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Tech Focus: XMCs and

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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing





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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.

Embedded Processing Brings More Functionality to Small UAVs

CONTENTS December 2011

Volume 13

Number 12

SPECIAL FEATURE SWaP Hurdles for Small UAV Controls

10 Embedded Processing Brings More Functionality to Small UAVs Jeff Child

6 Publisher’s Notebook The Transformation of MILCOM 8

The Inside Track


COTS Products


Annual Article Index

74 Editorial The Tech All Around Us

TECH RECON I/O Architectures in Rugged Box-Level Systems

18 Rugged Box Systems Technologies Confront I/O Challenges Jeff Child

26 Radar Systems Boost Appetite for Faster I/O and DSP Processing Shaun McQuaid and Anne E. Mascarin, Mercury Computer Systems

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT VPX and VME Tackle Airborne I/O and Data Storage

34 VME and VPX Data Storage Solutions Face Airborne Challenges Tom Bohman, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems


48 XMCs and PrXMCs Bring Modularity into the Fabric Era Needs Jeff Child



XMC and PrXMC Roundup

Digital subscriptions available:

Coming in January See Page 72 On The Cover: This past summer Boeing subsidiary Insitu demoed its narrowband relay comms system aboard a ScanEagle UAV, like the one shown here. The relay helps warfighters communicate in areas where line of sight communications would not normally be possible. The Scan Eagle UAV is a small GPS-guided plane that weighs 40 lbs and has a ten-foot wingspan. It’s invisible to radar and is barely audible once within 50 ft. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Guadalupe M. Deanda III)

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman,

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child, MANAGING EDITOR Sandra Sillion,


Art/Production ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Maream Milik,

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COTS Journal HOME OFFICE The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, Editorial office Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief 20A Northwest Blvd., PMB#137, Nashua, NH 03063 Phone: (603) 429-8301 Fax: (603) 424-8122 Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2011, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.

[ 4 ] COTS Journal December 2011 Untitled-5 1

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Notebook The Transformation of MILCOM


hen I was in college we studied and designed with vacuum tubes, transistors, and learned about those new fangled things called ICs. Working for RCA’s Astro Electronics Division quickly brought those new fangled ICs to the forefront, and they became the main technology focus. It wasn’t until working on the Viking Mars Landers that I came in contact with real RF and microwave transmission. For the most part that was through interaction with RCA’s Moorstown Division, which focused on that technology. Watching those RF engineers work made me realize how much black art is involved in any RF work. The slightest mechanical change within the Viking’s transceivers produced or injected problems and skewed outputs. These magicians not only had to hand select many components but also move and adjust them with tweezers. Made me glad I only had to worry about the digital world of ones and zeros. The MILCOM conference started in 1981 as a venue to exchange information on the military’s communication needs. In those days many systems still had vacuum tubes with large cases, antennas and transport vehicles. As electronics evolved so did MILCOM. But up until the conference’s silver anniversary in 2006 in DC, it had very little digital focus. The emphasis had mostly been all on RF and microwave. In 2006 it started to become evident that digitizing and moving all aspects of communication as close as possible to the antenna was the optimal situation. Communications started digitizing decades before 2006—even in the military. But the aspects of that effort in the military were minimal with respect to the focus of the conference. In 2005 Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief, attended MILCOM in Atlantic City, New Jersey and reported that there were maybe two or three digital electronic suppliers at the conference. Returning from the DC show the following year, Jeff reported that there were roughly ten digital suppliers. This year’s MILCOM in Baltimore, with 6002 participants, had the best showing ever for embedded electronics suppliers. Of the 291 exhibitors this year, almost 25 percent were embedded electronics suppliers, and roughly another 20 percent were indirect suppliers of racks, chassis, cables and so on. Of the remaining 55 percent, many were military organizations along with a large number of companies that support the embedded market: engineering and manufacturing services, and IT providers. MILCOM provides attendees and suppliers a venue to meet and communicate with a good mix of suppliers, integrators and end-users. For the last three years COTS Journal has had to increase its staff and presence at MILCOM and will again increase it at next year’s conference. The RTC Group team is exploring ways to utilize our company’s conference expertise as well as COTS Journal’s reputation as the technology resource for the military electronics market, to expand the presence of key electronics organizations at MILCOM. More as this develops. [ 6 ] COTS Journal December 2011

COTS Journal’s annual MILCOM breakfast in Baltimore last month. From left to right around the table: Tom Roberts, Mercury Computer Systems; Steve Edwards, Curtiss-Wright; Al DiLbero, GE Intelligent Platforms; Asif Anwar, Strategy Analytics; Jeff Child, COTS Journal; Jim Oberlin, Jane’s DS Defense (IHS); Arun Iyengar, Altera; Virgil Labrador, Satellite Markets and Research and Pete Yeatman (back facing camera). COTS Journal once again held its annual analysts breakfast at MILCOM to get a better vision of where our industry is going. The breakfast enables analysts, users, suppliers and our team to have an open “off the record” discussion about our industry. This year we added Satellite Markets & Research to our analyst team. The focus of this year’s discussion was the uncertainty of what the military will need and be able to fund. No one at this meeting was in a position to make any clear predictions. Everyone concurred that at all levels of the procurement chain, everyone needs to concentrate on where to place their resources. From the military down through the supply chain the focus is “firm fixed contracts.” And with any new proposals everybody has to have some “skin in the game,” meaning everyone will have to make an investment to be included. When it came to discussing the delivery forecast for 2012 there were no volunteers. COTS Journal proffered that based on discussions outside this breakfast and past history, that the embedded electronics community’s deliveries for 2012 will be flat. With all the uncertainty regarding RDT&E funding and the unpredictability of the quantities for the new military programs, we can only rely on existing programs, execution of options and tech insertions to make a prediction. Although no one jumped up to position themselves in concurrence with this forecast for 2012, there was a general agreement. MILCOM clearly has become the military electronics market’s key conference. Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal






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Inside Track Lockheed Martin Team Demos AMF JTRS Tactical Data Sharing in Army Exercise A Lockheed Martin team recently demonstrated how software defined radios can extend the Army’s tactical network by connecting disparate ground troops with the Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System (AMF JTRS). During a recent Army exercise, AMF JTRS demonstrated the system’s range and capability by successfully relaying a combination of voice, data and imagery from a test bed AH-64 Block III Apache helicopter (Figure 1) to ground forces over the Internet-Protocolenabled Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). AMF JTRS is a software defined radio that is capable of providing Internet-like connectivity, providing a secure infrastructure for joint forces to send data, imagery, voice and video. During the exercise, a preengineering development model AMF JTRS Small Airborne radio in the Apache allowed pilots to communicate directly with six disparate ground elements using JTRS Handheld Manpack Small Form Fit (HMS) Rifleman Radios. The Apache first provided an aerial network extension for groundbased communications between troops who were separated by mountainous terrain and long distances. Using AMF JTRS, the Apache provided an automatic relay without having to deviate from its assigned mission of providing close air support for ground forces. Lockheed Martin’s AMF JTRS team includes General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and BAE Systems.

Figure 1

An AH-64D Apache Block III and an AH-6U Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) are shown flying over the Arizona desert near the Boeing rotorcraft facility in Mesa, AZ.

Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [].

ViaSat Demonstrates 8 Mbit/s Airborne Satcom Using 12-inch Antenna ViaSat conducted a major public demonstration for members of the U.S. armed services during which it unveiled the industry’s highest performance mobile broadband system using an ultra-small aperture 12-inch Ka-band tracking antenna. Representatives from the Air Force, Army, Marines and Special Forces communities witnessed multiple applications including full-motion HD video running concurrently over a secure, encrypted mobile satellite network. The network included

[ 8 ] COTS Journal December 2011

the ViaSat VR-12 Ka airborne satellite antenna and ArcLight 2 modem mounted to a mobile vehicle. As the mobile vehicle drove around the Carlsbad area, the tracking antenna maintained its link with the satellite while demonstrating simultaneous encrypted HD video backhaul, video conferencing, IP phone communications and http web browsing. ViaSat Carlsbad, CA. (760) 476-2200. [].

Lockheed Martin Selects Curtiss Wright Storage Gear for C-130J Program Curtiss-Wright Controls has received a contract from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to provide Vortex Compact Network Storage (CNS) subsystems to the C-130J Program. The CNS will be deployed as the Network File Server in the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command’s MC130J special mission aircraft and the Air Force Special Operations Command HC-130J personnel recovery aircraft. The initial order is valued at $800,000, with a potential lifetime contract value estimated at $7.5 million.

Figure 2

The MC-130J Super Hercules is an extended range transport aircraft designed for special missions such as search and rescue (SAR) and combat search and rescue (CSAR). Curtiss-Wright’s Vortex CNS is a rugged, conductioncooled, high-performance network attached storage device

Inside Track

that enables critical data to be shared over the aircraft’s internal network. The Vortex CNS supports industry-standard network protocols including CIFS, NFS, HTTP, FTP and PXE. It is designed to optimize file sharing in military platforms deployed in harsh environments. Data is stored securely on solid-state memory and encrypted with the AES-256 algorithm. Curtiss-Wright Controls Charlotte, NC. (704) 869-4600. [].

Orbit Tapped to Service Comms Systems on Navy EA-6B Prowlers The U.S. Navy has awarded Orbit Communication Systems, Inc. (USA), a subsidiary of Orbit Technologies, a maintenance contract for Communication Management Systems (CMS) purchased from Orbit between 2003 and 2010. Orbit’s fully digital Audio Intercommunication System (AIS) modules have been installed on the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft since 2003. Supporting up

Figure 3

Orbit’s digital Audio Intercommunication System (AIS) modules have been installed on the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft since 2003.

to 6 users, 8 radios, 8 receivers, 8 warnings and 16 discrete, the AIS is a secure communication system, integrating the routing and distribution of audio and data between the crewmembers and the recording systems. Based on a modular architecture, the AIS provides all operators on the aircraft with flexibility to control and distribute data. The maintenance contract covers repair and support of AIS equipment until the end of 2012. Orbit Communication Systems Deerfield Beach, FL. (954) 742-3831. [].

Northrop Grumman Releases Top Suppliers List for 2011 Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Information Systems sector honored 27 of its top suppliers for their outstanding performance during its 2011 Supplier Excellence Awards Ceremony. According to Northrop Grumman and its government and commercial customers, they meet the highest criteria for schedule, management performance and responsiveness, technical performance, financial performance and mission assurance. The 2011 Supplier Excellence Award Recipients include: ActivIdentity, Adwaiy Tech, Agilet Solutions, Ltd., Applied Engineering Management, Change Architect, CyberCore Technologies, EpiQ, Global Science & Technology, Harris RF Communications, Integreon, Intergraph Services, Juno Technologies, National Government Services, NetIQ and Novell, Orion Air Group, PKMM, Poole & Associates, QTEC, Qual-

Pro, Rajant, Solidyn Solutions, Thermo Bond Buildings, The St. John Group, TL Machine, Unlimited Innovations, Verify, and Wyle CAS Group. Complete list with locations at http://goo. gl/lV1DB. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262. [] Qual-Pro Gardena, CA. (310) 329-7535. [].

GE and Juniper Networks Team to Make Network Systems for Mil Vehicles GE Intelligent Platforms and Juniper Networks announced at MILCOM 2011 that the two companies will work together to develop a family of rugged, highly secure routing and network security appliances designed for military/ aerospace deployment in harsh environments where security of data is paramount. The resulting solutions will be sold by GE Intelligent Platforms. The new GE products respond to the adoption by military forces around the world of a network-centric approach to battlefield operations and systems design. This results in a requirement for purpose-built rugged routers with advanced security capabilities since commercially available routers are not designed for the harsh environment encountered in combat situations. The RTR8GE is the first product to be announced. A battle-ready, rugged and security-focused network router, it

Figure 4

The RTR8GE has eight Gigabit Ethernet ports integrated in a SWaP-optimized enclosure that meets the demanding environmental requirements of military/aerospace applications. features the comprehensive fieldtested Junos operating system from Juniper Networks. Juniper Networks Junos operating system offers a comprehensive list of dynamic, robust features that provide intrusion prevention and detection, firewalls, packet inspection, authentication and access control.Its firewall, intrusion prevention and detection, and extensive quality of service capabilities enable secure IPv4/ IPv6 connectivity for military vehicles, aircraft and forward operating bases supporting netcentric operations. GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [].

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 9 ]

Special Feature SWaP Hurdles for Small UAV Controls

[ 10 ] COTS Journal December 2011

Special Feature

Embedded Processing Brings More Functionality to Small UAVs Thanks to more powerful computing and communications payloads, small UAVs are gaining advanced ways to capture, share and transmit reconnaissance data to warfighters and to each other. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


he electronics aboard Small UAVs—for flight control, mission control and communications— face some of the most rigorous size, weight and power restrictions. Selecting the right embedded electronics and embedded computers in those systems becomes a make or break decision. The “Small” category UAVs includes those under 1,320 pounds and range from Line of Sight control UAVs up to those that fall under the “light sport aircraft” standards. By and large, Small UAVs and their payloads have not made use of standard form factor boards. While form factors like PC/104, COM Express and others are often used in the development phase, it’s rare that many get deployed in the end product. But as Small UAV system developers seek to outfit UAVs with more mission autonomy and more powerful sensors, that’s starting to change. In some cases even complete compact box-level subsystems—often designed for a special payload function—are being considered for Small UAVs as box-level systems with small size/weight footprints emerge.

UAVs for Tactical Surveillance Among the most widely used technical UAVs are the RQ-7 Shadow and RQ-

11 Raven. These platforms are deployable with ground forces that provide tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). The Shadow is designed to provide the tactical maneuver commander near-real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and force protection during day/night and limited adverse weather conditions. The Raven meanwhile is an “over the hill” rucksack-portable, day/night, limited adverse weather, remotely operated, multi-sensor system in support of combat battalions and below as well as selected combat support units. At the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) 2011 show in D.C. in October, AAI UAS—manufacturer of the Shadow UAV— introduced the Shadow M2 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) (Figure 1). With a wingspan of 25 feet, the Shadow M2 aircraft offers greater endurance for longer mission capacity, as well as execution of new mission profiles. The Shadow M2’s modular design and common avionics systems architecture enables rapid reconfiguration for combined mission capabilities, including: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with ground and dismount moving target indicators (GMTI/DMTI); wide-area surveillance; signals intelligence; electronic warfare; Triclops, December 2011 COTS Journal [ 11 ]

Special Feature

Figure 1

The next-gen version of the Shadow UAV, the Shadow M2 provides a modular design and common avionics systems architecture, which enables rapid reconfiguration for combined mission capabilities, including: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with ground and dismount moving target indicators (GMTI/DMTI); wide-area surveillance; signals intelligence; electronic warfare and more.

Figure 2

At MILCOM 2011, Jeff Child, COTS Journal Editor-in-Chief, is briefed on Boeing’s narrowband communications relay. The relay turns a small UAV into a communications repeater extending force communications by more than 160 nautical miles.

[ 12 ] COTS Journal December 2011

the U.S. Army’s multi-sensor payload system; satellite communications; communications relay systems; and enhanced electro-optical/ infrared sensors with features such as SAR/ GMTI, short-wave infrared and high-definition capabilities. While it’s too soon to know how DoD budget cuts will affect what happens next year, the planned 2012 budget request procures multiple variations of quantities for the small unmanned Raven-class aircraft, system hardware, contractor logistics support, and new training equipment for Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL). Additionally, air vehicle modifications and equipment to support Shadow Common Configuration; 16 Laser Designator payload retrofit kits; and 400 one system remote video terminals (OSRVTs) are included. In October, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) along with Phoenix Global Support introduced new multi-mission payloads for its workhorse Shadow Tactical UAS. Designed to be housed in a modular pod and carried on the hard points on the Shadow aircraft’s wings, multi-mission

Special Feature

payloads are exchanged easily based on the unique requirements of the supported mission. Some of the early multi-mission payload applications address urgent warfighter requirements including secure, thirdgeneration, or 3G, telecommunications uplink and downlink; signals intelligence, or SIGINT; measurement and signatures intelligence, or MASINT; state-of-the-art communications; precision geolocation; airborne cellular network; software-defined communications relay; and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection.

UAV Tested in MUSIC Exercise Demonstrating the move toward more sophisticated and coordinated use of Small UAVs, in September the U.S. Army’s 2011 Manned Unmanned System Integration Capability (MUSIC) exercise showcased “innovation, integration and interoperability” across the Army’s manned and unmanned assets through handoff and command and control sequences between multiple ground control systems. Small UAVs played a central role in the exercise. The AAI UAS Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS) provided command and control of AAI’s Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS), as well as General Atomics’ Gray Eagle and Northrop Grumman’s Hunter UAS. In a first for UAS history, a single UGCS seamlessly handed off control of each UAS from one ground control station to another, demonstrating for the first time revolutionary improvements in battlefield communication and information sharing. The UGCS is NATO Standardization Agreement 4586 compliant and incorporates an all-digital Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) for data transmission, increased bandwidth and data security. During the MUSIC operation, the UAS One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT)—also built by AAI—enhanced with bi-directional capability was utilized during several scenarios, demonstrating how dismounted troops can view and control live, full-motion video and receive position information from Army UAS including the Shadow TUAS, Gray Eagle, Hunter and AeroVironment’s Raven and Puma unmanned aircraft. An enabling technology for achieving new levels of communications between Small UAVs are relay systems. In an example

Figure 3

The Puma AE (All Environment) is a Small UAV designed for land-based and maritime operations. Capable of landing in the water or on land, the Puma AE is quiet to avoid detection and operates autonomously, providing persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting data (ISRT). along those lines, Boeing and its subsidiary Insitu this summer demonstrated a highperformance Narrowband Relay communications (Figure 2) system aboard a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The relay was designed to meet the needs of small distributed forces operating in areas where Line of Sight (LOS) communications would not normally be possible. In the past, the DoD has widely deployed handheld narrowband radios as the primary method of communications among small, distrib-

uted forces. Such radios are limited in range and cannot communicate where the radios do not have a direct path to one another. The Boeing-developed Narrowband Relay, deployed aboard a Small UAV, provides a dramatically longer range and LOS capability over hills and buildings.

Narrowband Relay Solution The Boeing narrowband communications relay was later tested aboard two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)—an Insitu December 2011 COTS Journal [ 13 ]

Special Feature

ScanEagle and a portable AeroVironment Puma All Environment (AE) (Figure 3). During the multiservice demonstrations held in California, the UAVs flew at a variety of altitudes while linking handheld military radios dispersed over mountainous regions. The tests confirmed the relay’s performance and versatility. Using the two UAV platforms extended the radios’ range tenfold. The relay meets the weight, space and power limitations of Small UAVs, and can be operated in environments where electromagnetic interference may be an issue. The relay is currently fielded in theater and undergoing additional demonstrations.

STUAS Integrator Passes Review

Figure 4

The Insitu STUAS Integrator UAV completed its first Operational Assessment (OA-1) earlier this year. During OA-1, the STUAS Integrator system flew mission scenarios designed to assess operational suitability of the current Integrator UAS.

[ 14Untitled-7 ] COTS1Journal December 2011

Development of new Small UAV platforms continues. Last year Insitu was awarded the STUAS Tier II contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for its Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Since then the Integrator has passed some key milestones. In April, Insitu Inc. announced that the STUAS Integrator (Figure 4) completed its first

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Operational Assessment (OA-1), a critical milestone in the STUAS program execution. During OA-1, the STUAS Integrator system flew mission scenarios designed to assess operational suitability of the current Integrator UAS. Before that, the Integrator program went through an in-depth threeday system requirements review by the U.S. Navy in February. The review provided a solid reference point for program execution. It established system requirements

and determined how those requirements would be validated and tested. On the research side, this fall the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) took delivery of AAI’s Aerosonde Mark 4.7 Small Unmanned Aircraft System and an Orbiter Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System. The systems will support the five-year cooperative research and development agreement

(CRADA) into which the organizations recently entered, enabling AAI UAS and CERDEC to work together on various payloads for three classes of UA —tactical, small and miniature, also known as Groups 3, 2 and 1.

More Payload Modularity AAI UAS and CERDEC’s Flight Activity, Lakehurst, N.J., completed a technical interchange meeting to review plans for payload integration onto the Aerosonde (Group 2) and Orbiter (Group 1) systems. Many payload varieties are being considered for integration, including signals intelligence, sensor and communications. AAI’s UAS flight crews conducted Aerosonde and Orbiter aircraft check flights prior to their delivery at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Upon CERDEC Flight Activity’s successful payload integration onto either aircraft, AAI UAS operators will take the lead on a capability demonstration flight. To date, AAI UAS already has integrated more than two dozen payloads onto the Aerosonde UAS, including scientific, meteorological, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 is an expeditionary system featuring a large payload capacity and modular design. It is ideally suited to accommodate a multitude of payload options. The Orbiter Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System uses electric power to deliver a minimal acoustic signature. AeroVironment Monrovia, CA. (626) 357-9983. []. AAI Hunt Valley, MD. (410) 666-1400. []. Insitu. Bingen, WA. (509) 493-8600. [].

[ 16Untitled-4 ] COTS1Journal December 2011

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Tech Recon

I/O Architectures in Rugged Box-Level Systems

Rugged Box System Technologies Confront I/O Challenges As a new wave of small form factor rugged box systems emerges, military system developers face a new set of choices when it comes to function-specific versus general purpose solutions.

Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


tand-alone rugged box-level systems have become a fixture in the military market. These complete system boxes often support standard form factor boards inside them. The problem is there’s no standard scheme for I/O configurations. New VITA standards are attempting to rectify this, but progress toward agreement on those configurations remains slow. As a new wave of smaller form factor rugged box systems emerges, the I/O connectors themselves are soon becoming the limiting factor to the systems size. Meanwhile, these complete systems are often challenging traditional military slot-card system architectures. Add to that the tradeoffs between function-special and general purpose boxsystems, and the landscape for this key area of military technology seems more confusing than ever. While slot-card-based systems using cPCI and VME remain a strong thriving approach in the defense industry, a key decision facing today’s military system developer is that of caged cards versus an off-the-shelf box-level computer. The traditional approach is to use slot-card boards in a card cage. This means choosing a bus architecture, a rugged card

[ 18 ] COTS Journal December 2011

cage and an SBC, plus any additional I/O boards to fulfill the requirements. More recently, for applications where size, weight and power have priority over past compatibility with legacy boards, the option of rugged box-level systems that are basically monolithic integrated computers is popular. Space-constrained systems such as UAV payloads, helicopter computing systems (Figure 1) and ground vehicle electronics are examples of where small form factor box systems are particularly attractive.

Function Specific vs. General Purpose The latest wave of rugged box systems includes many that 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 toward 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, and more I/O

configuration tailored to the application need or a category of applications. In an example along those lines, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems (CWCES) provides the Versatile Flight Control Computer (VFCC) (Figure 2), a high-performance, low-power conduction-cooled embedded processing system optimized for size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) in deployed airborne commercial and military applications. The rugged dual processor clusters make the VFCC ideal for rotorcraft, manned and unmanned aircraft environments. The VFCC is suited for applications including flight controls, vibration management, engine controls, mission computing, actuator control and so on. The VFCC provides dual 600 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor clusters, dual TMS320C64x+ DSP processors, and three Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGAs with 1 Gbyte of data to non-volatile memory. The fully enclosed unit supports a wide range of configurable off-the-shelf I/O interfaces including ARINC 825, RS-422/485, USB 2.0, ARINC 429 receive, ARINC 429 transmit, analog inputs with excitation outputs, synchronization discretes, discrete inputs/outputs, dedicated solenoid drivers and 10mA servo valve drivers. The system also includes system-level built-in-test (BIT). The unit has a DO-

Tech Recon

Figure 1

Platforms like the U.S. Marine Corps CH-53K heavy lift helicopter are particularly suited for small form factor box-level computing systems. The CH-53K is designed to transport heavy payloads over longer distances than its CH-53E predecessor. tion runs under 21 watts. Shock mounts are available for high shock and/or vibration environments

Enclosed SBC Approach

Figure 2

The Versatile Flight Control Computer (VFCC) provides dual 600 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor clusters, dual TMS320C64x+ DSP processors, and three Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGAs with 1 Gbyte of data to non-volatile memory.

178B Level A certifiable RTOS and DO254 Level A certifiable FPGAs. Its size is 11.5 x 9.3 x 2.1 inches with a weight less than 4.4 pounds. Operating temperature range is -40° to +71°C, natural convection-cooled. Input power is 28 VDC with 50 millisecond holdup and power dissipa[ 20 ] COTS Journal December 2011

Another example of function-specific small form factor box technology takes box-level computing down to basically a single enclosure board-level system. GE Intelligent Platforms announced the IPS511 Rugged Situational Awareness Processor (Figure 3), which is designed to provide ground vehicles, aircraft, remote unmanned platforms, and security and surveillance systems previously unattainable levels of 360° situational awareness. It is a single board solution housed in a rugged chassis and is characterized by its small size, weight and power (SWaP) attributes, enabling it to be deployed as a simple, cost-effective upgrade to virtually any platform operating in a demanding environment. The IPS511 seamlessly merges video signals from multiple sensors into a realtime interactive 360° panoramic image that can be displayed on one or more monitors, saving space and power and

providing a significant contribution to keeping personnel safe. Available as an off-the-shelf, ready-to-go solution that is also highly flexible, it extends the broad range of video processing subsystems from GE that respond to the growing military requirement for advanced visualization tools. The IPS511 can process up to 12 video signals selected from up to 16 analog video inputs, and supports two independent operator displays allowing each operator to adjust the direction of view and magnification within the panorama using a touch screen or other interface device.

Modularity at the Small Box Level Even at the ultra-small box level, there’s often a desire to allow modularity inside the box. Extreme Engineering accomplishes that in its XPand6000 (Figure 4), a rugged ATR system measuring just 4.88 in. x 1.9 in. x 7.7 in. A fully loaded XPand6000 utilizes three types of industry-standard commercialoff-the-shelf (COTS) components: rugged COM Express modules, PMC/XMC modules and solid-state storage. With

Tech Recon Figure 3

The IPS511 Rugged Situational Awareness Processor is a single board solution housed in a rugged chassis. It seamlessly merges video signals from multiple sensors into a real-time interactive 360° panoramic image that can be displayed on one or more monitors.

COTS components, the XPand6000 can be deployed quickly into airborne or ground vehicles. Its natural convection-cooling and small size allow the XPand6000 to be bolted to any available surface; and with a fully loaded weight of less than 4.5 lbs., it is perfect for small UAV ATR applications. Virtually any conduction-cooled PMC or XMC can be integrated into the

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XPand6000, which also supports an optional 1.8-in. or Slim SATA Solid-State Disk (SSD) for applications requiring ruggedized, non-volatile storage. Initially, the XPand6000 will support COM Express modules based on the Intel Core i7 and Atom processors, with Freescale QorIQ support to follow. To meet a wide variety of application needs, the XPand6000 is available in three configurations: a horizontal ori-

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Tech Recon

entation with natural convection-cooling, a horizontal orientation with conductioncooling, and a vertical orientation with natural convection-cooling. Using the COM Express form factor for the CPU card allows for modules from third-party vendors. Most importantly, it provides a thermally superior solution because the CPU is located on the opposite side of the module connectors, allowing for direct contact between the CPU’s die and the

system’s external cooling interface. The PMC/XMC form factor was chosen for the plug-in I/O card because of the wide ecosystem of PMC/XMC I/O modules available from a number of vendors. One approach to small form factor box systems is to be a little more general than application specific and instead focus on particular computing functions like graphics and video. Graphics and video display/capture have become criti-

Figure 4

The XPand6000 is a rugged ATR system measuring 4.88 in. x 1.9 in. x 7.7 in. Virtually any conduction-cooled PMC or XMC can be integrated into the system. It also supports an optional 1.8-in. or Slim SATA Solid-State Disk (SSD). cal technologies in many of today’s advanced programs. Serving such needs, Quantum3D has announced two new additions to its award-winning Thermite family of embedded computers, the Thermite XVG 4000 and Thermite TL 2000. The new Thermite XVG 4000 offers stateof the art processing and performance, and the Thermite TL 2000 breaks mobility and power efficiency barriers to meet the computing and operation needs of demanding military and aerospace environments. The Thermite XVG 4000 offers advanced graphics and processing technology for applications ranging from real-time sensor signal processing to situational awareness. The Thermite XVG 4000 is the most powerful fan-less, graphics-based, rugged computer available, and features a modular design that allows the system to be optimized to meet specific project requirements, including tailoring of the CPU, GPU, video processing, networking, I/O and storage features, using commercial-off-the-shelf modules. Its processor is an Intel Core i7-610E 2.53 GHz with Turbo Boost to 3.2 GHz (Dual Core) and other CPU options, with up to 8 Gbytes of system memory. Graphics in[ 22Untitled-5 ] COTS1Journal December 2011

2/17/09 4:47:07 PM




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Tech Recon

clude a CUDA-capable NVIDIA FX880M for mid-range workstation performance, or NVIDIA FX2800M for high-end performance. The Thermite TL 2000 offers lower power consumption for a range of markets, including man-wearable applications, robotics, real-time signal processing applications like GPS and radar, as well as embedded sensor signal processing applications such as LIDAR/LADAR.

New Options for System Developers The trend toward small form factor box systems has spawned a number of new product line initiatives from companies that traditionally focused on either the SBC or large slot-card system segment of the military market. Themis Computer, for its part, earlier this year added two approaches to its offerings: the NanoPAK and the NanoATR. NanoPAK


is a compact, mobile stand-alone rugged computer targeted for OEMs and application providers who develop embedded computing applications for demanding environments. The first NanoPAK system integrates the Intel Atom processor and flash storage in a small, light footprint that optimizes size, weight and power. Leveraging Themis thermal and kinetic management expertise, the hardened aluminum NanoPAK enclosure is designed to withstand the toughest conditions. The NanoPak also provides an MIL-STD-1553 communications option for avionic applications. The NanoATR Small Form Factor Computer System meanwhile is a system with a fully sealed, conduction-cooled chassis with two 19 mm and two 12.5 mm payload slots, a storage slot, and a dedicated connector panel-PSU slot in a small, light footprint that optimizes size, weight, power and cooling. The front panel can be equipped with either circular MIL or standard rectangular connectors. Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems Santa Clarita, CA. (661) 257-4430. [].

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Tech Recon

I/O Architectures in Rugged Box-Level Systems

Radar Systems Boost Appetite for Faster I/O and DSP Processing The requirements of today’s military ground-based radar systems drive a huge demand for complex, high-throughput I/O and advanced signal processing. Intelbased processing technologies and clever fabric schemes smooth the way.

Shaun McQuaid, Sr. Product Manager Anne E. Mascarin, Product Marketing Manager Mercury Computer Systems


optimized to “do more with less.” Consider a ground-based radar system as an example. In current conflicts, the number of missile attacks worldwide has escalated into the tens of thousands. Radar offers superior sensor support for missile defense, because it can calculate target range with precision. However, modern ground-based missile defense systems are challenged by enemy targets that are smaller, faster, and have longer range (Figure 1).

oday’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) subsystems are required to do more, faster, while ISR application developers are challenged to design sophisticated systems that can operate in highly constrained environd ments. With the advent of the AVX instruction set extensions, second-generation PCI Express and new cores, the Intel Second Generation Core i7 Processor and the anticipated next-generation Intel Demanding Radar Requirements Xeon server-class Functional demands have also innies providing solutions now processor (due in spring 2012) bring new capabilities toto research creased. The target scan area is now ion into products, technologies and processing companies. Whether your goal is the latest tion Engineer,signal or jumpand to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to Phased-array put you image processing applications. very wide. radars now are you require for whatever type of technology, There are a number of technical design required to manage multiple missions, and products you are searching for. challenges in the current defense climate simultaneously carrying out search, that make it difficult to create a superior get detection and discrimination, trackIntel-based solution with the right level ing and identification, missile-tracking of performance within constrained envi- guidance and electronic countermeasure ronments. (ECCM) functions. And, of course, the Although defense acquisition reform mobile ground-radar systems must be is a fairly new concept, it underlines what highly rugged in terms of thermal, shock ISR application developers have known and vibration tolerance, and optimized all along—in order to be competitive, for platform size, weight and power and cost-effective, ISR subsystems must (SWaP). A successful ground-based radar implementation must offer very high Get Connected performance in terms of Gflops because with companies mentioned in this article. the simultaneous tasks mentioned above

End of Article

[ 26 ] COTS Journal December 2011

require both a very high rate of data exchange and high-speed processing. Strong thermal management in terms of cooling must be employed both because the copious amount of processing generates significant heat, and because of the ambient environment—the missile launcher is frequently located in close proximity to the radar processing unit, on battlefields around the world. The ground radar system is inherently mobile, implying limited resources for power, which in turn, implies limited size and weight. A ground-radar subsystem based on the new multicore Sandy Bridge Intel processors is clearly an advantageous choice for several reasons. Several features in the Sandy Bridge processor architecture work together to provide the system resources required for mobile ground radar systems.

Multicore Advantages New multicore mobile class processors from Intel deliver huge increases in processing power without a large increase in the power dissipated. For example, going from 2-core first generation Core i7 to 4-core Second Generation Core i7 devices causes a minimal increase in power, while performance increases disproportionately—processor power increases from

Tech Recon

35W to 45W (a 1.28X increase) while peak Gflops increases from 40W to 134W—a 3.34X increase. This large increase in performance per processor is sorely needed for the high rate of data exchange and allto-all processing implicit in the simultaneously required tasks of ground-based radar processing. A similar doubling of cores occurs in the Xeon server-class processor family as well—going from four cores in the Nehalem-class Xeon to eight cores in the Sandy Bridge-class Xeon. Depending on system configuration, mobile-class, server-class, or a combination of the two may be best suited to meet the challenging system requirements in a ground-based radar platform. Another feature of the server-class

processors is the AVX (advanced vector extension) instruction set extensions, which further enhance processor performance. AVX is an extension to the x86 SSE SIMD instruction set architecture. With AVX, vector width has grown from 128 to 256 bits, accelerating peak floating point operations per second by up to 2X in some cases. AVX also provides a nondestructive syntax for three and four operand instructions, maintaining better register use and performing fewer register copies. In terms of ISR applications, AVX floating point acceleration translates directly to higher speed application execution. Quick Path Interconnect (QPI), a feature of server-class Intel processors, al-

lows multiple server-class processors to be linked into a single SMP processing architecture. High-speed QPI interfaces allow operating systems to execute a single kernel across multiple processors, combining all processors’ memory into a single address space. When combined with the larger number of cores in the Intel Xeon server-class family, a QPI-linked processor cluster allows any core to access any onboard memory, regardless of physical location, drastically reducing the amount of code necessary to move data between processing elements in a radar application. SMP software architectures greatly reduce latency for data exchanges, which, when combined with the large number of cores and the floating point acceleration

Figure 1

Ground-based mobile radar systems like this phased array, 3-dimensional air search radar depend on a redundant architecture with computer software remote controlled and monitored operations to reduce the need for it to be manned.

[ 28 ] COTS Journal December 2011

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Tech Recon

FPGA Site Digital I/O AXI/OCP 1


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POET (Protocol Offload Engine Technology) is a collection of open standard technologies that provide interconnectivity among boards, systems and sensors for Intel and other microprocessor-based subsystems. with the AVX engine, makes for a highly optimized radar processing architecture. No processing architecture can stand alone. Without a non-blocking method to inject sensor data into the system, the processing resources will be starved for data and be worse than useless. Intel processors use native PCI Express as the built-in high-bandwidth I/O interface, but PCIe is not ideal for sensor input or large system scalability. A low-latency, high-bandwidth fabric interconnect that can serve as interconnect between boards, systems, and sensors and the native PCIe interface can address this requirement. Such a bridge can support fabrics such as Gen1 and Gen 2 serial RapidIO and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and would be able to greatly simplify system design by reducing the range of products required to build a system, and also allow users to create the best SWaP solutions by choosing the best products available regardless of fabric. Mercury’s answer [ 30 ] COTS Journal December 2011 Untitled-2 1

6/2/11 11:37:44 AM

is POET, a configurable fabric bridge and protocol offload engine based on configurable FPGA IP (Figure 2). Mobile-class processors are typically paired with PCIe switches to bridge mezzanine sites, backplane PCIe interfaces and bridged data plane interfaces. Serverclass processors often possess sufficient native PCIe capabilities to negate the need for onboard PCIe switching. And as nextgeneration Intel processors support faster PCIe speeds (such as Gen2 at 5 Gbaud), I/O rates grow to match the increased number and capabilities of processing cores. Memory bandwidth to these cores continues to increase as well, allowing system designers to avoid data starvation, eliminating wasted processor cycles.

Packaging and Thermal Management In conjunction with the Intel processing advantages described above, proper


[ 32 ]

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Tech Recon

packaging is required to harness these capabilities in the rugged environments demanded by the defense market. Process packaging is a feature that is important for thermal management reasons. Server class Intel processors employ the land grid array (LGA) while mobile class processors employ the ball grid array package (BGA). The packaging characteristics between these two processor technologies are very different—while BGA devices are typically less challenging to ruggedize, sophisticated packaging technology is necessary to deploy LGA-based devices in the defense environment. Server-class processors also require larger memory capacities in order to optimize for the large number of processing cores available. Simply soldering memory chips on to the board is not sufficient—packaging innovations such as solderable slot standing memory helps to deploy higher memory densities in rugged environments. General purpose processors have advanced greatly in performance and capability over the last decade. However, with this increase in performance has come an increase in power dissipation. Processors commonly dissipate anywhere from 25W to 50W, and even higher figures are possible in high-core-count processor configurations. To manage this thermal energy, sophisticated techniques are required, especially in environments where ambient temperatures can reach 70°C or higher.

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tem prototype described above—based on OpenVPX Intel processing modules, OpenVPX switch modules and customerfurnished I/O (Figure 3)—was delivered to the customer three months ahead of schedule. A few weeks after delivery, it was functioning and operating in radar mode, tracking targets at the customer site, and the customer was on track to deliver deployable units to end-customers within a two-year timeframe. Mercury Computer Systems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401. [].


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December 2011 COTS Journal [ 33 ] Untitled-4 1

11/4/11 10:22:04 AM

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System Development VPX and VME Tackle Airborne I/O and Data Storage

VME and VPX Data Storage Solutions Face Airborne Challenges Developing mission-critical data storage is hard enough on the ground. Add in the complex requirements of VME-and VPX-based airborne systems, and the game changes dramatically. Tom Bohman Sr. Product Manager Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems


he onslaught of digital devices— from mp3 players to phones to iPads—has created a huge commercial market for flash memory components. As a result, flash memory technology exploded with low-cost, high-density d products and has made possible data collection and storage on a scale never before affordable in mil-aero systems. Implementing that technology on mil-aero industry standard form factors such as VME and VPX nies providing solutions now allows the resulting systemstechnologies to tackleandthe challenging environion into products, companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest ation Engineer, or jump a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you ment oftoairborne data storage. you require for whatever type of airborne technology, data storage apTo tackle and products you are searching for. plications, mil-aero applications require a challenging mix of attributes. They need data storage systems that are rugFigure 1 ged, maintainable and reliable on one A new HC-130J Combat King II takes off from the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, hand—while at the same time they must Georgia. The new aircraft was delivered to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air offer the performance and capacity to Force Base, N.M. serve the mission. On top of all that they need SATA interface options like 4-port JBOD or optional single-port HW RAID0 curity is an issue, DAR Encryption is also Rugged Storage Designs (OpenVPX compliant). And because se- a must. Each of those attributes is imporRugged design and construction tant to today’s applications, and future means that the standard form factor capabilities are moving rapidly as the products can survive and continue to Get Connected commercial demand for flash memory operate effectively in the environmental with companies mentioned in this article. continues to grow exponentially. extremes of airborne platforms. These extremes generally begin with rail tem-

End of Article

[ 34 ] COTS Journal December 2011

System Development

peratures of -40° to +85°C and continue on to high shock and vibration. Condensing humidity, rain, fluid contamination, fungus, salt fog, sand and dust all collude to force the circuit boards into an air tight protective chassis. Inside the rugged chassis, the boards must now be effective at conduction cooling as no air is moving in the densely packed interior chamber. In addition, altitude, acceleration, acoustic noise, gunfire, EMI, EMC and many more environments must be tested to verify ruggedization claims. MIL-STD-810F has long been the bible for standard test methods. Because the boards are a standard form factor, the same rugged chassis and board designs can be reused to create systems of many differing features and functions. A related issue is reliability. In airborne applications, reliability means the data downloaded for analysis is consistently provided with no lapses or holes in the data collected. The sidebar “Ensuring Reliability in Storage Systems” takes a detailed look at these challenges. One might worry that components designed and developed for low-cost commercial products are not tough enough to take on the airborne environment. However, these handheld products must endure the abuse of being dropped kicked and left in the sun for hours. Certainly the electronic storage components placed in VME and VPX form factors specifically tailored for the airborne environment are up to the task. An example airborne platform making heavy use of solid state storage are the subsystems used in the Network File Server (NFS) for the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command’s HC/ MC-130J Super Hercules special mission aircraft (Figure 1).

Maintainable Features Are Key Maintainability is a quality measure that a product has for being repaired or replaced within a pre-determined amount of time or mean time to repair (MTTR). MTTR is the basic measure of maintainability in military and airborne platforms. Generally the lower the MTTR, the more

Ensuring Reliability in Storage Systems Reliability in storage for airborne applications means the data downloaded for analysis is consistently provided with no lapses or holes in the data collected. Flash memory components have several inherent data unreliability factors that must be conquered before being accepted for use in VME and VPX-based airborne storage systems. These factors include random bit-f lipping, bad-blocks, endurance and retention. Bit-f lipping occurs infrequently in discrete f lash cells but still too often to ignore. Bit-f lipping is negated through the use of multi-bit error correction codes that can detect and correct bits on the f ly, reducing the probability of bit errors to near zero. Error correction code is critical to the reliability of the storage system. Just as disk drives are shipped with some number of bad sectors, newly manufactured f lash memory components will include a small number of badblocks that are unusable. Bad-block management by the device ensures that these bad-blocks are never used by performing an initial scan and remapping of the bad-blocks found. Also, f lash memory components will have bad-blocks that develop over the life of the device. To handle this, there is internal monitoring of each transaction and an error indication will cause that block to be remapped and added to the bad-block pool. Bad-block management is critical to the reliability of the storage system. Endurance refers to the characteristic that f lash cells essentially wear out after some maximum number of erase/write cycles. Endurance issues are negated by ensuring that all blocks accumulate about the same number of cycles. This is accomplished by the f lash device implementing wear-leveling algorithms that remap blocks continuously during operation to prevent repetitive cycles to the same blocks, which would wear out those blocks well before other less used blocks. Wear leveling is critical to the reliability of the storage system. And lastly, retention is the trait that over time, f lash cells will lose the ability to retain data regardless of the number of cycles. Typically, this data retention time is specified at ten years, which is a long time for commercial products, but may need to be addressed for mil-aero systems as product support expectations are generally fifteen years or longer. The above reliability factors apply differently to each of the two common NAND f lash types. The SLC (Single Level Cell) f lash has ten times the endurance and two to three times the write speed of MLC (Multi-Level Cell). In addition, MLC is adversely affected by temperature and can only be used within commercial temperature ranges. The reason that MLC f lash is even considered for use in mil-aero applications is higher density and lower cost. With multiple bits per cell, an MLC device of the same physical size can be two times the memory density of the same SLC device. And last but not least, the cost of SLC f lash is two to four times the price of MLC f lash. In addition to techniques that make f lash memory reliable, designing the storage system using VME and VPX mechanical, signaling and protocol standards provide another level of reliability through the aggregate test and evaluation of VPX and VME components by an entire community of suppliers. The collective experience and continuous improvement of these standards contribute greatly to the reliability of the system in providing the correct answer, on time, every time. December 2011 COTS Journal [ 35 ]

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[ 36 ] COTS Journal December 2011 Untitled-2 1

10/24/11 10:46:40 AM

Figure 3

The VPX3-FSM (Flash Storage Module) is a rugged, high-performance, high-capacity solidstate SATA storage card that includes a NIST-certified 256-bit AES encryption capability.

maintainable the device is considered to be. In some cases, MTTR is measured from the time a fault is discovered to the point at which the faulty component has undergone corrective action and the system is again fully operational. However, in airborne platforms a fault may be discovered some non-deterministic

distance from a repair location. For airborne platforms MTTR is then more reasonably defined as the elapsed time starting with when the repair action has actually begun. By using standard VME and VPX form factors for airborne storage designs, the product inherits the fundamental

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COM Express: The Advantage of Custom. The Convenience of COTS. COM Express modules and Sealevel custom carrier boards provide the advantages of custom solutions with the conveniences of COTS. Sealevel can include common I/O features such as serial, analog and digital I/O, all of which are designed to the exact electrical and mechanical requirements for your specific application. Sealevel COM Express designs offer: > Scalability for easy upgrade > Application specific I/O > Flexible mechanical configuration > Vibration resistance > Extended operating temperature > Long-term availability > Superior life cycle management To see the design capabilities, reliability improvements and design control advantages that a Sealevel COM Express carrier board design will bring to your next product, visit our Design Center to watch a short video at at

Take advantage of Sealevel’s engineering expertise and let us help create a custom design to fit your application. > > 864. 843. 4343

Learn more about COM Express custom solutions at or scan this QR code with your smart phone. © 1986-2011, Sealevel Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


RTD Embedded

Providing A to Z Modular

RTD offers advanced rugged enclosure systems for its full product line. Visit for details and datasheets.

With in-house engineering, design, and manufacturing experts, RTD works alongside project managers from start to finish to provide rugged and cost-effective solutions. Contact us and see why RTD products are the backbone of countless programs.

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The rugged, modular PC/104 concept is exceptionally suited for harsh environments and mission-critical applications.

Copyright © 2011 RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

Stackable Embedded Solutions


Technologies, Inc.

System Development maintainability of those standards. Especially important to airborne platforms is the VPX VITA 48 Ruggedized Enhanced Design Implementation (REDI) standard. This mechanical standard for design enhancements allows a two-level maintenance strategy at the board level. Being able to repair in the field at the board level rather than transport the system to a repair depot can dramatically reduce the MTTR of that system.


For airborne storage systems, there is often the need to rapidly and safely remove and replace the storage module. At the end of a flight, large amounts of mission and sensor data need to be transferred to analysis locations. For this reason, users desire the storage be located behind an easy to open door and removal of the VPX memory module without tools. An example of this type of design is shown in Figure 2, which


I / O


FPGAs Your Way.

Configurable FPGA Solutions on VPX, PMC, XMC, or IP Modules Only Acromag gives you configurable FPGAs in so many formats with just the features you need for a quick and trouble-free implementation. r Virtex-5® FPGA for high-performance logic, DSP r Spartan-6 FPGAs for cost-sensitive projects r DDR2 SDRAM handles high volumes of data r Dual-port SRAM optimizes bus DMA transfers r Extension modules interface analog & digital I/O Acromag Embedded I/O Board Solutions

PMC Modules r 20+ models r Analog, digital, serial, FPGA I/O r Carrier cards

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Industrial PCs r Fanless design r Atom® or Geode® CPU versions r -40 to 75°C

High Throughput Using Switched Fabrics The VME and VPX standards community has standardized on a set of high-throughput communication signals and protocols that provide basic throughput and scale easily to meet even the most demanding speed application. These include PCI Express and Serial Rapid IO between boards internal to the chassis and Serial Front Panel Data Port (sFPDP) at 2.5 Gbits/s, Fibre Channel at up to 8 Gbits/s, Gigabit Ethernet at 1 Gbit/s, and in the most demanding applications, 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Flash storage devices supported 40 Mbytes/s or less only a few years ago and many devices had to be striped in order to reach the several hundreds of megabytes per second required by airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications. Today f lash devices have added more internal controllers and striping to increase the device throughput to 100 Mbytes/s and some are above 200 Mbytes/s. This allows fewer devices to accomplish the same throughput resulting in space, weight and power reductions and/or an increase in capacity.

Capacity on the Rise

W hite Paper

For a copy of “7 Questions to Ask About VPX Compatibility,” visit

ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 certified manufacturer


877-2 95 -70 8 4

All trademarks are the property of their owners.

1 [ 40Untitled-21 ] COTS Journal December 2011

shows the Compact Network Storage with terabyte 3U VPX modules and includes toolless loosening of the wedge locks and ejector for easy removal. In addition, the f lash storage module has the hot swap capability of the VPX standard and can be removed and replaced with power on the system.

3/31/11 4:38:21 PM

As with throughput, f lash memory devices have greatly increased capacity in recent years. It is now common for a single SATA f lash controller to handle 16 x 16 Gbyte f lash chips for single SATA lane capacity of 256 Gbytes. Double density 32 Gbyte SLC f lash chips will soon be sampling to early adopters, proving that f lash densities will continue to grow as the demand for higher resolution devices continues to explode. One issue that has actually lowered the user accessible capacity specifications is termed “over-provisioning.” As storage device suppliers learned to incorporate wear leveling and bad-block

System Development management into their devices for reliability, there was the realization that not all of the f lash memory being specified was actually available to the user and that some amount of the f lash memory had to be reserved for internal use. Since the product specifications are warranted for many years, provisions must be made for some initial number of bad-blocks and also those blocks that will fail over time. Over-

provisioning can take up to 23 percent of the total f lash memory and is required to meet the warranted capacity specifications. That level of overprovisioning means that a device with 256 Mbytes of f lash memory will only provide 200 Gbytes of user capacity. This leads to confusion in the market place. Specifying both the amount of f lash memory in the device and also the amount that is user accessible pro-


vides clarity for a user. The primary interface to large capacity f lash storage devices today is SATA. Unlike Fibre Channel that is designed to be a Storage Area Network (SAN), the SATA is a point-to-point connection between the drive and the host. With Fibre Channel, one host interface could easily connect and operate with up to 126 drives. Not so with SATA. A host computer would need 126 SATA ports in order to operate up to 126 SATA drives, which causes a big challenge for storage systems in VME and VPX environments. Most VME or VPX SBCs include only one to three SATA host ports. This host port limit imposes severe limits on performance due to the low number of drives being striped and the aggregate drive capacity.

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[ 42Untitled-3 ] COTS1Journal December 2011

5/6/11 9:54:54 AM

One way to help mitigate this problem in the VME or VPX environment is the approach Curtiss-Wright took on its 3U VPX Flash Storage Module (FSM). This approach places 4 x 256 Gbyte SATA SSDs on a single board along with a hardware RAID0 chip. This allows the four drives to be seen on a single SATA host port; performance is maintained with hardware disk striping and the capacity is 1 Tbyte of f lash memory. The onboard physical layer switch allows the SATA ports to be switched to either of the two OpenVPX lanes on P1 or up to four user lanes on P2. The SATA RAID0 chip can be bypassed and all four SATA lanes brought to the backplane. This approach allows each of the four SATA drives to be routed to different SBCs so that up to four SBCs can be supported from a single slot of the FSM storage device. Figure 3 shows the Vortex Flash Storage Module. For large arrays of storage, a “port multiplier� connects multiple SATA devices, usually up to 15 drives. The port multiplier allows multiple drive access to a single host and the host stripes the drives to increase performance up to that of the single SATA link. However, many common SATA host ports do not support this capability because it is not a requirement of the SATA standard.

TrenTon ...RELIABLE INSIDE—RuggED OuTSIDE • Systems tailored to your requirements • Built tough for extended system deployments • Designed-to-meet and certified MIL-STD-810 systems • 5-year factory warranty for Trenton SBCs, motherboards and backplanes • Standard and custom boards with BIOS revision control • COTS hardware maximizes system flexibility • Multi-screen rackmount LCD monitors ideal for transit cases


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System Development

Data-at-Rest (DAR) Encryption While Communications Security (COMSEC) has always been a highpriority issue in defense systems, its importance has greatly increased as a result of the military engagements resulting from 9/11. COMS and digital data security have taken on renewed and urgent importance because of the ready availability of technology that enables adversaries to easily intercept and exploit communications (Data in Transit) as well as gain access to restricted data retained on storage devices (Data at Rest). Data at Rest is a relatively new and increasingly critical problem driven by the explosive growth of low-cost, high-capacity storage devices. Protecting Data at Rest is a different challenge due to the way that cryptographic key management can be done. In COMSEC, both ends of the communications can change keys as often as the user chooses. As long as both the transmitter and receiver change to the same key at the same time the communication is not interrupted and the adversary’s task to intercept and decode is far more difficult. Data at Rest is encoded by a key and then stored to the drive. The data is not decoded until sometime later usually after the mission and in a different location. The same key used to encode the data must be used to decode the data from the drive. Thus, the key must be protected and transported to the location where decoding will take place. To accomplish this, the key may occur via one of several methods. It may be stored on the drive itself and zeroized immediately on emergency command, deterministically derived from an ID and password, or via other approved methods depending on the level of sensitivity for the data to be stored. Products for encryption of Data at Rest are emerging in the rugged storage market.

simple task. However, there are actually many intricate and detailed traits and characteristics of the f lash memory technology that make these boards possible. Each attribute must be understood and acknowledged for the system to perform as expected. In particular, providing multiple levels of security for Data at Rest encryption on huge volumes of non-volatile memory

has become the new frontier for VME and VPX data storage in airborne and ground vehicle environments. Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Sytems Santa Clarita, CA. (937) 252-5601. [].

Understanding the Details The challenge of VME and VPX rugged storage for airborne applications may at first seem like a very [ 44 ] COTS Journal December 2011

Untitled-13 1

12/5/11 10:35:54 AM

VXS and VPX SBCs & MicroTCA Products Gallery Commercial & Rugged Altera Stratix® IV GX 3U VPX Board with four Anemone104 FPGA Co-Processors

BittWare Phone: (603) 226-0404 Fax: (603) 226-6667

Four Anemone104 FPGA CoProcessors High density Altera Stratix IV GX supported by BittWare ATLANTiS™ FrameWork for FPGAs BittWare FINe™ Host/Control Bridge provides control plane processing and interface Fully connected to VPX: GigE, 15 SerDes, 32 LVDS Additional I/O: 10/100 Ethernet, RS232, JTAG E-mail: Web:

BittWare Phone: (603) 226-0404 Fax: (603) 226-6667

E-mail: Web:

VPX6-1956 6U SBC

The RIOV-2478 combines a Freescale QorIQ™ P4080 processor with modern interconnect high-speed links in a 3U OpenVPX™ form-factor. The onboard Crosspoint switch permits flexibility and configuration of the payload profile, allowing support of PCIe, SRIO, 10GbE over VPX and XMC.

This Quad Core Intel® Core™ i7-based SBC now features on-board support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Serial RapidIO® (SRIO) for demanding military Sensor Processing applications. This SBC also provides x16 PCIe Gen 2 for demanding PCIe end points such as GPGPUs.

E-mail: Web:

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Phone: (613) 254-5112 Fax: (613) 599-7777

E-mail: Web:

VME-194 6U SBC

VPX3-1256 SBC

The low power VME-194 is ideal for upgrading legacy VME systems. Based on a Freescale™ Power Architecture™ QorIQ P2020 processor, this 6U SBC has dual 1.2 GHz cores that deliver 6x the compute performance as compared to earlier VME designs such as our VME-179.

Based on the Intel® Core™ i7 quad-core processor, the 3U VPX3-1256 brings power-efficient processing technology and application-ready features to SWaP-C constrained environments, such as ground vehicle crew compartments. The VPX3-1256 is equipped with the industry accepted interfaces required for all levels of vehicle management.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Phone: (613) 254-5112 Fax: (613) 599-7777

Dual FPGAs: Altera Stratix IV E and Stratix IV GX supported by BittWare’s ATLANTiS™ FrameWork BittWare’s FINe™ III Host/Control Bridge provides control plane processing and interface AMC I/O: 18 ports SerDes, 1 port GigE Additional I/O: 10/100 Ethernet, 16 GPIO, RS-232, and JTAG Multiple conversion options


CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA Phone: +41 22 884 51 00

Dual Altera Stratix® IV FPGA AdvancedMC with Optional High-speed Data Conversion

E-mail: Web:

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Phone: (613) 254-5112 Fax: (613) 599-7777

E-mail: Web:

Featuring the latest in VXS and VPX SBCs & MicroTCA Products technologies MicroTCA 600 Watt Power Module

LCR Electronics offers several compact, rugged MicroTCA chassis models in its extensive VME, CompactPCI and VPX rugged chassis product line, providing flexibility in a variety of industrial, commercial and military environments. LCR’s enclosures conform to rigorous, industry-leading MIL-STD specifications.

The Digital Power DPS-1138 is a highpower module designed for use in MicroTCA systems. It supports shelves, cubes, MicroTCA enclosures, and other implementations and complies with the PICMG MicroTCA Revision 1.0 specification. The Digital Power MicroTCA power module provides functionality for powering, managing, and protecting a MicroTCA system that includes up to12 AdvancedMCs, 2 MicroTCA carrier hubs, and 2 cooling units.

Digital Power Corporation Phone: (510) 657-2635 Fax: (510) 353-4023

LCR Electronics E-mail: Web:

Phone: (800) 527-4362 Fax: (610) 278-0935

Summit T28 Protocol Analyzer for PCI Express®

Cobalt Model 53651: 3U VPX Transceiver with DDCs, DUCs, and Virtex-6 FPGA

Ensure interoperability between systems and devices Supports 2.5 GT/s & 5 GT/s speeds and x1, x4, x8, x16 lane widths Wide range of interposers and probe systems support specific applications See the Summit T28 Analyzer at Save 50% on all specialty interposers (VPX, XMC, AMC and more) with purchase of Summit T28 Analyzer (offer valid through March 15, 2012)

LeCroy Corporation Phone: (408) 727-6600 Fax: (408) 727-6622

Two 500 MHz A/Ds Digital up- and downconverters tune across a wide range of signals Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA preconfigured for turnkey operation Multiboard summation circuitry simplifies real-time beamforming COTS and ruggedized versions Also available in XMC, PCIe, and cPCI formats

Pentek, Inc. E-mail: Web:

3U VPX Removable SATA Drive Module Consists of VPX carrier board and removable drive module Removable module design rated for 100,000 mating cycles Uses COTS 2.5” SSDs with current capacities up to 1TB OpenVpx SATA Interface PCIe interface coming soon Options for discrete controlled secure erase

Red Rock Technologies, Inc. Phone: (480) 483-3777 Fax: (480) 483-8885

E-mail: Web:

E-mail: Web:

Phone: (201) 818-5900 Fax: (201) 818-5904

E-mail: Web:

Technology Focus XMCs and Processor XMCs

XMCs and PrXMCs Bring Modularity into the Fabric Era Needs Riding on the success of their predecessors PMCs and PrPMCs, today’s XMCs and Processor-based PrXMCs offer fabric-based performance that keeps pace with advanced military processing requirements. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


MCs are becoming entrenched as the natural successor to PMC as the leading mezzanine form factor in military applications. Meanwhile, fabric-based Processor XMCs allow military system integrators to swap out just the computing core and leave the base board unchanged. When a proposal for standardizing Gbit serial switched fabrics shook the embedded computing community in 2002, XMC was created as a natural extension of that technology to PMC. Defined under VITA 42, the XMC specification extended the PMC card by adding new connectors to support gigabit serial interfaces plus a list of alternative I/O standards. XMCs also match well with the emerging OpenVPX architecture leveraging the same switched fabric technologies as that system specification. Like VME itself, XMC continues to evolve with technology. VITA 42.0 is the base specification that includes general information, reference and inheritance documentation, dimensional specifications, connectors, pin numbering and primary allocation of pairing and grouping of pin functions. XMCs can be single- or double-wide modules that use a pinsocket connector with 114 pins arranged in a 6 x 19 array. A single-width XMC can have one or two connectors with pin functions as shown in Figure 2. A double-width XMC can have up to four connectors. To support gigabit serial interfaces, notice that both P15 and P16 connectors define 10 full-duplex differential pair lines. The VITA 42.0 base specification does not dictate signal types, data rates, protocols, voltage levels or grouping for these signals. Instead, it wisely leaves that up to the several sub-specifications that follow, allowing XMCs to evolve as new standards emerge. In fact, contrary to the fundamental mission of supporting serial interfaces, the first sub-specification, VITA 42.1, defines these same pins for Parallel RapidIO. While VITA 42.1 is approved and fielded, few vendors have embraced this standard and have instead opted for the more popular serial protocols. VITA 42.2, 42.3 and 42.4 define true serial switch fabric protocols for Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and HyperTransport, respectively. VITA 42.5 defines the popular Xilinx Aurora protocol for use in XMC. This lightweight link layer protocol is quite attractive for XMC modules because many XMCs only need to move data from a dedicated source like an A/D converter to a dedicated destination—like memory on a processor board. The extra protocol layers necessary to support a full switched

[ 48 ] COTS Journal December 2011

Figure 1

The modularity and performance of the XMC form factor fits well with the needs of sensor payloads such as those aboard the MQ-9 Reaper UAV. Shown here, aircrews perform a preflight check on an MQ-9 Reaper before it takes off on a mission in Afghanistan. network and routing can significantly reduce the payload data rate and add complexity and cost at both ends of the link. In recent years, FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) have permeated mezzanine card architectures for reasons entirely incidental to XMC, and yet today FPGAs represent the single most significant catalyst for XMC adoption. FPGAs offer a collection of resources ideally suited for peripheral I/O functions. FPGAs may be configured to implement numerous electrical interface standards as well as a variety of protocol engines. By reconfiguring its FPGA, not only can a single I/O product replace several legacy products, but it can also adapt to future standards and protocols as well. This forestalls product obsolescence, both at the board level and at the deployed system level. Protocol engines for specific standards can be configured using FPGA logic so that FPGAs can adapt to different protocols as required. They interface to the SERDES and correctly process protocol-specific packets, header information, control functions, error detection and correction, and payload data format. The strategy makes FPGA-based XMC modules truly “fabric agnostic” and allows one hardware design to be deployed in several different fabric environments.





For over 25 years, prime defense contractors have selected CM Computer to be their ATR Chassis or VMEbus supplier for more than two hundred first class industrial and military system programs worldwide. Our VPX, VME and cPCI ATR Hybrid Chassis fitted with Six Heat Exchangers plus 16 Heat Pipes are expressly designed for the most demanding customers who appreciate uncompromising quality and reliability. CM balances proven COTS hardware design with the advantages of cutting edge ATR cooling technologies to supply performance military systems.

2 CM-ATR-35/SIXHEX-16HP: ¾ ATR, 7 SLOT 6U, 825W PSU, 13 kg 3 CM-ATR-45/SIXHEX-16HP: 1 ATR, 12 SLOT 6U, 1550W PSU, 18 kg

The leading military ATR Chassis & VME I/O manufacturer in Europe & the USA

Expand Your Horizons Contaminant-free enclosure Available in ½, ¾ & 1 ATR size O VPX, VME64 & cPCI ready O Accepts Conduction & Air-cooled 6Us O Flexible Top & Bottom I/O wiring O Six Internal Heat Exchangers O 16 Integrated Heat Pipes O Up to 1.5 kW total Power Dissipation O Up to 150 Watts per Slot

Integrated Temperature Control Unit Dramatically increases payload MTBF O 2 User defined PSU 100W DC outputs O 25°C less than heat exchanger ATRs O 50°C less than conventional sealed ATRs O In-line EMI/EMC MIL-STD 461E Filter O Stand alone low weight solution O Customizable to specific requirements O Mounting Tray with quick release system O













1 CM-ATR-25/SIXHEX-16HP: ½ ATR, 5 SLOT 6U, 575W PSU, 9 kg

All our chassis products are delivered Tested and Certified by independent authorized Labs per MIL-STD-461E & MIL-STD-810F for immediate deployment in US Navy and US Air Force military UAVs, Fighters and Helicopters. Contact us at to request our latest Hybrid Cooled ATR Chassis Catalog.

CM Computer True Military COTS Products


Technology Focus:

XMC and PrXMC Roundup XMC Module Serves Up Configurable FPGA, Digital I/O To address the need for low-cost configurable FPGA computing solutions, a series of new XMC-SLX mezzanine modules from Acromag features an economical Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA. The Spartan-6 FPGA’s logic structure leverages the premium-performance Virtex FPGA platform’s architecture and system-level blocks for faster, easier and more compatible development. Acromag supports the FPGA with a high-throughput PCIe interface, generous memory and convenient access to field I/O signals. Typical uses include hardware simulation, in-circuit diagnostics, communications, signal intelligence and image processing.

Field I/O interfaces to the FPGA via the rear J4/P4 connector and/or with optional front mezzanine I/O extension modules. 64 I/O or 32 LVDS lines are accessible through the rear connector. Acromag’s plug-in AXM mezzanine cards provide additional I/O processing capabilities. A variety of these AXM mezzanine I/O cards are available to provide front-end 14-bit 105 MHz A/D conversions or an interface for CMOS digital I/O, RS-485 differential signals, or extra LVDS I/O lines. Large, highspeed memory banks enable high-efficiency data handling. 256k x 64-bit, or optional 1M x 64-bit, dual-ported SRAM facilitates highspeed DMA transfers to the bus or CPU. This memory provides direct links from the PCIe bus and to the FPGA. The high-bandwidth PCIe 4-lane interface ensures fast data throughput. Acromag’s Engineering Design Kit provides utilities to help users develop custom programs, load VHDL into the FPGA, and establish DMA transfers between the FPGA and the CPU. Pricing starts at $2,895 with options for extra memory and extended temperature operation.

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

[ 50 ] COTS Journal December 2011

Graphics XMC and PMC Enable Dual Processing of Independent Video Streams

Stratix IV GX-based XMC Features SFP Optical Transceivers

Mezzanine modules remain an ideal solution for mixing and matching functions on military embedded computing systems. Aitech Defense Systems has expanded its family of M59x graphics boards designed for a wide variety of rugged avionics applications with the M595 PMC and M597 XMC. These high-performance, rugged boards simultaneously drive two independent video streams in a wide variety of graphics and output formats for flexible video input and frame grabbing formats to meet users’ specific application needs. Both single-width mezzanine boards integrate multiple supporting 2D/3D hardware engines. This includes LVDS, SDI, HDI,

The 4S-XMC (4SXM), a member of BitWare’s "S4" family of board-level signal processing solutions, leverages Altera Corporation's Stratix IV family of FPGAs. The board was designed for network-centric application development. This XMC uses the Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA to provide completely reconfigurable highperformance signal processing, while four small form factor pluggable (SFP) transceivers enable support of virtually any serial communication standard, including Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, SONET, CPRI and OBSAI. The four SFP SerDes channels are connected directly to the onboard Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA, which handles the higher level communications protocols. The 4SXM provides scalable FPGAbased signal processing for VME, VXS, VPX, cPCI, AdvancedTCA and PCI Express systems with extreme bandwidth requirements, all in a low-power, compact form factor.

SMPTE 292 and H.264, and graphics languages including DirectX, OpenGL and OpenCL. The new M595 and M597 use the advanced AMD/ATI E4690 graphics processing unit (GPU) operating at 600 MHz with a 512 Mbyte on-chip GDDR3 SDRAM frame buffer. The E4690 enables multiple video outputs from its native video ports and eliminates the need for external transmitters or encoders. It works with an integrated, onboard FPGA to support a wide variety of additional video output formats, overlay, underlay and keying features as well as multiple video input formats and signal conditioning options. The M595, a dual-head display XMC, transfers graphics and video to the host system via a highspeed eight port PCIe link. Interfaces include two RGBHV (CRT) channels, an HDTV/TV out port, an LVDS channel and four single-link DVI/ HDMI/DP channels through the E4690. Both of these DO-178/DO-254-certifiable mezzanine products are available in vibration- and shockresistant versions as well as in conduction-cooled and air-cooled versions and to commercial, rugged and military specifications with a maximum operating temperature range of -55° to +85°C.

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

The 4SXM features a high-density, lowpower Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA, which was designed specifically for serial I/O-based applications and is PCI SIG compliant for PCI Express Gen1 and Gen2. The four SFP compact optical transceivers are available on the front panel and are connected directly to the Stratix IV GX FPGA. A 28-bit SFP control bus is also available to the Stratix IV GX. Eight multigigabit SerDes lanes supporting PCI Express, Serial RapidIO, or 10 GigE, and 44 general purpose digital I/O signals are available via the board's rear panel. The 4SXM provides onboard memory, including QDRII+ SRAM and Flash. The 4SXM is available now priced at under $5,000

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

XMC and PrXMC Roundup

Processor XMC Serves up 1.33 GHz Core i7 Processor Using the Processor XMC format, board designers can achieve a fairly powerful computing engine in a compact mezzanine board. Along just those lines, Concurrent Technologies offers a single width XMC mezzanine processor board to complement their range of embedded single board computers. Based around the Intel Core i7 32nm embedded processor and mobile QM57 Express chipset, the XP 732/x8x offers high performance with low power dissipation delivering impressive performance-per-watt. Depending on application requirements, a choice of processors is available: XP 732/x80 features an Intel Core i7-660UE 1.33 GHz processor (800 MHz FSB) and the XP 732/ x82 features an Intel Core i7-620LE 2.0 GHz processor (1066 MHz FSB).

The Intel Core i7 processor features Intel Direct Media Interface Technology and Intel Flexible Display Interfaces to provide simultaneous high-speed graphic and nongraphic traffic. The processor also features Intel Hyper-Threading Technology to allow multiple simultaneous execution threads in each core. With up to 8 Gbyte of soldered DDR3 ECC SDRAM and 4 Gbyte of NAND flash and options for dual Gigabit Ethernet or dual 1000Base-BX SerDes channels; two SATA150/300 disk interfaces; PCI Express x8 lane or dual x4 lanes; DVI-D graphics; 2x RS232/422/485; USB 2.0; and GPIO, the XP 732/ x8x offers configurable functionality in a small form factor. Utilizing XMC/PMC standards, the XP 732/x8x is ideally suited to OpenVPX, VME, VXS and CompactPCI host carrier cards.

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

PMC / XMC Card Provides H.264 / AVC Codec With Two Parallel HD Channels The VCP-8166 from Creative Electronic Systems is a H.264 / AVC Codec PMC / XMC processor board for video applications requiring commercial air-cooled or conduction-cooled equipment. It is specifically designed for the most demanding applications, combining hard real-time video compression / decompression for two high-definition (HD) channels in parallel along with harsh environment criteria.

The VCP-8166 features different SDI I/O solutions (two on P6, one parallel on P4, one onboard for debug / monitoring) compatible with SD-SDI and HD-SDI input signals at up to 3.0 Gbits/s. HDMI I/O and several analog input formats are also available. The advanced video coding engine of the VCP-8166 is designed to guarantee smooth real-time, low-latency coding up to HD formats. Compressed video is available from the processor board via PCI or PCI Express. Single video input channels can be duplicated for two different coding strategies in parallel. Scaling down of frame rate and resolution is also possible, as well as control of the bitrate and frame cropping. More than two channels can be processed at lower resolutions. At the core of the VCP-8166, a Spartan-6 FPGA implements a rather flexible video infrastructure providing input control and routing, processing and duplication functionalities on multiple streams, as well as all of the necessary PCI / PCIe interfaces for a glue-less communication with the host processor. Onboard Gigabit Ethernet support is also available. The H.264 Codec technology is provided by ASIC acceleration, which is external to the FPGA, but completely interfaced to programmable logic modules in the Spartan.

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 CurtissWright 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 wirespeed 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. [].

CES (Creative Electronic Systems) Geneva, Switzerland +41 22 884 51 00. [].

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 51 ]

XMC and PrXMC Roundup

Storage XMC Features HighSpeed Operation and Front Removability Developed to address rugged storage applications, a new single-width storage XMC uses the latest mezzanine form factor and flash drive technologies, including the new CFast flash storage technology. The next-generation 9289 XMCStor solid-state CompactFlash drives from Elma Electronic are based on a SATA interface and offer much higher data rates compared to drives with a parallel connection.

Embedded FPGA Development System Uses AXI4 Protocol A Xilinx Virtex-6-based XMC module supports pluggable daughter cards for customizable I/O. In conjunction with the XPedite2300, introduced by Extreme Engineering solutions, is an embedded FPGA development environment based on the AXI4 interface protocol, the XPedite2300 FPGA Development Kit (FDK). The FDK simplifies the development of high-performance, realtime, streaming data applications that run

d Index Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now

The XMCStor provides one front removable drive and one internal drive for maximum Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal operational flexibility. The front removable on the XPedite2300 FPGA board. The FDK is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly drive capability combined with hot swap includes IP blocks, example FPGA designs, allows fast and easy equipment upgrade and with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the and software to control and communicate goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. data transportability. With board-level data with FPGAs. All of the IP blocks included in transfer rates up to 130 Mbyte/s (write) and Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, the FDK interface to the industry-standard Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products140 Mbyte/s (read), the 9289 XMCStor is AXI4 interconnect. Xilinx supports the AXI4 suitable for applications demanding high you are searching for. interface standard in the Virtex-6 to facilitate data rates. Current storage capacities equal 64 plug-and-play FPGA design with the goal of Gbyte across two drives, with higher capacities shortening time-to-market for customers. supported as new drives are introduced. The The AXI4 interface standard finally brings XMCStor is capable of meeting a wide range of true reuse to the FPGA industry. Customers operating conditions. It is available in standard can easily integrate FPGA logic based on the (0째 to +55째C) through extended temperature AXI4 interconnect from X-ES, Xilinx and (-40째 to +85째C) versions and can withstand other third parties without having to make any Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions operating shocknow up to 40Gs at 11 Msec. Pricing modifications, making it much easier to create starts attechnologies $800 in low Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, andquantities, companies. configuration Whether your goal is to research the latest working FPGA designs. The use of the AXI4 dependent. 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 interface standard has made reuse of IP blocks in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, simple and straightforward for developers. Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products you are searching for. Elma Electronic The XPedite2300 is a conduction-cooled XMC module well suited to data streaming Fremont, CA. applications that require real-time signal (510) 656-3400. processing, such as video surveillance, signals []. intelligence and infrared threat detection. It supports the Virtex-6 LX130T, LX195T, LX240T, LX365T, SX315T and SX475T FPGAs. There are initially two daughter cards that can be mounted on the module: a 10-bit, dual, 1.5 GSPS (or single 3.0 GSPS) A/D daughter card and a 14-bit, dual, 2.5 GSPS D/A daughter card.

End of Article


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[ 52 ] COTS Journal December 2011 Untitled-2 1

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

Embedding Excellence MSC Embedded offers a large variety of COM products in COM Express, Qseven and ETX. Our COM products are scalable, easy to install and powerful to enable long living industrial applications with an upgrade path to future needs. COM Express™ MSC CXC-PV525

COM Express™ MSC CXB-6S

Qseven™ MSC Q7-NT2

The economy model with dual core power

The new flagship with four cores

The ambitious low power graphics genius

ƒ Intel® Atom™ D525 (1.8GHz, dual core) D425 (1.8GHz), N455 (1.66GHz)

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ƒ Dual Core Arm Cortex A9

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ƒ Up to 1GHz

ƒ Up to 4GB DDR3 SDRAM

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ƒ Excellent graphics performance

ƒ Optional SATA Flash SSD

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ƒ COM Express™ Type 2, 95 x 95 mm (3.74 x 3.74”)

ƒ COM Express Type 2, 125 x 95 mm (4.92 x 3.74”)

ƒ Intel® GMA 3150 graphics core


ƒ Intel® Core™ i3, i5, i7 and Celeron processors

ƒ Support for extended temperature range ƒ 8 Bit Camera-Interface ƒ 70 x 70 mm (2.76 x 2.76“)

MSC Embedded Inc. · direct: (650) 616 4068 ·

XMC and PrXMC Roundup

ADC/DAC XMC Module Sports Virtex-6 FPGA

XMC Blends 1 GSPS ADCs and DACs with Virtex6 FPGAs

Designed to act as a powerful link between the analog world of sensors and the digital world of computing, a new XMC module can be deployed in demanding radar, signals intelligence, communications and test and measurement applications. The ICS-1572A ADC/DAC from GE Intelligent Platforms features 16-bit data acquisition at up to 250 MHz and the latest Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA processor to deliver unprecedented performance in a cost-effective, compact, lightweight form factor.

At today’s level of semiconductor integration, computer data conversion signal processing subsystems can be squeezed onto a single mezzanine card. Along just those lines, Innovative Integration has announced the X6-1000M. The X6-1000M integrates highspeed digitizing and signal generation with signal processing on a PMC/XMC IO module for demanding DSP applications. The tight coupling of analog I/O to the Virtex-6 FPGA core dramatically simplifies SDR, radar and lidar implementations. The board features two, 12-bit 1 Gsample/s A/Ds and four 1 Gsample/s 16-bit DACs. Analog input bandwidth of over 2 GHz supports wideband applications and RF undersampling. The DACs have features for interpolation and coarse mixing for upconversion.

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 (508)-678-0550 [ 54 ] COTS Journal December 2011 Untitled-9 1

1/12/10 10:03:31 AM

Not only does the XMC form factor allow for more compact solutions—it also allows for higher throughput to the host memory, which translates into the ability to send higher bandwidth signals for downstream processing. The higher sampling rates allow for higher instantaneous bandwidth to be captured, therefore meeting the challenging frequency coverage requirements of surveillance systems. The use of high-speed DDR3 memory allows for deep waveform storage and tolerates the interrupt latency associated with non-realtime operating systems. The ICS-1572A provides two 16-bit ADCs sampling synchronously at frequencies up to 250 MHz and two 16-bit DACs at up to 500 MHz. The ADC input pass band is 4.5 to 800 MHz (3 dB) to allow for under-sampling applications. A Xilinx Virtex-6 LX240T FPGA is provided for user-defined signal processing functions, giving greater capacity than previous generations; other Virtex-6 devices are available as options. The Virtex-6 device also provides a PCI Express interface to the host system. Other protocols, such as Serial RapidIO, can be provided upon request. The FPGA provides a powerful signal processing capability that can be loaded with standard functions such as wideband DDC, FFT and time stamping, or programmed by the user for any required function.

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

A Xilinx Virtex-6 SX315T (LX240T and SX475T options) with four banks of 1 Gbyte DRAM provides a very high-performance DSP core with over 2000 MACs (SX315T). The close integration of the analog I/O, memory and host interface with the FPGA enables real-time signal processing at extremely high rates. The X6-1000M power consumption is 19W for typical operation. The module may be conduction-cooled using VITA20 standard and a heat spreader. Ruggedization options for wide-temperature operation are from -40° to +85°C and 0.1 g2/Hz vibration.

Innovative Integration Simi Valley, CA. (805) 578-4260. [].

The ever popular EDA Tech Forum is now


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HIGH VOLTAGE PowerPC PrXMC Card Uses Freescale MPC8536E An ultra-low-power Processor XMC module is based on the Freescale PowerQUICC III MPC8536E processor. The IC-PQ3-XMCa from Interface Concept 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. The IC-PQ3-XMCa is suited for a large range of embedded applications such as computeintensive solutions requiring high-speed I/O transactions. Other features include up to 1 Gbyte DDR2- ECC, 128 Mbytes flash, 4 Gbytes of NAND flash and up to three Gbit Ethernet ports. The IC-PQ3-XMCa is available in standard, extended and rugged grades. Interface Concept provides BSP for VxWorks and Linux operating systems. Other RTOS can be ported on request.

exploration her your goal peak directly al page, the t resource. chnology, and products

Software Radio Module Provides FPGA Preconfigured for Turnkey Operation A new multichannel data converter XMC with digital down and upconverters boasts two channels each of 12-bit, 500 MHz A/D and 16-bit, 800 MHz D/A. The Model 71651 from Pentek has a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA at its core. The FPGA is preconfigured with data acquisition and playback IP to give the module turn-key functionality, with room left for user customization. The Model 71651 features two input and two output RF channels, transformercoupled to allow direct connection to HF or IF radio stages. The input channels feature 12-bit, 500 MHz A/Ds that feed data into the Virtex-6 FPGA. The output channels incorporate a Texas Instruments DAC5688 digital upconverter that translates real or complex baseband signals to any IF frequency up to 380 MHz. Dual 16-bit, 800 MHz D/As create real or in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) analog outputs.

DC-DC Converters s NEW! SA Serie 100 to 1000 VDC out High Power 3 Watts Ultra Miniature Size 0.55" x 0.75" x 0.4" 100-1000 VDC Output Hi-Efficiency/Excellent Load Regulation Single Output with Center Tap

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large range of embedded applications such mpanies providing solutions now as compute-intensive solutions requiring

Four types of preconfigured IP in the FPGA

simplify the capture, movement and oration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to help research the latest high-speed I/O transactions, Gigabit Ethernet of data. Three plication Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get playback Connected is to put you Acquisition IP modules interfaces for high-performance vice you require for whatever type of technology, network accept data from any of the A/Ds, a test signal connectivity or redundant failsafe links, nies and products you are searching for. generator, or the Playback IP in loopback mode. powerful control element for network switches, These acquisition modules each have a private storage subsystems, network appliances, and memory bank for storing data in capture mode, print and imaging devices. or to serve as a FIFO buffer for the linked-list

Interface Concept Briec de l’ Odet France. +33 (0)298 577 176. [].

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DMA engine to move data off-board through the x8 Gen 2 PCIe interface. The DMA engines can automatically generate meta-data to simplify host processing.

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

• 100 to 1,000 VDC Outputs • Input Voltage, 5V, 12V, 24V, 28V DC Standard • Isolated - Input to Output • Ultra Miniature - 0.55"x 0.75"x 0.4" • Excellent Load Regulation • Hi Reliability/Custom Models • Military Upgrades/Environmental Screening Available • Call Factory 800-431-1064



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[ 57 ] COTS Journal December 2011

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 57 ] Untitled-5 1

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VXS/VME Board Provides High Speed 12-bit ADCs and DACs

Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. VXS continues to provide a “here and now” solution for high-speed VME-based military embedded computing. Feeding thatwith need, TEK Microsystems has announced the latest member of our QuiXilica Get Connected companies and products featured in this section. product family. The new Gemini-V6 supports either one 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) input channel at 3.6 Gsamples/s (GSPS) or three input channels at 1.8 GSPS, combined with a 12-bit DAC output channel operating at up to 4.0 GSPS. Gemini-V6 is based on the National Semiconductor ADC12D1800RF device, which supports either a pair of channels in non-interleaved mode or a single channel using 2:1 interleaved sampling. Gemini-V6 contains two ADC devices, supporting a total of either three channels plus trigger at 1.8 GSPS or one channels plus trigger at 3.6 GSPS, plus a separate 12-bit DAC output channel based on the Euvis M653D that operates at up to 4.0 GSPS. The Gemini-V6 contains two front end FPGA devices, one attached to the ADCs and one to the DAC. The front end FPGAs can be configured with LX240, SX315, or SX475 devices, providing both the highest FPGA processing density available in any 6U form factor today as well as the only VME / VXS platform supporting Virtex-6 FPGAs. The two front end FPGAs are supplemented with a “backend” FPGA that can be used for additional processing or for backplane or front panel communications. The Gemini-V6 includes six banks of DDR3 memory with total capacity of 5 Gbytes and aggregate throughput of 32 Gbytes/s, supporting a wide range of signal processing algorithms with deep memory buffering of the entire signal acquisition stream. The Gemini-V6 will be available in for early access customers starting in January 2012. TEK Microsystems, Chelmsford, MA. (978) 244-9200. [].

Development Kit Accelerates MIL-STD-1553 System Design

PCIe I/O Board Delivers Advanced 32-bit Counters

Data Device Corporation (DDC) offers a hardware/software development kit that provides engineers with time and cost saving design tools to quickly implement a 1553 board solution utilizing the world’s smallest and highest performance complete MIL-STD-1553 single package: Total-AceXtreme. The kit provides comprehensive support to accelerate development and deployment while leveraging the full capabilities of DDC’s AceXtreme architecture. The kit includes a PCI evaluation board with cable, schematic symbols, a PCI card reference design schematic along with IBIS and thermal models. JTAG/ BSDL files are available as well as CAD drawing footprints for PADS and Allegro.

Sensoray’s model 826 is a versatile PCI Express board that features six encoder/timer/counter interfaces, 16 differential analog inputs (18-bit resolution, 100 Ksample/s), eight analog outputs (16-bit resolution) and 48 bi-directional digital I/Os with edge capture. Its six advanced 32-bit counters can operate as conventional timer/counters or in any of several special modes, directly supporting incremental encoders, pulse generation, PWM generation, frequency measurement, period measurement and pulse width measurement. Model 826 is compatible with standard solid state relay racks. The free software development kit includes a highperformance API, comprehensive documentation and sample programs.

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

Sensoray, Tigard, OR. (503) 684-8005. [].

VME SBC Sports Core2 Duo CPU and M96 GPU Ideal for military tech refresh situations, the VME marketplace is seeing a wave of upgraded boards with the latest and greatest silicon. An example is Interface Concept with its new VME board based on the Intel Core2 Duo processor SL9380/SU9300 associated with the Intel 3100 chipset. The IC-DC2VMEb, being VME64x-VITA31.1 compliant, is aimed at highly integrated applications like leading-edge computing, embedded network control, signal processing, etc. The large number of interfaces turns this IC-DC2-VMEb into an ideal open platform for a wide range of applications. The board boasts an AMD/ATI M96 Graphic Processor Unit (Radeon E4690- R700 core), which provides the IC-DC2-VMEb with the performance needed for demanding embedded graphics applications. The analog video interfaces offer STANAG B & C support, especially useful to airborne applications. While maintaining a low power consumption and a wide temperature range, the ICDC2-VMEb benefits from a long life product cycle for high-reliability and safety-critical embedded applications.

Interface Concept, Briec de l’Odet, France. +33 (0)2 98 57 30 30. []. [ 58 ] COTS Journal December 2011

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JPEG2000 Video Compression XMC Card Conduction Cooled Get Connected with companies and products featured in this Is section.

Mezzanine boards remain the best solution for mixing and matching functionality on a slot-card board. And XMCs do all that while supporting serial fabric bandwidths beyond those of the parallel bus era. Along those lines, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing offers a conduction-cooled variant of its XMC-280 JPEG2000 video compression XMC mezzanine card. The XMC-280 captures, compresses, decompresses and displays two channels of video at resolutions up to 1080p and 1920x1200. It’s designed for demanding military applications, such as situational awareness, that require the distribution or recording, display and storage of mission-critical video. JPEG2000 video compression technology differs from other techniques, such as MPEG4, by compressing each frame individually, eliminating any dependencies on preceding or subsequent frames. This frame-by-frame compression results in lower latency and greater resistance to errors in transmission. For applications where MPEG4 is desired, CWCEC offers its DPMC-281 compression card. Key features of this XMC (VITA 57) mezzanine format card include video I/O via XMC rear I/O connectors Pn5 and Pn6. It supports analog RGB, PAL/NTSC composite and digital DVI signals. Captured video is compressed using a high-performance FPGA-based JPEG2000 algorithm, or transmitted over PCIe interface uncompressed. Audio support includes two stereo channels or four mono channels along with 16-bit 48 kHz, WAV and PCM encoding. The card’s four-lane PCIe 1.1 interface is optimized to provide in excess of 500 Mbytes/s in each direction. It is available in a CWCEC Level 200 conduction-cooled version, as well as a Level 0 air-cooled version with front panel IO.

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

Video Wall Controller Drives 4- or 8-Cube Display Walls Military command centers have tucked their paper maps away in the corner for good. Today is all about electronic walls with graphics and video showing detailed situational awareness information. Feeding that trend, Trenton’s TVC2401 is the company’s latest video controller ready for immediate shipment and built for mounting in small and confined spaces. This compact system is validated with up to two Matrox Mura MPX boards, delivering up to eight 1080p high-definition inputs and eight high-definition outputs. Trenton’s TVC2401 leverages Mura’s 64 Gbit/s duplex data transfer rate to ensure flawless HD input captures for diverse display wall requirements. Its compact, 2U rackmount enclosure has a shallow enclosure depth of 18 inches (46 cm).

Trenton Technology, Gainesville, GA. (770) 287-3100. [].

Rugged Box Embeds 1.66 GHz Atom CPU, 2 Gbyte DRAM Sealevel’s Relio R1420 is a small, rugged embedded computer that operates without fans or other moving parts for the most reliable operation possible. The Relio R1420 offers a wealth of standard I/O including dual Gbit Ethernet, six USB 2.0 ports, four serial ports, 8-bit GPIO, audio output and VGA video. Powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N450 CPU, the Relio R1420 includes 2 Gbytes of RAM and offers very low power consumption while operating fanless up to 50°C ambient. Users can choose to operate from CompactFlash or a removable 2.5-inch SATA solid-state disk. The system is housed in a compact, rugged metal enclosure with the same footprint as Sealevel SeaI/O modules. Local or remote I/O expansion is available using Sealevel SeaI/O data acquisition modules. The Relio R1420 is available immediately from stock with prices starting at $999.

I/O Extension Module Adds A/D, D/A and Digital I/O Functions Configurations of A/D, D/A and digital I/O are often very specific to particular military applications. Being about to add such functions on to an FPGA-based system provides a useful signal processing path suitable for a variety of military systems. The new AXM-75 is a multifunction I/O extension module that adds A/D, D/A and digital I/O signal processing functions to an FPGA processor board. Acromag’s extension I/O modules plug directly onto their PMC and XMC reconfigurable FPGA cards equipped with an AXM mezzanine connector. Using the AXM-A75, engineers can interface a number of high-level analog voltage signals to and from the FPGA. TTL-level digital I/O channels can monitor and control discrete devices. A 68-pin VHDCI receptacle provides easy field I/O connections. The operating range is -40° to 85°C. There are sixteen differential analog input channels on the AXM-A75. Each input has its own high-speed 16-bit 250 kHz A/D converter offering the ability to simultaneously sample all channels. Two quad DAC devices drive eight analog output channels with a range of ±10V. Each channel has its own high-speed 16-bit D/A converter, which allows updating of individual channels or all outputs simultaneously. The open drain outputs are pulled high via a pull-up resistor. List price is $1,700.

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

Sealevel Systems, Liberty, SC. (864) 843-4343. []. December 2011 COTS Journal [ 59 ]

COTS Products

Portable RF/IF Signal Record/Playback System Meets Rugged Needs High-performance solid state disk drive data recording is one thing, but doing it in the harsh environment of a shipboard or airborne platform is a challenge. Attacking just that problem, Pentek released a rugged, portable, multiband recording and playback system for high-bandwidth IF and RF signals. The RTR 2726, the latest in Pentek’s turnkey Talon recorder family, is a complete workstation, data acquisition and solid-state RAID recording system in a box for the capture and playback of signals up to 700 MHz in shock- and vibration-prone environments such as vehicles, ships and aircraft. The system includes built-in digital up- and down-converters, with record channels offering 16-bit, 200 MHz ADCs and playback channels offering 16-bit, 800 MHz DACs. It can stream data to and from storage at sustained data rates of 1600 Mbytes/s, allowing the RTR 2726 to support four channels of record and/or playback in a variety of configurations. Storage consists of eight hot-swappable solid-state disk drives in a RAID configuration with up to 4 Tbyte in total capacity. The RTR 2726 is housed in a steel enclosure with carry handle, measuring 16.9 x 9.5 x 13.4 inches and weighing just 30 pounds. A fold-down front panel holds a full keyboard and touchpad and exposes the unit’s built-in 17” LCD monitor. The cooling system in the RTR 2726 includes built-in temperature monitoring. A temperature monitor display is included underneath the system’s LCD, and built-in temperature alarms provide users with early alerts when operating in very hot environments. The Talon RTR 2726 is priced starting at $45,000, depending on configuration and storage options.

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

Sunlight Readable Handheld Displays Withstand Harsh Conditions

Non-Volatile Storage-Class Memory Suits Harsh Environments

IEE offers a line of rugged, military-qualified handheld control display units (CDUs) that are sunlight readable and combat proven. The wide range of display sizes and resolutions from 4-line 2.8-inch character displays up to full graphic displays and from 3.5-inch QVGA to 7.0-inch-wide SVGA, provides exceptional design flexibility for the system engineer. The units feature integrated multi-mode backlighting that provides sunlight readability and NVIS compatibility for enhanced viewing no matter how dim or bright the lighting may be. Operating at a maximum altitude of 36,000 ft, the CDUs feature a temperature range of -20° to +70°C, with some units operating down to -40°C. The units withstand transit shock and ground mobile vibration of 0.04 g2/Hz from 20-2,000 Hz at 1 Hour/Axis as well as submersion in up to 1m of water for 2 hours. IEE's handheld devices meet a variety of military standards.

The ArxCis-NV from Viking Technology is a high-availability solution, engineered for disaster recovery by protecting data in memory from power failure. ArxCis-NV’s high-speed nonvolatile memory was developed through extensive experience in both DRAM and SSD technology to create a hybrid solution that leverages the speed and endurance of DDR3 memory, seamlessly integrated with the nonvolatile storage retention of flash memory. ArxCis-NV provides protection for enterprise RAID applications and main memory persistence for a host of virtualized applications that require data security in the event of power failure. The ArxCis-NV is currently available in 2 Gbyte, 4 Gbyte and 8 Gbyte capacities. Other options include a variety of super-capacitor pack energy capacity, depending upon application demands.

IEE, Van Nuys, CA. (818) 787-0311. [].

Viking Technology, Foothill Ranch, CA. (949) 643-7255. [].

Power Estimator App Targets Xilinx’s 28nm 7 Series FPGAs Military system designers who rely on their iPhones as much as their PCs now have a quick and easy way to determine the power consumption of Xilinx’s 28nm 7 series FPGAs. The new Pocket Power Estimator (PPE) application for Apple’s iPhone enables designers to see how Xilinx’s 28nm programmable platforms stack up to alternatives in delivering the lowest power consumption for their systems. Designers can download the PPE from the Apple App Store today and quickly and easily explore what-if scenarios and get immediate feedback on the estimated power consumption compared to alternatives. For more complex and detailed power analyses, designers can use the ISE Design Suite’s XPower Estimator (XPE) and the XPower Analyzer (XPA) tools. The PPE app, which can also be used with the iPad, offers an easy-to-use GUI for the quick entering of resource requirements—such as SerDes utilization, DSP, memory, logic capacity and more. Compared to the previous generation 40nm FPGAs, Xilinx 7 series FPGAs deliver about 50 percent lower total power, on average, thanks in part to the HPL (highperformance/low-power) process technology offered by foundry partner TSMC. The Xilinx PPE mobile application is free of charge and is available now on the Apple App Store. A version of PPE for Android and other Smartphone platforms will be introduced later this year.

Xilinx, San Jose, CA. (408) 559-7778. []. [ 60 ] COTS Journal December 2011

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Kit Blending NI and RIOproducts Platform Custom Electronics GetEnables Connected with companies featured with in this section.

A new version of the CompactRIO Module Development Kit (MDK) from National Instruments

along with the introduction of the RIO Mezzanine Card (RMC) specification for NI SingleBoard RIO, expand the options for adding specialized or custom I/O to packaged and board-level embedded control and monitoring systems. With these technologies, system integrators and OEMs now can fully integrate custom electronics with the proven NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware systems. Incorporating updates based on customer feedback, version 2.0 of the CompactRIO MDK provides engineers and scientists additional resources that simplify the processes of creating any custom module. The 2.0 version features a new field-programmable gate array (FPGA) communication core that automatically implements NI technology best practices and low-level housekeeping tasks. These include module detection, identification, data transfer and other common functions. By starting with the NI communication core, engineers can access years of NI research, development and optimization to accelerate their design process and maximize compatibility of custom modules within the RIO ecosystem. An integral part of the NI graphical system design approach, NI RIO technology combines NI LabVIEW system design software with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to simplify development and shorten time-to-market when designing advanced control, monitoring and test systems. NI RIO hardware, which includes CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, R Series boards and PXI-based NI FlexRIO, features an architecture with powerful floating-point processors, reconfigurable FPGAs and modular I/O. All NI RIO hardware components are programmed with LabVIEW to give engineers the ability to rapidly create custom timing, signal processing and control for I/O without requiring expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design.

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

Rugged PC/104-Plus Module Based on Atom E600 An extreme rugged PC/104-Plus Single Board Computer (SBC) is based on the Intel Atom Processor E600 series from 600 MHz up to 1.6 GHz. The CoreModule 720 from ADLINK Technology is a PC/104-Plus stackable form factor that allows customers to build low-power solutions for spaceconstrained, extreme rugged environments. It features PCI and ISA bus connectivity and provides an integrated 4 Gbyte SSD, CAN bus, SATA, and a broad range of peripheral I/O support. Additional features of the CoreModule 720 include support for up to 2 Gbytes of soldered DDR2 SDRAM at 600/800 MHz and 24-bit VDS and SDVO graphics. Designed to meet stringent shock and vibration requirements, the CoreModule 720 uses 50% thicker printed circuit board (PCB) and supports an extended temperature range of -40째 to +85째C.

Dual HD PCI/104 H.264 Compression Card for Advanced Video Capture

A low-latency H.264 encoder implemented on a single PCI/104 form factor board allows system builders to easily add high definition analog and digital video capture with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Part 10) encoding to their embedded PC equipment designs. The H264-HD2000 encoding engine from Advanced Micro Peripherals supports ultra low latency full frame rate encoding of two HD video sources at up to 1080p30. The H264HD2000 also supports single channel encode at full 1080p60 and perform stream duplication of the Digital Video input to provide multiple encodings of the same input. This allows streams to be created at different resolution, compression settings dependent on requirements and available bandwidth. Key features include dual channel encoding at up 1080p30 and single channel encoding at up to 1080p60. The compression card supports analog HD input (YPbPr, VGA, RGB), digital HD input (DVI, HDMI) and has an H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Part 10) encode. It can perform multiple encodes of same input with different settings and is capable of motion detection and video masking. Drivers are available for WinXP-E and Linux.

Advanced Micro Peripherals, New York, NY. (212) 951-7205. [].

ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200. [].

Remote TTL Card Support 48 I/O Points A remote 48-point TTL I/O card is designed for fast real-time PC-based control systems. The 7I69 from Mesa Electronics communicates with the host with a robust RS-422 link with up to 100 ft link length. Standard CAT5 cables are used for wiring convenience. The 7I69 is supported by Mesa's low-cost FPGA cards, which present a simple parallel register interface to the host, with all protocol details handled by the smart interface. One FPGA card can support up to 32 external devices and up to 3072 control points while still maintaining 10 kHz service rate for all points. The 7I69 provides 48 open collector TTL-compatible I/O points. I/O connectors are two 50 pin headers with I/O module rack-compatible pinouts, allowing the 7I69 to drive two 24 point I/O module racks. Price in quantity 100 is $50.

MESA Electronics, Richmond, CA. (510) 223.9272. [].

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 61 ]

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

Small Form FactorGet Rugged Box with Series Does Distributed Connected companies and products featured inComputing this section.

The idea of complete box-level systems and small form factors are blending together these days. Exemplifying that trend, SIE Computing Solutions has unveiled its new Mupac Small Form Factor line, the 760 Series. The initial two products in the 760 Series include an IP67 NEMA Rated Version and IP50 NEMA Rated Version. In addition to the standard offerings, the Mupac Small Form Factor line can also be customized for a wide variety of unique specifications. The Mupac Small Form Factor Series is designed for mission- and performance-critical communications and intelligence. The compute platforms allow data processing in the field in a fully transportable, highly rugged computing module that improves speed and efficiency by completing processing in the machine, at the distributed level, before delivering data upstream. Instead of a passive backplane solution, the Mupac Series is a complete distributed computing module—fully portable in everything from a UAV to a backpack. The 760 Series is rated to operate in temperatures ranging from -10° to 60°C. These highly configurable Small Form Factor compute platforms can be quickly deployed with Intel Core i3/i5/i7 multicore processors with up to 4 Gbyte RAM, allowing the 760 Series to bring high-end compute-class performance into harsh industrial and military environments where extreme temperatures, air particulates, liquids and vibration prevent the use of standard commercial computers. Deploying high-end, multicore compute-class performance in any harsh environment is further facilitated by the 760 Series’ small size. Standard sizes start at 3.25 x 6.5 x 8.5 inches with custom configurations available.

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

150 Watt Power Supplies Boast Level V Efficiency

USB Data Acq System Does Up to 2 Msamples/s per Channel

Certifications for medical reliability have overlapped with a number of military applications. A Series of 150 watt switching power supplies (120W Convection Cooled) is built in a high-density 4.00 x 2.00 x 1.28 inch open-frame package featuring high efficiency operation, low standby power consumption for compliance with Level V Efficiency Standards and compliance to Medical or ITE Safety approvals. The SNP-G12 series from PowerGate consists of seven models with single output voltages ranging from 12 to 48 VDC and an auxiliary output of 12V at 200mA. All models feature universal AC input (90-264 VAC) with active power factor correction; high efficiency operation up to 91%; low standby power consumption less than 0.5W; peak Loads up to 200 watts; full load operation with 8 cfm airflow up to 50°C; and reliability in greater than 180k hours. The 500 piece price starts at $65.

A data acquisition system incorporates a high-speed sampling mode of up to 2 Msamples/s for each channel and is CE compliant, making it suitable for applications in the European Union and worldwide. Each xDAP 7420 provides eight parallel 16-bit analog-to-digital converter channels and can support the eight million samples per second sustained transfers to an application on a PC-workstation or laptop host. These are clocked simultaneously and run at configurable rates of up to two million samples per second. xDAP 7420 features an embedded 2.0 GHz Celeron processor that manages all of the real-time aspects of acquisition hardware management and data buffering. The xDAP 7420 is priced at $6,995.

PowerGate, Sunnyvale, CA. (408) 588-1750. []

Microstar Laboratories, Bellevue, WA. 888 678-2752 [].

KVM Extenders Support New Linux Distributions for Multi-Display A new generation of kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) extenders now supports a broader range of Linux operating systems and showcases a new degree of remote multi-display flexibility using a minimum of fiber-optic cabling. The Extio product line from Matrox Graphics extends keyboard, mouse, USB, audio and multi-monitor functionality from the host computer by up to one kilometer (3280 feet) and enables new capabilities including cloning, stretched desktops, multi-GPU and multi-unit support. Users can now install two Matrox interface cards, two Extio KVM extenders, Extio F2208 and Extio F2408, and Extio F2408E Expander units to remotely drive any combination of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 displays in such mission-critical environments as process control, operations control centers, emergency dispatch, and transportation management deploying a variety of desktop configurations with minimal cabling. This enables the ability to combine two PCIe interface cards with two Extio F2208 or F2408 KVM extenders or one of each, and the ability to upgrade one or two Extio F2408s with Extio F2408E Expander units. In the latter configuration, Extio is capable of driving up to 16 DisplayPort and/or DVI displays, a USB keyboard, USB mouse, audio, plus eight additional USB 2.0 ports by up to one kilometer from the PC.

Matrox Graphics, Dorval, Quebec. (514) 822-6000. []. [ 62 ] COTS Journal December 2011

COTS Products

Solid as a Rock... and twice as Cool!

ARM Development Kit for Rich Media Applications Premier Farnell’s global online eCommunity for electronic design engineers has announced availability of the DM3730 ARMbased development kit, a complete embedded development system that accelerates the crafting of media-rich, defense applications. The kit provides developers with an ARM-based TI DaVinci digital media processor tailored for digital audio, video, imaging and vision applications. The DM3730 device includes a general purpose processor, video accelerators and C64 DSP. The kit, available via Element14 at a promotional price while supplies last, provides easy access to ARM Cortex-A8 Core-based MCU design, enabling engineers to design their applications with high quality graphics and video apps with low power consumption. The kit is supported by multiple hardware peripherals including LCD touch screen interface and works with Android, Microsoft Windows CE and Linux operating systems.

Ruggedized 3U Multi Protocol R AID Systems No matter how you shake it, bake it, or configure it, everyone knows the reputation, value and endurance of Phoenix solid state and rotating disk products. Leading the way in rugged COTS data storage technology for decades, Phoenix keeps you on the leading edge with very cool products!

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Element14, Singapore, +65 6788 0200. [].

Fanless Dual-Core SBC Serves Up USB 3.0


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A new Em-ITX form factor board combines rich I/O with advanced multimedia capabilities. Partnered with a new industrial chassis kit, the VIA EITX-3002 from Via Technologies provides a solution for a wide range of durable and fanless next generation devices. The VIA EITX3002 is based on the 17 cm x 12 cm Em-ITX form factor, and is powered by a choice of a 1.2 GHz VIA Nano X2 E-Series or 1.0 GHz VIA Eden X2 dual core processor. The VIA EITX-3002 takes advantage of the VIA VX900H media system processor, a feature-packed all-in-one digital media chipset that brings excellent hardware acceleration for the latest HD video formats including MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1, WMV9 and HDCP for Blu-ray content protection in stunning 1080p display. The VIA EITX-3002 supports dual independent display. The unique design of the Em-ITX form factor places the VIA processor and VIA VX900H MSP on the reverse side of the board, optimizing the available real estate for a rich I/O configuration and facilitating slim fanless chassis designs. The VIA EITX-3002 includes an onboard DCto-DC converter supporting both AT and ATX power modes, and power input voltages of DC 7V to DC 36V. An onboard built-in 5-wire/4-wire USB Touch interface makes the EITX-3002 highly suited for high-end interactive touch screen multimedia applications.

9/9/11 6:35:00 PM


i i i i i

SE/LVD/HVD & extended temp options. Replacement for obsolete SCSI drives. SCSI legacy support now and into the future. Uses COTS 2.5� SSDs. Options for discrete controlled secure erase.

RedRockTechnologies,Inc. 480Ͳ483Ͳ3777

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

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 63 ] Untitled-3 1

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

Small Rugged Mini PC Cools without Fans Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Because they’re risky as a single point of failure, fans are considered unacceptable in most military systems. Serving such needs, Stealth Computer has released the new model LPC-125LPFM, a rugged, small footprint, fanless computer for industrial, Mobile/In-Vehicle and Embedded applications. The LPC-125LPFM is a breakthrough in small form factor computing. The rugged, diminutive size, noise free computer operates in wide temperature ranges and draws less than 20 watts of operational power. This energy-efficient and versatile PC measures out at only 4.6” x 6.1” x 2.0” (117 mm x 155 mm x 52 mm) or slightly larger than a deck of playing cards. The Stealth Mini PC weighs in at a mere 1.2 lbs or 0.54 kg. The PC operates from 10-26V of DC power making it ideal for DC-powered applications typically found in vehicle and mobile applications. Stealth’s fanless mobile PC utilizes the energysaving Intel D525 Pineview 1.8 GHz Dual Core processor technology with two physical cores and four Intel Hyperthreading resources (two per core)in vehicle applications. The LPC-125LPFM Mini PC features a multitude of I/O connectivity built directly into its impressively small design such as: Gigabit LAN, 3 USB, 2 Serial, Video, Audio In/Out, 2 PS/2 ports and 1 external express card slot. The rear locking DC power connector ensures power is securely in place. The LPC-125LPFM also features an internal Mini-PCIe card slot for special expansion capability and supports up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SODIMM memory. The LPC-125LPFM computer comes standard with a 55 Gbyte solid state drive (SSD) providing for extended operating temperatures, vibration and shock. The PC will operate from -10° to +45°C or 14° to 113°F. The LPC-125LPFM is currently shipping with base pricing starting at $895.

Stealth Computer, Woodbridge, Ontario, (905) 264-9000. [].

Booster Amplifier JITC Certified for PRC-117G Radios

Power Supply Delivers 65W Switching in 2 x 4-inch Footprint

AR Modular RF has received additional JITC Certification on its AR-50 booster amplifier for the PRC-117G radio. That means the 50W automatic tuning, multi-band tactical booster amplifier (30 - 512 MHz) has JITC certification for use with both the PSC-5D and the PRC-117G transceivers. The AR-50 booster amplifier boosts tactical radio signals from handheld and back-pack multi-band VHF/UHF tactical radio equipment employing legacy, proprietary and emerging JTRS waveforms. It provides 50 watts of output with as little as 3 watts input and offers two antenna ports dedicated to line-of-sight (LOS) or UHF Satellite (SATCOM). The system also provides a switchable low-noise amplifier (LNA) and a multi-position RF output level control. The small, compact, lightweight unit can run from either battery power or 12V or 24V vehicle power systems.

Medical certified power supplies offer a lot of overlap with military requirements. TDK-Lambda Americas has introduced the 65W MWS65 series of open-frame, medical/ITE AC-DC power supplies. With 4kVAC reinforced input to output isolation and output to ground isolation of 1500VAC, all models in the MWS65 series comply with UL/EN60601-1 Editions 2 & 3 safety approvals for medical equipment and include onboard dual fusing. Operating from a universal 90 to 265VAC input, the MWS65 power supply is offered in five models with nominal outputs of 5V, 12V, 15V, 24V or 48VDC. All outputs are user adjustable by ±10%. With a flat efficiency curve of up to 89% from 20 to 100% load, the MWS65 can be operated at full load from -20° to +50°C ambient temperature and up to +70°C with suitable derating. Overvoltage and overcurrent protection is standard. The MWS65 series is available now and priced from $32 each in 50 piece lots.

AR Modular RF, Bothell, WA. (425) 485-9000. [].

TDK-Lambda Americas, San Diego, CA. (619) 575-4400. [].

Module Adds Multi Monitor Support and Storage Options Advanced Digital Logic has announced the release of its ADLGS45-DHSP. The ADLGS45-DH(SP) can be added to the company’s ADLGS45PC to expand its video and data storage capabilities. The ADLGS45-DHSP takes SDVO signaling from the ADLGS45PC PCIe bus. The SDVO is then level shifted by a pair of Chrontel CH3781C to provide signaling for DVI-D and HDMI outputs at a maximum resolution of 2048x1536. The onboard DVI and HDMI video ports can be optionally removed and replaced with 2 mm locking pin headers when custom cabling or when deep embedding prevents their use. By way of the Intel GMA 4500 video driver, dual independent display is possible in various combinations of LVDS, HDMI, VGA and DVI-D. The ADLGS45-DHSP also offers additional functionality with SATA and PATA ports. The SATA interface provides two SATA 3 Gbit/s ports in addition to the four ports located on the ADLGS45PC. The PATA interface will provide Primary Master /Slave IDE drive functionality. Primary Master can also be populated with an onboard 2, 4 or 8 Gbyte SSD that can be optionally write protected via jumper.

Advanced Digital Logic San Diego, CA. (858) 490-0597. [].

[ 64 ] COTS Journal December 2011

COTS Products

Ultra Small SBC Features AMD Fusion APU, Customizable I/O A compact embedded computer is designed around a Nano-ITX motherboard featuring the 1.6 GHz AMD T56N embedded G-series Fusion APU. Pairing energyefficiency with graphics performance, the Fusion APU provides the NC108-HD from Logic Supply with HD acceleration and DirectX 11 support in a tightly integrated, compact platform. Lightweight and discreet with an industrial look and feel, the NC108-1HD is suitable as a commercial media player. With the T56N APU, the NC108-1HD provides processing power on par with Intel’s D525 dual core Atom CPU, while delivering discreteclass graphics performance. Combined with a small footprint, solid state storage and multiple high-speed wireless networking options, it is ideal for digital signage and kiosks with centralized content storage. The standard configuration includes four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and Gigabit Ethernet, and audio in/out. In addition, there are two DB9 punchouts; customers can opt for VGA or RS-232 ports without any customization. Project customers can opt for dual HDMI and dual VGA outputs as well.

Logic Supply, (802) 861-2600. South Burlington, VT. []. Untitled-3 1

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High-Efficiency DC/DC Converters Support Extended Temps RECOM’s new 1 watt converters are designed for low power applications. Limited energy budgets require highly efficient converters also at low loads. The new R1S/E-, RB/E- and RB/Econverters with low rated power achieve excellent efficiency up to 84 percent. More importantly, they reach 70 percent efficiency even at 20 percent load. Low heat losses allow these converters to be used at the extended ambient temperature range of -40° to +100°C without derating. The new converters come in three case styles. This unpotted SMD-design (R1S/E-series) can be used for vapor phase soldering processes and is available in tape and reel. The unregulated converters have 5V/200 mA output and input voltages of 3.3, 5, 12 or 24 VDC. They feature a standard isolation of 1kVDC/1sec and optionally 2kVDC/1sec and comply with EN60950-1 resp. UL60950-1. The MTBF is defined at 3.5 million hours.

RECOM Power, Brooklyn, NY. (718) 855-9710. []. December 2011 COTS Journal [ 65 ] Untitled-5 1

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Annual Article Index December 2010

January 2011

Tech Focus: XMCs and

Tech Focus:

Processor XMCs Roundup

COM Express Boards Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Small UAVs Take Flight With Advanced Electronics

OpenVPX Gets In Gear for Widespread Acceptance



GPGPUs Capture Military Mindshare

Major DoD Programs: A Review

— Volume 12 Number 12 December 2010

Solutions Evolve for Full-Motion Video

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook 2011: Another Banner Year............................................................. 6 Special Feature— Embedded Electronics in Small UAVs Small UAVs Upgrade for New Capabilities................................. 10 Jeff Child

Conduction Cooling Arms Stackable SBCs for Small UAV Duty . ...................................................................................................... 16 Colin McCracken, Diamond Systems

COM Express vs. PC/104 for Small UAV Systems...................... 22 Lorraine Orcino, RadiSys

Tech Recon— Graphics Chips Do Military Processor Duty GPGPUs Open New Doors for Mil/Aero Applications.............. 28 Peter Thompson, GE Intelligent Platforms

System Development— Full-Motion Video/Image Processing Processing Solutions Ease Full Motion Video Challenges.......... 38 Jeff Child

Technology Focus— XMCs and Processor XMCs XMCs and PrXMCs Fuel High-Speed Throughput and Processing...................................................................................... 42 Jeff Child

XMCs and PrXMCs Roundup .................................................... 44 Annual Article Index.................................................................... 56 Editorial Silicon Valley’s Still Got It............................................................ 66

[ 66 ] COTS Journal December 2011

— Volume 13 Number 1 January 2011

10 Gbit Ethernet Plays System Interconnect Role

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook Hey Washington...We’re Important............................................... 6 Special Feature— OpenVPX Readies for Prime Time OpenVPX Strengthens Its Hand for Military Embedded Designs ....................................................................................................... 12 Jeff Child

COTS Journal’s OpenVPX Solutions Center............................... 20 Hurdles Fall for Doing Intel x86 DSP on OpenVPX.................. 28 Ian Stalker, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing

Tech Recon— Major DoD Programs Overview Major Defense Programs Boost Their Appetite for Electronics ... ....................................................................................................... 34 Jeff Child

System Development— 10 Gbit Ethernet Opens New Opportunities Ethernet Becomes Entrenched as Military System Interconnect... ....................................................................................................... 42 Jeff Child

Technology Focus— COM Express Boards COM Express Brings Its Multimedia Muscle to Defense........... 50 Jeff Child

COM Express Boards Roundup................................................... 54 Editorial— Time, Convergence and SWaP.................................. 78

Annual Article Index February 2011

March 2011

Tech Focus: Conduction-

Tech Focus: Small Form

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Cooled cPCI Boards Roundup

Factor Boards Roundup

Top Ten Challenges for Military System Designs

Military Casts GPUs for General Purpose Computing Roles



Power Supplies Tradeoff Emerging Versus Legacy-Needs

Hybrid Systems Marry OpenVPX and Legacy VME

— Volume 13 Number 2 February 2011

ATCA Fuels Mobile Military Networking

An RTC Group Publication

— Volume 13 Number 3 March 2011

12th Annual End-of-Life Directory

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook Military Meteorology . ................................................................... 6

Publisher’s Notebook The Ides of February? .................................................................... 6

Special Feature—10 Technology Hurdles for the Military Ten Technology Hurdles Facing Today’s Military....................... 10

Special Feature—GPUs Do Military General Purpose Computing GPGPU Computing Carves Out New Military System Design Territory ....................................................................................... 10

Jeff Child

Jeff Child

Tech Recon—Power Issues in Board and Box Systems Power Solutions Balance Density and Standards Support ........ 22 Jeff Child

VPX Systems Face New Power Challenges ................................. 26 Jeff Porter, Extreme Engineering Solutions

Power Supply Standard Eases VPX System Design Efforts ....... 32 David W. Lee, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems

System Development—Mobile Comms and Networking Mobile Command System Hurdles: Space, Weight and Control... ....................................................................................................... 36 John Long, RadiSys

Technology Focus—Conduction-Cooled cPCI Boards Conduction-Cooled cPCI Provides Here and Now Solutions... 40 Jeff Child

Conduction-Cooled cPCI Boards Roundup .............................. 42 Editorial The Network Crisis That Wasn’t.................................................. 58

Carrier Landing Modeling System Leverages GPGPU Advantages ................................................................................... 18 Mark Lovett, Trenton Technology

Tech Recon—Hybrid Systems Blend OpenVPX and Legacy VME Hybrid Backplanes Weave Legacy Technology into New Systems ....................................................................................................... 26 Thomas Roberts, Mercury Computer Systems

System Development—Twelfth Annual End-of-Life Supplier Directory Obsolescence Management Becoming an End-to-End Game... 36 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—Small Form Factor Boards SWaP Challenges Drive Small Form Factor SBC Needs . .......... 46 Jeff Child

Small Form Factor Boards Roundup . ........................................ 48 Editorial Sunshine State Spectacular . ........................................................ 62

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 67 ]

Annual Article Index April 2011

May 2011 Tech Focus: Ethernet

Tech Focus: FPGA

Switch Boards Roundup

Processing Boards Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Multiple Design Strategies Emerge for UAV Payloads

Modular Strategies Drive Mil Vehicle Modernization



New Solutions and Techniques Improve Cooling and Thermal Management

CompactPCI and MicroTCA Thrive in Military Comms

— Display Innovations Change Game

— Volume 13 Number 4 April 2011

System Developers Update Ideas on Shock & Vibration Testing

An RTC Group Publication

Volume 13 Number 5 May 2011

for Command Control

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook Wanted: Technology Warriors . ..................................................... 6

Publisher’s Notebook Back to More DoD Budget Drivel ................................................ 6

Special Feature—Box vs. Slot Card Approaches for UAV Payloads Slot-Card and Box-Level Solutions Jockey to Meet UAV Payload Needs ............................................................................................ 10

Special Feature—Military Vehicle Modernization Ground Vehicle Modernization Looks to Modular Solutions ..10

Jeff Child

System-Level Approach Wins for UAV Radar Payload Designs . .. ....................................................................................................... 14

Jeff Child

Open Standards and Phased Approach Benefit Ground Vehicle Modernization.............................................................................. 16 David Jedynak, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems

Mark B. Tellez, SRC Computers

Unified Approach Paves New Path for Military Data Storage ...... ....................................................................................................... 22 Greg Bolstad, Critical I/O

Tech Recon—System Cooling: Challenges and Solutions Complex Systems Pose Tricky Thermal Management Challenges ...................................................................................................... 30 David O’Mara, Kontron

Advanced Composite Technology Boosts Chassis Thermal Performance ................................................................................ 38 Bob Sullivan, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems

System Development—High Shock & Vibration Testing for Boards and Enclosures Rethinking Shock and Vibration Testing Procedures ................ 44 Chris Phillips and David Turner, Parvus

Technology Focus—Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards Ethernet Emerges as Mature Choice among High Speed Interconnects ............................................................................... 48 Jeff Child

Ethernet Switch Boards Roundup .............................................. 50 Editorial No Decision Time Like the Present ............................................ 66

[ 68 ] COTS Journal December 2011

Tech Recon—Military Success Stories for cPCI and MicroTCA CompactPCI and MicroTCA Secure Their Roles in Net-Centric Designs.......................................................................................... 22 David Pursley, Kontron

System Development—Subsystems and Displays for Command Control Display Tech Advances Overhaul Command Control Systems...... ....................................................................................................... 32 Jeff Child

Open Approach Enables Cost Reduction for Naval Radar Displays ........................................................................................ 38 David Johnson, Cambridge Pixel

Military Displays Systems Leverage PCI Express Backplane Architectures ................................................................................ 44 Mark Lovett & Brad Trent, Trenton Technology

Technology Focus—FPGA Processing Boards FPGAs Push the Signal Processing Envelope Further Still ........ 52 Jeff Child

FPGA Processing Boards Roundup ............................................ 56 Editorial Good News and Good Intel......................................................... 70

Annual Article Index June 2011

July 2011 Tech Focus: PC/104 and

Tech Focus:

PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

OpenVPX SBCs Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Electronics Technology and The Shuttle: Innovations That 30 Years Built

Pre-Integrated SyStemS

Chart a FunCtIon-SPeCIFIC CourSe




Avionics Interface Choices Span from 1553 to Ethernet

Standards and Tools Bolster Military Software Security

— Volume 13 Number 6 June 2011

COM Solutions Challenge Traditional Slot-Card Approach

An RTC Group Publication

Pre-Integrated Systems Chart a Function-Specific Course

— Volume 13 Number 7 July 2011

Rackmount Systems Serve Up Compute-Heavy Performance

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook Out with the Old, in with the New................................................ 6

Publisher’s Notebook Changing of the Guard . ................................................................ 6

Special Feature—The Shuttle and Space Electronics 30-Year History: Shuttle Program Parallels Computer Tech Advances . ..................................................................................... 10

Special Feature—Function-Specific vs. General Purpose PreIntegrated Systems Function-Specific Integrated Systems Get Closer to End Application ...................................................................................10

Pete Yeatman & Warren Andrews

Copper Leadframes Eclipse Alternatives for Military Designs ...... ....................................................................................................... 18 Jeff Kendziorski, Micross Components & Sean Long, ISSI

Jeff Child

Pre-Integrated Subsystems Step Up to Meet Demanding Requirements .............................................................................. 18 Mike Southworth, Parvus

Tech Recon—Avionics Options: 1553, Ethernet and More Bridging 1553 to Ethernet Networks Paves Future of Avionics .... ....................................................................................................... 26 Richard Wade, Alta Data Technologies

Serial FPDP Provides Throughput Advantages for Sensor I/O...... ....................................................................................................... 30 Andy Reddig, Tek Microsystems

Deterministic Version of Ethernet Offers Real-Time Performance at Low Risk ............................................................ 38 Dr. Mirko Jakovljevic, TTTech

System Development—COM Versus Slot-Card Architectures COM Boards Find Place as Slot-Card Alternative .................... 46 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roadblocks Few as Tech Refresh Strengthens PC/104’s Hand ..52 Jeff Child

PC/104 and PC/104-Family Boards Roundup . ......................... 54 Editorial Space Talk: DoD’s Future, NASA’s Past ...................................... 64

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

Tech Recon—Software Security Standards and Solutions Focus on Attack Paths Improves Military Software Security ... 32 Dale Brenneman, McCabe Software

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

System Development—Rackmount Bladed Systems Meet Compute Density Needs Rackmount Systems Push the Compute Density Envelope....... 46 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—OpenVPX SBCs OpenVPX Moves Forward as Second Wave of Products Hits ..50 Jeff Child

OpenVPX SBCs Roundup . ........................................................ 52 Editorial The Power of Joint Perspective.................................................... 66

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 69 ]

Annual Article Index August 2011

September 2011

Tech Focus:

Tech Focus:

High-Density Storage Roundup

Rugged Box Systems Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing



The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

VME, VPX and cPCI Line Up for Tech Upgrade Duties

Military Comms and Networking Ascend to New Heights INSIDE: OpenVPX Products Poster



UAV Ground Control Systems Embrace Advanced Display Technologies

— Data Acq and Sensor Systems Volume 13 Number 8 August 2011

Ponder Optical Alternatives

An RTC Group Publication

Laptops and Panel PCs Suit Up for Rugged Roles

— Innovative Solutions Target Secure Volume 13 Number 9 September 2011

Embedded Systems

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook Defense Policy: The SecDef ’s Mission Plan? ................................ 6

Publisher’s Notebook The Perfect Storm .......................................................................... 6

Special Feature—VME, VPX and cPCI in Tech Upgrade Programs Tech Upgrade Programs Tap the Benefits of VME, VPX and cPCI .. .......................................................................................................10

Special Feature—Next-Gen Military Comms and Networking Solutions Military Comms and Networking Pick Up the Pace ................. 10

Jeff Child

Tech Refresh Strategies Bolster New Battlefield Compute Workloads .................................................................................... 18 David Pursley, Kontron

Modular Upgrades Continue to Extend VME-Based Systems ...... ....................................................................................................... 26 Andy Reddig, Tek Microsystems

Tech Recon—Display and Computing Trends for UAV Ground Control UAV Ground Control Systems Leverage Improved Display....... 32

Jeff Child

10 Gbit Ethernet Offers an Alternative to Bus-Based Slot Cards . ....................................................................................................... 20 Angsuman Rudra, D-TA Systems

Tech Recon—Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs Laptops and Panel PCs Muster for Rugged Military Duty .......30 Jeff Child

Rugged Military Computers Bulk Up for Harsh Environments . . ....................................................................................................... 44 Mark Holleran, Xplore Technologies

Jeff Child

Enhancement Options for Military Display Applications.......... 40 Richard Paynton and Jeff Blake, Dontech

System Development—Military Data Acquisition and Sensors Optical Sensing Changes Rules for Military Structural Measurements .............................................................................. 48 Nathan Yang, National Instruments

Technology Focus—High-Density Storage Subsystems Military Data Storage Systems Enter the Terabyte Era . ............ 54 Jeff Child

High-Density Storage Subsystems Roundup.............................. 56 Editorial Recognition Technology Takes a Bow ........................................ 70

[ 70 ] COTS Journal December 2011

System Development—Secure Embedded Systems Solutions Emerge to Meet Secure Embedded System Needs ....56 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—Rugged Box Systems Rugged Box Systems Widen Their Scope of Functionality........62 Jeff Child

Rugged Box Systems Roundup ................................................... 64 Editorial UAV Innovation in All Sizes . ...................................................... 82

Annual Article Index October 2011

November 2011

Tech Focus: Test and

Tech Focus: ATCA Blades

Instrumentation Boards Roundup

and Systems Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

FPGA Processing Thrives on VME & VPX Solutions

Power Supplies Navigate Diverse System Needs



ATCA Sets Sights on Navy Modernization Needs

Embedded Networking Solutions Ease ISR Data Overload Challenges

— JTRS and WIN-T Programs Put

— Volume 13 Number 10 October 2011

Training/Simulation Tech Steps Up to New Levels of Detail

An RTC Group Publication

Volume 13 Number 11 November 2011

Through Paces in Test Activities

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook Change and How to Capitalize on It............................................. 6

Publisher’s Notebook A Betting Man on a Tilt-A-Whirl ................................................. 6

Special Feature—FPGA Processing for Radar and SIGINT Systems VME and VPX FPGA Processing Advances Target Radar and SIGINT Needs ..............................................................................10 Jeff Child

Special Feature—Powering Board and Box-Level Systems Power Supplies Meet Demanding Needs of Board and Box Level Systems.......................................................................................... 10

FPGAs Pave New Processing Paths for VPX and VME Systems ... .......................................................................................................16 Rodger Hosking, Pentek VPX Cabling Solutions from Prototyping to Deployment .......24 Justin Moll, Elma Bustronic, and Jason Lippincott, Maritec

Roadmap Approach Eases Technology Readiness Challenges ...... .......................................................................................................30 . Mike Macpherson, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing FPGAs Inject New Levels of Flexibility into Military SBCs .....34 . Susan Wooley, Micro/sys Tech Recon—Technology Trends for Navy Modernization Form, Fit and Function Make ATCA Right for Navy Modernization ............................................................................. 44 John Long, RadiSys

System Development—Training and Simulation Technology Training and Simulation Systems Advance to New Realism Levels ............................................................................................50 Jeff Child Virtual Simulation Enhances Military Maintenance Training ..56 Josie Sutcliffe, Vice President of Marketing NGRAIN Technology Focus—Test and Instrumentation Boards Test and Instrumentation Boards Offer Highly Integrated Solutions........................................................................................ 64

Jeff Child

Advanced Battery Technology Shrinks Military Energy Costs ...... ....................................................................................................... 20 David McShane, International Battery

Inrush Current Control Technology Boosts Power Converter Reliability ...................................................................................... 28 Steve Butler, VPT

Tech Recon—Managing and Processing the ISR Data Deluge Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Revamps Military Communications ....................................................................................................... 34 Chris O’Rourke, Cisco Systems, and Stephen B. Johnson, Extreme Engineering Solutions

GPGPU Technology Eases Persistent Imaging Processing Challenges .................................................................................... 44 Anne Mascarin, Mercury Computer Systems

System Development—JTRS and WIN-T Programs Update JTRS and WIN-T Technologies Take to the Field ......................50 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—ATCA Blades and Systems ATCA Blades and Systems Fill Unique Military Needs ............. 54 Jeff Child

ATCA Blades and Systems Roundup .......................................... 56 Editorial Disconnect in the Networked Vehicle Road................................ 70

Jeff Child

Test and Instrumentation Boards Roundup .............................. 66 Editorial Pondering the Steve Jobs Legacy . ............................................... 82

December 2011 COTS Journal [ 71 ]

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Acces I/O Products, Inc.................. Acromag.......................................... 40............................. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.......... Ballard Technology, Inc.................... 5.......................... CM Computer.................................. 49....................... D-TA Systems, Inc........................... DRS Defense Solutions, LLC.......... Dynatem, Inc................................... ............................ Get Connected with companies29. and products featured in this section. Elma Electronic, Inc......................... 44................................... Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc..... 32............................... GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc............ Innovative Integration...................... 27................... ISI Nallatech, Inc............................. Lauterbach GmbH........................... ......................... Get Connected with companies and30. products featured this section. LeCroy Corporation....................... 4, Lind Electronics, Inc......................... 4.................... LiPPERT Embedded Computers, Inc.... Logic Devices, Inc........................... 52....................... Mercury Computer Systems, Inc...... 31...................................... Mountain Secure Systems........... 19, MSC Embedded, Inc....................... Ocean Server Technology, Inc......... 54...................... One Stop Systems, Inc.................... Pentek, Inc....................................... 23................................ Phoenix International...................... 63............................. Pico Electronics, Inc..................... 33,







Presagis USA, Inc............................ 7.............................. Prism Computer Solutions.............. 21.............................. Red Rock Technologies, Inc............ 63........................ RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc... 2, 38, RTECC............................................. 73................................... Sealevel Systems, Inc..................... 37.............................. SynQor......................................... 14, 45............................. Tadiran Batteries. ............................. 15........................... Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. TDI Power........................................ Tech Design Forum......................... 55.............. Themis Computer............................ 24................................ Trenton Technology, Inc.................. VXS andGet VPX Connected SBCs & MicroTCA Productsmentioned Gallery..............................46, 47 with companies in this article. Xembedded..................................... 41........................

End of Article


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Coming Next Month Special Feature: Target Report: Five Game Changing Technology Trends for the Military Compute-density has become the mantra for many of today’s advanced military programs. More and more of system functionality is now implemented as software running on single board computers, rather than using hard wired electronic assemblies. This section picks out the five most gamechanging embedded computer-technology trends and explores what embedded form factors and technologies are available to serve their needs. Tech Recon: ATCA and CompactPCI Take Post-Acceptance Victory Lap Although both were designed originally for the telecommunications market, ATCA and CompactPCI have each earned a solid niche of the military embedded computing landscape. ATCA has slowly and quietly gained numerous project wins in a variety of comms-oriented military systems. And CompactPCI, particularly in the 3U conduction-cooled flavor, has won an impressive number of defense system design-ins. This section explores some of the success stories of ATCA and CompactPCI and examines what in particular about them is attractive to military system developers. System Development: 10 Gbit Ethernet as a Board and System Level Data Plane Ethernet is becoming entrenched as the favorite data plane interconnect fabric in compute-intensive applications like sonar, radar or any application that networks sensor arrays together. This section updates readers on the product and technology trends driving board-level Ethernet switch products and explores how system designers can benefit from the marriage of Ethernet with embedded computing form factors like VPX, VXS, Compact PCI Express, MicroTCA and AMC. Tech Focus: VME SBCs for Tech Refresh VME has a rich, successful legacy in military systems in part because of 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 into a slot that could be decades old. Articles in this section examine the current activity in traditional VME SBCs with a product album listing representative products. [[ 72 72 ]] COTS COTS Journal Journal December 2011 2011




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Editorial Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

The Tech All Around Us


ach month when I decide what to focus on in this column I always go with whatever struck me as the most interesting facts or trend that I came across in the last 30 days. That was more difficult than ever this time around because November was overwhelming in terms of the military technology information and discussions that I was privileged to be exposed to. This was mostly due to two conferences: the annual MILCOM show, and our own Milestone Military Electronics Development Conference. More than ever I’m reminded that this is still a people business. By that I mean, you can surf the web all day, but there’s no substitute for getting out there and talking to people and listening to what they have to say face-to-face. First let me say that the set of speakers we were able to rally for our Milestone show really blew me away. I’d like to express my gratitude to those speakers for taking the time to present at the show, and also those who came to listen to them. The lineup was truly magic-in-a-bottle, from the first to the last, and I was honored to play host of the conference. We kicked it off with Dr. Robert (Bob) Colwell , Deputy Director, DARPA Microsystems Technology Office. Colwell offered a fascinating—and kind of scary—look at how the precious CMOS transistor technology that drives Moore’s Law is headed for a huge roadblock. More accurately, he says, Moore’s Law may continue to provide transistor count doubling for another decade, but Dennard’s Law, which has to do with voltage scaling, power and cooling limits, has hit a wall that will severely constrain new designs. At the other extreme, we ended our day with a presentation from U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Gregory T. Breazile, who currently serves as Commanding Officer for the Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School. Colonel Breazile offered a sobering perspective as a “power user” of the end products that the defense electronics industry creates. Warfighters can and do use whatever it takes to get their jobs done, and quite frankly, when purpose-built military Command and Control (C2) capabilities and communications fail to work properly, warfighters tap whatever consumer and commercial gear they have available. Moreover, this stunning smartphone and tablet technology that we see everywhere: The warfighter wants it now. His message to technology creators: “You need to get it right.” Throughout the day, in between Dr. Colwell’s and Col. Breazile’s talks, Milestone attendees enjoyed a series of excellent presentations from various primes—including Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, and various key technology suppliers from our industry. Again, [ 74 ] COTS Journal December 2011

my sincere gratitude for all those who helped make it such a special conference. The other event last month that overflowed my brain with rich information on technology was MILCOM 2011 in Baltimore. As most of you readers know, our magazine staff has had a significant presence at MILCOM over the past several years. One example is the Industry/Analysts breakfast gathering we’ve done there the past four years. The breakfast allows analysts, users, suppliers and our team to have an open “off the record” discussion about our industry. As AFCEA’s premiere military communications technology conference, MILCOM has some unique aspects that are attractive to us and the industry we cover. On the one hand, it’s inherently a technology-based conference, which puts it right in line with COTS Journal’s mission. On the other hand, it is that rare event where not only all the major defense prime contractors participate, but also where major— and ever increasing numbers of—technology suppliers exhibit as well. That contingent of technology suppliers has changed over the past five years. Where once it was mostly just antennae and RF electronics vendors, today more than 24% are from the military embedded computing industry—the industry in which COTS Journal is the leading technology publication. In an effort to step up our activity at MILCOM further still, this year at MILCOM we took advantage of the availability of participating companies to do some on-site video interviews. I sat down with a couple of technology suppliers to discuss our market and challenges ahead in the coming year. While the topics discussed ranged from everything to the defense budget to legacy technology, one theme was this inevitable trend toward ruggedized smartphone and iPad-type devices adapted for military use and how that shift fuels the need for sophisticated services platforms to enable such devices to function in deployed military scenarios. While embedded computer suppliers may not play a direct role in those devices, the networking and security gear that would allow such devices to work in deployed battlefield situations is very much in line with our market. My thanks to those individuals for taking their time to speak with us. It worked out so well that we plan to do these interviews as a regular activity at other conferences we attend throughout the year, as well as, of course, MILCOM next October in Orlando. To view those MILCOM video interviews go to milcom.

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COTS Journal  

December 2011

COTS Journal  

December 2011