3 The High Rel MGDD-40 series are ultra wide input voltage range DC/DC converters with voltage ranges ideal for complying with MIL-STD-1275, 704 or DO-160 standards without additional front-end protection device.

Gaia Converter Morristown, NJ (973) 539.0568

COTS Journal | June 2017


Check Out These Power Supply Products Too… Behlman Electronics has added a highperformance interface to three of its P-Series AC Power Sources. Called Option U, this high-performance interface includes USB, Ethernet, and RS-232 Interface using SCPI protocol. It is available on its Models P1352, P2002, and PF1352. Behlman Electronics Hauppauge, NY (631) 435-0410

The FXW from Calex is a wide input range 1kW full brick DC/DC series with a 48V and 53Vout model. The latest members of the series offer an ultra-wide 9 to 36VDC input range. Operating temperature range of the FXW is -40 to +105 degrees C.

The M7878 Series from Milpower Source are miniature, high density, dual / single output, DC/DC converters with up to 6W of power. DC Input range is 16 to 36 VDC. All models meet or exceed (no damage) Spikes for 100V per MIL-STD-704A.

Calex Concord, CA (925) 687-4411

Milpower Source Belmont, NH (603)267-8865

VPX55H-3 is North Atlantic Industries’ high power 500 Watt DC/DC con-


verter that plugs directly into a standard 3U VPX chassis with a VITA 62 0.8 inch power supply slot. The unit supports all VITA standard I/O, signals, and features; and conforms to VITA 62. North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100


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COTS Journal | June 2017

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Embedded Software for Safety Critical Systems

Ada Language: Trusted Tool for Safety Critical Systems Meeting the stringent safety standards required in many defense systems is no easy task. Ada language smooths way with a focus on reliability, readability and early error detection. Jose Ruiz, Senior Software Engineer AdaCore


he military and avionics sectors develop complex embedded applications where software has become more and more important to their successful operation. As well as performance, time and budget pressures, these systems need to meet the highest levels of safety, ensure compliance with stringent standards, and be designed to function successfully in demanding conditions and over long periods of time. To meet these demands, a programming language needs high-level features that support sound software engineering, supply the necessary support to achieve the required performance, and provide safe lowlevel mechanisms to have access to the underlying hardware and OS services.

Figure 1 With contract programing requirements can be expressed in the form of postconditions.

Precise and Verifiable Ada was designed from the start to promote reliability and maintainability, with features that emphasize readability and early error detection. Many checks are performed by the compiler, for example to ensure that the uses of data objects are consistent with their types. Errors that are not detectable at compile time, such as divisions by zero, are caught at run time through compiler-generated checks. These checks can often be eliminated automatically through compiler optimizations, or, if the programmer has verified that they will not fail, manually through specific direc24

COTS Journal | June 2017

tives. An extra verification capability was added to the language a few years ago, in the form of contracts that give precise and verifiable semantics to software specifications. Contract-based programming is an increasingly important style of software development, especially in high-integrity systems where reliability, safety, and security are essential. It is amenable to static analysis and helps meet certification objectives such as the Formal Methods supplement to the DO-178C avionics software safety standard. Tools can prove that a subprogram’s postconditions are derivable from its precondi-

tions and the actual implementation, or find counterexamples otherwise. Contracts can also be used to verify that a program will not have run-time errors. A contract is given by a precondition, which the caller must respect to be entitled to the service provided by the callee, and a postcondition, which is the service the callee must provide to the caller. Ada includes specific features for contract-based programming: preconditions, postconditions, type invariants, and subtype predicates. A precondition is a logical expression that must be true when a subprogram is called,


Figure 2 The C-130J Super Hercules aircraft uses Ada to implement control software, and formal program verification tools have been used during maintenance.

and analogously a postcondition must be true when the subprogram returns. A type invariant is a postcondition that applies to every public subprogram for a type, and a subtype predicate is a logical expression that characterizes a subset of values for a type.

Verifying Contracts Contracts—which are in effect formal specifications of low-level requirements— can be verified dynamically or statically. For example, let us assume that we want to implement a routine to order a list of identifiers. The requirements for that subprogram would be that 1) the list of identifiers shall be ordered in increasing order, and 2) all elements in the initial set shall be present in the final array (we can neither ignore elements nor invent new elements.) Figure 1 shows how these requirements can be expressed in the form of postconditions. In the example, the first part in the postcondition is about ordering of the resulting list of identifiers. The quantified expression “for all …” checks the order of every element in the list. The second part of the postcondition ensures that every element in the initial list finds its way to the output (the “for some …” expression indicates that there

exists at least one element), and no new items are added. Note that these postconditions are expressed in the form of expected properties of the transformation (what to do), but they do not define the implementation (how to do it.) The example shows as well how to express expectations in the form of preconditions. In this case, the routine takes a list of identifiers as input, and precondition describes the property that the list is not expected to contain duplicates (all identifiers must be unique). Tools can be used to prove statically these contracts, in which case no additional test is needed to ensure compliance against the requirements. Contracts can also be dynamically verified through compiler-generated checks, that verify that these properties are respected during the testing campaign. The C-130J Super Hercules aircraft uses Ada to implement control software, and formal program verification tools have been used to prove critical properties (expressed as contracts) during maintenance (Figure 2). The SecureOne Guard cross domain guard for military tactical systems uses Ada and proof tools to formally demonstrate strict requirements for reliability and security. Exploiting High-Level Abstraction

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COTS Journal | June 2017



Figure 3 Depicted here is how to write two parallel tasks (each executing on its own processor), communicating and synchronizing using a protected object.

As shown in previous section, Ada is a high-level language, but that does not mean that you cannot control the low-level properties of your application. On the contrary, the language provides the necessary abstractions to deal with the underlying characteristics of the hardware and operating system. The complexity of both hardware and software quickly increases to cope with ever demanding applications, and the request for increasing processing power is no longer fulfilled by fastest processor speed. Concurrent and parallel programming paradigms are spreading as the answer to achieve the required performance. Embedded safety-critical real-time systems are also subject to this trend, but in this field the properties of reliability, predictability and analyzability are also paramount. Concurrent and parallel programming is intrinsically more difficult than sequential programming. Testing is complicated since there are many more possible control paths, and new sorts of errors can arise (such as race conditions, deadlock, and accessing a data object while it is being modified.) Providing the right level of abstraction is critical to isolate programmers from error-prone situations, such as forgetting to release a lock when finishing the update of a shared memory area. Ada has a concurrency model that is designed to help avoid these errors and to achieve compact and readable implementation that matches the desired design. Concurrent or parallel activities (tasks) can communicate with each other either directly (rendezvous) or through protected operations on protected objects. A 26

COTS Journal | June 2017

protected operation is performed with mutually exclusive access to a protected object, and the semantics help prevent race conditions. A predefined object locking policy can be implemented extremely efficiently because of the requirement that tasks not block while executing protected operations. Most languages (including C and C++) do not support concurrency directly and instead require the programmer to obtain the desired facilities through libraries, largely restraining portability. Other languages, like Java, provide a low-level concurrency mechanism that is rather error prone.

Deterministic Concurrency Model Reliable and very efficient execution on single and multi processors can be achieved using the Ravenscar tasking profile. This subset of Ada tasking features embodies a deterministic concurrency model inherently amenable to static analysis and implementable by a small, reliable, and extremely efficient run-time library. The profile has been defined to improve memory and execution time efficiency (removing high overhead or complex features), and to increase reliability and predictability (removing nondeterministic and non-analyzable features.) Parallel execution on multi processor architectures can follow multiple schemes in Ada, but the safety-critical Ravenscar profile uses a fully partitioned approach with tasks statically allocated to processors and no task migration among them. Figure 3 shows how to write two parallel tasks (each executing on its own processor), communicating and synchronizing

using a protected object. The Producer task is a cyclic task (with a period of 10 milliseconds), allocated statically to processor number 1, while the Consumer task executes on processor number 2, and gets automatically activated when the data is ready. Writing this architecture in C would result in code that is a few times bigger, requiring specific library calls to create threads, set their affinity, use locks and condition variables, get the time, and set alarms. In Ada, the run-time system takes care of these tricky details, ensuring portable semantics across different platforms. This deterministic tasking model allows for predictable execution. However, for situations where the timing behavior of the application code cannot be completely and accurately determined, Ada allows applications to monitor and control execution time on a task by task basis, with run-time detection of budget overruns. Therefore, applications can react to unexpected timing failures in a part of the application without affecting the behavior of the rest of activities. New evolutions of the Ada language are being discussed, and one of them is the addition of a fine-grained parallelism model (similar to Cilk or OpenMP), where the programmer would use special syntax to indicate where parallelism opportunities occur in the code, and the compiler and run-time system would be in charge of cooperating to provide the actual parallel execution, when possible.

Accessing the Bits Embedded systems often have to interface to the hardware and perform low-level programing such as mapping data structures to the hardware (the desired location, size, alignment, endianness, and layout of data in physical memory), handling interrupts, using specialized hardware instructions, and others. All of these capabilities are provided by Ada in a readable manner. The use of Ada high-level constructions facilitates development, code reviews and analysis, and Ada’s strong typing allows for compile-time verifications that help early detection of errors in the development process (many remaining errors are automatically detected at execution-time.) Military embedded applications are safety-critical, which is where a language designed for maximum safety really shines.


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8 Watts: MGDD-08 Series

• Ultra Wide input ranges - 4.5-33VIN Range (45V ≤ 100ms transient) - 9-60VIN Range (80V ≤ 1sec transient) • Dual isolated / unbalanced outputs for 3.3 ~ 50VOUT • DO-160 & MIL-STD-704 compliant • MTBF >1.2M Hrs @ 40°C per MIL-HDBK-217F

• High Power Density / Compact Size • No optocouplers for high reliability • MIL-STD-461 Compliant with Filter • Encapsulated with Metallic Enclosure

27.5mm / 1.083” 27.5mm / 1.083” 27.5mm / 1.083” V Trim V Trim Sync -VOUT 1 Sync -VOUT V1 Trim 19.3mm UVLO Set +VOUT 1 19.3mm UVLO Set 1 +VOUT -V 0.76” Sync -V IN -VOUT 2OUT 1 0.76” 19.3mm -VInput IN -V OUT 2 UVLO FilterSet +V +VOUT 2OUT 1 Filter 0.76” Input 2 2 +VOUT -V +VIN-VIN OUT +VIN Input Filter +VOUT 2 +VIN

Height: 8.0mm / 0.315” Tall 32.7mm / 1.287” 32.7mm / 1.287”

20 Watts: MGDD-21 Series

• Ultra Wide input ranges - 4.5-33VIN Range (45V ≤ 100ms transient) - 9-60VIN Range (80V ≤ 1sec transient) • Dual isolated & unbalanced outputs for 3.3 ~ 50VOUT • DO-160 & MIL-STD-704 compliant • MTBF >1,060kHrs @ 40°C per MIL-HDBK-217F

26.1mm 26.1mm 1.03” 1.03” 26.1mm 1.03”

32.7mm / 1.287” Sync Sync UVLO Set UVLOSync Set -VIN -VIN UVLO Set V Trim Input Filter V Trim Input-V Filter -VOUT 1 +VIN IN -VOUT V1 Trim +VIN Input Filter +VOUT 1 1 +VOUT -V +VIN -VOUT 2OUT 1 2 1 -VOUT+V +VOUT 2OUT 2 2 +VOUT -V OUT

Height: 8.0mm / 0.315” Tall +VOUT 2

150 Watts: MGDS-155 Series

• Ultra Wide input ranges - 9-45VIN Range (50V ≤ 100ms transient) - 16-80VIN Range (100V ≤ 100ms transient) - 150-480VIN Range • MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-704 & DO-160 Compliant • Single outputs from 3.3 ~ 28VOUT • MTBF >490kHrs @ 40°C per MIL-HDBK-217F

57.9mm / 2.28” 57.9mm / 2.28”

57.9mm / 2.28” 36.8mm 36.8mm 1.45” 1.45” 36.8mm 1.45”

-VIN -VIN Sync Sync-V IN Sync On/Off On/Off +VIN +VIN On/Off

-VOUT -VOUT Sense (-) Sense (-) -VOUT V Trim V Trim Sense (-) Sens (+) Sens (+)V Trim +VOUT +VSens OUT (+)


Height: 12.7mm / 0.50” Tall

Visit our website for detailed product specifications & application notes

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A46_CotsJrnl_2-25x9_875V8_A45.qxd 3/24/17 1:58


DC-3 Series DC-1 Series

HiQP Series

Figure 4 Shown here is the definition of an interface to a register (mapped at a given address in memory) that drives a communication bus.

If the hardware has a memory-mapped register, Ada helps defining a high-level representation for it that ensures that fields are used correctly. Figure 4 provides the definition of an interface to a register (mapped at a given address in memory) that drives a communication bus. The least-significant byte in the register contains the data to be read, the first bit in the following byte indicates when data is available, and the two subsequent bits indicate the kind of error. As it can be seen in the code, checking bits in the hardware is performed by reading a field of a record (Channel_A.Error) without any need for bit shifting or masking, as would be needed in C. The bit-manipulation code is transparently generated by the compiler. Additionally, the names used in the code are meaningful (Parity_Error) instead of a cryptic binary number. Obviously, there is no performance penalty, while the safety improvement is outstanding.

Many Advantages of Ada One of the challenges in software engineering is how to go from high-level specification, architecture and interfaces to their actual implementation. Ada addresses this issue by providing a high level of abstraction exposing concepts that are relevant for the specification and design. The specification using contracts defines accurately the required functionality, and it is verifiable by either formal proofs or testing. The Ada tasking model defines an easy-to-use abstraction that permits control over aspects such as priorities, processor affinities, communication, and synchronization. Hard-

ware/software interfaces can be defined in an elegant and maintainable manner because the compiler takes care of the tricky details. The biggest challenge of meeting stringent safety standards is simplified by the use of a programming language with a focus on reliability, readability, and early error detection. The use of Ada paves the way to different verification techniques ranging from proving the correctness of the implementation against a formally defined specification to absence of run-time errors, timing correctness, and data consistency. AdaCore New York, NY\ (212) 620-7300


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COTS Journal | June 2017


DATA SHEET PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

PC/104 at 25 Years: Still Going Strong and Small As technology upgrades gain in priority and reducing size, weight and power (SWaP) because critical, PC/104 remains perfectly positioned to satisfy the needs to space-constrained military systems.

Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


elebrating its 25th anniversary in February of this year, the highly successful PC/104 standard gets to claim credit for opening the door to the embedded stackable computing concept. It all started with the ISA bus and over the years has grown to include the latest innovations in desktop computing technologies with PCI and PCI Express. Today, PC/104 form factor and all of its follow-on variants continue to hold an established position in military embedded systems. PC/104—and its wider family of form factors—has a clear success story in leveraging many technologies from the PC infrastructure. Unmanned Ground Vehicles are exactly that kind of SWaP-constrained defense applications for which PC/104 and its variants are ideally suited. As shown in the roundup on the following pages are representative examples of PC/104, PC/104-Plus and PCI/104-Express board-level products. Plus, PCIe/104 and PCI/104-Express board products. There’s a mix of board designs upgraded to sport the latest processor and memory technologies. Also gaining ground are boards that include Mini PCIe sockets. MiniPCIe acts as a ling of small mezzanine function, and leverages the emerging ecosystem of Mini PCIe peripheral cards that have become available. Many of


COTS Journal | June 2017

Figure 1 Unmanned Ground Vehicles are exactly the kind of SWaP-constrained defense applications for which PC/104 and its variants are ideally suited.

these vendors offer both PC/104 and EPIC families of products. For the purposes of this product roundup, vendors were asked to include just one of their PC/104 or PC/104related products. Among the recent enhancements to PCIe/104 is a revision that provides an additional option called “OneBank”. The PCIe/104 OneBank utilizes a smaller, lowercost bus connector which is compatible to the full size PCIe/104 connector currently

in use today. It allows designers to stack boards using a complimentary format that frees up PCB real estate for additional components as well as potential cost savings. The OneBank connector concept consists of removing two of the three “banks” of the standard PCIe/104 connector, resulting in a 52-pin connector as opposed to the full-size 156-pin connector. The OneBank connector is positioned so that it will plug into the bank 1 of the standard PCIe/104 connector. Thus, the signals of the OneBank include the same four x1 PCI Express Links, Two USB 2.0, ATX power and control signals: +5V Standby, Power supply on, Power Good, Power: +3.3V, +5V (reduced current) as found on the first bank of the standard PCIe/104 bus making them plug in compatible. This preserves the stackability and compatibility of PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 modules along with the new OneBank modules. By removing two of the banks, 0.513 in2 of PCB real estate on each side is freed up. And with speed scales up to PCIe Gen 3 on the PCIe/104 bus, developers are given plenty of bandwidth for the future even with just four x1 PCIe links.


PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

PCIe/104 Solution Targets High Performance Imaging

PC/104 SBC Delivers 1 GHz Vortex86DX3 System-on-Chip

Atom-based PC/104-Plus SBC Boasts Low Power Operation

The ADLVIS-1660 Dual CXP-6 from ADL Embedded Solutions is a rugged, small form factor (SFF) CoaXPress solution intended for military and industrial applications. It’s a two-board PCIe/104 solution featuring a Quad Intel i7-4700EQ processor with a dual CXP-6 module using the x16 PCIe/104 bus resulting is a stunning 1,250 Mbyte/s effective camera bandwidth.

ADLINK Technology’s CM1-86DX3 is a PC/104 form factor SBC featuring the Vortex86DX3 SoC, running at 1.0 GHz and supporting 2 Gbytes soldered DDR3L. The board offers full ISA bus support according to the PC/104 2.6 specifications to extend the lifecycle of applications using ISA bus. It features one SATA port and one CFast socket. With built-in SEMA (Smart Embedded Management Agent) Cloud platform functionality, the card is readymade for IoT applications.

Advantech’s PCM-3365 is a PC/104-Plus SBC with an Intel Atom E3825/ E3845/ N2930 processor, supporting DDR3L SDRAM and soldered flash up to 64 Gbytes. PCM-3365 offers an extend temperature SKU with E3825/E3845 SoC. The Thermal Design Power (TDP) rating for the SoC is only 5.7 Watts for E3825 (the lowest), and 7.7 Watts for E3845 (the highest). The card is PC/104-Plus form factor which means it supports both ISA and PCI bus through PC/104 and PCI-104 connectors.

• Dual CoaXPress CXP-6 Ports • Quad Intel Core i7-4700EQ, 8 Gbytes of DDR3. • Rugged, Small Form Factor PCIe/104 Design (96mm x 115mm). • 1,250 Mbyte/s Camera Bandwidth. • PoCXP Safe Power: 17W from Regulated 24VDC Output Per Port. • Breakout 26-pin D-sub CXP System I/O with 12V Out. • -20 to +70 degrees C Operation; Optional -40 to +85 degrees C. • Suitable for MIL-STD 810, MIL-STD 461, MIL-STD 704, MIL-STD 1275. ADL Embedded Solutions San Diego, CA (858) 490-0597

• Ultra low power, DM&P Vortex86DX3 SoC. • Full ISA bus support.

• Intel Atom E3825/E3845 and Celeron N2930, DDR3L-1066/1333MHz SODIMM up to 8 Gbytes.

• 1x GbE, 1x Fast Ethernet.

• DirectX11, OpenGL3.2, OpenCL1.1, 3 independent display: VGA+LVDS/ HDMI+LVDS/ DVI+LVDS/ VGA+LVDS.

• SATA, CFast.

• Support PC/104-Plus expansion.

• VGA and 18/24-bit single channel TTL/TFT.

• Rich I/O: 1 Gbit Ethernet, 3 COM, SATA, 6 USB2.0, SMBus/I2C, GPIO, full-size Mini PCIe/full-size mSATA.

• 2 Gbytes of soldered DDR3L.

• Supports Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) functions. ADLINK Technology San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200.

• Supports SUSIAccess and Embedded Software APIs. Advantech Irvine, CA (800) 866-6008

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COTS Journal | June 2017



PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

PCI/104-Express Card Provides 20or 8-Port Gbit Ethernet Switch

Skylake U SBC Provides OneBank PCIe/104 and PCI-104 Expansion

PCI/104-Express SBC Marries 1.9 GHz Atom and 32 GB SSD

The Parvus SWI-22-10 from Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions is a rugged Gbit Ethernet switch card optimized for SWaP sensitive embedded military and civilian computer network systems applications. Featuring advanced Layer 2 networking features with from 8- to 20-ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps connectivity, an integrated management processor, low power consumption, and robust carrier Ethernet software features, the SWI-22-10 enables reliable LAN switching across -40 to +85 degrees C temperature ranges.

Venus from Diamond Systems is a rugged, SBC featuring the Intel Skylake 6th Generation processor in an extended 3.5-inch form factor. It incorporates a full suite of rugged features such as soldered memory, latching connectors, a thicker PCB, and true -40/+85 degrees C operating temperature, making it suitable for the most demanding vehicle applications.

The CML24BT from RTD Embedded Technologies is an advanced PC/104 single board computer with a PCI/104-Express stackable bus structure. This Intel Atom based CPU is exceptionally suited for intelligent systems requiring low power consumption in harsh thermal conditions. The surface-mount Type 2 PCI Express connectors enable users to stack multiple peripheral modules above and below the CPU.

• Rugged embedded Gigabit Ethernet switch. • 20 port and 8 port versions. • Layer 2 fully managed network switch with Layer 3 static routing capability. • Low-power, Energy Efficient Ethernet ( compliant. • IEEE-1588v2 Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) support. • Qual tested to MIL-STD-810 for 40 to +85 degrees C and high shock/vibration. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.

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COTS Journal | June 2017

• "Skylake U" i7-6600U 2.6 GHz / i5-6300U 2.4 GHz. • Up to 20 Gbytes: 4 Gbytes memory down + socket for 4/8/16 Gbyte DDR42133 SODIMM / RSODIMM. • 3 independent displays: HDMI, VGA, and LVDS, max resolution 4096x 2304. • 4x 2.0 USB; 4x 3.0 USB; 4x multiprotocol serial RS-232/422/485. • 3 SATA interfaces: SATA DOM; Standard SATA connector mSATA supported in one MiniCard socket. • TPM Module. • Board expansion option over OneBank PCIe/104 and PCI-104 connector. Diamond Systems Mountain View, CA. (650) 810-2500.

• PC/104 form factor, PCI/104-Express stackable bus structure, PCIe Type 2 expansion buses. • Intel Atom E3800 Series Processor; 1.33 GHz, 1.46 GHz, and 1.91 GHz options. • Single-Channel DDR3 SDRAM surfacemounted with ECC. • Surface-mounted industrial-grade SATA 32 Gbyte flash drive. • 4 x1 PCIe Links; 1 SATA Port; 4 Serial Ports (RS-232/422/485); 7 USB; Gbit Ethernet; DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI. • -40 to +85 degrees C standard operating temperature. RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA (814) 234-8087



Links to the full data sheets for each of these products are posted on the online version of this section.

PCIe/104 OneBank SBC Marries Xilinx Zynq SoC and FMC I/O

PC/104-Plus SBC Features Intel "Kaby Lake" Processor

PC/104 Vortex86DX3 SBC Serves up Dual Ethernet

The EMC²-Z7030 from Sundance Technology is a PCIe/104 OneBank SBC with a Xilinx Zynq SoC and a VITA57.1 FMC LPC I/O board. The main processing power of the EMC²-Z7030 is a Dual Core ARM9 and combined with traditional FPGA fabrics/gates + High-Speed I/O interfaces, like USB2.0, HDMI, 1 Gbit Ethernet and SATA and to provide a total solution for any embedded application.

The Liger from VersaLogic is a highperformance SBC which combines Intel's 7th gen Core "Kaby Lake" processor, with a traditional PC/104-Plus expansion interface. The board has a full complement of on-board I/O interfaces, including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, mini PCIe expansion socket, TPM chip, multiple serial interfaces, and 8-bits of digital I/O.

WinSystems’ PCM-C418 SBC is a PC/104 form factor featuring the latest generation DM&P Vortex86DX3 SOC processor. Its small size, low power, rugged design, and extended operational temperature range make it a fit for industrial IoT applications and embedded systems in the industrial control, transportation, Mil/COTS, and energy markets.

• PCIe/104 OneBank SBC with dual 1GHz ARM9 and 1 Gbyte DDR3. • Xilinx Zynq SoC FPGA for I/O interface and processing. • Integrated 1 Gbit Ethernet, combined with USB 2.0, SATA-2. • PCI Express Gen 2 compatible and integrate PCI Express switch. • Infinite number of EMC²-Z7030 can be stacked for large I/O solutions. • Expandable with any VITA57.1 FMC I/O Module. • PC/104 form-factor with cable-less break-out PCB connector. Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Chesham, UK +44 1494 793167

• Intel “Kaby Lake” Processor with up to 2.8 GHz clock rate, dual-core.

• DMP Vortex86DX3 Processor (Dual core).

• Fanless, no moving parts required for CPU cooling in most configurations.

• 2 Gbytes of DDR3-LV DRAM (Soldered).

• On-board TPM security chip can lock out unauthorized hardware and software access.

• Four USB 2.0 ports.

• 1 Mbyte of battery-backed SRAM. • Four serial ports (RS-232/422/485).

• Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 core.

• Two Ethernet ports.

• Dual Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) with remote boot support.

• 24 Bidirectional GPIO with event sense.

• Up to 16 Gbytes of DDR3L memory (one SO-DIMM).

• Analog VGA Display Output.

• 6 Gbit/s SATA port. Supports rotating or solid state SATA drives. • Mini PCIe Card Socket and MicroSD Socket.

• CompactFlash socket. • Fanless: -40 to +85 degrees C operation. WinSystems Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553.

Versalogic Tualatin, OR (503) 747-2261

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COTS Journal | June 2017



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Carrier Cards Marry I/O Flexibility and Reduced Cost Abaco Systems has introduced the innovative MMS8010 Micro Mezzanine System (MMS) rugged 3U VPX carrier card (shown) and MMS6245 XMC carrier card. They are designed to enable customers to achieve ultimate flexibility in configuring the broad range of mixed signal I/O typically required by today’s advanced embedded systems while minimizing chassis slot occupancy, and thus minimizing the size, weight and power (SWaP) of the deployed system. Abaco’s patented MMS system can deliver a broad range of serial protocols, digital I/O, audio and analog interfaces via an extensive choice of Electrical Conversion Modules (ECMs). Up to six ECMs can be mounted on the MMS8010 3U VPX carrier, while the MMS6245 XMC can host up to four ECMs. ECMs can also be mounted on PMCs, such as the MMS5918, giving significant flexibility in configuring the optimum solution for almost any system. The MMS8010 is a 3U VPX COTS solution that is readily

Star Communications, Inc.

signal processing receivers computing accelerators x 6.6” >65 Teraop/s 4.4 Small. Powerful. Affordable. Easy-to-use.

4.4 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches >65 Teraops/sec scalable 1-4 FPGAs installs in any PC or server made in the U.S.A. 34

COTS Journal | June 2017

deliverable, at lower cost and that will enhance the characteristics of the deployed system. The MMS6245 offers the same benefits in the XMC form factor and allows I/O to be brought very close to the CPU when combined with a single board computer. Abaco Systems Huntsville, AL (866) 652-2226

CompactPCI PlusIO Features Intel Core Mobile Processor EKF offers the PC5-LARGO, a rich featured CompactPCI PlusIO CPU board, equipped with an Intel Core mobile processor. The front panel is provided with two Gbit Ethernet jacks, two USB 3.0 receptacles, and two mDP connectors (DisplayPort 1.2 MST, 4k UHD). Low profile SSD mezzanine modules are available as on-board mass storage solution, preserving the 4HP front panel width. As an alternate, local expansion mezzanine boards (side cards) are available for additional front panel and/or rear I/O, resulting in an 8HP assembly. The PC5-LARGO can be equipped with up to 24 Gbytes of ECC RAM. 8 Gbytes of memory-down are provided for rugged applications, and another 16 Gbytes are available via the SODIMM socket. EKF Elektronik Hamm, Germany +49 (0)2381/6890-0


QorIQ T2080-based SBC Delivers DO-254 DAL A Certifiability Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has introduced a safety certifiable SBC, VPX3-152. It is a rugged 3U OpenVPX board that features NXP's QorIQ T2080 multicore SOC. The quad core AltiVec-equipped 64-bit Power Architecture SOC processor is supported by a wide range of proven and trusted operating system vendors, including Green Hills Software, Lynx Software Technologies, SYSGO, and Wind River. The 3U VPX VPX3-152 is designed from the ground up to be cost-effective and to support DO-254 DAL A safety certifiability for critical defense and aerospace avionics applications. The board’s compact 3U design is ideal for use in a wide range of C4ISR applications deployed in harsh environments, especially those that require safety certifiable DO-254 hardware and DO-178C software. The VPX3-152 provides system designers with additional onboard Ethernet support, including dual 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet interfaces and dual 1000BASE-KX ports (which can also be configured Modules – Software – Systems to operate a 10GBASE-KR). Designed to RTCA/DO-254 from the start, the VPX3-152 provides system designers with a complete COTS hardware/ software solution for their avionics systems. To speed and ease the safety certification process, an RTCA/DO254 data artifact package is available for the SBC. Software support for the VPX3-152 includes CurtissWright’s U-Boot, Green Hills Software MIL-STD-1553 INTEGRITY-178 tuMP, Wind River STANAG3910/EFEX VxWorks 653, and NXP SDK Linux.


Avionics Databus Solutions

Flexibility & Performance AIM Avionics Test Solutions

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800

AIM Contacts:


AIM USA LLC - Trevose, PA


AIM GmbH - Freiburg

Fibre Channel ARINC825

AIM UK Office - High Wycombe


AIM GmbH - Munich Sales Office


COTS Journal | June 2017



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Fully Rugged Tablet Simplifies One-Handed Operation Getac’s new Getac ZX70 is a 7-inch fully rugged Android tablet designed for comfortable one-handed use in remote and challenging environments. Rugged to the core, its IP67 and MILSTD 810G certification with best-in-class battery life allow it to go wherever you need it to. The ZX70 features a 7-inch inch IPS, sunlight-readable, touchscreen display. Its 580 NIT ultra-bright screen, another best-in-class feature, enhances readability to further improve productivity and efficiency even in the toughest work environments. Full-shift battery life is essential for field technicians working in environments well beyond the nearest power outlet. The ZX70 provides the best battery runtime performance in its class, delivering ample power to move freely and be productive anywhere. The ZX70 is a purpose-built tool with a host of configurable options to fit the way field techs work, including dedicated GPS + 4G LTE cellular data, WiFi, 1D/2D barcode reader and NFC/RFID. The tablet includes 2 Gbytes of on-board storage expandable to 4 Gbytes, and a micro SD card slot permits expansive storage and backup options. The ZX70 is MIL-STD

Hybrid Power and Signal Connectors Boast High Reliability Positronic offers the Eclipse connector family. The company’s power connectors are widely known to offer a high degree of linear current density. That is achieved by selecting copper alloys low in resistance, by the precision machining process and by the female contact geometry that provides excellent normal force against the male contact. In some applications, machining the signal contacts results in unnecessary cost escalation without the added value to the application. Eclipse connectors provide machined power contacts combined with formed signal contacts and 250 mating cycles minimum. The Eclipse family is ideal for use in power supplies, server equipment and related applications. Positronic Springfield, MO (417) 866-2322


COTS Journal | June 2017

810G-certified for drops up to six feet, IP67-certified for liquid submersion to 1 meter for 30 minutes and endurance under extreme temperatures from -6 to 140 degrees F (operating temperature) and -40 to 160 degrees F (storage temperature) all make the ZX70 an ideal tablet for mobile field users. Getac USA Irvine, CA (949) 681-2900

Pure Sinewave DC to AC Inverter Meets SWaP Needs Nova Electric (division of Technology Dynamics) has announced the release of one of the industry's smallest Pure Sinewave DC to AC Inverters. This COTS model NGL1.2K Inverter is rated at 1200VA and designed for high performance in compact applications suitable for deployment in military applications including airborne, shipboard and ground vehicles. This military grade inverter delivers high power capability and high efficiency in a low-profile easy to mount layout. The Nova NGL series, including this NGL1.2K inverter, accepts inputs of 24VDC, 36VDC, 48VDC, 72VDC, 125VDC and 270VDC. The outputs offered can be 115V or 230V, 50Hz, 60Hz, or 400Hz. The inverter can drive computers, radios, modems and all type of electronic loads. Nova Electric Bergenfield, NJ (201) 385-0500


PXI Express I/O Modules Support a Variety of Configurations

Data Recorders Software Touts New Features/ Enhancements Pentek has introduced new features and enhancements to its Talon SystemFlow software that improve the ease-of-use and recording capabilities of the entire line of Talon Recording Systems. SystemFlow is the software interface that is integrated into every Talon recorder. The software includes the graphical user interface (GUI) that is used to control the recorder with point-and-click configuration management, a client/server communication interface, NTFS file system support and an API for custom user applications and control. Among the new features are Auto File Naming, One-Click Profiles, Segmented Recording, a Data Extraction Utility, GPS Position Tracking and an enhanced Signal Viewer. Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ (201) 818-5900

Rugged M-Module Provides Eight Relay Outputs MEN Micro has released an M-Module developed according to the ANSI M-Module Mezzanine standard and extends a carrier board with eight relay outputs, which can be read out via a read-modify-write access. The M-Module M43N supports eight relay outputs with free potential switching of the signals. The status of each relay can be read out via the readmodify-write access. The implemented relays guarantee maximum reliability and long service life. All components of the M43N are firmly soldered to shock and vibration and are approved for a temperature range of -40 to +85 degrees C. MEN Micro Ambler, PA (215) 542-9575

AMETEK VTI Instruments has introduced its EMX75XX Series of PXI Express (PXIe) Digital Input/Output (I/O) Modules. The EMX-75XX Series is a family of highperformance PXIe modules that support multiple I/O configurations and logic levels. Dedicated input or output modules are available for fixed high-channel-count applications. Other units provide ultimate flexibility with eight 8-bit ports (64 channels) that can be configured as either input or output under programmatic control. Modules are available with internal pull-up resistors that greatly simplify external cabling. Utilizing built-in clamping diodes, the EMX-7510 has the ability to sink up to 300 mA, making it ideal for driving and sensing external devices such as relays. Multiple logic levels are supported including TTL and LV TTL. Internally supplied voltage levels of 3.3 V, 5 V, 12 V and 24 V as well as user-defined voltage levels from 2 V to 60 V are also supported. In addition, 1000 V optical isolation is available for protection against damaging transient voltage levels. The real-time embedded virtual soft front panel simplifies setup and software debug operations by providing visual indication of input/output states without the use of external software. VTI Instruments Irvine, CA (949) 955-1894

COTS Journal | June 2017



AC Power Supplies Feature Flexible Interface Options Behlman Electronics has introduced a high-performance interface to three of its P-Series AC Power Sources. Called Option U, this high-performance interface includes USB, Ethernet, and RS-232 Interface using SCPI protocol. This option enables faster communication speed, programming the power supply remotely from greater distances, and compatibility with newer computers. Behlman’s Option U high-performance interface is available on their Models P1352, P2002, and PF1352. The PF1352 is power factor corrected, and carries the CE Mark essential for users in member states of the EU and EFTA, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, plus Turkey. Model PF1352 is perhaps the most versatile in Behlman’s line of P-Series AC Power Sources. It provides PFC input, fully adjustable voltage and frequency, low-output THD, unique overload protection, high-efficiency, excellent line and load regulation. Remote programming via standard RS232, and now, with Option U, remote programming via RS232/USB/Ethernet or, using Option 1 IEEEE-488. Its CE Mark is evidence of its worldwide capabilities. Like all units in Behlman’s P-Series, it can be used on a table top, or mounted in a 19-inch rack. Behlman Electronics Hauppauge, NY (631) 435-0410

1 TFLOP of video and signal processing p in a rugged SWaP SFF, using only 17 W




Combines CPU and GPGPU on a single 3U VPX board

First fanless SFF rugged GPGPU supercomputer at only 20 in3 and 2.2 lb!

Rugged GPGPU is Aitech. A176 Cyclone Technical

Aitech Defense Systems’We fanless, rugged supercomputer measures provide theGPGPU innovation you need to stay ahead…and with only 20 cubic inches, while providing 1 TFLOP of parallel processing. The self™ + our unique COTS Lifecycle Program that supports you for contained, military grade A176 Cyclone redefines SFF power density by delivering a minimum 12 years, we’ll be right there with you. Visit our 60 GFLOPs/W in a compact, low powerofHPEC. Using the revolutionarywebsite NVIDIA Maxwell or call architecture us today. for the GPU subsystem, the A176 integrates 256 CUDA cores with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The Quad-core ARM Cortex A57 CPU provides an operating frequency to 1.9 GHz per core, with (A196) * Extended temp cold-plate HPEC version also available an overall maximum power consumption of only 17 W (8-10 W typical).

A176 Cyclone Technical Features

• Measures only 20 cubic inches using 17 W max (8-10 typ) • Fanless, rugged GPGPU with 256 CUDA cores (NVIDIA 1 TFLOPs Maxwell) • High performance, low power SFF supercomputer (ARM Cortex Quad-core A57) • Memory: 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM • Video: encode 4K 60 Hz; decode 4K 30 Hz • Storage: 16 GB of eMMC and SATA SSD with quick erase/secure erase

Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. Phone: (888) 248-3248 Web:


COTS Journal | June 2017


RediBuiIt TM fully integra GPGPU, CPU, frame


6U cPCI Processor Blade Serves up 6th Gen Core i7 Processor ADLINK Technology has introduced the cPCI-6630 6U, a CompactPCI blade with the 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor in a 6U form factor on the embedded market. The board also features support for legacy IO, including VGA, PMC, CompactFlash, USB 2.0 and PS/2 keyboard/mouse; and support for QNX 6.5/6.6 and Linux legacy OSes for easy integration. The cPCI-6630 is ideal for factory and industrial automation or security communication systems that need cost-efficient performance. The cPCI-6630 integrates the quadcore 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-6820EQ processor and Mobile Intel HM170 chipset, with up to 32 Gbytes of dualchannel DDR4 SO-DIMM 2133 non-ECC memory. The cPCI-6630 supports a 64-bit/66MHz CompactPCI bus with universal VIO and host/satellite modes which allows operation in system slots and as well as in the peripheral slots without connection to the PCI bus. Storage options include space for an onboard 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gbit/s drive, CFast slot with (or optional CompactFlash), and one onboard SATA 7-pin header. Up to three SATA 3Gb/s ports routed to rear round out the ample storage options. With Intel Virtualization Technology for Direct I/O, the cPCI-6630 offers the latest support for device virtualization with improved security and reliability and better I/O performance. The cPCI-6630 supports up to three Gigabit Ethernet port on If you are ready for a more robust handle/panel solution, the front panel with the option to come to Pixus! Our OpenVPX handles feature a metal reroute Ethernet signals for PICMG 2.16 engagement claw and rugged design that ensures the compatibility. highest reliability. Ask about our new rugged horizontal ADLINK Technology extruded rails with thicker material for OpenVPX and high San Jose, CA. insertion force systems today! (408) 360-0200.

Are Your OpenVPX Handles Breaking?

Superior Rugged Metal Claw

COTS Journal | June 2017



3U Transceiver is Optimized for Congested RF Environments Mercury Systems has announced the Ensemble DCM-KU-4R2G-2T3G ultra-lowlatency transceiver developed to meet the demanding requirements of advanced electronic warfare (EW) applications and to provide high-speed signal processing capability suited to ultra-wideband communications and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications. Designed in accordance with OpenVPX standards, the new transceiver is optimized for low probability of interception (LPOI) radio frequency (RF) signal detection in heavily contested electromagnetic environments. Ideal for digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) applications, Dawn’s PSC-6238 VITA the product seamlessly couples coherent 62 compliant 3U VPX Power multi-channel, multi-board functionality with best-of-breed spectral purity in a 3U Supply for conduction form factor ruggedized for harsh military cooled systems is designed environments. to operate in a military The transceiver supports flexible environment over a wide configuration of analog to digital range of temperatures converter (ADC) circuitry for processing at high power levels. Up to of incoming RF signals of interest. The default configuration provides four ADC 800 Watts available power. channels with digitization rates up to 2.0 Gsamples/s. A channel interleaving Onboard embedded RuSH™ option allows two ADC channels with technology. Switchable Battleshort enhanced digitization rates up to 4.0 and NED functions. GSPS per channel in dual-edges sampling (DES) mode. Digitized signals are processed with a powerful Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale KU115 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) with 4GB of external DDR4 memory. Dawn is the leader in VITA 62 To facilitate application development, compliant power supplies for the Mercury’s EchoCore firmware for FPGA mission critical market. Wide range of programming greatly reduces the time standard features, highly configurable required for mission-specific solution through custom firmware. development. Two low-latency digital to analog converters (DAC), each with sampling rates up to 3.0 GSPS, are available with user-selectable output Rugged, Reliable and You need it right. modes. All product configurations are Ready. You want Dawn. available in air- or conduction-cooled configurations.

Dawn Powers VPX

Mercury Systems Andover, MA (978) 967-1401


COTS Journal | June 2017

(510) 657-4444


Clamshell Production Test BGA Socket Supports Extreme Temps Ironwood Electronics has introduced a Stamped spring pin socket addressing high performance requirements for testing BGA1164 - CBT-BGA-7042. The contactor is a stamped spring pin with 31-gram actuation force per ball and cycle life of 125,000 insertions. The self-inductance of the contactor is 0.88 nH, insertion loss less than 1 dB at 15.7 GHz and capacitance 0.097pF. The current capacity of each contactor is 4 amps at 40C temperature rise. Socket temperature range is -55 to +180 degrees C. Socket features a lever actuated clamshell lid 1500 MPH. design for ease of chip replacement in production environment. It also has an 8.7 Gs. integrated compression plate for vertical force actuation without distorting device Zero Margin of Error. position. The specific configuration of the package to be tested in the CBTBGA-7042 is a BGA, 25x25mm, 0.65mm pitch 36x36 array with 1164 balls. The socket is mounted using supplied hardware on the target PCB with no soldering, and uses the smallest footprint in the industry. The smallest footprint allows inductors, resistors and decoupling capacitors to be placed very close to the device for impedance tuning. To use, place BGA device into the socket and close the lid by snapping to the latch. Vertical force is applied by turning the lever from open to close position. Socket features a heat sink with fan for 10 W power dissipation and it can be customized for higher power dissipation by upgrading to higher flow fan or larger heat sink. This socket can be used for quick device screening, device characterization at extreme When you’re hurtling headlong past sonic breach, you can’t afford a systems temperatures as well as final production failure. At Positronic, we build high reliability power and signal connectors. test. Pricing for the CBT-BGA-7042 is But our true call is to provide certainty. Rock solid, mission-critical performance upon which you can bank life and limb, family, fortune, $1945 at quantity 1 with reduced Ironwood Electronics Eagan, MN (800) 404-0204

freedom. We consider it an honor. We consider it an inviolable trust.


COTS Journal | June 2017



Rugged Xeon D COM Express (Type 7) Card Boasts Dual 10 Gbit Ethernet Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) has introduced an enhanced COM Express Basic (Type 7) mezzanine module, the XPedite7650, based on the Intel Xeon D-1500 family of processors ( formerly Broadwell-DE) and featuring dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The XPedite7650 is an Intel Xeon D processor-based mezzanine module designed to the COM Express Basic form factor (95 mm x 125 mm), and the first X-ES product to be designed in accordance with the COM Express (Type 7) standard. The new Type 7 standard deviates from the established Type 6 pinout, which focuses on audio and visual capabilities, by eliminating graphics support to allow for the inclusion of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, an NC-SI interface, and an additional eight (total of 32) PCI Express lanes. Feature Rich Mezzanine Module for Modern, Low-Power Applications In short, with the introduction of the all-new Type 7 standard, the COM Express Basic form factor has been

extended to include support for low-power applications that require dataintensive processing capabilities and network throughput, making the Type 7 pinout ideal for small, server-grade applications. XPedite7650 comes standard with an Intel Xeon D processor offering up to 16 cores and native, extended temperature support (up to 12 core count SKUs) to provide customers with a powerful, energy-efficient system-on-chip (SoC) package. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155

Development Chassis Platform Boards Removable Sidewalls Pixus Technologies now offers a development enclosure for 3U, 6U, or custom sized boards with sidewalls that can be removed. This feature allows a system to be enclosed for thermal testing and the walls to be taken out for ease of access to boards inside the chassis. The VPXD1000R holds up to eight backplane slots at a 1.0-inch pitch. Pixus offers 3U and 6U backplanes in OpenVPX, cPCI Serial, VME64x, and legacy cPCI and VME designs. The card guides can be adjusted in .2-inch increments to accept various slot pitches. Pixus offers removable conduction-cooled card guides allowing IEEE 1101.2 conduction-cooled modules to be tested next to other air-cooled cards inside the same enclosure. The Pixus development enclosure has removable sidewalls for both front pluggable cards and the optional Rear Transition Module (RTM) section. The unit has standard 600W or 1200W modular power supplies for a wide range of voltages and amperage levels commonly used in OpenVPX and other architectures. Customized versions or VITA 62 PSUs are also available. Pixus offers power interface boards per PICMG 2.11 and VITA 62 to accept various pluggable power supplies. The VPXD1000R also features an adjustable fan speed dial. Pixus Technologies Waterloo, Ontario Canada (519) 885-5775


COTS Journal | June 2017

80-A Full Bridge Rectifier Meets SWaP Requirements Solid State Devices (SSDI) offers the SDR626CT/CA series of 80A dual hyperfast centertap rectifiers, which consist of both a common anode and a common cathode configuration in one hermetic package. A single SDR626CT/CA device can deliver the same performance as two TO-259 devices with the added benefits of reduced weight, smaller footprint, and decreased quantity of components needed. The isolated 6 Pin TO-259 package weighs only 7.5 g and is identical to the standard TO-259 package, besides the additional 3 leads. This device can easily be implemented as a powerful, hermetic full bridge rectifier. SSDI La Mirada, CA (562) 404-4474


Compact Vertical Gyro Modules Delivers High Accuracy MEMSIC has announced the addition of the VG380 to its portfolio of inertial modules. These new vertical gyros provide highly accurate pitch and roll (with respect to gravity), in both static and dynamic conditions. The static and dynamic accuracy is specified at +/-0.2 and +/-1.0 degrees (respectively) over the -40 to +85 degrees C temperature range. The VG380 is offered in two package/interface options, VG380SA and VG380ZA. The VG380SA is a 41x48x22mm module designed for standalone applications, including built in power conditioning (compatible with power supplies from 9 – 32V), and with RS-232 / RS-422 interface. The VG380ZA and VG380SA are in production and available immediately. Pricing starts at $353 (Qty 100). MEMSIC Andover, MA (978) 738-0900

Mini-ITX SBC Sports Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H Processor WIN Enterprises has announced the MB-83090, a Mini-ITX motherboard featuring an onboard 7th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 ( formerly Kaby Lake-H) mobile processor. The Kaby Lake CPUs, which are also 14nm, can run at higher clock speeds than equivalent 6th-generation Skylake processors. Two particular strengths of the MB-83090 are serial port support and graphics capabilities. Serial ports include 6x COM and Display interfaces include 1x HDMI 1.4a, 1x, DVI-D, 1x VGA, and 1x 24-bit dual channel LVDS. Applications for the motherboard include factory floor control and automation, digital signage, gaming, and more. Expansion interfaces include PCIe X16 to support robust networking capability. WIN Enterprises North Andover, MA (978) 688-2000


COTS Journal | June 2017

Mini-ITX Motherboards Sport 7th Gen Intel Atom SoC DFI Tech has released motherboards using the latest generation low-power System-on-Chip (SoC) processors from Intel. The first in the series of 7th Generation Atom motherboards is the AL171 Mini-ITX. The board features a Thermal Design Power (TDP) listing of 12W, while providing quad core 2.0 GHz performance on the Atom E3900 Series SoC. It has 1x PCIe x1 (Gen 2) lanes and 1 x M.2 and 1 x Full-size Mini PCIe (PCIe/USB) expansion options. Additionally, 1 x SIM socket expansion is available upon request. The AL171 has a wealth of I/O available, including 6 COM, 2 LAN, 9 USB and 8-bit Digital I/O. The board has up to 16 Gbytes of DDR3L SODIMM memory and display ports of 1 HDMI, 1 DP++, and 1 LVDS/eDP. DFI Tech Sacramento, CA (916) 558-1234

Quad HDMI/DVI H.264 Encoder Rides AdvancedMC VadaTech has announced the AMC350 Quad HDMI/DVI H.264 Encoder. This AdvancedMC (AMC) single-module design encodes full HD to H.264, MPEG-4 and H.263 with throughput up to 1920 x 1088 at 60 frames per second in a compact multichannel unit. The MPEG4-SP encoder is compatible with the ISO/ IEC 14496-2 specification. Encoded data is available via a flexible choice of PCIe or GbE backplane routing. Images as small as 96 x 16 pixels (W x H) can be encoded, and the encoder rate control is designed for macro block-level rate control to frame-level rate control. The module is ideal for applications such as surveillance, broadcast, robotics, telemedicine and industrial imaging. Vadatech Henderson, NV (702) 896-3337


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Company Page# Website

Acromag, Inc.......................................50...........................

Phoenix International...........................4............................

Aitech Defense Systems,

Pico Electronics, Inc............................29.................

Dawn VME...........................................40..........................


Elma Electronics.................................25.................................

Positronic Industries, Inc.....................41.............

GAIA Converter....................................28..................

Star Communications

Great River

Intelligent Systems Source..................43..

LCR Embedded....................................17........

Vicor Corporation................................19........................

Mercury Systems, Inc. .........................2..................................

One Stop


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COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 940 Calle Negocio, Suite 230, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 940 Calle Negocio, Ste. 230, San Clemente, CA 92673.

COMING NEXT MONTH Special Target Report: FPGA Choices Vie for Military Processing Dominance FPGAs—and how they’re used—are always evolving. In July we are featuring a Special Target Report comparing the leading FPGA vendors and their products. With input from major FPGA vendors Xilinx, Altera and others, the report positions the strengths and feature sets that distinguish today’s FPGA products from one another.

COTS WILL EXPLORE: • Embedded core choices: General Purpose Processor cores; DSP engines: fixed-and floating-point; ARM vs. Power embedded cores. • Fabric interconnects PCI Express, Ethernet and High-Density I/O schemes. • Increasing density of FPGA on chip memory architectures; FPGA Interfaces to offchip server class DIMMs and Hybrid Memory Cubes.

become the leading choice for digital signal processing. In fact, the kind of signal processing functionality on today’s FPGA chips are ideally suited to the kind of system-oriented DSP functions used in defense. And signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb, satisfying those applications for whom an appetite for ever more processing muscle is endless—such as SIGINT, electronic warfare/DRFM, radar/sonar image processing, satellite communications systems, and advanced digital beamforming. Meanwhile, today FPGAs have become complete systems on a chip enabling system developers to implement functionality that once required an entire rack of boards. Today’s high-end lines of the major FPGA vendors embed powerful general-purpose CPU. The leading FPGAs also boast very high-bandwidth interconnect transceivers implementing 10G Ethernet and PCI Express to move data on and off the chip quickly.

• Special FPGA features like on-chip security and anti-tamper technologies; Rad-hard FPGA options for space applications.

Also in July COTS Journal:

For military system developers, there’s no question that FPGAs have evolved to

• Data Sheet: OpenVPX SBCs Roundup

• System Development: Storage Approaches From SSDs to RAID

COTS Journal | June 2017



Company Page# Website


Solving the Power Challenges of SWaP-C Requirements for MIL-COTS Applications Application Examples using the Power Component Design Methodology See examples of how using Vicor components help meet SWaP-C requirements Avionics Computer Challenges Low profile components (8 mm), facilitate a redundant compact solution and meet high temperature (125°C) requirements. Learn more about solving the challenges in Avionics Computer >







ZVS Buck







ZVS Buck








L3 12V

Communications Equipment Challenges The DCM’s fixed switching frequency (750 kHz) enables a compact EMI filter to meet stringent conducted noise specifications.


EMI Filter





Learn more about solving the challenges in Communications Equipment > (8)

Airborne Equipment Challenges Scalable modular DCM based design, enables high power, regulated outputs with up to 200 mF of bulk capacitance.


Custom DCM


182A (2)

Learn more about solving the challenges in Airborne Equipment >


Custom DCM

Jammers and Countermeasure Challenges



(2) L1

High efficiency ZVS regulators (95%) enable high temperature operation with minimal power de-rating.


Learn more about solving the challenges in Jammers & Countermeasure Equipment >



ZVS Buck (2)

L2 3.3V

ZVS Buck (2)

L3 12V


ZVS Buck

UAV Challenges

L1 300V


















Lightweight DCMs (29.2g) enable a scalable high density power design. Learn more about solving the challenges in UAV Equipment >




Tether L4



Expanding the Family of MIL-COTS Products MIL-COTS Isolated Regulated Converter Modules

MIL-COTS Isolated Regulated Converter Modules

MIL-COTS DCM™ DC-DC Converter Modules in a ChiP Package >

MIL-COTS DCM™ DC-DC Converter Modules in a VIA Package >

Input Voltages:

Input Voltages:

9.0 – 50 VDC, 16 – 50 VDC, 160 – 420 VDC

Output Voltages: 3.3V, 5V, 12V, 15V, 24V, 28V, 48V Output Power:

3623 ChiP: Up to 320W 4623 ChiP: Up to 500W


Up to 93%


3623 ChiP: 38.7 x 22.8 x 7.3 mm 4623 ChiP: 47.9 x 22.8 x 7.3 mm

16 – 50 VDC, 160 – 420 VDC

Output Voltages: 5V, 12V, 15V, 24V, 28V, 48V Output Power:

3414 VIA: Up to 320W 3714 VIA: Up to 500W


Up to 93%


3414 VIA: 89.5 x 35.6 x 9.4 mm 3714 VIA: 95.3 x 35.6 x 9.4 mm

MIL-COTS PI31xx DC-DC Converter Modules > Input Voltages:

28 VDC (16 – 50 VDC)

Output Voltages: 3.3V, 5V, 12V, 15V Output Power:

Up to 50W


Up to 88%


22.0 x 16.5 x 6.7 mm

Point-of-Load Regulators (MIL-COTS Compatible) Cool-Power® ZVS Buck Regulators > Input Voltages:

12V nominal (8 – 18V) 24V nominal (8 – 36V) 48V nominal (36 – 60V)

Output Voltages: Wide output range (1 – 16V) Output Current: 8A, 9A, 10A, and 15A versions Efficiency:

Up to 96.5% Light load and full load high efficiency performance


LGA SiP: 10 x 14 x 2.56 mm LGA SiP: 10 x 10 x 2.56 mm

MIL-COTS Filter Modules MFM DCM Filter > n Provides MIL-STD-461 EMI filtering and MIL-STD-704 and MIL-STD-1275 transient protection n For use with 28V and 270V nominal input voltage DCM products

MQPI Filter > n Provides MIL-STD-461 EMI filtering n For use with MIL COTS PI31xx regulators

Cool-Power® ZVS Buck-Boost Regulators > Input Voltages:

8 – 60V 16 – 34V 21 – 60V

Output Voltages: 10 –50V 21 – 36V 36 – 54V 12 – 34V Output Power:

Up to 240W continuous


Up to 98% efficiency at >800 kHz FSW


LGA SiP: 10 x 14 x 2.56 mm

Design your Power System in 90 seconds using the Power System Designer Tool. Learn how to get to market faster with 4 easy steps:

COTS Journal’s


The number of hardware and software requirements Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program team reviewed in preparation for achieving its key Air Vehicle Critical Design Review (CDR) milestone. Announced last month by Lockheed Martin, this event prepares the program to proceed to assembly, test, and evaluation of the HH-60W helicopter. The joint Sikorsky and U.S. Air Force (USAF) helicopter program team met in May with key partners from government and industry for an in-depth design review. Review participants included leaders from USAF and key suppliers who took part in the technical presentations.

3,000 FT

Altitude at which the robot Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) conducted a fully automated landing at a simulated site, overseen by a human onboard safety pilot. Aurora Flight Sciences’ ALIAS technology demonstration system is designed to function as a second pilot in a two-crew aircraft, enabling reduced crew operations while ensuring that aircraft performance and mission success are maintained or improved. DARPA’s published vision for ALIAS is “a tailorable, drop-in, removable kit that would promote the addition of high levels of automation into existing aircraft, enabling operation with reduced onboard crew.”

$61 MILLION Value of the five-year, $61 million SeaPort-e task order CSRA has secured a with Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to continue the company’s support of Program Executive Officer (PEO) Aircraft Carriers. CSRA has supported PEO Aircraft Carriers since 1991. Under this task order, CSRA will provide a full range of acquisition program support services to PEO Aircraft Carriers and its Program Offices PMS 312, PMS 378, and PMS 379. PEO Aircraft Carriers is responsible for leading the design, development, construction, modernization, and life-cycle management of the Navy’s aircraft carriers.


COTS Journal | June 2017


Planned duration of Product Demo that Meggitt Training Systems has commenced of its FATS 100MIL solution at NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy. Located in Solbiate Olona near Milan, NRDC-Italy is a multinational headquarters featuring personnel from 13 NATO member nations, most from Italian Army as the facility’s host and framework nation. Automatic coaching tracks the weapon sensor information with shot analysis that recalls customer doctrine and reinforces the fundamentals of shooting to the trainee. Tablet functionality maximizes session time by allowing the trainer to run the system wirelessly and move as needed.


Year when QinetiQ and BAE Systems began their partnership with BAE Systems to evolve QinetiQ’s E-X-Drive vehicle transmission into a mature technology. Recently the two firms signed a teaming agreement to incorporate the latest technology for electric drive mobility systems on combat vehicles. The E=X Drive has been successfully demonstrated in U.S. programs covering the tracked combat vehicle range from 18 to more than 70 tons. In addition, QinetiQ’s counterpart for wheeled vehicles, the Hub-Drive Unit, is currently being explored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of its Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program.

Flash Storage Array with 200TB capacity in four removable canisters

50TB data in each 7 Lb. removable canister

• 100Gb Infiniband or Ethernet connections • MIL-STD 810 and 461 tested • Two versions: airborne and ground • 4U rackmount unit

(877) 438-2724



SWaP-C Optimized I/O Modules

Introducing our Smallest FPGA Module Yet! For the best value for a variety of cost and power-sensitive applications. You Asked... We Listened... AcroPack® modules snap onto AcroPack carriers, eliminating messy ribbon cables.

Low Cost: Under $1,000 USD Small Size: 70mm Long Low Power: +3.3V (±5%) 500mA Typical Flexible I/O: RS485/422, LVDS, TTL, TTL & RS485/422 Combo COTs Designed Superior Software Tools (Drivers & EDK) Experienced Product Support Team

Acromag offers a wide variety of XMC/PMC FPGA computing solutions for your custom I/O applications.


Embedded I/O & Computing Solutions

I/O Modules



VME SBCs | | 877-295-7084

SFF Embedded Computers

COTS Journal Digital Edition June 2017  

June 2017

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