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Tech Focus: PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

MILITARY INTERCONNECT STRATEGIES COVER

1553, ETHERNET AND MORE

PLUS:

Data Storage Technologies Offer Many Choices

— OpenVPX Fabrics Vie For Volume 14 Number 6 June 2012

An RTC Group Publication

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Military Mindshare


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The products below are a sampling of RTD’s PCIe/104 and PCI/104-Express offering. All of RTD’s board-level solutions are available in ruggedized packaging with advanced heat sinking, internal raceways, and a variety of I/O configurations. Visit www.rtd.com to see our complete product listing.

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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

10

Military Interconnect Strategies: 1553, Ethernet and More

CONTENTS June 2012

Volume 14

Number 6

SPECIAL FEATURE Military Interconnect Strategies: 1553, Ethernet and More

10  Ethernet and 1553 Position Themselves along Military I/O Continuum Jeff Child

20  Fabric Interconnect Schemes Drive Military Design Strategies R.J. McLaren, Kontron

TECH RECON

Departments 6 Publisher’s Notebook New Defense Budget Requires COTS 8

The Inside Track

64

COTS Products

74 Editorial Star Wars vs. Real Missile Defense

Coming in July See Page 72

Military Data Storage: SSD and HDD Tradeoffs

28  Military Storage Systems Span Many Formats and Sizes Jeff Child

34  Rugged Embedded SSDs Sharpen Their Appeal Charlie Cassidy, TeleCommunication Systems

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Fabric Bandwidth Comparisons on VPX Backplanes

44  OpenVPX Backplane Fabric Choice Calls for Careful Analyses Peter Thompson, GE Intelligent Platforms

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards

56  PC/104 Reaches its 20th Year on Solid Footing Jeff Child

58

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.

PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

Digital subscriptions available: cotsjournalonline.com

On The Cover: The computing system on the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile Weapon System can support both 1553 and fiber-optic interconnect technologies. A RAM system is installed aboard the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2). LCS 2 is shown here underway during builders trials in 2009. Builder’s trials provide an opportunity to test and correct issues before acceptance trials. (U.S. Navy Photo).


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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, johnr@rtcgroup.com PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman, mail@yeatmangroup.com

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child, jeffc@rtcgroup.com MANAGING EDITOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Sandra Sillion, sandras@rtcgroup.com

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MIDWEST REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SALES MANAGER Mark Dunaway, markd@rtcgroup.com (949) 226-2023 EASTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Shandi Ricciotti, shandir@rtcgroup.com (949) 573-7660 BILLING Cindy Muir, cmuir@rtcgroup.com (949) 226-2000

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COTS Journal HOME OFFICE The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, www.rtcgroup.com Learn more at: www.microsemi.com/soc/products/smartfusion

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COTS Journal | June 2012

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Publisher’s

NOTEBOOK New Defense Budget Requires COTS

E

ver since the announcement of the new strategic initiative for our Armed Forces, there have been speeches and papers by the SecDef explaining how this is all going to be implemented and how it will meet the country’s budget requirements. In each of these public proclamations Secretary Panetta states the importance of investing in technology. In his Statement on Major Budget Decisions, January 26, 2012, he said “And lastly, with regards to the key investments in technology and new capabilities, we have to retain a decisive technological edge.” Once again, a month later on February 28th when he delivered the Opening Summary to the Senate Budget Committee, he said “Fourthly, we wanted to ensure, as we must, that we can confront and defeat aggression from any adversary, anytime, anywhere. This fourth area means that we have to have the capability to defeat more than one enemy at a time. In the 21st century, we have to recognize that our adversaries are going to come at us using 21st-century technology.” A majority of this technology edge the SecDef is talking about comes from the electronics industry. And a large part of that technology comes out of commercial industry. Adapting commercial electronics for military use started in the ’80s and really kicked in during the ’90s, and the process for procuring these products was given the term “COTS.” Today we have a significant market offering COTS product—from large prime contractors to small private companies. Budget facts of life will only increase the demand for COTS and the need for information about adapting leading-edge technology to meet the unique needs of the military. COTS Journal started in April of 1998. In my first Publisher’s Notebook I stated that “COTS Journal will not just report on things happening in the COTS market, but will become part of the market.” When we came on the scene with our first issue we were the only publication focused on the electronics technology for the military. That said, there were a host of very strong publications providing news and program information to the military market, like Defense News, Military & Aerospace Electronics, National Defense, Journal of Electronic Defense and others. Today there are a large number of publications focusing on military news and programs. And at the same time we now also have a large number of publications reporting on technology. Throughout COTS Journal’s 14-year history, we have not only maintained our leadership position but we have also kept true to our promise to be part of the market. 6

COTS Journal | June 2012

In the beginning of this century we went to the Pentagon and met with DoD staff to discuss the use of commercial electronics in the military. In 2005 we started to work with AFCEA and its MILCOM conference. In 2008 we hatched an idea at MILCOM that we implemented the following year: getting analysts and a variety of suppliers and users in the same room and openly discussing where our market is going. Every year since, as the non-communications electronic market becomes a larger and larger element in MILCOM, COTS Journal has continued having this meeting. This meeting has become so popular that we now start to get hints about being considered for an invitation to it as early as June. At last year’s MILCOM we came up with the idea of increasing the size of COTS Journal’s booth to accommodate suppliers that just couldn’t afford the minimum booth cost and heavy overhead to participate at MILCOM. So at this year’s MILCOM in Orlando, Florida we will have a large booth and act as the umbrella for companies that are not in the position to expend the funds for an individual booth. This endeavor will make it very simple for companies to participate—they just need to show up with product and literature, everything else will be provided for them at a flat fee. We’re hoping to act as an incubator enabling companies to test and see the benefits of being at MILCOM. Another statement I made in that first Publisher’s Notebook was, “The issues that most concern you will be our focus, so we need your feedback to make sure we stay on track.” This is still true today. You need to let us know what we need to do to focus on being instrumental to our market. Your success as a user—or as a supplier—is our success. Staying true to your needs has kept COTS Journal as the premier technology publication for the military marketplace; whether you read our book in print or electronically. We have some new ideas in development that originated from your comments and unfulfilled information requirements. Some will be introduced this year and some at the beginning of next year. So keep your ideas coming. We like being number one and we want to stay that way.

Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal


The

INSIDE TRACK Army Enlists Lockheed Martin for Counterfire Radar Production The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin $391 million in production orders for a new radar system that provides soldiers with enhanced 360-degree protection from rocket, mortar and artillery fire. The orders represent the execution of two contract options for a total of 33 AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) counterfire target acquisition radars—formerly designated EQ-36 during their development and initial production—to be delivered by the end of 2014. The options include spares, testing and training materials. If all options are exercised, 38 additional low- and full-rate production systems could be added and the total contract value would exceed $800 million. Mounted on a five-ton truck, the Q-53 (Figure 1) can be rapidly deployed, automatically leveled and remotely operated with a laptop computer or from a fully equipped climate-controlled command vehicle. Lockheed Martin won the competitive development contract for the EQ-36 radar in 2007. Lockheed Martin submitted its bid for this current contract in open competition in September 2011. Work on the Q-53 radar contract will be performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in Syracuse, NY, Moorestown, NJ, Akron, OH and Clearwater, FL. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [www.lockheedmartin.com].

Acromag Acquires the Assets of Xembedded Acromag has acquired the assets of Xembedded, LLC. The purchase adds the products of Xembedded, LLC to Acromag’s portfolio, resulting in an expanded offering of product solutions, ranging from CPU products to I/O solutions. The new “Xembedded Group” will now join the Acromag “Embedded Solutions Group” and “Process Instrument Group.” By forming this new group, Acromag intends to provide uninterrupted service to former Xembedded, LLC customers. Along with the products, Acromag has hired all of the employees of Xembedded. Xembedded hardware and software products have been installed in over 400,000 systems worldwide and in thousands of individual OEM applications. The company’s 8

COTS Journal | June 2012

Figure 1

The truck-mounted Q-53 can be rapidly deployed, automatically leveled and remotely operated with a laptop computer or from a command vehicle. processor and I/O VME boards are used in machine control, medical equipment, automotive, robots, scanning equipment, semi-conductor manufacturing, homeland security, military, industrial welders, power generation and highspeed packaging applications. Acromag Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310. [www.acromag.com]. Xembedded Ann Arbor, MI. (734) 975-0577. [www.xembedded.com].

Northrop Grumman Awarded Navy Contract for LITENING G4 Targeting Pods Northrop Grumman has been awarded a delivery order by

the Naval Air Systems Command totaling $103 million to deliver LITENING G4 targeting systems. Under the terms of the award, Northrop Grumman will supply the U.S. Marine Corps with LITENING G4 pods (Figure 2). The company will also provide G4 upgrade kits and spares to the Air National Guard to bring their Block 1 pods to the G4 configuration. The LITENING G4 Advanced Targeting Pod is the newest addition to the company’s LITENING family of targeting pods, delivering the latest advancements in sensor, laser imaging and data link technology. The G4’s technologies include a full 1Kx1K forward looking infrared and charge-coupled device, as well as short wave infrared laser imaging sensors, color symbology, tracker improvement and enhanced zoom. These

Figure 2

The LITENING G4 Advanced Targeting Pod adds more accurate target identification and location at longer ranges than previous generations of the targeting pod.


INSIDE TRACK

rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft and other threats, SeaRAM uses advanced Phalanx Block 1B sensors and replaces the gun with an 11-round Rolling Airframe Missile guide. SeaRAM is aboard the USS Independence (LCS 2) and USS Coronado (LCS 4), and will soon be in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

advancements deliver more accurate target identification and location at longer ranges than previous generations of LITENING targeting pod systems while reducing pilot workload. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262. [www.northropgrumman.com].

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

General Dynamics Delivers JTRS Radios and WIN-T Network to NIE 12.2 Exercise In the largest deployment yet of the General Dynamics-developed JTRS HMS Manpack and Rifleman Radios and the Warfighter Information NetworkTactical (WIN-T) network, the U.S. Army conducted realistic operational evaluations of the next generation of high-speed communications equipment developed for ground forces. WINT Increment 2 and the JTRS Manpack and Rifleman radios form the baseline for the Army’s on-the-move tactical network. These two networking programs of record completed operational testing at the Network Integration Exercise (NIE) 12.2 (Figure 3) at White Sands Missile Range, NM, through the end of May. The PRC-155 Manpack radio has been a part of all three NIE exercises and is the only Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) radio undergoing Multi-service Operational Test and Evaluation at NIE 12.2. Over 700 JTRS HMS networking radios are deployed at NIE 12.2. General Dynamics is also the prime contractor for the Army’s number one modernization priority, the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). Undergoing initial operational testing at NIE 12.2, WIN-T Increment 2 extends the network for Brigade Combat Teams down to company level and provides on-the-move capabilities to

Figure 3

NIE 12.2 marks the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation for WIN-T Increment 2 and the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (JTRS HMS) systems. commanders and staff at division through company levels. General Dynamics C4 Systems Scottsdale, AZ. (480) 441-3033. [www.gdc4s.com].

Raytheon Awarded $57.8 Million Phalanx Contract The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon a contract totaling $57.8 million to overhaul and upgrade nine Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems, and manufacture two SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense systems. The agreement also includes the purchase of 20 radar upgrade kits. Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20 mm gun system that automatically acquires, tracks and destroys enemy threats that have penetrated all other ship defense systems. More than 890 systems have been built and deployed in the navies of 25 nations. Intended to enlarge Phalanx’s keep-out range against evolving anti-ship missiles,

Analytic Systems Receives Battery Charger Contract for Army IED Defeat Program Analytic Systems has received one of its largest contracts to date from Anniston Army Depot for an IED Defeat Program. Analytic Systems is a part of four separate IED Defeat programs using a number of different COTS and customized products. The company has modified its existing military battery charger, the LIAC600-28, used by the Army and USMC in their ITAS weapons System for this anti-IED application. The U.S. Army TARDEC’s Mechanical Countermine

Team is the engineering lead for the SPARK rollers (Figure 4). The Mechanical Countermine Team has been providing the warfighter with successful mechanical material solutions since 2007. A new roller system is expected to provide even more protection from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Analytic Systems has worked with Michigan Technological University (MTU) since January 2010 to provide the modified battery charger that powers the system. Through June 2010, 425 OEF SPARK systems had been fielded and had engaged and protected soldiers an astounding 225 times. The new roller called the Self-protection Adaptive Roller Kit II (SPARK II), attaches to the front of vehicles and detonates roadside bombs before they can harm service members riding in the cab. One of the most useful features of the new system is the ability to change distance from the vehicle to the roller. Analytic Systems Delta, British Columbia, Canada. (604) 946-9981. [www.analyticsystems.com].

Figure 4

Attached to the front of the vehicle, a SPARK system rolls ahead of the vehicle to clear the road of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). June 2012 | COTS Journal

9


SPECIAL FEATURE Military Interconnect Strategies: 1553, Ethernet and More

10

COTS Journal | June 2012


Ethernet and 1553 Position Themselves along Military I/O Continuum Legacy 1553 holds a solid niche in military I/O systems even as systems developers look to higher data rates of Ethernet. Meanwhile box-level solutions smooth the way. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief

A

decision that’s still a conundrum for military system developers is the need to support the requirements of legacy interface schemes while accommodating the performance needs of next-generation computing and electronic subsystems. Even today legacy I/O schemes such as MILSTD-1553 and ARINC 429 still are considered good for pure control applications. They aren’t however anywhere in the same bandwidth ballpark as today’s modern interconnects. Several multipurpose communications protocols provide options to suit emerging needs. The battle continues between legacy military I/O schemes like 1553 and newer solutions like using Ethernet as an I/O interconnect. Together 1 Gbit and 10 Gbit Ethernet, and Fibre Channel are all jockeying to satisfy these needs. Thanks to its huge installed base, the MIL-STD-1553 bus continues to play a role in a wide variety of systems such as tanks, ships, missiles and satellites. Two trends have changed the landscape somewhat. First, a number of rugged box-level solutions have emerged that include 1553 alongside several other interface technologies. And second, 1553-only boards make less sense at today’s level of integration. Therefore there are numerous board and mezzanine products that combine 1553 with other board or box-level functions. Among those vendors are AIM-USA, Aitech Defense Systems, Alpha Technology, Avionics Interface Technologies, Ballard Technology, Curtiss-Wright, Data Device Corp., June 2012 | COTS Journal

11


SPECIAL FEATURE

Excalibur Systems, Extreme Engineering, GE, Kontron, North Atlantic Industries and Themis Computers.

1553: A Reliable Network MIL-STD-1553—often referred to as merely 1553—is particularly admired for its reliability. An example program still making heavy use of 1553 is the U.S. Air Force’s AC-130U Gunship. The AC130U Gunship is designed to avoid any single point of failure for mission-critical systems, which maximizes the aircraft’s availability to warfighters. While pro-

viding a two-level maintenance capability, the aircraft makes extensive use of built-in-testing of various components to develop a systems integrated test function that provides the maintainer with detailed diagnostics of AC-130U subsystems. The aircraft’s fully integrated 1553 computer architecture speeds up troubleshooting and provides a means of tracking component performance throughout the life cycle of the system. Early this year engineers from SSAI selected a 3U CompactPCI multifunction system that includes 1553. Made

Modified Ethernet Schemes Bridge the Avionics I/O Gap William D. Wargo, President, AIM-USA and Joachim Schuler, Managing Director, AIM GmbH Since the 1970s, military aircraft avionics systems have communicated via the MIL-STD-1553 bus. This has proven to be a very effective method, and is still in widespread use today. 1553 is a time division multiplexed command and response bus with a bus controller initiating all communications on the bus. The bus operates at 1 Mbit/s and is dual redundant for reliable operation. Over the years other communications standards were developed that greatly increased the throughput capability, but lacked the reliability and determinism necessary for real-time avionics systems. The most popular of these standards in the commercial realm is Ethernet. However, the topology of Ethernet, by design, allows for multiple broadcasts, collisions and retransmissions. This has made Ethernet unsuitable for high-reliability, time-critical applications such as avionics systems. The commercial aircraft market made an effective transition to Ethernet-based systems over the past decade. The use of switched Ethernet implementations has also been a key part of the migration of Ethernet into avionics domain. AFDX and its derivative, ARINC 664P7, is the predominant avionics data network used today in this industry. It is based on commercial 10/100 Mbit/s switched Ethernet. Its communication protocols were derived from commercial standards (IEEE 802.3 Ethernet MAC, Internet Protocol and User Datagram Protocol) to achieve the required deterministic behavior for avionics applications. So called End systems (E/S), or LRUs (line-replaceable units), communicate based on VLs (Virtual Links) with traffic shaping by use of BAGs (Bandwidth Allocation Gaps), which are the minimum intervals between transmitted Ethernet frames on a VL. An additional Sequence Number, which is added to every AFDX frame, is another key element to support the AFDX concepts for traffic integrity and redundancy. AFDX switches, which are an important component of an AFDX network (Figure 1), incorporate functions for filtering and policing, switching (based on configuration tables), and end-system and network monitoring.

12

COTS Journal | June 2012

by North Atlantic Industries (NAI), the CompactPCI is to be used in the replacement Loader Weapon Control Panel (LWCP) and Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for the AC-130U Gunship (Figure 1). The LWCP provides the user interface for gunner control of the 40 mm and 105 mm weapons on the Gunship. The ECU takes the Mission Computer commanded position and senses feedback on actual gun position to control the dynamic aiming of the AC-130U Trainable Gun Mounts. The Government requirements were

AFDX System Showing Virtual Links

AFDX End System

AFDX End System

AFDX Switch

AFDX Switch

AFDX End System

AFDX End System

AFDX End System

Virtual Link(s) Figure A

AFDX switches incorporate functions for filtering and policing, switching, and end-system and network monitoring. The Airbus A400M is the largest military use of the AFDX bus alongside the “traditional” ARINC429 and MIL-STD1553. Although many other Ethernet-based systems are finding their way into aircraft subsystems. New flight control systems, guidance systems and video processors all employ “proprietary” Ethernet-based protocols. With the adoption of the Ethernet-based networks, all devices can communicate on a single bus at much higher data rates (100 times higher with the use of 100 Mbit/s Ethernet). This allows for much greater versatility and higher data throughput, so devices can communicate in real time. For the system designer, however, it introduces another set of challenges, since communications become time-division multiplexed and timing must be controlled. The added complexity also creates a greater possibility for systemlevel problems, and the architecture of the bus, which includes multiple links and systems, makes it difficult to troubleshoot an issue. There is no simple method for monitoring all the data traffic, since multiple data paths are possible. This has led test companies including AIM to develop innovative tools and techniques for addressing this formidable test challenge.


SPECIAL FEATURE

Figure 1

AC-130U primary missions are close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense. Aircraft shown here deploying flares as countermeasure to heat-seeking missiles.

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11:03:44 AM June 2012 | COTS4/26/12 Journal 13


SPECIAL FEATURE

to deliver form, fit and functional replacement ECU and LWCP designs that maintained or exceeded the performance of the obsolete legacy equipment. NAI worked closely with SSAI engineers to select the exact hardware and firmware solution to meet all system needs. The system uses a full complement of NAI’s rugged, 3U CompactPCI I/O boards (75DP3, 75C3) including A/D, D/A, Synchro/ LVDT Measurement, MIL-STD-1553 and RS-

A C R O M A G

422 functions; highly programmable discrete I/O; U2 processors; and power supplies (55LQ2) in both boxes.

USB Opens 1553 Link Options Because USB has become ubiquitous in all computing platforms, it’s a natural interface to military technologies like 1553. Feeding that need, Data Device Corp. has introduced the smallest 2-channel MIL-STD-1553 Small Form

E M B E D D E D

I / O

S O L U T I O N S

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Factor (SFF) USB card. The card’s USB form factor, ultra small size, light weight, ultra low power, ruggedness and high reliability are an ideal combination for adding a reliable and cost-effective 1553 bus interface to any embedded system, laptop, or tablet computer. The BU-67113U board is designed with DDC’s advanced Total-AceXtreme MIL-STD-1553 fully integrated components to provide very high reliability (MTBF) in an ultra-low-power, miniaturized board. Each channel can be configured in Bus Controller (BC) / Monitor (MT) mode, or Multi-Remote Terminal (RT) / MT mode, with BC disable and Tx inhibit options for RT and MT only applications. The board provides a locking USB connection allowing the system designer to locate this card anywhere inside a system with a USB receptacle.

Small Form Factor Box Systems

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Untitled-21 1 COTS Journal | June 2012 14

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The tactic of integrating 1553 and other interface technology into rugged box systems is well established at this point. But the newest twist is compact, small form factor box-level systems. Exemplifying that trend, Aitech Defense Systems has released the A175 (Figure 2), a rugged, self-contained, EMC/EMIprotected Remote Interface Unit (RIU) I/O expansion subsystem that provides dynamic mission profile reprogramming. Also classified as a data concentrator unit (DCU), the A175 optimizes SWaP (size, weight and power) with dimensions of only 7” x 7” x 1.3” and a weight of less than 2.5 lbs (the approximate weight of one 6U conduction-cooled VMEbus board), while drawing only 10W, or about the same as a standard household incandescent nightlight. The A175’s expansive I/O includes dual platform data channels for connection to the aircraft main bus with either dual GbE channels or one dual redundant MIL-STD-1553B channel. In addition, there are two asynchronous RS-232/485 serial ports, eight single-ended 12-bit A/D input channels, up to eight ARINC-429 drivers/receivers, two differential 16-bit D/A output channels and four differential channels with an external or internal reference voltage. The A175 operates from


SPECIAL FEATURE

-40° to +71°C with natural convection cooling and is powered from a standard 28 VDC input per MIL-STD-740D. In addition to EMI protection, endurance against shock, vibration and acceleration per MIL-STD 810F, as well as extreme resistance to altitude, humidity and temperature are ensured by the subsystem’s rugged Faraday cage design.

Ethernet on Many Form Factors

Figure 2

The A175 is a self-contained, EMC/EMI-protected Remote Interface Unit (RIU) I/O expansion subsystem that provides dynamic mission profile reprogramming. I/O includes dual platform data channels for connection to the aircraft main bus with either dual GbE channels or one dual redundant MIL-STD-1553B channel.

Aries Correct-A-Chip™ adapters solve military IC obsolescence problems easily and cost-effectively by letting you use what’s available and what’s qualified… without costly board redesign or rework. You can convert from any device footprint or package style to any other, from surface mount to thru-hole, from one pinout to another…all without respinning your boards. You can even add new componentry or circuitry in the same board space for added performance and capability. Solve your military IC obsolescence problems at: http://arieselec.com/products/correct.htm

Untitled-1 1 COTS Journal | June 2012 16

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3/2/12 10:07:41 AM

Where once Ethernet was viewed as just a pure networking solution for command and control systems in the military, today it’s gaining mindshare in numerous other military applications as an interconnect I/O fabric in compute-intensive applications—like sonar, radar or any application that networks sensor arrays together. Military system designers can leverage the marriage of Ethernet with embedded computing form factors like OpenVPX, VME, VXS, Compact PCI Serial, XMC and PMC. Even vendors that once specialized in 1553 are branching out with Ethernet solutions. An example is Ballard Technology’s 10-port managed/unmanaged Ethernet switch PMC. Designed for embedded use in the aerospace and defense industries, it features advanced management functions, health monitoring, onboard magnetics and an integrated Ethernet controller (NIC). The MPR-ES-1 from Ballard Technology includes two Gigabit ports and eight 10/100 Mbit/s ports. One Gigabit port routes directly to the integrated Ethernet controller and provides the host computer with a direct connection to the switch for easy system expansion. The second Gigabit port can act either as a straight 1 Gbyte path for the host single board computer, as a highspeed uplink to other switches, or as a standard 10/100/1000 Mbit/s port. The CCPMC form factor allows easy integration with modern embedded computers, including VME, VME-64, cPCI and VPX systems. The MPR-ES-1 combines an advanced Marvell switch controller with onboard magnetics for high performance and reliable operation. It provides IEEE 802.1X MAC-based authentication and support for up to 8K MAC address entries


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The MPR-ES-1 is a 10-port managed/ unmanaged Ethernet switch PMC. It includes two Gigabit ports and eight 10/100 Mbit/s ports. with automatic learning and aging. Management functions include VLAN, QOS and ingress/egress limiting. In addition, the switch includes health monitoring and diagnostic features such as Built-in Test (BIT), temperature monitoring, port mirroring and Virtual Cable Tester. Low power consumption and high MTBF ratings make the MPR-ES-1 an ideal choice for rugged, high-availability systems. The MPR-ES-1 is suitable for both conduction- and convection (air)-cooled systems.

Router Functionality More recently, solutions have emerged that add full Cisco-compatible router functionality to embedded systems. Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) last month announced a pair of embedded products that are the first to host Cisco’s IOS IP routing software. This approach lets the large majority of IT professionals that are trained on Cisco IOS to deploy compatible rugged hardware to an already deployed system with no training time or expense. The first is the XPedite5205 ESR, a PMC embedded router module hosting Cisco IOS. The second is the SFFR, a box-level packaged router hosting Cisco IOS. At less than 72 cubic inches and 3.5 pounds, the SFFR is the

smallest available ruggedized router running Cisco IOS. This rugged router, available in either natural convection-cooled or conduction-cooled enclosures, can be added to almost any available surface of a vehicle or aircraft, or deployed in the harshest of environments. AIM-USA Trevose, PA. (267) 982-2600 [www.aim-online.com]. Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA (888) 248-3248. [www.rugged.com]. Ballard Technology Everett, WA. (800) 829-1553. [www.ballardtech.com]. Data Device Corp. Bohemia, NY. (631) 567-5600. [www.ddc-web.com]. North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY. (631) 567-1100. [www.naii.com].


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SPECIAL FEATURE Military Interconnect Strategies: 1553, Ethernet and More

Fabric Interconnect Schemes Drive Military Design Strategies Evaluating high-speed bus architectures and associated interconnects is an important step to any modern military system design. But the issues vary depending on whether an upgrade or a new design is the focus. R.J. McLaren, Product Manager Kontron

M

ilitary system developers have learned that the right interconnect strategy is crucial as defense programs expand by integrating and connecting to an increased number of varied devices and other systems. With advancements in computing technology, it is expected that this diverse group of technologies and equipment work seamlessly together. Determining the most appropriate interconnect strategy is an increasing design priorityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the fallout from the growing need for ever greater technological innovations such as advanced sensor technology for autonomous vehicles and real-time streaming video collected from a variety of aerial or mobile ground sources. These applications surely test the capabilities of high-speed bus architectures and associated high-performance interconnects. Military system interconnects must not only perform at required I/O speeds and offer high reliability, they must also be rugged enough to function within the harsh environments of extreme temperatures, shock and vibration, while operating at various altitudes and under a rigorous 24/7 usage model.

20

COTS Journal | June 2012

Feature

COM Express

VPX (VITA 46)

MicroTCA (AdvancedMC)

AdvancedTCA

Board-to-Board Interconnect

N/A

2xGbE PCIe, SRIO, 10GbE

2xGbE PCIe, SRIO, SATA/SAS, 10GbE

2xGbE PCIe, SRIO, SATA/SAS, 10GbE, 40GbE

Board Size Form Factor

Custom Baseboard Module: Basic: 95 x 125mm Compact: 95 x 95mm Mini: 55 x 84mm

Backplane Front Board: (3U) 133 x 160 mm (6U) 266 x 160 mm

Backplane Front Board: 74 x 183.5 mm 149 x 183.5 mm

Backplane Front Board: (8U) 355 x 280 mm

Mezzanine

N/A

XMC / FMC / PMC

FMC

Up to 4x AMC (Mid-size / Full-size) Typical

Expandability

Not Typical

Up to 18x Payloads Up to 2x Switches

Up to 12x AMCs Up to 2x MCHs

Up to 14x Node Blades Up to 2x Switches 2 / 6 / 14 slot Typical

User I/O Pins Comparison

Amount: Medium Configurable per Baseboard design

Amount: High Front Panel Rear Transition Backplane (P2)

Amount: Low Front Panel Rear Transition (MTCA.4)

Amount: Low Front Panel Rear Transition (Zone 3)

Redundancy

N/A

Supported

Power, Fabric, Management

Power, Fabric, Management

Rugged Options

Air-Cooled Conduction-Cooled Up to IP67

Air-Cooled Conduction-Cooled Up to IP67

Air-Cooled Conduction-Cooled Up to IP67

Air-Cooled NEBS-compliant

Applications

Robots, Rugged Computer, Unmanned Vehicles, Rugged Displays (video processing / display)

Radar, Telemetry, Image, Sonar, Avionics, High Performance Computers

Base Stations, Aggregation, Security Data/Image Processing

Command & Control Stations, Communications Platforms, Data/Image Processing

Figure 1

Each of these embedded form factor alternatives offers strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable for certain categories of military applications.


SPECIAL FEATURE

Challenges for New System Designs VPX is becoming the de facto solution for VXFabric API new applications by offering new fabric interconnect improvements that enable enhanced levels of subsystem application performance, which are Application definitely required by a broad range of next generation embedded military applications such as UAVs, ground vehicle sensors, countermeasure systems, radar systems and hyperspectral imaging. VPX Socket provides a high-speed, dense connector and brings significant advantages because of its large number of rear I/O pins that can support either high-speed TCP/IP Stack serial or parallel I/O in both the 3U and 6U form factor. It also offers access to higher performance technologies such as 10 GbE, Serial RapidIO and PCI Express through its connector and backplane Ethernet VxFabric design. Driver These serial high-speed backplanes allow full bandwidth between each board and pointto-point routing is fixed. The interconnect CPU PCIe Ethernet bandwidth offered by VPX facilitates adding Hardware Hardware these new higher-speed industry-standard technologies to be part of a board computer. Figure A The Kontron VXFabric API (Figure A) is a useful design resource that facilitates 6U OpenVPX An example of a proven API tool is system development so that these systems can the VXFabric, which is designed more easily leverage the performance boost and to streamline the complex task of simplified data flow management provided by data flow management. It allows higher density memory architectures. direct access to all classic protocols With VPX connectors and backplanes, such as TCP or UDP, and requires multi-gigahertz signals warrant systems where no modification of the existing the full data plane bandwidth is no longer shared applications thereby simplifying between boards. HPEC is the first domain to development efforts and migration benefit from the tenfold increase in I/O bandto new architectures. width between computing boards that VPX offers. This enables a new breed of unparalleled applications for sensor data processing platforms used in radar, sonar and general imaging. But now, as hardware guidelines are set, OEMs and developers have to search for the ideal communication protocols. With all the advantages of current standards such as PCI Express, Gigabit Ethernet, Serial Rapid IO and many others that can be used for intra-system communications, this is not an easy task. The challenge for OEMs is to find an easy-to-use, yet fast and low latency communication protocol. Among serial link technologies available today, PCI Express (PCIe) is poised to bring many military applications to a new level. VPX backplane design can save development time and costs. Costs are reduced as this type of design eliminates the specialized data transmission mezzanine that allows the exchange of data from board to board with front end cables. Development time is shortened because the core chipset now delivers high-speed I/O on the backplane without requiring specific device driver development.

22

COTS Journal | June 2012

System Interconnect Challenges A number of military design considerations routinely come into play in determining the right architecture and interconnect strategy, and developers are challenged to master them all. First there is meeting increasing I/O requirements while achieving minimal size, weight and power. Then there are the challenges of supporting higher resolution graphics, sensitive sensors, security, connectivity and more. Thermal management comes into play as well in order to effectively dissipate internal heat created by devices as well as environmental ambient heat. And finally, there is the battle to maintain performance while operating in harsh environmental conditions. In addition to working well with today’s technology, military systems—along with their interconnects—must continually adapt to the changing standards and technology landscape. A key consideration for many systems is the migration from 1 Gbit/s I/O speeds to those that need to operate at 10 Gbits/s and 25 Gbits/s. As a result, military system developers must understand and compare the different standards-based highspeed bus architectures and system-level options that include VME, CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA, COM Express and VPX. All have strengths as valid solutions in many military applications, however, here we’ll focus on highlighting MicroTCA, VPX and COM Express COMs as varying platforms that solve different interconnect requirements and program objectives. Figure 1 compares the different form factors and the tradeoffs between them.

Matching Objectives to Interconnect Schemes To select the right architecture for a given application, overlaying the type of application with the overall program objectives provides the necessary guidance. The first question to ask is: What are you looking to do? On one hand you could be trying to update a system—migrating from an older, obsolescent system. In other cases the goal might be to address requirement changes for integrating new technologies: COTS solutions, size, weight and power (SWaP), system performance improvements, connectivity, scalability, reliability and enhanced ruggedness. Alternatively, the effort may be


SPECIAL FEATURE

VME communication protocols, with signals moving across Serial RapidIO, Gigabit Ethernet or PCI Express instead of the PCI or VMEbus. Gaining momentum are new high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) platforms that are VPX-based super computer-like systems. Kontron has recently developed a new HPEC platform (Figure 2) that accommodates up to 18 6U VPX processor nodes, powered by Dual Intel Core i7 processor computing nodes,

and employing 36 tightly coupled processors. This type of system delivers massive processing power for compute-intensive DSP-based systems, and allows high-speed socket-based communication between blades by using multiple switched fabric interconnects within the backplane. The HPEC system employs the Kontron VX6060, a 6U dual processor node with 16 Gbyte soldered ECC RAM. This system is already deployed as a cluster in

Figure 2

The HPEC platform employs an API approach, the Kontron VXFabric, to help accelerate the design process. This 72-core, 18-blade platform provides incredible compute density of up to 1.44 Teraflops (1.44 Trillion Floating Point Operation per second) in a small 19-inch footprint. implementing an entirely new systemâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with higher speed signaling, increased bandwidth, more sophisticated interfaces and I/O. Not all tech refreshes require a change in the existing computing architecture. The cost of an architectural redesign may be too high, or specialized I/O boards may be difficult to replace. In these cases, low power and higher performance can cost-effectively be made by migrating to a new processor architecture. For example, a VME design could transition from a PowerPC architecture to x86 by integrating current components that support the latest Intel processors. In this example, designing systems around 6U VME boards allows the final system to span different CPU architectures, which helps reduce development times as well as improve time-to-market. This is essential as refresh designs typically need to be put in place quickly with minimum risk to the overall system or application.

Upgrading from VME to VPX VPX is often the upgrade solution for VME-based systems. The VPX architecture represents a dramatic shift from Untitled-18 1

5/2/12 2:03:25 PM June 2012 | COTS Journal 23


SPECIAL FEATURE

Figure 3

The OM6090D features a 10 Gbit/s Ethernet switched backplane. It enables customerspecific AMC implementations to be made on demand using the 10 GbE, 1 GbE, PCIe x4 and SATA supporting backplane.

several significant military technology programs including an airborne surveillance system, based on its ability to successfully integrate multiple high-performance COTS products—meeting immense throughput and processing requirements in a spaceconstrained airborne system handling more than a teraflop of data. Each of the independently implemented dual-core Intel Core i7 processing nodes of the Kontron VX6060 have full access to 8 Gbyte ECC RAM. This enhanced memory capacity allows extensive application data to be hosted in low latency RAM without reloading data from high latency mass storage devices. Further, data buffering and inter-board dataflow also benefit from extended memory resources, simplifying resource management and improving overall application performance. For designers, this addresses key issues in tech refresh initiatives for radar, sonar, imaging systems, airborne fighters and UAVs. Because VPX replaces the bus with a network-based protocol, it typically requires significant retooling of the application software. Therefore, many military designers look to 3U CompactPCI as a via24

COTS Journal | June 2012

ble upgrade alternative for 6U VME-based systems. Its reduced form factor meets SWaP goals and CompactPCI provides a well-established parallel bus standard, which provides a cost-effective modular computing platform that more closely resembles VME in terms of how application software recognizes the hardware.

MicroTCA for Secure Networking MicroTCA steps in for secure network applications that require extremely high bandwidth; ideal examples include government systems that must be upgraded to better manage data moving between terrestrial networks and then linking to satellite networks. Designers must first determine the levels of both inbound and outbound data, as well as what tasks must be performed while the data is moving through the network. Once the performance environment indicates that data processing is approaching the demands of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, MicroTCA may be an optimal choice of architecture. Modern military systems and their network-centric focus mimic many of the same demands and characteristics of

commercial telecommunications implementations. These similarities make MicroTCA a very effective mission-critical platform, offering high processing capacity and high availability with an even smaller 2U or 4U board. Further, growth of MicroTCA in military deployments has been fueled by add-on specifications that capitalize on its rugged family tree; the progression of the MicroTCA architecture has been hardened to meet the rugged needs of military systems from MTCA.1 to MTCA.3. Developed through PICMG, these new specifications for rugged air-cooled and conduction-cooled derivatives leverage the ANSI/VITA 47 specification and define the environments where these certified boards will perform—enabling high processing capacity in systems as small as a shoebox (conduction-cooled) or 19-inch 1U to 6U form factor (air-cooled). An example is the Kontron OM6090D 6U system (Figure 3), which is compliant to MicroTCA.1 for rugged air-cooled solutions. This modular platform supports the latest high-end multicore processors and 10 GbE fabric interconnect for up to nine AdvancedMC boards. Because it’s based on MicroTCA, the system features high availability, fault resilience, advanced system management and fully redundant configurations in the most compact solution available.

COM Express for Small Size The COM Express Computer-onModule (COM) is the smallest form factor available for military systems. Its size is excellent for SWaP considerations coupled with customizable I/O options. As a widely available, standards-based solution, COM Express COMs are very costeffective building blocks that are excellent solutions for the evolving mobile MIL sub-segment. For example, the Kontron COBALT (Computer Brick Alternative) illustrates a successful COMs-based design approach, offering scalability and excellent power dissipation in a sealed system. COBALT is versatile—providing military designers with a small-footprint, low-power and cost-saving alternative to conventional multiboard VME or CompactPCI designs. Efficient thermal


SPECIAL FEATURE

design supports fanless operation in severe environments and computing performance based on specific application requirements—from very low power Intel Atom processor-based implementations to powerful Intel Core2 Duo processor systems. Handling operating temperatures ranging from -20° to +55°C (Core2Duo based) and -40° to +71°C (Atom based), COBALT is compatible with a full range of ground vehicle, UAV, manned airborne or shipborne requirements. Further, the Type 6 COM Express pin-out is another relatively new consideration for designers, enabling a performance jump from devices incorporating an earlier pin-out option and enhancing fourth generation graphics architectures used in advanced video applications such as surveillance for situational awareness. Type 6 is based on pin-out Type 2, the most widely adopted COM Express pinout type to date, but reallocates legacy PCI pins from Type 2 to support the digital display interface and additional PCI Express lanes. The Type 6 pin-out also considers future design options; the pins formerly assigned the IDE interface (pin-out Type 2) are now reserved for future technologies still in development. This gives designers more to work with including broader native display choices and higher serial bandwidth than previously available. The addition of native support for the newest display interfaces simplifies carrier board design, which reduces time-to-market and TCO for graphicsintensive mil-aero applications. PCI Express support for Type 6 is extensive and underscores the trend to migrate from legacy parallel interfaces toward pure serial embedded system designs for higher bandwidth and reduced latency. Military system designers have a smooth transition to next generation devices via faster drives and peripherals—essential for the rigors of long-term deployments.

personnel and their vehicles. All these factors combine to challenge designers, who must keep within budget constraints when building and maintaining systems that deliver the greater bandwidth, increased processing power and advanced security required to support the expanding connected military machine. The sweeping variety of system types means that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to determining a program’s interconnect

strategy does not apply. This decision is application-dependent based on the program objective: from upgrading legacy systems to tech refresh programs to implementing totally new applications—each scenario must be individually evaluated. Kontron America Poway, CA. (858) 677-0877. [www.kontron.com].

Interconnect Strategy Essential The modern battlefield now mandates the ability to process increasing volumes of data, which is in turn stressing the limits of legacy systems. Perhaps most importantly, sharing of this data is considered as essential as weapons, military

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5/31/12 June 2012 | COTS Journal

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TECH RECON Military Data Storage: SSD and HDD Tradeoffs

Military Storage Systems Span Many Formats and Sizes As compute densities rise, data storage becomes an increasingly key part of military systems. Technology suppliers offer a welcome mix of rugged drive sizes and solutions. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief

W

hile solid state disk drives are by no means a new technology, their evolution is reaching a key tipping point where complete program and data storage can reside on rugged SSDs. This has interesting implications as storage media of significant densities can now reside in slot-card board-level systems or as mezzanines on SBCs. Military storage implementations used in conjunction with embedded systems have historically fallen into two categories. One is low-capacity, low-performance embedded storage boards. The other is higher-capacity, higher-performance, but physically much larger and heavier external storage boxes or subsystems. However, current flash-based Solid State Drive (SSD) technology—combined with optimized storage controller architectures—has fueled the development of embedded storage blades that provide high levels of consistent performance, reliability and capacity. The latest crop of high-density, rugged solid state storage solutions is enabling military system developers to pack in system complexity without the burden of memory storage constraints.

Parallel to Serial Just as computing interconnects have transitioned away from parallel buses toward serial interconnect schemes, so 28

COTS Journal | June 2012

Figure 1

Chief Editor Jeff Child is briefed at TCS’s booth at MILCOM about the company’s family of solid state drives. Shown here immersed in water, the TCS’ Galatea SSDs meet the most extreme levels of ruggedness. These drives fit up to 200 Gbytes into standard 2.5-inch dimensions. too have the interface technologies of the high-density storage realm. That trend is also fueled by the continued dependence on compute- and data-intensive software. With that in mind, Serial ATA has become the dominant interface technology for new storage subsystem designs. SCSI and Fibre Channel in contrast seem to be

waning—although far from retreating. Meanwhile, the redundancy of RAID architectures is still a preferred way to ensure reliable mission-critical operations. An ability to work in extreme rugged environments is a major advantage. TCS’ Galatea SSDs (Figure 1) for example meet the most extreme levels of ruggedness.


TECH RECON

ties ranging from 60 to 240 Gbytes, using highly reliable single-level-cell (SLC) NAND flash. The Xcel-200 was designed and tested per MIL-STD-810 to operate in high shock and vibration applications at industrial operating temperatures of40° to +85°C. It is also certified for operation at altitudes up to 80,000 ft.

Small Size Trend Figure 2

The MACH16 Slim SATA SSD leverages industry-standard 22-pin SATA cabling (supporting JEDEC MO-297 and SFF8156 specifications) and provides the highest data integrity, endurance and reliability available.

Figure 3

Vortex Data Transport System (DTS) is a family of ruggedized DZUS form factor Network Attached Storage (NAS) File Servers (FS). The servers speed and simplify the integration of NAS FS secure removable storage into military platforms. They also feature AES-128 Encryption with automatic key management and extreme random small-block performance of over 47,000 IOPs. Power hold-up circuitry based on Tantalum capacitors is embedded to ensure reliable performance at high temperatures. These drives fit up to 200 Gbytes into standard 2.5-inch, thin (9.5 mm height) dimensions. Also targeting the extreme rugged side of the market, SMART Modular Technologies offers a 2.5-inch SATA solid state drive. Called the Xcel-200, the drive delivers performance metrics of 500 Mbyte/s sequential read/write speeds and up to 60K/40K random read/write IOPS. The Xcel-200 is available in capaci30

COTS Journal | June 2012

A parallel direction for rugged SSDs is toward compact form factor solutions. With that in mind, STEC extended its enterprise-class MACH16 SSD technology to the embedded market in one of the industry’s smallest solid state form factors. The new MACH16 Slim SATA SSD (Figure 2) provides embedded system designers with the same advanced flash management technology as STEC’s enterprise SSDs. The device leverages industry-standard 22-pin SATA cabling (supporting JEDEC MO-297 and SFF-8156 specifications) and provides the highest data integrity, endurance and reliability available in this market segment. With these features, the MACH16 Slim SATA SSD is well suited for high-performance and rugged embedded systems. The MACH16 Slim SATA embedded SSD leverages STEC’s patented SSD controller and firmware technologies that help optimize performance, endurance, data integrity and reliability. The device features the same advanced flash management capabilities as STEC’s leading enterprise SSDs. This includes CellCare Technology, which uses a combination of flash management techniques, digital signal processing, ECC methods and other technologies to increase NAND cell endurance and data retention, as well as performance. The drives are available with capacities of 25 and 50 Gbytes.

Fully Sealed Terabyte NAS System Today’s military system design is all about compute density and that often means storage density too. Storage systems as fully enclosed units fit nicely into this trend. Along such lines, General Micro Systems offers a fully sealed, rugged, ultra-small, low-power system with Quad Removable SSD. The SX401R-4 (“De-

pot”) is the industry’s smallest, lightest, total out-of-the-box data logger/recorder that supports all Network Attached Storage (NAS) protocols, and still offers superior performance as a fully functioning computer. It offers 1 Terabyte of data in only 63 cubic inches and 2.5 lbs, with sustained operation never exceeding 20W. Up to four removable, sealed SSD drives (250 Gbytes each) in the unit are each accessed via SATA or a USB port when removed, which means users don’t need a system to read the data, just a USB cable. Because the drives are sealed, Depot and the drives can be dropped in water as well as withstand the forces of adverse weather conditions, making it ideal for handling by military personnel and critical field operations. Depot is compliant to MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-704E and MIL-STD-461F. It is available as a rugged, conduction-cooled and extended temperature (-40° to +85°C) package.

Removable NAS Solution At the other end of the extreme are the large redundant box-level storage offers. Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems, for example, provides the Vortex Data Transport System (DTS) (Figure 3), a family of ruggedized DZUS form factor Network Attached Storage (NAS) File Servers (FS) designed for use in sea, air and ground vehicles, field stations and benign laboratories. Easily integrated into Network Centric systems, Vortex DTS servers speed and simplify the integration of NAS FS secure removable storage into military platforms. Applications for the Vortex DTS include cockpit data loader/ recorders and data transfer systems. Vortex DTS file servers provide military system integrators with an easy-touse, turn-key, rugged NAS FS with optimized interoperability across the product line. All Vortex DTS FSs share a common hardware and software architecture. They feature multiple rugged 128 Gbyte flash storage Removable Memory Cartridges (RMCs). The RMC can be easily removed and installed to seamlessly provide full transfer of data between one or more networks in separate locations. The standard Vortex DTS is configured with three RMCs, with an option for a fourth


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Figure 4

VS1-250-SSD Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)/Serial ATA (SATA)-based SolidState Disk VME blade delivers in a 6U, single-slot module. It houses one or two each 2.5-inch SAS or SATA SSDs of up to 256 Gbytes per device, and can be interfaced through its front panel connector or its P2 connector. RMC. Each compact RMC weighs only one half pound and is small enough to fit in a shirt or flight-suit pocket. Designed for use in harsh military environments, RMCs are built to withstand extremes in temperature, shock and vibration. To ensure the security of critical data, all data is passed through the DTS inline media encryption module prior to being read or written to an RMC. The DTS encryption capability is modular such that various schemes from no encryption to NSA Type 1 can be developed to meet program requirements. The standard DTS encryption module incorporates AES 256-bit cryptographic hardware that is NIST validated to FIPS 140-2.

Slot-Card Storage Solutions Particularly in this era of defense budget cutbacks, VME is expected to maintain a steady business of tech upgrade activity. Fortunately, storage solutions based on slot-card VME have kept pace. Phoenix International’s VS1-250SSD (Figure 4) Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)/Serial ATA (SATA)-based SolidState Disk VME blade delivers high-capacity, high-performance data storage for military, aerospace and industrial applications requiring rugged, secure and durable mass data storage. This 6U, single-slot module houses one or two each 2.5-inch SAS or SATA SSDs of up to 256

Gbytes per device, and can be interfaced through its front panel connector or its P2 connector. The high-speed module will sustain read/write data rates of 120 Mbytes/s with an access time of 0.5 msec. The VS1-250-SSD has an operating temperature range from -40° to 85°C and functions at an altitude greater than 80,000 feet. The VS1-250-SSD also complies with current defense department security standards providing multiple levels of secure erase techniques. As a drop-in replacement for a traditional hard disk drive, the VS1-250-SSD offers significantly lower power consumption and eliminates seek time, latency and other electromechanical delays commonly associated with conventional rotating media. The VS1-250-SSD’s performance and versatility is enabled by Phoenix International’s state-of-the-art technology, which provides very high transfer and I/O rates, enhanced endurance and maximum data integrity. A conduction-cooled version of the unit is also available. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. [www.cwcdefense.com]. General Micro Systems Rancho Cucamonga, CA. (909) 980-4863. [www.gms4sbc.com]. Phoenix International Orange, CA. (800) 203-4800. [www.phenxint.com]. SMART Modular Technologies Newark, CA. (510) 623-1231. [www.smartm.com].

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33

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TECH RECON Military Data Storage: SSD and HDD Tradeoffs

Rugged Embedded SSDs Sharpen Their Appeal Thanks to advancing flash semiconductor development, solid-state drive vendors are able to offer faster, denser products. And new form factor standards provide the increased ruggedness military systems demand. Charlie Cassidy, Director, Space & Component Technology Division TeleCommunication Systems

D

evelopers of military systems are increasingly turning to solidstate drives (SSDs) for use in embedded applications, where temperature, shock and vibration make mechanical storage, such as disk or tape, unreliable. SSDs provide benefits in power dissipation and overall system performance. Commercial development of SSDs continues to accelerate, as more consumers experience the benefits of SSD technology in now-ubiquitous tablets, smartphones and other small form factor computers. Defense systems designers and integrators are reaping the benefits of this rapid commercial development. The maximum available capacities for solid-state drives are basically doubling this year as NAND flash memory vendors make the transition from 5xnm and 3xnm to 2xnm flash designs. The move to 1xnm next year will double them again, allowing for 1 Terabyte of capacity in a 2.5-inch SSD using SLC flash. This rapid technology progress is a double-edged sword. While it has provided greatly enhanced performance and capacity, it has also driven obsolescence issues, because flash and controller vendors move their fabrication capacity to the latest versions of their products to satisfy the competitive demands of the commercial marketplace. Flash vendors have product 34

COTS Journal | June 2012

Figure 1

The mSATA drives have full SATA functionality in the JEDEC MO-300B form factor. availability programs designed to ensure that a number of their designs are available for the longer term to meet the needs of the defense systems and embedded marketplaces, which favor reliability and stability over technology churn. It is important for embedded SSD providers to

be plugged into these programs with their flash supplier.

From TSOP to BGA Packaging Another trend in the NAND flash space is a move from thin, small outline packaging (TSOP) to ball grid array (BGA)


TECH RECON

Figure 2

The SlimLite SATA offers full SATA functionalty in the JEDEC MO-297A form factor.

packaging. As the pin count required for synchronous interfaces (Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFi), Double Data Rate Toggle Mode) has increased, TSOPs can no longer meet the need, and many flash vendors are discontinuing TSOP packaging with the 1xnm generation of NAND flash. TSOPs are sometimes preferred in rugged designs, since the pliancy of the leads helps with resistance to shock, vibration and thermal coefficient of expansion mismatches. BGAs can work in rugged designs, but underfill is recommended for maximum protection against solder failure due to shock or TCE mismatch. SSD interfaces are moving to the faster SATA revision 3.0 interface standard, which doubles the raw bit rate to 6 Gbits/s. These changes will double the sustained bandwidth performance of these drives to over 500 Mbytes/s. SATA 3.0 is already in use in laptop and desktop PCs, with some commercial controllers already on their second generation of SATA 3.0 controller. Rugged SSDs with SATA 3.0 will enter the embedded market sometime this year. These new SATA 3.0 controllers are also required to take maximum advantage of the higher-density NAND flash. The smaller geometries of 2xnm and 1xnm NAND flash lead to lower charge levels, tighter voltage tolerances, lower signal to noise ratios and higher raw bit error rates. Maintaining the endurance, data retention and corrected error rate specifications requires more powerful error correction codes. Most controllers have transitioned from Reed-Solomon ECC to Bose-Chaudhuri-Hocquenghem (BCH) codes, which are more efficient at smaller symbol sizes (in this case, 1 bit). The latest controller designs are moving to Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) codes, which can be even more efficient, but are somewhat complex to implement.

Two Types of Rugged Solutions Figure 3

BGA form factor SSDs, like the TCS BGADrive, are very rugged when mounted on a printed circuit board with underfill. Once mounted the part is effectively epoxied to the board, and is not removable or repairable. 36

COTS Journal | June 2012

SSDs for rugged embedded use have generally fallen into two types. One is packaged in hard-disk form factors, such as 3.5inch or 2.5-inch cases, allowing drop-in replacement for hard disk drives. The other is ruggedized versions of consumer electronic form factors, such as the compact flash (CF)


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or secure digital (SD) cards used on digital cameras and cell phones. These have the benefits of an extremely small form factor and removability. A third type that has become increasingly popular over the past year or so is embedded modules in JEDEC standard form factors. These provide standard disk interfaces, so they are easy to interface to, both electronically and from a software perspective. These new form factors emerged in 2009 and 2010 in the commercial world, driven by the need for small SSDs for slim form factor laptops, such as the MacBook Air and Intel-based netbooks and ultrabooks. These form factors offer new improvements in the key area of SWaP (size, weight and power). The same features that make these suitable for small, light laptops make them perfect for military and rugged industrial embedded use. The JEDEC (Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council) standards group has released several standards for small form factor embedded SSDs. Slim SATA is based on JEDEC standard MO-297,

which was released in May 2009. It uses a low-profile connector that is compatible with standard SATA cables and allows for a complete SSD in a very small form factor (only 39 mm x 54 mm).

JEDEC SSD Standards Meanwhile mSATA, released as JEDEC standard MO-300, evolved from the mini PCI Express form factor commonly used in laptops for wireless interface cards. This allows for systems that can add a variety of interface cards and SSDs flexibly, in a small number of slots. mSATA cards are even smaller than Slim SATA, at only 29.85 mm x 50.80 mm. As shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2, the mSATA and Slim SATA form factors allow for only four NAND flash in a thin small outline package (TSOP). Stacking can be used to increase the number of flash, but this has proven to be less reliable in high shock and vibration environments, and is thus unsuitable for the most rugged defense applications. Even so, four TSOP NANDs using the latest 2xnm single-level

cell (SLC) flash technology can provide up to 64 Gbytes of capacity of high-reliability, industrial temperature range, solid-state storage in a very small package. The requirements of your application are the best guide when choosing between Slim SATA and mSATA. Slim SATA has the benefit of standard SATA cabling and the possibility for more rigid mounting, as it has four mounting points. Slim SATA can be mounted remotely and cabled to the CPU motherboard using standard SATA cables. mSATA is suited for a “daughter-card” application that is held on one side by the connector. One thing to be cautious about in using mSATA and Slim SATA in high vibration or shock environments is the mounting of the modules in the system. mSATA, in particular, can be a challenge, since the board is held on one end by the connector with a large span to the screw holes on the other end of the mSATA module. A high amount of flex can occur in the center of the board, even under moderate vibration. Component staking can be used to ensure

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that the solder joints do not weaken or fail due to excessive flexure. In fact, TCS has made TSOP staking standard on its mSATA modules for this reason.

PCB Embedded SSDs Several companies have also developed form factors that can be integrated directly on a system printed circuit board (PCB). Most of these are designed as ball grid arrays (BGA), due to the size of the

package and the number of required I/O signals, particularly for Parallel ATA. Companies vary in their approaches to doing a drive in a BGA form factor. Several companies use chip-on-board techniques to provide packages as small as 12 mm x 18 mm x 1.5 mm. While these can provide benefits in size and weight, they can be limited in performance and capacity. TCS uses its rigid flex technology to package normal, off-the-shelf controllers

and flash in a small, 31 mm x 31 mm x 6 mm package. This provides the performance and capacity benefits of multiple flash packages, while still gaining significant SWaP advantages over even Slim SATA and mSATA boards. A BGADrive has the same four TSOP flash parts as these boards in about half the space. BGA form factor SSDs, like the TCS BGADrive (Figure 3), are very rugged when mounted on a printed circuit board with underfill. Once this is done, the part is effectively epoxied to the board, and is not removable or repairable. Slim SATA and mSATA are better options if removability and upgradability are requirements.

Board-Level SSDs There is significant development in the area of board-level SSDsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;called storage blades by some companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as well. These can be custom designs that use storage interconnects, such as Serial ATA, Fibre Channel or Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS), but are packaged as blades or as mezzanines on single board computers to provide higher capacities than are possible in the smaller disk form factors. There is a lot of buzz and excitement in the commercial space about PCI Express SSDs from companies such as FusionIO. These provide benefits in density as well as performance over SSDs that rely on disk interconnects. Most of these use MLC and other commercial temperature range components, and are thus not suitable to rugged military use. The developments are pushing the state of the art, however, and will benefit rugged embedded SSDs in the longer term. These are exciting times in the SSD industry. The capability of the products is increasing, and they are available in a variety of forms that cover the breadth of military and rugged industrial embedded applications. Whether you need small and light or the ultimate in capacity and performance, there is likely a COTS SSD that can meet your specific need. TCS, Space & Component Technology Torrance CA. (866) 264-0793. [www.tcsspace.com]. Untitled-12 1 COTS Journal | June 2012 42

1/11/12 9:50:36 AM


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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Fabric Bandwidth Comparisons on VPX Backplanes

OpenVPX Backplane Fabric Choice Calls for Careful Analyses There’s a host of factors to consider when evaluating the system bandwidth of various OpenVPX fabrics. A detailed comparison of 10 Gbit Ethernet, Serial Rapid IO and InfiniBand sheds some light. Peter Thompson, Director of Applications, Military and Aerospace GE Intelligent Platforms

W

hen evaluating choices between interconnect fabrics and topologies as part of a systems engineering exercise, there are many factors to be considered. Papers have been published that purport to illustrate the advantages of some schemes over others. However, some of these analyses adopt a simplistic model of the architectures that can be misleading when it comes to mapping a real-world problem onto such systems. A more rigorous approach to the analysis is needed in order to derive metrics that are more meaningful and which differ significantly from those derived from a simplistic analytical approach. This article compares the bandwidth available to two common types of dataf low for systems based on the VITA 65 CEN16 central switched topology, using three different fabrics—Serial RapidIO (SRIO), 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and Double Data Rate InfiniBand (DDR IB). The analysis will show that the difference in routing for the three fabrics on the CEN16 backplane is minimal, and that for the use cases presented, 10GbE is closer in performance to SRIO than is 44

COTS Journal | June 2012

claimed elsewhere, and that DDR IB matches SRIO.

The System Architecture For the purposes of this analysis, consider an OpenVPX CEN16 backplane that allows for 14 payload (processor) slots and two switch slots (Figure 1). This is a non-uniform Data Plane topology that routes one connection from each payload slot to each of the two switch slots, plus one connection to the adjacent slot on each side. First consider a system built from boards that each have two processing nodes (which may be multicore), where each node is connected via Gen2 Serial RapidIO (SRIO) to an onboard SRIO switch, which in turn has four SRIO connections to the backplane. Each processor has two SRIO connections. That is then compared with a similar system based around dual processor boards with two 10GbE links per node and no onboard switch. If, as in the case of the GE DSP280 multiprocessor board, a Mellanox network interface chip is used, the same board can be software reconfigured to support InfiniBand: In fact, the only

change required to migrate from 10GbE to DDR InfiniBand is to change the system central switch from 10GbE (for example, GE’s GBX460) to InfiniBand (such as GE’s IBX400). The backplane can remain unchanged, as can the payload boards. The interfaces can be software selected as 10GbE or IB. By using appropriate middleware such as AXIS or MPI, the application code remains agnostic to the fabric.

Assumptions and Data Rate Arithmetic It is assumed that the switches for all three fabrics are non-blocking for the number of ports that each switch chip supports. However, as will be seen, the number of chips and the hierarchy used to construct a 20-port central switch board can have a significant impact on the true network topology and therefore the bandwidth available to an application. One factor that can be overlooked is that in addition to the primary data fabric connections, there can be an alternate path between nodes on the same board that can be seamlessly leveraged by the application. For example, GE’s


SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

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An OpenVPX CEN16 backplane that allows for 14 payload (processor) slots and two switch slots. This is a non-uniform Data Plane topology that routes one connection from each payload slot to each of the two switch slots, plus one connection to the adjacent slot on each side. DSP280 multiprocessor board has eight lanes of PCIe Gen2 between the two processors—via a switch with non-transparent bridging capability. This adds a path with up to 32 Gbit/s available. It’s important that the inter-processor communication software is able to leverage mixed data paths within a system. The AXIS tools from GE can do that and can be used to build a dataflow model that represents the algorithm’s needs, and the user has complete control over which interconnect mechanism is used for each data link. Gen2 SRIO (which is only just starting to emerge on products as of early 2012) runs at 5 GHz with the chipsets commonly in use. A 4-lane connection, with the overhead of 8b10b encoding, yields a raw rate of 4 x 5 Gbit/s x 0.8 = 16 Gbit/s. 10GbE clocks at 3.125 GHz on 4 lanes with the same 8b10B encoding, so has a raw rate of 4 x 3.125 Gbit/s x 0.8 = 10 Gbit/s. DDR InfiniBand clocks at 5 46

COTS Journal | June 2012

GHz, with a raw rate of 4 x 5 Gbit/s x 0.8 = 16 Gbit/s. Mellanox interface chips that support both 10GbE and IB have been available and have been deployed for some time now, and are considered a mature technology with widespread adoption in mainstream high-performance computing.

Expanded System Architecture Now consider a system built from fourteen such boards in an OpenVPX chassis with a backplane that conforms to the BKP6-CEN16-11.2.2.n profile. This supports fourteen payload boards and two central switch boards, and yields a nominal interconnect diagram as shown in Figure 2 for the SRIO case. For 10GbE or InfiniBand, the same backplane results in an inter-connect mapping that is represented in Figure 3. Those diagrams do not tell the whole story however. They would be correct if

the central switches shown were constructed from a single, non-blocking, 18to 20-port switch device. However, this is not the case for all the fabrics. In the 10GbE case, a GBX460 switch card can be used, which employs a single 24-port switch chip. For an InfiniBand system, IBX400 can be used, which has a single, 36-port switch chip where each port is x4 lanes wide. In the case of Gen2 SRIO, the switch chip commonly selected is a device that supports 48 lanes—in other words 12 ports of x4 links. In order to construct a switch of higher order, it is necessary to use several chips in some kind of a tree structure. Here a tradeoff must be made of the number of chips used against the overall performance of the aggregated switch.

All-to-All Data Measurement When evaluating network architectures, a common approach is to look


SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

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SRIO SRIO SRIO SRIO

SRIO SRIO SRIO SRIO

SRIO SRIO SRIO SRIO

SRIO SRIO SRIO SRIO

SRIO SRIO SRIO SRIO

SRIO SRIO

Payload Switch

Payload Switch

SRIO SRIO SRIO

SRIO

CPU 27 CPU 28 CPU 25 CPU 26 CPU 23 CPU 24 CPU 21 CPU 22 CPU 19 CPU 20 CPU 17 CPU 18 CPU 15 CPU 16

Figure 2

This interconnect diagram for the Serial RapidIO use case has an OpenVPX backplane that conforms to the BKP6-CEN16-11.2.2.n profile. This supports 14 payload boards and two central switch boards.

at an all-to-all exchange of data. This is of interest as it represents a common problem encountered in embedded processing systems: a distributed corner turn of matrix data. This is a core function in synthetic aperture radars, for instance, where it is termed a corner turn. It is commonly seen when the processing algorithm calls for a two (or higher) dimensional array to be subjected to a two dimensional (or higher) Fast Fourier Transform. In order to meet system time constraints, the transform is often distributed across many processor nodes. Between the row FFTs and the column FFTs the data must be exchanged between nodes. This requires an all-to-all exchange of data that can tax the available band48

COTS Journal | June 2012

width of a system. A simple analysis of this topology might make the following assumptions: there are links between nodes on each board via the onboard switch, there are links to nodes on adjacent cards via links between the onboard switches, and there are 22 connections made via the central switches. In this approach, the overall performance for an all-to-all exchange might be assumed to be determined by the lowest aggregate bandwidth of these three connection types—in other words that of a single link divided by the number of connections. This equates to 4 lanes x 5 Gbit/s x 0.8 encoding / 22 nodes = 0.73 Gbit/s. If we apply the same simplistic

analysis to the 10GbE system, this suggests that the available bandwidth for all-to-all transfers is 4 lanes x 3.125 Gbit/s x 0.8 encoding of x8 connections between switches / 368 paths = 0.217 Gbit/s per CPU when using SRIO. That means SRIO has an apparent speed advantage of 3.4 to 1. However, this is a f lawed analysis and gives a misleading impression as to the relative performance that might be expected from the two systems when doing a corner turn. The two architectures are evaluated with different methods—one by dividing the worst-case bandwidth by the number of processors sharing it, and the other by dividing the worst-case bandwidth by the number of links that share it.


ÂŽ Computing/HMI

Serial

I/O

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

CPU 1 CPU 2 CPU 3 CPU 4 CPU 5 CPU 6 CPU 7 CPU 8 CPU 9 CPU 10 CPU 11 CPU 12 CPU 13 CPU 14

10GbE

10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

Central Switch

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

Central Switch

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE 10GbE

10GbE

10GbE

CPU 27 CPU 28 CPU 25 CPU 26 CPU 23 CPU 24 CPU 21 CPU 22 CPU 19 CPU 20 CPU 17 CPU 18 CPU 15 CPU 16

Figure 3

This interconnect diagram has an OpenVPX backplane with an interconnect mapping for 10GbE or InfiniBand.

Switch Architecture Matters A second potential error is to ignore the internal architecture of each switch device, as this can have an effect in cases where the switch does not have balanced bandwidth. However, the biggest flaw is the suggestion that the performance of a non-uniform tree architecture can be modeled by deriving the lowest bandwidth connection in the system. In network theory, it is widely accepted that the best metric for the expected performance of such a system is represented by the bisectional bandwidth of the network. The bisectional bandwidth of a system is found by dividing the system into two equal halves along a dividing line, and enumerating the rate at which data can be communicated between the two halves. Reconsidering the network diagram of the SRIO system, the bisec50

COTS Journal | June 2012

tion width is defined by the number of paths that the median line crosses, which adds up to be 19. Similarly, the bisectional width of the 10GbE or DDR IB system would add up to be 19. Given that the link bandwidth for the SRIO system is 16 Gbit/s and for 10GbE is 10 Gbit/s, the bisectional bandwidth of the SRIO system is 19 x 16 = 304 Gbit/s, and for the 10GbE system it is 19 x 10 = 190 Gbit/s. This represents an expected performance ratio for the total exchange scenario of 1.6 to 1 in favor of the SRIO systemâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not the 3.4 to 1 predicted in the simplistic model. If we now replace the 10GbE switch with an InfiniBand switch, which fits the same slot and backplane profiles, the bisectional bandwidth is 19 x 16 = 304 Gbit/s. Therefore the performance of DDR InfiniBand matches that of SRIO.

Bandwidth Calculationsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Pipeline Case Another dataflow model commonly considered is a pipeline, where data streams from node to node in a linear manner. When designing such a dataflow, it is normal to map the tasks and flow to the system in an optimal manner. This can include using different fabric connections for different parts of the flow. A good IPC library and infrastructure will allow the designer to do so without requiring any modifications to the application code. AXIS has this characteristic. Here, for simplicity, it is assumed that the input and output data sizes at each processing stage are the same (no data reduction or increase). In this instance the rate of the slowest link in the chain dictates the overall achievable performance.


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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

CPU 1

1 to 2

CPU 2 CPU 3 CPU 4 CPU 5 CPU 6

10GbE 10GbE 10GbE

Central Switch

10GbE 10GbE 10GbE 10GbE

2 to 3

2 to 3

10GbE 10GbE

Central Switch

10GbE 10GbE 10GbE

Figure 4

Shown here is a pipeline dataflow scheme mapped to a 10GbE system.

If Task 1 is mapped to CPU1, Task 2 to CPU2 and Task 3 to CPU3, the available paths are shown in yellow in Figure 4 for the 10GbE system. The path from Task 1 to Task 2 is over x8 PCIe Gen2, with an available bandwidth of 32 Gbit/ ss. The path from Task 2 to Task 3 has access to two 10GbE links, an aggregate rate of 20 Gbit/s. Therefore the minimum path is 20 Gbit/s. In the DDR IB system, the path from Task 2 to Task 3 has access to two IB links, an aggregate rate of 32 Gbit/s. The PCIe link is unchanged, so the minimum leg here is 32 Gbit/s. Now, for the SRIO system, with paths between CPU1 and CPU2 and between CPU2 and CPU3, two separate links are available, so 32 Gbit/s is available for both legs. The result of all this is that the limiting bandwidths for the pipeline use case are 20 Gbit/s for 10GbE, 32 Gbit/s for DDR IB and 32 Gbit/s for SRIO.

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

Backplane

Use Case

10GbE

SR10

DDR 1B

SRIO:10GbE

IB:SRIO

CEN16 14 payload 2 switch CEN16 14 payload 2 switch

All-to-all

190 Gbits/s bisectional bandwidth 20 Gbits/s min

304 Gbits/s bisectional bandwidth 32 Gbits/s min

304 Gbits/s bisectional bandwidth 32 Gbits/s min

1.6x

1x

1.6x

1x

Pipeline

Figure 5

The table summarizes the system bandwidth analyses for the SRIO, 10GbE and DDR InfiniBand systems. The DDR InfiniBand system matches the performance of the SRIO system for both use cases.

on—is leading the military embedded processing industry to support middleware packages such as Open Fabric Enterprise Distribution (OFED) and OpenMPI for data movement. Typically OpenMPI is layered over a network stack, and its performance is highly reliant on the efficiency of how the layers map to the underlying fabric. Some SRIO implementations rely on “rionet,” a Linux network driver that presents a TCP/IP interface to SRIO. Contrast this with an OpenMPI implementation that maps through OFED to RDMA over 10GbE or InfiniBand, and it can be seen that the potential exists for a large gap in performance at the application level, with RDMA being much more efficient. Meanwhile, it is sometimes claimed that SRIO is more power efficient than the other fabrics. If we total up the power of the bridge and switch components for each 16-slot system, a truer picture emerges. If you do the math, the power efficiency of SRIO and DDR IB is on par, with 10GbE fairly close.

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Figure 5 summarizes the system bandwidth analyses for the SRIO, 10GbE and DDR InfiniBand systems. These show that for both use cases, the simplistic analysis presented elsewhere overestimates the performance advantage of SRIO over 10GbE by a factor of two, and that the advantage is completely attributable to the difference in clock rates. The CEN16 topology has little to no effect in reality. It also shows that the DDR InfiniBand system matches the performance of the SRIO system for both use cases. GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [www.ge-ip.com].


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TECHNOLOGY FOCUS PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards

PC/104 Reaches its 20th Year on Solid Footing While PC/104 and its follow-on variants mature, a continual stream of power-efficient products roll out offering richer sets of integrated functions and interface options. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief

T

he stackable PC/104 form factor and all of its follow-on variants continue to hold an established position in military embedded systems. By leveraging the PC as its core foundation, PC/104—and its wider family of form factors including PC/104-Plus, PCI-104 and EPIC—has been able to leverage all facets of the PC infrastructure. The Consortium has detailed a consolidated and consistent stackable PCI Express roadmap, starting with the adoption of the PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 specifications. Earlier this year the PC/104 Consortium celebrated its 20th anniversary as well as the 20th anniversary of the introduction of its highly successful PC/104 standard for stackable computing modules. PC/104 is credited for pioneering the embedded stackable computing concept. It started with the incorporation of the ISA bus and has grown to include the latest developments in computing technologies with PCI and PCI Express. The PC/104 architecture demonstrates that it is pos56

COTS Journal | June 2012

sible to successfully implement quickly evolving PC technology into embedded computing products by taking full advantage of PC market adoption, performance, scalability, and growing silicon availability worldwide. PC/104 was designed to be simple in design, but rugged in performance. As a result, PC/104 products have permeated many industries including aerospace and defense. The PC/104 Consortium was established in February 1992 to allow companies to come together with the common vision of adapting desktop computer technology for embedded applications. The PC/104 specification was officially released in March of that year, and later that same year the first meeting of the board of directors was held. The roundup on the following pages showcases some representative examples of PC/104, PC/104-Plus, PCI/104-Express and EPIC single board computer products. Many of these vendors offer both PC/104 and EPIC families of products. However, for the purposes of this product roundup, vendors were asked to include just one of their PC/104 or PC/104-related products. PC/104 continues to be a trusted option for space-constrained military system. As an example, one manufacturer of a military tilt-rotary aircraft (Figure 1) specifies the multicore version of the Parvus DuraCOR pre-integrated subsystem with COTS PC/104-Plus modules supporting MILSTD-1553 avionics bus interfaces and MPEG video encoding. The prime contractor leverages the unit to provide

Figure 1

PC/104 is popular in space- and weightconstrained systems like this military tilt-rotary aircraft. It uses PC/104-Plus modules supporting MIL-STD-1553 avionics bus interfaces and MPEG video encoding. platform mission processing, among other capabilities. In a recent quick-reaction capability (QRC) demonstration for the U.S. Government, the DuraCOR unit was repurposed to link with a stand-alone Ethernet switch subsystem to expand the aircraft’s situational awareness capabilities by sharing and receiving real-time video feeds with ground commanders. To further reduce size, weight and power (SWaP), the military customer also considered integrating the Ethernet switch (also based on PC/104 architecture) into an open card slot within the DuraCOR computer housing, eliminating the need for separate computer/ switch boxes. As that user demonstrates, the flexibility of pre-integrated subsystems allows this computing platform to perform a variety of functions for various applications.


WinSystemsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; DesignSolutions

SBCs with advanced CPU chipsets employing sleep modes and active power management. Also, the unit can operate in a +85°C ambient temperature environment using normal convection cooling and no fan. The outputs are +5V@10A, +3.3V@10A, +12V@3A, -12V@500mA, and

PC/104 ATX-compatible DC/DC Power Supply offers Wide Input Range and -40° to +85°C Operation WinSystemsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; PPM-DC-ATX is a PC/104-Plus DC/DC power supply for PC/104, EPIC, and EBX single board computers (SBCs) that support ATX power controls. It features a wide voltage input range from 10 to 50 volts, which allows the unit to operate with 12, 24, or 48 volt batteryoperated or distributed DC power systems. It JHQHUDWHVÂżYHUHJXODWHG'&RXWSXWYROWDJHVIURP one common DC input, plus supports the software controlled shutdown and power monitoring for

+5VSTBY@2A. Each output is short circuit protected and current limited. A minimum load is not needed to bring the the supply into regulation. When power is applied to the ERDUGÂżYH/('VZLOO illuminate providing a visual status that power is available. WinSystems, Inc. (817) 274-7553 WinSystems.com/PPM-DC-ATXC

PC/104 Analog In/Out Module Does Not Require Calibration WinSystemsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; PCM-MIO-G is a versatile, PC/104-based analog input, analog output, and digital I/O board designed for high-accuracy and high-channel count analog and digital I/O. It includes a 16 channel, 16-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) converter, 8 channel, 12-bit digital-to-analog (D/A) converter, and 48 lines of digital I/O. Its design is unique since it requires no trimpots for calibration of the analog FLUFXLWU\WRUHPDLQZLWKLQLWVVSHFLÂżFDWLRQV

High-Performance Atomâ&#x201E;˘ SBCs Small, Fanless ' PSZPVSOFYUEFTJHO TFMFDU SVHHFE8JO4ZTUFNTTJOHMF CPBSEDPNQVUFSTQPXFSFE XJUITJOHMFPSEVBMDPSF *OUFMÂĽ"UPNÂ&#x2122;QSPDFTTPST -POHMJGF*OUFMÂĽ"UPNÂ&#x2122;$16T  4JNVMUBOFPVT7("BOE  -7%4WJEFP  (JHBCJU&UIFSOFUQPSU T

 &JHIU64#QPSUT  'PVSBTZODTFSJBMQPSUT  1$FYQBOTJPO  4"5"BOE$PNQBDU'MBTI*'  %JHJUBM*0XJUI&WFOU4FOTF  &YUFOEFE5FNQ0QFSBUJPO  0VUTUBOEJOH5FDI4VQQPSU *OEVTUSZ4UBOEBSE1MBUGPSNT  &1*$ &#9 1$ BOE  46.*5*4.Â&#x2122;  4PGUXBSF4VQQPSU  t8JOEPXTÂĽ$& 91F 8&4    -JOVY BOEY3504  t2VJDL4UBSU,JUT 0VS4#$TBSFUIFSJHIUDIPJDFGPS TFDVSJUZBOENJMJUBSZBQQMJDBUJPOT (PUP8JO4ZTUFNT4#$(VJEFBU www.WinSystems.com/SBCsC

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The input ranges are 0-5V, ¹5V, 0-10V and ¹10 volts. The board will support up to 16 single-ended or 8 differential channels or various combinations of both. Eight independent, 12-bit D/A converters are also on the board. The output voltage ranges are 0-5V, 0-10V, ¹5V, and ¹10V. The PCM-MIO-G has 48 lines of digital I/O programmable for input, output, or output with UHDGEDFN7KHOLQHVDUH77/FRPSDWLEOHDQG can sink 12 mA. The PCM-MIO-G will operate from -40° to +85°C. WinSystems, Inc. (817) 274-7553 WinSystems.com/Analog-104C


TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Rugged PC/104-Plus Module Based on Atom E600

PC/104 Form Factor Card Serves Up Sandy Bridge i7

Board Serves Up Ultra Low Power SoC CPU

An extreme rugged PC/104-Plus Single Board Computer (SBC) is based on the Intel Atom Processor E600 series from 600 MHz up to 1.6 GHz. The CoreModule 720 from Adlink Technology is a PC/104-Plus stackable form factor that allows customers to build lowpower solutions for space-constrained, extreme rugged environments. The CoreModule 720

A PC/104 form factor board features the 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor that incorporates Intel’s latest embedded two-chip platform. This 2nd generation i7 processor integrates Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 engine with AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) as well as the memory controller functions of a traditional GMCH. The QM67 Platform

The emergence of complete systems on chips has brought direct benefits to small form factor boards like PC/104. Advantech offers a cost-effective System on Chip (SoC) PC/104 CPU module driven by the ultra low power DM&P Vortex86DX 1.0 GHz processor with 256 Mbytes of DDR2 SDRAM memory on board. PCM-3343 has the standard dimensions of 96 x 90 mm in a fanless PC/104 architecture, supporting rich graphic output including

PC/104-Plus SBC features PCI and ISA bus connectivity and provides an integrated 4 Gbyte SSD, CAN bus, SATA, and a broad range of peripheral I/O support. Additional features of the CoreModule 720 include support for up to 2 Gbytes of soldered DDR2 SDRAM at 600/800 MHz and 24-bit LVDS and SDVO graphics. The Intel Platform Controller Hub EG20T accommodates a wide d range of common I/Os, such as USB, SATA, GbE, SDIO, Serial and CAN bus. Designed to meet stringent shock and vibration requirements, the CoreModule 720 uses 50% thicker printed circuit board (PCB) and supports an extended temperature range of -40° to +85°C. nies providing solutions now

Controller Hub (PCH) provides PCI Express I/O bandwidth at twice the speed (5 Gbit/s) of previous i7 or Core 2 Duo platforms. The ADLQM67PC from Advanced Digital Logic is suitable for rugged applications where high processor performance is critical. In addition to the wide range of rugged and harsh environment applications in which the ADLQM67PC can perform, it also supports a healthy set of features. The ADLQM67PC has a discrete 16-bit digital I/O port as well as separate VGA, LVDS, HDMI and Display Port interfaces. The ADLQM67PC also has 2x RS-232 COM ports, 2x SATA 6 Gbit/s with RAID support, 8x USB 2.0, two bootable Gigabit Ethernet LAN, HDA 7.1, and type 1 bottom-stacking PCI Express V2.0 supporting on into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest ADLINK Technology Gen2 throughput of 5 GT/s are just a few of the tion Engineer,San or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you Jose, CA. available features. you require for whatever type of technology, Two key features that will make the and products(408) you are360-0200. searching for. ADLQM67PC a popular high-performance [www.adlinktech.com]. www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected computing platform is the ability to offload general purpose computing onto the GPU, and the added flexibility and 5 Gbit/s bandwidth of the second generation PCI Express bus, which make possible tantalizing high-performance peripherals such as 10G Ethernet in the near future.

loration our goal k directly age, the source. ology, products

End of Article Get Connected

with companies mentioned in this article. www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected

58

COTS Journal | June 2012

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

VGA and 24-bit LVDS or TTL up to 1024 x 768 resolution. PCM-3343 delivers ultra low power consumption of less than 5W under full load, and extended temperature support between -40° and 85°C. It is well suited for those applications that need only basic CPU performance, but very low power consumption at an attractive price. PCM-3343 supports USB hot plugging to replace FDDs, as well as having an optional 4 Mbytes of external SPI flash for boot disk and small storage, which makes this total solution even more cost-effective. Advantech also provides a ruggedized package service that includes conformal coating and Industrialgrade compact flash—SQFlash. The conformal coating service is offered to protect the PCB and components from dust, moisture, fungus, corrosion and vibration. APIs are included for configuring I2C, watchdog timer, panel backlight on/off, brightness control and GPIO—all through a user friendly GUI to make it easier and simpler to configure and integrate into applications. PCM-3343 is designed with ample I/O ports and storage, including three RS-232, one RS-422/485, one IDE, four USB 2.0 and two 10/100 LAN ports, plus a single CompactFlash socket and 16-bit GPIO.

Advantech Irvine, CA. (800) 866-6008. [www.advantech.com].


PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards roundup

Conduction-Cooled SBC Has 1.6 GHz Atom, 2 Gbytes DRAM

PC/104-Plus Card Offers 4W Fanless Solution

PC/104-Plus SBC Sports AMD Embedded G-Series CPU

A high-performance PC/104 computing solution used to require a two-board stack or an oversized board. Exemplifying the transition to single board solutions, Diamond Systems provides the PC/104 SBC Aurora with the 1.6 GHz Atom Z530 processor, SODIMM RAM up to 2 Gbytes, Gbit Ethernet, USB Flashdisk, Serial ATA (SATA), four RS-232 serial ports

Reducing size, weight and power (SWaP) has moved to the forefront of military system designer priorities. Serving those needs, Eurotech offers the CPU-1440, a lowpower PC/104-Plus module based on the Vortex86DX processor. At less than 4W of power consumption and fanless operation, the CPU-1440 provides x86 compatibility for legacy applications using DOS, as well as for more current PC/104-Plus embedded applications

Many military embedded systems are truly embedded in the sense that they’re meant to not interface to a display. Kontron offers a headless version of the Kontron PC/104Plus SBC MICROSPACE MSM-eO-N based on the AMD Embedded G-Series processor. The Kontron MICROSPACE MSM-eO-N is a cost-saving and low-power solution for

(two with RS-422/485 capability), four USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, and both SUMIT-A and PC/104 ISA bus expansion. Prior to Aurora, this extensive feature set was typically accomplished by two-board stacks or SBCs with “wings” (form factor excursions). Compared to COM Express modules, which require +12V input and full custom carrier card designs, Aurora saves power by operating off a single low voltage +5V input, yet still allows I/O customization in the form of a plug-in SUMIT module. Rugged features include -40° to +71°C operation and an innovative new SO-DIMM solution with optional mounting holes for ruggedness. Diamond’s rugged RAM offering will be manufactured by multiple embedded suppliers. The onboard SATA connector interfaces to SSDs with short 3-inch latching cables and no need for external SATA convertor. Diamond chose to convert IDE (PATA) to SATA on board since IDE drives are EOL and SSDs are at risk of higher prices and shorter lifecycle compared to 2.5-inch SATA SSDs. Conduction-cooling is the ideal solution for sealed (waterproof / dustproof) metal enclosures in order to prevent thermal runaway and maximize the reliability and longevity of electronics. Aurora pricing in OEM volumes starts in the upper $400s.

using Linux and Windows CE. The CPU-1440 features soldered down RAM and an onboard Flash Disk with extended temperature range options (-40° to +70°C). This small form factor board (97 x 100 mm) offers PC/104 and PC/104-Plus bus expansion with true ISA support. Eurotech development kits offer a ready to run application development environment with a choice of preinstalled operating systems and drivers. The CPU-1440 Development Kit allows users to start application development immediately. Featuring the CPU-1440 board, a break out board giving standard peripheral connectors, the user’s choice of pre-ported operating system (DOS, Linux or WinCE) and an integrated display, this easy-to-use development kit cuts development time and allows full access to all board features.

deeply embedded systems that require no display support or graphic requirements. With long-term availability, this space-saving, twochip solution based on the AMD Embedded processor T24L and Fusion Controller Hub A55E is ideal for fanless Small Form Factor (SFF) designs that run purely as number crunchers. OEMs will benefit from reduced energy consumption and a lower Bill of Material (BoM) for their SFF designs. The Kontron PC/104-Plus SBC MICROSPACE MSM-eO-N integrates the single-core AMD T24L processor with 1.0 GHz, which offers high data processing performance with only 5.0W total power dissipation. With up to 4 Gbyte DDR3 RAM, the Kontron MICROSPACE MSM-eO-N provides enough resources to accelerate even the most memoryintensive applications. Storage media can be connected via two SATA interfaces for which RAID 0, 1 support is available. For extremely space-saving and robust applications a socket for micro SD cards is also available. A Gigabit Ethernet interface allows for direct integration into network structures without additional extension cards. Four USB 2.0 and four serial interfaces (RS-232/TTL) are available for connecting numerous application-specific peripherals. To facilitate further applicationspecific I/Os, the Single Board Computer has eight configurable GPIOs.

Diamond Systems Mountain View, CA. (650) 810-2500. [www.diamondsystems.com].

60

COTS Journal | June 2012

Eurotech Columbia, MD. (301) 490-4007. [www.eurotech.com].

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


PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards roundup

SBC Marries Freescale i.MX515 and FPGA Access

Power Supply Card Targets Aircraft and Ground Vehicles

1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo Climbs Aboard PCI/104-Express

FPGAs bring a wealth of flexibility to PC/104-based systems. For maximum offthe-shelf I/O flexibility, Micro/sys provides user access to a Xilinx Spartan 5 FPGA on a low-power, high-performance Cortex-A8 SBC using Freescale Semiconductor’s i.MX515 processor. The Micro/sys SBC1651 is easily embeddable supporting a PC/104 form factor and is available in extended temperature.

A rugged DC/DC converter card is designed for extended temperature operation (-40° to +85°C), high shock and vibration levels, and demanding voltage transient conditions experienced by military ground vehicles (MILSTD-1275D) and aircraft (MIL-STD-704F) platforms, including 250V spikes and 100V surges. The ACS-5180 from Parvus is a standalone card and can be integrated into DuraCOR

PCI/104-Express marries the legacy of the PCI/104 form factor to the realm of speedy switched fabrics. RTD Embedded Technologies does just that with its latest Core 2 Series of cpuModules with Intel Core 2 Duo Processor and 1 Gbyte of SDRAM. These boards are powered by the GS45 chip set from

Matching the newest Freescale i.MX processor series with Xilinx’s vast library of IP modules for I/O expansion, this powerful SBC provides embedded users with the first completely integrated solution on a small, low-power, rugged board. OEMs reap the benefit of this integration realizing reduced development efforts, easily customized I/O, faster time-tomarket, easier production builds and lower total cost of ownership. With flexible FPGA I/O options, the Micro/ sys SBC1651 allows OEMs to efficiently configure boards with their exact I/O requirements. 512 Mbyte SDRAM, 2 Gbyte flash and 2 SD/MMC card slots answer the demand for portability and multimedia storage simultaneously. The dual 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, seven serial ports and four USB ports ensure the SBC1651 provides design engineers every means of embedded communication their application requires. Additional onboard peripherals include a real-time clock, watchdog timer, 1-wire interface, 24 lines of discrete I/O, two PWM outputs, audio support TV out, 24-bit LVDS flat panel display output, 4-wire touchscreen interface and a SATA HDD port. Since all components are validated for the extended temperature range from -40° to +85°C, the SBC1651 is industrial temperature capable by design. The SBC1651 starts at $595 in single quantity and mid $300s in OEM quantities.

mission computers and DuraNET routers and switch subsystems. Featuring robust voltage input protections and onboard MILSTD-461 EMI filtering, the card will typically eliminate the need for additional in-line power conditioning/EMI filtering integrated into such embedded systems. With a rugged mechanical design, this small form factor card is designed as the bottom card in a PC/104 system stack to operate without heatsinking or any active cooling, and provide resistance to high levels of shock and vibration. This highly efficient, galvanically isolated power supply can supply 80 watts of power in military / civil ground vehicle, shipboard and aircraft applications over the PC/104 (ISA) bus, PC/104-Plus (PCI) bus, or screw clamp terminal. Key features include a voltage input of 28.0 VDC, voltage outputs up to 80W at +5V at 16A; +12V at 2A and +3-3V at 8A. Power input protection includes reverse polarity, voltage transient, surge, spike, over current and 1500V galvanic isolation DC. Power output protection includes filtered output, current fold-back plus remote shutdown support and status indication. Formal qualification compliance testing is in process for MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-1275D, MIL-STD-704F and MIL-STD-461E.

the “Montevina” platform. A dual-channel DDR2 memory interface ensures adequate memory bandwidth to keep up with both processor cores. An Intel Gen 5.0 integrated graphics engine provides extensive rendering capabilities. Some of this CPU’s I/O features include Gbit Ethernet, three SATA hard drive connections plus an onboard SATA Disk Chip, up to six USB 2.0 ports, up to four RS232/422/485 serial ports, analog SVGA and digital LVDS video ports. These modules also support RTD’s Advanced Digital I/O and Advanced Analog I/O (aAIO), which allows them to be used as single board solutions for some data acquisition and controller applications. The Core 2 Series cpuModules and controllers are available in PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 form factors.

Micro/sys Montrose, CA. (818) 244-4600. [www.embeddedsys.com]. 62

COTS Journal | June 2012

Parvus Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. [www.parvus.com].

RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA. (814) 234-8087. [www.rtd.com].


PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards ROUNDUP

EPIC SBC Serves Up Atom CPU and Mini Card Socket

Atom-Based PC/104-Plus Module Has Rich I/O

SBC Blends PCI Express, PC/104 and 1.66 GHz Atom

Developed by the PC/104 industry, the EPIC form factor offers a larger alternative to PC/104. Versalogic offers the Iguana, a lowpower / high-performance EPIC format single board computer (SBC) featuring extensive onboard I/O. Driven by Intel 1.8 GHz Atom D525 and Atom D425 processors, the Iguana provides high-performance single- or dual-core processing with low power requirements (9W to

WIN Enterprises provides a low-power PC/104-Plus module that offers a choice of the Intel Atom D525, D425 and N455 processors. The Intel Atom D525 and D425 processors are clocked at 1.8 GHz; the N455 at 1.66 GHz.

Getting legacy I/O to work with advanced computing architectures is not a straightforward task. Easing the way, WinSystems has announced their PXMC388-S, a PC/104-compatible SBC powered by an Intel 1.66 GHz Atom processor. This new SBC adds the SUMIT (Stackable Unified Modular Interconnect Technology) I/O

12W typical). Based on the industry-standard EPIC form factor (4.5 x 6.5 inches), this SBC is an excellent solution for embedded applications with substantial I/O requirements. For high-performance graphics applications, the Iguana provides integrated support for DirectX 9c, OpenGL 1.5, MPEG-2 decoding and adaptive interlacing. A single-channel LVDS flat panel interface and an analog VGA video interface support multiple display modes. An optional adapter supports dual VGA operation. The Iguana features onboard data acquisition ports including include eight analog inputs, four analog outputs and sixteen digital I/O lines. System I/O includes dual Gigabit Ethernet with network boot capability, up to 2 Gbyte DDR3 RAM, six USB host ports, four serial ports, SATA interface with support for two devices and HD audio. Removable flash storage is provided via CompactFlash socket, eUSB interface and a PCI Express Mini Card socket. The PCI Express Mini Card socket also accommodates plug-in Wi-Fi modems, GPS receivers, MIL-STD-1553, Ethernet channels and other mini expansion cards. An industry-standard PC/104-Plus expansion site provides plug-in access to a wide variety of expansion modules from numerous vendors. The SPX expansion interface provides additional plug-in expansion for low-cost analog, digital and CANbus I/O. Pricing starts at $680 in OEM quantities.

The PC/104-Plus module features dual Gbit Ethernet ports, four USB ports, LVDS support, CFast and SATA. The MB-73240 is ideal for space-limited applications such as UAVs, portable military comms and in-vehicle infotainment systems. The module has up to 2 Gbytes of DDR2 memory. The device provides resolution of up to 2048 x 1536 over VGA; 1366 x 768 18-bit over LVDS and support for dual display. The MB73240 provides exceptional I/O with two GbE LAN ports, two serial ports and four USB 2.0 ports. Storage is supported by a SATA interface and CompactFlash. Other I/O interfaces include 3x RS-232, 1x RS-232/422/485, GPIO and HD audio. Operating system support includes Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP and Linux.

expansion connector onto a PC/104 expandable SBC. This combination provides designers easy I/O expansion for the thousands of standard and custom designed PC/104 modules currently available worldwide plus enhanced performance and throughput of stackable PCI Express (PCIe) and USB. The PXM-C388-S processor’s high performance enables designs that need multiple video input data streams and high-speed A/D, which opens up applications for security, automated inspection of production lines, data acquisition and machineto-machine communications in a small, rugged form factor. The PXM-C388 provides a rich array of onboard peripherals plus I/O expansion options. It features a Gigabit Ethernet port; simultaneous CRT and LVDS flat panel video support, eight USB 2.0 ports, four serial COM ports, SATA controller, PATA controller for the CompactFlash socket, twenty-four lines of digital I/O and HD audio. The PCM-C388 has both PC/104 (ISA) and SUMIT AB expansion connectors to allow self-stacking I/O modules to be added for even more I/O flexibility. The PXM-C388-S requires only +5 volts and typically draws 2.5A. It supports power savings modes, which will reduce the standby current to 270 mA (S3 power state). The board is RoHScompliant and can operate over an industrial temperature range of -40° to +85°C. The PXMC388-S1-0-0 is priced at $499 (qty. 1).

VersaLogic Eugene, OR. (541) 485-8575. [www.versalogic.com].

WIN Enterprises North Andover, MA. (978) 688-2000. [www.win-ent.com].

WinSystems Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [www.winsystems.com]. June 2012 | COTS Journal

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Products

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RTCA-Compliant 3U cPCI SBC Reduces Development Costs

Get Connected Aitech Defense Systems offers the RTCA-compliant C925, a rugged 3U CompactPCI PowerPC-based SBC with with companies mentioned in this article. www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected exceptionally low power. with The companies board helps reduce thesection. engineering resources typically diverted to RTCA Get Connected andsignificantly products featured in this designwww.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected requirements, saving on overall system development costs. Developed specifically for avionics, the C925 is fully certifiable to both DO-178 (software) and DO-254 (hardware), making it ideal for safety- and missioncritical applications, such as flight and mission control computers into FAA-controlled airspace. In addition to reduced design costs, the C925 saves on DO-254 certification costs by minimizing the use on board FPGAs. As the latest evolution in Aitech’s C9xx family of rugged computing boards, the SBC is a drop-in upgrade for the popular C900 and C901 SBCs. Featuring increased processing power without additional heat generation, the C925 incorporates a highly integrated PowerQUICC III 8548E processor that can be hardware configured to 1.2 GHz with a CPU core complex bus (CCB) speed of 400 MHz for maximum processing power. The C925’s large onboard memory consists of up to 1 Gbyte fast DDR2 SDRAM at 400 MHz with ECC protection for exceptional data integrity, 128 Mbytes of user flash and 64 Mbytes of both boot flash and user-protected boot flash for a total of 256 Mbytes of flash. Although in a compact 3U form factor, the SBC includes a wide range of integrated I/O providing two ports each of Gbit Ethernet (10/100/1000 BaseT), USB 2.0, CANbus 2.0B and high-speed RS-232/422/485 as well as eight single-ended TTL or four RS-422/485 differential discrete I/O lines. Each line is independently configured as input with interrupt at any event change level or as output. An industry standard PMC/XMC slot, which supports up to eight lanes of PCI Express or four lanes of RapidIO, enables expanded functionality via added mezzanine modules. Three temperature sensors ensure board integrity throughout the wide -55° to +85°C operating temperature range. Aitech Defense Systems, Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. [www.rugged.com].

3U cPCI SBC Boasts Multi-Function I/O and Comms Functions

Rugged Box System and PMC Provide Router Function with Cisco IOS

North Atlantic Industries (NAI) has announced a 3U cPCI SBC solution with dual high-speed/performance function module slots for configurable multi-function I/O interface expansion. Powered by Freescale’s 1.2 GHz QorIQ P2041 Power Architecture processor, the 75SBC4 offers an extremely low-power, cost-conscious processing and I/O solution ideally suited for sensor and communication data acquisition, distribution, processing and management for a wide range of land, sea and air military platforms. Two I/O function slots enable integrators to mixand-match a variety of I/O, communications functions and/or SATA II NAND flash memory. The board offers a broad assortment of signal interfaces including Digital I/O (Discrete, Differential, TTL/CMOS); Analog I/O (A/D, D/A, RTD, Strain Gage); Motion Control and Sensor Interfaces (Synchro/Resolver/LVDT/ RVDT Measurement and Simulation, Encoder/Counter) and Communications Interfaces (Serial RS-232/422/423/485, CANBus, MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429/575). The card has up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM and up to 256 Mbytes of user flash. I/O ports include 1 x RS-232, 1 x USB, 1 x I2C and 3 Gbit Ethernet links. All I/O data is available on Ethernet and/or cPCI. A SATA interface supports up to 256 Gbytes flash SSDs.

Extreme Engineering Solutions (XES) has announced a pair of embedded products that are the first to host Cisco’s IOS IP routing software. This approach lets the large majority of IT professionals that are trained on Cisco IOS deploy compatible rugged hardware to an already deployed systems with no training time or expense. The first is the XPedite5205 ESR, a PMC embedded router module hosting Cisco IOS. The second is the SFFR (shown), a box-level packaged router hosting Cisco IOS. At less than 72 cubic inches and 3.5 pounds, the SFFR is the smallest available ruggedized router running Cisco IOS. This rugged router, available in either natural convection-cooled or conduction-cooled enclosures, can be added to almost any available surface of a vehicle or aircraft or deployed in the harshest of environments. Both products incorporate Cisco Mobile Ready Net capabilities to provide highly secure data, voice and video communications to stationary and mobile network nodes across both wired and wireless links. When combined with UHF, VHF, Wi-Fi and other radio platforms, the combination can create mobile, wireless ad hoc networks, without requiring a connection to central infrastructure. Both also offer onboard hardware acceleration and hardware encryption along with integrated threat control using Cisco IOS Firewall, Cisco IOS Zone-based Firewall, Cisco IOS Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and Cisco IOS Content Filtering.

North Atlantic Industries, Bohemia, NY. (631) 567-1100. [www.naii.com].

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. [www.xes-inc.com].

EMI Receiver Reduces Test Time, Improves Accuracy Teseq offers a new EMI receiver that reduces test time from hours to seconds and improves accuracy. The PMM 9010F is ideal for conducted and radiated emissions testing of appliances, power tools and machinery. This new EMI receiver is up to 300 times faster than the PMM 9010. In full compliance with CISPR 16-1-1 and IEC-EN standards, this new EMI/EMC measurement receiver uses Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) analysis to reduce test time and improve accuracy. The PMM 9010F has a standard frequency range of 10 Hz to 30 MHz and is expandable up to 18 GHz by using external modules including Teseq’s 9030, 9060 and 9180. The PMM 9010F starts at $24,500.

Teseq, Edison, N.J. (732) 417-0501. [www.teseq.com]. 64

COTS Journal | June 2012


COTS PRODUCTS

40-Watt Compact DC/DC Converter Offers 2:1 Input ConTech has announced the “TMH” Series of DC/DC converters. The TMH Series offers up to 40 watts of fully regulated output power with an industry standard 2 x 1” footprint. The series offers a 2:1 input range with nominal input voltages of 12 VDC, 24 VDC and 48 VDC. Single outputs offered are 3.3, 5, 12 and 15 VDC. Dual outputs are +/-12 and +/-15 VDC. The TMH Series operates with efficiencies as high as 92%. Features include Remote On/Off, Output Trim and Short Circuit Protection. The operating ambient temperature range of the TMH is -40° to +55°C with no de-rating. The non-de-rated temperature range can be extended to 65°C ambient with an optional heat sink.

ConTech, Concord, CA. (925) 609-1193. [www.contech-us.com].

10 Teraflop ISR Subsystem Leverages NVIDIA GPGPU Technology GPGPU technology is catching on fast among military system designers. Feeding such needs, Mercury Computer Systems has announced StreamDirect, a highly efficient method for delivering streams of sensor data directly to specialized coprocessors such as general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPUs). StreamDirect increases the efficiency of GPGPU-based embedded computing systems, resulting in a three times performance improvement over previous generation GPGPU systems. StreamDirect increases performance by enabling terabytes of raw sensor data to be processed in real time by optimizing the transfers from the I/O sensors to the GPGPUs, supporting over 10 Teraflops of processing capability in a rugged OpenVPX system. Mercury has previously deployed StreamDirect in a number of programs and it is now being made available in Mercury’s standard product: the 6U OpenVPX GSC6201. The GSC6201 is a carrier card that incorporates industry-standard GPGPU MXMs and is designed to accept those based on the NVIDIA Fermi and recently launched Kepler architectures. Mercury’s StreamDirect enables direct communication of data from the source, such as a sensor input device, into a coprocessor’s memory, such as a GPGPU, without intermediate storage in the CPU. Previously, systems that used GPGPUs had to first pass the data to a CPU’s memory and then transfer the same data from the CPU’s memory to the GPGPU, a cumbersome two-step process. StreamDirect eliminates this copy step, creating a direct, high-bandwidth DMA channel between the sensor and the GPGPU. StreamDirect leverages Mercury’s POET/ICS technology and NVIDIA GPUDirect to provide a systemwide communication capability that enables applications such as EO/IR, radar, cyber and electronic warfare to benefit from faster intelligence. StreamDirect for NVIDIA GPGPUs is available now. The GSC6201 is available now in commercial and rugged versions including air- and conduction-cooled configurations.

DC/DC Input Power Conditioning Module Is Rated to 200 Watts Calex has announced the availability of the PQ-28 DC input conditioning module. The PQ-28 has an extremely wide (10:1) input range of 11 to 100 VDC. The unit is rated up to 200 watts and is housed in a compact 2.28" x 2.4" x 0.5" package. The PQ-28 is designed to interface with the MIL-STD-1275, 28 VDC power bus and is designed to meet UL60950. The PQ-28 is optimized for use with Calex DC/DC converters and is ideal as an ultrawide input range front end or alternatively as a module for MIL-STD-1275 compliance. The efficiency of the PQ-28 is 95 percent. The switching frequency of the PQ-28 is 200 kHz. Load regulation is typically 0.1 percent. The temperature coefficient of the PQ-28 is 150 ppm/C. The baseplate to pin isolation is 700 VDC. The case operating temperature range of the PQ-28 is -40° to 100°C. The MTBF according to MIL-HDBK-217F is just over 170k hours.

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

Mercury Computer Systems, Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401. [www.mc.com].

Rugged SBC Sports Dual Xeon E5-2400 Processors Trenton’s BXT7059 SBC incorporates the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2400 family, formerly codenamed “Sandy Bridge-EN,” and the Intel C604 chipset into a dualprocessor, PICMG 1.3 SBC design. Performance and flexibility gains are due to the customer’s BXT7059 option choices that include processors with 8, 6 or 4 execution cores per processor. PCI Express links directly out of the board’s processors are capable of supporting PCI Express 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1 system I/O card interfaces. The board is offered in 8-, 6- or 4-core processor options and three direct connect DDR3-1600 memory interfaces per processor. Memory includes six DDR3 DIMMs for a maximum memory of 96 Gbytes. I/O includes SATA/600 ports, four SAS/SATA ports, Integrated TPM 1.2, eight USB ports and three Gbit Ethernet interfaces.

Trenton Technology, Gainesville, GA. (770) 287-3100. [www.trentontechnology.com]. June 2012 | COTS Journal

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APU Platform Blends GPU and CPU Advantages for Parallel Processing AMD has launched its Embedded R-Series accelerated processing unit (APU) platform. Designed for midto high-end graphics intensive military applications, the AMD Embedded R-Series APU combines the new Get Connected companies and products featured in this section. “Piledriver” CPU architecture, an evolution of the “Bulldozer” architecture,with with discrete-class, DirectX 11-capable www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected AMD Radeon 7000 Series graphics in a heterogeneous multicore embedded processing platform. The new APU has discrete-class graphics integrated into the processor. Applications that previously required a separate graphics processor or card now can be delivered on a wide range of form factors. Developers working with the AMD Embedded R-Series APU can implement remote management, client virtualization and security capabilities to help reduce deployment costs and increase security and reliability of their AMD R-Series-based platform through AMD DAS 1.0 featuring DASH 1.1, AMD Virtualization and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 support. For applications that benefit from multiple displays, the AMD Embedded R-Series APU supports connection to four independent displays, which can be utilized to display four independent video feeds or a single video feed distributed across a four-panel display. By adding a discrete AMD Radeon Embedded graphics card to the system, the number of independent displays can increase up to 10.

AMD, Sunnyvale, CA. (408) 749-4000. [www.amd.com].

1U Open Frame 120W AC/DC Power Supply Murata Power Solutions announced the MVAB120 series of highefficiency, typically up to 91%, open frame single output 120-watt power supplies aimed at a broad range of telecom and industrial applications. Measuring just 101.6 x 50.8 x 34.3 mm (2 x 4 x 1.35 inches), the low profile units satisfy the 1U height constraints of this industry standard footprint. The high-efficiency design of the MVAB120 ensures that waste heat is kept to a minimum and the units are capable of delivering up to 75W using convection cooling only. Just 250 LFM forced airflow is required for the supply to operate at the 120W full load output. The series comprises three single output models covering the nominal outputs of 12, 24 or 48 VDC. Accommodating the full universal range of input voltages, from 90 to 264 VAC and 120 to 300 VDC, the MVAB120 also meets the EU PFC directive for active power factor correction. Suiting most operating environments, the MVAB120 series can deliver full load from -10° to + 50°C, and is capable of start-up from temperatures as low as -20°C. Output protection features include overcurrent, overvoltage and overtemperature.

Murata Power Solutions, Mansfield, MA. (508) 339-3000. [www.murata-ps.com].

Opto-Isolated Digital I/O Signal Conditioning Boards Target SFF Systems Two new optically isolated signal conditioning and termination boards for OEM computer system designers are targeted at applications requiring signal isolation between an embedded computer and monitoring points. From WinSystems, ISM-TRMISO-IN provides 24 lines of optically isolated and digitally debounced inputs to provide easy connections and signal conditioning from field wiring. The ISM-TRM-ISO-OUT provides 24 lines of optically isolated outputs. To interface with field wiring, the boards use a 3.5 mm pitch, industry-standard, pluggable connectors to ensure reliable connection with easy removal and insertion. Each input pair of the ISM-TRM-ISO-IN has configuration flexibility to support either an active high or active low signal from 5 to 30 volts. Each input line is optically isolated from the others and from the computer interface circuits. Both boards measure 3.6 x 3.8 inches (90 x 96 mm) and have the same mounting hole pattern as PC/104 modules. Both boards can be placed on the top or bottom of a PC/104 stack, but it does not have the PC/104 connector and therefore does not pass through power, data, or control signals. These cards can operate over an industrial temperature range of -40° to +85°C. Quantity one pricing for the ISMTRM-ISO-IN is $209 and for the ISM-TRM-ISO-OUT is $149.

WinSystems, Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [www.winsystems.com].

COM Express Type 6 Module Sports Quad Core, 3rd Gen Core i7 A new COM Express module from Congatec combines the crucial innovations in the 3rd generation Intel Core processors. The new TM77COM Express module is fitted with the new quad cores, 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3612QE and Intel Core i7-3615QE processors along with the Mobile Intel HM76 Express chipset, as well as native USB 3.0 support and the fast dual channel DDR3-1600 MHz memory, providing up to 16 Gbytes. Eight USB ports are provided, three of those are capable of USB 3.0 Superspeed operation. Seven PCI Express 2.0 lanes, PCI Express graphics 3.0 (PEG) × 16 lanes for high-performance external graphics cards, four SATA interfaces with up to 6 Gbytes/s and RAID support, an EIDE and a Gigabit Ethernet interface. Single unit pricing starts at less than $1,000.

Congatec, San Diego, CA. (858) 457-2600. [www.congatec.com]. 66

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Inline Onboard Programmer Supports All ISP Schemes Goepel Electronic has introduced RAPIDO, a new family of multi-site inline programmers designed for highspeed in-system programming (ISP) of non-volatile memory devices such as Flash, serial EEPROM, micro controller units (MCU) and programmable logic devices (PLD). RAPIDO is based on SCANFLEX architecture, supporting the latest Embedded System Access (ESA) technologies. The first member of the RAPIDO product family, RPS900-S16, provides double-sided probing with up to 900 nail probes and gang programming of up to 16 sites. Supporting all ISP technologies based on embedded system access, available applications include FPGA-assisted programming (FAP), core-assisted programming (CAP) through a JTAG or non-JTAG debug interface of a processor, in-application programming (IAP) and programming via Boundary Scan.

Goepel Electronic, Jena, Germany. +49 3641-6896-0. [www.goepel.com].

OpenVPX SBC Serves Up Quad-Core 3rd Gen Intel Core i7 Processors The i7 series of microprocessors moved from the consumer to the military embedded market faster than generations of Intel architectures before it. With its latest offering, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) has introduced the VPX3-1257, its first OpenVPX SBC designed with the new quad-core 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3612QE processor. The VPX3-1257 is the latest member of CWCDS’s family of next generation multicore Intel architecture-based SBCs. A variant SBC, the soon to be released VPX3-1267 will offer an x16 PCIe alternative to the VPX3-1257’s x8 PCIe architecture. The unique VPX3-1267 will provide a highperformance SBC complement to CWCDS’ industry leading VPX3-491 GPU Application Accelerator, the first DSP engine based on the NVIDIA Fermi architecture with 240 CUDA cores. The VPX3-491 functions as a coprocessor attached to a host Intel processor board and takes advantage of a high-speed PCIe Expansion Plane. The combination of 3rd generation Intel Core processors, gen2 PCI Express interconnects and 240 NVIDIA CUDA cores raises the performance bar for compact systems for demanding military digital signal processing (DSP) applications such as C4ISR, EO/IR and SatCom. The VPX3-1257 (and the upcoming VPX3-1267 x16 PCIe variant) is offered in a full range of air- and conduction-cooled configurations. Performance features include 8/16 Gbytes of highbandwidth DDR3 SDRAM (1333 MHz) and a rich complement of high-speed I/O, including dual Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 ports, DVI, SATA and an XMC site supported with eight lanes of PCI Express (PCIe).

Mini-ITX Board Series Offers Low Power with Integrated Graphics A series of new Mini-ITX embedded system boards provides an economical solution for applications that require powerful high-quality graphics output with low power consumption. The new AMDY-7000/7001/7002 Series models from American Portwell are powered by AMD Fusion G, Turion II Neo and Athlon II Neo processors with powerful ATI HD 6320 and HD 4200 graphics engines. Depending upon the model, the low power consumption ranges from 12W to 25W. DDR3 SO-DIMM memory supports up to 8 Gbytes. Dual display is achieved through VGA/DVI/HDMI/LVDS and dual LVDS is available on model AMDY7002; the series supports PCIe x1, PCIe x16 or half-size mini-PCIe depending on the model; dual GbE is based on a PCIe x1 high-bandwidth I/O interface; and ATI HD 6320 and HD 4200 provides powerful graphics performance.

American Portwell, Fremont, CA. (877) 278-8899. [www.portwell.com].

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. [www.cwcdefense.com].

USB 2.0 Transceiver Series Supports Multi or Single Mode Optics A new series of USB 2.0 transceivers allows any USB 2.0 device to be transmitted through a fiber cable network and fulfill longer distance requirements. These distances will certify transmission of up to one kilometer on a multimode fiber and up to ten kilometers on a single mode fiber. The AFI USB 2.0 Series from American Fibertek provides installers with an easy to use solution for incorporating USB devices into a video surveillance system. The system is available in module format for field use or rack card for control rooms and is compatible with multimode or single mode optics.

American Fibertek, Somerset, NJ. (877) 234-7200. [americanfibertek.com]. June 2012 | COTS Journal

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COTS PRODUCTS Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected

MEMS Variable Capacitive Accelerometers Feature Voltage Regulation A high-precision accelerometer uses a simple four-wire snap-in removable connector and is designed to allow users the added ability to exchange, move, reposition and replace accelerometers within a given test Get Connected with companies productstailored featured in section. setup. The model 2266 from Silicon Designs isand expressly forthis zero-to-medium frequency applications www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected and offers integral amplification and high-drive, low-impedance buffering for precision measurements. Signal outputs are fully differential about a 2.5V common mode voltage. Sensitivity is independent from the supply voltage of +8 to +32V. At zero acceleration, the output differential voltage is nominally 0 VDC; at full scale acceleration, the output differential voltage is ±4 VDC. The sensors feature onboard voltage regulation and an internal voltage reference that eliminates precision power supply requirements.

Silicon Designs, Kirkland, WA. (425) 391-8329. [www.silicondesigns.com].

Long Life Span Notebooks Feature AMD Radeon HD 7970M GPUs

Quad-Core 3rd Generation Core Processors Ride COM Express

Eurocom is adding the newest AMD Radeon HD 7970M GPU to their extensive options list of Ivy Bridge powered, high-performance notebooks. The addition of the AMD Radeon HD 7970M offers users a new level of high-performance GPU computing. Eurocom will also offer the AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPUs separately to existing customers as an upgrade option. The Eurocom Neptune 2.0 is a 17.3-inch Mobile Workstation that uses the Intel Mobile HM 77 Express Chipset with support for the full line of 22nm Ivy Bridge Processors. Graphics support comes from new AMD Radeon HD 7970M with support for up to four storage drives; two drives support SATA 3 technology, another is a high-performance mSATA drive, the fourth takes the place of the optical drive. The Eurocom Racer 2.0 is a 15.6-inch small form factor Mobile Workstation utilizing the Intel Mobile HM 77 Express Chipset with support for the full line of 22nm Ivy Bridge Processors. Graphics support comes from AMD Radeon HD 7970M with support for up to three storage drives. Two of these drives support SATA 3 technology, one is a high-performance mSATA drive, and the other takes the place of the optical drive.

Two families of COM Express modules are based on the third generation Intel Core processor family formerly codenamed Ivy Bridge, which utilizes Intel’s advanced 22nm process technology with three-dimensional transistors for higher performance at lower power. The two new COM Express module families from MSC Embedded support Type 2 (MSC CXB-6SI) and Type 6 (MSC C6B-7S) pin-outs. The first products of these module families are equipped with the quad-core Intel Core i7-3615QE processor with 45W thermal dissipation power and the Intel Core i7-3612QE processor with 35W TDP. The Intel HD 4000 Graphics controller on the processor die offers significantly better video and graphics acceleration than the second generation Intel Core processors. One major advantage is the support of three independent displays. The MSC CXB-6SI module family uses the improved Intel 7-series chipset. Fast dual-channel DDR3 SDRAM modules (two SO-DIMM sockets)—each offer a maximum storage capacity of 8 Gbytes. The module family offers six PCI Express x1 channels, a PCI Express Graphics (PEG) x16 interface, the classical 32bit PCI bus, eight USB 2.0 ports, HD audio, Gbit Ethernet, DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces with a resolution of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels. The pricing for the high-end quad-core Intel Core i7-3615QE will be approximately $680 in volume quantities.

Eurocom, Nepean, Ontario, Canada. (613) 224-6122. [www.eurocom.com].

MSC Embedded Computer Technology, San Bruno, CA. (650) 616 4068. [www.mscembedded.com].

Module Does Strain- and Bridge-Based USB Measurement A strain- and bridge-based acquisition module for USB offers high-speed performance in a compact form factor for applications including strain, load, pressure and other bridge-based measurements. The bus-powered DT9838 module from Data Translation removes the need for an external power supply and offers 24-bit resolution, direct connectivity and 52 ksamples/s simultaneously sampled analog inputs. It features full-, half- and quarter-bridge completion; up to 10V internal excitation; transducer electronic data sheet (TEDS) smart sensor compatibility; and channel expansion using the RJ45 synchronization connector to synchronize up to four DT9838 modules. Applications such as high-speed mechanical tests, in-vehicle testing and onsite impact measurements can now be done easily with our bridge software.

Data Translation, Marlboro, MA. (508) 481-3700. [www.datatranslation.com]. 68

COTS Journal | June 2012


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Lauterbach, HĂśhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn, Germany. +49 8102 9876-0. [www.lauterbach.com].

COM Express Board Offers Energy Efficient Multicore Solution

Power Matters.

A COM Express compact Computer-on-Module represents an energyefficient entry-level multicore module based on next-generation Intel Atom processors with 32nm technology. The COMe-cCT6 from Kontron Untitled-3 is available in three multicore performance levels up to 2x 1.86 GHz and offers an increased performance per watt ratio. The new Kontron COMecCT6 Computer-on-Module is equipped with 2x 1.6 GHz or 2x 1.86 GHz Intel Atom processors (N2600, N2800 and D2550), the Intel NM10 Express chipset, and up to 4 Gbyte of fast onboard DDR3 800/1600 system memory. The integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600/3650 enables 1080p playback of MPEG4 Part 2, VC-1, WMV9 and H.264 videos with minimum processor load. Furthermore, the new module provides HDCP support via HDMI 1.3a and DisplayPort 1.1, enabling BluRay playback. Additionally, OEMs can connect monitors also via the common LVDS and VGA interfaces. Intel High Definition Audio complements the multimedia features. Furthermore, the Kontron COMe-cCT6 offers two SATA II 300 Mbyte/s interfaces, eight USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and three PCI Express x1 lanes for custom extensions. The platformâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enhanced power management features include Intel Deeper Sleep and Intel Rapid Start Technology, all of which further help to reduce power consumption and enable fast recovery from standby mode for intermittent usage. In combination with the Intel Smart Connect Technology, the COMe-cCT6 also enables connected usage scenarios where an instant Internet connection is available as soon as the application is (re)activated and also allows for constant updates even while in standby.

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

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June 2012 | COTS Journal

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A new server-grade motherboard is powered by Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family technology, which comprises 64-bit multicore processors, PCI Express Gen 3 high-speed communications, and DDR3 1600 registered high-capacity memory. The ASMB-920IR from ASMB-920IR is Advantechâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first mainboard with flexible Powerful Modular Expansion (PME) design. The PME cards with various support options allow PCI, PCI-X and PCI Express slots to flexibly plug into the main platform. With diverse PME options, the ASMB-920IR keeps upgrade costs under control while fulfilling multiple slot requirements in field applications. This Extended ATX board also meets Server System Infrastructure (SSI) EEB form factor baseboard mounting location specs. Unit pricing for the ASMB-920IR starts at $1,215.

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A new VXS/VME family of high-performance embedded single board computers features the 3rd generation Intel Core processor from the Intel long life cycle embedded roadmap. The VX 91x/01x from Concurrent Technologies is a 6U VXS/VME single board computer fully compliant with the VITA 41.x standard. Users will benefit from the enhanced processing and graphics performance of the newly released quad-core Intel Core i7-3615QE processor or the quadcore Intel Core i7-3612QE processor. The board provides a feature-rich complement of front and rear I/O interfaces, and is designed to provide a plug and play upgrade path for users of earlier generations of Concurrent Technologiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 6U VXS/VME products. The 3rd generation Intel Core processors offer enhanced graphic and processing capabilities resulting in an increase of up to 15 percent in CPU performance and an increase of up to 50 percent in graphics performance when compared to previous architectures operating within the same power budget. With support for OpenCL and improved media acceleration, this SBC offers technology for high-end numerical and graphics applications. Supporting up to 16 Gbyte of ECC DDR3 SDRAM, the VX 91x/01x maintains compatibility with the previous generation product (VX 81x/09x) and offers an array of I/O functionsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;configurable PCI Express fabric interface supporting 1 x8, 2 x4, 1 x4 + 1 x4 at Gen 1 or Gen 2 data rates, dual Gigabit Ethernet, dual SATA600, dual PMC / XMC slots, dual serial RS-232/422/485 ports, 6 USB 2.0 ports, dual independent display ports, onboard CompactFlash and optional 2.5-inch hard drive. The VX 91x/01x is available in three temperature grades; 0° to +55°C (N-Series), -25° to +70°C (E-Series), -40° to +85°C (K-Series) and two ruggedized grades; Ruggedized Conduction-Cooled -40° to +85°C (RC) and Ruggedized Air-Cooled -40° to +75°C (RA).

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


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One Stop Systems, Inc............................... 45............................www.onestopsystems.com Pentek, Inc.............................................. 26, 27.........................................www.pentek.com Phoenix International................................. 70........................................ www.phenxint.com Pico Electronics, Inc.................................. 33............................. www.picoelectronics.com RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc........ 2, 38, 39............................................www.rtd.com RTECC........................................................ 73.............................................. www.rtecc.com Sealevel Systems, Inc................................ 49......................................... www.sealevel.com SynQor....................................................... 61........................................... www.synqor.com TE Connectivity.......................................... 70....................................................www.te.com Get Connected TeleCommunication Systems, Inc............. 32.................................... www.telecomsys.com companies mentioned in this article. Triple with E Corporation. .................................. 52.......................................www.tripleease.com www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected VPT, Inc...................................................... 19........................................... www.vpt-inc.com WDL Systems............................................. 25................................... www.wdlsystems.com WinSystems, Inc........................................ 57................................... www.winsystems.com Xembedded................................................ 54....................................www.xembedded.com Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. www.cotsjournalonline.com/getconnected

Index

Products

End of Article

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A seasoned embedded technology professional? Experienced in the industrial and military procurement process? Ever thinking about writing as a career? CONTACT SANDRA SILLION AT THE RTC GROUP TO EXPLORE AN OPPORTUNITY sandras@rtcgroup.com

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: Target Report: Pre-integrated Systems Attack the Technology Readiness Gap In parallel with the trend toward rugged box-level systems is another trend toward “pre-integrated subsystems.” These are defined as a set of embedded computing and I/O boards put together and delivered as a working system to provide a certain function, but intended to be used in a military customer’s larger system. These help feed the military’s desire for complete systems that are at high TRL (Technology Readiness Level). Some of these are function specific, whereas others are more generic computing/networking platforms. This section explores the forces driving this trend and the trade-offs between the two types of systems. Tech Recon: Safety-Critical and Security Software and Standards The fact that military system functionality is now mostly software-based means that the burden of security and safety-critical operation falls squarely in the embedded software realm. Such software has to be certified to the safety-critical standard DO-178B and its imminent successor DO-178C. But while those efforts seem costly they pale in comparison to the huge costs associated with correcting software defects once they’re deployed on an airborne system. This section compares the tools and techniques available to help system developers meet real-time and safetycritical needs. System Development: Rackmount systems for Navy Modernization Military shipboard computing systems have quite different requirements than their air- and land-based counterparts. Space is usually less of an issue, but the goals of high automated systems and advanced ISR gear keep the demand for compute density high. When the goal is packing as much compute density into a system as possible, it’s hard to beat a rackmount blade computer architecture. Rackmount systems, ATCA and other bladed solutions are attractive. This section looks at the technology trends of some of the key Navy modernization programs. Tech Focus: OpenVPX SBCs The OpenVPX spec provides implementation details for VPX payload and switch modules, backplane topologies and chassis products. And most importantly, it provides specific profiles on all the key aspects of an OpenVPX board so that users and product vendors now have a clear language defining which OpenVPX boards are compatible with one another. Over the past couple years, the number of new OpenVPX boards has continued to ramp. This section updates readers on the progress of those implementations, and displays a sampling of the current crop of OpenVPX SBC products. 72

COTS Journal | June 2012


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COTS

EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Star Wars vs. Real Missile Defense

D

evelopment of military technology and military systems has forever been rife with contradiction. Program conception, design and development cycles are long— sometimes decades long—and inevitably the geopolitical situation changes dramatically along the way. Ballistic Missile Defense certainly is an area that’s been shaken around by that dichotomy of forces. At the same time, it can be arguably called a success story of an initiative that grew and migrated from mere theory to a procurement effort. In the Reagan administration, the U.S. missile defense infrastructure was mainly a research, development, test & evaluation (RDT&E) spending effort. The so-called “Star Wars” system weathered much ridicule but didn’t go away. Rather it morphed into what’s now a three-faceted program comprised of Aegis-based systems, Patriot-based systems, and a system based on the existing ballistic missile defense system (BMDS). U.S. DoD Missile Defense research from market analyst firm Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $9.45 billion in 2010. This is estimated to drop to $8.44 billion in 2016, but expected to recover by 2020. As Frost & Sullivan points out, BMDS, while originally an experimental initiative, has now matured into a much more cooperative venture that includes the Army, Navy and Missile Defense Agency. While in its earlier days it was all about significant spending on RDT&E, that investment is now scaling back while the more procurement-oriented spending increases. “Many of the more expensive RDT&E projects have been shelved in favor of ‘tweaks’ to existing systems such as Aegis and Patriot,” said Frost & Sullivan Analyst Wayne Plucker. “What’s happened is missile manufacturers have made inroads into the missile defense market space on the strength of their technologies, relegating research to the background.” Clearly technology has been the center of the evolution of missile defense. Instead of the lofty “Star Wars” aspects of the original efforts, programs have been replaced by more readily achievable goals. A couple of the key players in this have been the Navy’s Standard Missile-3 and Army’s Patriot-based PAC-3 missile. The strategy has been to use these known technologies and couple them with advanced radar systems based on the Aegis and AN/TPY-2 radar. Today the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) is a key sea-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense program. Installed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers, the Aegis BMD builds upon the existing Navy Aegis Weapons System (AWS) and Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) capabilities. The FY 2013 DoD budget request calls for completing manufacturing development of 24 SM-3 Block IB interceptors while supporting procurement of 29 SM-3 Block IB missiles. Also in the budget are BMD upgrades for four 74

COTS Journal | June 2012

Aegis ships and installation on board five Aegis Ships. Development work continues on the Aegis BMD Weapon System 5.0 and 5.1. Meanwhile, the Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC3) missile is the latest improvement to the Patriot air and missile defense system. The Patriot is the only combat-proven system capable of defeating Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBMs), Cruise Missiles and Air-Breathing threats worldwide. Thanks to joint efforts between the Army and the Missile Defense Agency, the PAC-3 capabilities have been integrated into the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). The Patriot system contributes to the BMDS overall situational awareness for short range terminal ballistic missile threats, cueing other systems while protecting Joint assets. Earlier this year the Army activated its 15th Patriot battalion. The DoD FY 2013 budget request calls for procurement of 84 PAC-3 missiles and upgrades to 38 Electronic Launcher Enhanced Systems (ELES) to enable launchers to fire the PAC-3 missile. It also provides for the testing and fielding of the latest Patriot system software upgrades to reduce fratricide risk. While most space-based military procurement and spending these days is for communications and networking types of satellites, there’s one program that falls into the missile defense area. Designed to provide initial warning of ballistic missile launches, the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) will field a constellation of satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) and host payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) with an integrated centralized ground station serving all SBIRS space elements. The first HEO payload was operational in December 2008 and the first GEO satellite was launched in May 2011. The DoD’s FY 2013 budget request initiates the procurement of the block buy of the fifth and sixth space vehicles in the system. It also continues the Space Modernization Initiative (SMI) for future space vehicles. While a significant RDT&E effort is expected to continue on the more exotic forms of missile defense, the more proven platforms discussed above are expected to form the basis of the U.S. missile defense for the immediately foreseeable future. Certainly today’s uncertain budget environment could change any or all of the above. But regardless, it’s an interesting pattern where existing programs and technologies are advanced and improved to be applied to a problem once in the realm of pure theory and research—such as a “Star Wars”-style missile defense umbrella. Translating this into our embedded computing segment of the military market, the notion of upgrading existing platforms with improved electronics and computing is a positive sign of opportunity, and missile defense is just one area where such opportunities will continue to expand.


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June 2012 Issue

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