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Tech Focus: CompactPCI and

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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


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— Embedded Software Solutions Up Volume 14 Number 2 February 2012

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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.

FPGA Processing Boards Fuel Radar and SIGINT Advances

CONTENTS February 2012

Volume 14

Number 2


Departments 6 Publisher’s Notebook A Defense Plan: “Sustaining Global Leadership: Priorities for the 21st Century Defense”

FPGA Boards in Radar and SIGINT


The Inside Track

10 FPGA Processing Boards Fuel Radar and SIGINT Advances


COTS Products

18 FPGAs Keep Pace with Expanding Defense Mission Challenges

70 Editorial More Than Ever, SWaP Matters

Jeff Child

Tom Roberts, Mercury Computer Systems

28 FPGAs Enable Fast Data Transport in Radar and Sensor Systems Rafeh Hulays, Ph.D, AdvancedIO Systems

32 Chip Scale Atomic Clocks Improve for UAV System Designs Steve Fossi, Symmetricom

TECH RECON Power Supply Trends for Board and Box Level Systems

36 Power Converter Technologies Adapt to Rugged Military Needs Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Secure Embedded Systems

42 SPARK and MILS Aid Secure Military System Design Greg Gicca, AdaCore

48 Relay Approach Improves Military Database Replication Steve Graves, McObject

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards

54 CompactPCI Moves Forward as Serial Version Gains Ground Jeff Child


CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup Digital subscriptions available:

Coming in March See Page 68 On The Cover: The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) is packed with radar gear, including an ITT AN/SPS-48E 3D air search radar operating at C/D band, an AN/APQ-9B surface surveillance and tracking radar operating at I band, an AN/SPS-64(V)9 navigation radar operating at I band and two AN/SPS-73 surface search radars operating at I band. Shown here, an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter passes by the San Antonio during a vertical replenishment. (U.S. Navy photo).

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


From Factory Standards to Custom Designs

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman,

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child, MANAGING EDITOR Sandra Sillion, COPY EDITOR Rochelle Cohn


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Editorial office Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief 20A Northwest Blvd., PMB#137, Nashua, NH 03063 Phone: (603) 429-8301 Fax: (603) 424-8122 Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2011, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders. POWER SPECIALISTS FOR MOBILE COMPUTING

COTS Journal | February 2012

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NOTEBOOK A Defense Plan: “Sustaining Global Leadership: Priorities for the 21st Century Defense”


t’s taken three years but we finally received a plan with respect to national defense and our military. We’ve also been provided commentary regarding the plan by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The document is what the SecDef calls a “new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense,” so it’s only a vision of what the administration and DoD would like. And if you exclude covers, blank pages and forwards from the President and the SecDef, it’s only seven pages long. There hasn’t been much time to analyze the plan and DoD commentary, but a few things are evident once you read past the motherhood and apple pie material. The government is finally recognizing that China is a threat. Not a threat where China will start a war with us, but that its military buildup will directly influence our decision making and our support of countries that may feel or actually are threatened. Having China establish a virtual “Iron Curtain” around the whole Pacific region would not be good for us or the rest of the world. The plan also indicates that our land forces—Army and Marines—will be greatly reduced, making them more capable for multiple skirmishes rather than sustained conflicts. The plan also calls for us to arm-twist our allies into taking on more responsibilities and to push for greater interoperability between them. All this is planned to be accomplished while neither “salami slicing” from the military budget nor by sustaining pet Congressional issues and programs. I’m not sure how effective that last bit will be or if this is just hopeful thinking. There’s an aspect of this that—while good for our industry— is of concern. What I’m talking about is the enthusiasm and belief in this document that technology and re-training will fill in the gap for any reduction in force. The one thing everybody should have taken away from our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan is that technology has its limitations. If that were not the case then we would never have needed the number of warfighters and sustained so many casualties and injuries as we have. Based on logic and the information available, we can speculate on the areas that will receive the greatest attention in the budget. These areas should be: naval ships, F-35s, UAVs, long range strike and refueling aircraft, Cyber Security/Warfare, ISR and training. The Navy won’t be getting more big carriers to place into harm’s way near China. Instead they’ll need more submarines and less loss-worthy smaller jump carriers and amphibious assault vessels. All variants of the F-35 will be required not only for the Far East but also as the common platform between NATO and our pacific allies. UAVs of all shapes and sizes in support of ISR activities as well as strike capabilities will be needed. Once we have an issue 6

COTS Journal | February 2012

that requires addressing and it can’t be handled by a UAV, we will need to send in long range aircraft that will require multiple refueling episodes. The current daily cyber penetrations—not by hackers but by foreign powers—need to be halted and retaliated. And where practical we need to perform our own cyberspace first strikes. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance were never more important than they are today or will be in the future. Technology supporting ISR from satellites all the way down to feet on the ground will get major treatment in any military budget. The new, more tactical light strike ground forces will need to be highly trained, which will require facilities as well as new training aids. The big losers in this vision are ground troops and items they’ll require. Heavy equipment will not be at the forefront in a plan that calls for quick/light strike forces. Much of the current big iron equipment will probably end up being shifted to the Reserves and National Guards. We may once again see the stranglehold on RDT&E loosen. The drive will be to start to fulfill the requirement for new technology to compensate for the reduction in manpower. Since our industry is a key player in providing new technologies, opening RDT&E funds is a win-win for both the military and suppliers. There are several major issues that need to be factored into this vision: Congress, the 2012 elections and politics. With less than a year before elections, the fact that we finally received this document may have more to do with politics than reality. In recent years Congress has not shown a history of doing what is best for the country, but rather what is best for its members politically. For many parts of this vision to have any hope of becoming reality, the House of Representatives will need to be reversed from the last election and a new President installed in the White House. Even without drastic changes like those, it is highly unlikely that regardless of who controls Congress, its members will forgo their pet programs and projects irrespective of the devastating effect they may have on our economy and our country. As they used to say on television, “stay tuned.” We’re thrilled that we finally have a direction and plan for the military—but most likely this will only be fodder for political infighting and talking heads on television. The documents “Sustaining Global Leadership: Priorities for the 21st Century Defense” and the SecDef and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff commentaries referenced above can be found at Or better yet, go to this column at and find direct links to those documents. Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal


INSIDE TRACK Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Team for Navy’s SEWIP Block 3 Upgrade Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are teaming to compete for a U.S. Navy contract that will upgrade the fleet’s capability to electronically attack anti-ship missiles. Through its Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 upgrade, the Navy seeks to cost-effectively enhance the electronic attack (EA) capability of its AN/SLQ-32 V(3) and V(4) electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter threat technology advances. All U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships use the AN/SLQ-32 EW system (Figure 1). SEWIP Block 3 is the latest upgrade in an evolutionary succession the Navy is pursuing for its EW system. Each upgrade incrementally adds new defensive technologies and functional capabilities. The Lockheed Martin-Raytheon team intends to offer a SEWIP Block 3 solution derived from more than 80 years of combined, proven experience in developing systems to defend the fleet. A formal Navy request for proposals is anticipated later this year. Under a $167 million contract awarded by the Navy in November 2009, Lockheed Martin is developing SEWIP Block 2, which includes passive detection capabilities for advanced threats and establishes a framework to easily integrate future upgrades. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [].

Raytheon Waltham, MA. (781) 522-3000. [].

Figure 1

SEWIP is designed to scale across all ship classes in the Navy’s surface fleet including Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers like the USS Bainbridge (DDG_96).

One Stop Systems Delivers Recorders, Servers for NASA SOFIA Project

General Dynamics Rifleman Radio and GD300 Go to Afghanistan with U.S. Army Rangers

One Stop Systems, Inc. (OSS) announced that it has delivered four of its new MDA-T5 data recorders and 3U servers to NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base for its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) project (Figure 2). The MIL-STD disk array is an ultrarugged, high-performance RAID storage system with innovative dual removable drive packs and dual SBB (Storage Bridge Bay) 2.0-compliant, high-speed controllers each with two Fibre Channel 8 Gbit/s inputs. The MDA-T5 operates flawlessly over the Fibre Channel connection to the 3U server with achieved data transfer speeds in excess of 700 Mbytes/s, far exceeding the throughput NASA required for the SOFIA project. The dual 6-disk removable drive packs in the MDAT5 allow the data gathered to be removed quickly from the aircraft

The General Dynamics C4 Systems JTRS HMS Rifleman Radio (AN/PRC-154) and the General Dynamics Itronix GD300 wearable computer deployed this month to Afghanistan with elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment. The Rangers are equipped with the Rifleman Radio for intrasquad communications and with the GD300, running the Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) tactical “app,” to send text messages, situation reports and other information to individual solders. Feedback from planned operational assessments will be used to inform the future fielding of the Rifleman Radio to the Army as a whole. The JTRS HMS program office and the Ranger Regiment decided to conduct the operational assessment following three separate successful evaluations in


Figure 2

GAO-12-113, Arleigh Burke Destroyers: Additional Analysis and Oversight Required to Support the Navy’s Future Surface Combatant Plans Spectrometer mounted on SOFIA telescope. For a video of SOFIA flying observatory opendoor flight testing, go to this story on and transferred to ground systems while maintaining the RAID configuration for each drive pack. One Stop Systems Escondido, CA. (877) 438-2724. [].

COTS Journal | February 2012

Figure 3

The General Dynamics GD300 is an Android-based, full-rugged, wrist or body-worn computer. 2011. The Rifleman Radio is part of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) radio family. The JTRS HMS Rifleman Radio provides reliable networked voice and data communications in austere and cluttered urban environments using the government’s Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). The General Dynamics GD300 (Figure 3) is an Android-based, full-rugged, wrist or body-worn computer. When paired with the Rifleman Radio, the GD300 displays the position-location

Inside Track

information of all soldiers in the network. Soldiers can also use the GD300 touch-screen display to place pictorial graphics and send maps to team members or their leaders using the TIGR “app.”

Military Market Watch Embedded Computer Systems Increase Importance in Mil/Aero Systems

LynuxWorks and the Mission Systems and Sensors Division (MS2) of Lockheed Martin, have selected the LynxOS RTOS and Luminosity Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for use in conjunction with the United Kingdom (UK) Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). The UK’s AWACS aircraft were designed to provide an airborne early warning capability by tracking aircraft at extended ranges. The AWACS has become invaluable for airborne command and control and their ability to relay vital information to commanders on the ground. All operating system components within LynxOS are designed for absolute determinism—hard real-time performance. This means that they absolutely must respond within a known period of time. This predictable response is ensured even in the presence of heavy I/O due to the kernel’s unique threading model, enabling interrupt routines to be extremely short and fast. LynxOS includes the latest version of the Luminosity IDE offering powerful development, debug and analysis tools integrated into an industry standard Eclipse-based framework for maximum interoperability.

A report from VDC Research offers a view into the current trends in military and aerospace technology spending. The report describes how in the United States, increased political focus on reducing the national debt is likely to lead to a budget-constrained Department of Defense in 2012. As the U.S. maintains operations in Afghanistan and finalizes military withdrawal from Iraq, the nation is seeing a strong anti-war backlash, further fueling downward pressure on military funding. Despite that, it has been shown that use of unmanned weapons platforms is substantially less expensive than corresponding manned platforms. Also, the 2012 budget request calls for the upgrade and modernization of existing systems, and for increased usage of COTS components Relative Importance of Third-Party Sources for and open-source software as costEmbedded Integrated Computer Systems saving measures. Thus, spending on (% of military/aerospace respondents identifying) military embedded computing may not see proportional reductions, and “Traditional” IT/PC suppliers may even increase as spending on (e.g. Dell, HP, IBM, etc.) technology replaces spending on “big iron.” Merchant EICS suppliers (e.g. Kontron, Mercury, RadiSys, etc.) Global military spending in 2010 is estimated as US$ 1.63 trillion. ODM/ECMs However, this figure represented (e.g. Foxconn, Flextronics, only a 1.3% increase over 2009 levels, Solectron, etc.) the lowest growth seen since 2001. Distributors/VARs Previous annual increases averaged (e.g. Arrow, Avnet, etc.) 5.1% since 2001. This slowdown is due to a somewhat delayed reaction 2011 to the recent worldwide economic Other source types 2014 recession. Today and in the future, emphasis is more on tactical weap0 1 2 3 4 5 onry than strategic. Precision-guided Figure 4 munitions and unmanned weapons platforms comprise a large portion of As defense departments look to more advanced technologies, such military spending as do communicaas unmanned vehicles or portable devices, VDC sees merchant EICS tions, command, control, computsuppliers gaining an increased market share. ers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Embedded Integrated Computer Systems (EICS) are key components of virtually all military initiatives, not only the most sophisticated. For VDC’s report, military/aerospace respondents were asked to rank the importance of the following third-party sources for meeting their needs for integrated computing systems (Figure 4). Sources are ranked from 1 to 5, with 5 representing the most important and 1, the least important. Data presented is the average value of the rankings. Traditional IT/PC suppliers were ranked highest for 2011. This suggests that respondents’ product line and focus may be comprised of more “non-combat” applications and missions. Traditional IT/PCs are most likely to be employed in such applications as supply and logistics, and those with fewer requirements around ruggedization. As defense departments look to more advanced technologies, such as unmanned vehicles or portable devices, VDC sees merchant EICS suppliers gaining an increased market share as manufacturers of mission-critical, high-reliability EICSs. For further information about this research, which is part of VDC Research Group’s Embedded Hardware Market Intelligence Service, contact: Chris Rommel, vice president at

LynuxWorks San Jose, CA. (408)979-3900. [www.].

VDC Research Group Natick, MA. (508) 653-9000. [].

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

Lockheed Martin Selects LynuxWorks LynxOS RTOS for UK AWACS

February 2012 | COTS Journal



FPGA Processing Boards Fuel Radar and SIGINT Advances


COTS Journal | February 2012

There’s a great synergy between FPGA vendors advancing their silicon performance and board vendors leveraging those advances. Military radar and SIGINT systems are reaping the rewards of those partnerships as they build ever more capable platforms.

Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


s the signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb, they’ve become key enablers for waveform-intensive applications like sonar, radar, SIGINT and SDR. VPX, VXS and VME solutions available in this area are transforming military processor-based systems. No longer seen as peripheral or co-processing devices, faster FPGA-based DSP capabilities combined with an expanding array of IP cores and development tools for FPGAs are enabling new system architectures. Devices like the Xilinx Virtex-6 and -7 and the Altera Stratix IV and V are example FPGAs that have been redefined as complete processing engines in their own right. That means complete systems can now be integrated into one or more FPGAs. Using those FPGAs, board-level subsystems are able to quickly acquire and process massive amounts of data in real time. Board-level product developers are leveraging those FPGA advances to create powerful compute engines that perform signal processing computation on the FPGAs themselves.

FPGAs Pave Performance Path System developers can now use FPGA chips and boards to build radar receiver systems with a higher instantaneous bandwidth thanks to the converters, and can handle the corresponding increase in compute power required to process the received data streams. In contrast, the ASIC-based radar design approaches of the past could achieve the performance needed, but that approach lacked the flexibility inherent in designs based on FPGA technology. An example military technology that relies heavily on FPGA processing is advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems. Last fall Mercury Computer Systems received a multi-year contract to deliver signal processing modules to field-upgrade AESA systems. These systems are used on board military aircraft like the F/A-18F Super Hornet (Figure 1) to broadcast strong radar signals while remaining undetected. The technology Mercury is providing for the AESA system includes signal processing modules that are fully software compatible, meaning that upgrades can be made easily and quickly in the field. As Mercury continues to support legacy, deployed solutions with significant technology upgrades, it remains the only company to support this caliber of fully compatible, board-swap upgrades. U.S.-based manufacturers of the AESA radars include Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. AESAs create highly adaptive steerable beams able to track multiple targets or focus electromagnetic energy in one location. To take full advantage of a system’s steering capabilities, systems designers strive to move as much signal processing capability as possible into the forward radiating elements of the system. This can include waveform creation and compression, beamforming, correlation and pre-processing. As more of these functions are performed in tailored parallel FPGA arrays, processing is accelerated, boasting reaction times in the system.

Signal Processing in Army Radar Another powerful use case of FPGA processing is the Army’s STARLite radar system. STARlite (Small Tactical Airborne Radar) is a synthetic aperture radar for ground moving target indication. It’s designed to provide situational awareness and target coordination for surveillance and protection of ground-based forces. The signal process-

February 2012 | COTS Journal



ing for STARlite is provided by BittWare’s GT-3U-cPCI (GT3U) (Figure 2) hybrid signal processing board, which features the Altera Stratix II GX FPGA and provides the real-time signal processing for the system. The system uses multiple radar images to create one high resolution image with more detail than any prior system, providing forces with an unprecedented view of their surrounding areas. BittWare’s GT3U is a ruggedized 3U CompactPCI board that has been designed for demanding multiprocessorbased applications requiring complete flexibility and adaptability. The board uses the onboard Altera Stratix II GX to provide all front-end processing, enabling the onboard DSPs to provide extremely complex data analysis in real time. The combination of the two creates a system requiring less onboard processing units compared to a purely DSP-based system,

saving space and allowing for a smaller form factor solution. BittWare’s ATLANTiS FrameWork provides fully validated board-level physical interfaces, data fabrics and control planes for the GT3U’s FPGA and, in conjunction with the board’s FINe host/control bridge, greatly simplifies application development and board integration.

Converting Analog Data All SIGINT and electronic warfare (EW) systems start with the real analog world. They take an RF input, shift the signal range of interest down to baseband, and then digitize the result so that it can be processed in the digital domain by FPGAs, GPUs, or whatever type of processor fits the bill. Many common applications target the signals from 950 to 1750 MHz, or “L” band, and historically these systems would look at a small

slice (100-200 MHz) of the spectrum and sweep the tuner over time to cover the entire band. This typically requires a highquality analog mixer at the front end, and reduces mission effectiveness because the system can’t watch the whole spectrum at one time. The latest Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) such as the National ADC12D1800RF can directly digitize L band inputs, eliminating the need to mix the RF input, which increases the effectiveness of the system, reduces the size, weight, power and cost of the system and also improves overall capability by enabling rapid field upgrades of the system through firmware uploads rather than hardware changes. Each individual channel of ADC data provides 12 bits at 1.8 GSPS (2.7 Gbyte/s), and a six channel slice of coherent processing requires 16.2 Gbyte/s of input bandwidth along with

Figure 1

AESA radar systems create highly adaptive steerable beams able to track multiple targets or focus electromagnetic energy in one location. They’re used on the F/A-18F Super Hornet to broadcast strong radar signals while remaining undetected.


COTS Journal | February 2012


the necessary signal processing resources to boil the “relentless fire hose” of data down to a usable result.

High-Speed Signal Sampling An example of this type of solution is TekMicro’s QuiXilica Calypso-V6 board (Figure 3), which supports six channels of coherent 1.8 GSPS sampling along with three Virtex-6 SX475T FPGA devices, marrying the fire hose of input data with the FPGA horsepower needed to digest the data and send the results to a general purpose processor through a networkenabled interface. For electronic warfare applications, the Calypso ADC can also be combined with a 12-bit 4 GSPS Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) for Digital RF Memory (DRFM) applications such as target simulators, jammers and other applications. Multiple ADC and DAC channels can be synchronized for coherent input and output processing to support direction finding, geolocation and other applications. The beauty of FPGA technology is that it’s well suited to be upgraded over time. FPGA vendors continue to roll out new, more powerful FPGA chips. Board vendors are quick to design those into modular solutions that military system developers can easily implement. Last month Pentek introduced the first member of its high-performance Onyx family—the Model 71760. The 4-channel, 200 MHz A/D XMC module is based on the Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA family. Pentek’s Onyx modules use the same modular I/O interfaces as the popular Virtex-6 FPGA Cobalt family, while boosting memory, logic and I/O performance. The Onyx Model 71760, for instance, is similar to the Cobalt 71660, but has twice the memory capacity and I/O bandwidth.

Figure 2

GT3U is a ruggedized 3U CompactPCI board that uses the onboard Altera Stratix II GX to provide all front-end processing, enabling the onboard DSPs to provide extremely complex data analysis in real time.

OpenVPX for Radar and SIGINT

Figure 3

OpenVPX is emerging as a natural technology to handle all manner of signal processing including the most demanding SIGINT, COMINT and radar processing applications. Exemplifying that trend, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions offers SBC and GPGPU solutions that bring OpenVPX to high-end signal processing (Figure 4). The Champ-

The QuiXilica Calypso-V6 board supports six channels of coherent 1.8 GSPS sampling along with three Virtex-6 SX475T FPGA devices.


COTS Journal | February 2012

AV8, Curtiss-Wright’s first rugged, highperformance OpenVPX DSP engine, is based on the new quad-core Intel Core i7-2715QE processor and accelerates SIGINT algorithms with its 256-bit AVX

floating point instruction set. The VPX6490 GPGPU compute engine features dual NVIDIA GPUs based on the NVIDIA Fermi architecture, and the massive compute capability of a pair of 240-core GPU

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Figure 4

The Champ-AV8 is an OpenVPX DSP engine based on the new quad-core Intel Core i72715QE processor and accelerates SIGINT algorithms with its 256-bit AVX floating point instruction set. The VPX6-490 GPGPU offers massive compute capability via a pair of 240core GPU devices. devices. Together these two 6U OpenVPX processor engines comprise the heart of very high performance rugged deployable signal processor systems for aerospace and defense applications. The Champ-AV8 multiprocessing board brings the floating-point performance of the quad-core Intel Core i72715QE processor to the OpenVPX form factor standard. The Champ-AV8’s dual processors deliver performance rated at up to 269 GFLOPs. The Intel Core i72715QE is able to maximize the throughput of its Intel AVX vector processing units and process larger vectors at peak rates significantly greater than was possible with previous AltiVec-based systems. Supporting the DSP engine’s floating-point performance is a 21 Gbyte/s (peak) DDR3 memory subsystem that provides ample bandwidth to simultaneously serve CPU access and streaming I/O from its sRIO and PCIe interfaces. The Champ-AV8 incorporates the enhancements of the OpenVPX (VITA 65) standard with a complete suite of data plane, expansion plane and control plane interfaces. Supporting Gen2 SRIO and Gen2 PCIe interfaces, the Champ-AV8 offers triple the bandwidth of first generation VPX products with up to 32 Gbytes/s of fabric performance, thus ensuring that application performance can scale commensurately with the much higher CPU performance. 16

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COTS Journal | February 2012

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Acromag Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310. []. BittWare Concord, NH. (603) 226-0404. []. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashland, VA. (703) 779-7800. []. GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. []. Mercury Computer Systems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401. []. Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. []. TEK Microsystems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 244-9200. [].


FPGAs Keep Pace with Expanding Defense Mission Challenges Tasked to handle higher frequencies and wider bandwidths, SIGINT and EW systems have requirements that are ever more demanding. Modular FPGA and ADC technologies help process and manage this deluge of incoming data. Tom Roberts, Solutions Marketing Manager Mercury Computer Systems


IGINT and Electronic Warfare (EW) missions face increasingly complex technical challenges, both in current operations and in preparing for potential future conflicts. Missions must deal with signals at ever high frequencies, commonly ranging up to 18 GHz and beyond, well up through K band and even into Ka. While some applications must not only operate at these high frequencies, they must also simultaneously monitor an extremely wide frequency band, looking for brief, ephemeral signals. Combined with these spectral challenges are more difficult overall system requirements. Platforms, including ground vehicles and unmanned platforms, are becoming smaller, placing a premium on the ability to deliver mission performance in situations where Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) are severely constrained.

FPGAs and Signal Processing Advances in defense electronics technology are allowing system level solutions to keep pace with these challenging mission requirements. Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are one of the key components, performing critical functions in the current generation of sensor processing subsystems for SIGINT and EW applications. 18

COTS Journal | February 2012

RF Block Downconversion

RF Tuning

RF Switching

Figure 1

In a typical digital receiver setup, signals from multiple antennae are routed by a switch matrix to a set of downconverters and tuners. FPGAs, in conjunction with Analogto-Digital Converters (ADCs), are key to transforming an analog input from some part of the spectrum into a digital bitstream and then processing that bitstream into useful information. These functions require a high-performance and often wideband, i.e., GHz ADC capability, combined with time and frequency

domain receiver processing resident in the FPGA. In the recent past, system designers often used function specific integrated circuit devices, such as the Graychip 4016 DDC, but FPGAs now deliver superior processing power as well as the flexibility inherent in a programmable device. To generalize, the signal operations performed by FPGAs often fall into two


Sensor Processing Chain




Figure 2




In a signal processing chain, data streams leaving the digital receiver’s FPGAs will usually be distributed to a further level of situation specific processing. Information is routed to individuals with an immediate tactical need, or stored for future analysis.

common categories. One is digital down conversion for narrowband extraction in the time domain. The other is data reduction and tuning via FFT binning in the frequency domain. Digital down conversion is a technique that takes a band limited high sample rate digitized signal, mixes the signal to a lower frequency and reduces the sample rate while retaining all the information in the band of interest.

The FPGA Speed Advantage The main advantage of using an FPGA to implement the digital down conversion is the speed, as the large array of configurable logic blocks within the FPGA can be used to perform processing in a highly parallelized fashion. In addition to speed, FPGAs also provide developers with a great deal of flexibility for digital down conversion. For example, if the filter characteristics used within a down conversion are not quite right, new filter coefficients can easily be reconfigured within the FPGA. Tasks such as data reduction and tuning both lend themselves to the inherent parallelism that FPGAs provide and benefits in the same way from the programmable flexibility. As is the case with the digital filters that are critical components of the DDC function, the popular Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) benefits greatly by dedicated DSP logic within FPGAs to perform frequency binning. The Virtex-6 FPGA from Xilinx for instance incorporates the DSP48E1 logic slice, which is comprised of a 25x18 two’s complement multiplier/accumulator, central to filtering and the FFT algorithm itself.

FPGAs in Digital Receiver Designs The processing power and flexibility of FPGAs are maximized by a carefully designed solutions architecture, at both the module and the subsystems levels. For SIGINT and EW applications, FPGAs are typically designed into digital receiver modules, which also support ADCs and/ or DACs. For most applications an ADC samples an Intermediate Frequency (IF) input originating from a tuner, and then transfers its digitized output to one or more FPGAs for processing. The flow is Untitled-1 1 COTS Journal | February 2012 20

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Figure 4

The RFM-251-XMC tuner supports a broad frequency range from 20 MHz to 2500 MHz, ideal for intercepting frequencies associated with a wide range of communication bands. reversed when a DAC is used to move a data stream into a signal for transmission via an exciter. Effective digital receiver designs support direct connections between the ADCs/DACS and the FPGAs, as well as high bandwidth connections between the FPGAs and the rest of the signal processing subsystem. For maximum bandwidth 22

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COTS Journal | February 2012

1/11/12 9:29:08 AM

and low latency, these subsystem connections are often based on a switch fabric, such as PCI Express or Serial RapidIO, over a subsystem chassis backplane. To be part of these designs, an FPGA must not only have processing power but also support a high concentration of configurable I/O links. And this is precisely what FPGAs excel at. The Virtex-6 fam-

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Digital receivers function as a key part of the sensor processing chain within the subsystem. In the initial stage, signals from an antennae flow into a block downconverter, this moves them to a frequency range accessible by RF tuners. Often signals from multiple antennae are routed by a switch matrix to a set of downconverters and tuners (Figure 1). The dynamic flexibility in directing antennae signals enables a variety of sophisticated application features such as the maximization of band coverage or direction finding. The signal streams leaving the switch matrix move to a set of RF tuners, which detect the signals of interest to the application and convert the signals to IF. As described above, the IF signal moves into a digital receiver. The resultant data stream leaving the digital receiver’s FPGAs will usually be distributed to a further level of situation specific processing by general purpose processors; it is at this level of processing where useful information is extracted from the data stream such as demodulated voice or data. That information is then routed by communication links to individuals who have an immediate tactical need, in addition to the data being stored for future forensic analysis (Figure 2). In some applications this data flow is simplified and compressed. For example, in Counter IED and radar jamming missions the data stream from the FPGA moves immediately back to a DAC for conversion into an RF transmission—in these cases all the application processing is performed on a single FPGA given the extremely low latency requirement.

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COTS Journal | February 2012

2/8/12 9:33:39 AM

The specialized programming of an FPGA can be broken into functional blocks, usually referred to as “cores.� Cores that perform common functions, such as digital down conversion, are of-

ten available in a pre-packaged form from module vendors. If they are amenable to some customization, these cores can serve as application building blocks, streamlining the development process for developers. Pre-packaged cores can also be used to expand the tasks allocated to an FPGA, allowing them to operate as memory controllers or protocol engines. Exploiting this FPGA flexibility reduces the number of physical components within a subsystem design, reducing both cost and development time. Higher operating frequencies and wider bandwidth coverage are driving new levels of requirements for the initial stages of the sensor processing chain. Part of the technology response has come from advances in ADCs. There are now gigahertz digitizers that are going beyond 8-bit resolution, up to 10 and 12 bits, with sampling rates of 3.6 Gsamples/s and higher. The challenge for FPGAs is that they must be able to accept and process this level of high-bandwidth I/O. This means not just more logic blocks to do the processing but a variety of I/O interfaces, configurable to operate in a parallel fashion.

Latest FPGA Solutions Fortunately the latest generations of FPGAs are up to the challenge. The Xilinx Virtex-5 family of devices is widely and successfully deployed in current SIGINT and EW processing subsystems. It offers two general classes of I/O interfaces. First there’s SelectIO, a highly configurable type of interface used for connecting ADCs and DACS as well as connecting to memory and data buses. Next there are Gigabit serial transceivers—originally named RocketIO and now called GTX transceivers—which are used to support very high-bandwidth fabrics like Serial RapidIO and PCI Express. The newer Virtex-6 family employs the same interfaces, with an increase in the number of available serial transceivers and at higher speeds via GTH transceivers. More GHz rate signaling at higher transfer rates is essential to support the higher digitized IF instantaneous bandwidths in addition to the higher per sample bit depths. There are also mission require-


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ments for advanced signal processing in SWaP-constrained situations. Solutions have been developed for this requirement by combining ADCs/DACs, FPGAs and even RF tuners on space-efficient XMC form factor modules.

Implementing Advanced FPGAs To serve the board level FPGA processing needs of military system developers, there are a number of XMC modules using new generation FPGAs to meet SIGINT and EW requirements. One such example is the Echotek Series DCM-V6-XMC Module (Figure 3) from Mercury Computer Systems. The module implements a f lexible FPGA-based architecture in an XMC form factor, combing the latest wideband highperformance ADC with a high-speed, high-resolution DAC, both working in conjunction with powerful Xilinx Virtex-6 technology. This ultra-high-speed digital transceiver offers designers some ADC/DAC options including a single channel 12-bit

instantaneous dynamic range is 75 dB typically with 10, 40 or 160 MHz standard IF bandwidths. The IF is pre-digitized via a high-fidelity analog-to-digital converter and routed into a Virtex-6 FPGA where filtering and protocol processing occurs. Currently supported protocols include Serial RapidIO and PCIe with data streaming in the VITA 49 digital IF data format. Multi-channel coherency and synchronization is achievable via 1 PPS and 10 MHz references. The total power draw is a maximum of 15 watts and ruggedized versions are available for deployment in harsh environments.

ADC at up to 3.6 Gsamples/s, a dual channel 12-bit DAC at up to 1.6 Gsamples/s, or a single channel 14-bit DAC at up to 2.5 GHz. Dual Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs assist with the signal processing and data movement functions, while the EchoCore FPGA Development Kit (FDK) streamlines the development of FPGA-based applications. Rugged versions are available for deployment in harsh environments. For applications that require RF tuning and data conversion flexibility within a compact slot-saving package, Mercury provides the Echotek Series RFM-251-XMC Tuner (Figure 4). The module is engineered for tuning over a broad frequency range and then converting to digital IF. This XMC delivers the functionality required for applications that must operate under SWaP-constrained platforms. The RFM-251-XMC tuner supports a broad frequency range from 20 MHz to 2500 MHz. This coverage is ideal for intercepting frequencies associated with a wide range of communication bands. The

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FPGAs Enable Fast Data Transport in Radar and Sensor Systems 10 Gbit Ethernet has emerged as a viable option for high-speed inter-processor and I/O communications. Systems architects are turning to FPGAs to bring real-time performance to Ethernet fabrics. Rafeh Hulays, Ph.D, Business Development Vice President AdvancedIO Systems


dvanced radar systems that can detect targets in complex, highclutter environments are essential for mission-critical operations such as defense, search and rescue, and offshore security. Radar systems provide activity monitoring, target detection and classification, guidance, and encroachment notification. Meanwhile phased array radar systems, which reinforce antenna signals in desired directions and suppress them in others, can perform search, track and guidance functions for scores of simultaneous targets. A radar system typically consists of a variety of functional elements—a radio frequency (RF) section, signal processors, snapshot memory buffers and high-speed data recorders. Those all reside in multiple physical units, connected through highspeed data pipes. In many application dataflows the processing elements within and between the distinct units need to be interconnected using a switched fabric that guarantees low latency and sustained data transport.

Benefits of 10 Gbit Ethernet 10 Gigabit Ethernet’s (10GbE) ubiquity, performance, portability and future roadmap make it an attractive high-speed 28

COTS Journal | February 2012

XMC or built-in Ethernet

10GbE Network

Carrier Board

XMC ADC Module

Figure 1

A typical high-level architecture for a radar system showing the data flow from sensor to 10GbE network. interconnect for such real-time highbandwidth situational awareness systems. But applications like those above have a unique set of connectivity requirements not encountered in typical commercial applications. The requirements include a number of elements. They need a truly rugged interface that is able to withstand extreme physical and temperature conditions. They need to absorb extended duration bursts of incoming sensor data at full line-rate, without missing data. Another requirement is the ability to synthesize multi-dimensional models of the environment by synchronously fusing data from a variety of sensors through highly accurate or precise timestamps. And finally, the system needs to transport intense real-time data without surpassing the capacity of modern processors. The

common theme here is that the special connectivity requirements that are fundamental in advanced radar systems can best be achieved using a COTS solution designed specifically for real-time performance.

Traditional Data Streaming Architecture In a simplified, yet typical architecture (Figure 1), a modern processing card will have an XMC slot for hosting an ADC module and built-in 10GbE interface implemented using commodity chipsets that are designed specifically for the computer server market. The ADC digitizes the radar signal and moves it into a processor, which in turn packetizes it and sends it to the Ethernet interface for transmission to other processing nodes. While this seems intuitive and straight-



V3021 or V1121 Ethernet card Channel 0

Channel 1


COTS Journal | February 2012






forward at low bandwidth, it causes major performance issues at high data rates. At 10 Gbit/s, even modern processors are overwhelmed by the amount of traffic and are hard-pressed to traverse through the Ethernet protocol stack. The processor becomes saturated resulting in lower throughput. To remedy this situation, system engineers must consider the use of Ethernet solutions and architectures that are built specifically to meet the demanding requirements of radar applications. Such a solution must provide network protocol offload functions and utilize a form of operating system kernel bypass technique to free the processor for other more critical tasks. Even with the processor subcon-


This 10 Gbit Ethernet XMC module, now under development, quadruples processing and reduces power consumption.

10 GbE


Figure 3


Block diagram of a system used for full-duplex data streaming between a dual ADC and DAC XMC module and a 10GbE XMC module. The processor is used only for setup and configuration.


Streaming Front End


Figure 2





Receive Port 1


Channel 1

Transmit Port 1

switch CPU


Management Port


Signal and Packet Processing Algorithms



Sensor ADC

Receive Port 0



Sensor ADC

Transmit Port 0


Sensor ADC





10GbE Interface

10 GbE

UDP Offload Engine (UOE)

Figure 4

Shown here is the architecture of the Streamed Front End (SFE) implementation over XAUI. The sensor’s data undergoes signal processing before being sent to the Ethernet module over XAUI. tracting some of the network protocol to a PCI Express Ethernet module, any work on the part of the processor means that data is moved from the ADC module to the processor’s memory, likely through a PCI Express bridge. The data is moved into the processor cache for handling by the network stack, and then moved back to memory, which in turn is moved to the 10GbE module. In the above flow, the same data is traveling four times on the memory bus before it reaches the Ethernet interface. This significantly constricts the amount of data that can be handled. For example, a memory interface designed to run at 1066 MHz, will effectively be running at one fourth of that speed only. This does not even account for reduction in bus efficiency due to interrupts, and cycles lost due to bus direction changes, arbitration, etc.

Direct Streaming as a Solution In the past, AdvancedIO proposed a solution that allows a direct data path between sensors and 10GbE networks using PCI Express, taking advantage of some carrier cards that were commercially available at the time. This solution requires a carrier card that can accommodate two XMC modules—one ADC module and one 10GbE module—connected together using a PCI Express switch capable of peer-to-peer transfers (Figure 2). A processor on the carrier card performs the initial setup and leaves the transfer of data to occur directly between the ADC

module and the 10GbE module. Any additional processing required on the data such as time stamping or filtering must occur on the Ethernet module. FPGAs have proven themselves in ruggedized systems and are deployed extensively in the military in some of the harshest environments. No other technology thus far can match FPGA performance in processing large amount of data in real time, an essential part of radar design. It is therefore the logical choice for the design of programmable, high-performance Ethernet communications, provided that the right FPGA logic is implemented. FPGA’s real-time performance advantage comes with a price: programming FPGAs requires specialized skills. Figure 3 shows an example 10 Gbit Ethernet XMC board that leverages FPGA technology. Because of performance advantages, FPGA technology offers the best performing solution for packet processing and protocol offload in radar applications despite the difficulty of programming in such an environment. In order to mitigate the difficulty of FPGA programming, an FPGA development framework is made available to engineers to add their own customizations and perform additional signal processing before the data is packetized and sent out to the Ethernet network. Furthermore, a UDP/IP protocol offload engine was built utilizing the framework that abstracts 10GbE communication and enables engineers to focus


on implementing their solutions without the need to worry about the nuances of 10GbE protocols. The choice of the UDP protocol instead of the TCP protocol was driven by the need for a low latency solution in a controlled network where packet loss is negligible. In such a network, it would be difficult to justify the higher latency resulting from the sliding window protocol used in TCP communication.

Leveraging FPGA Technology The direct streaming solution presented above uses peer-to-peer transfers on a PCI Express device and results in some performance improvements. However, it requires the carrier card to support a non-standard data flow, not to mention the configuration required to enable it. Furthermore, PCI Express is inherently a memory-mapped protocol and suffers from unnecessary latencies in comparison to more suitable packet switching fabrics, such as XAUI, which support 10 Gbit/s rates. In order to avoid some of the shortcomings of PCI Express implementations yet provide a COTS solution, a new architecture is presented in Figure 4. The new architecture leverages FPGA technology to stream data directly from sensors onto the10GbE network. In such an architecture, a carrier card is equipped with an FPGA that communicates with a 10GbE XMC module over XAUI as per VITA 42.6 standard. A Streaming Front End (SFE), which is a small IP core that resides on the carrier’s FPGA, provides a user interface to the 10GbE module and replaces the software device driver typically used in PCI Express implementations. The 10GbE module has a built-in Ethernet protocol accelerator, which performs all of the functions required for UDP/IP communication over standard 10GbE networks. It also supports multicast and broadcast, which makes it ideal for communication with several processing elements. For socket setup and diagnostics, the 10GbE module supports the ICMP and ARP protocols. The SFE has a simplified interface so that an engineer with standard socket programming skill is confident about in-

tegrating it within their application. It is lightweight so that it occupies minimal resources on the carrier board’s FPGA. This leaves plenty of room to implement complex signal processing algorithms without any measurable effect on system performance or cost. This solution results in both simplified architecture and improved performance over competing implementations. The result is a reduction in size, weight and power consump-

tion—all at a premium in today’s military systems. AdvancedIO Systems Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. (604) 331-1600. [].

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Chip Scale Atomic Clocks Improve for UAV System Designs Bad things happen when UAVs lose their sense of direction. That’s less likely to happen now that equipment builders can specify an atomic clock as the UAV’s onboard timing source. Steve Fossi, Director of New Business Development, Government Business Unit Symmetricom


recise time and frequency are needed to calculate position as well as to send and receive encrypted video and vehicle control data in very dense waveforms. UAVs normally synchronize their clocks—typically oven controlled crystal oscillators (OCXOs) and temperature controlled crystal oscillators (TCXOs)— to GPS. However, when UAVs fly through areas where GPS signals are jammed, as they often do, they must then rely solely on their internal oscillator for timing. Atomic oscillators are much more stable (i.e., they drift less) than crystal oscillators. So UAVs equipped with atomic oscillators instead of crystal oscillators can contribute to the ability to fly much longer missions, more accurately without GPS to guide them. Atomic clocks, of course, have been around for decades. They are highly accurate and highly stable both in the short and long term. However, they are not very portable— a feature obviously critical in UAVs. Space, weight or power consumed by the onboard oscillator leaves less space, weight and power available to carry bigger payloads or extend mission duration—both of which are top priorities for UAV operators. All that drives the need for a “chip scale atomic clock” or, in other words, a clock that combines an atomic oscillator’s superior timing perfor32

COTS Journal | February 2012

Photodetector Upper Heater/Suspension Resonance Cell Waveplate Spacer Lower Heater/Suspension VCSEL

Figure 1

CSAC physics package here shows the cutaway drawing of the leadless chip carrier used to mount the physics package to the printed circuit board, in brown. The ceramic cap that maintains the vacuum around the physics package is gray. mance with a SWaP (size, weight and power consumption) profile that comes close to or surpasses crystal alternatives.

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scale atomic clock (CSAC) for years. They discovered very early that simply shrinking components used in existing architectures down to chip scale size isn’t viable— so a new atomic clock architecture had to be invented. This in turn required innovations across a range of areas including semiconductor laser technology, silicon processing, vacuum packaging and firmware algorithms. Take, for example, the glass resonance cell used in a conventional gas-cell atomic clock. In these atomic clocks, vapor in the cell is illuminated to resonance by a laser

or a lamp cell. A photo detector measures how much light actually makes it through the resonance cell (as opposed to being absorbed by atoms inside the cell)—thus producing a signal precisely tuned to its resonance frequency. That signal, in turn, drives a TCX that produces the clock’s actual timing signal output. In the CSAC, the glass cell is replaced by a tiny silicon MEMS cell containing cesium vapor. At one end is a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) that shines a beam through the vapor. At the other is a photo detector that senses how much

Chip Scale Atomic Clock: How it Fits inside UAVs As the number of applications for civil and military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) (see Figure) rapidly expands, the suppliers of payloads for these vehicles are being pressured to increase their functionality. In doing so, they find themselves bumping into limitations in size, weight and power. The CSAC can help in all three areas, with a volume of less than 16 cm3, a weight of less than 35g, and power consumption of less than 125 mW. In fact, in some applications CSAC is attractive solely because when compared to conventional rubidium oscillators (about a 20W in warm-up, and about 10W in steady state), its low power consumption simplifies thermal management issues. Many UAVs rely on GPS, and the CSAC can be disciplined by the 1 PPS output from a GPS receiver, and provide a stable signal that can be used by C4I or even SIGINT payloads. And of course, should GPS be lost due to natural interference or jamming, the CSAC provides a stable holdover signal that meets the requirements of even long-endurance missions.


Developers of UAV platforms and payloads are being pressured to increase their functionality. In doing so, they find themselves bumping into limitations in size, weight and power.


COTS Journal | February 2012

light gets through the resonance cell. The laser illuminates atoms to resonance with polarized radiation at two sidebands separated by the cesium’s atomic resonance frequency. The sidebands are produced by a microwave synthesizer that modulates the laser’s carrier frequency. The atoms are excited to a non-scattering coherent superposition state from which further scattering is suppressed. The resonance cell, however, is not the only clock element that had to be reinvented—so too did the clock’s electronics, which also occupy a significant portion of a conventional atomic clock’s volume. In the CSAC, much of that functionality has been implemented in firmware rather than hardware. What hardware remains—a low-power digital-signal processor, a high-resolution microwave synthesizer and analog signal processing—implements the clock’s auto-tuning feedback loop driving the TCXO.

Leveraging the Basic Design Within this basic architecture, device performance is largely determined by implementation details such as choice of materials and geometry of the physics package. Long-term stability, for example, is determined by the long-term evolution of the properties of the laser and the contents of the resonance cell. Medium-term stability is determined by the temperature stability of the physics package and by the stability of auxiliary servos that stabilize the laser power and wavelength, the microwave synthesizer power level and the cell temperature. Short-term stability of the clock is determined by the atomic resonance line width and the signal-to-noise of the recovered signal. The physics package (Figure 1) consists of a “center stack” and a “thermal isolation system.” The center stack consists of the special-purpose VCSEL, the resonance cell and the photodiode. The laser light, emerging from the VCSEL, diverges as it transits a cell spacer before passing through the resonance cell and is detected on the photo detector. The center stack is temperature-stabilized. The function of the thermal isolation system is to support the center stack mechanically while providing a high degree of


thermal isolation to the ambient environment, thereby minimizing the required heater power. The thermal isolation system consists of the upper and lower suspensions and the vacuum package. Vacuum packaging eliminates thermal loss due to conduction and convection. Thermal loss due to conduction is minimized through the design of the suspensions. The upper and lower suspensions are manufactured from a thin layer of polyimide film onto which are patterned the metal conductors, which carry signals to and from the center stack. The overall dimensions of the suspensions are chosen so that the center stack is suspended between two “drum heads” of polyimide. This architecture is quite sturdy, capable of surviving mechanical shock in excess of 1000g (1ms half-sine), and provides extraordinarily high thermal resistance (greater than 5000°C/W). Moreover, by patterning the electrical connections onto the polyimide, they do not need to be mechanically self-supporting, thus allowing their dimensions to be determined by electrical, rather than mechanical requirements and thereby reducing heat load due to thermal conduction through the (metallic, highconductivity) connections.

Proof Is in the Performance An implementation of the CSAC architecture, Symmetricom’s Quantum SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock, co-developed with the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, MA) and Sandia National Labs (Albuquerque, NM), was released in January 2011. It provides a useful benchmark for performance both in terms of timekeeping and portability specifications. Those specs are listed in Figure 2. A key aspect of UAV performance is flight duration, which will be longer if onboard equipment uses less power from generators or batteries and if generators and batteries are smaller and lighter. The SA.45s power consumption is a 40x improvement over other atomic clocks offered as “low power.” It is also 10x to 20x less than what an OCXO requires, thus offering the possibility of better stability

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at much less power. Not only is the clock’s power consumption very low; it varies very little during warm-up, which is very short compared to other atomic clocks. But even though the device is highly portable, its specifications for initial accuracy, short-term stability and aging are all characteristic of conventional (not very portable) atomic clocks. So even if it were cut off from GPS for an extended period, the CSAC will still provide extremely precise timing.

A Longer, More Certain Flight The result of these performance advantages is that UAVs can fly farther, communicate more reliably with ground controllers, and stay on course longer in GPS-denied environments than they could before. None of this would yet be possible if engineers had merely tried to downsize existing atomic clock architectures. The CSAC is thus a new category of atomic clock that implements a new category of highly precise and stable timing applications. The era of portable atomic timekeeping is here. Symmetricom San Jose, CA. (408) 433-0910. [].


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February 2012 | COTS Journal


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TECH RECON Power Supply Trends for Board and Box Level Systems

Power Converter Technologies Adapt to Rugged Military Needs Matching the proper power supply design to a military embedded system platform is a complex task. The latest crop of power supply and converter solutions provide the environment specs and standards support that meet the needs of the military. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


s military system developers strive to squeeze more and more computing and electronics into smaller spaces, power has direct implications on the size, cooling and mobility of a board- or box-level system. Throw in the extra challenges of multi-voltage electronics and the complexity of distributed system architectures, and it’s clear that military system designers face a lot of challenges. The problem is power supplies are often an afterthought in embedded military computer system designs. Choosing power supplies and power conversion electronics can become make or break technical choices because power supplies and converters are critical enablers for meeting today’s rugged requirements. The good news is that military power conversion vendors continue to step up with more efficient products, new partitioning strategies and increased ruggedization. New solutions continue to roll out, not just at the component or brick level, but also at the module and board level. Last year’s emergence of a power supply spec for VPX, called VITA 62, has solved standards issues specifically for the VPX arena. 36

COTS Journal | February 2012

Military Standards and Filtering

Extended Temp Solutions

Starting with the component side of power supplies, technology suppliers continue to push the limits in power, high voltage, wide temperature range and advanced filtering schemes. It’s become quite challenging in today’s military power system designs to ensure the latest and greatest power supply and conversion technologies compliant to military standards. Defense applications must meet a number of noise and power related standards such as MILSTD-461, MIL-STD-704 (Figure 1) and MIL-STD-1275. Those standards have a number of revisions, any of which may be enforced by an application’s requirements. As a solution to that issue, converter vendors have broadened the options for existing converter architectures by providing advanced filtering. Along just those lines, Vicor offers its MIL-COTS VI BRICK Filter as a stand-alone filter or integrated with the PRM Regulator Module. The filter enables designers using Vicor’s MIL-COTS VI BRICK and V•I Chip PRMs to meet conducted emission / conducted susceptibility per MIL-STD-461E/F, and input transients per MIL-STD-704A/E/F and MIL-STD-1275A/B/D. It accepts an input voltage of 16.5 - 50 VDC and delivers output power up to 120W.

Another important trend in component power supplies is the continued role of products suited to the harsh environments specified by military requirements. Calex, for example, recently rolled out its 400W FCM Chassis Mount DC/DC Converter Series. The FCM Series features an ultra wide 4:1 input range of 18 to 75 VDC with output voltages of 5, 12, 24, 28 and 48 VDC. All models are isolated input to output and housed in a rugged, encapsulated enclosure with recessed barrier strips. The operating temperature range of the FCM is -40° to +100°C. Through holes are provided for backplane mounting or the attachment of a heatsink for extended temperature operation. The FCM is ideal for a variety of COTS military applications requiring screw terminal connectivity. The output voltage accuracy for all output voltage options is +/- 1 percent. Line and load regulation is 0.05 percent and 0.02 percent. All models exhibit 0 percent turn-on overshoot. Efficiencies are up to 93 percent. Also serving the extended temp demand, 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/E-converters 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.

Conduction Cooling in Power Supplies Conduction-cooled power conversion solutions are another part of the harsh environment story. Feeding those needs, Martek Power has made significant additions to its Powertron JL Series of open-frame DC/DC converters. They are conduction-cooled units developed by Martek in response to an increase in applications where the power supply is mounted inside a sealed enclosure. Originally designed for onboard pas-

senger information systems, JL DC/DC converters are rated up to 50W and offer full EN50155 compliance as well as the ability to accept the wide range of typical railway input voltages. Outputs can be specified between 5 and 110 VDC, and the units have a footprint of just 135 x 85 mm including the mounting plate. With efficiencies approaching 90 percent, the conduction-cooled versions help to minimize any temperature rise within the host equipment. All converters in the JL Series are designed for continuous operation at ambient temperatures of up to 75°C without de-rating. TDK-Lambda Americas launched the CPFE1000F series (Figure 2) of baseplate/ conduction-cooled power supplies capable of providing up to 1000 watts without fans or forced-air-cooling, thereby providing audible-noise-free operation. With a baseplate and ambient operating

temperature range of from -40°C up to +85°C, this new series of AC-DC power supplies will be of special interest to designers who need high power but cannot use fans, or where the power supply is mounted in an enclosure. These single output power supplies operate with a wide universal input range of from 90 to 265 VAC with PFC and are available with DC outputs of 12V, 28V (adjustable to 24V) or 48 VDC. Due to its wide output adjustment range of +/- 20%, the output voltage can be set to match a variety of customer-specific applications. The outputs of these units can be connected in series or parallel for higher power applications. The power supply’s baseplate is designed to easily attach to metal enclosures or other heat-sinking surfaces, thus eliminating the need for fans or forced-air-cooling. To guard against moisture, dust and other contain-

Figure 1

For military aircraft requirements, MIL-STD-704 establishes characteristics of electric power provided at the input terminals of electronic equipment.


COTS Journal | February 2012


ments, the internal PCB assembly has a protective coating. The new 1000-watt baseplate/conduction-cooled CPFE1000F models are available now and priced at $825 each in 50 piece quantities.

VITA 62 for OpenVPX Power Shifting gears to the board-level side, the most interesting development in the past 12 months has been the new VITA 62 standard. Its purpose is to provide an electrical and mechanical specification that is compatible with VITA 46 and other specifications in the VPX suite. The problem was that a power supply’s form factor and pin assignment varied from vendor to vendor because of the lack of standardization. Meanwhile due to the nature of power supplies, many were custom designed for the chassis that they reside in. In order for VITA 62-compliant power supplies to work in a VPX environment, the standard needed to be compatible to both VITA 46 and VITA 48, which most of the existing COTS VPX modules are designed to. VITA 46.11, System Management, is also directly supported. With the advent of VITA 62 power supplies, VPX users are no longer locked into custom, proprietary power supplies; they have the ability to purchase interchangeable power supplies from multiple vendors. Extreme Engineering Solutions (XES) offers a VITA 62 product called the XPm2120, a conduction-cooled, VITA 62, 3U VPX power supply that takes a MIL-STD-704 input voltage of 28 VDC and provides up to 300W of power on the 3.3-volt, 5-volt and 12-volt rails at 90% efficiency with 12-volt as the primary power distribution rail in the system. The XPm2120 was designed to the VITA 62 draft standard. Designed for rugged, deployed military applications, the slim 0.8-inch pitch XPm2120 integrates MILSTD-461E EMI filtering.

Figure 2

The CPFE1000F series of baseplate/conduction-cooled power supplies are capable of providing up to 1000 watts without fans or forced-air-cooling, thereby providing audiblenoise-free operation.

Pin-for-Pin Compatibility

Figure 3

Dawn VME Products also has a solution with its PSC-6234, a VITA 62-compliant 6 channel 3U VPX power supply with VITA 62 power connector pin-out and full OpenVPX support. Dawn’s PSC6234 power supply (Figure 3) is designed for mission-critical applications to oper-

The PSC-6234 is a VITA 62-compliant 6 channel 3U VPX power supply with VITA 62 power connector pin-out and full OpenVPX support. ate over a wide range of temperatures at high power levels. Plug-in or bulkhead mounted models are available for air

cooled, conduction to bulkhead cooled, and conduction to wedge lock cooled applications and configurations. February 2012 | COTS Journal



Its true 6 channel design provides up to 400 watts output on a 1-inch pitch and is extended shock and vibration compliant per MIL-STD-810F. Custom power capacity and voltage input range configurations are available. The PSC-6234 is current share compatible with additional PSC-6234 units. The PSC-6234 front I/O panel includes an LED status indicator, a USB port for field firmware upgrades, and VBAT battery access for support of the

VPX memory backup power bus. Dawn’s embedded RuSH Rugged System Health Monitor technology actively measures voltage, current and temperature on each PSC-6234 rail for intelligent monitoring and control of critical VPX power supply performance parameters. Meanwhile, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems rolled out its own VITA 62 product. The 3U OpenVPX (VITA 62) and VPX (VITA 48.2) Smart Power Sup-

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The VME550 products feature 18-36 VDC input with capability of one to six DC outputs. ply is a small form factor, rugged power supply module that provides up to 279W of power. The CWCES Smart Power Supply includes advanced features such as an integrated Nuclear Event Detector (NED) and crowbar for radiation-tolerant applications, and a holdup circuitry for full protection against MIL-STD-704 and MILSTD-1275 transients. The Smart Power Supply conforms to the 3U VPX (VITA 48.2 / VITA 62) form factor and is offered in a 1.0” pitch single slot configuration. Fully rugged, the module is available in conduction-cooled and Level 2 maintenance variants. This fully featured intelligent power supply supports Built-in Tests (BIT) and software programmability to enable rapid system development. The device offers 80% efficiency and an 18-36 VDC input range. Input reverse polarity protection and over/under voltage, short-circuit and under/over temperature protection are supported. A White Sands Missile Range (WSMR)-tested Nuclear Event Circumvention circuit is included.

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For more information, visit Untitled-3 1 COTS Journal | February 2012 40

Figure 4

2/7/12 3:25:28 PM

In this era of budget cuts and tech refreshes, VME-based systems are front and center. Vendors continue to support VME with new product solutions. A power supply example is Aegis Power Systems, Inc., a Vicor Custom Design Center company, which last fall released its new VME550 Series (Figure 4) of rugged, reliable power supplies for aerospace and defense. The VME550 operates from 28 VDC and offers scalable power in a smaller size and lighter weight than traditional DC power supplies.


It is available as a 6U x 4hp single-slot conduction-cooled power card and also as a 6U x 8hp dual-slot air-cooled power card. The VME550 products feature 18-36 VDC input with capability of one to six DC outputs (one output can be negative). The standard product, the VME550-001, offers four DC outputs (3.3V up to 224W, 5V up to 224W, and ¹ 12V up to 112W each) with a combined total output power capability of 550W and efficiency greater than 86%. The VME550 Series utilizes proven, high-performance Vicor V•I Chip power conversion technology and incorporates the new Vicor M-FIAM7B front end module to provide a scalable, flexible, open-ended bus structure capable of full 550W output from -40° to 85°C base plate temperature.

RECOM Power Brooklyn, NY. (718) 855-9710. [].

Vicor Andover, MA. (978) 749-8359. [].

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

VPT Blacksburg, VA. (425) 353-3010. [].



Calex Concord, CA. (925) 687-4411. []. Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems Santa Clarita, CA. (661) 257-4430. []. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. []. Falcon Electric Irwindale, CA. (626) 962-7770. []. Martek Power Torrance, CA. (310) 202-8820. []. Pico Electronics Pelham, NY, (914) 738-1400. []. Rantec Power Systems Los Osos, CA. (805) 596-6000. []

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Secure Embedded Systems

SPARK and MILS Aid Secure Military System Design Together the MILS architecture and the SPARK program language offer a robust set of solutions that help developers craft cost-effective secure military embedded software systems. Greg Gicca, Director of Safety and Security Product Marketing AdaCore


modern military system typically consists of multiple components, both hardware and software, that need to provide the necessary functionality as well as meeting performance requirements. These same systems have a need for reduced weight, heat and power consumption to improve performance of the overall platform itself. The speed of modern computers and low cost of available memory allow for multiple computer systems to be combined to aid in achieving this goal. However, the component systems may have different reliability, safety and/or security criteria that must be met when the components are combined. Some might have a safety or highreliability requirement while others might need a high level of security. On an avionics platform flight-critical and weapons systems illustrate the first category, and communications or command and control illustrate the second (Figure 1). Most importantly, when the components are integrated into a working system, lower-criticality functions must not prevent higher-criticality functions from meeting their requirements. Achieving this goal imposes demands on both the execution platform and the programming language. 42

COTS Journal | February 2012

Protection through Partitioning Modern embedded operating systems can supply the necessary protection through a secure partitioned architecture. Such an architecture typically provides a small and provably secure kernel that implements time and memory partitioning, allowing multiple applications to execute with a guarantee that one application can not adversely affect another. For avionics safety or reliability, a commonly used operating system architecture is ARINC-653; for security the MILS (Multiple Independent Levels of Security) architecture has been designed to meet these demanding requirements. Avionics safety levels are specified by the DO-178B avionics software standard, ranging from Level E (lowest) to Level A (highest). The number of objectives, and the rigor required in meeting them, increase at each level. Verification activities at Level A include performing requirements-based tests that provide full code coverage including Modified Condition/ Decision Coverage. In the security area, the standard analogous to DO-178B is the Common Criteria, which defines classes of security functional requirements and security assurance requirements. The security as-

surance requirements are grouped into Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL) from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). EAL 1 through EAL 4 are similar to DO-178B Levels E through A; as the level increases, the rigor of testing increases to meet certification requirements. For EAL 5 and above, more rigorous measures, including formal methods at the highest EALs, are needed. Thus, an operating system that supports top CC EAL is likely to be sufficiently reliable to be certifiable at high safety levels, including DO-178B Level A. A MILS operating system architecture is an ideal platform to satisfy the execution of multiple applications executing at both multiple safety/reliability levels and multiple security levels (Figure 2).

Less Errors, Less Cost Applications running within a partition are protected from those executing in other partitions and thus must only satisfy their own safety or security requirements. To meet DO-178B levels A or B, a strongly typed language, such as Ada, can help reduce the cost since the language rules prevent certain kinds of errors (such as misusing an integer as a pointer) from being introduced into the program. To meet higher security levels,

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On an avionics platform the component systems may have different reliability, safety and/or security criteria. When these are integrated into a working system, lower-criticality functions must not prevent higher-criticality functions from meeting their requirements. EAL 5 or higher, a language that supports some form of proof of application program correctness properties, such as freedom from run-time exceptions, can greatly reduce evaluation costs. Security for embedded or other systems should be built from the ground

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Language Matters A key requirement for top security certification is the need to prove various correctness properties for the securityrelated functions of a software application. To this end the critical parts of the application should be developed in a programming language that facilitates such formal demonstrations. The SPARK language was designed for this purpose. The SPARK language is a subset of the ISO Ada language standard, augmented by annotations in the form of structured comments that define a program’s “contracts.” There are three primary aspects to this definition. First, the Ada subset provides a strongly typed language base with powerful data, type and object representation capabilities. It provides encapsulation (information hiding) features that clearly separate a module’s interface (specification) from its implementations (body), as well as a host of other features that promote program reliability. Second, the Ada language subset chosen, guarantees that SPARK is both deterministic and verifiable. And third, SPARK’s contracts allow developers to specify exactly what the program logic should accomplish. Examples of SPARK contracts are pre- and post-conditions associated with a subprogram, as well as assertions reflecting the program state at particular points of execution. Figure 3 shows a SPARK lan-

guage example. It is critical that the programming language base be fully deterministic and verifiable. The Ada language “subset” used for SPARK meets this goal. If program logic cannot be statically determined it can certainly not be verified as correct. Other common programming languages cannot meet this requirement for static verification. The SPARK language environment includes tools to prove the correctness of the application logic in combination with the contracts specified. All assertions are checked statically with control flow analysis to make sure the program logic accomplishes what the assertions specify. The SPARK language and tools thus provide a method to write software applications that can be proven correct as required by top EAL.

Comparing Languages SPARK allows developers to directly specify the application logic and requirements/contracts being satisfied so that they may be proven correct in a unified fashion. In principle, other programming languages, if suitably subsetted, could be used to satisfy these same requirements in a non-integrated way. However languages such as C, C++ and Java do not provide suitable base languages for such subsetting, because their underlying design either focuses on goals that conflict with reliability (C, C++) or adopts a dynamic run-time model that is complex and difficult to analyze (Java). And in any event, a non-integrated approach would be at least error prone in an area where correctness is of utmost importance. Every programming language is de-


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Figure 3

SPARK is an Ada subset that provides a strongly typed language base with powerful data, type and object representation capabilities. signed with some specific goals in mind and ends up attracting a user community and breadth of applications based on how these goals are met. C was designed to aid in the development of operating systems and device drivers where direct access to the hardware is often necessary. It does not scale up very well to larger application development due to the same characteristics of having implementation details directly visible and manipulatable by most any source statement. C++ adds some “programming in the large” benefits over C but inherits many of the same vulnerabilities. Java is appropriate where portability is important or the very large set of reusable libraries is attractive (such as graphics implementations). However, most of these reusable libraries may not be available for use in a high safety or security system An application not needing to meet top safety or security requirements, perhaps running in another partition or on another computer, can and should use the language best suited for that application’s requirements. This might be C for device drivers, C++ for low security functions, or Java for graphics-intensive displays. Every programming language was designed for and tends to excel in the devel-

opment of certain types of applications. SPARK is an ideal language solution for meeting top safety or security requirements. It should be used for those applications needing this support. When used in this domain, the SPARK language can aid in the reduction of certification costs for high security levels while providing a high level of reliability and assurance for the application. AdaCore New York, NY. (212) 620-7300. [].

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February 2012 | COTS Journal


1/11/12 9:21:50 AM

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Secure Embedded Systems

Relay Approach Improves Military Database Replication Database management in mission-critical military systems can be a complex beast. A new data relay approach offers a more efficient way to do database replication in defense applications. Steve Graves, Co-founder and CEO McObject


n defense systems, database replication is usually viewed as a strategy to achieve high availability. Deploying a master database with one or more synchronized copies of that database supports failover: if the master node ceases to function, one of the replicas can take over in its role. However, demand has emerged for a new kind of replication that follows an “embeddedto-enterprise” model. Real-time embedded systems are increasingly data-intensive and often incorporate embedded database management systems (DBMSs). In many scenarios, server-based enterprise-class applications and their DBMSs depend on obtaining updates of a subset of data managed by the real-time embedded system. Consider the challenge posed by an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) (Figure 1) that divides database processing between real-time, embedded in-memory database systems (IMDSs) residing in one or more data acquisition modules, and an enterprise-class application and DBMS that run on a high-powered server and are responsible for carrying out primary missions tasks including surveillance, commandand-control and battle management.

Acquiring and Sorting Data Each of the data acquisition modules 48

COTS Journal | February 2012

Figure 1

Database management aboard the AWACS system involves dividing database processing between real-time, embedded in-memory database systems (IMDSs) residing in one or more data acquisition modules, and a server-based enterprise-class application and DBMS for carrying out primary missions tasks. is responsible for acquiring data objects— airborne, seaborne and terrestrial—from sensors. These objects require initial screening by operators to judge their rel-

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ded database, where the objects are stored. A subset of the acquired data objects is ultimately deemed relevant. These must be relayed to the enterprise system and continuously monitored on the acquisition module, with changes relayed to the enterprise-class system. Again due to the volume of data, the embedded application must “know” when changes occur, so the replication process can be automated. In this scenario, relaying updates from their embedded database origina-

tion point to their enterprise application/ DBMS destination is a form of replication, but with several characteristics that differ markedly from high-availability (HA) replication. First, it must support selectivity—often only a portion of the embedded database is replicated. Also it must be open. Embedded DBMSs are often substantially different from their enterprise counterparts, therefore the replication probably will not be “like-to-like.”

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How do developers obtain software to implement embedded-to-enterprise replication? Usually they’ve built it from scratch. One approach uses the object notifications feature of real-time database systems to inform the embedded application when an object changes, so that the application can then determine whether changes meet criteria for forwarding to the enterprise DBMS. A major drawback to this approach is that it lacks transaction-awareness. To protect data integrity, database systems typically group updates into transactions in which all changes succeed, or fail, as a unit. In a system using object notifications as the basis for replication, a transaction involving 15 updates might invoke 15 event handler processes, which the application must re-assemble into a transaction. This is complex to implement, and imposes heavy demands for CPU cycles and other processing resources on the embedded platform. Another strategy is to record all embedded database changes, and their transactional contexts, in one or more database tables that are set up for that purpose. At some pre-specified interval, an application queries the table(s) in chronological order, using an index, to review changes and launch the process that will update the enterprise database with this new information. This actually closely resembles what occurs in a DBMS transaction buffer—in essence, it duplicates the work that the database system is already doing. But that essentially doubles the drain on system resources. In fact, both of these approaches essentially “reinvent the wheel,” doing work that is already being accomplished by the embedded database system. This wastes processing resources and also begs the question: If the building blocks of selective embedded/enterprise replication are already there, in the real-time database system, why should a developer have to implement them over again?

Off-the-Shelf Data Replication

Contact our engineers. 1-800-653-9970

Untitled-10 1 COTS Journal | February 2012 50

Developing Replication Systems

This lack of an off-the-shelf embedded/enterprise replication mechanism has led McObject, an embedded DBMS vendor, to introduce its eXtremeDB Data Relay technology. McObject’s eXtremeDB is a real-time embedded database system, cre1/5/12 9:23:41 AM


ated explicitly for embedded software applications and used in varied defense and aerospace systems. eXtremeDB provides a streamlined in-memory database system (IMDS) architecture that eliminates disk I/O, caching logic and other overhead, in order to reduce latency and offer a small code size (approximately 150 Kbytes). Shortly after launching eXtremeDB, McObject began offering an eXtremeDB High Availability edition supporting the “traditional” replication described above. Data Relay was introduced more recently as a standard feature of the eXtremeDB Transaction Logging edition. Data Relay “opens up” eXtremeDB’s transaction buffer to enable selective, efficient embedded-to-enterprise replication. For every object affected by a transaction, the buffer provides a coded value that indicates whether each operation was an insert, update, or delete. Data Relay provides a familiar database “cursor” that iterates over objects in the buffer and extracts the coded value. Based on this reading, the application can take the next step of drilling down into the object, analyzing changes and determining whether to replicate the change to an enterprise system.

of the enterprise DBMS. In contrast, the more “relaxed” asynchronous approach largely sustains eXtremeDB’s natural performance. Synchronous replication is useful when eXtremeDB is employed in a largely read-only role as a high-speed cache to an RDBMS, with occasional updates. Asynchronous Data Relay may be favored when high throughput within the embedded real-time system outweighs the need for 100 percent synchronization between the embedded and enterprise databases.

Data Relay uses eXtremeDB’s existing transaction buffer to support synchronous relaying. For asynchronous transactions, it provides a separate, larger buffer. In asynchronous mode, eXtremeDB executes transactions much faster than the enterprise DBMS, and data needs to stay in the “pipe” after (sometimes long after) database processing finishes on the embedded side. The asynchronous transaction buffer can also be backed up by an overflow file.

Working with Objects Data Relay is designed for efficiency and fine-grained selectivity in working with objects. For example, in the case of updates (changes to existing records), Data Relay utilizes a bitmap in the buffer that indicates the affected fields. If an object has 200 fields, the bitmap enables the application to identify and read only the relevant ones. This efficiency is particularly important in maintaining the real-time system’s performance when data-sharing is synchronous (Figure 2). With synchronous replication embedded database transactions are committed only after changes are replicated to, and saved on, the enterprise DBMS. eXtremeDB Data Relay also has an asynchronous mode (Figure 3). Here transactions can commit on the embedded database before replication to the enterprise system completes. Synchronous embedded-to-enterprise replication guarantees consistency between eXtremeDB and the external database, but it ties the embedded database to the (slower) performance Untitled-12 1

February 2012 | COTS 1/11/12 Journal9:50:36 51AM


Synchronous embeddedto-enterprise replication

Asynchronous embeddedto-enterprise replication

Transaction T started on embedded database system embedded DBM

enterprise DBMS

T distributed to enterprise DBMS

Synchronous mode: (a) transactions begin on embedded DBMS but commit only after finished on enterprise node; (b) strong consistency; (c) slower throughput.

T started on embedded DBMS

T started on enterprise DBMS

T commited on embedded DBMS

T commited on enterprise DBMS

Asynchronous mode: (a) transactions can commit on embedded DBMS before finishing on enterprise DBMS; (b) weaker consistency; (c) higher throughput.

Figure 2

Figure 3

In synchronous replication embedded database transactions are committed only after changes are replicated to, and saved on, the enterprise DBMS.

In asynchronous mode, transactions can commit on the embedded database before replication to the enterprise system completes.

Heterogeneous Environments There’s often cases of replication scenarios involving heterogeneous embedded and enterprise environments—including, unlike DBMSs, OSs, supported networking and so on. To accommodate that, eXtremeDB Data Relay leaves it to the developer to add data transport and any needed data conversion. Data Relay provides access to data in binary form, as well as efficient and fine-grained data selection. These “pieces” of embeddedto-enterprise replication would be time-consuming to develop from scratch, and potentially expensive in terms of performance.

Data Relay is a good fit for the AWACS example described above. In this scenario, the real-time database would incorporate Data Relay to monitor changes within its transaction buffer. Based on this reading, the embedded application “knows” where and when to drill down into the object and propagate relevant changes to the enterprise DBMS. Once there, enterprise application logic incorporates the objects from multiple data acquisition modules into the “big picture” that is relevant for carrying out surveillance, battle management or other mission goals.

Overcoming Bottlenecks This embedded-to-enterprise architecture logically divides data management, delegating the acquisition task to real-time software and leveraging the superior efficiency and determinism of the embedded modules. It avoids a data processing bottleneck that would occur if the enterprise DBMS were responsible for primary data acquisition. Offloading the data acquisition and screening tasks to the embedded modules also spares enterprise hardware resources (memory and CPU) that can be deployed in support of analysis, communication and other higher-level tasks. Due to the specialized nature of this new type of replication, traditional HA replication schemes do not provide a practical or cost-effective solution. As more real-time systems in defense and aerospace need to monitor the real-time database within their embedded software, and transfer selected changes to the outside world of enterprise applications, developers will increasingly seek a solution like Data Relay that helps to preserve performance and reduce cost. McObject Issaquah, WA. (425) 888-8505. [].

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TECHNOLOGY FOCUS CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards

CompactPCI Moves Forward as Serial Version Gains Ground CompactPCI has earned its acceptance as a mainstay form factor option for embedded military computing. A new serial flavor of CompactPCI continues to grow its momentum. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


ow with nearly two decades under its belt, CompactPCI can claim to offer all the aspects that pass the test for military decision makers. PICMG’s original CompactPCI specification was adopted in 1995 and is mechanically based on the proven Eurocard form factor. And though cPCI isn’t ever expected to eclipse the legacy of VME in the military market, its niche remains solid. An expanding set of CompactPCI boards has emerged; among them are a wide collection of cPCI products that are available from a variety of vendors in every category including single board computers, I/O boards, slot-card power supplies, storage subsystems, mezzanine carriers, DSP engines and many others. The “CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup” on the following pages showcases some examples of the current crop of CompactPCI single board computer products. In many cases, this group of cPCI boards includes air-cooled versions that offer a companion conduction-cooled version that’s electronically an identical design. Aiming to offer a path forward, the PCI Industrial Manufacturers Group (PICMG) developed performance up54

COTS Journal | February 2012

Figure 1

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) departs San Diego last November on an independent seven-month deployment. John Paul Jones is the first ship to complete and deploy with the DDG Modernization midlife hull, mechanical and electrical upgrade, receiving more than 70 ship alterations. grade paths for cPCI, such as PICMG 2.16 and CompactPCI Express, and the PICMG 2.30 specification, called CompactPCI PlusIO. Last March, PICMG upped the ante announcing the successful completion and adoption of the CompactPCI Serial (CPCI-S.0) specification. This specification adds greater support for serial point to point fabrics like PCI Express, SATA, Ethernet and USB in the classic CompactPCI form factor. The specification contains definitions for both system and peripheral slots in 3U and 6U board sizes. It also includes definitions for eight PCI Express links, eight SATA/SAS serial buses, eight USB 2.0/3.0 buses and eight Ethernet interfaces at system slots. The new CompactPCI Serial

specification developed by PICMG member companies enables that same form factor to benefit from the latest I/O enhancements found in all modern computer silicon, and extends the life of CompactPCI form factors for years to come. CompactPCI technology was used in the Navy’s AEGIS Modernization Program (Figure 1). AEGIS Modernization Baseline (AMOD CR3) calls for modernizing CG 59-73 and DDG 51-78 with a new computing architecture through technical insertion (TI 12), upgraded display consoles, computer program enhancements, and introduces increased weapon capabilities into the AEGIS Combat System through Advanced Capability Build 12 (ACB 12).


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CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup 2nd Generation Core i7 Processor Rides 6U cPCI

3U cPCI Couples Core 2 Duo Processor, SATA SSD

DSP Card Marries TigerSHARCs and FPGA

Because it uses PCI, CompactPCI is particularly well suited to use in all the latest and greatest Intel and PC computing technology. Along such lines, ADLINK Technology has introduced the PICMG 2.0-compliant cPCI-6210 Series, a 6U CompactPCI processor blade based on the latest quad- and dual-core 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 and Intel Core i5 processors and up to 16 Gbytes of DDR3-1600 memory support.

CompactPCI, particularly in its 3U flavor, has carved out a large chunk of adoption in the military realm. Aitech Defense Systems has released a new rugged 3U single-slot CompactPCI SBC that offers up to 8 Gbytes of onboard SATA flash disk storage. The C800

FPGAs and DSPs working together form a powerful weapon for advanced signal processing applications. Exemplifying that trend is BittWare’s GT-3U-cPCI (GT3U), a ruggedized 3U CompactPCI board that has been designed for demanding multiprocessorbased applications. The GT3U features a large Altera Stratix II GX FPGA, one cluster of four ADSP-TS201S TigerSHARC processors from Analog Devices, a front panel interface supplying four channels of high-speed SerDes

Dual independent display functionality is provided via dual-mode DisplayPort and DVI-I graphics interfaces. The DisplayPort interface supports single-link DVI or HDMI with a passive adapter cable and analog VGA output via an active adapter cable. Storage interfaces supported by the cPCI-6210 Series include one SATA 6 Gbit/s direct connector for a 2.5” HDD/ SSD, one 7-pin SATA port for external storage, an optional CompactFlash socket, a built-in CFast socket and three SATA ports routed to the RTM with RAID 0/1/5/10 support. Up to eight SAS/SATA interfaces with hardware RAID are supported by the cPCI-R6200 RTM. The cPCI-6210 Series can operate in a system slot as a master or in a peripheral slot as a stand-alone blade for high-density computing applications. In addition, the cPCI-6210 Series is compliant with the PICMG 2.9 specification and supports system management functions based on the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) as well as hardware monitoring of physical characteristics such as CPU and system temperature, DC voltages and power status. TPM 1.2 is also supported on selected models to provide efficient hardwarebased data protection. Through careful component selection, the cPCI-6210 optionally supports an extended operating temperature range of -40° to +70°C.

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


COTS Journal | February 2012

combines the latest low-power Intel Core 2 Duo technology featuring data processing capabilities of 1.67 GHz or 2.20 GHz and Intel’s Speedstep dynamic frequency switching that provides multiple lower power and cooling options with highly integrated on-chip L1 and L2 caches as well as the Intel GM965 Express Graphic Chipset. The C800’s extensive I/O capabilities include automatic system/peripheral detection, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two serial communication ports, two USB 2.0 interfaces, one SATA II interface, a high-definition stereo audio output and up to eight single-ended general-purpose discrete I/O channels that are independently configurable as input or output. An industry-standard PMC slot further extends the board’s I/O functions. The C800 SBC is available in five software-compatible versions including a commercial air-cooled version for lab development, two extended temperature air-cooled formats (per PICMG 2.0 Rev. 3.0) and two extended temperature, rugged conduction-cooled formats (per ANSI/VITA 30.1-2002). OEM quantity pricing for the C800 SBC starts at $4,985.

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

transceivers, and a back panel interface providing RS-232/RS-422 and 10/100 Ethernet. Simultaneous on-board and off-board data transfers can be achieved at a rate of 2 Gbytes/s via BittWare’s ATLANTiS framework implemented in the Stratix II GX FPGA. The board also provides a large amount of onboard memory including 1 Gbyte of DDR2 SDRAM or 64 Mbytes of QDR SDRAM, as well as 64 Mbytes of flash memory for booting the FPGA and DSPs. The GT3U features a single cluster of four ADSP-TS201S TigerSHARC DSPs, which are interconnected by a 64-bit cluster bus running at up to 100 MHz. The ADSP-TS201 processor operates at up to 600 MHz, providing 3.6 Gflops of peak processing power. Because of its superscalar architecture, the ADSP-TS201 is also efficient at fixed-point processing, with each DSP supporting 14.4 Bops of processing. Along with 24 Mbits of on-chip RAM, each DSP also boasts four high-speed LVDS link ports. Each full-duplex link port is comprised of a 4-bit transmit and a 4-bit receive channel, and can support up to 500 Mbytes/s in each direction for a total maximum throughput of 1 Gbyte/s.

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

CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards

6U CompactPCI SBC Boasts Rich I/O Set

Flexible I/O Scheme Enhances 3U Board

6U SBC Delivers 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo

Concurrent Technologies has announced their latest high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer. The PP 81x/x9x is a single-slot air-cooled SBC utilizing the 2nd Generation Intel Core microarchitecture. The PP 81x/x9x supports the Intel Core i7-2715QE processor and the enhanced features of the Intel Series 6 Express chipset, along with up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3-1333 ECC SDRAM. For high-

Space and weight constraints for embedded technology in military and aerospace applications have created difficult compromises between size and a full complement of I/O. The SCP/DCP-124P from Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions takes advantage of the compact 3U CompactPCI SBC format and I/O flexibility to overcome these challenges. Utilizing PICMG 2.3, the SCP/DCP-124P routes I/O signals and supports mapping of PMC I/O through the backplane. It features Freescale’s Altivec-enhanced 7448 PowerPC supported by 1 Mbyte of internal ECC L2 cache running at core processor speed and up to 1 Gbyte of ECC DDR SDRAM.

Compute density is the goal of many of the latest military embedded computer applications. Along those lines, Dynatem, a subsidiary of Eurotech, is now shipping the Intel Core2 Duobased CRD CompactPCI/PICMG 2.16 SBC. The CRD is a 6U single-slot CompactPCI-compatible platform based on the Intel low-power Core2 Duo processor. The CRD takes advantage of the

performance I/O processing the PP 81x/x9x supports up to two independent PMC/XMC sites, each site offering up to 133 MHz PCI-X PMC operation as well as x4/x8 PCI Express XMC interfaces. As an option it is also possible to enable high-performance XMC modules to communicate with each other directly via the XMC Pn6 connectors between the two XMC sites independently of the main interconnecting buses. The boards can operate as a system controller board, a peripheral board or as a satellite board (blade). Support is also provided for PICMG 2.16 (Ethernet fabric), PICMG 2.9 (IPMI) and PICMG 2.1 (hot swap); the CompactPCI backplane interface operates at 33/66 MHz PCI signaling speeds. The PP 81x/x9x includes up to four 10/100/1000 Mbit/s Ethernet interfaces (up to two front and two rear), and the front panel also provides two USB 2.0, RS-232, dual head graphics via two digital DVI-D and analog VGA interfaces. An additional two USB 2.0 ports are optionally available via the front panel. The rear I/O connections, compatible with Concurrent Technologies’ popular PP 712/08x, provide one further USB 2.0 port, an RS-232 port, two SATA300 mass storage interfaces and an Intel High Definition Audio interface.

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

The board’s cPCI bus operates at 33/66 MHz and supports both 3.3V and 5V signaling. System expansion is provided by an onboard 64-bit, 100 MHz PCI-X-capable PMC site. The SCP/DCP-124P is available in both conductioncooled and air-cooled versions with optional rear transition cable sets to facilitate system integration and development. Conductioncooling is rated up to -40° to +85°C (Level 200). Ruggedization levels available include L0 and L100 air-cooled, and L100 and L200 conduction-cooled. Storage temperature is -50° to +100°C, and humidity rating is 10 to 95 percent RH non-condensing. Software support includes BSPs for VxWorks 5.5.x/Tornado 2.2.x and 6.x/Workbench 2.x for PowerPC, CWCEC Linux and Integrity. Support is also provided for SSSL, Curtiss-Wright’s Altivec-optimized signal processing library. Pricing starts at $6,030.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashland, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

L7400 Core2 Duo’s low power consumption as a rugged SBC. Versions supporting the T7400 2.16 GHz Core2 Duo are also available. The CRD is a conduction-cooled module with wedge locks and a full-board heat sink for high shock/vibration environments and temperature extremes. Extended temperature and versions with conformal coating are available. The CRD comes installed with 2 Gbyte or 4 Gbyte DDR2-400 memory, supporting ECC. Memory is BGA for the best shock/vibration spec. The E7520 Memory Controller Hub (MCH) and 6300ESB I/O Controller Hub (ICH) chips support PCIe and PCI-X expansion, respectively. Two or four onboard Gbit Ethernet ports are controlled by two PCI Express-based 82571EB dual 10/100/1000BaseTX controllers. Two Ethernet PICMG 2.16-compliant Gbit Ethernet ports are routed to the backplane. Standard conduction-cooled CRD boards have no front panel I/O due to the cooling plates. A special version has been developed with additional 2 Gbits of Ethernet routed through the front cooling plates. The two onboard PMC mezzanine card interfaces are accessed through the 6300ESB’s 64-bit PCI-X bus. One of the two PMC sites also accommodates an XMC module supported by x8 PCIe. Pricing for the CRD starts at $6,938 in single quantity.

Dynatem Mission Viejo, CA. (949) 855-3235. [].

February 2012 | COTS Journal


CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards

3U CompactPCI Card Serves Up Core i7 and 8 Gbyte RAM

Multicore PowerPC Climbs onto 3U CompactPCI

6U 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo Board Boasts Health Monitoring

Extreme Engineering Solutions has announced the immediate availability of the XPedite7331, an air-cooled, 3U CompactPCI Express card with dual cores operating at 2.53, 2.0, or 1.06 GHz. The Intel Core i7 delivers enhanced performance and efficiency for

CompactPCI is no longer the new kid on the block for military embedded systems. GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the IMP3A, a 3U CompactPCI single board computer featuring the latest dual core QorIQ processor technology from Freescale. The IMP3A takes advantage of the QorIQ P2020 processor to deliver dual core performance in a single core power envelope. By coupling the P2020 with an extensive range of memory resources and I/O features, and implementing new features such as SATA and NAND Flash memory, the IMP3A offers innovative

An increasing number of military applications are requiring computing that can operate autonomously. That means the system has to monitor its own health. With that in mind, General Micro System’s “2nd Coming” is the industry’s first 6U, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo, Conduction-Cooled cPCI SBC to provide full System Health Monitoring and reporting to meet all PICMG 2.9 specifications, while adding a slew of additional health monitoring and reporting system status to an external device.

today’s network information processing and other embedded computing applications. Complementing processor performance, the XPedite7331 features up to 8 Gbytes of DDR31066 ECC SDRAM, multiple PCI Express interfaces, 32 Mbytes of NOR boot flash, and up to 16 Gbytes of NAND flash. A Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB UART serial port provide for additional system flexibility. The board is offered in two ruggedization levels. For level 1, the cooling method is standard air-cooled. Operating temperature is 0 to +55°C ambient (300 LFM). Storage temperature is 0 to +85°C ambient. Vibration is rated at 0.002 g 2/Hz, 5 to 2000 Hz and shock at shock 20g, 11 ms sawtooth. Humidity is 0% to 95% non-condensing. For the level 3 version, the board is rugged air-cooled with an operating temperature of -40° to +70°C (600 LFM). Storage temperature is 40° to +105°C ambient. Vibration rates at 0.04 g 2/ Hz (maximum), 5 to 2000 Hz, and shock at 20g, 11 ms sawtooth. Humidity is 0% to 95% non-condensing. The XPedite7331 provides a high-performance, feature-rich solution for current and future generations of embedded applications. Operating system support packages for the XPedite7331 include Wind River VxWorks, QNX Neutrino, Green Hills INTEGRITY and Linux.

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


COTS Journal | February 2012

technologies for programs committed to the 3U CompactPCI architecture as well as a highly cost-effective technology insertion opportunity for GE’s existing IMP1A/IMP2A customers. A typical application would see the IMP3A deployed as part of a control system on board a tank, armored vehicle or helicopter. The IMP3A supports a choice of either the QorIQ P2010 single core processor or the QorIQ P2020 dual core processor, operating at up to 1.2 GHz. Both symmetric and asymmetric processing are supported, enabling customers to scale performance through either threadlevel or application-level parallelism. A PCI-X PMC expansion capability enables customers to configure the IMP3A to their requirements without exceeding the capacity of a single CompactPCI slot. Up to 4 Gbytes of soldered DDR3 ECC memory is featured for maximum system throughput and reliability, while flexible connectivity is provided with two Gigabit Ethernet channels, up to 16 GPIO ports, two SATA channels, two COM ports and USB 2.0. The IMP3A is available in five build levels from office/benign to conduction-cooled with a maximum operating temperature of +85°C.

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

The CC276 supports up to 4 Gbytes of 667 MHz DDR-2 memory and vast onboard I/O. The standard I/O included are dual Gbit Ethernet on PCIe bus with TCP/IP Offloading Engine, dual IDE, quad SATA with RAID (0, 1, 5, 10 and 50) capabilities, five USB-2.0, 1 Mbyte of user/Boot flash and two serial ports. Additional standard I/O included are: one PMC/XMC site with rear I/O, 16 bidirectional Digital I/O lines and dual COM ports with RS232/422 buffers (jumper selectable). The C276 module is fully compliant to IEEE Std. 1101.2 and ANSI/VITA 2-0 2001. The 2nd Coming operates from -40° to +85°C at the rails with relative humidity of 5-95 percent at 40°C, and may be exposed to shocks of up to 100g for 5 ms, or 40g for 11 ms in 3 axis. The 2nd Coming supports extremes; vibrations range from 5 Hz to 2 KHz for up to 30 minutes at 15g RMS in each axis.

General Micro Systems Rancho Cucamonga, CA. (909) 980-4863. [].

CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards

6U CompactPCI Boards Offered in Two Rugged Levels Kontron has introduced two rugged 6U CompactPCI PICMG 2.16-compliant processor boards with 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor technology. The boards are available in two ruggedization levels, the rugged aircooled Kontron CP6003-RA for installations that require versatile and comprehensive I/O capabilities, and the rugged conductioncooled Kontron CP6003-RC for deployment in extremely harsh environments. By offering two ruggedization levels, Kontron enables designers to choose the ideal solution for their application.

CompactPCI Serial SBC Brings Serial Interfaces to Rugged Computing A SBC is based on the newly ratified PICMG CPCI-S.0 CompactPCI Serial specification that was announced at Embedded World 2011. The G20 from MEN Micro uses the 64-bit Intel Core i7 processor with a base processing speed of 2.53 GHz that supports Intel Turbo Boost Hyperthreading technology to provide a maximum speed of 3.20 GHz. In addition

CompactPCI Carrier Board Supports High-Power PMCs Mezzanine functions such as 10 Gbit Ethernet, PMC I/O or FPGA PMC modules require more power than the typical PMC mezzanine. With that in mind, Xembedded LLC, a XycomVME Company, has announced the XCPC-9200 CompactPCI Dual Carrier module. This new CompactPCI Dual PMC Carrier module provides 25 watts of power to each PMC site. The XCPC-9200 is well suited for 10 Gigabit Ethernet, PMC I/O or FPGA PMC modules requiring more than the standard 12 watts of power supply outlined

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Up to 16 Gbytes of soldered DDR3 1333 ECC to the standard, fastsolutions 8 Gbyte DDR3 companies providing now ECC memory ensures data accuracy for demanding SDRAM soldered against shock vibration, Connected is a new resource forand further exploration and safety-critical applications like radar or sonar Get a CompactFlash andand a microSD card slot your goal into products, technologies companies. Whether systems. A rugged NAND Flash with up to 32 in the IEEE- P1386.2001 specification. Using connected to datasheet the G20 via USB interface can is to research the latest fromone a company, speak directly Gbytes can be integrated via a SATA interface to the industry standard PLX PCI-6540 PCI-Xextend memory capacities. with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the host complete operating systems or application to-PCI-X transparent bridge, the XCPC-9200 A CPU-independent microprocessor the goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the rightinresource. code, which substantially increases overall supports the PMC and CompactPCI interface G20 based on the Intel Advanced Management Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, system speed and availability. The Kontron 6U with a 32/64-bit data path and bus speeds of Technology (AMT) allows remote accessand viaproducts an Get Connected will help you connect with the companies CompactPCI processor board CP6003-RA meets 66/133 MHz on the PMC sites and 33/66 MHz integrated Ethernet controller, even when the you are searching for. ruggedization level EAC6 according to VITA 47. on the CompactPCI bus. computer is in soft-off or stand-by state. This is Equipped with the Intel Core i7-2715QE quadThe XCPC-9200 functions well in both 3.3V especially useful in systems where the operating core processor, it features a temperature range I/O and 5V I/O backplanes. The PMC sites system has crashed or the hard disk is defective, from -40° to +55°C and up to +70°C with the 2.2 support 3.3V I/O. The XCPC-9200 is available since an error diagnosis with repair can be GHz Intel Core i7-2655LE dual-core processor. in conduction-cooled -40° to 85°C and aircarried out remotely as long as the system has The Kontron CompactPCI processor board cooled -25° to 70°C versions. The XCPC-9200 standby voltage. Standard front I/O includes two CP6003-RA comes with 5x SATA ports with offers both front and rear-panel I/O support in PCIe-driven Gigabit Ethernet and two USB 2.0 RAID 0/1/5/10 functionality for enhanced dataGet Connected a standard 6Unow CompactPCI. An optional rear with and companies solutions interfaces as well as technology two DisplayPorts that can providing security, 6x USB 2.0 ports, 2x RS-232 ports, VGA, transition module, is available be used as isana HDMI or DVI via aninto products, technologies and XCPC-9092, Get Connected new resource forconnection further exploration companies. Whether your goal is to research th dual HDMI as well as 5x Gigabit Ethernet portsdatasheetexternal the rear I/O to 68-pin SCSI type adapter. speak A total of eight Express Engineer,toordistribute from a company, directly withPCI an Application jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connect for extensively networked environments. connectors. in touch with theinright Whichever levelG20 of service require for whatever type of technology, links theresource. front and back of the enableyou fast The Kontron 6U CompactPCI processorGet Connected will help youFor connect with the companies and products you are searching for. communication. user-specific applications, CP6003-RC is the conduction-cooled version the rear I/O also provides eight USB ports, six Xembedded of the same board, suitable for integration in SATA ports, a Display or HDMI port as well as a Ann Arbor, MI. completely enclosed systems. It features high PEG x8 port and five PCI Express x1 links. MEN (734) 975-0577. mechanical resistance and is ideal for in-vehicle Micro also offers the GM1 CompactPCI Serial installations. Qualified to VITA 47 conduction[]. mezzanine module that leads four of the possible cooled ruggedization level ECC4, the Kontron eight Ethernet interfaces specified in the standard CP6003-RC supports operating temperatures of to the backplane where they are implemented up to -40°C to +85°C at the card edge. Samples of on CompactPCI Serial connector P6 assembled the Kontron CP6003-RA/RC are available now. on the GM1, saving costs and increasing system Full production is scheduled for March 2012. flexibility. Pricing for the G20 is $2,097.


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

MEN Micro Ambler, PA. Get Connected with companies and (215) 542-9575. products featured in this section. [].

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February 2012 | COTS Journal




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Products Get Connected

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Ruggedized Ethernet Delivers 52 Ports of Cisco IOS Network Connectivity

Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. The network-centric trend has become a critical piece of today’s military operations. Serving that need, Eurotech Parvus theproducts DuraNET 4948, a ruggedized Getsubsidiary Connected withannounces companies and featured in this section. version of Cisco Systems’ high-performance Catalyst 4948E data center switch with forty-eight downlink and four uplink ports in a hardened 2U chassis qualified to meet MIL-STD-810G environmental and MIL-STD-461F EMI requirements. This powerful, multilayer switch enables demanding military and civil IP networking technology refresh programs to leverage the best that Cisco switching technology has to offer, but in a ruggedized 19” rackmount solution suitable for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications. This product offers wider thermal, shock, vibration, altitude and humidity conditions than offered by the standard commercial Cisco version. The DuraNET 4948 integrates redundant aircraft-grade power supplies, internal heaters, enhanced heatsinking and upgraded cooling fans with efficient front-to-back chassis airflow management to reduce data center operating costs. Suitable for demanding military ground vehicle, aircraft and maritime installations, the DuraNET 4948 comes equipped with rugged MIL-38999 connector interfaces, bringing out a total of 48 Gigabit Ethernet downlinks, plus three 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks (2 Copper/1 Fiber) and a Gigabit Fiber uplink. The unit features Cisco’s full-featured Enterprise Services IOS software image with the advanced Quality of Service (QoS), high availability, security and manageability that customers expect from Cisco for critical data center architectures, including advanced Layer 3 routing protocol support, 3DES encryption and network management tools. Parvus, Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. [].

Signal Integrity Network Analyzers Offer 8 and 12 Ports

3U OpenVPX Mini ATR Provides Flexibility in a Small Footprint

LeCroy has made available 8- and 12-port models of its SPARQ series of signal integrity network analyzers. The SPARQ makes S-parameter measurements quickly. With the 8- and 12-port SPARQ models, signal integrity engineers finally have a product to characterize crosstalk in multi-lane differential structures. All SPARQ models utilize a built-in OSLT calibration kit to allow users to rapidly calibrate the analyzer and measure the device under test, without using error-prone calibration standards that are external to the instrument. SPARQ analyzers are small, rugged and portable, and are designed to be used by any engineer; SPARQ users do not require the high level of expertise needed to calibrate and use a VNA. All required items to use a SPARQ are standard with the unit, including 40 GHz high phase-stable cables. This is in contrast to the VNA; a 12-port VNA is typically a 2- or 4-port unit built up with additional test sets and interconnects, becoming a system with higher complexity, cost and upkeep. VNAs, especially 8- and 12-port versions, lack the simplicity of the SPARQ design. The new models, SPARQ-3012E (12-port, $149,990) and the SPARQ-3008E (8-port $99,990) are available now.

Elma Electronic offers the 3U VPX Mini ATR in a rugged OpenVPX platform designed for use in harsh environments where SWaP is critical. Measuring only 133 mm high x 180 mm wide x 250 mm deep, the compact unit is ideal for space-constrained environments. The core architecture of the new unit leverages Elma’s extensive experience with ATR design for harsh environments that has been proven in hundreds of field-use applications. The new Mini ATR ships configured with a 3-slot, 3U OpenVPX backplane designed to VITA 65, and can be configured with solid state storage and a 250W power supply. The unit can be modified to accommodate a plug-in version of the power supply module, providing up to 350W VDC. The 3U VPX Mini ATR platform is targeted at applications requiring a high level of processing capability in a small footprint, such as UAS image processing, radar signal processing and other applications that require high bandwidth signal processing and data communications. If a standard OpenVPX backplane profile cannot support the needs of the end application, a custom target application profile (TAP) can be defined and manufactured to meet the application requirements.

LeCroy, Chestnut Ridge, NY. (800) 553-2769. [].

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

PCB Mount Encapsulated AC/DC Power Supply Delivers 4W ConTech, a Division of Calex Mfg., announces the “PK4” Series of AC/DC switching power supplies. The PK4 Series offers 4 watts of output power in a 1.44 x 1.06 x .67-inch encapsulated case, making it well suited for small size PCB applications. The PK4 series operates from a standard 85 to 264 VAC input, at 47 to 440 Hz. The single output models available are 3.3, 5, 9, 12, 15 & 24 VDC. Dual output models are +5/+3, +12/+5, +/-12 and +/-15 VDC. Protective features used in this series are output over-voltage protection and short circuit protection. The units are encapsulated with a thermally conductive potting compound in a plastic resin and fiberglass case that meets UL94V-0. The PK4 Series is priced as low as $12.10/each.

ConTech, Concord, CA. (925) 609-1193. []. 60

COTS Journal | February 2012

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

8-Channel H.264 Video Codec Rides Get Connected with companies and products featuredCompactPCI in this section.

Advanced Micro Peripherals has introduced an channel H.264 codec for CompactPCI systems. The H.264-cPCI8 provides a powerful and flexible solution for capturing and compressing up to eight analog SD composite video inputs at full size and at full frame rate to the H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC compression standard. The H264-cPCI8 not only provides H.264 compression but can also simultaneously decompress and replay recordings from storage to display. This board allows high-quality real -time video and audio capture and compression from NTSC/PAL video sources to disk. The H.264 video data compression and efficient bus utilization allow multiple H264-cPCI8 cards within a CompactPCI system for multichannel video recording and streaming applications.

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

Wireless Networking Solutions Provide Rugged Broadband Cambium Networks offers two networking products—the Cambium PTP 600 Series and the new Cambium RDB 350 Rapid Deployment Wireless Broadband product—both field proven and designed to meet performance, security and environmental requirements of government standards. The only commercially available broadband wireless Fixed Network Element (F-NE) solution currently certified on the UC APL, the Cambium PTP 600 Series provides high connectivity and backhaul, even in the most challenging non-line-of-sight environments. The PTP 600 Series includes both licensed and unlicensed solutions for a variety of bands serving the U.S Federal, Military and NATO agencies and public safety sectors. Purpose-built for use in defense applications, RDB 350 is a rapid deployment broadband wireless solution delivering near- and nonline-of-sight point-to-multipoint connectivity in both at the halt (ATH) and on the move (OTM) environments. The product leverages secure, industry-standard 4G 802.16e WiMAX technology in a ruggedized MIL-STD-810G, all-outdoor package. Using the 4.4 to 5.0 GHz U.S. Federal and NATO Band IV spectrum, agencies can deploy a variety of broadband applications such as 4G convoy mobility with speeds up to 80 km per hour, garrison wireline replacement, and video surveillance and sensor networks. The RDB 350 is a light infrastructure platform that does not require core network servers and can be deployed and online in less than an hour. With a variety of channel bandwidths (10, 7, 5, 3.5), communications officers have a large degree of freedom when deploying in heavily congested areas.

Cambium Networks, Schaumburg IL. (888) 863-5250. [].

USB Amplifier Blends Signal Conditioning and Band Pass Filter Alligator Technologies offers a USBcontrolled single channel programmable signal conditioning instrumentation amplifier and band pass filter. Extremely configurable in a wide variety of applications, the USBPBP-S1 is available in a wide range of filter characteristics. Each USBPBP-S1 has intelligence built in to configure itself from power-up with changeable but non-volatile configuration and operates independently in both a “Turn-Key” or host computer controlled scenario. The new module is compatible with all 12, 16, or 24-bit A/D devices. The USBPBP-S1 provides the user with the ability to mix and match filter characteristics and independently select and program each module’s high pass corner frequency, low pass corner frequency, gain steps up to x1000 in either single-ended or differential measurements. Available from stock to three weeks ARO, the USBPBP-S1 is priced as low as $498.

Alligator Technologies, Costa Mesa, CA. (949) 515-1400. [].

Atom-Based COM Express Card Module Runs on 6W Advantech has launched the latest COM Express Compact CPU module. SOM-6765 is powered by the super low power Intel Atom N2600 and D2700 processors based on COM.0 R2.0 type 2 pin-out. Type 2 pin-out and legacy I/O support make for easy migration, and type 2 connectors are resistant to shock and vibration while offering high bandwidth and high-speed data transmission. SOM-6765 is based on the latest Intel Atom dual-core N2600 and D2700 processors based on 32nm technology, which includes hardware HD decode and support for faster DDR3 1066 memory. SOM-6765 offers dual display output and various graphic interfaces such as LVDS, VGA and even Blu-ray via HDMI. An improved DDI function gives more flexibility to media design without interfering with the original COM.0 R2.0 type 2 specification. For expansion, SOM-6765 supports 2 PCIe x1, 4 x PCI masters and an optional 1 x PCIe x4 slot for performance-demanding applications. There is a built-in Gigabit LAN on board for network-intensive applications. SOM-6765 also supports 2 x SATAII, 8 x USB2.0, LPC, SMBus, I2C Bus, EIDE and 8-bit GPIO. SOM6765’s wide range temperature capability (-40° to 85°C) makes it super reliable so it can endure extreme environment requirements and applications. Pricing for the SOM-6765 starts at $330 per unit.

Advantech, Irvine, CA. 949-789-7178. []. February 2012 | COTS Journal


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

Input/Output Video Wall Controller Board Is Now HDCP Compliant Matrox Graphics has announced that the Matrox Mura MPX video wall controller boards are HDCP (Highbandwidth Digital Content Protection) compliant, simplifying the work for AV Integrators seeking to enable Get Connected companies andHDCP products featured in this section. copy protected content across Mura-driven video walls. Mura input/output with boards facilitate interoperability by capturing high definition video from up to four HDCP sources and displaying the content on up to four HDCP-enabled displays. A video wall controller with up to six boards can support up to twenty-four inputs that are scaled, positioned and manipulated across twenty-four outputs. HDCP is an encrypted protocol used between video sources and video receivers to prevent unauthorized access to protected content. Built on PCI Express x16 Gen2 technology, each Mura board leverages 64 Gbit/s duplex data transfer to ensure Full HD performance of multiple copy protected content sources across a video wall.

Matrox Graphics, Dorval, Quebec. (514) 822-6000. [].

60 MHz Oscilloscope/Logic Analyzer Is USB Powered

COM Express Module with the Latest Atom Processor-Based Platform

A new, USB-powered, mixed-signal 60 MHz oscilloscope adapter for PCs combines a two-channel oscilloscope with a synchronous eightchannel logic analyzer, sampling at 200 Msamples/s (5ns), all in one compact, extremely portable USB instrument. Simultaneously clocked analog waveforms and digital data can now be displayed in phase on the same screen with the efficient and easyto-use FrontPanel software. The MSO28 from Saelig has advanced triggering options that include: oscilloscope (analog) trigger: rising/falling edge and pulse width; logic analyzer trigger: 8-bit trigger word; SPI trigger (32-bit trigger word); I2C trigger (32-bit trigger word) or any of the logic lines.

A Type VI compact size COM Express Basic module measures 95 mm x 95 mm (3.74˝ x 3.74˝). The compact PCOM-B218VG from American Portwell includes the Intel Atom processor N2000 and D2000 series and the Intel NM10 Express chipset. This platform includes an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3600/3650 engine to enhance 3D performance for media applications such as highdefinition 1080p imaging; two Display Ports that support multiple DP/HDMI/DVI functions; one SO-DIMM socket to support DDR3 SDRAM up to 4 Gbyte; two SATA; one Fast Ethernet; expansion (via the COM Express carrier board) of four PCI-E x1, which can be configured to one PCI Express x4, LPC interface and high-definition audio interface; and a PCOM-C211 developer COM Express Type VI carrier board.

Saelig, Pittsford, NY. (888) 772-3544. [].

American Portwell, Fremont, CA. (510) 403-3399. [].

COM Express Reference Carrier Designed for Extended Temperature A reference and evaluation board validated for use in the extended temperature range of -40° to +85°C, makes a suitable platform either for direct deployment in, or for carrying out development of, rugged applications in extreme environments. The COM Express Reference Carrier-i Type 10 from Kontron can host all COM Express mini COMs with pin-out Type 10. In addition to COM Express Type 1 pin-out based designs, the Kontron Reference Carrier-i Type10 features new digital video interfaces such as DisplayPort and DVI, CAN Bus and COM ports. Developers and OEMs will now have more I/O f lexibility for developing scalable and ultra-compact applications on a 120 x 120 mm Nano-ITX footprint. The Kontron COM Express Reference Carrier-i Type 10 is suitable for all COM Express Type 10-compliant mini COMs and carries all of the interfaces defined for the COM Express pin-out Type 10. In addition to the availability of LVDS, developers will also enjoy the benefits of the DisplayPort and DVI interfaces that are directly accessible on the carrier board. This reference carrier board design offers remarkable flexibility when selecting the type of panel to be deployed. For application-specific expansion, the carrier board offers two Mini PCI Express extension slots with USB and SIM card support. This makes developing applications that are connected via GSM, UMTS or future LTE, a simple task. A total of seven USB ports are available, including port 7 as a USB client. The power supply can also fall within a wide range of 5.5 to 20 VDC.

Kontron, Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. []. 62

COTS Journal | February 2012

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

16-Port Serial to Ethernet Servers Embed 400 MHz ARM CPU Aaxeon Technologies has announced the Get Connected and products featured in this section. release its Devolinx with line companies of Serial to Ethernet Device Servers. After the very successful introduction of its 1, 2, 4 and 8-port Serial to Ethernet Device Servers, Aaxeon now introduces its new 16-port STE-516C device server. The STE-516C features 16 universal RS-232/422/485 serial ports and comes with 19” rack mounting hardware. It also supports web interface configuration and comes with Virtual COM software free of charge. The device is based on an ARM9G20 400 MHz CPU. It supports Dual 10/100 Ethernet, LAN and WAN communication. Network protocols supported include TCP, UDP, Telnet, ICMP, DHCP, TFTP, HTTP, SNMP 1/2/3, SSH and SSL. Easy IP address configuration with front LCD panel is provided along with management access password protection

Aaxeon Technologies, Brea, CA. (714) 671-9000. [].

9U OpenVPX Forced-Air-Cooled Chassis Supports 75W Per Slot Compute density requirements have brought 9U dimensions back into the forefront. CurtissWright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) has introduced the RME9XC, a new 12-slot 9U-high development chassis designed to ease the design of 3U OpenVPX-based systems. This air-cooled enclosure supports up to 12 slots of 3U 1” pitch payload OpenVPX cards and rear transition modules. Designed to satisfy the most extreme cooling requirements for 3U OpenVPX systems, the rackmount RME9XC chassis meets stringent ANSI/VITA 65 power and cooling requirements for air-cooled 75W 3U OpenVPX modules, delivering greater than 18 CFM per slot with high-pressure 3U OpenVPX payload. The RME9XC supports OpenVPX backplanes with high-speed Gen2 switch fabric data rates up to 6.25 Gbaud. 2600W power supply configurations are available for both 12V-centric and 5V-centric payload for development use. The RME9XC chassis are the newest member of Defense Solutions’ Hybricon family of advanced COTS electronic packaging solutions. These rackmount-style enclosures support power supplies up to 2600W and provide the level of cooling required to ensure optimal performance for the most demanding high-power 3U OpenVPX applications. The RME9XC measures 15.69 inch (9U) high, 18.96 inch wide and 19.53 inch deep and weighs 77 lbs. The card cage is constructed of precision grade aluminum and utilizes (patented) Hybricon brand CoolSlot card guides to provide uniform air flow distribution. The unit is OpenVPX REDI designed to the latest ANSI/VITA 46.0, VITA 46.3-VDSTU, VITA 46.4-VDSTU, VITA 46.6-VDSTU, VITA 46.7-VDSTU, VITA 46.8-VDSTU, ANSI/VITA 46.10, ANSI/VITA 48.0, ANSI/VITA 48.1, ANSI/ VITA 65 and VITA 68 OpenVPX specifications.

8 Gbyte DDR3 DRAM Modules Serve High End Compute Needs Swissbit extends its Industrial family of highperformance, high-reliability SDRAM memory products by three new memory modules: the 8 Gbyte DDR3 SODIMM, the 8 Gbyte DDR3 SO-UDIMM with ECC and the 8 Gbyte Registered DIMM. These modules offer the highest DDR3 memory capacity on the smallest possible system area and enable applications with a high need of main memory running on the latest multicore CPUs. The three module types are using the latest Samsung 4 Gbit DDR3 components, offering the smallest module dimensions and extremely low power consumption compared to 2 Gbit-based solutions. The modules are available in both commercial 0° to +85°C (TCase) and industrial -40° to +95°C (TCase) temperature grades at PC3-10600 speed grade.

Swissbit, Bronschofen, Switzerland. +41 71 913 03 03. [].

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Ashland, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

3U Rackmount Computers Feature Dense Processing, 20-Inch Rack Depth NextComputing has announced an expansion to its line of high-density rackmount computing products with the introduction of Nucleus RM. In many industries, high-end systems are required on site where access to a server room is impossible, or used in mobile setups. Military vehicles in particular have a growing need for high-density computing to retrieve and process massive amounts of data. The Nucleus RM series consists of two small form factor 3U products, each only 20 inches deep, with either front-facing or rearfacing I/O. Both versions feature dual quad-core or six-core Intel Xeon processors, or a single Intel Core i7 processor. Memory includes up to 288 Gbyte DDR3 memory. Up to 18 removable or 26 fixed 2.5-inch hard drives are supported, either SATA, SAS, or SSD. And up to seven full-length, full-height PCI Express or PCI slots are included for multiple high-performance GPUs, RAID controllers, high-speed network adapters, or other I/O.

NextComputing, Nashua, NH. (603) 886-3874. []. February 2012 | COTS Journal


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

Conduction-Cooled 1000W Power Supplies Feature I2C Bus Communication A new series of baseplate/conduction-cooled power supplies is capable of providing

Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. up to 1000 watts without fans or forced-air-cooling, thereby providing

noise-free operation. With a baseplate and ambient operating temperature range of from -40° up to +85°C, the CPFE1000F series of AC-DC power supplies from TDK-Lambda will be of special interest to designers who need high power but cannot use fans, or where the power supply is mounted in an enclosure. These single output power supplies operate with a wide universal input range of from 90 to 265 VAC with PFC and are available with DC outputs of 12V, 28V (adjustable to 24V) or 48 VDC. Due to its wide output adjustment range of +/- 20%, the output voltage can be set to match a variety of customer-specific applications. The outputs of these units can be connected in series or parallel for higher power applications. The power supply’s baseplate is designed to easily attach to metal enclosures or other heat-sinking surfaces, thus eliminating the need for fans or forced-air-cooling. A distinguishing feature of the CPFE1000F series is its internal I2C bus interface, which can send operational parameters of the power supply to remote locations. Pricing is $825 in 50-piece quantities.

TDK-Lambda Americas, San Diego, CA. (619) 628-2859. [].

Panel PC Integrates Touch LCD with Main Board A new Smart Panel series of products is designed to provide an “allin-one” concept to panel computing applications. Smart Panel products from ADLINK comprise highly integrated, ultrathin and flexible designs ready for development. The series of products integrates the CPU, networking capability and a display into a single panel device. The Smart Panel incorporates the main board and is designed for minimal size and thickness, which gives greater flexibility to the case design of the target application. The Smart Panel completely integrates three key components of a system design: a highbrightness LCD panel, a touch screen and a main board. Current Smart Panel products are offered in x86 and ARM architectures with displays ranging from 5” to 21.5” for a variety of applications. The high-definition display (1920 x 1080) options include aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9.

3.5-Inch SBC Serves Up Intel ULV N2600/D2700/ N2800 and DDR3 WIN Enterprises has announced the MB-80410, a 3.5-inch SBC featuring a choice of Intel N2600, D2700 or N2800 processors (formerly code named Cedarview). The device features the Intel NM10 Express chipset, a lead-free, halogen-free 17x17 mm single package that is 85% smaller than the two device chipsets used in the prior generation. This enables more compact system-level solutions. MB-80410 is designed for OEM solutions where both compact size and low power consumption are desirable. DDR3 SODIMM provides maximum memory of 2 Gbytes for the Intel N2600 and N2800 processors and up to 4 Gbytes with the D2700 processor. Seven USB ports are provided, as well as a Mini-PCIe slot.

WIN Enterprises, North Andover, MA. (978) 688-2000. [].

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

SSDI Registers New Hyper Fast Rectifiers with JEDEC Solid State Devices announced two new series of JEDEC-registered hyper fast recovery rectifiers, the 1N80181N8020 series and the 1N8021-1N8023 series. The 1N8018-1N8020 series consists of 9 nsec hyper fast soft recovery / low EMI rectifiers, and the 1N8021-1N8023 series consists of 5 nsec hyper fast rectifiers. Both series feature 1 amp, 100 - 200 volt axial leaded and surface mount square tab devices with a low forward voltage drop of 0.98V at 1A. These products are hermetically sealed in a void free glass ceramic construction to form a high temperature metallurgical category I bond. As a result, these diodes provide excellent liquid-to-liquid thermal shock performance and serve as a more rugged replacement for 1N6638, 1N6642 and 1N5806 devices.

Solid State Devices, La Mirada, CA. (562) 404-4474. []. 64

COTS Journal | February 2012

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

6U CompactPCI SBC Boasts 2nd Gen Intel Core i7 Extreme Engineering Solutions has introduced the XCalibur4401, a 6U CompactPCI SBC based on the 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. (formerly codenamed Sandy Bridge). Available in either conductionor air-cooled versions, the XCalibur4401 utilizes the processor’s dual- or quad-core technology operating at up to 2.5 GHz. Memory includes up to 16 Gbytes of DDR3-1333 ECC SDRAM in two channels. Non-volatile storage is comprised of up to 128 Gbytes of user flash and 32 Mbytes of boot flash. Front- and rear-panel Gigabit Ethernet ports are on the board along with rear-panel USB 2.0 high-speed ports. Two PrPMC/XMC sites provide expansion capability. The card complies with PICMG 2.0, 2.1, 2.3, 2.9 and 2.16.

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

Mini-ITX Embedded Board Can Be Configured to Requirements A new embedded Mini-ITX board measures only 17 cm x 17 cm and is an extremely flexible embedded board with top class functionality and performance for POS and kiosks. The VIA VB7009 from Via Technologies is a Mini-ITX embedded board with a wide variety of CPU choices ranging from a fanless 1.0 GHz VIA C7 to more powerful options of either a 1.6 GHz VIA C7-D or 1.2 GHz dual core VIA Nano X2 processor. In addition to enabling support for up to 4 Gbyte of DDR3 system memory, the VIA VX900 MSP features the VIA ChromotionHD 2.0 video processor, boasting comprehensive hardware acceleration for the latest VC1, H.264, MPEG-2 and WMV9 HD formats at screen resolutions of up to 1080p without incurring a heavy CPU load. Rear I/O includes one VGA port, four USB 2.0 ports, one COM port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one PS/2 keyboard/mouse port and three audio jacks for line-in/out and mic-in. Onboard pin headers provide support for an additional four USB 2.0 ports, three COM pin headers, an LPC connector, SMBus connector, PS/2 support, audio jacks and LVDS. The VIA VB7009 is fully compatible with Microsoft and the most popular Linux operating systems and is available in a variety of configurations.

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

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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 2.5â&#x20AC;? SSDs. Options for discrete controlled secure erase.

RedRockTechnologies,Inc. 480Ͳ483Ͳ3777

A standard single mid-size or full-size AMC.1 module conforms to MicroTCA enhancements for rear I/O and precision timing (MTCA.4) with a user-programmable XC6SLX45T-2 or XC6SLX100T-2 Spartan-6 FPGA. Designed for industrial, COTS and transportation applications where specialized I/O or long-term availability is required, the TAMC651 from Tews Technologies provides a number of advantages including a customizable interface for unique applications and an FPGA-based design to extend product lifecycle. The Spartan-6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s integrated PCIe Endpoint Block is connected to AMC port 4. AMC ports 12-15 (point-to-point) and AMC ports 17-20 (multidrop) connect to FPGA I/O pins via onboard M-LVDS transceivers. One of the Spartan-6 GTP transceivers utilizes an SFP interface available at the front plate. SFP support signals are available as FPGA I/O pins. Four FPGA-controlled LEDs are also available at the front plate. In compliance with MTCA.4, the TAMC651 provides two 30-pair ADF connectors at the Zone 3 interface (Rear I/O).

TEWS Technologies, Reno, NV. (775) 850-5380. [].

Virtex-7 FPGA SDR Modules Target UAV, Radar and Communications The first member of a new high-performance software defined radio moduleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Onyx family from Pentekâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is a 4-channel, 200 MHz A/D XMC module based on the Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA family. Pentekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Onyx modules use the same modular I/O interfaces as the popular Virtex-6 FPGA Cobalt family, while boosting memory, logic and I/O performance. The new Onyx Model 71760, for instance, is similar to the Cobalt 71660, but has twice the memory capacity and I/O bandwidth, addressing the most challenging unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), radar and communication applications. As the first in the Onyx product line, the Model 71760 demonstrates the relationship of the Onyx and Cobalt families. The Onyx Model 71760 shares many of the same architectural and front-end characteristics as the similar Cobalt Model 71660 module: a four-channel, 16-bit, 200 MHz A/D, external sample clock synchronization and a VITA 42.0 XMC-compatible switched fabric interface. Architectural enhancements in the Onyx family include a doubling of the DDR3 memory in both size and speed to 4 Gbyte and 1600 MHz, respectively. The PCIe interface has been upgraded to Gen 3, delivering peak speeds up to 8 Gbyte/s. The 71760 FPGA comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronization, tagging and formatting, making the board an ideal turn-key interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications. The Model 71760 XMC module with 4 Gbyte of memory starts at $15,995, with versions also in PCIe, cPCI and VPX formats.

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. []. 66

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COTS Journal | February 2012

11/22/11 9:59:56 AM

Power Conversion Products & Rackmount Blade System Gallery CPCI Series 200-650 Watts High Density Compact PCI Power Supply

Featuring the latest in Power Conversion Products and Rackmount Blade System technologies

The Digital Power Compact PCI 6U and 3U Series power supplies offer industry leading performance providing power of 200 Watt to 650 Watt serving the Military, Industrial and Telecom markets, with a full range of AC Input as well as 24 VDC and 48 VDC input products. The entire range of products are compliant to the PICMG 2.11 power interface specification and fits standard CPCI chassis in both 6U and 3U form factor

Digital Power Corporation Phone: (866) 344-7697 Fax: (510) 353-4023

10 MHz High Speed & Isolated USB Data Acquisition Module

Titan 3U OpenVPX DAS 3U OpenVPX Quad SATA (3Gbit/s interfaces) Up to 4 SATA 2.5” drives supported Up to 2.4TB SLC SSD storage Up to 4TB MLC SSD storage -40°C to +85°C operating temperature MIL-STD-810 Compliant

Data Translation’s DT9862 features isolated, high-speed USB data acquisition at throughput rates up to 10 MHz on one channel; 10MHz burst sampling on 2 channels, or 5 MHz on 2 channels continuously. Each analog input channel has its own separate A/D converter eliminating phase shift between each channel, and to allow you to correlate measurements at the exact same instant in time.

Data Translation Inc. Phone: (800) 525-8528 Fax: (508) 481-8620

Galleon Embedded Computing E-mail: Web:

Phone: (832) 437-1993

VPX55-3 DC/DC Power Supply 300W, 3U, VPX

North Atlantic Industries, Inc. E-mail: Web:

E-mail: Web:

FORTIS Zd High Speed Backplane Connector

VITA 62 compatible Rugged/Conduction-cooled Meets NAVMAT guidelines EMI Filtering designed to MIL-STD-461F Transient Protection per MIL-STD704F & MIL-STD-1275 (optional) Remote Error Sensing Current Share 0.8” pitch

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SWaP…Compact, Lightweight and Fast at 12+ Gb/s 4-Point Contact Redundancy Well suited to C4ISR applications requiring high-speed, compact, and lightweight connectivity in rugged environments The new 6-row connectors can be used in such space-constrained applications as UAVs, satellites, and man-portable systems

TE Connectivity Phone: (800) 522-6752


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COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673.

Coming Next Month Special Feature: GPGPUs vs. FPGAs for Military Signal Processing The concept of putting high-performance graphics processors to work on general-purpose processing tasks is beginning to gain traction. But GPGPUs are not expected to supplant FPGAs overnight. GPUs have potential in application areas including target tracking, image stabilization and SAR (synthetic aperture radar) simulation. Sensor processing and software defined radio are also well suited for this kind of processing. Board-level products have emerged specifically for GPGPU computing in a number of form factors including OpenVPX. Tech Recon: DoD Budget Report: Major Programs With budgets cuts a certainty, the DoD budget is seeing a real upheaval. Many advanced programs are likely to see some shifts in funding—but tech refresh and upgrade programs are already seeing an increase in activity. This section examines what’s happening in the DoD’s major military programs and what the opportunities are for embedded computing and electronics technologies. System Development: Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory Unique coverage of key military technology issues in a way that you can’t find elsewhere: that’s what COTS Journal is known for. Exemplifying that unique character is our Annual End-of-Life Directory. Now in its 13th year, the EOL Directory lists both key DoD organizations and commercial firms involved in solving the problems of component obsolescence. Tech Focus: Small Form Factor Boards While standard, open-architecture board form factors continue to dominate in military systems, non-standard form factors free designers from the size and cost overheads associated with including a standard bus. Articles in this section look at the trade-offs between standard and non-standard form factors. A product album compares the latest representative small non-standard boards. 68

COTS Journal | February 2012





EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

More Than Ever, SWaP Matters


e’ve said many times in COTS Journal how this new period ahead with a severely reduced U.S. defense budget does not necessarily mean a downturn for our military embedded computing industry. Quite the opposite is the case as the focus will be on electronics upgrades, tech refreshes, situational awareness and communications oriented programs—all areas where embedded computing is key. There’s another angle on this idea that is equally relevant to our market. Computing technology has a dependable history of offering ever more effective solutions in a smaller space. For a UAV or military ground vehicle that can mean bringing a capability that previously couldn’t occupy such vehicles. And in larger platforms like military ships, that can mean packing more compute density into the same space. All this is why reducing the size, weight and power (SWaP) of embedded computing solutions has moved to the forefront of today’s military requirements. What I’m seeing a lot is a knowledge gap—or rather an awareness gap—about roadmaps or future computing technologies and how they can fit into the upgrade programs the DoD has in mind. It’s not a lack of expertise on the part of either the primes, the technology suppliers or the defense branches, but rather just a lack of clear communication about what’s available now and in the future. Efforts to revamp today’s military ground vehicles have been slow, to say the least, in the past couple years. But it’s clear that the sophistication of onboard communications and control electronics will multiply both in new vehicle designs and on upgrades of current force fighting vehicles. That puts pressure on system designers to find ways to meet the trickier cooling, shock and vibration problems that emerge when more computing gear is packed into those vehicles. The stakes are even higher since several years back when the Army directed that all tactical vehicles needed to be up-armored to protect our soldiers from RPG and IED attacks. The added weight of that armor dramatically reduces the weight budget left over for the onboard electronics. As a result, size and weight are more important than ever as system designs strive to integrate into a much smaller volume. The issue comes up in naval platforms in cases like the Navy’s decision to alter its acquisition plans away from procuring Zumwalts to restarting production of Arleigh Burke class destroyers (DDG 51) and building a new version, known as Flight III. This requires the destroyers to carry the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), which means packing a lot of sophisticated technology on a ship design already packed with electronics. The Navy used a 2009 Radar/Hull study as the ba70

COTS Journal | February 2012

sis for selecting DDG 51 over DDG 1000 to carry the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) as its preferred future surface combatant—a decision that may lead to the procurement of up to 43 destroyers over the next 10 years. The GAO released a study last month pointing out some of the aspects not included in the Radar/Hull study. This caught my attention because again, it is an example of the computer-centric parts of a design that make a big difference in a program like this one. The GAO study pointed out seven example areas where the Radar/Hull could have been evaluated. These include computer processing ability, cyber warfare capability, reliability, information assurance capability, usability (user interface), proprietary versus open architecture combat systems and scalability. Since this analysis was not conducted, it’s not possible to judge if there was any impact of these capabilities on Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), or other missions, or how each system compares with each other. Another interesting piece of technology related to these new plans is that of “sensor netting.” The Navy now envisions multiple ships that they can operate in concert with different ground and space-based sensor assets to provide cueing for AMDR when targets are in the battlespace. This cueing would mean that the shooter ship could be told by the off-board sensors where to look for a target. This means earlier detection and increased size of the area that can be covered. The challenge is that the concept of sensor netting is not yet well defined, and additional analysis is required to determine what sensor capabilities currently exist or will be developed in the future, as well as how sensor netting might be conceptualized for Flight III. Sensor netting requires not only deployment of the appropriate sensors and for these sensors to work alone, but they also need to be able to share usable data in real time with Aegis in the precise manner required to support BMD engagements. Though sharing data among multiple sensors can provide greater capabilities than just using individual stand-alone sensors, experts say that every sensor system has varying limitations on its accuracy, and as more sensors are networked together and sharing data, these accuracy limitations can compound. The bottom line is that the types of board, box and subsystem level products and technologies that our market provides fit exactly into the kinds of challenges that programs like DDG 51 Flight III face. I’m hopeful both that the primes increase their attention in all that this industry can provide, and also that our industry can improve how it gets the word out about what capabilities it can enable.






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COTS Journal  

February 2012