Tech Focus: PC/104 and
PC/104 Family Boards Roundup
The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing
PLUS: Avionics Interface Choices Span from 1553 to Ethernet
— Volume 13 Number 6 June 2011
An RTC Group Publication
COM Solutions Challenge Traditional Slot-Card Approach
RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. Leading the Way in PCI Express AS9100 and ISO 9001 Certified
PCIe/104 Single Board Computers
–40 to +85°C Operation
PCIe x1 GigE USB 2.0 Serial aDIO™ 8
Sequentially laminated PCBs fabricated to IPC 6012 Class 3 Standards. Visit www.rtd.com for full datasheets.
Stackable, rugged enclosures are available for RTD’s complete line of products.
Design, Engineering, Manufacturing & Tech Support
AS9100 and ISO 9001 Certified
Copyright © 2011 RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective companies.
Intel Atom E6xx Family cpuModules
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 customerpaid minor modification to standard COTS products to meet the customer’s unique requirements. —Ant. When applied to the procurement of electronics for the 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.
30-Year History: Shuttle Program Parallels Computer Tech Advances
CONTENTS January 2011
SPECIAL FEATURE The Shuttle and Space Electronics
10 30-Year History: Shuttle Program Parallels Computer Tech Advances Pete Yeatman & Warren Andrews
18 Copper Leadframes Eclipse Alternatives for Military Designs Jeff Kendziorski, Micross Components & Sean Long, ISSI
6 Publisher’s Notebook Out with the Old, in with the New 8
The Inside Track
64 Editorial Space Talk: DoD’s Future, NASA’s Past
Coming in July See Page 66
Avionics Options: 1553, Ethernet and More
26 Bridging 1553 to Ethernet Networks Paves Future of Avionics Richard Wade, Alta Data Technologies
30 Serial FPDP Provides Throughput Advantages for Sensor I/O Andy Reddig, Tek Microsystems
38 Deterministic Version of Ethernet Offers Real-Time Performance at Low Risk Dr. Mirko Jakovljevic, TTTech
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT COM Versus Slot-Card Architectures
46 COM Boards Find Place as Slot-Card Alternative Jeff Child
TECHNOLOGY FOCUS COM Express Boards
52 Roadblocks Few as Tech Refresh Strengthens PC/104’s Hand Jeff Child
PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup Digital subscriptions available: cotsjournalonline.com
On The Cover: With the Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space as backdrops, the International Space Station is shown here as photographed by an STS-130 crew member on space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation in Feb 2010. The Space Shuttle’s 30 year history included a variety of duties, including transporting pieces of the ISS along with astronauts that helped assemble it. (Photo courtesy of NASA).
The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing
Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman, email@example.com
Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child, firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Marina Tringali, email@example.com COPY EDITOR Rochelle Cohn
Art/Production CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jason Van Dorn, firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christopher Saucier, firstname.lastname@example.org GRAPHIC DESIGNER Maream Milik, email@example.com LEAD WEB DEVELOPER Hari Nayar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising WESTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Stacy Mannik, email@example.com (949) 226-2024
6/2/11 11:14:34 AM
EASTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Shandi Ricciotti, firstname.lastname@example.org (949) 573-7660 ASIAN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Jessica Marinescu, email@example.com (+852) 2548 5100 BILLING Cindy Muir, firstname.lastname@example.org (949) 226-2000
POWER YOUR LAPTOP & CHARGE YOUR BB-2590 MILITARY BATTERY WITH SOLAR POWER
LIND’S SOLAR CHARGE SYSTEM
The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, www.rtcgroup.com
The Lind Solar Charge System is used in conjunction with the BB-2590 rechargeable battery (not included). The system consists of the combination charge control/DC output module, a foldable 60 watt solar panel and related cabling for complete connection between the battery, laptop and solar panel. For more information, please contact Lind at 1.800.897.8994, via email at email@example.com, or visit us online at www.lindelectronics.com.
[ 4 ] COTS Journal June 2011
Editorial office Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief 20A Northwest Blvd., PMB#137, Nashua, NH 03063 Phone: (603) 429-8301 Fax: (603) 424-8122 Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2011, The RTC Group. 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. POWER SPECIALISTS FOR MOBILE COMPUTING
1/11/11 11:40:44 AM
A surprising blend of personalities
That’s the nature of the AB2000 Avionics BusBox® With so many built-in capabilities, the highly-ﬂexible AB2000 family from Ballard Technology is the ideal ﬁt for a wide range of applications. These rugged, conduction-cooled, COTS devices combine a powerful computer processor, multi-protocol databus interfaces, Ethernet, USB, other I/O, and PMC expansion in a small, lightweight package. AB2000 Personalities...
Discover what the AB2000 can do for you. Call 425.339.0281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
The Avionics Databus Innovators AS9100 / ISO 9001 Registered
· Embedded Computer · Aircraft Interface Device · Data Recorder · Protocol Converter · Ethernet Switch · Power Management Unit · Radio/Satcom Interface · and many more
Notebook Out with the Old, in with the New
n June 30th Dr. Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, will leave office. And if confirmed by the Senate, CIA Director Leon Panetta will assume the position as the 23rd Secretary of Defense. Although we’ve known for some time that Secretary Gates wanted to retire this year, we’ve all put off our speculation regarding what will happen after he leaves office until we find out who may replace him. Now that the speculation is over, everyone with an opinion will start voicing theirs regarding what will happen to the military and the military budget. At a minimum, trying to guess what personal spin soon-tobe SecDef Leon Panetta will put on the marching orders from the President requires a review of the employment decisions he has made through his life. Since SecDef Gates and Director Panetta both served the current President, and both men also served in the CIA, it may be interesting to do a comparison of their service to the country and see if any assumptions can be made. In the mid-sixties both men served as officers in the military—Dr. Gates in the Air Force and Mr. Panetta in the Army. After leaving the military the two men went down different paths. Mr. Panetta started in politics as a legislative assistant to Senator Tomas Kuchel of California, and Dr. Gates continued the CIA affiliation started in the Air Force. Let’s continue with the outgoing SecDef’s history and then move to the incoming SecDef. Dr. Gates spent the next 27 years as an intelligence professional. He is the only member of the CIA that started at the bottom and in 1991 became Director. Between 1993 and 2006 Dr. Gates worked in and around academia. In 2006 he assumed the office of SecDef, and adding another first, is the only SecDef in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. President Barack Obama is the eighth president Dr. Gates has served. If you spend any time in the CIA the odds are pretty good that some questionable activity may brush your career. With Dr. Gates it was the IranContra scandal. Although it was asserted that Dr. Gates should have known, no direct connection was established and the issue was dropped. Moving on to Mr. Panetta; after working for Senator Kuchel in 1969, he became the assistant to Robert Finch, Secretary of the Department of Health Education and Welfare under President Nixon. After refusing to modify his policies and give in to pressure from the White House, he resigned in 1970 and for a short
[ 6 ] COTS Journal June 2011
stint went to work for NYC Mayor John Lindsay. Returning to his home of Monterey, California and practicing law, he switched political parties and ran for the local Congressional seat that he held between 1977 and 1993. His last four years in Congress he was the Chairperson of the House Committee on the Budget. He left Congress to accept the appointment as Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget. In 1994 he was appointed White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton and held that position until the end of President Clinton’s first term. Between 1997 and 2009 Mr. Panetta worked in academia, and started his own institute for public policy working on advocating the health of the world’s oceans. In 2006 Mr. Panetta served on the Baker Commission to assess the situation in Iraq, and in 2009 he was sworn in as Director of the CIA. Although both men are dedicated, strong willed career government officials, the soon-to-be SecDef Panetta has greater experience in the workings of the political machine. Dr. Gates meanwhile was more like a bull in a china shop when it came to Congress. Mr. Panetta has solid balanced budgeting experience, an understanding of the workings of Congress and bipartisan politics. He has a history of doing what he feels is of the best interest to the organization he is heading, and is willing to fight political pressure. At 73 years of age and given the stress of the office of Secretary of Defense, this will probably be his last political office. He may not bend to doing what is politically correct, or what lobbyists may want, but instead do what is best for the military.
Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal
Designing and building board level products and sub-systems for space applications is tough enough. Doing it in a true Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) environment is even tougher. It takes a very special company to do it right – and that company is Aitech. We not only designed and built the world's first harsh environment, open architecture CompactPCI boards more than two decades ago, but we're fully qualified for use in today's most hostile environment – space.
The only COTS company... Aitech is the only COTS company in the world that offers embedded products for space applications with this combination of features: • Designed and qualified specifically by us for space • Radiation characterized • On-board triple redundant memory • Rad-hard SOI (Silicon On Insulator) ASICs • Single event effects and total dose radiation survivability Total space applicability... Aitech embedded products and sub-systems for space are ideal for Near, Low, Medium and High Earth Orbit applications, Lunar and Mars robotic vehicles and much more. Our products are used in the Space Shuttle, MIR Space Station, International Space Station and other high profile satellite programs where highest performance and reliability are required.
Real space-qualified COTS... not custom off-the-shelf...but commercial off-the-shelf. COTS the way it's supposed to be! We don't compete with you...some embedded companies try to be systems integrators. We don't. We deliver board-level product and integrated sub-systems for space (and military/aerospace) applications. We leave the systems integration to the companies that do it best...like yours! We have what you need... from a full range of high performance, cost effective, rad-tolerant, space-qualified CompactPCI SBCs, peripheral I/O boards and PMCs, memory boards and enclosures...to complete radiation and qual-testing, component obsolescence risk mitigation, lifecycle support and program management capabilities – with all the economy-of-scale advantages of off-the-shelf products.
Make us prove it... we can and we will. Call or visit us on the web. Embedded electronics is our Space.
Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. 19756 Prairie Street Chatsworth, CA 91311 email: email@example.com Toll Free: 888-Aitech8 - (888) 248-3248 Fax: (818) 407-1502 www.rugged.com
Inside Track Raytheon Awarded $84.7 Million for Airborne Radar Contract Raytheon has received an $84.7 million U.S. Navy contract for continued production of ALR-67(V)3 digital radar warning receivers. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD. The ALR-67(V)3 is the U.S. Navy standard for digital radar warning receiver technology. It is made for installation on all frontline, carrier-based F/A-18 E/F tactical aircraft (Figure 1) and is an integral part of modernization programs for U.S. and international customers. The ALR-67(V)3 is the first deployed radar warning receiver to combine fully channelized digital receiver architecture with the power of dual processors. Its innovative architecture enables the successful detection of emitters in high-density electromagnetic environments and uses leading-edge digital technology for improved reliability. According to Raytheon, this technology is fully integrated with all avionics equipment on the Super Hornet. The ALR-67(V)3 improves aircrew survivability by providing immediate and accurate situational awareness of the threat environment. Deliveries are expected to begin January 2013 with production scheduled at Raytheon facilities in Forest, Miss. and McKinney, Texas.
The ALR-67(V)3 is the U.S. Navy standard for digital radar warning receiver technology. It is made for installation on carrier-based F/A-18 E/F tactical aircraft.
Raytheon Waltham, MA. (781) 522-3000. [www.raytheon.com].
Lockheed Martin Delivers 2,000th Symphony IED Jamming System Lockheed Martin recently delivered its 2,000th Symphony jamming system to help protect allied convoys and soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq from the threat of remotely detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Able to simultaneously jam select or multiple electronic signals used to trigger a radio-controlled (RC) IED, the Symphony RC-IED Defeat system (Figure 2) is the only jammer of its kind approved by the U.S. government for foreign military sale to allied, coalition and partner nations. The small, vehicle-mounted system is easily installed on and operated from nearly any security force mobile platform to help protect troops in set[ 8 ] COTS Journal June 2011
Figure 2 The Symphony RC-IED Defeat system is able to simultaneously jam select or multiple electronic signals used to trigger a radio-controlled IED. tings ranging from heavy urban neighborhoods to rugged rural terrain. Programmable and easily updateable, Symphony can quickly shift operation to address changes in electronic signal attacks. It also does not interfere with active coalition communications and electronic systems. Symphony is interoper-
able with other jamming devices used by the coalition in theater. In March 2010, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a sole source indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract for Symphony RC-IED Defeat jammer systems. The contract award specified an initial task order valued at $40.8 million with a ceiling of $940 million through September 2014. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [www.lockheedmartin.com].
Eurotech to Acquire Industry Veteran VME Vendor Dynatem Eurotech has announced that on May 31st it will finalize the acquisition of Dynatem Inc.
The acquisition will be included in the consolidation perimeter of the Group starting from June 1st. Dynatem, based in Mission Viejo, California, has operated since 1981 in the embedded computing market and specifically in the VME, VPX and CPCI boards segment, with a turnover in 2010 of about $3.6 million U.S. Eurotech will acquire 100 percent of the share capital of Dynatem for an enterprise value of approximately 1.9 million USD (1.3 million Euro). The transaction will be settled in cash. According to Roberto Siagri, president and CEO of Eurotech, the acquisition of Dynatem will consolidate Eurotechâ€™s presence in the United States, adding the West Coast to its geographical footprint. The company will acquire expertise and know-how on the emerging VPX standard. The long tradition of Dynatem
VME and CPCI platforms also opens up the possibility to create further synergies between the U.S. and Japan. Eurotech also owns Parvus, a supplier of rugged COTS computing and IP networking subsystems with a history in PC/104 products. Eurotech Columbia, MD. (301) 490.4007. [www.eurotech.com].
U.S. Army Contracts iRobot for $7.6 million SUGV Order iRobot has received a $7.6 million order from the U.S. Army Contracting Command-Warren, Michigan, for 50 of its 310 SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) tactical mobile robots and spare parts. The order was issued under a new indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract that allows for an initial delivery of 50 robots. The 310 SUGV (Figure 3) gathers situational awareness in dangerous conditions while keeping warfighters out of harm’s way. The robotic system weighs about 35 pounds, making it ideal for dismounted mobile operations. While 310 SUGV has been used in theater primarily by explosive ordnance disposal teams, the robots in this order will also be used by combat engineers and Marines.
Designed for dismounted EOD missions, the 310 SUGV features a highly dexterous manipulator for investigating and neutralizing suspicious objects. Its manipulator arm extends 24 inches and has a lifting capacity of 7 pounds through the full range of motion. The turret rotates 360 degrees, allowing for precision targeting and placement of disruptors. iRobot (781) 430-3000. [www.irobot.com].
Considerable attention and speculation has been given to the use of off-the-shelf hardware across different vertical markets, and whether this trend is expanding, remaining stable or declining. If the use of COTS is expanding, one would expect to see an economic benefit to its use—hence, a more important measure of COTS utilization would be reflected in the budgeted amount of COTS hardware as a percentage of total hardware cost. Percent of Hardware Budget Devoted to COTS Hardware 2011 EMF Survey of Embedded Developers 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5%
Event Calendar June 21
MlLESTONE Baltimore, MD www.milestone2011.com June 23
MlLESTONE Nashua, NH www.milestone2011.com August 9
Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conf. Denver, CO www.rtecc.com August 11
Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conf. Salt Lake City, UT www.rtecc.com
Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conf. Irvine, CA www.rtecc.com
The 310 SUGV features a highly dexterous manipulator for investigating and neutralizing suspicious objects. Its manipulator arm extends 24 inches and has a lifting capacity of 7 pounds through the full range of motion.
Military Leads in Percent of Hardware Budget Devoted to COTS Hardware
Military Market Watch
Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conf. San Diego, CA www.rtecc.com To list your event, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry Average Auto-transportation Aerospace/Avionics Consumer Electronics
Datacom/Networking Electronic Instrumentation Industrial Automation Medical
Military Office Automation Telecom
Figure 4 According to the EMF survey, Aerospace/Avionics and Military had the highest number when asked how much of their budget is spent on off-the-shelf embedded computing systems compared to their total hardware budget. In a recent 2011 survey of embedded developers (653 respondents), EMF asked respondents to report the percent of their total hardware budget that was devoted to COTS hardware. Figure 4 shows their responses according to vertical market. Whereas Aerospace/Avionics and Military had the highest response, Datacom and Electronic Instrumentation had a better than average response. These data reflect the percent of the COTS hardware budget compared with total hardware budget. It is interesting to note that the budgeted percent of COTS hardware is consistent across all architectures, DSP and FPGA, but it is significantly larger for dual core and multicore developments. This might be due to the recent inclusion of multiple cores in embedded developments where the focus might be on software development within a mostly reusable hardware configuration. It will be interesting to see if this data is repeated in 2012. Information regarding the survey and data can be found at Embedded Forecast’s website. Survey data and the use of the EMF Embedded Dashboard used to compute these data can be seen at: www. embeddedforecast.com/emfmip_videos.php. For more information contact Jerry Krasner, Ph.D., MBA, Principal of Embedded Market Forecasters at Jerry@embeddedforecast.com Embedded Market Forecasters Framingham, MA. (508) 881-1850. [www.embeddedforecast.com]. June 2011 COTS Journal [ 9 ]
Special Feature The Shuttle and Space Electronics
[ 10 ] COTS Journal June 2011
30-Year History: Shuttle Program Parallels Computer Tech Advances After decades of spectacular service, the Space Shuttle program has come to an end. Its history parallels an equally spectacular history of semiconductors and computing processing technology. Pete Yeatman, Publisher Warren Andrews, Editor Emeritus
magine a world with no personal computers, no MS-DOS, no Internet, no iPhone; iPad or App Store; No Twitter or Facebook. That’s where we were in 1981 when Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as the 40th President of the United States. That same year MS-DOS and the personal computer were invented; Adam Osborne introduced the first “laptop” computer; Jack Welch was named president and CEO of GE; the Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV; and Space Shuttle Columbia took the first orbital flight of the Shuttle program among other events. While the shuttle launch wasn’t the most important or dramatic event to unfold in 1981, it was symptomatic of the developments in science and technology that were to follow. In these pages we’ve chronicled the development of manned space travel (COTS Journal, June 2010) and many of the benefits mankind has enjoyed as a result of the technological development fostered by our space program. Major advances in medicine, communications, optics, solid-state physics, computer science and other disciplines were the direct result of experiments associated with the development of the Space Shuttle and space technology. In the following pages, as we follow developments from the first shuttle launch to the end of the program, we’ll look at some of the technological developments that grew in parallel with—not necessarily because of—the Space Shuttle program. June 2011 COTS Journal [ 11 ]
Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) in Endeavour’s (STS-134) cargo bay.
30 Years of Shuttle Flights The flight of Endeavour last month (STS-134) marked the “end” of 50 years of manned space flight in the United States and 30 years of yeoman-like duty of the Space Shuttle program. The official end is scheduled for July. At the time of this writing, STS-135, the final flight of Atlantis, is still scheduled for a launch in July of 2011. However, personnel and backup components are extremely limited and any difficulty at all will more than likely necessitate a last minute cancellation of that mission. Whether it ends up being the final or the penultimate shuttle flight, Endeavour’s final flight seems a rather ignominious ending to over a half century and more than $500 billion expended to support the program. Though the media was present in numbers at the launch, the overall coverage was a whimper compared to the hoopla that surrounded Alan Shepard’s 15 minute, 183 Kilometer suborbital ride into space on May 5, 1961. As the authors, we watched—and felt—the launch: it was inspiring to think that the equivalent of 44 million horsepower—6,000,000 lbs. of thrust—in the solid boosters alone worked with the 1,500,000 lbs. of thrust from the three Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines [ 12 ] COTS Journal June 2011
sucking down 64,000 gallons of fuel a minute to separate the 4,500,000 lb. vehicle from the earth’s pull of gravity. This spectacle was enhanced by a plume of steam from water from a nearby tower cooling the concrete of the launch pad billowed with the red-orange exhaust of the solid-rocket boosters.
AMS On Board Endeavour, flight STS-134, (named after the ship 18th century explorer Captain James Cook commanded) has the distinction of carrying the shuttle’s most expensive payload, an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) for assembly on the ISS. The AMS-02 (Figure 1) will collect information from cosmic sources emanating from stars and galaxies millions of light years beyond the Milky Way. It might be noteworthy to mention here that while the AMS is the most expensive payload, literally hundreds of payloads preceded it and, until now, another must have been the most expensive. The depth and diversity of payloads ferried aloft would fill countless volumes and cover virtually all disciplines of everything from medicine to metallurgy and from agriculture to optics. Creators of the experiments varied from the most sophisticated scientific companies in
Intel’s first Pentium processor included more than 3 million transistors with feature sizes at a scant 0.35 microns. the world to elementary school science classes. Though the ISS may continue for some time under the care of the Russians, the ready availability of access to low earth orbit and a weightless environment will be missed as one of the tools of science in this country.
Millions of Man Hours While we don’t want to dwell on the reasons and tragedy of the dissolution of the manned U.S. space program (see
This image of the International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour, flying at an altitude of approximately 220 miles, was taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking on May 23, 2011. sidebar “The Next 30 Years” p. 14) we feel it appropriate to pay some homage to the millions of man hours, significant development and sacrifice of the many thousands of individuals involved in the program. Not everything makes the headlines. In addition to the Astronauts and plume of smoke as the vehicle rises, there are tens of thousands of man hours that go on behind the scenes that are a significant component of each launch. For a special behind-the-scenes photo essay about the Space Shuttle program, go to www.cotsjournalonline.com. The shuttle, Spacelab and ISS didn’t happen in a vacuum. Here we will attempt to add some perspective of some of the electronic and computer developments that paralleled the development and deployment of the Shuttle program over the past 30 years.
The Shuttle: The First Decade In 1981, semiconductor feature sizes were running in the 1.5 to 2.0 micron area as the 64 Kbyte DRAM made its debut. The microprocessor was already on its third generation with the introduction of the
Intel 80286. By 1983 as STS-6, (the sixth shuttle launch since the Columbia) Challenger, headed off on its 2 million+ mile voyage, Micron Technology had led the field with the smallest 64 Kbyte DRAM die in the industry and the 256 Kbyte DRAM was just in the shadows. Challenger took off in the wake of STS-5, Columbia, which deployed the first commercial communications satellite. STS-6, however, trumped that with almost four hours of extravehicular activity in addition to the deployment of a tracking and data relay satellite and other experiments. The decade of the 1980s was one that set the pace of technology development. In 1983 Challenger was off again as STS7, another notable flight as Sally Ride— first American woman in space—blasted off into history as mission specialist. Semiconductor feature sizes continued to shrink in obeisance to Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors on an IC will double every two years. Ironically, while named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, the term “Moore’s Law” was coined by industry guru Carver Mead. Mead, it might be re-
membered, was half of the Mead-Conway pair that authored the landmark publication The Introduction to VLSI Systems and spawned the Mead & Conway revolution of the 1980s, which was a good part of the defining technology for the growth of the semiconductor industry. At the same time VMEbus technology was taking off with the development of the VME subsystem bus (VSB) and the solidification of VME32 as the IEEE 1014 standard. By the mid-1990s, technology developments were rampant. Readers of COTS Journal will recognize some of these as VMEbus (VME32 became an IEEE standard and it was starting to sprout offspring as VSB was developed.) Multibus, and soon to be Multibus II, was already established, setting the stage for the “bus wars” that were to follow. STS-9 blasted off toward the end of 1983 carrying the first Spacelab-1 experiments as well as a habitable Spacelab and pallet. This followed the introduction of Intel’s i286 processor in 1982, where transistor counts climbed to well over 100,000 in the sub-1.5 micron range.
June 2011 COTS Journal [ 13 ]
The Next 30 Years of Spaceflight and Technology: A Dim Future? The launch of the shuttle Endeavour signals the end of more than 50 years of the U.S. manned space program effort. While some of the exploration and development has already borne fruit, it’s likely that much of the knowledge gained will lie dormant for lack of any mechanism for further exploration. And, the infrastructure—the people, the accumulated body of knowledge and the plant and materials—will lie fallow, and may never be resurrected. The ISS, of course, will continue with large contributions of cash from the U.S. to Russia that will provide transportation back and forth. But can the effort continue at the levels it did when the shuttle regularly ferried equipment and personnel to the ISS? In January of 2004, President George W. Bush said “the desire to explore and understand is part of our character,” He said this as he unveiled an ambitious plan to return Americans to the moon by 2020 and use the mission as a stepping stone for future manned trips to Mars and beyond. Unfortunately those ambitions weren’t followed through in this decade. The plans for the Orion project were dashed last year when the administration cancelled the project and any further manned space program. The thought was that the private sector should take on any further space exploration. But outside of the communications business—and perhaps a carnival-type space ride—current thinking is that it’s unlikely to be monumentally successful. And while we lament the loss of our government-sponsored manned space program, there is talk of continuing but re-naming some contracted Orion efforts thus avoiding any potential cancellation charges. This move also will perhaps prevent contractors from offering some Orion concepts to any takers world-wide. A vehicle, very similar—if not identical—to the Orion— which was initially proposed to replace the space shuttle—is already being discussed as a possible approach. The vehicle, Liberty, combines the experience of the solid-rocket boosters of the shuttle with the cryogenically fired upper stage used in the European Ariane rocket (Figure 1). There is some chance that the Kennedy Space Center infrastructure can be sold or leased to another entity. It has already been rumored that the Chinese might be interested in leasing the KSC facility for its space development. China and Russia will undoubtedly take the lead in space technology and exploration that we have abdicated. Finally we must consider the military establishment. While the DoD has its own space program, it has learned an enormous amount from—and
Tragedy Strikes Move on to 1986 where we saw the tragic explosion of shuttle Challenger, which broke apart 73 seconds into flight with a loss of the vehicle, payload and crew of six including payload specialist and teacher, Sharon Christa McAuliffe. It took more than two years for technicians to be assured the problem was solved and to include other enhancements and safety features before [ 14 ] COTS Journal June 2011
Shown here, the ATK 5-segment solid rocket booster first stage is combined with the Astrium Ariane 5 liquid fuel rocket second stage. The craft leverages developments used by NASA and ESA on the Shuttle, Ariane5 and Constellation programs. taken advantage of—the Shuttle program. Is space critical to military efforts? It’s been said that “whoever controls space controls the world.” That may not be far from the truth. China has already demonstrated to the world that it can shoot satellites out of the sky with impunity. Meanwhile there’s been a transition in what we sometimes define as technology. For example, in the technology sections of major publications, articles and discussion of social media—Facebook, Twitter, Google and so on—have replaced things like computer architecture, semiconductor technology and space exploration. But all that’s probably more of a symptom rather than a cause of the dwindling importance of hard science. Only medicine and pharmaceutical pursuits are given a hearing, and even they will probably suffer under recently promulgated legislation that caps expenses for drugs and procedures. Finally, irreplaceable human resources are being squandered by taking away the type of incentives that made this country and its people great. Leaders like Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Andy Grove and Gordon Moore are a product of the fertile free-market environment they lived and worked in. Hope for future generations lies in the political and economic environment it lives in. Technology has done what it can and is now being ignored.
shuttle Discovery took off toward the end of 1988 with a host of experimental payloads. COTS Journal readers can jump ahead to 1990 and Multibus is formally on the map designated as IEEE 796. Though the bus dates back to 1974—the same as earlier VMEbus systems—in earlier iterations, IEEE standardization added legitimacy to the concept. Multibus II came right along as IEEE 1296. The updated
bus brought a 32-bit step up for the 8- and 16-bit Multibus I and came in a Eurocard form factor with DIN connectors in place of the edge-card connectors of Multibus I. In February of that year, Atlantis took off with another classified DoD payload. Throughout the Shuttle program’s history many military and NSA payloads were launched. Meanwhile, single-chip transistor count finally topped the 1,000,000
mark with the i486 with feature sizes in the 0.8 micron range. 1990 saw six successful shuttle launches during the year.
The Second Decade Beginning in the mid-1990s, small board-level companies began to consolidate with some companies acquiring as many as seven or eight different companies in the last half of the decade. Intel alone made more than a half-dozen acquisitions including several board-level companies. This consolidation has continued through the first half of the next decade. Moving on, processor and system bus widths were rapidly moving from 16 to 32-bits and beyond. Bus widths bumped to 64 bits in 1994 with the introduction of VME64 (ANSI/VITA 1 1994), and performance of bus-based systems skyrocketed. By 1993, Intel had kept faith with Moore’s Law. It introduced the Pentium processor, which not only topped the one-million mark, but included more than 3 million transistors and feature sizes falling to a scant 0.35 microns (Figure 2). 1995 brought us yet another popular bus standard that is still in use today, CompactPCI. This Eurocard-based standard adopted the architecture of Intel’s PCI used largely in PCs to the industrial and telecom markets. It flourished throughout the late 1990s and suffered some setback with the bursting of the “dot com” bubble of 1999/2000. From April of 1991 to February of 1995, 28 shuttle flights carried out a broad array of experiments, delivered satellites and even repaired the Hubble telescope by changing out rate-sensing units. Experiments ran the gamut from protein crystal growth to anatomical rodent experiments. They even brought an iMAX camera up and produced a stunning three-dimensional photographic spectacular. Technology development continued unabated through the rest of the decade with transistor counts exceeding the 10,000,000 mark on a single die. Standards-based computer board systems continued to flourish, the bus wars waxed and the communications industry became a heavy user of CompactPCI boards and systems.
In Orbiter Processing Facility-3 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a technician describes the thermal protection system underneath the shuttle to STS-133 Mission Specialists Tim Kopra and Alvin Drew.
More Experiments and Payloads Shuttle missions continued ferrying a variety of scientific experiments and other payloads to space. From February 1990 to December 1999, 62 shuttle flights were launched, which included a variety of EVAs, delivery of systems and subsystems to the ISS (Figure 3), ISS repair and construction, satellite and space project repair and other activities. The depth of knowledge acquired from these activities is almost unfathomable. The growth of commercial technology continued to outpace that of the military and aerospace areas. In the early years, military and aerospace technology led the race, however improvements in the commercial sector’s technology—largely in the semiconductor arena—leapfrogged military and aerospace development partially because of some of the restrictions and requirements to be rated for space and/or military service. As early as 1986 the DoD mandated that commercial products be used whenever possible. And in 1994 the Perry Memorandum sealed the deal by requiring a waiver in order to use Mil-Spec parts rather than commercial ones. There is a problem with the first and the last part of the sentence. Yes, the Gov started say-
ing this in 1986, but the actual requiring a waiver didn’t happen until 1994 with. Fix as you see fit. The early days of this mandate caused some confusion; vendors and users alike learned to deal with the fact that to get the latest technology it was necessary to use commercial parts and modify them and the system to conform to system requirements. It was during this turbulent time that COTS Journal was founded to help vendors make the right decisions about using and modifying commercial products for rugged environments.
Comms Bubble As we moved into Y2K, the bursting of the communications sector bubble was already in full swing. Suppliers of services and equipment had seen an exponentially growing market and prepared accordingly. There quickly developed a glut of equipment and capacity resulting in cancelled orders and many firms dropping by the wayside. The expected market never materialized and it sent shudders through the industry from component to system makers. These vibrations echoed through the entire economy. During the period, the Dow Jones Industrial dropped from a high of 11,723 in January 2000 to 8,920 June 2011 COTS Journal [ 15 ]
on September 17, 2000. That September day also sawthe biggest one day fall of the Dow (685 points). Between January 2000 and February of 2003 there were 13 shuttle missions. Then taking off on February of 2003, space shuttle Columbia encountered problems on re-entry and the vehicle and crew of seven were all lost. Finding the problem and creating remedial solutions
took until August of 2005 when STS-114 Discovery, with a payload designated for the International Space Station, reinitiated regular trips of the shuttle. Figure 4 shows a technician describing the thermal protection system underneath the shuttle to STS-133 Mission Specialists Tim Kopra and Alvin Drew earlier this year. By 2005 semiconductor feature sizes continued to decrease and transistor
Behind the Scenes Tour of Space Shuttle Operations Over the years we have watched shuttle launches on TV and viewed stories about the astronauts and prominent persons associated with the program. There’s a lot that goes on at Kennedy Space Center that most people don’t see—such as the people that are never recognized that work on the program as well as those responsible for providing the wealth of information gathered for public interest. Go to www.cotsjournalonline.com to see some interesting images of what’s going on behind the scenes.
counts began to reach the almost unimaginable 100,000,000 mark. Throughout the balance of the decade (Aug. 2005 to Dec. 2009), 16 flights continued to ferry people and equipment to the ISS. And by the close of the decade, transistor counts on a single die exceeded the two-billion mark with processors now including dual and quad core architectures.
The Final Five This current decade marks the end of the Shuttle program. Beginning in February of 2010, the Endeavour made its next to last flight. Then Discovery took off again followed by what was billed as the final flight of Atlantis. Discovery made its final ascent in March of 2011and Endeavour took its final trip last month. Endeavour, it might be noted, was the most recent vehicle to be made as it replaced the Challenger and had its maiden flight in 1992. Hopefully, if all goes well, the sixth “bonus” mission STS-135—the final flight of Atlantis—will occur as scheduled in July. This abbreviated history of the shuttle and the parallel with semiconductor technology does not fairly do justice to either. In both developments, hundreds of thousands if not millions of man hours produced spectacular results. Much of the effort to make these things happen was not in front of the media, but behind the scenes. Our heartfelt congratulations and thanks to all involved. [ 16Untitled-4 ] COTS1Journal June 2011
2/16/11 9:51:50 AM
A Wealth of Engineering Brilliance We have used the Intel architecture as an example of the roadmap of semiconductor processor technology because it is probably the most familiar to current engineers. The developments have proven out Mooreâ€™s Law. Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, has been quoted as saying that Mooreâ€™s Law wonâ€™t be violated on his shift. Letâ€™s hope his shift is long and fruitful. Using Intel processors as an example is not intended to take away from the brilliant engineering of AMD, or of Motorola and its 68K and 88K and follow-on PowerPC (with IBM) family of processors, nor to minimize the importance of other efforts such as AMDâ€™s 29000, MIPS processors, Silicon Graphicsâ€™ Geometry Engine, Fairchildâ€™s Clipper, Ian Barronâ€™s Transputer and others. All had their place in the development of system architecture and technology.
simplified our jobs. Special thanks to Margaret Persinger, our source for NASA images and videos, and to all the NASA public relations personnel that have been so helpful through all the years in answering questions that may be unique to COTS Journal.
I]ZaZVY^c\bVcj[VXijgZgd[ 6k^dc^XhIZhiH^bjaVi^dc EgdYjXih[dgVaaVeea^XVi^dch H_]^jedJWh][j
Mostly Proprietary Systems The actual computer technology used in the Space Shuttle remained largely proprietary and was developed and upgraded on a one-up basis, and provided very little advanced technology compared with what was available in the commercial world. It never made the transition from specialized hardware to the COTS provisions as our military establishment has done. Of the many triple-redundant systems used in the shuttle, many of those used in later shuttlesâ€”including the Endeavourâ€” where the same or slight modifications of the original systems. With the exception of the payloads there was little advanced technology. The technology transition in the computer and electronics world largely took place from the commercial to the specialized aerospace sector. Throughout the period covered in this article, itâ€™s been the privilege and honor of the authors to have lived the technology presented both as engineers, managers and editorsâ€”chroniclers of the developments and events for various technical publications. Finally, weâ€™d like to thank our friends at the Kennedy Space Center, the vendors weâ€™ve worked with and the many media contacts that have
;an^c\=^\]l^i]EM> PC/104-Plus USB PMC/XMC ExpressCard PCI/PCIe
cPCI/PXI VME VXI
AIM Office Contacts:
Cdhig^c\hViiVX]ZY "^cXajYZhZc\^cZZg^c\ hjeedgiid\jVgVciZZ hjXXZhh[ja^ciZ\gVi^dc
=6G9L6G: HD;IL6G: HNHI:BH HJEEDGI IG6>C>C<
;^ZaYegdkZc"ig^ZYVcYigjhiZYhdaji^dch [dgVaandjgEM>Vk^dc^XhiZhigZfj^gZbZcih/ Â™B>A"HI9"&**(6$7Â™HI6C6<(.&%$:;:M Â™6G>C8)'.Â™6;9M$6G>C8++)E, 6>BĂ‰hEM>egdYjXihYZh^\cZYl^i]i]ZaViZhiiZX]cdad\n VcYidi]Z]^\]ZhifjVa^inl^i]Vaai]ZeZg[dgbVcXZ VcY[jcXi^dchndjZmeZXi[gdbi]Z>cYjhignaZVY^c\ 6k^dc^Xh9ViVWjhhjeea^Zg IgndjgcZlZc]VcXZYAVWK>:L$K>VcYGI^ciZg[VXZ" Xjhidb^oZYhdaji^dch^cb^cjiZh
AIM USA - Trevose, PA Tel: 267-982-2600 email: email@example.com AIM UK - High Wycombe Tel: +44 1494 446844 email: firstname.lastname@example.org AIM GmbH - Freiburg Tel: +49 761 45 22 90 email: email@example.com AIM GmbH - MĂźnchen Tel: +49 89 70 92 92 92 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
lll#V^b"dca^cZ#Xdb 6/2/11Journal 12:13:13 PM ] June 2011 COTS [ 17
Special Feature The Shuttle and Space Electronics
Copper Leadframes Eclipse Alternatives for Military Memory Designs Thermal issues and reliability concerns raise questions about traditional memory chip leadframe materials. Copper leadframes offer an alternative that mitigates possible system failures. Jeff Kendziorski, Director of Marketing Micross Components Sean Long, Director of Marketing ISSI
emory board design can present the military system designer with one of their toughest tasks: managing heat dissipation at the component level. With ever increasing memory densities and faster speeds, the alloy 42 leadframes traditionally used with plastic COTS parts often result in heat buildup, significantly limiting ambient temperature exposure and often resulting in thermal induced die failure. Worse, a board’s longevity can be further compromised by the wide thermal cycling typical of Mil/ Aero systems, creating excess stress on the solder joints, which in time can lead to fractures due to the mismatch of the CTE between the alloy 42 and the FR4 PCB. Fortunately conductivity and product life challenges with plastic COTS memory can be greatly minimized, if not eliminated, by the use of copper leadframes. When qualified for high-temperature, harsh-environment operation, copper leadframe products provide the traditional benefits of COTS components, while giving designers the advantage of a better thermal design starting point, beginning at the source of heat, increasing suitability for Mil/Aero applications. [ 18 ] COTS Journal June 2011
This table compares the various electrical and physical properties of copper versus alloy 42.
Less Heat, More Life Perhaps the most important metal to the semiconductor interconnect and conduction industry, copper (Cu on the element chart) is in the same elemental column as Gold (Au) and Silver (Ag), thus sharing similar properties. In electrical conduction, copper is only second to silver. However, lack of abundance and cost considerations make silver an impractical choice in electronics design and development. But it is the thermal conductivity of copper that reigns supreme as the leadframe material of choice. As system designers and component selection engineers will attest, the as-
signment of choosing the “right” COTS memory component solution can be a very daunting task, given the multitude of commercial vendors and the variability of choices. On top of this, he/she has to contend with die revision changes, material changes and varying quality/reliability standards among vendors. On the other hand, the system thermal design expert could have the toughest task of all as junction temperatures can easily exceed the previous die revision’s rated capability, resulting in thermal runaway, which can shorten component life and eventually lead to catastrophic failure. So the selection of the best materi-
GE Intelligent Platforms
Leadership and experience in avionics bus protocols Discover why more engineers continue to rely on our two decades of avionics expertise and products For more than 20 years, GE Intelligent Platforms has been a major supporter of gamechanging avionics protocols such as MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 as well as newer technologies such as 10Mbit 1553 and Avionics Full Duplex Ethernet (AFDX). We continue to invest heavily in the avionics products needed for where you are today and where youâ€™ll be tomorrow. We also offer best-in-class avionics support through online knowledge bases and on-call or even on-site technical experts, as well as our Product Lifecycle Management program. To launch your next avionics design project, visit our website at:
For more information about QRcodes, visit www.ge-ip.com/qrcodes ÂŠ 2011 GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. All rights reserved. All other brands or names are property of their respective holders.
als to carry this heat safely away from the silicon is critical.
Alloy 42 vs. Copper This is like a comparison of, or a match between, fighters in different weight classes, when it comes down to thermal conduction capability and CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion), with copper clearly being the victor (Figure 1). Alloy 42 (42 percent nickel, 58 percent iron) is, however, the most widely used leadframe material primarily due to its low cost and CTE match with silicon. But sacrificing thermal margin of design in military systems does not have to occur if the system designer is given more choices. Total cost of ownership is of much greater value here. When it comes to thermal expansion and contraction, military and avionics systems are subjected to a wide thermal range, some to extreme requirements of -65Â° to +150Â°C. The copper coefficient of thermal expansion is 17 ppm/C. This closely matches the typical FR4 PCB material of 14-17ppm/C, so the solder joint stress
Component material (leadframe)
Fatigue crack appears in solder joint
Signal trace material
The alloy 42 solder joint on the printed circuit board is vulnerable to fatigue cracks. is greatly minimized relative to alloy 42, which has a CTE of 5ppm/C. Due to the approximate 3x mismatch of the alloy 42, as well as the give and take during thermal cycling, the alloy 42 solder joint on the PCB is vulnerable to fatigue cracks as shown in Figure 2. Moreover, the copper bends of the leadframe are more flexible than alloy 42 with copper having greater ductility and malleability, and itâ€™s at the lead bends that the greatest stress can occur.
The next superior attribute of copper is its thermal conductivity. While copperâ€™s thermal conductivity value is 170 W/mK, alloy 42 is much more inferior at 14 W/m-K, less than a tenth of copperâ€™s. The effect this has at the package level can be seen in thermal impedance data alone. In some cases copper can have >1.5-2X advantage in Theta JA and JC impedances. In the following example, all things being equal, the OjA = 89C/W for the alloy 42
Committed to providing the highest quality service and support in acquiring compliance with recognized testing standards and governmental regulations
WE OFFER A FULL RANGE OF SERVICES FOR TESTING OF SMALL AND LARGE SYSTEMS Our state-of-the-art 10,000 sq. ft. testing laboratory located adjacent to Fort Bragg
s 3EMI !NECHOIC #HAMBER -), 34$ TESTING FT TURNTABLE CAPABLE OF HANDLING A LB PAYLOAD &REQUENCY 2ANGE (Z TO '(Z s %-# #OMPLIANCE 4ESTING s %NVIRONMENTAL 4ESTING s 2&