COTS Journal February, 2020

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February 2020, Volume 22 – Number 2 •

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Rugged RF & Optical Solutions Over OpenVPX Prepare Mil/Aero Customers For the Next Generation of System Performance COTS Company Profile: Raytheon Technologies

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing 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.


Rugged RF & Optical Solutions Over OpenVPX Prepare Mil/Aero Customers For the Next Generation of System Performance

By Gary Stein (Principal Engineer) and Jake Braegelmann (VP of Business Development), New Wave Design & Verification


Raytheon Technologies

By John Reardon, COTS Journal


Publisher’s Notes;


The Inside Track

Defending against the Corona Virus


Editor’s Choice for Feburary

Cover Image Navy Cmdr. Edmund Milder and Brazilian navy Lt. Priscila Ribeiro examine an infant in Sao Carlos, Brazil, Feb. 19, 2019, during a monthlong mission U.S. and Brazilian navy doctors conducted to bring medical care to isolated communities along the Amazon River.

COTS Journal | February 2020


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing




Glenn ImObersteg






Robert Hoffman

COTS Journal CORPORATE OFFICE RTC Media 3180 Sitio Sendero, Carlsbad, CA. 92009 Phone: (949) 226-2023 Fax: (949) 226-2050

PUBLISHED BY RTC MEDIA Copyright 2020, RTC Media. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.



COTS Journal | February 2020



John Reardon, Publisher

Defending against the Corona Virus As the Corona Virus holds the world in its grip, it is becoming apparent that we are all going to feel its effects whether we catch it or not. I was asked to review the impact on our industry and initially we had only felt the affects peripherally. The area in China where the outbreak occurred seemed more of a transportation hub with impacts on car manufacturing and small engines. But as production of the IPhone was impacted; as cruise ships were quarantined the impact seemed to hit a bit closer to home. (Apple reduced their financial projections by more than a billion dollars with possible impact to everyone’s mutual fund). As things escalated, the next indication that my life would be impacted was the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain, an event that was on my calendar. Then I started to get notices from companies that were cancelling out of other events, sighting that they did not wish to expose their staff to the threat. I had gone to DesignCON in Santa Clara the week before and upon my return the news reported Santa Clara as having the 7th individual in the US to contract the disease. 6

COTS Journal | February 2020

But I digress – how might this impact the Defense market? To answer the question you have to look at specifics. This might be a small component that becomes scarce or it might be that GPU that is critical to AI application. The rumors seem rampant, but I do know from first hand reporting that many distributors are seeing commodity level parts in short supply. It has also been reported that Flash Memory parts are also seeing delays. A number of contract manufacturers and foundries previously responded to tariffs by moving production outside of China for parts destine to the United States. And in some ways this should aid sourcing to areas outside those

most impacted by the virus. The impact of the virus will not be known until the number of cases start to decline and containment is certain. It is my position that we should “keep our powder dry” and be prepared for increase costs and shortages of parts. I have recommended to clients that they move from “just in time” to increasing inventory levels in support of known requirements. The global impact is a bit more difficult to determine, but estimates that this will impact the GDP of China by .2% may go out the window as the virus continues to be a challenge.

The rumors seem rampant, but I do know from first hand reporting that many distributors are seeing commodity level parts in short supply.

COTS Journal | February 2020




New technique allows sustaining fusion plasmas near peak performance in real time Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility achieved a scientific first this month when they used machine learning calculations to automatically prevent fusion plasma disruptions in real time, while simultaneously optimizing the plasma for peak performance. The new experiments are the first of what they expect to be a wave of research in which machine learning–augmented controls could broaden the understanding of fusion plasmas. The work may also help deliver reliable, peak performance operation of future fusion reactors. “These experiments are quite significant, because they illustrate why the fusion community has been so excited about machine learning,” said DIII-D Director David Hill. “Although DIII-D has applied machine learning to real-time prediction of instabilities for decades, actual real-time control to prevent disruption using these massive data sets is very novel and exciting.”

tures can be achieved more efficiently as the plasma shape is stretched vertically. However, above a certain degree of stretching, the plasma becomes unstable, causing it to move up or down to touch the wall of the tokamak. The traditional control approach involves using the tokamak’s plasma control system to sense the approaching limit and shut down the plasma moments before reaching it. However, this would not be an ideal approach for a fusion power plant.

In addition, the researchers trained the neural network to estimate the degree of uncertainty in its own calculations, allowing the control system to take more conservative actions when the uncertainty is high. To train the neural network, Sammuli used General Atomics’ TokSearch data mining tool, which was developed to efficiently process the huge volume of DIII-D experimental data collected over several decades. The neural network was able to access knowledge from tens of thousands of plasmas in real time by creating estimates based on the prior results it had “learned” from.

Techniques like this will be critical for future fusion reactors, where high performance must be sustained for long periods General Atomics researchers Brian Sammuli (left) and Jayson Barr (right) developed an innovative machine of time to create practical learning–based control system that can optimize fusion plasma performance far faster than previous meth- and affordable fusion enods. The system was trained using data from decades of research at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in ergy.

DIII-D is the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. and is operated by General Atomics as a national user facility for the U.S. San Diego. Courtesy General Atomics Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The heart of the facility is a To avoid the need to shut down the retokamak that uses powerful electromagnets to action, researchers Jayson Barr and Brian produce a doughnut-shaped magnetic bottle Sammuli devised a new machine-learning for confining a fusion plasma. In DIII-D, plas- approach that allows the plasma to reliably ma temperatures more than 10 times hotter operate very close to its vertical stability limit. than the Sun are routinely achieved. At such Using a neural network – a form of machine extremely high temperatures, hydrogen iso- learning – Barr and Sammuli calculated an topes can fuse together and release energy. estimate of the growth rate of the vertical instability every millisecond, then used those Previous experience on DIII-D and oth- calculations to make constant adjustments er tokamaks has shown that these tempera8

that kept the plasma near its vertical stability limit, where it is most efficient. While traditional methods can also perform this calculation, a machine learning­–based approach can be executed 100 times faster, enabling robust, real-time control of the growth rate.

COTS Journal | February 2020

“We’ve been collecting experimental data at DIII-D since the ’80s, but only recently have we been able to really take advantage of all that data by using modern software and computing hardware,” Sammuli said. “The answers to some of the hard problems in fusion are just sitting there in the data, waiting to be discovered. We’re now starting to be able to use modern machine-learning techniques to augment our physics understanding, and this allows us to control the plasma more effectively.”



Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft (PHASA-35®) has the potential to stay airborne for a year.

PHASA-35, a 35m wingspan solar-electric aircraft, has successfully completed its maiden flight. The landmark flight paves the way to this new aircraft becoming a game changer in the air and space market, plugging the gap between aircraft and satellite technology. PHASA-35 has been designed, built and now flown in less than two years as part of a collaboration between BAE and Prismatic Ltd, which we agreed to acquire last year. Designed to operate unmanned in the stratosphere, above the weather and conventional air traffic, PHASA-35 offers a persistent and affordable alternative to satellites combined with the flexibility of an aircraft, which could be used for a range of valuable applications including forest fire detection and maritime surveillance. Sponsored by the UK’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and Australian Defense Science and Technology Group (DSTG), the successful flight trials took place at the Royal Australian Air Force

(RAAF) Woomera Test Range in South Australia.

The trials marked the first fully integrated flight test of the PHASA-35 system, delivering rapid proof of capability from design to flight in just 20 months. They are the culmination of efforts from a collaborative team of British experts from Prismatic in Hampshire - where two full-sized concept aircraft were built last year - working alongside our engineers in Lancashire, where the aircraft underwent further integration testing prior to flight trials. Going the distance As a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) vehicle, PHASA-35 is powered by the Sun during the day and by batteries overnight. The long-life battery and highly efficient solar technology could allow the aircraft to maintain flight for up to a year operating in the stratosphere, the upper regions of the Earth’s atmosphere. PHASA-35 is designed to provide a persistent, stable platform for monitoring, surveillance, communications and security applications. When connected to other technologies and assets, it will provide both military and

commercial customers with capabilities that are not currently available from existing air and space platforms. The Unmanned Air Vehicle also has the potential to be used in the delivery of communications networks including 5G, as well as provide other services, such as disaster relief and border protection, at a fraction of the cost of satellites. Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director here at BAE Systems, said: “This is an outstanding early result that demonstrates the pace that can be achieved when we bring the best of British capability together. To go from design to flight in less than two years shows that we can rise to the challenge the UK Government has set industry to deliver a Future Combat Air System within the next decade.” Our acquisition of Prismatic forms part of the Company’s strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, making bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate technology development in key areas. Further flight trials are scheduled for later this year, with the possibility that the aircraft could enter initial operations with customers within 12 months of the flight trials program completion.

COTS Journal | February 2020




Improving 5G Network Security

New program seeks to leverage open source software and systems to address security challenges facing 5G and future wireless networks

Emerging 5G mobile wireless networking technologies are slated to dramatically increase in both scale and speed, enabling much faster access to data collected from billions of connected devices. This supercharged information highway is envisioned to play an important role across several industries, ranging from medicine to manufacturing. Major advances in 5G, including new core network features will make it easier to customize the network at a wide variety of locations. This new flexibility offers many benefits, but at the same time introduces novel security challenges. Today’s proprietary

5G technologies make it difficult to achieve the transparency necessary for security-related risk analysis and mitigation. This lack of security assurance makes it harder to deploy these technologies for defense capabilities. “As networks are simultaneously critical infrastructure and the means used for cyberespionage and cyberwarfare, finding ways to bolster their security is critically important,” said DARPA program manager, Dr. Jonathan Smith. “The rapid increase in the scale of 5G networks, as well as issues from unmanaged or forgotten Internet of Things (IoT) devices and unwanted interactions between network slices, create security risks that must be addressed.” DARPA created the Open, Programmable, 10

COTS Journal | February 2020

Secure 5G (OPS-5G) program to tackle many of the security challenges facing future wireless networks. OPS-5G will explore the development of a portable, standards-compliant network stack for 5G mobile networks that is open source, and secure by design. The program seeks to enable a “plug-and-play” approach to various network software and hardware components, which reduces reliance on untrusted technology sources. The goal of OPS-5G is to develop open source software and systems that can enable more secure 5G as well as future generations of networks beyond 5G. The signature security advantage of open source (OS) software is increased code visibility, meaning that code can be examined, analyzed, and audited manually and, more fruitfully, with automated tools by multiple parties. Another

benefit is open source software’s portability, which allows the software to run on both OS and proprietary hardware. This decoupling of the hardware and software ecosystems makes it easier to introduce innovations while raising the difficulty of some malicious attacks. Further, it helps open the 5G market to smaller players and innovators. However, creating open source software elements typically requires the collaborative development of well-defined standards. The standards creation process can be slow and arduous – one that a rapidly-progressing technology such as 5G can’t afford. To help accelerate the development of 5G-relevant open source software from standards, OPS-5G will explore the use of machine translation to increase code development velocity and help make standards easier to understand.

One of the many benefits of 5G is powering a vast and growing ecosystem of IoT devices. The security across these devices, however, is disparate, as is their size, weight, and power (SWaP). Today, IoT security features are viewed as optional, which does not bode well for their use within defense systems. To bolster security around this growing mesh of technologies, OPS-5G will explore the development of cost-effective SWaP-conscious cryptography with scalable security protocols. The program will look to existing technologies to support this process, like the many-to-many end-to-end encryption protocol developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, called Joining Encryption and Delegation for IoT. Network elements used to support virtualization and the 5G network concept of appli-

cation-customized “slices” share resources to achieve cost-effective performance. Amongst other risks, this resource sharing creates potential timing channel vulnerabilities. Opaque system ownership, operator policies, and software provenance also present security issues for 5G networks. Currently, a multitude of large vendors provide carrier hardware, software, node provisioning, and more to enable 5G technologies. OPS-5G will explore breakthrough approaches for the enablement of secure network slices to provide security across the network resources provided by and shared with unknown entities. The program will explore novel ways to make trusted networks out of infrastructures with untrusted components.



United States Air Force Awards Viasat a Sole-Source Indefinite-Delivery/ Indefinite-Quantity Contract Worth Up to $90 Million to Expand Tactical Data Networking Capabilities IDIQ Contract Covers Viasat’s BATS-D Device— the World’s First and Only Handheld Link 16 Radio for Real-Time Fused Air/Ground Military Communications

Viasat Inc. announced it was recently awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract worth a maximum ceiling of $90 million, to provide special warfare operators of the United States Air Force (USAF) with Viasat’s Battlefield Awareness Targeting System— Dismounted (BATS-D) handheld Link 16 radios (also known in the U.S. Department of Defense nomenclature as the AN/PRC-161 radio). In addition to equipment, the IDIQ award covers associated operator training and maintenance. BATS-D is the world’s first and only handheld Link 16 radio. It bridges a critical gap be-

tween air and ground forces by providing warfighters at the tactical edge with real-time, secure, reliable access to integrated air and ground information for improved situational awareness and enhanced close air support communications. “This IDIQ award demonstrates the value of the AN/PRC161 handheld Link 16 radio for the unique mission requirements of today’s USAF operators,” said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. “Today, nearly 2,500 AN/PRC-161 BATS-D radios have been shipped to U.S. warfighters worldwide, and we continue to see strong demand for its use across multiple military branches, and among coalition partners as it has the proven ability to significantly enhance situational awareness, improve mission coordination and accelerate decision timelines in a multi-domain battlespace.”

COTS Journal | February 2020




SMART Embedded Computing Joins SOSA™ Consortium

sors. The SOSA approach establishes guidelines for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Recon-

SMART Embedded Computing, a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: SGH) and a leading manufacturer of embedded computing solutions, today announced that it has joined The Open Group’s Sensor Open System Architecture (SOSA) Consortium to contribute its expertise to the development of modular, open system reference architectures applicable to military and commercial sensor systems and a business model that balances stakeholder interests. The SOSA Consortium includes participants from the US Air Force, Army and Navy as well as other US government agencies plus a diverse group of Department of Defense (DoD) supply base commercial partners. The consortium provides a vendor-neutral forum for members to work together to harmonize, align, and create open standards to facilitate the development of agile, interoperable, and affordable sen-

Booz Allen to modernize GPS for U.S. Navy and Air Force The U.S. Navy’s Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC Pacific), in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), has awarded Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) a $178 million contract to provide technical engineering services toward the modernization of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) systems. The NIWC Pacific Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Division is the Navy’s principal research and development center for navigation sensors and systems. SMC is the center of technical excellence for developing, acquiring, fielding, and sustaining resilient and affordable military space systems. By executing this contract, Booz Allen will continue to serve as a key mission partner for NIWC Pacific and SMC on the important endeavor of modernizing PNT systems for U.S. and Allied warfighters. In order to execute this highly complex scope of work, Booz Allen will provide a range of essential services, including system definition, requirements synchronization, capability improvement, cybersecurity engineering, platform integration and testing, and acqui12

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Stephen Dow, Senior Vice President, Smart Module

sition program management. Specifically, Booz Allen’s work will aid in the development and modernization of GPS systems through major programs such as Military GPS User Equipment, GPS III, and Next Generation Operational Control System. “Booz Allen’s robust track record of work

naissance (C4ISR) systems. The objective is to allow flexibility in the selection and acquisition of sensors and subsystems that provide sensor data collection, processing, exploitation, communication and related functions over the full life cycle of the C4ISR system. “We look forward to participating in this exciting initiative and contributing to the transition of more C4ISR and sensor systems to an open systems architecture,” said Todd Wynia, Vice President of Product Management, SMART Embedded Computing. “We have a distinguished heritage with the DNA of companies that pioneered open standards for embedded systems, including Motorola Computer Group, Force Computers and Pro-Log. Our long history of supplying computing solutions into defense applications includes almost 40 years of providing VME boards and the growing adoption of open, standards based ATCA technology into C4ISR applications. This experience makes the SOSA consortium a natural fit for the expertise of SMART Embedded Computing.”

in both systems engineering and cybersecurity continues to inspire trust from our clients,” said Vice President Brian Zimmermann. “Our deep bench of leaders and technical experts reassures our clients that no project is too big or too complex. It’s our privilege to help the Navy and Air Force modernize GPS systems that are so vital to the security of our nation.”



SiU.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) and HPE Expands High-Performance Computing (HPC) Storage Capacity for Exascale ALCF advances capabilities to target complex scientific research using modeling, simulation, and AI, ahead of its upcoming Aurora exascale supercomputer

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility, today announced that ALCF will deploy the new Cray ClusterStor E1000, the most efficient parallel storage solution, as its newest storage system. The new collaboration supports ALCF’s scientific research in areas such as earthquake seismic activity, aerospace turbulence and shock-waves, phys ical genomics and more. The latest deployment advances storage capacity for ALCF’s workloads that require converged modeling, simulation, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics workloads, in preparation for Aurora, ALCF’s forthcoming exascale supercomputer, powered by HPE and Intel, and the first-of-its-kind expected to be delivered in the U.S. in 2021. The Cray ClusterStor E1000 system utilizes purpose-built software and hardware features to meet high-performance storage requirements of any size with significantly fewer drives. Designed to support the Exascale Era, which is characterized by the explosion of data and converged workloads, the Cray ClusterStor E1000 will power ALCF’s future Aurora supercomputer to target a multitude of data-intensive workloads required to make breakthrough discoveries at unprecedented speed. “ALCF is committed to creating new experiences with Exascale Era technologies by deploying infrastructure required for converged workloads in modeling, simulation, AI and ana-

lytics,” said Peter Ungaro, senior vice president and general manager, HPC and AI, at HPE. “Our recent introduction of the Cray ClusterStor E1000 is delivering ALCF unmatched scalability and performance to meet next-generation HPC storage needs to support emerging, data-intensive workloads. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with ALCF and empower its research community to unlock new value.” ALCF’s two new storage systems, which it has named “Grand” and “Eagle,” are using the

Cray ClusterStor E1000 system to gain a completely new, cost-effective high-performance computing (HPC) storage solution to effectively and efficiently manage growing converged workloads that today’s offerings cannot support. “When Grand launches, it will benefit ALCF’s legacy petascale machines, providing increased capacity for the Theta compute system and enabling new levels of performance for not just traditional checkpoint-restart workloads, but also for complex workflows and metadata-intensive work,” said Mark Fahey, director of operations, ALCF. “Eagle will help support the ever-increasing importance of data in the day-to-day activities of science,” said Michael E. Papka, director, ALCF. “By leveraging our experience with our current data-sharing system, Petrel, this new storage will help eliminate barriers

to productivity and improve collaborations throughout the research community.” The two new systems will gain a total of 200 petabyes (PB) of storage capacity, and through the Cray ClusterStor E1000’s intelligent software and hardware designs, will more accurately align data flows with target workloads. ALCF’s Grand and Eagle systems will help researchers accelerate a range of scientific discoveries across disciplines, and are each assigned to address the following

Computational capacity - ALCF’s “Grand” provides 150 PB of center-wide storage and new levels of input/output (I/O) performance to support massive computational needs for its users. Simplified data-sharing - ALCF’s “Eagle” provides a 50 PB community file system to make data-sharing easier than ever among ALCF users, their collaborators and with third parties. ALCF plans to deliver its Grand and Eagle storage systems in early 2020. The systems will initially connect to existing ALCF supercomputers powered by HPE HPC systems: Theta, based on the Cray® XC40-AC™ and Cooley, based on the Cray CS-300. ALCF’s Grand, which is capable of 1 terabyte per second (TB/s) bandwidth, will be optimized to support converged simulation science and data-intensive workloads once the Aurora exascale supercomputer is operational. COTS Journal | February 2020




Intel Federal LLC to Propel Supercomputing Advancements for the U.S. Government

Intel Federal LLC wins $19 million contract to apply new approaches to extreme-scale computing research and development. Research and development will cover a number of areas including memory research and how to achieve more reliable and energy-efficient processor technology. Efforts will align with the U.S. Government’s commitment to using high performance computing to solve numerous societal challenges involving energy, security and the economy. With the U.S. Government increasingly using high-performance computing (HPC) to address current and future national challenges, Intel Corporation announced it has been awarded two subcontracts totaling $19 million with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). As part of these two awards, Intel® Federal LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, will be a major participant in the Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) managed Extreme-Scale Computing Research and Development “Fast-Forward” program aimed at driving advancements in exascale computing. The DOE has been a leading developer of supercomputing technology for a broad range of critical applications in the space of national security, economy, energy resources and consumption. The “Fast-Forward” program will harness the talents of the national laboratories,

Mercury Systems Receives $24M RF Microelectronics Order for Airborne Electronic Warfare Application Mercury Systems, Inc. announced it received a $24 million order from a leading defense prime contractor for SWaP-optimized radio frequency (RF) modules ready for integration into an advanced electronic warfare system. The order was booked in the Company’s fiscal 2020 second quarter and is expected to be shipped over the next several quarters. “This order further cements Mercury’s position as an industry leader in high-performance RF microelectronics required to 14

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academia and U.S. industry to develop the next generation of HPC technologies.

will help dramatically increase the speed of data delivered on Exascale-class platforms.

Intel Federal, which offers the U.S. Government access to the breadth and depth of Intel’s capabilities in research, development, prototyping and engineering services, will combine innovative and traditional activities to achieve improved resilience on next-generation, energy-efficient scalable processor technology. Intel’s memory research, in particular, will evaluate how next-generation memory architectures, combined with processing power, provide optimal, energy-efficient performance for a broad range of DOE applications and other HPC workloads.

“The Exascale level of performance will open new predictive scientific simulation possibilities that will impact the lives of every human being. From long-term weather forecasting and developing drugs for the most severe diseases to analyzing new ways to use energy efficiently, science and engineering researchers need much more compute capacity than is available today in Petascale systems. The challenge is to deliver 1,000 times the performance of today’s Petascale computers with only a fraction more of the system’s energy consumption and space requirements. Exascale systems are critical for achieving the Department’s goals – to ensure national security and promote scientific advancements.” – said Dr. William J. Harrod, Division Director of Research in the DOE Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research. “The primary objective of the Department’s FastForward effort is to begin the long term R&D necessary to impact systems at the end of the decade. The development of entirely new high performance, energy-efficient processor and memory technologies are essential for developing Exascale systems and Intel is initiating highly innovative designs for these components.”

“High-performance computing is a transformative technology that will allow current and future generations of scientists and engineers to develop breakthrough advancements to address our most pressing societal issues.” said David Patterson, president of Intel Federal LLC. “This is a great example of how public-private partnerships will significantly help move high performance computing forward and push the boundaries of innovation.” Intel aims to achieve Exascale-level computation by the end of the decade, and has made significant investments in areas that will increase its capabilities. These include development of new generations of Intel Xeon processors with entirely new Intel® Many Integrated Core architecture based Intel Xeon Phi co-processors. In addition, Intel’s recent acquisitions of Infiniband and interconnect assets from QLogic and Cray support next-generation electronic warfare systems,” said Kevin Beals, Vice President and General Manager of Mercury’s RF and Microwave group. “In the current environment of rapidly-emerging electronic threats, our military relies on innovative commercial companies like Mercury to develop the advanced electronic capabilities required to enable free operation across the electromagnetic spectrum. We are committed to delivering stateof-the-art solutions that are secure, reliable and purpose-built and exceed the performance needs of our customers.”

Kevin Beals, Vice President and General Manager of Mercury’s RF and Microwave group.

“Within the next five to ten years, we anticipate that our partnerships with Intel and others in the FastForward program will produce breakthroughs that will have profound impacts for the HPC community.” – said Thuc Hoang, National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Advanced Simulation and Computing.



L3Harris Technologies Signs Definitive Agreement to Sell Its Airport Security Business to Leidos for $1 Billion

L3Harris Technologies announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Leidos (NYSE:LDOS) will acquire L3Harris’ airport security and automation business for $1 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020 and is conditioned on customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals. “Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in L3Harris’ strategic priority to reshape our portfolio following last year’s L3 and Harris merger,” said William M. Brown, Chairman and CEO, L3Harris. “The agreement provides a stable path forward for the Security & Detection Systems and MacDonald Humfrey Automation businesses, while enabling L3Harris to focus its resources on core technologies.” Proceeds from the divestiture are expected to be used to repurchase shares and offset dilution. With annual revenues of approximately $500 million, L3Harris’ Security & Detection Systems and MacDonald Humfrey Automa-

tion solutions are used by the aviation transportation industries, regulatory customs authorities, government and enforcement agencies, and commercial other high-security facilities.

and and law and

About L3Harris Technologies L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 50,000 employees, with customers in 130 countries. About Leidos Leidos is a Fortune 500® information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. The company’s 36,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Va., Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $10 billion for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2018. Leidos. com.

COTS Journal | February 2020




Robotic manipulator will enhance Remotec’s Andros™ robotic capabilities, allowing for more technical and precise manipulation

botic solutions. Kinova’s mission when founded in 2006 was to empower individuals with upper-body limitations through assistive technologies. Over a decade later, the company has evolved its solutions and product suite to service new markets

— helping researchers, medical professionals, governments, businesses and educational institutions achieve their innovation goals through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts.

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) subsidiary Remotec Inc. and Kinova Inc. have entered into a distribution agreement for the Kinova® Remote Robotic Manipulation System. This partnership delivers enhanced capability to Remotec customers, providing access to a best-inclass small manipulator for use as a tool/accessory on the Remotec Andros line of mobile robotic systems. Northrop Grumman Remotec and Kinova Robotics Sign Distribution Agreement for Robotic Manipulator Northrop Grumman Remotec Andros F6B™ equipped with the Kinova Remote Robotic Manipulation System. Under the agreement, Remotec will sell the Kinova product as a remote option on the Andros platform to the first responder and law enforcement market in the United States. Remotec will also provide customer service, training and technical support for this new capability. “The improved dexterity afforded by this robotic arm was identified as a critical need by the first responder community, particularly for bomb and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD),” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. “This is a great opportunity and we are looking forward to offering an additional and innovative capability to the Andros line of robots.” When deployed as a secondary, highly dexterous small arm, the Kinova Remote Robotic Manipulation System will enable more precise video-guided manipulation of potentially hazardous materials using the Remotec Andros platform. It will allow customers such as state and local EOD units to more safely and effectively perform delicate tasks, from unzipping a suspicious backpack to disabling a bomb. “We are proud to partner with Remotec, the largest provider of robots to the first responder market,” said Francois Boucher, Kinova executive vice president. “These are complementary products that are better when paired together as an integrated system for significantly increased capability.” Kinova is a global leader in professional roCOTS Journal | February 2020



The New Wave DV V1153 Rugged XMC FPGA Card: Combining Customizable High-Speed Interfaces with FPGA Coprocessing By Gary Stein, (Principal Engineer) and Jake Braegelmann (VP of Business Development), New Wave Design & Verification

Built for harsh environments, high performance, and sensitive budgets, the new FPGA-based XMC meets VITA 47 rugged specs and offers custom or pre-configured high-speed serial interfaces along with powerful FPGA coprocessing to speed up and simplify system development. The new V1153 rugged VITA 42 XMC interface and FPGA processor card introduced by New Wave Design & Verification (New Wave DV) offers users a unique combination of high-speed interfacing modes and powerful application coprocessing capabilities. The V1153 provides multiple high-speed serial interfaces to the host, allowing communication over PCI Express (PCIe), Ethernet, and other protocols. New Wave DV’s V1153 XMC

offers system designers a combination of capabilities to optimize high-speed interfacing, networking, and processing solutions in applications such as radar, signal intelligence, video, electronic warfare, medical imaging, and embedded telecommunications. All interfaces, protocol offloads, and host interface functions are under control of the FPGA, resulting in vast port flexibility and protocol configuration with options for user-provided

algorithms executed by the on-board FPGA. Technical Features The V1153 is a VITA 42 compliant XMC, meeting the VITA 20 dimensions for conduction cooling, and meets the VITA 47 ECC4 ruggedization specifications for shock, vibration, and operating temperature range of -40° C to +85° C. Pluggable into a 3U or 6U VPX chassis, data transfer can be over a PCIe connection up to PCIe Gen3 x 16. Other connectivity options are available, such as running Ethernet (or another protocol) to/ from the front panel or back panel connectors, providing almost unlimited flexibility. This allows the V1153 to mount to a wide range of existing VPX single-board computers and carriers. The combined solution fits into a single slot of a VPX chassis, providing a huge interface and processing offload capability to the system without taking an extra chassis slot.

Figure 1 - The V1153 is a rugged XMC FPGA card for high-speed interface and coprocessing solutions. It offers 4 to 12 optical port options (front panel or backplane) as well as 1-16Gbs electrical backplane ports. 18

COTS Journal | February 2020

The V1153 offers up to twelve 1Gbs to 25Gbs opti-

cal ports via a front panel multichannel pushon (MPO) connector or a choice of VITA 66.1 or VITA 66.4 optical backplane connectors. In all cases, the V1153 features the Samtec FireFly™ Micro Flyover System™ which can use high-performance optical or copper cable assemblies with the same connector. A 16-port electrical backplane may also be utilized, configurable from 1Gbs up to 16Gbs. New Wave DV supports a variety of pre-configured network protocols including Ethernet, Fibre Channel, sFPDP, ARINC 818, and Aurora. In addition, New Wave DV can supply options for custom high-speed serial protocols and user-developed IP solutions. Configuration Options The large optical/electrical port count can be configured by pre-loaded FPGA IP or customer designs to support a variety of protocols. Some protocol interfaces consist of multiple underlying physical ports, such as 40Gbs and 100Gbs Ethernet. In those cases, the ports are bonded together to provide the desired physical network configuration. Table 1 shows the resultant network interface counts used to support the various V1153 configuration options.

Figure 2 - Two Samtec FireFly™ optical connection options to standard connectors: (A) a MPO connection and (B) a VITA 66.4 connection. Cables can be provided for desired cable lengths.

Table 1 - Available V1153 optical and electrical configuration options. For example, 4 optical ports can be configured into a 100Gbs figured with user-desired interface cores as a turnkey unit, Ethernet interface, or can be used as four 25Gbs or 10Gbs interfaces.

ready to use out-of-the-box. The availability of pre-loaded interface cores provides a powerful set of options to end-users. Pre-configured IP cores allow system designers to focus on value-added development instead of recreating standard interfaces. Available interface cores on the V1153 are currently: Ethernet, Fibre Channel, sFPDP, ARINC 818, and Aurora.

The V1153 is designed to meet a number of optical and electrical interface requirements. To address these needs, an array of optical port options are available, as well as electrical backplane connections providing up to 16 electrical ports. While electrical interfaces can be used simultaneously with the optical ports, only one optical style connector (MPO faceplate or VITA 66 backplane) can be

used at a time. For backplane configurations, MT-terminated optical cable(s) are provided for mating with the VITA 66 connector on the customer carrier card (Figure 2). New Wave DV also welcomes requests for custom IO configurations. Built For Programmability The V1153 card can be ordered pre-con-

Another benefit of the V1153 is the onboard FPGA, which can serve as a powerful application coprocessor. The FPGA can host all or part of a user’s application and/or algorithms, such as interface protocol removal from streaming data, compression, encryption/decryption, or image processing. Access to the FPGA is provided on the V1153 even when a New Wave-provided interface core is present. This allows for designers to co-locate the interface and data processing aspects of the design, reducing latency and overhead of the system. The following FPGAs are available on the V1153: Xilinx Virtex® UltraScale+™ (VU3P) and Xilinx Kintex® UltraScale™ (KU095). COTS Journal | February 2020


The V1153 is available without pre-configured IP from New Wave. In this use case, the customer provides the entire FPGA design. New Wave DV provides the necessary FPGA pinouts and card architecture documentation to enable design success by the customer. The V1153 provides both on-board and backplane JTAG ports as well as an RS-232 port to enable development using industry standard design tools and the provided development framework. This framework provides a hardware abstraction layer that communicates with the board level infrastructure. There are also pre-designed elements including PCIe controllers, network ports, and DDR memory. This allows the user to focus on the core functionality and not the mechanics of moving data between the host and network.


Form Factor Compatibility In addition to different interface standards and FPGA IP configuration options, the V1153 offers numerous form factor offerings. The V1153 VITA 42 XMC card, dimensionally compliant with VITA 20 conduction cooling, has been designed and tested to operate with a variety of processor and carrier cards in various form-factors. Common form-factors supported by the V1153 include (but are not limited to): 3U VPX (air and conduction cooled), 6U VPX (air and conduction cooled), VME (air and conduction cooled), PXIe, PCIe, and CompactPCI. This form-factor versatility, combined with the innate power of the V1153, makes it perfect for test and embedded applications of all kinds. Today, the V1153 is reliably being used in exhaustive lab/test environments as well as in turnkey solutions in a variety of demanding embedded applications.

VPX (backplane config)

The New Wave IP Suite The optionally pre-loaded IP cores include Ethernet, Fibre Channel, sFPDP, ARINC 818, and Aurora. Each New Wave DV IP core has

a range of standard and protocol-specific features, dependent on the selected protocol. The following table (see Table 2 on next page)


COTS Journal | February 2020


VPX (front panel IO) lists available cores and their capabilities. Each core is designed to be pre-loaded in

the FPGA (optionally) and provide the complete design from software API to the physical network interface. Each loadable core comes with test-benches and example code, making design integration a straightforward task. FPGA Power to Process The FPGA controls the optical and electrical interfaces as well as the PCIe connection. Using installed firmware, the FPGA can control the interfaces, transmit/receive the network traffic, add/remove the protocol stack, and move payload data across PCIe from/to a host processor formatted for the application

at hand. For example, Ethernet has several layers—IP, UDP, etc.—that are removed before the data is ready for use by the application. These layers can be removed in-line at wire speed by the FPGA as the data is received from the network connection. Conversely for transmit, the core automatically formats the outgoing data with the needed network layers. Assigning traffic handling, data formatting, and preliminary steps of the application to the FPGA is a significant relief for the host processor. The powerful FPGA on this mezzanine

board may be used as an application coprocessor. The V1153 fits with the processor board in a single backplane slot for application acceleration. As FPGAs are especially useful for parallel processing, a user can put all or some portion of, for example, a radar processing application, onto the V1153. The FPGA can perform signal processing, spectral analysis, and data transforms. Integrating these user algorithms is made even easier by the development framework offered by New Wave DV using industry-standard tools. Customers can add their own algorithms and “secret sauce” to run under the FPGA using

Table 2

COTS Journal | February 2020


the development framework offered by New Wave DV.

to transfer the partially processed data to the host processor for further processing and use by the application. The V1153’s Gen3 PCIe interface allows it to operate with almost any host system.

This development framework is compatible with standard FPGA development tools from major vendors and comes with a hardware abstraction layer, called the interface wrapper, along with a user-development region (‘sandbox’) where developers can design and develop their own code. The abstraction layer offers a user-application interface to all the FPGA and board-level resources needed for high performance data interfacing and processing. The framework also has an assortment of software APIs, kernel drivers, and software examples to help programmers develop applications that communicate seamlessly with the development framework. So, when the data is fed into the user sandbox, it has already been separated from the protocols and can be processed by the user’s own algorithms. On the other side of the sandbox is the DMA controller and the PCIe interface


COTS Journal | February 2020

Figure 3 - The development framework offers a hardware abstraction layer to all the interfaces required for a FPGA in the form of the interface wrapper. The sandbox region allows developers to create, test, and evaluate both the example code provided, as well as their own custom code.

Summary The V1153 was built for harsh environments, high performance, and sensitive budgets. Offering a broad selection of network formats and interface configurations, it allows system developers to incorporate high-bandwidth interface solutions with high port density, rugged operation, and high processing power for a wide range of uses such as radar, signal intelligence, video, electronic warfare, medical imaging, and embedded telecommunications. It offers this selection of solutions while also supplying high-power FPGA processing. The V1153 provides a broad platform for the creation of rugged, reliable, and powerful embedded interface solutions that will meet demanding performance, environmental, and cost requirements.


Raytheon Technologies By John Reardon, Editor Founded as the American Appliance Company, Raytheon has come a long way from its roots as an appliance manufacturer. The story began on July 7th, 1922 in Cambridge, Ma. In the shadow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company’s founders were: Vannevar Bush, at the time the dean of MIT’s School of Engineering, Laurence Marshall, an Electrical Engineers with a strong entrepreneurial approach to business and finally, Charles G. Smith, a scientist that brought forth knowledge of the electrical properties of gasses that lead to many of the early innovations in RADAR and Radios. During the Second World War, Raytheon was a major contributor to the war effort with vacuum tube advancements that made RADAR and Radios more practical. It is estimated that nearly Image 1 - Raytheon at the Paris AirShow


COTS Journal | February 2020

80 of all vacuum tubes ever made came from Raytheon. The advances they made in quality and manufacturing added to their reputation as a quality leader. And an ideal partner for defense systems that held the lives of the operators in the balance. At the beginning of the new millennium, Raytheon brought together the E-Systems, Texas Instruments Defense, Hughes Aircraft. In October of 2019, the company announced that it was acquiring United Technologies Corporation, known as UTC. This move will include names such as Pratt and Whitney and Collins Aerospace, in themselves substantial entities known for their many firsts in avionics. It is difficult to cover all the firsts, but with 90 percent of all

Image 2 - Raytheon Precision Missiles

households in the United States using Microwave ovens each day – it should be noted that they developed Microwave ovens for the space program. In the Vietnam era, the idea of a TOW missile was something that was introduced to the American public through the nightly news as a decisive anti-tank weapon. A Tube-launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided or TOW was introduced into combat. During the Iraq war, Raytheon had another first with the Patriot Missile, the first defensive weapon that could intercept ballistic missiles (SCUDS). Today the company is made of 5 major business divisions with ~67,000

employees. The company delineates Commercial Avionics and Defense. The Commercial Avionics side of the company addresses a compendium of issues from propulsion systems to Cockpit controls, from the use of Artificial Intelligence to Air Traffic Control. The Defense side of the business includes Integrated Defense Systems and Missile Systems. Integrated Defense Systems specializes in air and missile defense, large land- and sea-based radars and systems for managing command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It also produces sonars, torpedoes and electronic systems for ships. Missile Systems is the world’s

Today the company is made of 5 major business divisions with ~67,000 employees.

Image 3 - Dismounted soldier training simulator

COTS Journal | February 2020


Image 4 - Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor

premier missile maker, providing defensive and offensive weapons for air, land, sea and space, including interceptors for U.S. ballistic missile defense. The business also builds net-enabled battlefield sensors and includes Raytheon UK. The company now spans facilities in 80 different countries with support activities throughout the world. The man at the top is Thomas A. Kennedy who is leading the company from the role of Chairman and CEO. Mr. Kennedy took over the role in 2014 from his predecessor and has lead the company with an exciting M and A strategy that will more than double the revenue. Thomas Kennedy, Chairman and The opportunity that Raytheon repCEO of Raytheon resents to the COTS industry is so great that many vendors have dedicated a single Account Executive to handle their needs.

Image 5 - Sweden’s Patriot 26

COTS Journal | February 2020

Image 6 - Missile-3 IIA contract

February 2020

COT’S PICKS Pentek Announces New Quartz RFSoC Board Aligned with the Technical Standard for the SOSA Reference Architecture

Pentek, Inc., introduced the Quartz™ Model 5550, an eight-channel A/D and D/A converter, 3U OpenVPX board based on the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC and aligned to the SOSA™ Technical Standard. The Model 5550 is ideal for many communications, electro-optical, electronic warfare, radar and signals intelligence applications. “The Model 5550 is leading the industry in the rollout of products developed in alignment with the Technical Standard for the SOSA Reference Architecture,” said Bob Sgandurra, director of Product Management of Pentek. “Pentek continues to be very active in the development of the SOSA technical standard and we are now demonstrating our commitment with supporting products and demonstrations.” A key development breakthrough was the decision to implement connector technology that enables one of the major goals of SOSA reference architecture-–backplane only I/O. The Model 5550 incorporates the ANSI/VITA 67.3D VPX Backplane Interconnect standard for both coaxial RF and optical I/O. In addition, the Model 5550 includes a 40GigE interface and a shelf-management sub-system that are also required in the SOSA reference architecture. Pentek’s modular approach to hardware and software enables quick adaptation to new and chang-

ing customer requirements. The Model 5550 uses the Model 6001 QuartzXM eXpress module containing the RFSoC FPGA and all needed support circuitry implemented on a carrier module designed specifically to align with the technical standard for the SOSA reference architecture. This allows easy upgrades to third generation RFSoC modules when available.

vides another 16x stage of data reduction, ideal for applications that need to stream data from all eight A/D’s. Eight 4 GSPS, 14-bit D/A converters deliver balun-coupled analog outputs to a second VITA 67.3D coaxial backplane connector. Four additional 67.3D coaxial backplane connections are provided for clocks and timing signals.

Factory Installed IP Advances Development The Model 5550 is pre-loaded with a suite of Pentek IP modules to provide data capture and processing solutions for many common applications. Modules include DMA engines, DDR4 memory controller, test signal and metadata generators, data packing and flow control. The board comes pre-installed with IP for triggered waveform and radar chirp generation, triggered radar range gate selection, wideband real-time transient capture, flexible multimode data acquisition and extended decimation. For many applications, the Model 5550 can be used outof-the-box with these built-in functions, requiring no FPGA development.

Expandable I/O The Model 5550 also uses the VITA-67.3D backplane connector for eight 28 Gb/sec duplex optical lanes to the backplane. With two built-in 100 GigE UDP interfaces or a user-installed serial protocol in the RFSoC, the VITA-67.3D backplane interface enables gigabit communications independent of the PCIe interface.

Data Conversion and Analog I/O The front end accepts analog IF or RF inputs on eight coax connectors located within a VITA 67.3D backplane connector. After balun coupling to the RFSoC, the analog signals are routed to eight 4 GSPS, 12-bit A/D converters. Each converter has built-in digital downconverters with programmable 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x decimation and independent tuning. The A/D digital outputs are delivered into the RFSoC programmable logic and processor system for signal processing, data capture or for routing to other resources. A stage of IP based decimation pro-

Navigator Design Suite for Streamlined IP Development Pentek’s Navigator Design Suite includes: Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) for custom IP and Navigator BSP (Board Support Package) for creating host software applications. The Navigator FDK includes the board’s entire FPGA design as a block diagram that can be edited in Xilinx’s Vivado tool suite. All source code and complete documentation is included. Developers can integrate their IP along with the factory-installed functions or use the Navigator kit to replace the IP with their own. The Navigator FDK Library is AXI-4 compliant, providing a well-defined interface for developing custom IP or integrating IP from other sources. The Navigator BSP supports Xilinx’s PetaLinux on the ARM processors. Users work efficiently using high-level API functions, or gain full access to the underlying libraries including source code. Pentek provides numerous examples to assist in the development of new applications. Ready-to-Use Quartz Development Platform The Model 8257 is a low cost 3U VPX chassis ideal for developing applications on Pentek’s Model 5550 Quartz RFSoC board. Providing power and cooling to match the Model 5550 in a small desktop footprint, the chassis allows access to all required interfaces and the Model 5901 rear transition module. The Model 8257 can be configured with optional real-panel dual MPO optical connectors to support the Model 5550’s dual 100 GigE interfaces and coaxial RF connectors. Pentek, Inc.


COTS Journal | February 2020

February 2020

COT’S PICKS Acromag Combines A/D, D/A, Digital I/O and Counter/Timer Channels on their Newest AcroPack® Rugged Mini PCIe I/O Module The new AP730 provides a mix of analog and digital input and output channels on a single mPCIe-based module for high-density, high-reliability data acquisition and control applications. Acromag adds another military-grade measurement and control module to their AcroPack series of ruggedized mini PCIe I/O modules. The new AP730 multi-function I/O module performs analog input, analog output, discrete I/O and counter/timer functions. A variety of carrier cards can host up to four modules and are available in PCIe, VPX, XMC, CompactPCI-Serial, and mini-ITX embedded computing platforms. These boards are designed for commercial off-the shelf (COTS) applications in defense, aerospace, and industrial systems to provide a high-density mix of I/O signal interfaces in compact computing environments. With the AP730’s single-module combination of analog and digital I/O functions, system integrators can use remaining carrier

WIN Enterprises Announces 2U HPC with Intel® Skylake-SP/Cascade LakeSP processor, DDR4, 8 PCIe X8 slot and Redundant PSU WIN Enterprises, Inc. announces the PL82020, a high-performance computer (HPC) with Intel® Skylake S-P/Cascade Lake-SP scalable processor. Cascade Lake is the 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor. It is the direct successor to Intel’s Skylake server microarchitecture sharing the same socket and pin out, core count, cache size, and I/O capabilities, but with significant improvements in speed and efficiency.

mezzanine slots for serial, Ethernet, avionics, and CAN interfaces, or FPGA signal processing with other AcroPack modules. Each AP730 module features a highdensity mix of 28 I/O channels and 32-bit counter/timers in a 30 x 70mm card. Eight differential analog inputs (0-10V, ±10V ranges) feed a 16-bit A/D converter capable of sampling at nearly 800KHz. Four analog output channels have individual 16-bit D/A converters with a 7.5µS settling time. Programmable I/O ranges, sequencing, interrupts, memory allocation, and other controls are supported, as well as external triggering. The bidirectional digital I/O is configured as two 8-channel groups with TTL-compatible thresholds and programmable change-of-state or level interrupts. Counter/ timers perform quadrature, frequency, and period measurement functions plus pulse width modulation and waveform generation operations. DMA transfer support efficiently moves data between module memory and the PCIe bus to unburden the system CPU and increase performance. Acromag

Key Features, PL-82020 • Intel® Skylake-SP/Cascade Lake Xeon® scalable Series Processor, LGA3647 • Six-channel DDR4 ECC/Registered 2400/ 2666 MHz Memory, up to 32GB per DIMM, and max support of 384GB. • 8 x PCIe x8 slots for expansion LAN modules, up to 96 GbE Copper/Fiber ports • Supports hot-swappable FAN module • Supports 100GbE LAN modules (Optional) • 2x standard PCIe x8 add-on card (Optional) • Supports IPMI card with VGA (Optional) • 2x 2.5” HDD/SSD hot-pluggable (Optional)

The PL-82020 HPC server can support hybrid configurations in the Cloud, IoT, and Call Center applications. Hybrid cloud computers offer the flexibility to handle high-value data while enabling the utilization of third-party cloud services for less-critical data. The PL-82020 can be modified by WIN Enterprises based on unique customer requirements. WIN Enterprises, Inc.

Cascade Lake is the 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor and features Intel® Deep Learning Boost and provides high-performance inference and vision for AI workloads. It consolidates diverse workloads, handles massive datasets and enables near real-time transactions. COTS Journal | February 2020


February 2020

COT’S PICKS Compute Intensive rugged 3U VPX Server Board

Concurrent Technologies announces a rugged 3U VPX board for compute intensive applications in accordance with a proposed VITA 65.1 profile that is developed in alignment with the SOSA™ Technical Standard. TR J4x/6sd-RCx is Concurrent Technologies first processor board with a 40G Optical Ethernet Interface for high bandwidth and reliable connections. It has been developed as a high performance follow on from the popular TR H4x/3sd-RCx board released in early 2019. By default, TR J4x/6sd-RCx is fitted with a 12-core Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1559 and 64GB of soldered down DDR4 memory for server grade application and workload consolidation in highly challenging environments. Alongside the Optical Interconnect (1 x 40GBASE-SR4 or 4 x 10GBASESR), TR J4x/6sd-RCx has 2 x 10GBASE-KR Ethernet connections and up to x8 lanes of Gen 3 PCI Express® for high speed point to point connectivity with adjacent accelerator boards. A front connection with VGA and USB ports allows for easy setup with Linux or Windows™ Server operating systems or hypervisors from vendors like VMware®.

OSS Expands AI on the Fly® Product Line, Adding PCI Express 4.0 Expansion System with Eight NVIDIA V100S Tensor Core GPUs One Stop Systems, Inc. announced the availability of a new OSS PCIe 4.0 value expansion system incorporating the latest NVIDIA V100S Tensor Core GPU. As the newest member of the company’s AI on the Fly® product portfolio, the system delivers data center capabilities

Concurrent Technologies is offering variants fitted with up to 2TB of direct attached storage with options for write protection and self-encryption. Having high capacity on board storage enables intensive data logging applications in a secure environment. Concurrent Technologies offers several security enhancement utilities, such as Secure Boot and Sanitization, and Guardian, a fully featured security package that can be tailored for specific customer needs. Jane Annear, Managing Director of Concurrent Technologies, commented: “Concurrent Technologies is continuing to increase its portfolio of VPX boards to meet the needs and expectations of key users and partners. In this case we are expanding

to HPC and AI edge deployments in the field or for mobile applications. The 4U value expansion system adds massive compute capability to any Gen 3 or Gen 4 server via two OSS PCIe x16 Gen 4 links. The links can support an unprecedented 512 Gpbs of aggregated bandwidth to the GPU complex. The expansion system features 10 PCIe 4.0 slots and 4,000 watts of load sharing power. In conjunction with V100S Tensor Core GPUs, it delivers up to 1,040 teraFLOPS of tensor performance and 65.6 teraFLOPS of double precision performance, accelerating both computational science and data science.

our current portfolio by providing one of the first 3U VPX processor boards with a 40G Optical Ethernet Interface that aligns with new profile requirements, allowing for a new set of capabilities for use in the Military and Defense industries and beyond.” Concurrent Technologies Corp.

The NVIDIA V100S Tensor Core GPU brings CUDA Cores and Tensor Cores in a unified architecture to enable mixed-precision computing. This feature is especially useful for AI training, where operations are run in FP16 precision, and results are accumulated in FP32 precision, which delivers significant speedups while preserving accuracy. In addition, NVIDIA V100S GPUs offer FP64 precision for scientific computing applications like simulations, and INT8 precision for AI inference. The OSS expansion system provides this GPU capability for military, automotive, aerospace and industrial edge applications. “Our new compute acceleration expansion platform demonstrates how we continue to lead the industry in delivering the latest in high-performance technology for mission critical edge applications,” said OSS CEO Steve Cooper. “By combining our proprietary technology and designs with the latest NVIDIA GPUs, we lead the market in Gen 4 expansion and powering AI on the Fly applications.” One Stop Systems, Inc.


COTS Journal | February 2020

February 2020

COT’S PICKS Eta Compute Announces Production Silicon of the World’s Most Energyefficient Edge AI Processor Eta Compute Inc. announces the first shipment of production silicon for its ECM3532, the world’s first AI multicore processor for embedded sensor applications. This unique multicore device features the company’s patented Continuous Voltage Frequency Scaling (CVFS) and delivers power consumption of microwatts for many sensing applications. Eta Compute’s ECM3532 is a Neural Sensor Processor (NSP) for always-on image and sensor applications. It will be on display at the 2020 tinyML Summit, February 12-13 at Samsung Electronics in San Jose, California. Eta Compute is a Gold Sponsor of tinyML and will demonstrate the ECM3532 for image recognition and other edge sensing applications. The objective of the entire tinyML community is to enable ultra-low power machine learning at the network edge. “Our Neural Sensor Platform is a complete software and hardware platform that delivers more processing at the lowest power profiles in the industry. This essentially eliminates battery capacity as a barrier to thousands of IoT consumer and industrial applications,” said Ted Tewksbury, CEO of Eta Compute. “We are excited to see the first of many applications our customers are developing come to market later year.”


Eta Compute’s ECM3532 family brings AI to edge devices and transforms sensor data into actionable information for voice, activity, gesture, sound, image, temperature, pressure, and bio-metrics applications, among others. The platform solves issues for the most important issues in edge computing: longer battery life, shorter response time, increased security and higher accuracy.

“We believe that power consumption, latency and data generation combined with RF transmission are all factors limiting many sensing applications,” said Jim Feldhan, president and founder at Semico Research. “It’s great seeing Eta Compute’s platform coming into the market. Their technology is orders of magnitude more power-efficient than any other technology I have seen to date and it will certainly make AI at the edge a reality.” ECM3532 The company’s standalone AI platform includes a multicore processor, that includes flash memory, SRAM, I/O, peripherals and a machine learning software development platform. The patented CVFS substantially increases performance and efficiency for edge devices. The self-timed CVFS architecture automatically and continuously adjusts internal clock rate and supply

voltage to maximize energy efficiency for the given workload. The ECM3532 multicore NSP combines an MCU and a DSP, both with CVFS, to optimize execution for the best efficiency making it an ideal solution for IoT sensor nodes. Key Features: • 5 x 5 mm 81 ball BGA • As low as 100μW active power consumption in always-on applications • Arm Cortex-M3 processor with 256KB SRAM, 512KB Flash • 16b Dual MAC DSP with 96KB dedicated

SRAM for ML acceleration • Neural Development SDK with TensorFlow interface for seamless model integration into the ECM3532 Partner Quotes “It’s exciting to see innovative products for low power machine learning being launched at tinyML where experts from the industry, academia, start-ups and government labs share the innovations to drive the whole ecosystem forward,” said Pete Warden, Google Researcher and General Co-chair of the tinyML organization. “We are amazed by the ECM3532 and its efficiency for machine learning in sensing applications,” said Zach Shelby, CEO of Edge Impulse. “It is an ideal fit for our TinyML lifecycle solution that transforms developers’ abilities to deploy ML for embedded devices by gathering d a t a , building a model that combines signal processing, neural networks and anomaly detection to understand the real world.” “Himax Imaging HM01B0 and new HM0360 are among the industry’s lowest power image sensors with autonomous operation modes and advanced features to reduce power, latency and system overhead. Our image sensors can operate in sub-mW range and when paired with the low power multi-core processors such as Eta Compute’s ECM3532, developers can quickly deploy edge devices that perform image inference under 1mW,” said Amit Mittra, CTO of Himax Imaging. Eta Compute Inc.

COTS Journal | February 2020


February 2020

COT’S PICKS Microchip Announces Industry’s First Space-Qualified COTS-Based RadiationTolerant Ethernet Transceiver and Embedded Microcontroller

the same pin-out distribution, allowing designers to begin implementation with COTS devices before moving to space-grade components. This significantly reduces development time and cost.

Radiation-qualified devices enable expanded Ethernet connectivity for space applications

“As the first to provide both a rad-tolerant transceiver and an enhanced rad-tolerant microcontroller for the rapidly-expanding, highreliability Ethernet market, Microchip continues to support space industry developments and evolution with qualified and proven solutions,” said Bob Vampola, associate vice president of Microchip’s aerospace and defense group. “Microchip’s COTSbased space-grade processing provides the right performance and the right level of qualification to meet evolving requirements from Low-Earth Orbit constellations to deep space missions.”

Ethernet is becoming more common in spacecraft to enable hardwired communication speed, support higher data rates, and facilitate interoperability between satellites and other spacecraft. As Ethernet in space applications continues to expand, Microchip Technology Inc. announced the industry’s first space-qualified Ethernet transceiver – a radiation-tolerant device based on a Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solution widely deployed in other industries now offering reliable performance for applications ranging from launch vehicles to satellite constellations and space stations. In addition to Microchip’s new VSC8541RT radiation-tolerant Ethernet transceiver sampling, the company received final qualification for the new SAM3X8ERT radiation-tolerant microcontroller, its latest Arm® Cortex®-M3 core processor and embedded Ethernet controller. These are designed to support space industry demand for radiation tolerant devices separately or in combination. Both devices are COTS-based parts with enhanced characterized levels of radiation performance and high reliability quality flow, available in plastic and ceramic packages. They share

Pixus Offers Mid-Sized OpenVPX Development Chassis for RF Modules and Equipment Pixus Technologies, a provider of embedded computing and enclosure solutions, has announced a new version of the VPXD1000 series that allows various VITA 67 slot configurations for RF interfaces over OpenVPX. The chassis can be partitioned for a separate segment for specialty RF devices or your SOSA (Sensor Open Systems Architecture) implementation. The new version of the VPXD1000 comes in a 63HP (12.6”) wide size, allowing higher slot count backplanes up to ten slots at a 1.0” pitch. Alternatively, designers can utilize one portion of the chassis for a smaller VITA 67 backplane over OpenVPX and a separate segment for RF or 32

COTS Journal | February 2020

These latest devices are among Microchip’s broad suite of COTS-based radiation tolerant microelectronics supporting Ethernet connectivity to be used aboard satellite platforms, payloads for data and sensor bus control, remote terminal communication, space vehicle networks, and module connectivity in space stations. The VSC8541RT transceiver is a single-port Gigabit Ethernet copper PHY with GMII, RGMII, MII and RMII interfaces. Radiation performances have been verified and documented in detailed reporting. The VSC8541RT is latch-up immune up to 78 Mev; TID has been tested up to 100 Krad. With the same rad-tolerant die and package, a 100 MB limited bitrate performance VSC8540RT is also available in plastic and ceramic qualified versions, other devices. Pixus can optimize the airflow/ cooling for each segment to best suit the customer requirements. The VPXD1000 features removable sidewalls. When testing, the sidewalls can be removed for easy open frame access to probe plug-in cards. The chassis walls can later be plugged in for thermal testing or aesthetic purposes for end customer demonstrations. Pixus offers OpenVPX backplane/chassis systems in commercial, development, and MIL rugged formats. The company also provides IEEE and Eurocard components for the embedded computer market. Pixus Technologies

which provides performance and cost scalability for targeted missions. The SAM3X8ERT radiation-tolerant MCU implements on a System on Chip (SoC) with the widely-deployed Arm® Cortex®-M3 core processor, delivering 100 DMIPS benefits from the same ecosystem as the industrial variant. The SAM3X8ERT contributes to the system integration trend helping to drive the space industry toward more advanced technologies. This microcontroller embeds up to 512 Kbytes Dual Bank Flash, 100 Kbytes SRAM, ADC & DAC and dual CAN controller on top of Ethernet capability. These latest devices complement Microchip’s suite of radiation-tolerant and radiation-hardened hardware processing sol-utions. With the SAMV71Q21RT Arm® M7 MCU up 600DMIPS and ATmegaS128/64M1 8-bit MCU series, all share the same development tools. Development Tools To support the design process and accelerate time to market, developers can use the Arduino Due commercial kit for the SAM3X8ERT along with the VSC8541EV evaluation boards for the VSC8541RT. The SAM3X8ERT device is supported by Atmel Studio Integrated Development Environment for developing, debugging and software libraries. Microchip Technology Inc.

February 2020


Crystal Group Answers DoD Need For Cybersecurity At The Tactical Edge

as well as the warfighters’ immediate need for secure, actionable data in any domain.”

Partnership with Seagate Government Solutions provides military-grade, accredited data storage

“Crystal Group’s reputation for designing and delivering high-performing rugged computer hardware that can withstand the extreme demands of military operations made them a clear choice to ruggedize and sell this segment of our accredited drives,” said Henry Newman, chief technology officer for Seagate Government Solutions. “Our complementary expertise enables a solution that supports our military’s current and long-term needs for exceptional data security.”

Crystal Group, Inc announced that their PASSTM SAS solid state drives (SSD) are the first ruggedized and accredited data-encrypted drives for secure data storage at the tactical edge. Through a partnership with Seagate Government Solutions (SGS), Crystal Group is the sole provider of this leading-edge data-atrest solution that meets strict U.S. government computer security standards, including FIPS 140-2 and NIAP accreditation. The unique combination of SGS’s commercial, high-capacity 2.5” SAS SSDs and Crystal Group’s proprietary ruggedization processes, ensures critical data protection for our military in the most extreme and unpredictable conditions. “Our partnership provides a data storage solution that not only meets military environmental standards, but is also certified as cybersecure,” said Todd Prouty, business development manager for military programs at Crystal Group. “This SAS SSD meets the Department of Defense (DoD) cyber requirements

As the U.S. DoD moves closer to a dualencryption standard for their data strategy requirements, these drives deliver the first layer of accredited, hardware-based data encryption. In turn, it will be easier for the DoD to integrate the next layer of cryptographic key management encryption for CSfC requirements. Ruggedized to protect from the elements and adversarial tampering, these trailblazing drives provide both internal and external data path protection, ensuring data is only accessible by authorized users. Crystal Group, Inc

COTS Journal | February 2020


February 2020


CompactPCI Serial Development Platform from Elma Enables High-speed Processing in a Test Environment

Newest E-Frame system provides open access for easy probing and debugging Elma Electronic Inc. has expanded its popular line of E-Frame test and development platforms to include a 3U CompactPCI Serial-based system designed for high-speed data processing. The platform features a 9-slot backplane comprised of one system slot and eight peripheral slots, with Ethernet routed as full mesh. It is ideal for developing cPCI Serial-based applications for use in railway, defense and other mobile and rugged applications. The open, intuitive design of the Type 39 E-Frame chassis enables easy access to boards and components. This facilitates probing and debugging of a system and its components during integrated testing and application development. With verified testing methods completed, system designers can implement final applications more quickly. Boris Micha, global product line systems


COTS Journal | February 2020

manager for Elma, noted, “CompactPCI Serial was developed for high-speed processing applications, in the range of 12 Gb/s. Designers needed a test platform that could handle these requirements and ensure reliable deployed systems. By offering a development platform based on this industry standard, we continue to provide our customers with the tools they need to compete in today’s embedded marketplace.” The front panel features two voltage test points as well as an on/off and reset switch and a 12V LED indicator. An ample, low-cost 300W ATX power supply delivers power to the nine-slot backplane. With a compact structure and convenient carrying handle, the 9-slot 3U cPCI Serial E-Frame system can be used in lab or desktop environments. Optimal cooling is also inherent in the design. The platform comes with a removable front fan tray that features dual 140 cfm fans as well as three 55 cfm fans in the rear to cool the rear transition modules (RTMs). A 75W power supply is dedicated to powering the fans, and perforated rear panels ensure proper air intake and exhaust.

Elma Electronic Inc.





Annapolis Micro Systems ...................................... IBC ........................................ Behlman Electronics ............................................



Fairview Microwave ...............................................



Kingston Technology ............................................. IBC ............................................. Milpower Source ..................................................... 22 ............................................. Neonode ................................................................ 16/23 . ............................................. New Wave DV .........................................................

20 .........................................

OSS ........................................................................ IFC .................................


Percepio ...............................................................

34 ..............................................

Pentek ..................................................................

5 ................................................

PICO Electronics, Inc .............................................

15 ...................................

Pixus Technologies ................................................


Sealevel .................................................................

11 ..............................................

Versalogic .............................................................



Vicor Cororation ..................................................... 27



COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at; 3180 Sitio Sendero, Carlsbad, CA. 92009. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 3180 Sitio Sendero, Carlsbad, CA. 92009.