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OpenVPX SBCs Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Pre-Integrated Systems Chart a Function-Specific Course




PLUS: Standards and Tools Bolster Military Software Security

— Volume 13 Number 7 July 2011

An RTC Group Publication

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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.

Function-Specific Integrated Systems Get Closer to End Application

CONTENTS July 2011

Volume 13

Number 7

SPECIAL FEATURE Function-Specific vs. General Purpose Pre-Integrated Systems

10 Function-Specific Integrated Systems Get Closer to End Application Jeff Child

18 Pre-Integrated Subsystems Step Up to Meet Demanding Requirements

Departments 6 Publisher’s Notebook Changing of the Guard 8

The Inside Track


COTS Products

66 Editorial The Power of Joint Perspective

Mike Southworth, Parvus

24 Networked-Military Calls for More Complex UPS and Power Distribution Tech Michael A. Stout, Falcon Electric and David J. Proli, Marway Power Solutions

TECH RECON Software Security Standards and Solutions

32 Focus on Attack Paths Improves Military Software Security Dale Brenneman, McCabe Software

38 CWE Initiative Helps Secure Code Development Efforts Deepu Chandran, LDRA Technology

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Rackmount Bladed Systems Meet Compute Density Needs

46 Rackmount Systems Push the Compute Density Envelope Jeff Child


50 OpenVPX Moves Forward as Second Wave of Products Hits Jeff Child


OpenVPX SBCs Roundup Digital subscriptions available:

Coming in August See Page 64 On The Cover: The Raytheon AN/SLQ-32 is the primary electronic warfare system used on U.S. Navy ships—including the now decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). The modular General Dynamics’ Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) builds on the existing SLQ-32 hardware and technology in an evolutionary fashion. Shown here, the USS Kitty Hawk receives fuel from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (TAO 200) while in the Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo).

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman,

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child, MANAGING EDITOR Marina Tringali,




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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, or visit us online at

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Notebook Changing of the Guard


eon Panetta is going to have a hard keep military spending in line with the natime filling his predecessor’s shoes tion’s overall health and well-being. It will when he gets affirmed as Secretary of be necessary for him to push even harder Defense. Robert Gates has always been an to get more of what Gates started in place. enigma with some of his actions—at least This requires getting the industrial side of until you started to dig. The digging usuthe military complex on board—let them ally starts out with an attempt to disclose know what their role will be and how they why Gates’ decision was a bad one. But can best profit in that role. Meanwhile usually you’d find out that it was only bad more of the military brass needs to unfor some groups, not bad for the military derstand what it is that they require to be or the nation. FCS was just one of many effective—and less on what they would programs with flaws that made it more like to have if some future scenario comes prudent to kill it and start over than to fix about. Procurement must be re-worked it. FCS vehicles were under-armored, flat (for the umpteenth time, but for real just bottom designs, over complicated and so once) so that development phases take on. Ending it was a good decision for the years and not decades and use established military—not so good for industry. technologies. The concept of just cutting Gates was aware that the defense bua percentage from everything is what got reaucracy is a problem—a bureaucracy that Incoming Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta us into the 70s and 90s catastrophe of rerewards developing programs over decades, duced military effectiveness and caused that attempt to use yet-to be-developed technology to resolve yet-to- the pendulum swing of over spending in the other direction in be envisioned issues on the battlefield. He was aware of the bureau- the 80s and 00s. cracy’s habit of not providing solutions to current military problems, I know this will sound like my usual monthly sermon, but and instead making concept and design changes that are both costly the prospects for our industry are still strong and should get poand constant. Those changes usually stemmed not from attempts to tentially stronger. After we ride out this period of new programs meet the changing military needs, but rather to overcome technology being flushed—or put into review for re-application to more relissues that could not be resolved as originally conceived. While Gates evant need—our industry will be more important and more necwas aware of the problems, he was only able to achieve marginal suc- essary than ever before. What we offer and provide are effective cess. At least by killing programs he forced the military to start think- solutions that serve a reduced military budget and an increased ing: “What do we really need to get today’s job done?” “How can we need by the military for the most effective materials quickly. Exget it in a time frame that affects the current issues we have?” cept for this last decade’s uptick in military spending, our indusLike all other defense secretaries before him, Robert Gates try usually doesn’t get any advantage of the increased available has had to deal with Congress and its efforts to force military funds. The primes absorb it by providing similar products to procurement that satisfies political needs rather than focusing ours. Now the primes’ focus will shift more to system integration, on what is best for the military. That said, overall Congress— software and support, and less on developing the readily available both sides of the aisle—has been very pleased with Robert Gates, electronic subsystems that our industry provides. both publically and even more so behind the scenes. Leon Panetta has support from both parties, but he will have to prove himself once in the position. Afghanistan won’t go away just because Bin Laden is gone. And no boots but plenty of money is going into Libya. Then Yemen is next, and then the question of what to do when the civil war breaks out in Iraq. Panetta cannot even conceptualize a similar dismember- Pete Yeatman, Publisher ment of the military like that of the 70s or 90s. But we have to COTS Journal [ 6 ] COTS Journal July 2011


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Inside Track Army Releases Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGV) for Operational Use The U.S. Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command has approved the Conditional Material Release for forty-eight XM1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Figure 1). The systems were distributed to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and the U.S. Army Infantry School. The Material Release process assures that Army materiel is safe for the Warfighter, suitable to meet operational performance requirements, and supportable within the environment it is intended to operate. The SUGV is a lightweight, portable robotic system designed to aid the dismounted Warfighter or Infantryman in the performance of urban intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and assist with providing situational awareness/understanding. The Soldier or Marine sends commands to the SUGV from a handheld controller and receives information through live and still imagery. The SUGV can investigate buildings, vehicles, tunnels, sewers, caves or personnel to seek out potential threats. Weighing 32 pounds, the SUGV is designed to be transported in a standard Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) backpack. The SUGV program is managed by RS JPO, under the direction of the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems.

Figure 1

The XM1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle is operated from a handheld controller and can send information through live and still imagery.

PEO Ground Combat Systems Warren, MI. (586) 282-9520. [].

National Instruments to Acquire RF Design Tool Vendor AWR National Instruments has signed a definitive merger agreement under which NI will acquire AWR Corporation (AWR). AWR is a leading supplier of electronic design automation (EDA) software for designing RF and high-frequency components and systems for the semiconductor, aerospace and defense, communications and test equipment industries. Upon the closing of the transaction, AWR will continue to operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary under the leadership of the existing management team. The acquisition is expected to strengthen both companies’ core software brands, NI Lab[ 8 ] COTS Journal July 2011

VIEW, AWR Microwave Office and Visual System Simulator, as well as the NI RF testing hardware platform. The full suite of AWR design tools in combination with a complete RF testing platform from NI will give customers a platform to decrease the time-to-market of their RF designs. NI will also augment its current academic and university RF and communications initiatives to include AWR software tools, so educators and students can benefit from the improved teaching and learning experience for the rapid design and prototyping of RF systems. The aggregate purchase price to be paid at closing is approximately $58 million, which includes $7 million in cash on the AWR balance sheet.

National Instruments Austin, TX. (512) 794-0100. [].

Navy Selects Lockheed Martin for Submarine Technology Upgrade Lockheed Martin received a U.S. Navy contract to provide submarine combat and sonar systems designed around commercially available hardware and software. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract has a ceiling value of $758 million. The Navy’s Technology Insertion Hardware program includes design, development and production of hardware for the next two submarine technology insertions planned for Seawolf, SSGN, 688/688i, Virginia

Figure 2

Shown here is the control station in the torpedo room of the USS Virginia (SSN-774). Class (Figure 2), and future submarine systems and platforms. The U.S. Navy will provide the Royal Australian Navy with similar technology insertions for the Collins Class submarines through the Foreign Military Sales program. Through seven previous technology insertions on programs such as the AN/UYQ-70 combat

Inside Track

computer server suite, Lockheed Martin has delivered 8,000 workstations and servers on schedule to the U.S. Navy over 14 years. In addition to Lockheed Martin, subcontractors DRS Technologies and Progeny Systems will play key roles in the production of hardware. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [].

U.S. Army Taps DRS Technologies to Develop Handheld Computing Systems DRS Technologies has announced that its DRS Tactical Systems business unit received a cost-plus fixed-fee award for the development of an ultra-rugged handheld device for the U.S. Army’s Joint Battle Command – Platform (JBC-P) program. The company received the order from the CommunicationsElectronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. As one of two companies selected for this contract, DRS will develop a solution for dismounted situational awareness requirements for Soldiers and Marines that is interoperable with the current

Figure 3

A soldier types a message into the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Blue Force Tracking (BFT) system.

Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Blue Force Tracking (BFT) system (Figure 3). As part of the requirement, the handheld system must include an ultra-rugged computing device, software, suite B security, and have the ability to support various communications solutions in order to receive and send friendly force position location, and provide communication capability to and from Soldiers and Marines. DRS Tactical Systems will design and manufacture the systems with initial prototype deliveries scheduled for September 2011. DRS Technologies Parsippany, NJ. (973)898-1500. [].

Northrop Grumman Completes Successful JSF Sensor Testing at Joint Exercise Northrop Grumman has successfully participated in the 2011 Northern Edge joint military exercise by demonstrating key F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) sensor capabilities in a demanding operational environment. The AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and AN/ AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) were mounted aboard Northrop Grumman’s BAC1-11 test aircraft (Figure 4) during the exercise. The radar was tested featuring Block 3 and developmental software, and the DAS was tested with JSF Block 2 delivery software. Participating in the Northern Edge exercise for the second time, the AN/APG-81 radar demonstrated robust electronic

Event Calendar August 9

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Denver, CO August 11

Figure 4

Northrop Grumman’s BAC 1-11 test aircraft was equipped with AN/APG-81 AESA radar and AN/ AAQ-37 DAS. The white fairings placed on the nose and aft of the nose gear contain the DAS IR sensors mounted in alignment with the viewing angles of the F-35. protection, electronic attack, passive, maritime and experimental modes, and data-linked air and surface tracks to improve legacy fighter situational awareness. The AN/AAQ-37 DAS displayed its spherical situational awareness and target tracking capabilities during its operational environment debut at Northern Edge this year. The United States Pacific Command, the Alaskan Command and the Joint Electromagnetic Preparedness for Advanced Combat organizations supervised the biennial exercise, which involved over 6,000 airmen, sailors and Marines. As the United States’ largest and most complex airborne electronic warfare environment, this exercise encompasses mass air combat scenarios conducted across diverse platforms to test their effectiveness within challenging environments.

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Salt Lake City, UT August 16-19

AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2011 Washington, DC August 23

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Irvine, CA August 25

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference San Diego, CA September 13

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Ottawa, ON September 15

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Montreal, QC

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Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262. [ 2011 COTS Journal [ 9 ]

Special Feature

Function-Specific vs. General Purpose Pre-Integrated Systems

[ 10 ] COTS Journal July 2011

Special Feature

Function-Specific Integrated Systems Get Closer to End Application While not replacing military systems’ end functionality completely, a slew of new function-specific system offerings are providing significant time and cost savings for military system developers. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


n parallel with the trend toward rugged box-level systems is another trend toward “pre-integrated subsystems.” These are defined as a set of embedded computing and I/O boards put together and delivered as a working system to provide a certain function, but intended to be used in a military customer’s larger system. Some of these are function-specific, whereas others are more generic computing/networking platforms. The emergence of the function-specific type of system doesn’t mean that the more general-purpose approach is going away. Most vendors that offer function-specific offerings also continue to develop a robust set of general-purpose pre-integrated systems. Driving the function-specific system demand is the trend among prime contractors to an ever greater reliance on embedded computing suppliers. They’re asking for integration expertise and a level of software development as part of those integration efforts. This is driven in part by the need for primes to contain their costs. And that’s expected to continue as more and more military programs are structured as fixed-price rather than cost-plus.

New DoD Policies Drive Trend Also driving this trend are DoD procurement policies that drive increased interest in preconfigured subsystems from COTS vendors. These new policies demand more demonstration of new technologies. The policy also pushes for demonstrations earlier in the program development phase. Technologies also used to July 2011 COTS Journal [ 11 ]

Special Feature

Figure 1

An early example of function-specific integrated systems was the SMU (Sensor Management Unit) subsystem deployed aboard the Global Hawk UAV. The SMU works essentially as an interface fusion box, routing various interfaces and fusing them together.

Figure 2

The current Network Centric Mission Management Computer is a 6U 21-slot system with Serial RapidIO mesh, VPXconduction-cooled solution. It integrates 6U SBCs with 6-port Dual Redundant MIL-STD-1553 Interface 8-port, 1 Gbit/s Fibre Channel interface, internal 64 Gbyte solid state SATA storage and/ or 32 Gbyte RAM High-speed serial interface. [ 12 ] COTS Journal July 2011

have to show higher technology readiness levels (TRLs) than previously required. The result is ever greater demand for prepackaged and prequalified subsystems as primes find themselves without the time or the DoD funding to develop a prototype subsystem internally. One of the earliest examples of this function-specific integrated system trend was Curtiss-Wright’s SMU (Sensor Management Unit) subsystem. Deployed aboard the Global Hawk UAV (Figure 1), the unit offers the capability to support Gbit Ethernet and High-Speed Fibre Channel links while interfacing with legacy interfaces such as 1553, RS-422, ECL and Fast Ethernet. In this way, the SMU works essentially as an interface fusion box, routing various interfaces and fusing them together. The SMU’s fully ruggedized aluminum chassis evolved from the original version (used in Global Hawk Block 20), adding significant capacity for

system expansion (planned for BAMS Global Hawk) while addressing demanding environmental requirements.

Need for Scalability Helping to drive this evolution has been an increased demand for modularity and scalability. UAV system integrators are being called on to enable both scaling up and scaling down of particular subsystems as required by the mission and payload configuration of other UAV platforms. This trend has driven designs to use VPX-based I/O-centric processors with multiple and widely supported highspeed fabric I/O interfaces and expandable high-bandwidth memory. The current Network Centric Mission Management Computer (Figure 2) is a 6U 21-slot system with Serial RapidIO mesh, VPX-conduction-cooled solution. It integrates 6U SBCs with 6-port Dual Redundant MIL-STD-1553 Interface

Special Feature

UAV System Development with Model-Based Design Joy Lin, Aerospace and Defense Industry Marketing Manager, MathWorks


The next generation of unmanned aerial level dependencies. For example, a typical RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS vehicles (UAVs) is expected to fulfill a numsystem-level requirement for an imaging ber of potentially conflicting performance payload is to maintain a certain level of DESIGN and robustness requirements, such as quality for the video transmission throughlonger flights with increased redundancy for out the mission. A high gain, sophisticated Environmental Models more autonomy. Engineers are finding that control algorithm that enables the UAV to Physical Components development methods that rely on domaintrack the target within a few millimeters of Algorithms specific tools for subsystem-level optimizaaccuracy coupled with a low-power antenna tion are no longer sufficient to address these would be one design option. At the other new challenges. Many of these engineers are end of the option spectrum is a design with IMPLEMENTATION adopting commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) a high-power antenna and a less accurate VHDL, Structured tools for Model-Based Design. A primary target tracking algorithm. C, C++ VERILOG Text advantage of this switch is that it enables Because these design options are MCU DSP FPGA ASIC PLC engineers to develop and optimize designs interdependent, performing design tradeoffs at the system level. In Model-Based Design using static analysis in a spreadsheet may (Figure 1), engineers create multidomain lead to a suboptimal design. In some cases INTEGRATION models in a shared environment, which enthis fairly traditional approach may lead a ables subsystems from different disciplines Model-Based Design supports system-level and team to conclude that the requirements are to be integrated into a common system-level component-level design and simulation, automatic not achievable at all. With a Model-Based model early in the development process. code generation, and continuous test and verification. Design approach, teams create a multidoUsing this system-level model, teams can main system-level model by connecting explore the design space to conduct tradeoff studies and gain insights guidance, navigation and controls (GNC) models, communications that are not revealed by analyzing individual subsystems in isolation. models, and other interdependent subsystem models. By trying a Increasingly, UAV subsystem requirements are highly dependent variety of subsystem-level model components and running parameter on other subsystems. However, during a traditional design process sweep simulations, engineers can evaluate the output video image the UAV is optimized for a specific subsystem without regard for any quality of numerous design alternatives to determine which one best subsystem interdependence. For instance, subsystem requirements for meets the system-level performance requirement. a communications component may specify a maximum bit error rate Model-Based Design enables UAV engineers to iterate rapidly (BER), but the power needed to achieve that requirement is not given earlier in the design process, work in a multidomain modeling environconsideration in the same context. To avoid design rework and iterament to optimize system-level performance, and use a single system tions late in the development process, systems engineers must perform model as a golden reference for the design. Compared to a traditional design tradeoffs at the system level. approach, Model-Based Design helps teams identify errors earlier in For a design tradeoff study to yield valuable and actionable rethe design process and deliver higher quality, optimized UAV systems sults, it must be based on system-level models that capture subsystem in less time. 8-port, 1 Gbit/s Fibre Channel interface, internal 64 Gbyte solid state SATA storage and/or 32 Gbyte RAM High-speed serial interface (up to 16 Mbit/s in HDLC/ sync mode) ECL Interface. The unit has a 28 VDC MIL-STD-704E Power Input and has a power consumption under 1000W. Weight in a typical configuration is 80 lbs, and MTBF ranges from 1500 to 2000 hours depending on configuration.

DSP-Centric System Another twist on the function-

specific approach is to tailor the system for a particular kind of technology such as digital signal processing (DSP). With that in mind, Kontron offers a system designed for the needs of compute-intensive DSP-based systems. The Kontron HPEC platform (Figure 3) is a VPX-based super computer-like system that accommodates up to 18 Kontron 6U VPX VX6060s, powered by Dual Intel Core i7 processor computing nodes, and employs 36 tightly coupled processors. Using its VXFabric technology, the

system uses a simplified API that allows high-speed socket-based communication between blades by using multiple switched fabric interconnects within the backplane. The 72 core, 18-blade Kontron HPEC platform provides a breakthrough in compute density, up to 1.44 Teraflops (1.44 Trillion Floating Point Operation per second) in a small 19-inch footprint that delivers the high-performance computing power that is a critical capability for many of today’s military systems. Potential applications include radar, sonar, July 2011 COTS Journal [ 13 ]

Special Feature

SIGINT and video processing for various aircraft or UAV programs.

Payload Choices Another example of getting closer to the end application needs of the military system developer is Themis Computer’s Mission and Payload System initiative. It includes preconfigured versions of the 3U VPX and mezzanine modules, backplanes, I/O controllers, front panels and

chassis cooling options. These systems allow customers to buy true COTS systems, with a standardized option set, suitable for many Mission Computer, Display Processor, Digital Map, EW Controller, SIGINT Recorder, Bus Data and Voice Recorder, and Payload Management applications. The initial conduction-cooled 3U VPX MPSI product suite includes a highperformance Intel Core i7 (Arrandale)-

Figure 3

This DSP-centric system accommodates up to 18 6U VPX Dual Intel Core i7 SBCs. It uses a simplified API that allows highspeed socket-based communication between blades by using multiple switched fabric interconnects within the backplane.

based SBC, an AMD E4690-based GPU module, an 8-Port SATA/SAS RAID Controller and XMC/PMC Carrier module, and a Mass Storage Carrier for 256 Gbyte flash or 500 Gbyte non-rugged rotating media. I/O options are extended, through the use of the XMC/PMC I/O Carrier, which hosts a wide range of I/O controllers, including MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, High Speed Serial, ATDS, Discrete and Analog I/O. Included in the MPSI suite is a series of third-party Software Defined Radio and FPGA Modules. Packaging options for the MPSI suite include two new Themis designed chassis systems, an 8-slot, ½ ATR high-power chassis with multiple cooling and storage options; and a 5-slot convection-cooled chassis intended for smaller footprint and lower power applications.

Service Approach to FunctionSpecific Taking a more service-oriented approach to function-specific systems, Mercury Computer Systems takes what it calls an Application Ready Subsystem (ARS) [ 14Untitled-4 ] COTS1Journal July 2011

2/16/11 9:51:50 AM






LEARN MORE AT WWW.PRESAGIS.COM/EG OR CALL +1-800-361-6424 | +1-514-341-3874 © 2011 PresagisTM Canada Inc. and/or PresagisTM USA Inc. All rights reserved. Presagis, the Presagis logo, Seaweed, SeaWind, and VAPS XT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Presagis in Canada and/or other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Special Feature

approach. An ARS is a customizable configuration designed for a specific application area—EW, radar, EO/IR, C4I or sonar. In a recent example, last year Mercury engaged with a major prime as they started to develop a solution for an Electronic Warfare program. The EW Application Ready Subsystem was packaged in a 6U VXS chassis. It included two sets of Echotek Series RF tuners and signal processing FPGA modules, each set

handling eight coherent input channels. For high-capacity, low-latency intrasystem bandwidth, the ARS used a RapidIO switch fabric backplane and included two RapidIO switching modules. This system design could be modified to address EW applications covering various frequency ranges and channel capacities.

Figure 4

The Mission & Payload System Initiative suite includes an 8-slot, ½ ATR highpower chassis with multiple cooling and storage options. Kontron America Poway, CA. (858) 677-0877. []. Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems Santa Clarita, CA. (661) 257-4430. []. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. []. Mercury Computer Systems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401. []. Parvus Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. []. RadiSys Hillsboro, OR. (503) 615-1100. []. Themis Computer Fremont, CA. (510) 252-0870. []. [ 16Untitled-5 ] COTS1Journal July 2011

6/29/11 10:23:20 AM

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Special Feature

Function-Specific vs. General Purpose Pre-Integrated Systems

Pre-Integrated Subsystems Step Up to Meet Demanding Requirements While modularity and SWaP remain critical factors, pre-integrated system designs are moving closer to end-applciations needs. Mike Southworth, Director of Marketing Parvus


dvances made in embedded computing technology continue to push pre-integrated subsystems further into demanding applications where only the most durable, powerful systems will suffice. These COTS-based systems continue to gain traction within the governd ment especially since Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2009 called on the military to forget the “exquisite” platform and instead seek the “80-percent solution”—equipment that’s affordable andsolutions can benow fielded quickly and in large nies providing quantities. movement within ion into products, technologiesThe and companies. Whether your goalthe is to research the latest tion Engineer,military or jump to to a company's technical goal of Get Connected is to put you focus on pricepage, andthe capability you require for whatever of technology, over ideal,type envelope-pushing systems has and products you are searching for. led to the design of sophisticated tegrated subsystems to meet the military’s stringent requirements. Figure 1 The ability for customers to tailor Military tilt-rotary aircrafts benefit from the flexible platform of pre-integrated subsystems. their device with specific I/O has proven to be a key motivator for the rapid adoption of pre-integrated subsystems. Parvus has noticed an increase of customers mi- upgrades may have to be requalified and integrated subsystems provides superior grating away from sole source, proprietary retrofitted to the system—a lengthy and longevity and flexibility as components rugged computing technology as long- expensive process. can be upgraded in the future without a term lifecycle support is questionable and complete system redesign—an especially Modularity Spurs Increased attractive feature to organizations faced Get Connected Adoption with tightening budgets. To date, more with companies mentioned in this article. The modularity of some prethan 100 COTS-based vendors produce

ploration your goal k directly age, the source. ology, d products

End of Article

[ 18 ] COTS Journal July 2011

Special Feature

Figure 2

New designs of pre-integrated subsystems must consider the CPU-intensive applications required by UAV control systems. products based on modular PC/104 standards. With this broad base of PC/104compatible options, modularity for preintegrated subsystems is optimal. As an example, one manufacturer of a military tilt-rotary aircraft (Figure 1) specifies the multicore version of the DuraCOR pre-integrated subsystem with COTS PC104+ modules supporting MILSTD-1553 avionics bus interfaces and MPEG video encoding. The prime contractor leverages the unit to provide platform mission processing, among other capabilities. In a recent quick-reaction capability (QRC) demonstration for the U.S. Government, the DuraCOR unit was repurposed to link with a stand-alone Ethernet switch subsystem to expand the aircraft’s situational awareness capabilities by sharing and receiving real-time video feeds with ground commanders. To further reduce size, weight and power (SWaP), the customer is looking at also integrating the Ethernet switch (also based on PC104 architecture) into an open card slot within the DuraCOR computer housing, eliminating the need for separate computer/switch boxes. As this customer demonstrates, the flexibility [ 20 ] COTS Journal July 2011

of pre-integrated subsystems allows this computing platform to perform a variety of functions for various applications.

Debating Power vs. Performance In today’s military platforms, reducing a system’s size, weight and power (SWaP) is critical for operational life and budgetary constraints. The number of electronic payloads within the military’s combat vehicles has increased significantly, and designers of pre-integrated subsystems must include greater embedded processing power while trying to mitigate large power consumption. Plus, the growing need for mobility eliminates the option to increase the footprint to make room for more power or more performance. As a result, multicore processing technology is experiencing a significant boost in deployment within preintegrated subsystems. While previous multiprocessing solutions involved one or more physical chips, which doubled he amount of board space consumed or more, the introduction of multiple processing cores in a single chip allows operating systems and applications to leverage

increased computing power. It also has provided access to additional computing resources without noticeably increasing the size or weight of the system. For demanding applications, mobile Core 2 Duo or Core i7 processors, as examples, provide attractive solutions. While presenting a challenge to manage the 10-55 watts of thermal design power (TDP) of these processors, they offer a level of performance that pushes the boundaries of traditional rugged computing required by new applications. With the high level of performance offered by multicore processors, high power requirements become an issue. Low-power options such as Intel’s new Atom processor family inject more possibilities for rugged stand-alone boxes. This low-power processor has a thermal design power (TDP) specification in the 0.6-2.5 watt range and scales to 1.8 GHz speeds depending on customer need. By comparison, today’s mainstream mobile Core 2 Duo processors have a TDP in the 17-35 watt range. New multicore Atombased single board computers (SBCs) are also entering the scene, which promises the best of both scenarios with lower

Special Feature

power consumption than the Core 2 Duo yet better performance metrics compared to legacy single core Atom processors. Atom-based solutions, however, don’t typically support the PCI Express Graphics (PEG) bus for certain graphics-intensive applications.

Need for Prompt, Fresh Designs To bridge the divide between power vs. performance, suppliers of pre-integrated subsystems are engineering solutions that offer some middle ground. For its part, Parvus is designing new Intelbased pre-integrated subsystems that provide greater performance while still maintaining power efficiency. To support the military’s escalating Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) efforts, which include compute-intensive applications such as sonar, radar, SIGINT and UAV control systems (Figure 2), these new subsystems will include PCI Express capabilities to support higher speed addon cards for graphics, SATA, video and other removable media. As with any computing system designed for the military, new products continue to focus on minimizing size and weight. Some traditional limitations for pre-integrated subsystems have been providing a COTS design that supports the right number of cards, enough connector interfaces and sufficient thermal and shock/vibration ruggedization—all while being optimized to meet military customer requirements. Taking a cue from the “Lego-like” stacking architecture of PC/104, the mechanical design for Parvus’ next-generation subsystems aims to overcome these hurdles and maximize flexibility of a rugged COTS subsystem. The approach incorporates a modular rugged enclosure with building block chassis segments that have pre-integrated card sets, along with MIL connector interfaces and optimized thermal management devices. Depending on customer requirements, a particular functional card set can be configured for stand-alone use—for instance as a computer, router, or Ethernet switch—or attached to each other and consolidated within a single, compact mechanical solution. Compared to the traditional ap-

Figure 3

The operating system used in pre-integrated subsystems is dictated by the application’s requirements. Vehicle needs are very different than aircraft needs for example. Pre-integrated subsystems are designed to accommodate the many varieties of operating systems currently available. proach of working around a fixed-sized box with a pre-defined number of open card slots, this modular approach provides greater flexibility, superior technology reuse and provisions for mechanical adaptations.

Application Engineering Fills the Void The ability for customers to optimize COTS subsystems is a key motivator for the further adoption of this technology as it reduces costs and speeds time to deployment as compared to custom designs. However, many companies are facing human resource constraints or aggressive project schedules that restrict their engineering groups from modifying products in-house. Application engineering groups at Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) fill this void by assisting system integrators with application-optimized, turnkey solutions that reduce development time while increasing customer interface and feedback, ultimately lowering the costs of modifications and the risk associated with third-party subsystem integration.

Subsystem integration services, also called application engineering, are becoming increasingly popular as customers witness the cost benefits of leveraging qualified COTS subsystem platforms. Application engineering teams quickly become experts at understanding requirements and proposing the most rugged yet cost-effective approach to meet their program’s functional and environmental requirements. Common requests of Parvus application engineers include the integration of application-specific boards, loading of custom operating systems, upgrading of memory/mass storage devices, and handling mechanical, connector or interface customizations. Application engineers provide accessibility between design engineers and customers to ensure their integrated subsystem will meet user demands and provide the best deployment possible. Since these engineers often serve as the technical point of contact when optimizing systems, communication between the manufacturer’s resources and the customer is greatly improved. This communication not only ensures that customers’ expecJuly 2011 COTS Journal [ 21 ]

Special Feature

sume valuable CPU bandwidth—and incur extra costs—military contractors need to be cognizant of how an OS can affect overall performance. OS optimization services can be rendered by application engineering teams to create an OS image size based on the feature sets the customer requires.

Tough Requirements Push Innovation

Figure 4

The DuraCOR 810 includes up to six spare PC/104(+) slots and a large spare DTL-38999 expansion connector conveniently routed to an internal breakout board and headers. tations are being met, but also provides valuable market trend information to the teams developing the next-generation products.

Customizing OS for Mil Applications Among the many variables that comprise pre-integrated subsystems is the Operating System (OS). The open architecture of pre-integrated systems is hugely beneficial to military customers as they can choose the OS that works best for a particular application (Figure 3). Military customers have a diverse set of OS preferences varying from “roll your own Linux” to commercial Windows OS depending on the customer’s unique application and requirements. Real Time Operating Systems (RTOSs) are proving to be particularly popular among aerospace programs that demand application-specific tasks be executed reliably, consistently and pre[ 22 ] COTS Journal July 2011

dictably. This is especially true in terms of flight software and complying with avionics certification standards such as DO-178B and its follow-on standard DO178C. The ability of an RTOS to boot up within nanoseconds and respond quickly to events is proving critical to mil-aero applications where each second can translate into saved lives. The influx of multicore processors in pre-integrated subsystems has also spurred RTOS offerings to include technologies and capabilities to take advantage of the performance gains of multicores. For example, Wind River’s VxWorks 653 now supports multicore architectures that will allow the addition of more applications to a single platform. To maximize the performance of pre-integrated subsystems, the OS needs to be optimized to contain just the functionalities required by the application without any unnecessary features. As added complexities of an OS can con-

An example product that’s part of this pre-integrated systems trend is the DuraCOR 810 (Figure 4) rugged computer offered by Parvus. It includes up to six spare slots and a large spare DTL-38999 expansion connector conveniently routed to an internal breakout board and headers. This allows for application-specific PC/104(+) cards to be integrated without having to make external mechanical changes. For this reason, customers are not only interested in these rugged boxes as stand-alone computers, but also as an upgradeable computing platform. Military applications present engineers of pre-integrated subsystems with some of the most intense design challenges in the COTS world. Not only do modern military customers demand that pre-integrated subsystems withstand extreme conditions, but they must reduce SWaP—all without sacrificing performance. As the military continues to push the limits of computing system requirements, pre-integrated subsystems will continue to evolve to endure the toughest conditions. Parvus Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. [].

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Function-Specific vs. General Purpose Pre-Integrated Systems

Networked-Military Calls for More Complex UPS and Power Distribution Tech In this era of mission-critical networked systems, uninterruptible power supply technology and power distribution are moving to center stage. Michael A. Stout, VP of Engineering Falcon Electric David J. Proli, Engineering Manager, Marway Power Solutions


apoleon once stated that “an army travels on its stomach.” Today’s new high-tech military travels on its communications capabilities. The spectrum of these capabilities encompasses the entire radio frequency (RF) spectrum, from wired and wireless land-based digital systems to proprietary satellite data networks. These systems include radios, computers, servers, telco systems and every network device imaginable. Every facet of the military depends on these critical communications and data systems. Since the digital revolution of the 80s and 90s, the military budget for these systems has exploded. Further, the large availability of low-cost off-the-shelf network infrastructure products has allowed the military to keep the cost of the systems at a minimum, while maximizing their effectiveness. When it comes to communications networks, the U.S. military operates and maintains one of the largest networks on earth. The diversity of their network is becoming mind-bending. While one facet of the network supports the remote con-

[ 24 ] COTS Journal July 2011

Figure 1

The Land Warrior System incorporates a real-time helmet including mounted audio elements and a video display. It can display maps and images from the weapon-mounted camera. A mouse-type control lets the soldier toggle between screens on his video display. trol of UAVs from remote locations, another facet supports the real-time tracking of logistical support. And yet another supports secure communications, ad infinitum. A great example of the power

and diversity of the network is the Army’s Land Warrior System.

Network Support The Land Warrior System can out-

Special Feature

fit each individual soldier with his own digital network (Figure 1). The system incorporates a real-time helmet including mounted audio elements and a video display. It can display maps and images from the weapon-mounted camera. A mouse-type control is also part of the weapon, allowing the soldier to toggle between screens on his video display. The system further supports weapon aiming, a laser range finder, night vision

and multiband radio capabilities. The soldier’s personal network can be connected to a transceiver that can connect to a local area network and other soldiers, or in some cases can be connected to a satellite network. The amount of distributed network infrastructure required to support the Land Warrior System alone is massive. Network support elements can be land, air, sea or satellite-based.

It takes a massive amount of distributed networking and computer hardware to support such a monstrous network, and the military looks at the commercial market for its procurement whenever possible. The low cost and fast delivery of off-the-shelf equipment is preferred over proprietary solutions. When commercial equipment is selected for use, there are some considerations that must be made prior to its deployment.

Temperature Issues Of primary concern is that most off-the-shelf network products are designed to be installed and operated in a temperature-controlled and protected office environment. In a large military base located in Europe or the U.S., this usage would be perfectly acceptable providing it was installed indoors and powered from a local utility source. However, should the equipment be part of a system that can be deployed anywhere in the world, this may not be the case. Environment and power could result in the equipment’s unreliable operation or its failure. As an example, should the base be located in a third-world country and powered from a questionable local utility or generator source, there is a good chance the equipment operation will be compromised. The addition of a high-grade on-line uninterruptible power supply (UPS) would have to be configured in the system to clean up power problems and supply power during periods of utility power loss and generator startup. Should the base be located in a desert region or the Middle East, where temperatures can reach 120° to 130°F, further considerations must be made. Most commercial computer, server, networking and UPS equipment is designed to operate in a temperature range of 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C). The Uptime Institute, a leading data center authority, states that for every 18 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the long-term reliability of data center equipment is reduced by 50%. In these locations, to ensure reliability, computer, network and power conditioning equipment must be rated for wide temperature operation. 1 [ 26Untitled-11 ] COTS Journal July 2011

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Special Feature

Wider Temp Ranges Since the military has been deployed in the Middle East for over 10 years, the demand for equipment rated for operation over a wider temperature range has increased. The demand for network infrastructure and UPS power conversion products rated for operation in higher temperature environments has not gone unnoticed by some equipment manufacturers. The market demand has been

increased even further as many non-military industrial applications have the same operational temperature requirements. This is driving more and more network, computer and UPS manufacturers to address the demand. This is resulting in new families of products specifically designed to operate reliably over a wider -4째 to 131째F (-20째 to 55째C) temperature range. Figure 2 shows an example product from Falcon Electric along those lines.

Due to the extreme levels of vibration and shock present in some military applications and tied with the requirement for a wide operational temperature specification, most commercial-grade equipment is prevented from being used as is. However, many manufacturers are finding that the commercial-grade circuit board level electronics may be repackaged into a new more protective enclosure. Thermal concerns are addressed with the addition of thermal management devices.

Power Distribution Moreover, often due to the large amount of commercial-grade server, networking and communications equipment that must be plugged in and powered at a given location, power distribution is a perpetual challenge. Most installations use one or more power distribution units (PDUs) to feed power to each device in the system. The power connector styles of each piece of equipment in the system can vary with some using commercial styles and some using MIL-STD styles. Additionally, the required power configuration for each piece of equipment can vary from numerous AC configurations to various DC voltages. Figure 3 shows an example PDU product from Marway Power Solutions. Since the PDU is a common point at which this equipment is tied together, it can be beneficial to resolve these challenges in the PDU itself. This can be done by using a modified commercial-grade PDU to help integrate the various connector styles and power configurations required by the equipment. The PDU itself can be configured to provide the appropriate mating connectors for each piece of equipment, thus avoiding the need for adapter cables. If DC power is required for some equipment, the PDU can also be configured with an internal power supply, thus eliminating the need for external power supplies. Both of these approaches help to simplify the overall system.

Design Complications Of course the environmental concerns present for the other equipment in the system also apply to the PDU. In many [ 28Untitled-4 ] COTS1Journal July 2011

5/6/11 9:57:19 AM




; 93

1R Z



Special Feature

Figure 2

The SSG Series UPS is designed to operate reliably in an operational temperature range of -4° to +131°F (-20° to 55°C). The SSG is ideal for harsh military power environments. cases commercial-grade components used within the PDU are analyzed and repackaged or replaced to add extended capability to meet adverse temperature, shock and vibration requirements for the target installation. Other applications such as ground transport, airborne, submarine and shipboard further complicate design considerations. These environments can be conducive to salt spray, EMI, humidity, sand blasts, icing and freezing rain, which can further impact the enclosure design

as well as internal component selection. In many cases traditional electromechanical control devices used in commercial-grade PDUs cannot meet the criteria and thus the need for solid state technology becomes more appropriate. However, these devices carry the challenge of managing additional thermal dissipation, which can drive unique airflow requirements. Other features are often desirable to help simplify the design, installation and maintenance of the overall power system.

Depending on the installation location and available power quality, additional power conditioning may be required in the PDU itself. This can include transient voltage suppression through the use of a surge protection device (SPD). It can also include power line noise suppression through the use of an EMI filter. In multi-phase applications it is helpful for the PDU to include some local monitoring capability to allow efficient installation without the need for user-provided power measurement tools. A local monitor can provide input current values for each phase providing an easy means to ensure the entire system is balanced during setup. Despite the increasing desire for value-added features inside the PDU, it is important to recognize that space is always at a premium. As the high-tech military continues to expand its capability, suppliers of network and power conditioning products are faced with challenges to minimize footprint, reduce weight and increase capacity. Certain applications,

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[ 30Untitled-8 ] COTS1Journal July 2011


Special Feature

especially those for field locations have extreme size constraints that restrict the â&#x20AC;&#x153;one size fits allâ&#x20AC;? approach. Flexibility in form factor allows installation of the power distribution units in back or corner areas allowing critical space to be occupied by more frequently accessed equipment. The continuous trend to provide maximum system capability in the minimum available space while meeting the environmental challenges has driven requirements for a class of military offthe-shelf products. Falcon Electric Irwindale, CA. (626) 962-7770. []. Marway Power Solutions Santa Ana, CA. (714) 917-6200. [].

Untitled-3 1

Figure 3

Power distribution units (PDUs) are often used to feed power to each device in the system. PDUs can be configured to provide the appropriate mating connectors for each piece of equipment, avoiding the need for adapter cables.

7/5/11Journal 11:42:36 AM ] July 2011 COTS [ 31

ploration your goal k directly age, the source. ology, d products

Tech Recon

Software Security Standards and Solutions

Focus on Attack Paths Improves Military Software Security By identifying and securing paths that link attack surfaces to attack targets, military system developers can improve software security.

Dale Brenneman, Vice President, Software Quality Solutions McCabe Software


he U.S. government has said its networks are probed and attacked millions of times a day, and that other nations, terrorists and cyber criminals are getting more adept at penetrating military and government networks to d spy, steal critical data or affect critical infrastructure. The consequences of such attacks are growing greater as the military increasingly moves from private networks to the Internet to take advantage of lower initial investments, higher reliability and nies providing solutions now ubiquity. ion into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest tion Engineer, or jump a company's technical page, the Security goal of Get Connected is to put you Theto result is that Software you require for whatever type of technology, Analysis (SSA) is becoming increasingly Figure 1 and products you are searching for. important in military software This structure chart of an attack map shows attack surfaces, attack targets and the functions tions. SSA typically includes the identification of attack surfaces, entry points that link them. into the system that a malicious user can exploit by providing malformed data to trigger deviant behavior; and of attack assess their correctness and robustness. attack targets need to be investigated in targets, areas of the system that can cause The challenge is that a complex piece of detail, rather only those that are conadverse critical impact if exploited. The code typically has a large number of po- nected to attack surfaces. Path-based task of the analyst is to review these en- tential attack surfaces and attack targets, methods can be used to quickly and accutry points and critical impact areas, and often far more than can be thoroughly rately generate mappings (â&#x20AC;&#x153;attack mapsâ&#x20AC;?) analyzed in the time available. that identify linkages between attack surfaces and attack targets, and therefore Get Connected Using Attack Maps which attack targets are at risk and which with companies mentioned in this article. Fortunately, not all of the potential are benign. This makes it possible for

End of Article

[ 32 ] COTS Journal July 2011






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Tech Recon

curity analysts to concentrate their efforts on ensuring the robustness of the at-risk attack targets. The result is that they are able to substantially improve the security of the code with reduced resources. Today virtually every military software application connects to a network and an increasing number connect to the Internet. So what used to be external in-

terfaces are now potential points of attack. Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University and others pushed forward the concept of the attack surface for identifying areas of potential vulnerability. SSA provides a method of identifying the attack surfaces, which encompasses code, interfaces, services and protocols. From the standpoint of code analy-

sis, a significant concern consists of areas where the system obtains external input, such as functions that accept data or read configuration files, environmental variables or registry entries that affect application behavior. Malicious attacks often originate from these entry points, so it is important to review them to assess their correctness and robustness. But todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s software can also have hundreds of potential attack targets inside the application, and there is rarely if ever enough time available to thoroughly check them all out. SSA typically ends when the team runs out of time, money or finds a specified number of bugs. Path-based methods enable an approach that much more effectively leverages the available SSA resources. The attack targets are analyzed based on their connections to attack surfaces through call relationships. The value of this approach is that a large proportion of attack targets does not interact with attack surfaces, and therefore is completely benign. The identification of these trivial attack targets makes it possible for security analysts to focus their energies on the typically small proportion of attack targets that present a real danger.

Identifying the Critical Paths The critical areas of code requiring analysis for potential security remediation are identified through the creation of an attack map that links attack surfaces to attack targets. The creation of the attack map begins with the identification of functions that characterize the attack surfaces and attack targets. For example, create a set called AttackSurface and add to its contents the functions from the input space that you wish to trace. In a network application, the recv() function, which receives data from a socket, may be of interest. Next, create a set called AttackTarget and specify target functions that identify critical areas of the code. An attack map (Figure 1) is created by requesting the tool to provide a reduced view, consisting only of functions in the attack surface set, the attack target set, and the functions that link them through call relationships. All other functions will [ 34Untitled-9 ] COTS1Journal July 2011

5/6/11 10:05:28 AM

Tech Recon

be filtered from view. Further analysis and reporting can proceed from this focused view. The attack map clearly identifies the functions and paths that are potentially exercised in the execution flow of an attack, and therefore should be carefully analyzed and tested. Less attention needs to be paid to functions that are filtered out. This approach can substantially improve the security of an application by enabling security analysts to focus their attention on areas of code that could potentially be utilized in an attack.

Securing the Critical Paths The paths of execution control identified on the attack map are potentially critical to application security, and therefore should be carefully analyzed and tested using a path-based approach. A program metrics report can be produced to show the program integration complexity for the subset of functions of interest. The program integration complexity represents the number of unique, linearly independent paths exercising all calls through the functions shown in the chart. This can be used to help estimate the effort of further analysis. A metrics report (Figure 2) helps determine which functions of an attack map or subset have a high risk due to their complexity. The report in Figure 2 shows that one of the functions in this rooted subset of the attack map has a cyclomatic complexity (v(G)) greater than 15. Refactoring could be used to break down complex functions in the attack map into smaller functions, many of which will likely be outside the attack path of execution, reducing the security risk. The next step is investigating each root level function and examining the integration paths that reach the attack target. The structure chart (Figure 3) shows a hierarchical call tree of functions. Alternatively, a chart showing class relationships can be displayed. To focus analysis on an individual call tree, filter the structure chart to show only the functions in a call tree rooted at the specified function.

Figure 2

This report shows functions in an attack map, including their cyclomatic complexity.

Figure 3

This structure chart rooted at a function shows calls exercised for each call tree sequence.

July 2011 COTS Journal [ 35 ]

Tech Recon

Visualizing the Data Specific control flow paths can be analyzed by highlighting them, and by displaying the sequences of decision outcomes needed to exercise them thoroughly. The structure chart can show the linearly independent integration paths through the functions in the current chart. The user can step through the vari-

ous subtrees and the chart will highlight lines connecting the boxes that represent the calls exercised for the selected call tree sequence. Special attention should be paid to integration subtrees that highlight calls to both the attack target and attack surface. The chart can also be used to generate a test report on any design subtree listing the calling and called func-

tions and the test conditions needed to exercise the subtree. For further code and path analysis, drill down into the details of a function by right-clicking on a box on the structure chart or on a function name in a report, to bring up a context menu for selection. Selectable details include a graphical representation of the functionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s control flow and the source code for the function. The user can also step through sets of integration of cyclomatic paths through the function. The flowgraph, annotated source coding listing and test path details can be used to carry out a thorough analysis of each function in the attack map to ensure the control flow paths shown are valid, consistent with requirements and secure. Path-based code coverage analysis should also be applied to all code in an attack map, to further reduce your security risk. At a minimum, testing should be required through all integration paths in an attack map; that is, with a goal of 100% integration path coverage, with exceptions only where certain path combinations cannot be attained. If resources permit, it is suggested to apply code coverage analysis at the cyclomatic path level for functions in an attack map.

Reduced Security Risk The path-based methods described here can make a substantial improvement to SSA by identifying potential vulnerable code based on linkages between attack surfaces and attack targets. Pathbased methods can also be used to assist in securing the critical paths by providing a methodical approach to analyzing integration paths linking attack surfaces and attack targets. The end result is an improvement in military application security while working within the existing SSA resources. McCabe Software Cranston, RI. (401) 572-3100. [].

[ 36Untitled-2 ] COTS1Journal July 2011

7/8/11 1:48:34 PM




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Tech Recon

Software Security Standards and Solutions

CWE Initiative Helps Secure Code Development Efforts With cyber threats a new part of today’s military landscape, the Common Weakness Enumeration standard is helping to shape and mature the code security assessment industry. Deepu Chandran, Field Applications Engineer LDRA Technology


hroughout the developed world, governments, defense industries and companies in various sectors are increasingly targeted by cyber attacks seeking economic or military advantage. The number of attacks is now so large and their sophistication so great that many organizations have trouble determining which new threats and vulnerabilities pose the greatest risk and how resources should be allocated to ensure that the most probable and damaging attacks are dealt with first (Figure 1). In August 2003, a rolling blackout affected 10 million people in the Canadian province of Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states, raising concern of a cyber attack. Although the causes of the blackout traced to a slew of system, procedural and human errors and not an act of aggression, the event brought home the vulnerability of critical infrastructures that had become dependent on Internet communication for control and monitoring. This event helped raise awareness of the need for secure system components that are immune to cyber attack.

An Entrenched Problem Software security exploits have existed for years, with the first documented Internet virus appearing in 1971. In 1988, the Morris worm brought 10 percent of Internet systems to a halt, infecting Internet-connected DEC VAX and Sun ma[ 38 ] COTS Journal July 2011

Figure 1

Air Force personnel update anti-virus software for Air Force units to assist in the prevention of cyberspace hackers at Barksdale Air Force Base, LA. chines running BSD UNIX. It became the first worm to spread extensively “in the wild” and was one of the first programs to exploit buffer overrun vulnerabilities. Given that software and connectivity are now integral to many critical and noncritical applications, organizations want assurance that the software products they acquire and develop are free of known types of security flaws. With that in mind, it’s helpful to look specifically at the best practices and knowledge for building secure software

that is free from vulnerabilities.

Enter the CWE Standard One of the security initiatives gaining momentum is the CWE standard. CWE, the Common Weakness and Enumeration database, is a project that incorporates an international community-developed formal list of common software weaknesses developed from an all-inclusive database recording all exploits and vulnerabilities captured over a number of years. CWE is a software assur-

Tech Recon ance strategic initiative maintaining a database of security vulnerabilities by the MITRE Corporation under a Federal grant and cosponsored by the National Cyber Security Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The CWE effort aims to help shape and mature the code security assessment industry and to dramatically accelerate the use and utility of software assurance capabilities for organizations in reviewing the software systems they acquire or develop. According to research directed by the National Institute of Security Technology, 64 percent of software vulnerabilities stem from programming errors. To help identify core weaknesses contributing to software vulnerabilities, MITRE Corporation, a public interest not-for-profit organization, created the CWE list. MITRE manages several federally funded research and development centers, including one for the Department of Homeland Security that is mandated with developing the CWE project. CWE was created to address the concerns of organizations that want assurance that the software products they acquire and develop are free from known types of programming errors.

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures The MITRE Corporation has been involved in the area of software security for many years, including the creation and maintenance of the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database. Created before CWE, the CVE database is a repository of security exploits that have been identified, whether the exploit was identified in a laboratory or â&#x20AC;&#x153;in the wildâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;meaning an attack that occurred before the vulnerability was known about. After the CVE database had been in existence for a while, the MITRE Corporation analyzed the documented vulnerabilities and exploits and identified the core weaknesses that made the exploits possible. The result is the CWE database, a repository of the core security weaknesses that have led to exploitable security vulnerabilities. CWE targets developers and security practitioners, offering a common language for describing software security weaknesses in architecture, design, or code and serving as a standard measuring

stick for software security tools targeting these weaknesses. It provides a common baseline standard for weakness identification, mitigation and prevention efforts.

How CWE Is Structured The organizational structure of the CWE elements is defined for leveraging by various audiences and for various purposes through the use of axonometric layering where the errors are grouped according to categorical similarities. It has been described as a three-tiered approach from all axis, in which: (1) the lowest level consists of the full CWE List (hundreds of nodes), which is primarily applicable to tool vendors and detailed research efforts; (2) a middle tier consists of descriptive affinity groupings of individual CWEs (2550 nodes), useful to software security and software development practitioners; and (3) a more easily understood top level consisting of high-level groupings of the middle-tier nodes (5-10 nodes) to define strategic classes of vulnerabilities and which is useful for high-level discourse among software practitioners, business people,

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[ 40Untitled-4 ] COTS1Journal July 2011





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Tech Recon

Security Safety



System Quality



Maintainability Readability

Figure 2

System quality is affected by a number of metrics, including security. tool vendors, researchers and so on. Despite this high-level outline, there is no formal structure to the CWE database; each weakness is added to the database as it is discovered. And the database is maintained in XML format, so there are a number of filters that can be applied to review the results. This can either be done on the CWE website (, or by downloading the full CWE XML file and applying filters locally. Note that the content and format of the CWE database is under constant review to help maintain the accuracy and relevance of the data. One of the latest initiatives adds qualifying data to each entry that paints a picture of how a weakness appears in the field and how it could be exploited. The CWE database is an all-inclusive database that encapsulates all security weaknesses that have been proven to lead to exploitable vulnerabilities. These weaknesses could be at the infrastructure levelâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;such as a poorly configured network and/or security applianceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;, policy and procedure level (sharing usernames and/or passwords) or coding level. For the coding level, all of the software languages that are associated with contemporary enterprise deployments are considered, including but not limited to C, C++, C#, Java and PHP. What the CWE database does not do is capture known coding weaknesses that have NOT been traced to an exploitable weakness. Federal U.S. contracts, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure for other governments too, are increasingly

Figure 3

The TBreq tool provides traceability from requirements to design, verification plan, verification reports and source code. calling for security compliance. Securityrelated issues are at the forefront of decision making for military and aerospace systems development. Software developed for the defense market often requires systems to mitigate the risk of one component of the software affecting another. To fulfill these contracts, customers must demonstrate how they have achieved a minimum level of software security, and CWE compliance is one means of doing this. To do this, developers need a tool that is CWE compliant, such as the LDRA tool suite, which is the key to demonstrate and document how the software under development has met a minimum security requirement. Other security standards such as the CERT-C secure coding rules complement this objective, extending the security characteristics of an application even further.

Writing Secure Software The only way to write secure software is to build security in. Typically, the sources of vulnerability rise from coding errors, configuration errors, architecture or design flaws. Developers or programmers normally assess quality without considering security as a part of quality code. The functionality of the application is the focus for developers during development and

testing, but they ignore the fact that security also plays an important role in overall system quality. Security problems can occur even if complete functionality of the system is satisfied and even due to the occurrence of an unintended functionality. Figure 2 illustrates the metrics contributing to system quality. By focusing on these measures at all phases of the software development lifecycle, developers can help eliminate known weaknesses. A common understanding of the security goals and approaches to be taken during development within the team can contribute to eliminating these flaws. In approaching a secure programming focus, developers need to establish the risk assessment and secure coding practices.

Risk Assessment Risk Assessment evaluates the security risks associated with the software under development and determines the quantitative or qualitative value of a risk in relation to a concrete situation and recognized threat. The nature and impact of security breaches can be determined prior to deployment and helps to identify the security controls necessary to mitigate any identified impact, location, intensity and probability of a threat. Once risk is determined, the identified July 2011 COTS Journal [ 43 ]

Tech Recon security controls become part of the system’s requirements. By adding a security perspective to software requirements, the entire development process is affected. Translation of these requirements roll out into architecture design, coding, and are subsequently checked at analysis and testing phases. The capacity and resources available to address or manage threats is known from this assessment.

Secure Coding Practices An essential element of secure software development involves well docu-

mented and enforceable coding standards. Coding standards encourage programmers to follow a uniform set of rules and guidelines as established by the requirements of the project and organization, rather than by the programmer’s familiarity or preference. Once established, these standards can be used as a metric to evaluate source code (using manual or automated processes) to determine compliance with the standard. While CWE does not mandate an automated standard checker, secure coding practices do require both static and dy-

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[ 44Untitled-5 ] COTS1Journal July 2011

namic assurance measures. Using a static analysis plug-in that confirms CWE compatibility ensures that the rules checked for are consistently and systematically applied to the code. The dynamic analysis takes place on the target and provides assurance that errors that would only show up during execution are not present in the code. However to fully meet the software development and verification requirements, it is necessary to include traceability, static source code analysis, dynamic coverage, data flow, control flow analysis and testing facilities. Figure 3 illustrates how requirements traceability maps requirements to design specification, verification plan, verification reports and source code in LDRA’s TBreq. Such graphical representation makes it easy for developers to immediately spot such things as code that does not map to requirements, failed tests or code that lacks tests, which the software clearly flags.

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By mapping CWE into requirements, developers have the option of taking advantage of tools that automate requirements traceability, which in turn manages the relationships between all components in the development lifecycle. The amount of time saved in manually tracing and verifying relationships is significant, cutting time costs and automatically documenting the development process for subsequent verification by standards organizations. As the implementation of standards like CWE becomes more widespread, a tool vendor’s experience and reputation in security- and safety-critical expertise will be invaluable. Use of qualified and well-integrated tools ensures that the developers can automate the process more easily and efficiently. Creating a secure development community using standards, technologies and a well-integrated development environment promotes a continuous process of improvement. And, a focus on secure development lifecycle principles and practices will result in the ongoing production of software systems that are more dependable, trustworthy and extensible. LDRA Monks Ferry, Wirral, UK. +0151 649 9300. [].

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System Development Rackmount Bladed Systems Meet Compute Density Needs

Rackmount Systems Push the Compute Density Envelope Offering a better compute density story than alternative approaches, rackmount bladed systems are finding a solid place in military system applications.

Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


hen the goal is packing in as much compute density as possible into a system, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to beat a rackmount blade computer architecture. A wealth of product and system solutions is available targeting military applications with these requirements. Blade server d based computing solutions and other rackmount boards are rapidly finding a niche in a variety of military applications such as SATCOM-On-the-Move systems. Now that complete server-level computers are available nies providing solutions now in a 1U blade, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible to pack a lot ofand computing in a convenient ion into products, technologies companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest ation Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you rack-based space alongside off-the-shelf you require 1U for whatever typerouting of technology, network and advanced comand products you are searching for. munications boards. One advantage of the 1U form factor is that it makes it easier to put together systems that incorporate existing Figure 1 IT-based 1U boards, such as specialized encryption systems, precision timing At AUSA Winter, Editor-in-Chief Jeff Child examines a rackmount military communications boards or tried and true networking gear system mounted on the back of a Humvee. like Cisco routers. Rackmount systems of larger sizes such as 2U, 3U and 4U are also gaining acceptance in military systems where compute density is paramount. In link boards with one another. The lack contrast to backplane-based architectures of a backplane also significantly reduces like VME or CompactPCI, rackmount overall system weight. These types of conGet Connected systems are busless and typically use Eth- figurations are becoming popular in miliwith companies mentioned in this article. ernet or other cable-based technology to tary comms gear in vehicles where every

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End of Article

[ 46 ] COTS Journal July 2011

System Development

pound of weight is precious (Figure 1).

PCI Express Bladed Server Exemplifying this trend is the TCS4500 industrial server from Trenton Technology. Trenton configures, integrates and validates this shallow-depth, high-performance computer with longlife processors installed on Trenton’s JXT6966 single board computer. The system features the BPC7041 PCI Express 2.0 backplane plus multiple storage options. The TCS4500 (Figure 2) enables faster system deployments in many diverse applications such as shipboard navigation and submarine communications. Up to four front-access, hot-swap 2.5-inch storage drives are provided. The shallowdepth design of the TCS4500 chassis plus the high-performance computing capability of the system’s SBC, backplane and storage options creates an industrial server platform that is ideal for spaceconstrained applications. Illustrating the compute density advantages of rackmount systems, the Kontron Industrial Silent Server KISS 4U KTC5520 has up to 12 processing cores designed with new 32 nm technology. The system allows formerly separate apps to be moved onto a single, cost-effective system. It is a highly robust and longterm available open standard platform, offering up to two dual Intel Xeon 5600 Series processors. It features an operating temperature range of 0° to 50°C, an operating humidity range of 10-95%, allaround IP 20 protection (optionally upgradeable to IP 52 at the front), and high shock and vibration protection, which makes the server perfect for applications where more ruggedized systems are necessary. The server board can be fully managed remotely. The Industrial Silent Server is available with up to two Intel Xeon (5500 or 5600) series processors and up to 48 Gbytes of DDR3 ECC registered SDRAM per processor. The server paves the way for a wide range of extensions, thanks to 1x PCI Express x16 (PEG) (configurable as 1x PCI Express x8), 3 PCIe 2.0 x8, 1 PCIe x4 (using x8 slot) and 1 x PCI. Also on board are 2 x Gbit Ethernet, 6 x USB 2.0 (2 on the front) and 1 x

Figure 2

The TCS4500 enables faster system deployments in many diverse applications such as shipboard navigation and submarine communications. Up to four front-access, hot-swap 2.5-inch storage drives are provided. COM (RS-232).

Compact LAN-Based Solution Offering a line of 1U rackmount offerings, Win Enterprise features a series of LAN-connected units. Its latest is a 1U rackmount platform with the Intel Atom D510 dual-core or D410 single-core processor, including six GbE LAN ports and an externally accessible PCI slot. The PL80300 (Figure 3) provides externally accessible PCI card support for the D410 or D510 Atom Pineview low-voltage processors plus the Intel 82801HM Controller, external access to the PCI card slot and a maximum of six GbE LAN ports via PCIE x1. In addition, the unit includes USB 2.0, a 3.5-inch SATA HDD bay, CF socket, mini-PCI slot and Console port. ATCA has secured a solid niche in the military market, particularly for applications that stress high-performance communications and networking. By designing on ATCA-based systems, developers can deliver significantly lighter command and control stations that allow for improved mobility in the field. ATCA computer modules offer capabilities and processing power comparable to rackmount systems servers built on multicore server class processors. Because ATCA is a bladed architecture, multiple ATCA modules can be incorporated into a single chassis. Since the ATCA blades share a common enclosure, fan and power supply, they offer a simpler architecture that

Figure 3

The PL-80300 is a 1U rackmount platform with the Intel Atom D510 dualcore or D410 single-core processor, including six GbE LAN ports and an externally accessible PCI slot. weighs significantly less than comparable solutions. Along those lines, the RadiSys Promentum C2 Server (Figure 4) is a preintegrated, portable ATCA platform specifically designed for ground mobile applications, and delivers a 33 percent weight advantage over equivalent rackmount server systems. With an average weight of 46 kg, the C2 Server is light enough for two people to lift, while a rackmount server solution delivering the same performance and memory weighs up to 85.8 kg. This weight savings directly translates to improved field mobility for a tactical advantage to military troops. The pre-integrated C2 Server consists of a Ruggedized 6U 6-slot AC LCR Chassis, two RadiSys Promentum ATCA-2210 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch and Control Modules with optional COM Express module, which can support platform management functions, up to four RadiSys Promentum ATCA-4500 series sinJuly 2011 COTS Journal [ 47 ]


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System Development

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Figure 4

The Promentum C2 Server is a pre-integrated, portable ATCA platform specifically designed for ground mobile applications. It consists of a ruggedized 6U 6-slot AC LCR Chassis, two RadiSys Promentum ATCA-2210 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch and Control Modules with optional COM Express module.

gle board computers (SBCs) and Astute Networks’ Caspian R1100 Edge Storage Blades.

Putting GPUs to Work Graphics processing units (GPUs) combined with advanced switched fabric interconnects are emerging as an interesting technology option for processing massive sets of data in military systems. However, they require a system architecture that serves those needs. One Stop Systems offers a 2U PCI Express acceleration platform that supports up to eight PCIe x16 Gen 2 I/O cards. There are three versions of acceleration platforms that include either one or two PCIe x16 Gen 2 interfaces, allowing more than one host computer to access cards. Host cable adapters and one-meter cables are included with the platform. The 2U platform supports both single-wide and double-wide boards. Dual 850W power supplies provide redundant power for GPUs or other high-speed I/O cards requiring high power output. The 21-inch chassis allows all boards to be accessed through the rear, allowing cables to be connected to I/O ports. Removable trays allow easy installation of any full-length PCIe x16 add-in boards. The three versions of the 2U accelerator are the “4-1,” which supports four doublewide cards with a single PCIe x16 inter-

face, the “4-2” supporting four doublewide cards with two PCIe x16 interfaces, and the “8-2” supporting eight singlewide cards with two PCIe x16 interfaces. Kontron America Poway, CA. (858) 677-0877. []. One Stop Systems Escondido, CA. (877) 438-2724. [].

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July 2011 COTS Journal [ 49 ] Untitled-12 1

6/2/11 1:57:15 PM

Technology Focus OpenVPX SBCs

OpenVPX Moves Forward as Second Wave of Products Hits As the second wave of OpenVPX SBC products rolls out, several vendors are joining the ranks of VPX providers. With VPX REDI ratified, the technology is moving closer to becoming the next dominant computer form factor for new military system designs.

Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief

Figure 1

As an OpenVPX data plane for radar processing systems, RapidIO is the fabric most suitable because radar relies heavily on shared memory and tightly coupled computing. RapidIO is a low-latency, memory-address-based protocol.

As OpenVPX gains acceptance, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still early days for this emerging form factor. Although VPX has had a rocky start, in the past couple years the goal of bringing together advanced switch fabric interconnects and all the features of a modern, rugged embedded computer d architecture, finally came together in the form of OpenVPX. Early adopters are now on their second round of VITA 46-compliant products, and new vendors have joined the game with their first VPXsolutions products nies providing nowjust in the past six months or so. ion into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest ation Engineer, or jump company's page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you Lateto alast year,technical OpenVPX achieved you require another for whatevermilestone type of technology, with the ratification and products you are searching for. by ANSI and VITA of the VPX REDI base specification and several dot specifications. VPX REDI is a computing standard defining mechanical specifications for cooling and maintenance strategies for VPX systems. VPX is an embedded computing platform utilizing the latest in a variety of switch fabric technologies in 3U and 6U Eurocard format modules. VPX REDI was inspired by the need for higher density electronics, increased

ploration your goal k directly age, the source. nology, d products

End of Article Get Connected

with companies mentioned in this article.

[ 50 ] COTS Journal July 2011

Technology Focus

power draw that requires more effective cooling strategies, and rugged and maintainable modules. VPX REDI targets the requirements of COTS platforms for defense and aerospace, defining mechanical design implementations for embedded computing modules. The following VPX REDI specifications have been ANSI/ VITA ratified: ANSI/VITA 48.0-2010: Ruggedized Enhanced Design Implementation Mechanical Base Specification; ANSI/VITA 48.1-2010: Mechanical Specification for Microcomputers Using Air Cooling Applied to VPX; ANSI/VITA 48.2-2010: Mechanical Specification for Microcomputers Using Conduction Cooling Applied to VPX; and ANSI/VITA 48.52010: Mechanical Specification Using Air Flow-through Cooling Applied to VPX. Companies that develop VPX products are encouraged to contact VITA to join the VPX Marketing Alliance. For more information, visit the VPX Marketing Alliance website at The ANSI/VITA48.x-2010 documents are available from VITA. The VPX standard was developed to define a new generation of computing systems that employs high-performance switch fabrics over a new high-speed connector, as well as operates in harsh environments. Which OpenVPX fabric to use will be dictated by the application area of the system. And on an architecture level, the fabric choice will be driven by how tightly or loosely coupled the processing and memory needs to be. For applications like radar (Figure 1) that require shared memory, RapidIO will be the data plane of choice. In contrast, if the system requires parallel processing—where very little data exchange is required between computing nodes—a fabric like PCI Express, Gbit Ethernet or 10 Gbit Ethernet is a better choice. For OpenVPX implementations that are distributed systems, PCI Express would be a natural fit depending on what size and what latency tolerances a system has. With PCI Express, each time you go through a switch or a bridge means more latency through the PCI hierarchy. That latency can be minimized using non-transparent PCI Express bridges or by “tunneling” through address spaces. Distributed processing is common in systems where size, weight and power are critical—like UAV flight controllers and other systems that have motors and distributed control nodes. In such systems computational density is important, but not to the level of high-performance computing.

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Technology Focus: OpenVPX SBCs VPX Boards Pair Virtex-5 FPGA with PCIe Interface

Rugged 3U VPX SBCs Boast Hyperthreading Dual-Core CPUs

3U VPX Board Serves Up Stratix FPGA and FMC Support

A new series of 3U VPX FPGA boards features a configurable Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA enhanced with multiple high-speed memory buffers and a high-throughput PCIe interface. Field I/O signals interface to the FPGA via the rear P2 connector and/or with optional front mezzanine plug-in I/O modules. The result is a powerful and flexible signal processor card. Three models provide a choice of logicoptimized FPGAs to match the performance requirements. Cards can be ordered with a Xilinx VLX85T, VLX110T, or VLX155T FPGA featuring up to 155,000 logic cells and 128 DSP48E slices.

OpenVPX provides a unique mix of ruggedness and extreme data throughput—both critical requirements for network-centric communications, high-definition avionics displays, mission and controls systems computers, data concentrators and condition-based maintenance (CBM) applications. Feeding those needs, Aitech Defense Systems now offers a 3U VPX product family based on the lowpower Intel Core i7 processor that enables extremely high computing within very compact environments. The new Core i7 can process data using two cores and four threads via Intel’s hyperthreading technology.

FPGAs as processing engines and the FMC mezzanine for expansion make a nice onetwo punch on a VPX platform. With just that in mind, BittWare’s S4-3U-VPX (S43X) is a commercial or rugged 3U VPX card based on the high-density, low-power Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA. The Stratix IV GX is designed specifically for serial I/O-based applications, creating a completely flexible, reconfigurable VPX board. BittWare’s ATLANTiS FrameWork and the FINe Host/Control Bridge greatly simplify application development and integration of this powerful board. The board provides a configurable 25-port SerDes interface supporting a variety of protocols, including Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and 10 GigE. The board also features 10/100/1000 Ethernet and up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM. Providing enhanced flexibility is the VITA 57-compliant FMC site, which supports 10 SerDes, 60 LVDS pairs and 6 clocks.

oration ur goal directly ge, the urce. ogy, products

Based on the latest in OpenVPX serial fabric architecture technology, the new 3U VPX family includes the C870 SBC with a Core i7 dual-core processor configured to run at either 2.53 GHz for high performance, 2 GHz for low power or at 1.33 GHz where ultra low power is required. As standard, the board provides up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM with ECC operating at 1066 MHz, 4 Mbytes of BIOS Flash and 8 Gbytes of onboard SATA SSD for mass storage. Standard onboard I/O is also plentiful with four GbE ports (two 1000Base T, two 1000Base BX/ Each model is available in a format designed KX), two SATA II ports, four USB 2.0 ports and for use in air-cooled or conduction-cooled eight discrete I/O lines as well as two UART ports systems suitable for -40° to 85°C operation. 64 es providing and HDMI/DVI and CRT interfaces for graphics I/Osolutions lines arenow accessible through the rear (P2) n into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest requirements. connector. A series of AXM extension modules on Engineer, are or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected put3U youVPX family of products, the As partisoftothe available to provide additional front-end ou require forA/D, whatever type CMOS, of technology, OpenVPX-compliant CM870 is a low-power, rugged RS-485, or LVDS I/O channels nd products you are searching for. PMC/XMC carrier board designed to plug into through a mezzanine connector on the front of an adjacent 3U backplane slot in order to expand the board. Acromag’s Engineering Design Kit system functionality by enabling the addition of I/O, provides utilities to help users develop custom graphics and SSD memory PMC/XMC cards. Both programs, load VHDL into the FPGA, and to the SBC and carrier card are single-slot modules and establish DMA transfers between the FPGA and are available in air- and conduction-cooled formats, the CPU. per ANSI/VITA 46.0-2007 and ANSI/VITA 65.0-2010 respectively. The carrier card weighs less than 0.7 lbs Acromag in both formats, while the air-cooled SBC weighs 0.66 Wixom, MI. lbs and the conduction-cooled version weighs 0.7 lbs.

(248) 295-0310. End of Article [].

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[ 52 ] COTS Journal July 2011

Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. [].

The FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) site provides 8 high-performance SerDes, 60 LVDS pairs, 6 clocks, I2C, JTAG and reset to the Stratix IV GX. The connector is compliant with the VITA 57 mezzanine standard for FPGA I/O, enabling designers to customize the S43X to their individual needs with optional FMC I/O boards. A debug utility header provides 10/100 Ethernet, RS-232 and a JTAG port for debug support. The rear panel VPX interface includes GigE to the FINe, and 15 SerDes channels and 32 LVDS pairs (16 in, 16 out) to the Stratix IV GX FPGA.

BittWare Concord, NH. (603) 226-0404. [].


Second Gen iCore Processors on 3U OpenVPX SBC

6U OpenVPX SBC Offers QuadCore i7 Performance

A new 3U OpenVPX high-performance embedded Single Board Computer features the second generation Intel Core processor and 6 series chipsets from the Intel embedded roadmap. The TR 80x/39x from Concurrent Technologies features the enhanced processing and graphics performance of the quad-core Intel Core i7-2715QE processor and the dual-core Intel Core i5-2515E processor while maintaining the power consumption of the previous Intel Core processors. The TR 80x/39x is a 3U OpenVPX processor board providing support for quad-core or dual-core second generation Intel Core processors, up to 8 Gbyte of ECC DDR3 SDRAM, configurable PCI Express fabric interface supporting 1 x8, 2 x4, 1 x4 + 1 x4 at Gen 1 or Gen 2 data rates, dual Gigabit Ethernet or dual 1000Base-BX channels, dual SATA600, single XMC slot, serial RS-232/422/485 port, dual USB 2.0 ports, independent VGA and display port all in a 3U VPX form factor.

Multiprocessing is the new way of doing business when it comes to today’s SBCs. Along those lines, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (CWCEC) has introduced the new VPX6-1956 high-performance rugged 6U OpenVPX single board computer (SBC). The VPX6-1956 is the third recently announced product in CWCEC’s family of boards based on Intel’s new Core i7 next-generation quadcore processor, joining the CHAMP-AV8 6U OpenVPX DSP engine and the 3U OpenVPX VPX3-1256 SBC. The VPX6-1956 speeds and simplifies the integration of advanced processor systems for deployed harsh environment military applications.

The TR 80x/39x is available in three temperature grades: 0° to +55°C (N-Series), -25° to +70°C (E-Series), -40° to +85°C (K-Series). For extreme rugged applications the TR 80x/39x is available in VPX-REDI variants (type 1 and type 2): The VPX-REDI Type 1 Conduction-Cooled VITA 47 Class CC4 -40°C to +85°C (RCS - Series) and the VPX-REDI Type 2 Conduction-Cooled VITA 47 Class CC4 -40° to +85°C (RCT - Series).

Concurrent Technologies Woburn, MA. (781) 933-5900. [].

The VPX6-1956 is a full featured 6U OpenVPX SBC, designed for harshenvironment, air and conduction-cooled aerospace and defense applications. Each of the Core i7’s four cores delivers 2.1 GHz of performance, providing advanced Intel Architecture processing on the increasingly popular 6U OpenVPX form factor. With a wide complement of onboard I/O, Gen2 PCI Express (PCIe), Serial RapidIO (S-RIO) and XMC/PMC expansion, the VPX6-1956 satisfies the most demanding fielded applications from unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, tactical aircraft and armored vehicles to rugged naval systems. The board’s quad-core processor features Intel’s newest 256-bit Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) floating-point instructions, and delivers unmatched performance. The VPX6-1956 is available with up to 16 Gbytes of high-bandwidth DDR3 SDRAM (1333 MHz) and comes with a rich complement of high-speed I/O, including dual Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), Gen2 PCIe, S-RIO, four USB 2.0 ports, and dual XMC/PMC sites supported with x8 PCIe Gen2.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Ashland, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

6U Open VPX Intel Quad-CoreBased SBC Sports 24-Port Ethernet This year has turned out to be the year of OpenVPX with more new products rolling out than ever before. For its part, Dynatem, recently acquired by Eurotech, is now shipping the VPQ, a 6U SBC based on the 6U VPX (VITA 46) form factor. It is Open VPX compatible per profile MOD6-PAY-4F2T- This profile indicates a 6U Payload Module having four fat pipes (10 GBase-BX4) and two thin pipes (1000Base-T). Offered in both convection-cooled and ruggedized conduction-cooled variants, the VPQ will meet the needs of numerous commercial and military applications. At the heart of the VPQ is one quad-core Intel L5408 Xeon Processor, an Intel 5100 Memory Controller Hub (MCH) and an Intel ICH9R I/O Controller Hub (ICH), forming the central processing backbone of the design. Up to 4 Gbytes of DDR2 SDRAM are supported with the MCH running at up to 1066 MHz double data rate speeds. The VPQ supports two fully capable PMC/XMC sites with extensive user I/O.

An onboard Fulcrum FM3224 24-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch provides full-mesh backplane data-layer interconnectivity. This allows up to eight VPQ SBCs to be integrated into a single chassis without the use of an additional switch board. A PLX PEX8624 PCI Express Switch provides connectivity to the XMC Sites and an Intel 82599EB Dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller, which connects to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch. The Intel 82599EB supports the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol standard allowing all node boards to be synchronized in the sub-microsecond range. An 82571EB Dual 1Gigabit Ethernet controller provides 1000Base-T or 1000Base-KX connectivity to the backplane via the VPX P4 connector. Pricing starts at $11,120 in quantity.

Dynatem Mission Viejo, CA. (949) 855-3235. []. July 2011 COTS Journal [ 53 ]


Core i7 OpenVPX SBC Features Rich I/O

3U VPX SBC Leverages Intel Advanced Vector Extensions

6U VPX Multiprocessor Board Delivers 260 Gflops Performance

Intel processors have shed the past hurdles to acceptance among military system designers. Lowpower offerings are the main reason. Emerson Network Power has released a set of OpenVPX (VITA 65) SBCs. The iVPX7220 (shown) and iVPX7223 feature the new second generation Intel Core processors and are part of a growing family of VME and OpenVPX/VPX (VITA 46) boards for rugged applications from one of the leaders in embedded computing.

A conduction- or air-cooled 3U VPX Single Board Computer (SBC) is based on the second generation Intel Core i7 processor. The XPedite7470 from Extreme Engineering Solutions utilizes the processor’s quad-core technology operating at 2.1 GHz to deliver enhanced performance and efficiency. XPedite7470 customers will benefit from the performance boost provided by the Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX) incorporated into the second-generation Intel Core i7 processor. X-ES has teamed with RunTime Computing Solutions to support applications that can take advantage of the SIMD architecture of Intel AVX. VSI/Pro, the premier math and signal processing library available from RunTime Computing, will be supported on the XPedite7470 and all X-ES products based on the second generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Applications such as ISR, radar, sonar, and image and sensor processing all have something in common: an almost endless appetite for high-performance real-time processing. With that in mind, GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the DSP280 rugged dual socket quad core 6U VPX multiprocessor, the fifth new product from GE to harness the extraordinary performance of the second generation Intel Core i7 chip set. The dual quad-core platform is capable of more than 260 Gigaflops peak performance and delivers main memory

The 6U iVPX7220 and 3U iVPX7223 boards feature the dual-core 2.20 GHz Intel Core i7 2655LE processor with integrated graphics and memory controller, and the Intel QM67 PCH chipset for advanced I/O functionality. The iVPX7220 also supports the quad-core second generation Intel Core i7 2715QE processor. Both of the products are rugged SBCs for extreme environments with extended shock, vibration and temperature ratings, and conductioncooling. The iVPX7223 and the dual-core variant of the iVPX7220 feature up to 8 Gbytes DDR31333, while the quad-core processor variant of the iVPX7220 is designed to support up to 16 Gbyte DDR3-1333 memory. Fabric connectivity includes Gigabit Ethernet to the control plane and PCI Express to the data plane, while the iVPX7220 also offers PCI Express to the expansion plane. The iVPX7220 also offers 4 Gbytes of embedded USB flash and 256 Kbytes of non-volatile Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (F-RAM). Additional connectivity includes up to nine USB 2.0 ports, five serial ports, five SATA ports, ten GPIOs, three DisplayPort connections, VGA and dual XMC sites for maximum flexibility. An optional 2.5-inch SATA solid-state disk is also available. The iVPX7223 offers 4 Gbytes of embedded USB flash and 256 Kbytes of non-volatile F-RAM. Additional connectivity on this board includes three USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports, three SATA ports, eight GPIO, one DisplayPort connection, one VGA and one XMC site.

Emerson Network Power Tempe, AZ. (602) 438-5720 [ embeddedcomputing].

[ 54 ] COTS Journal July 2011

The XPedite7470 initially will be based on the Intel Core i7-2715QE processor and Intel QM67 Express chipset. Other XPedite7470 processor options will be available later in 1Q11. The XPedite7470 features include a quad-core Intel Core i7-2715QE processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology and up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3-1333 ECC SDRAM in two channels along with 32 Mbytes of boot flash and up to 16 Gbytes of user flash. The board supports an XMC/PrPMC site, two x4 Gen2 PCI Express VPX backplane interconnects and two optional 10/100/1000BASE-T or 1000BASEBX Ethernet ports. In addition, there are two DVI graphics ports and, optionally, two each USB 2.0 high-speed ports and SATA 3.0 or 6.0 Gbit/s ports.

Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. [].

bandwidth of up to 21 Gbytes/s per CPU node. The board’s HPEC architecture can scale from one to many processor nodes per enclosure via RDMA-enabled 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Double Data Rate (DDR) InfiniBand dual port NICs, delivering up to 1.8 Gbytes/s data rates per channel with memory-to-memory latencies of approximately 1µs. The board’s 16 Gbytes of ECC memory, along with 16 Gbytes of solid state disk, can obviate the need for traditional hard disk drives. Support for 3D high-resolution graphics further enhances the utility and flexibility of the DSP280, widening its potential application footprint.

GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [].

VPX-REDI SBC Enables Network Connectivity Mobile Apps

1 GHz PowerPC MPC8536E Rides 3U VPX

The ecosystem for VPX continues to grow as more and more vendors roll out their VPX offerings. Designed to withstand the rigors of mobile and tactical environments, General Dynamics Canada introduces the new rugged and powerful PX3030 VPX-REDI single board

The PowerPC platform enjoys a rich legacy among military programs. Interface Concept has introduced the IC-PQ3-VPX3a, ultralow-power Processor VPX 3U board based on the Freescale PowerQUICC III MPC8536E processor. The IC-PQ3-VPX3a is designed to offer both the gigahertz-class complex application processing abilities and high-speed connectivity in a small board footprint. Typical consumption in full-operational configuration (1 GHz) is 10W.

Index computer. The PX3030 harnesses the computing

Get Connected with technology and power of the Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile processor companies providing solutions now and 8 Gbyte RAM to easily handle today’s

Getdemanding Connectednetwork is a new communications, resource for further exploration graphics, into products, companies. Whether your goal imagerytechnologies and videoand feeds needed for Modern is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly Brigade Combat teams. an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the The board is aimed at applications such of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. as tactical wheeled vehicles including tanks, hever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, expeditionary fighting vehicles and Stryker Connected will help you connect with the companies and products platforms as well as armament platforms such are searching for.

The IC-PQ3-VPX3a is ideally suited for a large range of embedded applications such as compute-intensive solutions requiring high-speed I/O transactions, Gigabit Ethernet as mobile gun systems and cannons. Other interfaces for high-performance network applications include airborne command and connectivity or redundant failsafe links, control for combat helicopters, aircraft and powerful control element for network switches, unmanned aerial vehicles. Features of the storage subsystems, network appliances, print board include dual Gbit Ethernet 10/100/1000 and imaging devices, etc. connectivity, onboard storage up to 16 Gbytes Other features include up to 1 Gbyte DDR2of SATA NAND flash, six USB 2.0 and four ECC, 128 Mbyte Flash, 4 Gbytes of NAND RS-232/422 ports. The card meets VITA 47 CC4 Flash and upnow to three Gigabit Ethernet ports. Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions vibration, shock and temperature specs. It’s a The IC-PQ3-VPX3a is available in standard, Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest 3U module per VITA 48.2 (conduction-cooled), extended and rugged grades. Interface Concept datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you Type 1, 0.85-inch pitch. Compatible software VxWorks and Linux operating in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require forprovides whateverBSP type for of technology, includes Microsoft Windows, systems. Other RTOS can be ported on request. Get Connected will help you connect with theLynuxOS, companiesLinux, and products you are searching for. HHEL, VxWorks and other operating systems.

General Dynamics C4 Systems Scottsdale, AZ. (480) 441-3033. [].


cted with companies and ed in this section.

Interface Concept Briec de l’Odet, France. +33 (0)2 98 57 30 30. [].

End of Article Get Connected

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July 2011 COTS Journal [ 55 ] Untitled-2 1

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6U VPX Board Offers 16 Gbyte RAM and Dual Processors

OpenVPX Cards Offer Solution for EW/SIGINT Applications

Kontron’s latest offering is its 6U VPX dual processor node VX6060 with 16 Gbyte soldered ECC RAM. All versions support the Kontron VXFabric API for IP-based data transport over PCI Express to accelerate application development. Each of the independently implemented dual-core Intel Core i7 processing nodes of the Kontron VX6060 has full access to 8 Gbyte ECC RAM. The two processing nodes are connected via PCI Express to each other and to the data plane. By using Kontron VXFabric, OEMs can implement efficient inter-board communication at hardware speed, leveraging PCI Express for the highest bandwidth.

Engineers developing electronic warfare/ signals intelligence (EW/SIGINT) applications need the right combination of performance and ruggedness. With that in mind, Mercury Computer Systems has announced new 3U and 6U OpenVPX modules. Mercury’s new subsystem enhancements are based on powerful building-block components in both 3U and 6U OpenVPX standard form factors. Two new 3U OpenVPX modules support sophisticated EW/ SIGINT functionality on platforms with limited Size, Weight and Power budgets. The Ensemble HCD3210 processing module combines a Virtex-6 FPGA with a Freescale dual-core 8640D general-purpose processor. The Ensemble SFM3010, an advanced multi-plane switching module, supports a low-latency, deterministic SRIO fabric data plane, a GigE switching control plane and an IPMI-based system management plane, enabling very sophisticated applications in the small 3U form factor.

OceanServer Digital Compass Products: • Low Cost Family of Electronic Compasses • Solid State Package • High Accuracy Offered in Serial, USB or TTL • Under $200.00 in Low Volume • Hard & Soft Iron Calibration • Fully Engineered Solution For Embedded Applications

VXFabric is equivalent to an Ethernet network infrastructure mapped over a switched PCI Express fabric. It implements the layers allowing the user to handle the communication with an IP socket programmatic interface. Combined with the power of 6U VPX backplane infrastructure, the Kontron 6U VPX dual processing node VX6060 enables a new range of outstanding HPEC applications using only standard technology (Linux or RTOS on x86 and TCP/IP) for a shorter time-to-market. The Kontron 6U VPX dual processing node VX6060 is available in forced air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions.

Kontron America Poway, CA. (858) 677-0877. [].

Larger 6U OpenVPX subsystems are enhanced with the new Echotek Series SCFE-V6-OVPX module, which supports three powerful Virtex-6 FPGAs, two industry standard VITA-57 FMC sites and a Linuxbased control processor. The FMC sites can be configured with an extensive set of A/D and D/A converters, supporting a wide range of IF bandwidths and channel densities. Multiple 6U modules can be configured in scalable subsystems supporting multichannel coherency, a critical capability for many EW/SIGINT applications.

Mercury Computer Systems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401. []. (508)-678-0550 [ 56 ] COTS Journal July 2011 Untitled-9 1

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VPX Board Family Packages Virtex-6 FPGAs for Mil Apps

UltraSPARC T2-Based VPX SBC Targets Mil Apps

The OpenVPX ecosystem has grown leaps and bounds over the past 12 months. In synch with that trend, Pentek unveiled the first in a family of ruggedized boards for high-performance military and avionics applications utilizing the industry’s most advanced FPGA technology. Pentek’s 53xxx Cobalt board family incorporates Xilinx’s Virtex-6 FPGAs for onboard signal processing, delivering digital sampling rates to 1 GHz in a compact 3U VPX form factor. By combining processing, data conversion and preconfigured functions, the 53xxx family is suitable for such applications as UAV, CommINT (Communications Intelligence) transceivers, airborne communications recorders, airborne radar countermeasures, shipboard diversity transceivers and armored vehicle anti-IED systems. Pentek’s 53xxx Cobalt family is the first to bring Virtex-6 FPGA technology to the VPX format. With more than twice the resources of previous Virtex

Themis Computers SPARC expertise gets a VPX twist with its T2VPX 6U VPX board computer. The T2VPX is the first member of the company’s new family of VITA 46-compliant, board-level computers. Themis’ T2VPX supports the VITA 46 and VITA 65 standards, providing customers with next-generation processing performance and high-bandwidth serial switched fabrics. The board features a new system architecture that combines up to eight processor cores and 64 threads, with a VPX IO fabric. The T2VPX is ideal for compute-intensive military and aerospace applications requiring rugged computing solutions, beyond the reach of today’s VME 64-based systems.

ON I S S I M AL C I T I CR ICES DEV DC-DC Converters AC-DC Power Supplies • Expanded Operating

Temperatures -55 to +85C

generations, including new enhancements in digital signal processing, logic and clocking, the Virtex-6 family provides developers with a previously unavailable level of customizable processing power. Pentek gives the FPGA full access to all data and control paths and then harnesses its raw processing power by pre-configuring boards with key functions. This strategy provides a wealth of useful turn-key operations, while leaving enough unused FPGA capacity for adding customer-developed IP. All Cobalt VPX products are available with a choice of Xilinx Virtex-6 LXT or SXT FPGA devices to match the application. Other common features of Cobalt boards include PCI Express (Gen 2) interfaces up to 8 lanes wide, synchronous clocking locked to an external system reference, and an LVPECL synch bus for synchronizing multiple modules to increase channel count. The Cobalt 53xxx 3U VPX module pricing starts at $14,490.

Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [].

• Vibration, Method 204, Cond. D • Shock, Method 213, Cond. I • Altitude, Method 105, Cond. D • Environmental Screening • Specification Review • Custom Models Available • 400 Hz and Now 800 Hz AC-DC Models

The T2VPX is based on the Sun UltraSPARC T2 CMT (chip multi-threading) processor, the industry’s first “system on a chip” and runs both Linux and the Solaris 10 Operating System. Themis’ new T2VPX board further proliferates Sun’s advanced UltraSPARC T2 processor technologies into embedded computing markets. The T2VPX will be offered with 6 and 8 core processor options. T2VPX features and specifications include up to 32 Gbytes of DDR2 memory with ECC protection, onboard 1.8-inch HDD/SSD support, multiple Gbit and 10 Gbit Ethernet channels and more.

Themis Computer Fremont, CA. (510) 252-0870. [].

ard s of Stand Thousand DC 0 0 to 10,0 V Models 2V 0 Watts 0 ,0 2 5 to .7 0 ts u Outp



143 Sparks Ave, Pelham, NY 10803-1837

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July 2011 COTS Journal [ 57 ] Untitled-12 1

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Data Acq Card with Multi-Board Synch Targets Radar and UAVs

Get Connected withWith companies mentioned in this article. High-speed military data acquistion applications have an endless appetite for precision high-speed data capture. that inGet mind, the Model with 71640 from Pentek is a high-speed acquisition module capable digitizing one 12-bit Connected companies and products featured indata this section. channel at 3.6 GHz, or two channels at 1.8 GHz. It has provisions for the synchronization of multiple boards for capture and analysis of even wider bandwidths. Leveraging the National Semiconductor ADC12D1800 12-bit A/D converter, the 71640 provides two transformer-coupled RF input ports that can operate in single- or dual-channel mode. The 71640 also includes an onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA for customer-specific data processing. The module includes four banks of 256 Mbyte DDR3 SDRAM and built-in triggered data capture functions for acquiring precise data blocks. An optimized multichannel DMA engine provides efficient data movement over the Gen2 x8 PCIe interface to host processors. An optional 8x, or dual 4x, gigabit serial I/O interface allows users to support application-specific protocols and create high-bandwidth paths between modules or to additional signal processing engines. Pentek offers cPCI, PCIe, VPX and ruggedized, extended-temperature versions of the 71640. Radar and broadband communications signal acquisition are prime applications for the 71640. To capture wideband signals with previous-generation A/D modules, developers needed to split those signals into smaller overlapping bands and use multiple A/Ds to digitize those bands. This created challenges whenever the target signal fell in the overlap band. The 71640’s wide bandwidth now allows system designers to eliminate the pitfalls of such overlap processing while also saving system costs of the band-splitting filters and multiple data acquisition boards. For even wider bandwidths or for multichannel systems, the 71640 offers a synchronization bus that works with a companion timing module for sample-accurate synchronization of multiple Cobalt modules. Pricing starts at $17,445. Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [].

600W Power Supply Boats 3 x 5-inch Footprint PowerGate has released its Vox Power’s NEVO+600 Series of ultraminiature modular power supplies with a power density of 25W/ in³—available with ITE or Medical approvals. The NEVO+600 is a 600 watt Modular Power Supply chassis with four configurable slots that can be populated with single or dual output for practically unlimited voltage combinations. Digital I2C and Analog Status and Control functions include remote sense, current share, voltage margin, global inhibit, module inhibit, Power Good, AC OK and 5 VSB. These supplies feature Universal AC Input, Active Power Factor Correction and Class B Emissions with tight regulation and 1 percent ripple per noise. Typical pricing for 50 units with 4 single output modules is $380.

PowerGate, Santa Clara, CA. (866) 588-1750. [].

PCI Express Interface Boasts 8 Multifunction Serial Ports Sealevel Systems has introduced its Ultra COMM+8.PCIE serial interface. Compatible with any PCI Express slot, the board provides eight multifunction serial ports, each individually field-configurable for RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485. The Ultra COMM+8.PCIE utilizes 16C954 UARTs with 128-byte Tx/ Rx FIFOs, which enables data rates to 921.6K bps for reliable high-speed communications in data-intensive applications. This high-performance UART includes 9-bit framing support and is register compatible with legacy 16550 software applications. In addition, the board derives a 62.5 MHz clock from the PCI Express bus. This ultra-high-speed clock is divided by a flexible 16-bit clock prescalar to provide support for the widest range of standard and non-standard baud rates.

Sealevel Systems, Liberty, SC. (864) 843-4343. [].

Digital Compass Integrates with GPS A line of compact and highly accurate 3-axis positioning sensors for a variety of OEM applications including antennas, night vision systems, robotics, satellites, sonar, solar panels and weather instrumentation is available from OceanServer Technology. The units are offered in a 0.6-square-inch embedded and a 1-square-inch fullboard version that auto-detects either USB or RS-232 connections and a TTL interface. Suitable for integration with GPS to provide heading information, they provide 0.5 degrees nominal accuracy, 0.1 resolution, ±180 degree roll, ±90 degree tilt and electronically gimbaled tilt compensation. Incorporating 3-axis magnetic sensors with 3-axis accelerometers, standard features of OceanServer Electronic Compasses include hard- and soft-iron calibration, a 50 Mips processor that supports IEEE floating point math, a 24-bit A/D converter, programmable baud rates from 4,800 to 115,000 baud and Windows-compatible software for evaluation and testing. OceanServer Electronic Compasses are priced from $99 to $299, depending upon configuration and quantity; including reference software.

OceanServer Technology, Fall River, MA. (508) 678-0550. [].

[ 58 ] COTS Journal July 2011

COTS Products Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

20W Power Supply Is Fully Regulated ConTech, a Division of Calex, has announced the “QMJ” Series of DC/DC converters. The QMJ Series offers up to 20 watts of fully regulated output power. The series offers a 4:1 input range with Get Connected with companies and products featured of in this section. nominal input voltages 24 VDC and 48 VDC. Single outputs offered are 3.3, 5, 12 and 15 VDC. Dual outputs are +/-12 and +/-15 VDC. The footprint used on the 1 x 1-inch package is the same as that of an industry standard 1 x 2 inches, thereby offering a space saving alternative. The QMJ Series operates with efficiencies as high as 90 percent. The operating ambient temperature is -40° to +70°C with no de-rating. The unit is encapsulated with a thermally conductive potting compound in a six-sided metal case for improved thermal performance in still air environments. Pricing starts at $23.15 each (1000s).

ConTech, Concord, CA. (925) 609-1193. [].

VPX Cards Serve Up Spartan-6 FPGAs A new series of 3U VPX FPGA boards provides powerful, but economical solutions for high-speed processing of algorithms in embedded computing applications. The VPX-SLX boards from Acromag employ a configurable, logic-optimized Spartan-6 FPGA with 150k logic cells to meet demand for higher performance in cost-sensitive applications. A highthroughput PCI Express interface, generous dualported memory for efficient data handling, and 64 I/O lines direct to the FPGA enable rapid data processing and great versatility. Ideal for defense, aerospace, or scientific research; typical applications involve signal intelligence, image processing and hardware simulation. All VPX-SLX models use the XC6SLX150 Spartan-6 FPGA chip with 147,433 logic cells and 180 DSP48A1 slices. There are 64 I/O or 32 LVDS lines connected to the FPGA via the rear P2 connector. A series of AXM extension modules are available to provide additional front-end 16-bit A/D, differential RS-485, CMOS, or LVDS I/O processing channels through a mezzanine connector on the front of the card. FPGA code loads from the PCIe bus or from onboard flash memory. A JTAG and Xilinx ChipScope Pro interface are also supported to simplify development tasks. For extended temperature range operation, models can be ordered with a frame for use in a conduction-cooled chassis. The standard model operates reliably over a 0 to 70°C range in an air-cooled or forced convection system. The conduction-cooled version supports a range of -40° to 85°C. And for system compatibility, Acromag’s 3U VPX cards support a number of VITA 65 slot profiles and conform to VPX VITA 46.0, 46.4 and 46.9 specifications. Pricing starts at $5,200 for an air-cooled version and slightly higher in a conduction-cooled format.

Acromag, Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310. [].

Systems Does Large-Scale HighDensity IP Video Decoding The U.S. military has moved toward a tremendous reliance on graphics and videobased data. Serving those needs, Matrox Graphics offers Matrox SMD-2 streaming media decoder, a second-generation universal IP video decode solution designed to decode— in parallel—large numbers of network video streams in different resolutions and formats. The ideal building block for large-scale IP video decode applications, each SMD-2 board can simultaneously decode up to 64 QCIF, 16 D1, or 2 HD 1080 streams. By combining multiple SMD-2 boards within a single system, users can decode and display hundreds of IP streams on any video display wall. SMD-2 is fully integrated with the Matrox PPX Series and will be compatible with the Mura MPX Series later in the summer. With its capacity to cost-effectively support large-scale, high-density IP stream decoding, the Matrox SMD-2 is ideal for use in security surveillance, public security and critical infrastructure sectors. The Matrox SMD-2 is currently available for use with Matrox PPX Series display wall controller boards. Development kits for SMD-2 with Matrox Mura MPX Series will be available late summer 2011, with general availability in fall 2011.

Matrox Electronic Systems, Dorval, Quebec, Canada. (514) 822-6000.[www.matrox.comp].

Mini-ITX Chassis Suited for Rugged Vehicle Use Logic Supply has introduced the MV101 Automotive Mini-ITX chassis. A variety of available internal mounting solutions and power supplies make the MV101 a versatile option for any rugged vehicle or similar harsh environment application. The MV101 is constructed from 1.5 mm thick galvanized steel and is designed to be as compact and resilient as possible. Dual brackets allow for vertical or horizontal mounting, and are equipped with bidirectional keyways and DIN rail holes. The enclosure is equipped with dual 40 mm ball-bearing fans. These are located behind a cleanable and replaceable air filter screen, which provides maximum protection while ensuring adequate air flow and cooling.

Logic Supply, South Burlington, VT. (802) 861-2300. [].

July 2011 COTS Journal [ 59 ]

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FPGA-Based 6U VME/VXS Board Does Ten Channels Get16-bit Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

VXS is a “here today” solution for high-performance VME-compatible military system implementations. TEK Microsystems has announced the QuiXilica Aries-V6, the first product to combine ten 16-bit 250 MSPS signal acquisition with Virtex 6 processing for VME- and VXS-based applications. The combination of ten of the fastest available 16-bit resolution A/D converters with three Virtex-6 FPGAs sets new records in both channel and processing density for 6U signal acquisition and processing products, enabling systems with up to 180 coherent channels and 130 TeraMAC/s of processing in a single chassis. Like previous generations of QuiXilica products based on Virtex II Pro and Virtex 5 technology, the Aries-V6 is compatible with legacy VME systems as well as newer ANSI/VITA 41 VXS-based systems in both laboratory and deployed / rugged applications. The Aries-V6 has ten Analog Devices AD9467 ADC converters, providing 16-bit resolution at sample rates up to 250 MSPS with an input bandwidth of 500 MHz. The ADC provides an Effective Number of Bits (ENOB) of 12.1 along with typical SFDR of 95 dBc and SNR of 74 dBFS when using a 97 MHz input. Each 6U card has a single clock and trigger input that is used for all input channels. The trigger signal may be used to support coherent processing across multiple Aries-V6 boards in a system, with up to 180 channels in a single chassis. Each front end FPGA on the Aries-V6 has two DDR3 memory banks, each with capacity of 1 Gbyte and 6.4 Gbyte/s of bandwidth, supporting simultaneous full rate DRFM type applications and snapshot data capture for each input stream. The QuiXilica-V6 architecture incorporates a next-generation system management processor for bitstream management, board sanitization, power and thermal monitoring, built-in-test and extended diagnostics. The Aries-V6 is available for a wide range of operating environments, including commercial grade, rugged air and conduction-cooled, allowing the card to be used for both laboratory and deployed requirements in both VME and VXS systems.

TEK Microsystems, Chelmsford, MA. (978) 244-9200. [].

240W DC/DC Converters Offer 4:1 Input Range Calex announces the 240 watt LP Series DC/DC converters that feature a 4:1 input range. The LP series offers an unprecedented 9 to 36 volt input range in a 240W 2.3 x 2.4 x 0.55-inch package. The 9 to 36 volt input range makes the LP ideal for mobile batterypowered applications (12V) as well as industrial (24V) and military COTS (28V) requiring a wide input range. The LP Series complements Calex’s 100, 150 and 400 watt 4:1 input range offering giving designers a variety of options tailored to their application. The output voltages available with the LP Series are 12, 15, 24, 28 and 48 VDC. No minimum load is required for proper operation. All models are fully isolated input to output.

Calex, Concord, CA. (925) 687-4411. [].

FPGA-Enabled PXI Board Family Gets Six New I/O Modules National Instruments has introduced the expansion of its NI FlexRIO product line with six new adapter modules featuring FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O to deliver enhanced functionality for general-purpose automated test and high-speed digital communication. The NI FlexRIO family provides engineers the flexibility of NI LabVIEW FPGA technology with high-speed, user-configurable I/O on the PXI platform. The new group of adapter modules includes four generalpurpose digitizers, a module for high-speed digital I/O and the industry’s fastest 16-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) from Analog Devices, which is optimized for modulated communications. The modules also integrate with the new NI FlexRIO Instrument Development Library, a collection of LabVIEW host and FPGA code, designed to provide capabilities commonly found in instruments such as acquisition engines, DRAM interfaces and trigger logic, along with the associated host APIs.

National Instruments, Austin, TX. (800) 258-7022. [].

VITA 58 Line Replaceable Unit Chassis Aims at Mil Vehicles SIE Computing Solutions offers a series of VITA 58 Line Replaceable Units (LRU). This new product line launches SIE’s 734 Series chassis, which meets the level 2 and 2-plus maintenance requirements specified in the VITA 58 standard. Ranging in size from V58/1H1 to V58/8H2, many of the VITA 58 enclosures are backward compatible with the ARINC600 specification, and all utilize a rear-mount blind mating connector system that allows for plug-and-play deployment on the battlefield, in the flight line, or on the shipboard. A front panel indicator light also enables in-field techs to rapidly identify problems and then remove and replace the LRU upon failure, so systems are always mission-ready in minutes, even without specialized expertise on-site. And because all sensitive components are contained within the chassis’s protective ESD shell, further damage of the failed enclosure is avoided during the service and transport stages of the repair process. The SIE VITA 58 chassis can be integrated with any electronic component set from PC104 to OpenVPX and allows for convection, conduction and liquid cooling options for maximum flexibility depending on environmental performance requirements for land, air, sea, or space applications.

SIE Computing Solutions, Brockton, MA. (800) 926-8722. [].

[ 60 ] COTS Journal July 2011

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ATCA Platform Is Ready for Tough Field Deployment A high-performance, multiprocessing system platform is designed to address compute-intensive requirements in command and control data center applications. The ATCA7365 SystemPak Get Connected with companies and products in this section. fromfeatured Elma Electronic combines the high-performance multiprocessing of an integrated ATCA platform with a ruggedized design capable of withstanding the high shock and vibration found in rugged mobile transport applications. It has been successfully tested to withstand a 36” drop shock test per MIL-STD-810G. Featuring three ATCA processor blades, each with two six-core Intel processors as standard, the ATCA7365 SystemPak offers high processing power that makes it an ideal solution for use in rugged “comms on the move” (COTM) applications such as data center virtualization and network-centric environments. Additional attributes of the fully integrated SystemPak include 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching for high-speed data links, 96 Gbytes of DDR memory per blade and 1.2 Tbytes of storage. It is delivered tested and verified with Linux, and the processors are VMware certified. The new ATCA7365 platform has been successfully tested to meet environmental requirements for operation in a command and control center. It is mounted in a lightweight transit case, can withstand a 36” drop test on two axes, and can endure random vibration up to 25 Gs per MIL-STD810G. Operating temperature is 3° to 37°C in 5% to 95% non-condensing humidity. In addition to the three processor blades, the standard configuration includes an Elma Type 11A, 6U six-slot ATCA chassis, a fully replicated mesh backplane and a single system management card with a provision for dual management as well as redundant cooling and power supplies. Four 300 Gbyte SAS (serial-attached SCSI) drives and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet fabric switch blade with RTM (real-time monitoring) are also part of the ready-to-run unit.

Elma Electronic, Fremont, CA (510) 656-3400. [].

Compact Flash Card Features Lock Switch for Write Protection To assist users in protecting data in storage devices, Apacer Technology offers a fifth-generation industrial compact flash (CF) card featuring a write-protection design for data storage safety. The lock switch on the bottom side of the memory card prevents data from being tampered with. By simply locking the lock switch on the bottom side of the card, the industrial CF card can be set to be read only, thus preventing any attempt to write. This way, the data not only can stay safe by avoiding accidental deletion, but also can prevent tampering of confidential information that may result in data leakage. The industrial CF5 card is compliant with the CFA 4.1 specifications.

Mini-ITX Platform Provides Multiple Displays

A new low-power Mini-ITX motherboard couples the Via VX900 media system processor with a choice of 1.2 GHz and 1.6 GHz Via Nano Processors to provide a high-performance and highly scalable solution for advanced digital signage systems. In addition to providing native support for dual displays, the VB8004 from Via Technologies can also be easily upgraded to support four displays using an additional Via S3 5400E graphics module, providing developers with the widest variety of multidisplay configurations, including HDMI, LVDS and DVI technologies. Powered by a choice of 1.6 GHz and 1.2GHz Via Nano processors, the Via VB8004 leverages the advanced multimedia capabilities of the Via VX900 system media processor to deliver awesome DX10.1 graphics and support for rich 1080p video resolutions.

VIA Technologies, Fremont, CA. (510) 683-3300. [].

Apacer Memory America, Milpitas, CA. (408) 586-1291. [].

XMC Ethernet Switch Module Delivers 12 Ports of Gbit Ethernet A managed XMC 12-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch for the embedded market can be mounted on virtually any VPX or VME module supporting the XMC mezzanine standard, and enables designers of rugged embedded systems to integrate high-speed Ethernet switching functionality on a space, weight and power (SWaP) optimized mezzanine module that requires no additional chassis slot to deploy. The XMC-651 module from Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing is also available in a PMC mezzanine configuration (PMC-651) that provides up to 8 ports of managed GbE switching. The XMC-651 supports full line-rate non-blocked switching and the in-field management of a broad range of networking features including VLANs, multicast and Quality of Service. Designed for use in rugged military environments, the module is available in both air-cooled and conduction-cooled variants. The XMC-651 implements Ethernet switching functions via Broadcom 10th generation switching technology. Eight of the module’s ports support 10/100/1000Base-T with auto-negotiation. An additional 4 ports support SerDes (1000Base-BX) Gigabit Ethernet, offering flexibility in connecting in-chassis devices. The XMC-651 implements Layer-2 Ethernet switching with full wire-speed performance on all ports and features an 8K entry MAC address table, with automatic learning, advanced flow-control and head of line blocking prevention.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Ashland, VA. (703) 779-7800. []. July 2011 COTS Journal [ 61 ]

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PMC/XMC Carrier Card Supports 8-lane Get PCIConnected Express Speeds with companies and products featured in this section.

A PCI Express PMC/XMC carrier card serves developers wanting to configure PMC and XMC mezzanine cards in high-performance servers and small form factor PCs. The SPR418A hybrid card from GE Intelligent Platforms affords PCI Express compatibility and a combination of performance, flexibility, reliability, interoperability and cost-effectiveness. It would typically be used in the development of applications such as sonar, radar, communications and signals intelligence (SIGINT). The SPR418A can be ordered to host either a PMC module supporting up to PCI-X transfer speeds, or an XMC module supporting up to 8-lane PCI Express speeds: the Gen2 x8 PCI Express interface to the host allows for unimpeded data transfers at the full rate supported by the mezzanine card. An integrated fan supplies additional cooling to the mezzanine card for optimum reliability, while support for up to 25W of power is well in excess of that required by the PMC and XMC specifications—contributing to both performance and reliability. Flexibility is delivered by the SPR418A in the form of a number of connectivity options that allow additional I/O and usage modes. J4 connectivity is provided to an optional 80-pin KEL connector (similar to the connector used for FPDP VITA 17). J16 can be connected to two SFF connectors providing for up to 4 lanes of high-speed serial connectivity each via readily available cables. A standard PC power connector can be fitted for stand-alone operation for mezzanines that do not require interaction with a host.

GE Intelligent Platforms, Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [].

Triaxial Piezoresistive Shock Accelerometer Offered in Compact Package

ATX Board Has Core2 Quad/Duo and FSB 1,333 MHz Support

A piezoresistive triaxial shock accelerometer is designed to provide high-reliability measurements in three orthogonal directions within a footprint measuring less than 0.2 square inches (5.08 mm2). The model 73 from Meggitt Sensing Systems is intended for such critical applications as high-shock data recorders, missile fusing and weapon systems. Design of the model 73 incorporates use of three Endevco model 71 high-g piezoresistive shock accelerometers, housed on a specialty mounting block, with two available mounting options. These are either a surface mount technology (SMT) leadless chip carrier (LCC) package for reflow soldering with structural epoxy underfill; or a flex circuit option, allowing the unit to be adhesively mounted with electrical connections made via solder pads.

A new industrial-grade ATX motherboard is designed with the Intel G41 and the ICH7R chipset for industrial applications that need dual displays for DVI plus VGA and rich strong I/O capability. The AIMB767 from Advantech supports LGA 775 Intel Core2 Duo, Core2 Quad, Pentium Dual-Core and Celeron 400 sequence processors with FSB up to 1333 MHz and DDR3 800/1066MHz SDRAM up to 4 Gbytes. AIMB-767 is capable of software SATA RAID 0, 1, 5 & 10 to ensure reliable storage and system protection for network-intensive applications. With rich I/O interface support, AIMB-767’s four SATAII ports can support software RAID 0, 1, 10 and 5 to serve as an entry-level data security solution with reliability. The four onboard serial ports (COM ports), one PCIe x16, one PCIe x4 and five PCI expansion slots allow AIMB-767 to meet many different industrial control application requirements.

Meggitt Sensing Systems, Fribourg, Switzerland. +41 26 407 11 11. [].

Advantech, Irvine, CA. (949) 789-7178. [].

Rugged Fanless Embedded Computer Boasts 100G Shock Resistance A new fanless embedded computer with rich integrated I/O is equipped with the Intel Atom D510 1.66 GHz processor. The MXE-3000 from Adlink Technology delivers twice the performance of the previous N270 platform. Featuring maximum operating shock tolerance up to 100G, minimal footprint with a small profile, and innovative thermal design with zero cable management requirements, the MXE-3000 provides reliable performance in mission-critical and harsh environments for a variety of applications. Leveraging the advantages of enhanced RF function, dedicated I/O features, 9-32 VDC wide range power input and LVDS & VGA dual display support, the MXE-3000 with ease of mounting capability—VESA or DIN rail, is a suitable match for diverse applications. With changes in market trend toward smaller fanless configurations, the MXE-3000’s compact 210 mm (W) x 170 mm (D) x 53 mm (H) size suits it ideally for applications requiring limited storage space and demanding zero-noise, dustproof performance. A unique cable-free structure and extended temperature functionality enable the MXE-3000 series to greatly benefit customers with high-performance computing, lowered total cost of ownership and long-term durability. The MXE-3000 is priced at $672.

ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200. []. [ 62 ] COTS Journal July 2011

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COM Express Modules Serve Up Freescale QorIQ Processors A family of COM Express embedded computing modules is powered by Freescale Semiconductor QorIQ processors. Three modules, the COMX-P3041, COMX-P4040 and COMX-P5020, have been Get Connected with companies and products in this section. announced by Emerson Network Power. Thesefeatured new boards can speed deployment for users of QorIQ with diverse I/O requirements by reducing design complexity while providing customizable modular options. Design engineers are isolated from the complexities of high-speed processor and memory system design, allowing them to focus on a carrier board tailored to the I/O needs of their application and improving their product to gain market share. The COMX-P3041module features the Freescale QorIQ P3041 quad-core communications processor operating at 1.5 GHz, for a more power- and cost-efficient solution to modules built on the P4 platform while retaining many of the features and architectural compatibility. The COMX-P4040 module features the Freescale QorIQ P4040 quad-core communications processor operating at 1.5 GHz, making it ideal for communications applications requiring combined control, data and application layer processing. The COMX-P5020 module features Freescale’s first offerings with the 64-bit, e500mc core, the Freescale QorIQ P5020 dual-core processor operating at 2.0 GHz to target control plane and compute applications that require high single-threaded performance. All modules support one or two channels of 2 Gbyte DDR-1333 ECC SO-UDIMM and have 12 configurable SERDES lanes available for maximum flexibility. Highly flexible I/O includes 10G-XAUI, SRIO, GPIO, USB 2.0, PCI Express, Gigabit Ethernet and real-time debug.

Emerson Network Power, Tempe, AZ. (602) 438-5720. [].

3U OpenVPX Switch Blends PCI Express and Ethernet A new 3U OpenVPX PCI Express and Ethernet hybrid switch delivers extremely high transfer rates in centralized VPX and OpenVPX platforms. With up to 4 x 6 Gen1/Gen2 PCIe backplane ports for the data plane, the VX3905 from Kontron provides ten times the I/O bandwidth found in systems deploying today and paves the way for a new generation of high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications. The hybrid switch VX3905 is compliant with the OpenVPX VITA65 switch slot profile SLT3-SWH-6F6U-14.4 for highest compatibility in multi-board designs. It provides up to 24 PCI Express Gen 1/Gen 2 ports for up to 32 lanes that can be configured (x8, x4, x2 and x1) depending on the required bandwidth. Up to nine Gigabit Ethernet ports are available on the VX3905 for the control plane, enabling dedicated system management for high availability.

PCIe Synchro/Resolver Card Offers 30 Arc Second Accuracy Data Device Corp. (DDC) has introduced a new Digital-to-Synchro/Resolver simulation PCIe card (SB-3623X), designed for test applications involving instrument grade angle position simulation of up to 6 channels at 30 arc seconds accuracy. This half-size RoHScompliant card easily integrates with the smaller size desktops to perform lab testing on position sense for motor control, robotics, gimbal positioning and valve control. Benefits include up to 6 independent output channels programmable up to 90 volts Synchro or Resolver and up to 30 Arc second accuracy. It has a programmable onboard reference sine oscillator as well as programmable dynamic rotation and up to 3 two-speed outputs.

Data Device Corp., Bohemia, NY. (631) 567-5600. [].

Kontron, Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. [].

Data Acquisition Card Offers 128 Channels of USB Analog I/O A highly integrated multifunction data acquisition and control system offers an attractive solution for adding portable, easy-to-install high-speed analog and digital I/O capabilities to any PC or embedded system with a USB port. The DAQ-Pack from Acces I/O Products performs signal conditioning such as RC filtering, current inputs, RTD measurement, bridge completion, thermocouple break detection, voltage dividers, small signal inputs and sensor excitation voltage supply. Sustained sampling speeds up to 500 kHz are available for 32, 64, 96, or 128 single-ended or differential analog inputs. Groups of eight channels at a time can be independently software configured to accept different input ranges. Advanced calibration models feature a real-time internal autocalibration system that allows the unit to compensate for offset/gain errors. To minimize noise, the board offers oversampling. The channel-by-channel programmable gain feature enables measurement of an assortment of large and small signals in one scan—all under software control at up to 500 kHz. The board’s data buffer and ability to trigger the A/D in real time assures synchronized sampling that is unaffected by other computer operations—an essential requirement for signal, vibration and transient analysis where high data rates must be sustained. Pricing starts at $872.

ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA. (858) 550-9559. []. July 2011 COTS Journal [ 63 ]

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Parvus Corporation......................... 34................................

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Innovative Integration...................... 25................... .......................................... 15............................. ISI Nallatech Inc..............................

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Coming Next Month Special Feature: VME, VPX and cPCI in Tech Upgrade Programs Among the reasons for VMEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soaring success in military systems is its unique ability to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. A new board with the latest and greatest processor, memory and I/O can easily be dropped in to a slot that could be decades old. CompactPCI has followed in those same footsteps. But upgrades become trickier as new fabric-based VITA-standard boards enter the mix. Articles in this section examine the current activity in traditional VME and cPCI tech refresh along with the trade-offs involved in mixing those alongside newer VITA architectures like VXS and VPX. Tech Recon: Display and Computing Trends for UAV Ground Control UAV Ground Control systems represent a focal point of advanced display and computing technology. The systems need real-time performance and sophisticated video and graphics processing. Meanwhile the display subsystems in these systems need to display complex sets of real-time information. System architectures like ATCA and others have emerged as solutions for UAV Ground Control designs. This section compares the trends and products that meet the unique needs of these critical military systems. System Development: Military Data Acq Puts USB and PCI Express to Work Fading fast are the days when complex military electronics systems required large racks on boards to implement test platforms for them. Now the same test functions can be done on the PC using USB, PCI Express data acquisition and test modules. This section looks at the boards and software solutions driving this trend. Tech Focus: High-Density Storage Subsystems As military systems continue to rely more and more on compute- and data-intensive software, the storage subsystem is now a mission-critical piece of the puzzle. This section examines the emergence of Ethernet and IP-based storage interfaces, while comparing how traditional interface schemes like SATA, Fibre Channel and SCSI are positioned these days. Rotating drives still offer the best density, but flash-based solid-state disks F-SSDs are able to operate under the harshest conditions. This Tech Focus section updates readers on high-density storage systems and provides a product album of representative drives. [[ 64 64 ]] COTS COTS Journal Journal July 20112011

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Editorial Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

The Power of Joint Perspective


he regular habit of cost and schedule overruns is so entrenched in defense procurement that it’s hard to imagine a defense industry without those flaws. But to their credit, the government and DoD never fail to throw energy into improving the situation. As defense budget dollars tighten, the stakes get even higher and the DoD faces the prospect of doing more with less. With the reality of slowly growing or flat defense budgets for some years ahead, there’s great motivation to get better returns on its weapon system investments. An ability to make good trade-offs between cost, schedule and performance objectives at the time of developing and validating weapon system requirements will be important to achieving those returns. Some of that trade-off efficiency requires overseeing what’s possible between the military branches—bringing the power of “Joint” into the acquistion realm in a real way. Over the past 25 years, numerous panels have studied the acquisition process. And while not a lot of improvement has been made, it seems that the right efforts—rules and reviewing bodies—are now in place to make things better. An example is the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA), which took steps to encourage the DoD to engage in a more robust discussion of trade-offs before beginning a new weapon system program. Part of the WSARA directed the DoD’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) to ensure that these choices were made part of its process for assessing and prioritizing requirements. WSARA also directed GAO to assess the implementation of these requirements. In a report to the Congressional Armed Services Committees last month, the GAO reviewed its analysis on the extent to which the JROC has considered cost, schedule and performance trade-offs within programs. The report also looked at efforts to estimate the level of resources needed to fulfill joint military requirements and the extent to which the JROC is prioritizing requirements and capability gaps. To conduct its review the GAO focused on JROC activities in fiscal year 2010. It chose that time period to allow for any changes the JROC would implement as a result of the enactment of WSARA in May 2009. It reviewed the seven Capability Development Documents (CDD) submitted to the JROC in fiscal year 2010, JROC decision memos related to the CDDs, and analyses of alternatives (AOA) conducted by the military services prior to JROC reviews. The GAO also reviewed documentation from 15 JROC reviews of programs that incurred substantial cost growth [ 66 ] COTS Journal July 2011

after program start to determine if trade-offs were made. According to the GAO report, the JROC considered trade-offs made by the military services before validating requirements for four of the seven proposed programs it reviewed in fiscal year 2010, and provided input to the military services on the cost, schedule and performance objectives for two of the seven programs. The GAO report said that the JROC did not change any performance parameters during 15 reviews of programs that reported substantial cost growth in fiscal year 2010. For its part, the Joint Staff disagrees with that assessment arguing that by holding requirements firm and accepting increased cost and schedule delays, the JROC essentially traded cost and possibly schedule for performance. In fiscal year 2010 the JROC reviewed six programs after they experienced a critical Nunn-McCurdy breach, and nine programs as part of the tripwire process. During all 15 reviews, the DoD and the JROC stated that requirements were not the primary causes of cost growth. Most of these programs were in production in fiscal year 2010, and to be fair, changing requirements at this late stage might not have mitigated the reported cost growth. When the JROC reviewed the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals program—still in development—it concluded that the program’s requirements could not be met in an affordable manner. The JROC did not immediately defer any of the program’s requirements. Instead it asked the USD AT&L to identify potential alternatives for the program, including reviewing whether adjustments to performance requirements would be appropriate. In summary, the GAO report concluded that the JROC has mostly left prioritization and trade-off decisions to the military services. The problem with that is it fails to make use of the unique, joint perspective of a body like the JROC, which enables it to look across the entire department to identify efficiencies and potential redundancies. So bottom line, there are it seems all the right rules and organizations in place to improve defense acquistion dramatically, but they have to be used. Hopefully the things like trade-off discussions at early acquisition milestones will help. More effectively scrutinizing the quality of the resource estimates presented by the military services should also make a difference. But it seems like those things won’t happen until that long-used term “Joint” becomes all that it should be in the acquistion side of our military.

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with ONE

New Mx5 Avionics Interface Cards for XMC & PMC

Do more with less Mx5 avionics interface cards from Ballard Technology set the new standard for performance and high channel counts. Simplify your system, reduce SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power), and lower your costs by consolidating all of your I/O into a single expansion slot. Get the model that perfectly fits your system: XMC or PMC, front or rear I/O, air or conduction cooled, and the combination of protocols and channels you need on one card. Ask us how you can do more with the Mx5...

Mx5 at-a-glance

Call 425-339-0281 or email today.

The Avionics Databus Innovators AS9100 / ISO 9001 Registered

High-Performance Embedded Solutions · Single or Multiple Protocols · Up to 8 MIL-STD-1553 Channels · Up to 22 ARINC 429 Channels · Up to 4 ARINC 717 Channels · Up to 4 ARINC 708 Channels · Numerous Discrete I/O · IRIG, BIT, and much more

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COTS Journal  
COTS Journal  

July 2011 Issue