Page 1

Tech Focus:

XMC and PrXMC Board Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


VPX and VME Feed Needs of ISR System Designs

Volume 14 Number 12 December 2012

An RTC Group Publication

Airborne Platforms Embrace Open Architecture Computing

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. AS9100 and ISO 9001 Certified

HiDANplus® with removable SATA drawer.

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo cpuModule™ 4 PCIe x4 Links & 4 USB 3.0 Ports

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo cpuModule™ Dual GigE and HD Audio

High-Speed Digital I/O

Isolated Digital I/O

12-bit Analog I/O

190W Synchronous Power Supply

88W Synchronous Power Supply

3-Channel FireWire™

4-Port USB 3.0 Controller

Isolated Octal Serial Port

Dual Fiber Gigabit Ethernet

5-Port Ethernet Switch

Dual-Slot Mini PCIe

SATA Drive Carrier

Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA

Design, Engineering, Manufacturing & Tech Support

AS9100 and ISO 9001 Certified GSA Contract Holder

Copyright © 2012 RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. RTD is a co-founder of the PC/104 Consortium and an AS9100 and ISO9001 Certified Company. All trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

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 to see our complete product listing.

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Advanced Compute Payloads for Small UAVs

CONTENTS December 2012

Volume 14

Number 12

SPECIAL FEATURE Advanced Compute Payloads for Small UAVs

10  Upgrades Dominate Small UAV Payload Design Activities Jeff Child

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.

Departments 6 Publisher’s Notebook Format C: 8

The Inside Track


COTS Products


Annual Article Index

66 Editorial A Time to Reflect

TECH RECON VPX and VME Tackle ISR Challenges

18  VME and VPX Solutions Feed Growing Appetite for ISR Data Processing

Coming in January See Page 64

Jeff Child

28  VPX Stakes Its Territory as High Data Bandwidth Solution Steve Orsini, SIE Computing Solutions

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Open Architecture Computing in Airborne Platforms

32  High-Density Computing Enables Advances in Airborne Surveillance Systems Jim Renehan, Trenton Systems


40  XMCs and FMCs Stake Out the Future of Mezzanine Choices Jeff Child


XMC and PrXMC Boards Roundup

Digital subscriptions available:

On The Cover: The Integrator UAV features a core control system that can be augmented with software plug-ins to incorporate functions like vehicle-specific modules, map overlays, geographic information systems and video processing. Shown here is the Integrator taking off from the Mark 4 Launcher at Insitu’s flight test field in eastern Oregon. (Photo courtesy of Insitu).

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman,


Art/Production ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Farina, LEAD WEB DEVELOPER Justin Herter,

Advertising WESTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Stacy Mannik, (949) 226-2024 MIDWEST REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SALES MANAGER Mark Dunaway, (949) 226-2023 EASTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Shandi Ricciotti, (949) 573-7660 BILLING Cindy Muir, (949) 226-2000

COTS Journal HOME OFFICE The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050,

Join the growing number of programs that use LCR Electronics’ ATCA Chassis in the field for mission-critical computing. To learn more about LCR and our products, contact us today.

Editorial office Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief 20A Northwest Blvd., PMB#137, Nashua, NH 03063 Phone: (603) 429-8301

9 South Forest Avenue Norristown, PA 19401 (800) 527-4362 sales email: 4

Untitled-1 1

COTS Journal | December 2012

10/10/12 2:46 PM

Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2012, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.

Replace multiple embedded I/O cards . . . + MIL-STD-1553


+ ARINC 429

+ ARINC 717

+ ARINC 708


with ONE

High-Density Mx5 Avionics Interface Cards for XMC & PMC

Do more with less Mx5 avionics interface cards from Ballard Technology set the standard for performance and high channel counts. Simplify your system, reduce SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power), and lower your costs by consolidating all of your I/O into a single expansion slot. Get the model that perfectly fits your system: XMC or PMC, front or rear I/O, air or conduction cooled, and the combination of protocols and channels you need on one card. Find out how you can do more with the Mx5... Visit our website or call 425.339.0281 for more information.

High-Performance Embedded Solutions Mx5 at-a-glance · Single or Multiple Protocols · Up to 8 MIL-STD-1553 Channels · Up to 22 ARINC 429 Channels · Up to 4 ARINC 717 Channels · Up to 4 ARINC 708 Channels · Numerous Discrete I/O · IRIG, BIT, and much more


AS9100 / ISO 9001 Registered




here were two big issues presented to our industry and its personnel this November: Hurricane Sandy and the MILCOM cancellation—and, of course, the election. Like every other person with a forum, I’d like to extend my condolences to all those people who have lost a family member or friend; lost or had damage to their homes from Sandy. Living in Florida, I never even considered the massive effect that this storm might and did have on MILCOM. On Sunday October 28th we were notified of the cancellation. Many exhibitors were already on site preparing for the event, and many more, as well as attendees, had to scramble to cancel rooms and flights. It wasn’t until the storm actually hit and I viewed the damage that the reality of the merits and quick thinking action of the conference organizers sunk in. In a very minuscule way, those of us denied this essential conference were also affected by Sandy. I’d like you to hang with me a little here. In the early days of personal computers there were often times that the DOS operating system would get fouled up so bad (usually my fault) that the only way to get it operational again was to re-format the disk. First you tried to get as much data as you could on to floppy disks—sometimes as much as 50 kilobytes. Then you typed in Format C: (enter). This was then followed by the software asking “are you sure you want to Format the C drive? Type Y for yes or N for no.” You then typed Y (enter) and the computer came back and said “Are you really sure you want to Format the C drive? Type Y for yes or N for no.” Once again you typed Y (enter) and then you waited nervously to see flashing lights and a response that said “C: Formatted.” If you were lucky you could then reload the boot disk and the DOS operating system, followed by select application programs and select data—you didn’t want to reload anything that fouled it up to begin with. And in those prehistoric times you didn’t have an “enter” you had a “carriage return.” Aside from Sandy, the outcome of the election is the other event that would impact our military community. With that in mind, I requested dispensation to write and turn this column in late, after the election. Now that the election is behind us, where are we? There’s no shift in the House, Senate or White House. It’s all status quo. Yes, there is rhetoric from all sides that they are going to work hard together to get things done and to avoid the “financial cliff.” Guess it had to be renamed so that more people 6

COTS Journal | December 2012

could understand sequestration. Does anyone really think that there has been an epiphany in Washington? That now after several years of digging in their heels, either side will throw in the towel or both sides will actually offer real points of concessions? Or, will both sides ride this out until we go over the financial cliff, then blame the other side for fouling up the economy… hmmmm. When you’re in your 20s and 30s you are idealistic. You listen to people running for office, you find some that really are in sync with your thoughts and you vote for them with enthusiasm. When you’re in your 40s you’re more pragmatic and seasoned, so you’re skeptical and select the individual that is slightly better than the other. When you’re in your 50s and 60s things have changed so that you no longer vote for somebody. After torturous amounts of campaign rhetoric, you end up voting against the person you think will do the most harm. This scenario may just be my personal experience, but the last person I voted for was Jeb Bush when he ran for re-election as Governor of Florida. I can’t say I did the same for his brother. I’m highly optimistic that whatever Congress does or doesn’t do regarding sequestration, the deficit and the economy, the country will come out OK and even stronger than when we started getting into this mess. Our industrial base is resilient and will adjust. Our military will work with whatever they are provided, and our people are strong and good problem solvers. Even our small military electronics market segment is very flexible and inventive. The next 90 days will be eventful. Either the politicians will avoid the cliff or they will wait until after the crash and then start to repair the damage. But once the country and industry knows what they have to deal with, we’ll pull ourselves up and do what’s necessary. But I do have to say when it comes to Washington, I wish I could type in: “Format C: (enter), Y (enter) Y (enter).”

Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal


INSIDE TRACK Navy Selects Lockheed Martin to Modernize C-130T Aircraft The U.S. Naval Air Systems command awarded Lockheed Martin a $30 million contract to integrate new avionics and software on multiple C130T aircraft (Figure 1) as part of its avionics upgrade program. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will incorporate the Department of Defense’s Future Airborne Capability Environment conformant cockpit, which gives the Navy unprecedented flexibility capability for reuse across multiple aviation platforms. Lockheed Martin also will develop and deliver nine initial cockpit kits, providing the Navy with the ability to outfit its C-130T aircraft with the latest avionics and software technology, extending the fleet’s mission capability for an additional 20 years. The contract includes a communication, navigation surveillance/air traffic management capability solution, complete display system upgrade, and will provide a significantly improved human machine interface. Work will be performed in Owego, N.Y., and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2016.

The upgrade program provides the C-130T aircraft with the latest avionics and software technology, extending the fleet’s mission capability for an additional 20 years.

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

Mercury Systems and TE Connectivity Team to Develop OpenVPX Connectors Mercury Systems announced that it has collaborated with TE Connectivity (TE) to develop next-generation rugged OpenVPX connector technology. This deployment-ready technology will dramatically increase the performance and reliability of OpenVPX-based embedded subsystems in high-vibration, high signal speed environments. This innovation will be marketed to the entire aerospace and defense industry. As processing performance continues to increase year over year, there is significant demand to increase the interconnect speeds of embedded multicomputer systems. While InfiniBand, 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) and PCIe 3.0 possess the communication perfor8

Figure 1

mance to address these needs, they have their own challenges when implemented in rugged, deployed systems. According to Mercury, this collaboration to develop enhanced interconnects will enable it and TE to address these challenges and focus on next-generation solutions for robust module connections in high-vibration environments inherent in industrial and defense applications. Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA. (866) 627-6951. [].

Lockheed Martin Team Lays the Keel to the Seventh Littoral Combat Ship A Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s seventh

COTS Journal | December 2012

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Detroit. The event was part of a time-honored keel laying ceremony that took place at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Wisconsin (Figure 2). The Lockheed Martin LCS team is building the futuristic Freedom-variant LCS for the U.S. naval fleet. With the first two ships delivered, two additional ships in production and two more in early material procurement, the industry team is addressing the Navy’s need for an affordable, highly networked and modular ship unlike any other in the world. This new class of combatants is designed to support a wide variety of missions including anti-submarine, surface and mine countermeasure warfare, shipping lane protection and humanitarian aid. During the ceremony, ship sponsor Barbara Levin authenticated the keel by having her initials welded into a sheet of the

Figure 2

At the keel laying of the future USS Detroit at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, ship sponsor Barbara Levin, the wife of Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it. ship’s steel. She was assisted by the Navy’s Program Executive Officer – Littoral Combat Ships Rear Admiral James Murdoch. The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval


architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as hundreds of domestic and international suppliers, including approximately 30 small businesses in Wisconsin and Michigan. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [].

Raytheon Awarded U.S. Navy Contract for Ship Self-Defense System Raytheon has been awarded a $22.5 million U.S. Navy contract for the Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS). With this award, Raytheon will continue system development, test and integration, as well as Platform Systems Engineering Agent (PSEA) services and support for fleet-deployed systems. SSDS is an open, distributed combat management system in service on carriers and amphibious ships, including CVN, LSD dock landing ship (Figure 3), LPD, LHA and LHD classes. The LHA variant is nearing initial deployment, a technical refresh of the LSD-

class is almost complete, and system development is underway for the new CVN 78-class of aircraft carriers. SSDS is designed to expedite the detect-to-engage sequence to defend against anti-ship cruise missiles. The system integrates and automates standalone sensors and weapon systems to provide the required, quick response and multi-target engagement capability. In addition to the contract, the Navy has announced its intent to increase the current PSEA contract ceiling by $50 million to extend SSDS services and support through its Fiscal Year 2013. Raytheon has been the SSDS PSEA since 2008, providing ongoing maintenance, upgrades and lifecycle support for both new ship programs and legacy ships. As PSEA, Raytheon has achieved consistently favorable customer performance ratings over the life of the contract. Raytheon Waltham, MA. (781) 522-3000. [].

LynxOS-SE Deployed by ITT Exelis SoftwareDefined Radios LynuxWorks announced that its LynxOS-SE real-time operating system (RTOS) has been selected by ITT Exelis for their new line of software-defined radios (SDRs) that includes Soldier Radio, Rifleman Radio and SideHat variants for the U.S. and International SDR markets. SDRs must be certified by the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Joint Program Executive Office to be compliant with its standards for Software Communications Architecture (SCA) 2.2.2 and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ITT Exelis Operating Environment (OE) was certified with no waivers, obtaining the highest degree of compliance. LynxOS-SE RTOS is the first and only time- and space-partitioned, hard real-time operating system with the ability to run POSIX and ARINC 653 applications simultaneously in a single partition. It offers additional security features over traditional RTOS solutions, such as discretionary access control, roles, privileges, auditing, identification and authentication, quotas and trusted paths. LynxOS-SE is available on Intel x86, Intel Atom, PowerPC and ARM architectures. LynuxWorks San Jose, CA. (408) 979-3900. [].

Team Demos Precision, Wireless Ground Handling of X-47B UAS Figure 3

A technical refresh of the LSD-class SSDS is almost complete. Shown here, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) participated in Exercise Cobra Gold in 2009.

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have taken a first critical step toward demonstrating that the X-47B Unmanned

Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator (Figure 4) can be maneuvered safely and wirelessly on the crowded deck of an aircraft carrier. In early November, the team successfully completed its first shore-based trials of a new wireless, handheld device called a Control Display Unit (CDU). Developed by Northrop Grumman, the device will allow deck operators to maneuver the X-47B by remote control on the carrier deck.

Figure 4

Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft takes off and flies for the first time Feb. 4, 2011, at Edwards Air Force Base. The team demonstrated the CDU’s ability to control the X-47B’s engine thrust; to roll the aircraft forward, brake and stop; to use its nose wheel steering to execute tight, precision turns; and to maneuver the aircraft efficiently into a catapult or out of the landing area following a mock carrier landing. Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s prime contractor for the UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. That testing will be followed by hoisting an X-47B aboard an aircraft carrier, and using it to validate the performance of the CDU in an actual carrier environment. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262. [].

December 2012 | COTS Journal


SPECIAL FEATURE Advanced Compute Payloads for Small UAVs


COTS Journal | December 2012

Upgrades Dominate Small UAV Payload Design Activities Faced with the most extreme, size, weight and power constraints, Small UAV payloads face tough design challenges. But consolidation of subsystems and functions, as well as miniaturization of electronics, has opened the door to impressive new upgrades. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


he control and payload electronics aboard Small UAVs— like the Raven, Integrator, Shadow and Wasp—face some of the most rigorous size, weight and power restrictions. Selecting the right embedded electronics and embedded computers for those systems becomes a make or break decision. With hundreds of thousands of flight hours accrued, many of these UAVs have been mission-critical workhorses in current combat operations. Meanwhile new small UAV platforms and upgraded versions of existing platforms are in the process of testing and development. Many of the early designs of Small UAVs and their payloads have not made use of standard form factor boards. Typically form factors like PC/104, COM Express and others were used in the development phase, but it’s rare that many get deployed in the end product. The situation is changing somewhat as Small UAV system developers try to outfit UAVs with more mission autonomy and more powerful sensors. Meanwhile complete compact box-level subsystems—usually designed for a special payload function—are making their way into Small UAVs as December 2012 | COTS Journal



Figure 1

At AUVSI, Chief Editor Jeff Child gets briefed on Insitu’s Integrator UAS. The Integrator was chosen by Naval Air Systems Command two years ago for its STUAS Tier II program.

this year, Insitu used its Common Openmission Management Command and Control (ICOMC2) system to fly the Integrator UAS during a one-hour, 20-minute flight in eastern Oregon earlier. ICOMC2 is a core UAS control system that can be augmented with software plug-ins to incorporate evolving, mission-critical technology. A software developer’s kit allows third parties to create and integrate applications rapidly, like vehicle-specific modules, map overlays, geographic information systems and video processing systems. An advanced video overlay system (AVOS) places ISR imagery within the context of the larger battlefield. Users can track hundreds of networked targets and maintain situational awareness and positive identification even as the targets move out of the view of one unmanned aircraft platform and into the view of another. Able to display live or prerecorded video from any STANAG 4586-compliant UAS, the system merges video with a wide range of data, like maps and elevation, automatic identification system, geo-location ellipses and address grids. The significance is that the capability enables users to control any STANAG 4586 unmanned aircraft from a single high-performance laptop, while at the same time rapidly insert information crucial for mission decision making. The ICOMC2 is based on a combat-proven ScanEagle command and control system, and reflects the human factors enhancements gained from over 600,000 combat flight hours.

Consolidating Turret Payloads

Figure 2

An operator and maintainer from Insitu Group places a Scan Eagle UAV on its stand aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45). designers attempt to integrate multiple functionalities into one payload.

The Advanced STUAS Program Development of new Small UAV platforms continues. Two years ago Insitu, 12

COTS Journal | December 2012

a subsidiary of Boeing, got the STUAS Tier II contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for its Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS) (Figure 1). Since then the Integrator has passed a number of milestones and tests. Earlier

While development and testing of new platforms like the Integrator continue, workhorse Small UAV platforms like the ScanEagle UAS are getting upgrades. In August, Insitu announced field evaluation of two new turrets for its ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft System (Figure 2). One turret is designed to give users better stabilization and situational awareness at high zoom. The other gives users a new dual imager capability in a small tactical UAS with electro-optic and midwave infrared imagers in a single turret. The on-going field evaluation was to test the technology’s suitability for operating in Afghanistan and to let end users have a


• Up to 4TB Capacity • High Performance • Ultra Small • Rugged Tel.: +1 (281) 769-8211

AES-256 Encryption Removable Data Cartridge Servers, NAS, Serial FPDP and Ethernet Data Recorders


Figure 3

U.S. Marines assemble a RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. The UAV is suited for obtaining company-level surveillance information and intelligence. chance to shape functionality and features of the turrets prior to full production. The dependable ScanEagle has flown for years with single-imager turrets that carried infrared or electro-optic imagers. By putting the UAS’s most popular imagers—an electro-optic camera and a daylight-quality mid-wave infrared imager—in a single turret gives customers the imagery and persistence they need during any mission. Insitu fielded Hood Technology Corporation’s new electro-optic (EO) imager nearly a year ago. It provides five times better stabilization than its predecessor and has already accrued more than 2,000 flight hours. This year, an enhanced version of the stabilization-optimized imager lets operators track, zoom and focus while maintaining positive identification. 14

COTS Journal | December 2012

It blends the combat-proven design of its predecessor with improved optics: A sophisticated gimbal mechanism allows for continuous zoom and focus and provides for greater image stability at high zoom. Picture-in-picture display lets users see close up while maintaining situational awareness. Both turrets will be available in the first half of 2013. According to Insitu, power consumption is reduced in both models, which means users can keep all the payload capacity and endurance that they have come to rely on.

Tactical Surveillance UAV Upgrades The RQ-7 Shadow and RQ-11 Raven rank as the two most widely used tactical surveillance UAVs. Both are deployable with ground forces and both provide

tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). The Raven is an “over the hill” backpack-carried system. Its remotely operated, multi-sensor system can support units of combat battalion and below as well as selected combat support units. Meanwhile, the Shadow— with nearly 750,000 flight hours under its belt—was created to give the tactical maneuver commander near-real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and force protection during day/night and limited adverse weather conditions. Upgraded versions of both the Shadow and the Raven have been set in motion in the past year. In July, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, a operating unit of Textron Systems, announced it won a $358 million award from the U.S. Army’s Program Manager UAS for en-


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

Figure 4

The size of a postage stamp, the MicroGRAM provides a 90 percent size reduction over its predecessor. This means that equipment such as Small UAS, handheld radios, ruggedized field computers, laser range finders and gun sights can now be equipped with secure GPS capability. gineering support and system upgrades that will create a fleet of 45 upgraded RQ7B Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS). Deliveries of 43 systems for the Army and two for the Marine Corps are expected to begin in late 2013. The new RQ-7B Shadow aircraft builds on the same architecture that has proven highly successful on the current Shadow aircraft. It is multi-mission equipped with an integrated payload for day and night imagery, as well as communications relay and laser target designation capabilities. The aircraft also applies the Army’s interoperability profiles, while vastly increasing communications bandwidth and enabling digital data delivery. The upgraded Shadow also integrates the Tactical Common Data Link for digital data dissemination and encryption. The new version is also compatible with the new control platforms including the new Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS), Universal Ground Data Terminal (UGDT), Portable Ground Data Terminal (PGDT) and Portable Ground Control Station (PGCS). The addition of the UGCS and UGDT support is part of the Army’s vision for a universal unmanned aircraft systems operation. By using common hardware, software, controls and user interfaces, the UGCS is interoperable

with the Army’s Gray Eagle and Hunter UAVs, as well as the Shadow system.

New Gimbaled Payload for Raven Upgrade efforts for the Raven UAS have meanwhile moved ahead also. In September AeroVironment was awarded additional funding that adds to an overall contract action including RQ-11B Raven (Figure 3) systems and payloads for it, and new miniature gimbaled payloads. Weighing 450 grams, the ruggedized, multi-axis Mantis i23 payload for the Raven system houses an electro-optical and infrared thermal video sensor in addition to a laser illuminator. The single payload replaces two separate sensor payloads on the Raven air vehicle, delivering daytime and nighttime capabilities from a single package. Each Mantis payload includes a daylight digital camera and infrared thermal imaging camera that are packaged to provide reliable operation in harsh environments, delivering uninterrupted video imagery. According to AeroVironment, the new miniature gimbaled payload was sought after because of its reliability in providing superior imagery and tracking capability in harsh environments. They expect it will become a standard component of currently fielded and future Raven systems.

• Expanded Operating

Temperatures -55 to +85C • Vibration, Method 204, Cond. D • Shock, Method 213, Cond. I

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

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

Untitled-6 1



143 Sparks Ave, Pelham, NY 10803-1837

E-Mail: See full Catalog immediately

December 2012 | COTS Journal


11/29/12 4:17 PM


New Version of Wasp UAV

Force conducted rigorous engineering and user assessments of Wasp AE over a oneyear period to ensure compliance with the requirements of the BATMAV program. The Wasp AE represents the continuing evolution of the Wasp Small UAS, which was previously adopted by the Air Force and Marine Corps for small unit tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Weighing 2.8 pounds (1.3 kilograms), the Wasp AE air vehicle is designed for ground and water landing, making it suit-

In the Micro Air Vehicle category of UAVs, the Wasp UAV provides the advanced capabilities of the Raven in a smaller, lighter and more portable package for rapid deployment and minimal logistics support. This past spring, AeroVironment introduced the Wasp AE Small Unmanned Aircraft system. The Wasp AE has been accepted by the U.S. Air Force for inclusion in its Battlefield Air Targeting Micro Air Vehicle (BATMAV) program. The Air



A New Level of SSD Security


Highly Integrated GPS Miniaturization of electronics has been a major boon to Small UAV designs. In September, AeroVironment selected Rockwell Collins to provide its MicroGRAM GPS receiver (Figure 4) for the Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft system, bringing secure, jam-resistant GPS capability to a micro UAV for the first time. MicroGRAM’s security features are the result of designing a rugged product that leverages Rockwell Collins’s previous work in creating Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) GPS capabilities. MicroGRAM (GPS Receiver Application Module) is enabled by the latest generation, single-die SAASM now in production. Compared to previous SAASM GPS technology, this latest device provides significant size, weight and power reductions for micro-embedded applications. AeroVironment Monrovia, CA. (626) 357-9983. [].


AAI Hunt Valley, MD. (410) 666-1400. [].


Email: website:

Insitu Bingen, WA. (509) 493-8600. []. Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids, IA. (319) 295-1000. [].

Power Matters. Untitled-2 1 COTS Journal | December 2012 16

able for both land and maritime missions, and is capable of 20 percent greater flight duration than the prior Wasp. Designed with AeroVironment’s digital data link, Wasp AE is interoperable with the company’s digital Puma, Raven, Shrike VTOL and portable ground control station, and is capable of encrypted communication, beyond line-of-sight operation and voice, video, text and data relay. Like the Raven, the Wasp AE also incorporates the smallest of AeroVironment’s Mantis suite of miniature gimbaled payloads. The version for the Wasp is the 275 gram Mantis i22 AE. It provides operators both color and infrared video imagery from a single sensor package.

6/6/12 3:52 PM

TECH RECON VPX and VME Tackle ISR Challenges

VME and VPX Solutions Feed Growing Appetite for ISR Data Processing ISR systems have an endless appetite for real-time high-bandwidth signal processing. Whether for legacy systems or advanced platforms, VME and VPX boards are serving up FPGA-based processing aimed at keeping pace. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


n recent years demand for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities has driven a huge ramp-up in data collection capacity. While that shows no signs of slowing, the ability to process that data—in the form of radar captured video or images—presents major system design challenges for developers of military platforms. Makers of VME and VPX are easing these challenges with a variety of solutions that address the particular needs of moving image-based data at high speed and processing it for the demanding real-time needs of military applications. VME enjoys a successful legacy in ISR applications thanks to its unique ability to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. A new board with the latest and greatest FPGAs or processor can easily be dropped into a slot that could be decades old. VPX meanwhile has gained momentum in numerous ISR applications. While in general VPX is not necessarily a direct replacement for VME, in the realm of ISR it tends to be. That’s because VPX is better suited for data-intensive applications where high throughput is the priority—a characteristic that’s inherent in ISR. 18

COTS Journal | December 2012

Figure 1

The GT-6U-VME (GTV6) features two Altera Stratix II GX FPGAs (2SGX90 or 130) and two processing clusters consisting of two ADSP-TS201S TigerSHARC DSPs.

Designing and building board level products and sub-systems for space applications is tough enough. Doing it in a true Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) environment is even tougher. It takes a very special company to do it right – and that company is Aitech. We not only designed and built the world's first harsh environment, open architecture CompactPCI boards more than two decades ago, but we're fully qualified for use in today's most hostile environment – space.

The only COTS company... Aitech is the only COTS company in the world that offers embedded products for space applications with this combination of features: • Designed and qualified specifically by us for space • Radiation characterized • On-board triple redundant memory • Rad-hard SOI (Silicon On Insulator) ASICs • Single event effects and total dose radiation survivability Total space applicability... Aitech embedded products and sub-systems for space are ideal for Near, Low, Medium and High Earth Orbit applications, Lunar and Mars robotic vehicles and much more. Our products are used in the Space Shuttle, MIR Space Station, International Space Station and other high profile satellite programs where highest performance and reliability are required.

Real space-qualified COTS... not custom off-the-shelf...but commercial off-the-shelf. COTS the way it's supposed to be! We don't compete with you...some embedded companies try to be systems integrators. We don't. We deliver board-level product and integrated sub-systems for space (and military/aerospace) applications. We leave the systems integration to the companies that do it yours! We have what you need... from a full range of high performance, cost effective, rad-tolerant, space-qualified CompactPCI SBCs, peripheral I/O boards and PMCs, memory boards and complete radiation and qual-testing, component obsolescence risk mitigation, lifecycle support and program management capabilities – with all the economy-of-scale advantages of off-the-shelf products. Make us prove it... we can and we will. Call or visit us on the web. Embedded electronics is our Space.

Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. 19756 Prairie Street Chatsworth, CA 91311 email: Toll Free: 888-Aitech8 - (888) 248-3248 Fax: (818) 407-1502


Feeding Signal Processing Needs Where board-level solutions such as VME and VPX impact the ISR platforms most is as signal processing engines primarily using FPGAs. As the signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb, they’ve become key enablers for waveformintensive applications like sonar, radar, SIGINT and SDR. Faster FPGA-based DSP capabilities combined with an expanding array of IP cores and development tools for FPGAs are enabling new system architectures. Today FPGAs are now complete systems on a chip. The high-end lines of the major FPGA vendors even have generalpurpose CPU cores on them. And the military is hungry to use FPGAs to fill processing roles. Devices like the Xilinx Virtex-6 and -7 and the Altera Stratix IV and V are examples that have redefined an FPGA as a complete processing engine in its own right. Using those FPGAs, board-level subsystems are able to quickly acquire and process massive amounts of data in real time. Board-level product developers continue to exploit those FPGA advances to create powerful compute engines that perform signal processing computation on the FPGAs themselves. At the same time, FPGAs are enabling a new class of I/O board solution that enables users to customize their I/O as well as do I/O-specific processing functions. The following product roundup shows a representative sample of FPGA processing boards on a

Figure 2

The Model 53760 is based on Pentek’s Onyx Architecture, which organizes FPGAs as containers for data processing applications where each function exists as an intellectual property (IP) module. variety of embedded form factors including VME/VXS and Open VPX.

VXS/VME for Here and Now VXS has found a solid niche as a “here and now” solution for marrying switched fabric performance with legacy VME backward compatibility. BittWare’s VXS offer-

ing is the GT-6U-VME (GTV6) (Figure 1), which features two Altera Stratix II GX FPGAs (2SGX90 or 130), two processing clusters consisting of two ADSP-TS201S TigerSHARC DSPs from Analog Devices, and up to 3 Gbytes of DDR2 SDRAM memory. This conduction-cooled board is optimized for high-end, multiprocessing applications, while also providing complete flexibility for future adaptability, ideal for existing and future military applications requiring embedded signal processing in a VXS/VITA 41 form factor. The GTV6 implements a dual BittWare Atlantis framework to interface between the FPGAs and DSPs. The GTV6 also features two clusters of two ADSP-TS201S TigerSHARC DSPs, which are interconnected by a 64-bit cluster bus running at 83.3 MHz. Feeding the Xilinx side of the FPGA equation, TEK Microsystems offers the Gemini-V6. Gemini-V6 contains two ADC devices, supporting a total of either three channels plus trigger at 1.8 GSPS or one channel plus trigger at 3.6 GSPS, plus a separate 12bit DAC output channel based on the Euvis M653D that operates at up to 4.0 GSPS. The Gemini-V6 contains two front-end FPGA devices, one attached to the ADCs and one to the DAC. The front-end FPGAs can be configured with LX240, SX315, or SX475 devices from Xilinx Virtex-6 family of FPGAs. The two front-end FPGAs are supplemented with a “back-end” FPGA that can be used for additional processing or for backplane or front panel communications.

TRACE 32 ® Always one step ahead Untitled-5 1 COTS Journal | December 2012 20

11/27/12 11:22 AM

Microsoft to Introduce Intelligent System Strategy With Windows Embedded 8 YOU ARE INVITED: 34 CITIES ONE POWERFUL TECHNOLOGY UPCOMING EVENTS AMERICAS

Atlanta, GA - Jan. 29 Melbourne, FL - Jan. 31 Montreal, QC - Feb. 5 Toronto, ON - Feb. 7


Mumbai, India - March 2013 Bangalore, India - March 2013

EMEA Reading, United Kingdom - Jan. 17 Stockholm, Sweden - Feb. 5 Moscow, Russia - Feb. 7 Tel Aviv, Israel – March 2013 Cologne, Germany - Mar. 5 Munich, Germany - Mar. 26 *Dates and locations are subject to change

Windows Embedded Summit What Is It? A half-day technical brieďƒžng highlighting the Microsoft intelligent system strategy and how engineers and technology leaders can leverage existing WES7 and upcoming WES8 technology to increase embedded OEM business more effectively. Who Is Invited? Business leaders and technology decisionmakers will be invited to join Microsoft and key partners at over 30 global locations. Questions Answered: What game-changing technology does Windows Embedded 8 bring to embedded design? How to best select an embedded software platform for next generation intelligent systems? How to get started today and prepare your business for the future?

VXS and VPX SBCs & Storage Subsystems Gallery Featuring the latest in VXS and VPX SBCs & Storage Subsystems technologies Space-qualified SP0 CPCI SBC

CIOV-2230/36 The CIOV-2230/36 is an air-cooled/ conduction-cooled advanced highperformance single board computer combining an Intel Core-i7™ third generation processor with modern interconnect high-speed links, programmable I/O lines, onboard storage and a PCI Express switch in a 3U OpenVPX™ form-factor.

Aitech’s high performance SP0, a space-qualified, radiation-tolerant 3U CompactPCI SBC offers an exceptionally low power of only 10 W for manned spacecraft and unmanned satellite subsystems and platforms. The compact MPC8548E, PowerQUICC-III PowerPCbased SBC provides high levels of on-board functionality and integration combined with low power dissipation.

Aitech Defense Systems Phone: (888) 248-3248

CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA E-mail: Web:

Phone: +41 22 884 51 00 Fax: +41 22 794 74 30

3U VPX Processor board – TR 90x/x1x

VME/VXS Processor board – VX 91x/01x

Dual or Quad Core 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ up to 16 GBytes SDRAM Ethernet, SATA, serial, graphics PCIExpress® fabric optional BIT and Security packages commercial and ruggedized variants

Concurrent Technologies Inc Phone: (781) 933-5900

E-mail: Web:

Dual or Quad Core 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ up to 16 GBytes SDRAM Ethernet, SATA, serial, USB dual display graphics optional VXS (VITA 41.4) PCIExpress® optional Built-in-Test commercial and ruggedized variants

Concurrent Technologies Inc Phone: (781) 933-5900


Phone: (303) 485-2721 Fax: (303) 485-5104

E-mail: Web:

ApexVX Multi-Mission Rugged Computer Systems

Conduant’s LTX3 High Speed Digital Recording System with options/features including: 800MB/second sustained recording/ playback Optical input (sFPDP), 8 lane Cabled PCI Express AC/DC Power Options Heater Option HDD or SSD storage up to 16 TB RAID version

Conduant Corporation

E-mail: Web:

Pre-qualified Solution based on COTS Building Blocks Flexible Design for Easy Customization 5-slot 3U VPX Computer System Environmentally Sealed Enclosure PBIT System Test Innovative Learning Mode Support for Kontron VXFabric™ and VXControl™ Smart Technology

Kontron America, Inc. E-mail: Web:

Phone: (888) 294-4558 Fax: (858) 677-0898

E-mail: Web:


The Gemini-V6 includes six banks of DDR3 memory with total capacity of 5 Gbytes and aggregate throughput of 32 Gbytes/s, supporting a wide range of signal processing algorithms with deep memory buffering of the entire signal acquisition stream.

VPX for High Data Demands For its part, VPX is capturing design wins in many data-intensive ISR applications where performance in throughput and high compute density (size) are critical factors. Examples include signal and video processing, and radar. Exemplifying VPX technology aimed at such applications, Pentek offers the Model 53760 (Figure 2), a member of the Onyx family of high-performance 3U VPX boards based on the Xilinx Virtex-7

Figure 3

In a compact 3U VPX form factor, the VPX3-453 FPGA module combines a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA and a Freescale Power Architecture MPC8640D processor.

VXS and VPX SBCs & Storage Subsystems Gallery MIL-SPEC Approved Conductive Elastomer Compounds

RPC24 Multi-Protocol RAID System

The Only MIL-SPEC Certified Manufacturer of All 12 Conductive Elastomer Compounds! All 12 MIL-DTL-83528E compounds QPL Certified by Defense Logistics Agency Extruded, Molded and Die-Cut Parts Silicone, Fluorosilicone and EPDM elastomers and Six Fillers Custom Formulations and Gaskets Available

Leader Tech Phone: (813) 855-6921 Fax: (813) 855-3291

Phoenix International E-mail: Web:

Phone: (714) 283-4800

CeeLok FAS-T Connector: Rugged, Field Terminable, 10 Gb/s Ethernet I/O Connector

Phone: (800) 522-6752

E-mail: Web:

TSS5203 Military-Grade Rackmount Storage Server Forty-eight front-access, hot-swap 2.5” drive carriers Supports solid state or conventional hard disk drives Ideal for use in high shock and vibration environments Dual or single-processor single board computer options Single or triple-segment PCI Express backplane options

High-speed data rates – 10 Gb/s Crimp-Snap contacts for easy termination and field repairability Small form factor connector – Shell Size 8 Integral backshell provides low cost, low weight strain relief and 360° EMI protection Ruggedized for harsh environments

TE Connectivity

Single or Dual Active Redundant RAID Controllers Two each 12 SSD or HDD (24 drives total) Removable Drive Magazines Eight each 8Gb Fibre, 6Gb SAS or 10GigE iSCSI Host Ports 12Gb SAS Internal Bus Data Rates in Excess of 700MB/sec per Port Operational Altitude to 45,000 ft Operational Temperature from -20˚ to 60˚C Redundant, Hot-Swap Components/FRUs Battery Free Cache Back Up MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-461 Certified Made in USA

Trenton Systems Web:

Phone: (770) 287-3100 Fax: (770) 287-3150

E-mail: Web:


FPGA. The card provides a multichannel, high-speed data converter and is suitable for connection to HF or IF ports of a communications or radar system. Its built-in data capture features offer an ideal turnkey solution as well as a platform for developing and deploying custom FPGA processing IP. The 53760 includes four A/Ds and four banks of memory. It features built-in support for PCI Express Gen. 3 over the 3U VPX backplane. The Onyx Architecture is based on the proven design of the Pentek Cobalt Family.


Onyx raises the processing performance with the new flagship family of Virtex-7 FPGAs from Xilinx. As the central feature of the board architecture, the FPGA has access to all data and control paths, enabling factory-installed functions including data multiplexing, channel selection, data packing, gating, triggering and memory control. The Onyx Architecture organizes the FPGA as a container for data processing applications where each function exists as an intellectual property (IP)


I / O


FPGAs Your Way.

Configurable FPGA Solutions on VPX, PMC, XMC, or IP Modules


Only Acromag gives you configurable FPGAs in so many formats with just the features you need for a quick and trouble-free implementation.

• Virtex-5® FPGA for high-performance logic, DSP • Spartan-6 FPGAs for cost-sensitive projects • DDR2 SDRAM handles high volumes of data • Dual-port SRAM optimizes bus DMA transfers • Extension modules interface analog & digital I/O Acromag Embedded I/O Board Solutions

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

Industry Packs • 30+ models • Analog, digital, serial, FPGA I/O • Carrier cards

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

Virtex-6 FPGA XMC Module with GbE and PCIe x8

W hite Paper

Download load “FPGA Comput Computing for Speed and Flexibility” at

ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 certified manufacturer

877-2 9 5 -70 8 4

All trademarks are the property of their owners.

Untitled-3 1 COTS Journal | December 2012 24

7/9/12 3:51 PM

module. Each member of the Onyx family is delivered with factory-installed applications ideally matched to the board’s analog interfaces. The 53760 factory-installed functions include four A/D acquisition IP modules for simplifying data capture and data transfer. IP modules for DDR3 SDRAM memories, a controller for all data clocking and synchronization functions, a test signal generator, and a PCIe interface complete the factory-installed functions and enable the 53760 to operate as a complete turnkey solution without the need to develop any FPGA IP.

Fiber I/O Increases Bandwidths The current generation of advanced ISR sensors is boosting demand for highbandwidth digitized I/O. With that in mind, fiber optics is positioned to be the next key technology for embedded computer interfacing. Mercury Computer Systems has announced a 6U OpenVPX fiber I/O module: the Echotek Series SCFE-V64QSFP-OVPX. This module is the only one to combine 16 channels of high-speed fiber with three of the most powerful Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA processors available today. With a maximum data transfer capacity of 80 Gbit/s, the module is well suited to support the bandwidth requirements of today’s ISR systems. Each of the 16 channels of fiber supports a full duplex data rate of up to 5 Gbit/s, while the three FPGAs enable onboard preprocessing of data streams for maximum application efficiency. The fiber channels are supported on two Optical Interface FPGA Mezzanine Cards (FMCs); each FMC has two 4x QSFP connections supporting eight channels of 2.5 Gbit/s sFPDP or two channels of 10 GigE. The FPGAs can be configured with a range of IP, enabling signal processing algorithms and protocol implementations. A serial RapidIO backplane connection provides high-speed communication with other subsystem modules.

More FPGA-Based Choices Altera FPGAs continue to vie for mindshare among ISR developers. Firmly in the Altera camp, BittWare’s VPX offering is the S4-3U-VPX (S43X), a commercial or rugged 3U VPX card based on the high-density, low-power Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA. The Stratix IV GX is designed specifically for se-


rial I/O-based applications, creating a completely flexible, reconfigurable VPX board. BittWare’s ATLANTiS FrameWork and the FINe Host/Control Bridge greatly simplify application development and integration of this powerful board. The board provides a configurable 25-port SerDes interface supporting a variety of protocols, including Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and 10 GigE. The board also features 10/100/1000 Ethernet and up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM. Providing enhanced flexibility is the VITA 57-compli-

ant FMC site, which supports 10 SerDes, 60 LVDS pairs and 6 clocks. A debug utility header provides 10/100 Ethernet, RS-232 and a JTAG port for debug support. The rear panel VPX interface includes GigE to the FINe, and 15 SerDes channels and 32 LVDS pairs (16 in, 16 out) to the Stratix IV GX FPGA. The board can use the AAFM, a VITA-57 FPGA Mezzanine Card based on BittWare’s Anemone104 (AN104) floating point coprocessor for FPGAs. Featuring the Epiphany architecture from Adapteva, the

Anemone allows users to combine the complex processing ability of a floating point C-programmable compute engine with the versatility and configurability of an FPGA to offer a completely new approach to floating point digital signal processing. Featuring four Anemone processors, the AAFM provides 96 GFLOPS of total processing performance.

VPX FPGA for Harsh Environments While not all ISR applications have to be suited for harsh environments, some do. Serving that need, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions’ (CWCDS) latest FPGA VPX offering is its second Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA-based VPX digital signal processing (DSP) engine, the VPX3-453 FPGA module. In a compact 3U VPX form factor, the card combines a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA and a Freescale Power Architecture MPC8640D processor. This small form factor 3U VPX (VITA 46/48) card is ideal for SWaP-constrained environments and is designed to support the full -40° + 85°C rugged operating temperature range. The VPX3-453 is the follow-on to Curtiss-Wright’s popular Virtex-5-based VPX3-450, with which it provides backward compatibility to optimize technology migration. The VPX3453 speeds and simplifies the integration of advanced DSP and image processing into embedded systems designed for demanding Radar Processing, Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), ISR, Image Processing and Electronic Warfare applications. BittWare Concord, NH. (603) 226-0404. []. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. []. Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. []. TEK Microsystems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 244-9200. [].

Untitled-7 1 COTS Journal | December 2012 26

11/27/12 11:25 AM



5 2





1 4

1 - Patent Pending Design for Shortest Installed Depth 2 - Side Access for Space Constrained Areas 3 - Designed to Exceed MIL-STD-810G 4 - Only 1U (1.75”) High 5 - Bright 17-Inch 1280 x 1024 LCD 6 - Optional Bonded Anti-ReÀective Glass 7 - Optional Bonded EMI Filter Over LCD 8 - High-Performance Military Grade LCD Controller 9 - Sealed IP65/Nema-4 Spill-Proof Keyboard 10 - Choice of Touch Pad or Hula Point Pointing Device 11 - 4-Port KVM Option 12 - VGA and DVI-I Input Ports 13 - Rugged Aircraft Grade 5052-H32 Aluminum Construction 14 - Strong Milled Aluminum Front Panel 15 - Self Locking Stainless Steel Fasteners Throughout 16 - Folding Flush Handle 17 - Rugged Dirt-Resistant Friction Slides

13 17

15 14




CCXR-17 Slideways Display Shown Other Rugged Displays Available


COTS and Custom Rugged Military Grade Computer Platforms and LCD Displays

TECH RECON VPX and VME Tackle ISR Challenges

VPX Stakes Its Territory as High Data Bandwidth Solution Despite growing pains, VPX has moved into the realm of commercial reality with a market ripe and ready for open standards and high-speed data movement technology. Steve Orsini, System Architect SIE Computing Solutions


ork began on the VPX family of specifications in early 2004 to offer new levels of performance for embedded computing systems, as high-speed processing and growing data requirements began to demand increased bandwidth from the board level to the I/O. VPX was welcomed with widespread industry support, a key factor in driving its standardization to move forward with relative efficiency. VPX was ratified by ANSI in late 2007, but even with the growing level of support and interest that the standard continued to receive, subsequent years saw very few commercial products emerge in the market featuring VPX technology. One of the primary reasons for the slowed rate of VPX commercial adoption was the tightening military budget, a natural detriment to its growth as defense and aerospace applications were and continue to be the top market for VPX. However, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has recently mandated the use of standards-based components wherever possible. The DoD and other users have further mandated improved implementation of open standards and interoperability. 28

COTS Journal | December 2012

Figure 1

An example of a 3U VPX Backplane from SIE Computing Solutions. Another key to the success of VPX of late has been the heavy reliance on COTS products, fostering a wide international supplier base, shortening time-to-market, and further feeding the ecosystem’s growth and continued support. Industries including energy, industrial automation and transportation are also starting to embrace VPX technology. In 2012, after years

of talk on the topic of VPX, the industry has finally made VPX a commercial reality. And with the growth of the standard to include specifications such as Open VPX, the future continues to look bright.

Brief History of VPX For the past several decades VME has been the predominant form factor in mil-


USBAData Acquisition

Complete Specs. 5-Day Delivery.

DT9818 ̶ Embedded, Isolated, Multifunction, 16 A/D @ 150kHz, 2 D/A, DIO

DT9832A ̶ Embedded, Isolated, Simultaneous, 2MHz A/D per channel

DT9824 ̶ Isolated, High Stability, High Accuracy, 10 ppm accuracy

There are over 150 models to choose from, neatly arranged in an easy-to-use chart at Or you can contact us for assistance at 800-525-8528. Our performance will exceed your expectations.




itary and aerospace applications. However, it appears that VME’s dominance of the military market has an expiration date. There is further evidence to suggest that VME may soon be losing some of its luster in the commercial market as well. With its retention of the standard Eurocard 3U/6U format, rugged interconnect solution and optional cooling options, the door was opened for VPX expansion into applications that were traditionally accomplished on the antecedent VME platform. Like its predecessor, VPX offers rugged and dependable interconnect solutions and flexible configurations. In addition to the VME legacy, VPX also adds the advantage of high-speed serial links with a high-performance interconnect scheme. As a result, many critical factors including size and weight, power Rotating Collimator


150° panels

board to board and board to backplane interoperability, making VPX well suited for data-intensive applications where high throughput is the priority. Going forward, both VME and VPX will continue to be significant players in the military arena, but surprisingly, VPX is gaining a reputation as the preferred option for commercial applications requiring high data rates along with high throughput and reliability. Examples of these applications that have embraced VPX include video processing, communications and transportation.

OpenVPX and Profiles The OpenVPX profile concept was built upon the foundation of the VPX standard to ensure interoperability for

Environmental sample chamber 90° panels Sample

The Role of Small Form Factors

40° panels 20° panels 10° panels

TOF neutrons

Figure 2

Los Alamos Neutron Science Center’s RICE (Remote Instrumentation and Control Equipment) control system was designed even before the advent of VME and other standard data acquisition and control buses. It has now migrated to VPX technology. and cooling have all improved with the VPX specification. VPX was initially developed for custom high-performance military and aerospace applications. For example, the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) initially selected VPX for its communication platform. The standard has now been streamlined for even better 30

COTS Journal | December 2012

liquid). OpenVPX also provides implementation details for VPX payload and switch modules, backplane topologies and chassis products. OpenVPX quickly obtained the backing of military and commercial vendors and integrators who previously supported the VME standard. In May of 2012, the second edition of the OpenVPX system specification was ratified under ANSI/VITA 65.0-2012. The planned architecture updates include new profiles for payload, peripheral and switch slots, and backplane profiles that accommodate InfiniBand and the VITA 67 coaxial connector. With OpenVPX’s standardized modularity, system designers are able to bridge the gap from custom to COTS by defining their unique system based on a common set of rules. Military programs can now use COTS for reduction in size and weight and increasing power. The technology has also recently found traction in the commercial markets as well as a result of the same benefits.

multi-vendor, multi-module, integrated system environments. The OpenVPX framework defines clear interoperability points necessary for integration between module to module, module to backplane and chassis. The OpenVPX standard also retained the 3U/6U form factor, but allows for higher power and offers more cooling options (convection, conduction,

There has always been a push to make smaller, faster and less expensive computing options, fueling the growing interest in small form factor systems over the years. One of the unique benefits that VPX offers to commercial application developers is the high performance that can be realized, especially in a 3U form factor. 3U VPX systems created the first generation of small form factor VPX systems in applications such as UAVs and others constrained by size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements. 3U VPX systems fulfilled numerous requirements, including bandwidth, support for advanced cooling and support for line replaceable module (LRM) applications. Until the availability of 3U VPX, military system designers had to turn to non-COTS solutions to obtain all of these features in a single board architecture. VPX overcame the one drawback of the VME 3U form factor, limited I/O, which was an impediment to VME in a market that demands smaller and lighter systems. Even 3U cPCI, which has many more I/O pins, struggles in applications


where high frequency data integrity is a requirement. VPX, with all of its I/O and reliable high-speed data transfer, is clearly the preferred choice over its cPCI and VME 3U alternatives. Figure 1 shows an example of a 3U VPX Backplane from SIE Computing Solutions. Modern VPX small form factor products designed for mission- and performance-critical communications and intelligence allow data processing in the field in a fully transportable, highly rugged computing module that improves speed and efficiency by completing processing in the machine, at the distributed level, before delivering data upstream.

VPX’s Road to Commercial Reality VPX is the foundation for a number of VITA specifications and is designed to work in conjunction with the following: VITA 48 – VPX-REDI modules and backplanes; VITA 58 – Line Replaceable Integrated Electronics Chassis; VITA 65 – OpenVPX; VITA 66 – Fiber Optic Interconnect; VITA 67 – Coaxial Interconnect; and VITA 75 – Rugged Small Form Factor (RSFF). Employing commercial off-theshelf (COTS) equipment in military communications and information systems is becoming progressively more common. With the shrinking budgets available for military research and development, commercial manufacturing companies are being asked to take on the responsibilities formerly delegated to the defense department and their prime contractors. In this new role, commercial manufacturers have been given increasing influence on the type and selection of technology that will be developed and manufactured. In order to lower cost and maximize profits, these companies seek to take advantage of any dual-purpose potential between the commercial and military segments. Historically, that meant that suppliers would look to adapt existing commercial technology to rugged applications to benefit from economies of scale. However, because VPX got its start in the midst of the military’s commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) initiative,

Figure 3

An illustration of the Rockwell Collins Wire and Obstacle Warning System. the standard was already written around commercially available components and technology. For this reason, those in the commercial sector quickly realized the advantage of using the VPX technology developed for the military as a relatively cost competitive commercial solution.

Examples of VPX in Action The transition to commercial VPX platforms includes commercial aviation, oil exploration, commercial aerospace and satellites, and rugged mobile computing. One such crossover application is the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center’s RICE (Remote Instrumentation and Control Equipment) control system upgrade for its particle accelerator (Figure 2). The RICE system was designed even before the advent of VME and other standard data acquisition and control buses. As the years have passed, some readout and control capabilities have been moved to VME, but few changes have been made since the early 1970s. A recent proposal was made to rebuild the system using standardized electronics, using the VPX bus architecture. Another example is Rockwell Collins’ Wire and Obstacle Warning System (WOWS) (Figure 3). This commercial aviation VPX application is designed to warn rotary wing flight crews of dangerous proximity to elevated obstacles and suspended line wires when flying low level mission flights.

When VPX was initially introduced in 2004, it was welcomed with widespread industry support. However, following its ratification in late 2007, very few commercial products emerged in the market featuring VPX technology. Recent U.S. Department of Defense mandates of the use of standards-based components and improved implementation of open standards and interoperability, in addition to a heavy reliance on COTS products, fostered a wide international supplier base that fueled the ecosystem’s growth. While the VPX transition to COTS and commercial applications has been somewhat deliberate and unhurried, we expect to see it gather increased momentum in the very near future, particularly as America’s defense spending is at a crossroads and a significant reduction in funding could soon fan the flames to drive commercialization of the VPX technology. Additionally, industries beyond the military are also starting to adopt the technology including energy, industrial automation and transportation, further building on the market potential. It will certainly be interesting to watch what 2013 and beyond holds for the industry. SIE Computing Solutions Brockton, MA. (800) 926-8722. []. December 2012 | COTS Journal


SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Open Architecture Computing in Airborne Platforms

High-Density Computing Enables Advances in Airborne Surveillance Systems New open architecture advancements are enabling military computer system designers to place an ever increasing amount of computational capability into space and weight optimized airborne platforms. Jim Renehan, Director of Marketing Trenton Systems


urveillance aircraft like the Boeing RC-135V/W require an enormous amount of computational horsepower and system design flexibility to fulfill the airborne platform’s critical mission. The aircraft’s mission profile includes data gathering from many different sources, analysis of incoming data, and communicating both raw data and analysis results to different stakeholders located around the world. The aircraft’s constrained environment for hardware system mounting coupled with the onboard personnel workspace requirements demand creative open architecture system solutions that maximize compute density while minimizing computer mounting space requirements. Fighter aircraft also need high degrees of compute density for many different applications such as situation awareness with the added computer packaging and mounting complexity associated with a compact airframe design. New advances in open architecture components such as processors, chipsets, system memory and network interface silicon are being deployed in many different airborne applications to meet the performance profiles of these demanding applications. Additional processor features such as 32

COTS Journal | December 2012

more processing cores, new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX) and enhancements to the Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) are helping meet the challenges of modern airborne computing platforms. Airborne platforms are beginning to reap the benefits of recent open architecture technology advancements and the associated cost savings and system interoperability improvements. This information should prove to be quite timely given the increased reliance on technology refresh programs during these times of increasing budget limitations.

Military Computer Design Challenges Surveillance aircraft like the Boeing RC-135V/W or RIVET JOINT illustrated in Figure 1, are packed full of the necessary technology to serve as the eyes, ears and voice of personnel engaged with hostile forces. The “RJ” or “Hogs” are aircraft platforms that have been around since 1959 and are used extensively in various conflicts around the globe. The term Hogs comes from the aircraft’s extended hog-like nose and side protrusions that resemble “hog cheeks.” The hog nose and hog cheeks house multiple antenna ar-

rays and other communication gear. The RJ has gone through many iterations and upgrades since being introduced. These changes keep the plane up to date technologically speaking and enable it to remain a valuable member of the armed forces. The RC-135V/W in its latest configuration is a cost-efficient piece of military hardware that senses, analyzes, locates and records signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. Onboard intelligence specialists, technicians, flight crew and a sophisticated array of computer and communication equipment are used to accomplish the aircraft’s mission. The U.S. Air Force Hogs currently in service rotate through a regularly scheduled upgrade program that maintains and enhances the aircraft’s tactical advantages. Updating the surveillance systems to the latest available Mil-COTS computer technology as well as refurbishing the flight systems of the plane are the main objectives of the upgrade program. A plane operates seven to ten years between upgrades. A typical RC-135V/W upgrade configuration requires 65 to 75 19” rackmount computer systems to satisfy the armed forces needs for accurate battlefield surveillance and secure communications.


Figure 1

Surveillance aircraft like the Boeing RC-135V/W are packed full of the necessary technology to serve as the eyes, ears and voice of personnel engaged with hostile forces.

System Weights Are Critical In any aircraft design or system upgrade project, total system component weights are of critical importance. For surveillance aircraft, this weight problem has an exponential cumulative effect on the cost of operating the aircraft. Depending on the specific RC-135V/W configuration, the plane can have a crew of up to 34 individuals including flight crew with up to 27 of these individuals working with the computer systems. Next you add in the computer chassis, the equipment racks needed to secure the chassis, the display monitors, the worktables and chairs for the personnel, and all of the other hardware needed to perform the mission. The military aircraft design truism is at work in this application in that any extra weight costs money, time and the added potential for putting ground forces at increased risk caused by extra mid-air refueling time. The SWaP requirements for fighter aircraft will oftentimes drive a design engineer to adopt a custom form factor. This is particularly true when the project involves adopting form-fit replacement for computer systems and integrating a new system into an airframe that was designed by another company. As an example, today’s military often needs to 34

COTS Journal | December 2012

get an ever increasing useable service life out of existing fighter aircraft platforms. Upgrading computer systems involved in situation awareness displays and avionics, as shown in Figure 2, is one way to extend the life of a mature aircraft design. Incorporating the latest open architecture processors and storage technology can bring significant new capabilities to the aircraft’s avionics systems such as new display mapping, data link processing and machine-to-machine messaging.

New Open Architecture Technologies More Processing Cores: The latest Intel processors developed under the Sandy Bridge-EN codename offer some interesting new capabilities. Some of these new processors feature up to eight cores with the ability to extend this to 16 execution threads using the Intel Hyper-Threading feature. Hyper-threading isn’t a universal guarantee of faster overall system performance across all airborne computing applications. With some older operating systems or special purpose surveillance application software, we found that raw CPU core speed is king. In some of these special application cases hyper-threading had to be turned off to maximize over-

all system performance in select airborne surveillance and data gathering applications. For the majority of airborne applications, hyper-threading is a nice feature to have for expanding the number of unique applications an open architecture platform can handle simultaneously. Better TDP Ratings: TDP or Thermal Design Power ratings for the latest processors are improving. While the values are not yet in the ASIC or FPGA range, the TDP values for the latest open architecture, high-performance processors are much better and heading in the right direction with each CPU technology spin. For example, some Atom-class processors from Intel are available with TDP ratings of 10W for a multicore CPU. At the other end of the performance spectrum, the Intel Xeon E5-2448L provides a TDP of 70W, which is great for an eight-core processor with hyper-threading. Virtualization: Having multiple levels of security is an application reality in airborne surveillance platforms. Virtualization isn’t a new processor technology, but it becomes more of an application necessity given the increasing number of processing cores and improved hypervisor software tools. The bottom line with virtualization is that we can take better advantage of this increasing number of cores by grouping applications into specific processor cores and assigning the appropriate level of application security and access. The more cores we have within a processor will result in less single board computer or motherboard hardware required to meet the mission requirements of the airborne platform. These virtualization-related open architecture processor improvements coupled with the need to increase compute density in airborne surveillance applications enables some interesting system design possibilities. These new system design possibilities lend themselves to significant reductions in overall hardware size, weight and power consumption in an airborne surveillance aircraft. Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX): This technology has been around since 2008 and underwent a major enhancement by increasing the vector width from 128-bit to 256-bit in the Sandy Bridge


Your search is over! CompactPCI • COM Express • VME • PrPMC/XMC • VPX • Custom X-ES delivers the latest 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor solutions on the widest range of standard and custom form factors in the industry. With our proven record of meeting aggressive schedules, you can count on X-ES to deliver Intel Core i7 processor solutions on time, and with unparalleled customer support. Call us today to learn more.

You need it, we have it! That’s Extreme.

Extreme Engineering Solutions 608.833.1155


Figure 2

Upgrading computer systems involved in situation awareness displays and avionics is one way to extend the life of a mature aircraft design. processor microarchitecture. This change alone virtually doubles the floating point operations per second (FLOPS) throughput possible with these latest open architecture processors. New three-operand syntax was also deployed in this latest iteration of AVX, which helps to reduce overall code size and supports a higher degree of application software parallelism. These AVX open architecture improvements are being utilized in airborne applications that are processing large volumes of video streams from multiple input sources. Direct Memory Connections: The number of silicon pieces on a single board computer or motherboard continues to decrease with the latest open architecture processor and chipset technology. The separate memory controller hub, a.k.a. the Northbridge, of a few years ago has been replaced by the internal memory 36

COTS Journal | December 2012

controller built into the latest processors. The speed of the interface has been improved as illustrated by the three-channel, DDR3-1600 memory interfaces available with the class of recently introduced Sandy Bridge-EN processors. Moving the memory controller into the processor die cuts down on memory interface latency, and when coupled with improvements in the interface between processors, enables memory sharing across multiple processors. The ability to share memory across multiple processors enables increased resource sharing during periods of intense data handling within the airborne computing system. Direct PCI Express 3.0 Interfaces: A Sandy Bridge-EN processor has 24 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 available to the board designer, while the Sandy Bridge-EP processors provides 40 lanes per CPU. That means a typical dual-processor single

board computer or motherboard makes 48 and 80 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 available to the airborne computing system designer. These additional PCI Express interfaces are useful in interfacing the various PCIe I/O and specialized datagathering cards typically used in airborne surveillance or situation awareness system designs. Having these flexible and high-speed interfaces connect directly into the processors maximizes the military computer’s ability to process the incoming data streams with maximum operational efficiency. More Device I/O & Network Connectivity: The traditional Southbridge has been replaced by a component called the Platform Controller Hub or PCH. The latest PCH devices support both highspeed SATA and SAS interconnects with or without RAID in order to maximize the data storage flexibility of airborne


Figure 3

An expanded view of one of the chassis platforms used on the RC-135V/W aircraft.

Figure 4

Shown here is a top view of the modified open architecture SBC used for the situational awareness display. computing system designs. SATA interfaces supporting 600 Mbyte/s data transfer rates are now available to enhance data storage throughput capability. Gigabit Ethernet controllers are still used in the vast majority of today’s airborne applications, but with an added twist of using onboard PCI Express interfaces to drive these latest controllers. New and relatively inexpensive 10G and 40G Ethernet controllers are on the horizon and will become an increasingly common sight in these types of airborne computing systems in the not too distant future.

Open Architecture in Airborne Surveillance 38

COTS Journal | December 2012

Trenton Systems worked with a Tier 1 prime contractor to address the weight issue in the RC-135V/W airborne surveillance aircraft by coming up with a shallow depth chassis made out of lightweight aluminum. Figure 3 shows an expanded view of one of the chassis platforms used on the aircraft. The most common 19” rackmount chassis used on the aircraft has a chassis depth of 45.72 cm (18”) and a 5U chassis height. Some applications require a 4U chassis height with a resultant chassis depth of 58.42 cm or 23” (Trenton TRC4002), and a few mission stations require a compact 2U chassis design with one single board computer and a butterfly backplane (Trenton TRC2003).

The underlying technologies at work in all three airborne computing system types used on this aircraft are long-life single board computers and passive backplanes. The inherent design advantage of this open system architecture is that the system designer can mix and match single board computer capabilities based on the operational needs of specific applications. The latest system designs utilize the Sandy Bridge-EN processor technology discussed previously and implemented in the Trenton BXT7059 single board computer. A Trenton TRC5000 chassis with four, dual-processor SBCs with eight-core Intel Processors and Intel Virtualization Technology makes it possible to run up to 64 different applications; i.e., one application for each processor core in a single 5U chassis, resulting in a significant reduction in required rack space compared to using conventional motherboard-based system technology. The long-life product support provided by the Intel Intelligent Systems Group allows the OEM to deploy military computer hardware to meet the stability and longevity requirements of the RC-135V/W, i.e., RIVET JOINT upgrade program. Trenton designs in other extended life components to ensure that the completed systems meet and exceed the deployment cycle requirements for the aircraft.

Multi-Segment Backplane A frequently overlooked and often under-appreciated component of the airborne computing system design is the backplane. The multi-segment backplane is a key design element of the 5U rackmount systems because it allows Trenton to install up to four single board computers, and the OEM in turn can install a variety of option cards in a single 19” rackmount chassis. This system design feature, in combination with Intel Virtualization Technology, allows us to save rack space by enabling up to four single board computers to run multiple independent applications or function together as a high-density computer cluster. Today’s higher bandwidth card-tocard interfaces such as PCI Express demand robust backplane designs in order


to maintain optimum system throughput performance. The single board computer and backplane system architecture supports this major design requirement by providing backplanes with multiple option card slot interface configurations. The backplanes in the systems support a variety of option cards such as four-channel Ethernet communication cards, iSCSI option cards that interface to data storage boxes, and sound cards. Not all systems get the same option card configuration, but all systems are flexible enough to be re-configured and re-deployed as necessary to meet any special mission requirements of a specific aircraft.

are available that meet these unique mission requirements while employing open architecture technologies that solve the operational problems presented to the military computer system engineer. The advantage of deploying open architecture technologies is the ability to deliver world-class computing solutions to the military that meet today’s mission profile needs while providing a means to change and adapt the aircraft systems as mission

requirements change. Open architecture military solutions are budget “friendly” and provide the means for military planners to deploy advanced system solutions on time and within budget. Trenton Systems Gainesville, GA. (770) 287-3100. [].

Situation Awareness Display Assembly In a situation awareness display application for a fighter jet refresh program, the OEM was looking for a dual-core, low-power processor capable of many of the open architecture technologies discussed earlier, but on a small form factor single board computer board that could fit into the military computer chassis. The fanless, shoebox-shaped chassis enclosure being designed to drive the new situation awareness display needed to fit into a console located between the pilot’s legs. Standard form factors like MicroTCA and COM Express were considered, but the space requirements of the backplane and carrier card required in these two standard form factors eliminated them from consideration. Trenton had developed a standard MicroTCA Processor AMC (PrAMC) that met all of the open architecture technology requirements of the application. The basic PrAMC card was re-designed to meet the additional video display, PCI Express interfaces and SSD storage requirements of the application. Figure 4 shows the top view of this modified open architecture SBC used in the application.

Meeting Mission Profile Requirements The unique mission requirements of airborne surveillance and situation awareness displays present unique design challenges based on the aircraft’s mechanical design. A variety of long-life solutions Untitled-15 1

9/4/12 December 2012 | COTS Journal

4:19 39PM


XMCs and FMCs Stake Out the Future of Mezzanine Choices With XMC firmly established as a key part of today’s switched-fabric era, FMCs are ramping up to serve its unique niche for FPGA-based I/O mezzanine requirements. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


here’s no question that XMCs have become the natural follow on to PMC as the leading mezzanine form factor in military applications. Meanwhile the VITA FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) specification defines an I/O mezzanine module designed to work intimately with an FPGA. FMC modules enable I/O devices that reside on an industry standard (VITA 57) mezzanine card to be attached to and directly controlled by FPGAs that reside on a host board. In this era where complete systems are possible with just one or two boards, mezzanines are more important than ever. They provide a way to mix and match different functionalities without requiring a whole different design of the baseboard. While VITA 42.0 is the base specification that includes general information, there are a number of “dot” specifications for various fabric implementations. VITA 42.1 defines these same pins for Parallel RapidIO. While VITA 42.1 is approved and fielded, few vendors have embraced this standard and have instead opted for the more popular serial protocols. VITA 42.2, 42.3 and 42.4 define true serial switch fabric protocols for Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and HyperTransport, respectively. VITA 42.5 defines the popular Xilinx Aurora protocol for use in 40

COTS Journal | December 2012

Figure 1

Representing a two-generation leap in radar sensor capability and a robust network-enabled capability, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is able to deliver critical, actionable data to joint forces. XMC. This lightweight link layer protocol is quite attractive for XMC modules because many XMCs only need to move data from a dedicated source. It’s clear that FPGAs meanwhile are becoming the preferred method to combine multiple I/O functions and their associated conversion and processing functions on the FPGA. Providing a platform for this approach, VITA 57, the FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) specification, made its debut a couple years back. About half the size of a PMC mezzanine module, FMCs provide a small footprint, reduced I/O bottlenecks, increased flexibility and reduced cost through the elimination of redundant interfaces. An example of a system making use of XMC-based solutions is the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (Figure 1). Using XMC technology, the data recording and playback systems for the

E-2D could scale up to dozens of modular, heterogeneous input/output channels and FPGA-based protocol engines. In August, VITA and the FMC Marketing Alliance announced the completion of FMC PlugFest 2012. The PlugFest was the first exercise of FMC Check, which consists of the VITA 57.2 metadata specification combined with Cloud-based builder and checker tools. The VITA 57.2 metadata specification defines, in a structured form, the key design parameters for FMC modules and FMC carrier cards per the ANSI/VITA 57.1 FPGA Mezzanine Card base specification. The FMC Check tools enabled the sponsors to facilitate the testing process used during the PlugFest. The event was a chance for the suppliers of FMC modules and FMC carrier cards to work together to test the interoperability of products.

Board Solutions Driving Military Computing Forward

 Long-life single board computers,

motherboards and backplanes  Featuring boards with one or two of

the latest multi-core IntelÂŽ processors

 5-year factory warranty for Trenton

SBCs, motherboards and backplanes  Trenton BIOS revision control and

stable technology platforms  Single & multi-segment backplanes

enhance system compute density  Complete system integration and

custom board engineering services  Boards and systems built in the USA

in ISO 9001:2008 registered facilities The Global Leader In Customer Driven Solutions™ 770.287.3100


TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: XMC and PrXMC Boards Roundup XMC Links Virtex-6 FPGA to PCIe, SRIO and Gbit Ethernet

Graphics XMC and PMC Enable Dual Processing of Independent Video Streams

Acromag’s XMC-6VLX mezzanine modules feature a configurable Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA enhanced with multiple high-speed memory buffers, I/O and numerous high-bandwidth serial interfaces. The FPGA provides rapid processing and is closely coupled to the serial interconnects to prevent data transfer bottlenecks. 10Gbit Ethernet, PCI Express, Serial RapidIO and Xilinx Aurora implementations are supported. Optional front-panel I/O adds dual SFP ports for Fibre Channel or copper Gbit Ethernet and a VHDCR connector for expanded I/O signal

Mezzanine modules remain an ideal solution for mixing and matching functions on military embedded computing systems. Aitech Defense Systems has expanded its family of M59x graphics boards designed for a wide variety of rugged avionics applications with the M595 PMC and M597 XMC. These highperformance, rugged boards simultaneously drive two independent video streams in a wide variety of graphics and output formats for flexible video input and frame grabbing formats

access. Typical uses include simulation, communications, signal intelligence and image processing. Build options include the choice of a Xilinx XC6LX240T or XC6LX365T FPGA device and additional front-panel I/O connectors. Base models are ready for use in air-cooled or conduction-cooled systems. The front I/O option adds two 2.5 Gbit/s SFP connectors and a 36-pin VHDCR connector for JTAG, USB and 22 SelectIO. SelectIO signals are Virtex-6 FPGA I/O pins that support single-ended I/O (LVCMOS, HSTL, SSTL) and differential I/O standards (LVDS, HT, LVPECL, BLVDS, HSTL, SSTL). All models are available with extended temperature range parts suitable for -40° to 85°C operation. The rear I/O supports 8-lane high-speed serial interfaces on both the P15 and P16 XMC ports for PCI Express, Serial RapidIO, 10Gigabit Ethernet, or Xilinx Aurora implementation. P16 also has 34 SelectIO channels and two global clock pairs direct to the FPGA. The P4 port adds another 60 SelectIO and two more global clock pairs. Available in a variety of configurations, models start at $8,250 with upgradeable logic, I/O and operating temperature capabilities.

to meet users’ specific application needs. Both single-width mezzanine boards integrate multiple supporting 2D/3D hardware engines. This includes LVDS, SDI, HDI, SMPTE 292 and H.264, and graphics languages including DirectX, OpenGL and OpenCL. The new M595 and M597 use the advanced AMD/ATI E4690 graphics processing unit (GPU) operating at 600 MHz with a 512 Mbyte on-chip GDDR3 SDRAM frame buffer. The E4690 enables multiple video outputs from its native video ports and eliminates the need for external transmitters or encoders. It works with an integrated, onboard FPGA to support a wide variety of additional video output formats, overlay, underlay and keying features as well as multiple video input formats and signal conditioning options. The M595, a dual-head display XMC, transfers graphics and video to the host system via a high-speed eight-port PCIe link. Interfaces include two RGBHV (CRT) channels, an HDTV/TV out port, an LVDS channel and four single-link DVI/HDMI/DP channels through the E4690. Both of these DO178/DO-254-certifiable mezzanine products are available in vibration- and shock-resistant versions as well as in conduction-cooled and air-cooled versions and to commercial, rugged and military specifications with a maximum operating temperature range of -55° to +85°C.

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


COTS Journal | December 2012

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

XMC Board Serves Up Kintex-7 FPGA Alpha Data offers the ADM-XRC-7K1, part of a range of new products based on 28nm Xilinx 7 series FPGA technology. The ADMXRC-7K1 is a high-performance reconfigurable XMC with PCI Express Gen2 interface, external memory and flexible front-panel IO options. The 7K1 is the latest in the highly successful line of PMC and XMC products from Alpha Data, an Alliance Program certified member with over a decade of experience with Xilinx. The card combines high-performance with

ease-of-use and excellent reliability, with a particular emphasis on ease-of-migration from earlier generations of FPGAs, enabling customers to benefit from the features of the Kintex-7 device with minimal effort or risk. The PCI Express bridge includes 4 DMA channels and is contained in a separate device, freeing the logic in the FPGA and allowing on-the-fly reconfiguration. For maximum flexibility, a bypass option allows users to place the PCI Express endpoint directly in the FPGA. Front panel I/O is provided through the XRM interface. Alpha Data produce a wide range of XRM modules giving options including optical I/O, CameraLink, high-performance DACs and ADCs. The 7K1 is available to order immediately, in both Kintex-7 325T or 410T FPGA configurations. It ships with a comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK), including example designs and software drivers. The board is also available in industrial grade, air- or conduction-cooled variants, making it ideal for use in a wide range of markets and applications.

Alpha Data Denver, CO. (303) 954 8768. [].

XMC and Prxmc Boards Roundup

FMC Serves Up Floating Point Coprocessor Solution

XMC Serial Adaptor Has Three RS-232 Ports

Military signal processing technology faces some vexing trade-offs. Processing improvements always seem to come at the expense of increasingly ridiculous power consumption, which in turn creates burdensome cooling problems. Taking aim at that problem, BittWare offers the Anemone floating point coprocessor chip for use with Altera’s high-performance FPGAs. OEM’d from Adapteva’s new Epiphany architecture,

Concurrent Technologies provides the XM RS1/20x, a low-power asynchronous serial communications adaptor supporting either the industry standard RS-232 interface, RS-422 differential interface or the RS-485 multidrop interface. The product is ideally suited to expand upon the number of serial ports of the host processor board and can be used in a wide range of industrial, telecommunication, commercial, financial and defense applications. The XM RS1/20x is a single-size card and is

BittWare’s Anemone chip is a scalable, true C-programmable, floating point engine that enables novel solutions for complex and evolving signal processing applications. Each Anemone features 16 processors, providing 32 Gflops of floating point processing while consuming only 2 watts of total chip power. Multiple Anemones can be gluelessly connected, thereby scaling to create compute blocks of up to 4096 processors providing 8 Tflops of floating point performance. The Anemone features an internal high-throughput mesh network, with separate data paths for onchip and off-chip communications. Each eCore processor has a multi-channel DMA engine to support background data movement over the “eMesh.” Total on-chip, inter-core bandwidth is 128 Gbytes/s full duplex, with an additional 8 Gbytes/s of off-chip bandwidth. Each router node can simultaneously sustain full-duplex transfers on all ports, with automatic routing based on global addressing. The Anemone is available from BittWare on standard COTS boards, including FMC (VITA 57) (shown), AdvancedMC (AMC), VPX (VITA 46/48/65) and PCI Express (PCIe) slot cards starting in Q3.

compliant with the XMC (Switched Mezzanine Card) specification; it can be installed onto XMC sites on appropriate host boards such as Concurrent Technologies’ 2nd Generation Intel Core i7-based VME, VXS, CompactPCI and VPX boards. Like the XM RS1/20x, Concurrent Technologies’ range of XMC host boards are available in commercial and extended temperature versions, and some are available in ruggedized, conduction-cooled or air-cooled versions. The XM RS1/20x interfaces to the host board via an x1 PCI Express link on the XMC bus. The front panel provides three RS-232 ports via industry standard 9-way micro D-type connectors. Rear I/O, via P4, can optionally support an additional four RS-232 or RS422/485 ports dependant on variant. All serial ports provide TXD, RXD, CTS, RTS, DCD, DSR, DTR and RI signals. To simplify the board’s integration, many popular industry standard operating systems are supported including Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows 7, Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Linux.

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


COTS Journal | December 2012

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

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

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

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

XMC and prxmc Boards Roundup

Digital I/O XMC Sports Xilinx Kintex FPGA A wide range of applications such as avionics, radar and digital imaging require high-speed FPGA-based digital I/O. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) offers the XF07-523 Digital I/O XMC, the first member of a new family of Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA-based XMC cards for high-end defense and aerospace applications. The XF07-523 provides direct FPGA-driven LVDS I/O through the front panel and PMC/XMC connectors for rear I/O on a fully ruggedized XMC module designed to perform optimally in the harshest conditions

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

PrPMC/XMC Module Supports Freescale QorIQ Processors Extreme Engineering Solutions provides the XPedite5401, a conduction-cooled PrPMC/ XMC module that supports the Freescale QorIQ P3, P4 and P5 processor families. The XPedite5401 joins the existing XPedite550x line of PrPMC/XMC modules, which support the Freescale QorIQ P1 and P2 processor families. The complete line of QorIQ PrPMC/ XMC modules provides processor mezzanine solutions that span a broad spectrum of embedded applications and satisfy a wide

Ad Index Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration

operational flexibility. front removable technologies and The companies. Whether your goal range of power, performance and feature including +85°C card edge conduction-cooled into products, drivethe capability combined with hot swap is to research latest datasheet from a company, speak directly requirements. solutions. allows fast and easytoequipment and the with an Application Engineer, or jump a company'supgrade technical page, Especially well suited for radar and image The XPedite5401 supports multiple Freescale data transportability. goal of Get Connected is to put you inWith touch board-level with the right data resource. processing applications, the XF07-523 delivers QorIQ processors. The lowest power solution transfer rates up to 130 Mbyte/s (write) and Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, about 3x the performance available from earlier 140will Mbyte/s 9289 XMCStorand is products utilizes the P3041 with four PowerPC e500mc Get Connected help you(read), connectthe with the companies generation digital I/O cards while essentially cores at up to 1.5 GHz. Other processor options suitable for applications demanding high you are searching for. keeping power dissipation the same. The card include the P4080 with eight PowerPC e500mc data rates. Current storage capacities equal 64 features high-performance, high-bandwidth cores at up to 1.5 GHz, the P5010 with one Gbyte across two drives, with higher capacities LVDS digital I/O, front panel (air-cooled only): 64-bit PowerPC e5500 core at up to 2 GHz, and supported as new drives are introduced. The 32 LVDS pairs and rear I/O: 32 LVDS pairs over the P5020 with two 64-bit PowerPC e5500 cores XMCStor is capable of meeting a wide range of PMC P4 or 20 LVDS + 38 single-ended over at up to 2 GHz. The module also provides two operating conditions. It is available in standard XMC P6. Also provided are clock capable FPGA channels of DDR3-1333 ECC SDRAM, up to (0° to +55°C) through extended temperature inputs, dual x16 DDR3 memories for more than 8 Gbytes (4 Gbytes each), up to 16 Gbytes of (-40° to +85°C) versions and can withstand 5 Gbytes/s usable bandwidth and flash memory usersolutions flash andnow 256 Mbytes of boot flash (with Get Connected with andMsec. companies operating shock uptechnology to 40Gs at 11 Pricingproviding for user configuration on power up. Support redundancy), two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a x4 starts at $800 in low quantities, configuration Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research th is provided for AES encryption and certified datasheetdependent. PCI Express interface to P15 and two SATA 3.0 from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connect memory scrub. Gbit/s portstype to P16. in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever of technology, Elma Electronic Fabricated on a high-performance, low-Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and productsExtreme you are searching for. Engineering Solutions power (HPL) 28nm process, all Xilinx 7 Fremont, CA. Middleton, WI. series FPGAs—which includes the Artix-7, (510) 656-3400. (608) 833-1155. Kintex-7 and Virtex-7 FPGAs—share a scalable []. optimized architecture that enables design []. migration across the families. The adoption of AMBA 4, AXI4 specification as part of the interconnect strategy supporting Plug-and-Play FPGA design further improves productivity with IP reuse, portability and predictability.


Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. []. Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

End of Article Get Connected

with companies mentioned in this article.

December 2012 | COTS Journal


XMC and FMC Prxmc Boards Boards Roundup Roundup

Upgraded Video Compression XMC Enhances Military Decisions

FPGA PMC/XMC Module Blends Digitizing and Processing

PowerPC PrXMC Card Uses Freescale MPC8536E

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced an enhanced version of the ICS-8580 rugged, high definition video compression XMC module. Designed in response to the growing use of video in a broad range of defense applications, it allows very high quality moving images to be captured, transmitted and stored at very high speed with very low latency and with minimal consumption of precious bandwidth or disk space. As such, it can make a significant contribution to superior decision making and

Innovative Integration has announced its X6- 250M, a PMC/XMC I/O module that integrates digitizing with signal processing. The module has a powerful Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA signal processing core and high-performance PCI Express/PCI host interface. Applications include software-defined radio, radar receivers and multi-channel data recorders. The card has eight simultaneously sampling A/D channels that sample at rates up to 310 Msamples/s (14-bit). The A/D have matched input delays and response. The A/D are supported by a

An ultra-low-power Processor XMC module is based on the Freescale PowerQUICC III MPC8536E processor. The IC-PQ3-XMCa from Interface Concept is designed to offer both the Gigahertz-class complex application processing abilities and high-speed connectivity in a small board footprint. Typical consumption in full-operational configuration (1 GHz) is 10W. The IC-PQ3-XMCa is suited for a large range

programmable sample clock PLL and triggering improved troop safety. that support multi-card synchronization for The ICS-8580 can capture video inputs large scale systems. and archive or stream them over Ethernet, A Xilinx Virtex-6 SX315T (LX240T and managing multiple streams and performing SX475T options) with 4 banks of 1 Gbyte capture, manipulation, conversion, DRAM provides a very high-performance DSP compression, storage, decompression and core with over 2000 MACs (SX315T). The close video display. Its rugged XMC form factor d integration of the analog I/O, memory and means that it is compact, lightweight and host interface with the FPGA enables real-time consumes little power, enabling it to be easily signal processing at extremely high rates. deployed in systems destined for deployment The X6-250M has both XMC and PCI in harsh environments that are constrained interfaces, supporting PCI Express or older PCI by size, weight and power (SWaP). The systems. The PCI Express interface provides up ICS-8580 features H.264 video compression/ to 3.2 Gbyte/s sustained transfers rates through decompression (codec) technology, which is nies providing solutions now an x8 PCIe Gen2 interface. System expansion widely regarded as being the optimum solution. ion into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest is supported using secondary PCI Express or It is considered to be up to 3x as efficient as tion Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you Aurora port used as a private data channel other codec solutions, allowing vital image you require for whatever type of technology, or second system bus. The X6-250M power tosearching be retained and productsdetail you are for. while occupying the consumption is 23W for typical operation. minimum possible bandwidth or storage. The module may be conduction-cooled using GE Intelligent Platforms VITA20 standard and a heat spreading plate. Charlottesville, VA. Ruggedization levels for wide-temperature (800) 368-2738. operation are from -40° to +85°C (conformal coating) and 0.1 g2/Hz vibration. [].

of embedded applications such as computeintensive solutions requiring high-speed I/O transactions. Other features include up to 1 Gbyte DDR2- ECC, 128 Mbytes flash, 4 Gbytes of NAND flash and up to three Gbit Ethernet ports. The IC-PQ3-XMCa is available in standard, extended and rugged grades. Interface Concept provides BSP for VxWorks and Linux operating systems. Other RTOS can be ported on request. The IC-PQ3-XMCa is ideally suited for a large range of embedded applications such as compute-intensive solutions requiring high-speed I/O transactions, Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for high-performance network connectivity or redundant failsafe links, powerful control element for network switches, storage subsystems, network appliances, and print and imaging devices.

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

End of Article Get Connected

with companies mentioned in this article.


COTS Journal | December 2012

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

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

XMC and prxmc Boards Roundup

Quad 1.25 GHz D/A Module Targets Beamforming and Software Radio Demand for fast D/A conversion is on the rise, particularly in applications such as beamforming and military software radio. Along such lines, Pentek has released its highest-performing D/A converter module for RF and IF waveform playback, the Cobalt Model 71671. The module delivers four

H.264 XMC Card Eases Video Compression Challenges Tech Source has introduced the low-power Condor VC 100x H.264 video capture and compression card designed to ease the video compression challenges in UAVs and in other surveillance, image detection and video recording applications. The XMC form factor module features an H.264 video encoder with baseline, main and high profile support up to

OceanServer Digital Compass Products:

independent analog outputs each through its own digital upconverter and 16-bit D/A with sampling rates to 1.25 GHz. An onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA contains factory-installed intellectual property (IP) that provides turnkey waveform generation for output signal bandwidths from less than 1 kHz up to 250 MHz with an extended interpolation range from 2x to 1,048,576x. Users can also customize the module’s operation by implementing their own IP in the FPGA. The Model 71671 uses two DAC3484 D/A converters from Texas Instruments, each providing two digital upconverters (DUCs) and 16-bit D/A channels. The board complies with the VITA 42.0 XMC interface specification, providing two gigabit serial connectors. The primary XMC connector supports x4 or x8 PCIe Gen 2 with multiple DMA controllers for efficient transfers to and from the module. The secondary connector supports two 4x or one 8x link with bit rates up to 3.125 GHz to support user-installed gigabit serial protocols such as Aurora, Serial RapidIO, or a secondary PCIe interface. An additional I/O option provides 20 low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) differential pairs to the FPGA through the PMC P14 connector. The Model 71671 fourchannel 1.25 GHz D/A with DUC and Extended Interpolation XMC starts at $12,995.

Level 4.1. It supports up to 4 composite video inputs (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) or up to 2 SDI inputs (SD-SDI/HD-SDI). The video inputs are selectable through the provided API. Condor VC 100x also has 2 stereo or 4 mono audio inputs. The Condor VC 100x card performs H.264 encoding in hardware to minimize CPU usage. Video data is captured and stored in files and made available to customer applications for processing, analysis or display on a local graphics card. The Condor VC 100x XMC configuration also supports transfer of the video stream via UDP or TCP/IP using RTP and RTSP protocols for remote display of captured data with low latency. An API is provided to manage captured video data. I/O is handled either through the front connector or through the rear Pn4 connector. Condor VC 100x is available in various ruggedized levels and has conduction or convection-cooled variants.

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

Tech Source Altamonte Springs, FL. (407) 262-7100. [].

Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. []. (508)-678-0550

Untitled-9 1

December 2012 | COTS Journal


1/12/10 10:03:31 AM



Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

End of Article

PRODUCTS Get Connected

with companies mentioned in this article.

Core i7 6U CompactPCI Blade Features Remote Management

Connected with companies mentioned in this article.blade ADLINK Technology has announced the availability of theGet cPCI-6520, a 6U single-slot CompactPCI processor forfeatured use by in robust computer makers and intelligent system integrators in mission-critical applications Get Connected with companies designed and products this section.

such as those developed for the military sector. The board sports a 22nm 3rd generation quad- and dual-core Intel

Core i7 Processor and Mobile Intel QM77 Express Chipset and has dual channel DDR3-1333/1600 ECC memory up to 16 Gbyte capacity. The cPCI-6520 is a performance computing solution with enhanced management features such as PICMG 2.9-compliant IPMI, remote management based on Intel vPro technology and optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for security management. Wide temperature range support is available up to -40° to 85°C (operating). Support for three independent displays is provided via two dual-mode DisplayPorts and DVI/VGA graphics interfaces. The DisplayPort interface supports single-link DVI or HDMI with a passive adapter cable and analog VGA output via an active adapter cable. When coupled with an ADLINK XMC-G460 graphics module installed in the XMC site, or an ADLINK cPCI-R6700 Rear Transition Module, the cPCI-6520 Series supports up to four independent displays. On-card connectivity includes two front panel Gbit Ethernet egress ports, three USB 3.0 ports, bootable CompactFlash socket, onboard 7-pin SATA 6 Gbit/s connector for external storage device and SATA 6 Gbit/s direct connector for an onboard 2.5” drive to provide flexible storage capabilities. The cPCI-6520 also provides a PMC/XMC expansion site supporting 64-bit 133 MHz PCI modules or PCI Express x8 XMC modules. Rear I/O storage interface includes up to three SATA ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support and up to eight SAS ports supporting hardware RAID by the cPCI-R6200 RTM.

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

Rugged Fibre Channel Data Storage RAID Array Phoenix International Systems has announced the mission-oriented RPC24 high-performance Fibre Channel RAID Subsystem. It features a capacity of twenty-four drives in two easily removable magazines containing up to twelve solid state disk or hard disk drives, each housed in rugged 2U (3.5-inch) panel height, 19.5-inch deep enclosure. It provides up to eight host ports of 8 Gbit Fibre Channel (followed soon by 6 Gbit SAS and 10GigE iSCSI) to SAS, or SATA devices over a 12 Gbit SAS internal bus. The unique design of the RPC24’s rugged, cableless, backplane-based, high-density 2U chassis provides a broad environmental operational envelope (-20° to +70°C, 45,000 ft altitude with SSDs), redundant, hot-swap components and vast storage capacity, while assuring the highest level of data availability. Incorporating aluminum and steel in its rugged construction, the RPC24 weighs only 51 pounds with a full complement of 24 SSDs, is less than 20 inches deep, and is certified to military specifications MILSTD-810G and MIL-STD-461E.

Phoenix International, Orange, CA. (800) 203-4800. [].

COM Express Carrier Does PMC, XMC, Mini-PCIe Expansion Connect Tech has announced two new COM Express Type 6 Carrier Boards. The COM Express Type 6 PMC/XMC and Ultra Lite carrier boards support the latest in high-performance processors, including Third Generation Intel Core i7 processors for improved processing power and performance. The COM Express Type 6 PMC/XMC is a feature-rich carrier board that offers dual PMC and XMC expansion. Quickly create an application-specific solution by selecting from an extensive range of PMC, XMC or Mini-PCIe add-on cards including wireless, video capture, data acquisition, high-speed Ethernet, cellular and user-customizable FPGA modules. The COM Express Type 6 Ultra Lite carrier board is a unique small carrier that matches the size of a COM Express Basic module (95 x 125 mm), making it ideal for space-constrained applications. Although small in size, the Ultra Lite carrier is also feature-rich and includes Mini-PCIe expansion, Micro SD card, 4x SATA ports, 5 serial ports, 4x USB 2.0/3.0 ports, 2 gigabit Ethernet, 8-bit GPIO and LVDS/VGA/HDMI video.

Connect Tech, Guelph, Ontario. (519) 836-1291. [].

ARM-Based SBC Offers a Wealth of I/O Sealevel’s Custom Design Center has rolled out the R9-4100, an embedded computer that combines RISC processing power with powerful serial and digital I/O capabilities in a rugged, compact form factor. The system is based on a 400 MHz Atmel processor boasting a 32-bit ARM instruction set for maximum performance. Equipped with 128 Mbytes of RAM and 256 Mbytes of flash memory, standard I/O includes dual Ethernet, USB 2.0 host and USB 2.0 device ports and 12 optically isolated digital I/O signals. For trouble-free, reliable serial communication in electrically noisy environments or over long distances, the R9-4100 also offers eight high-speed RS-485 serial ports with 1.5 KV port-to-port isolation. The system is housed in a rugged, small enclosure suitable for mounting almost anywhere and is rated for a full -10° to +60°C operating temperature range.

Sealevel Systems, Liberty, SC. (864) 843-4343. []. 48

COTS Journal | December 2012

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

Radar Visualization Tooland Gets Major Get Connected with companies products featuredEnhancements in this section.

Cambridge Pixel has enhanced its RadarView

Windows-based radar visualization software tool to allow complex maps and charts. For example, electronic navigation charts (ENC), tiled maps, world vector shoreline and raster images will be displayed with the primary radar video. By adding this capability, RadarView users will be able to not only capture, display and record primary radar and camera video, but also to validate and interpret the results based on the map and chart data now available. Other enhancements to RadarView include interference suppression—to reduce the display corruption that can occur when similar radars are operated nearby—and adaptive noise removal— to improve the appearance of the radar video by selective removal of background clutter.

Cambridge Pixel, Cambridge, UK. +44 (0) 1223 882174. [].

PCI Express XMC Carrier Supports Front Panel I/O Tews Technologies is expanding its product range with the TPCE275, a standard height PCI Express Revision 1.1-compatible module. It supports one slot for a single-width XMC module used to build modular, flexible and cost-effective I/O solutions. The PCI Express x1 link from the host board to the XMC module is enhanced by a PCIe Redriver, allowing safe operation of XMC modules on PCIe mainboards. VPWR is selectable via order option. The TPCE275-x0 variants provide for 12V VPWR and the TPCE275-x1 order options provide 5V VPWR. The TPCE275 supports XMC front panel I/O, and also P14 and P16 rear I/O independently. XMC P14 rear I/O connectivity is through a VME P2 style connector (IEC 606032, Type C). The I/O mapping of P14 complies with VITA-35 (PMC P4 to VME-P2, Rows A-C mapping). The card offers XMC P16 rear I/O through two 50-pin flat cable connectors mounted in a 2.54 mm grid. The PCIe edge card connector provides +12V and +3.3V. The TPCE275-1x uses the +12V of the PCIe edge card connector to generate all power supply voltages for the XMC slot (+3.3V, VPWR and +12V). According to the PCIe specification, a PCIe x1 card is limited to 6W on the +12V, which allows operation of many of the available XMC modules on the TPCE275-1x. For increased power requirements of an XMC module, the TPCE275-2x offer a PCIe Graphics Power Connector to supply the +12V for generating all the power supply voltages for the XMC slot up to 25W. A 10-pin JTAG header is available for XMC module debugging purposes. All five JTAG signals are routed directly to the XMC slot.

Liquid Crystals Reveal Hot Spots in Electronic Devices The TLC-100 Kit from Advanced Thermal Solutions features spray-on thermochromic liquid crystals that change color at different temperatures to reveal heat issues on chips and other electronic components. By applying these liquid crystals, engineers can visually find hotspots and temperature fields. TLC-100 liquid crystals are designed for heat transfer studies and mapping heat fields on electronic components or boards. The crystals change color at a specified temperature starting at red, changing to green then blue. For electronics cooling applications, this provides the user accurate information about the location of hot spots on a device, their temperature and temperature gradient. The TLC-100 Thermochromic Liquid Crystal kit is priced at $761.87.

Advanced Thermal Solutions Norwood, MA. (781) 769-2800. [].

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

200V Rectifier Families Expands with New Choices Solid State Devices has announced new additions to the 200V silicon Schottky rectifier product family. The latest Schottky products in this family feature a forward current rating of 2 amps to 20 amps. Some of the key advantages of this product family include high voltage ratings, an extremely low forward voltage drop, low reverse leakage, high peak surge current, and the availability of single die or dual centertap configurations. The devices are available in a variety of electrical, packaging and I/O configurations. In addition to their electrical advantages, all of these new Schottky rectifiers are available in hermetically sealed surface mount packages with extremely small footprints and low profiles. These devices are also available to be screened at TX, TXV, or S level. Screening is based on MIL-PRF-19500 and screening flows are available on request.

Solid State Devices, La Mirada, CA. (562) 404-4474. []. December 2012 | COTS Journal


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

Core i7-Based Panel PC Family Consolidates Multiplewith Tasks Get Connected companies and products featured in this section.

Panel PCs are an important part of the military’s toward net-centric operations. As the need to share information across the military’s networks grows, so does the demand for display panel solutions at many of the nodes in that network. Feeding such needs, Kontron Panel PC family V Panel Express is now available with the Intel Core i7 dual-core processor. Compared to its predecessors, this version offers nearly double the performance and is ideally suited for industrial high-performance applications. The Panel PC follows a 100% passive cooling concept, whereby the unit needs neither a fan nor a fan filter to be replaced and is therefore completely maintenance-free. Optimal shock, vibration and temperature resistance are all standard features of the Panel PC family. The same is true for its high-level of protection against electromagnetic interference, which is often found in industrial environments emitted from electric motors. The V Panel Express is scalable from 12.1 inches to 19 inches, serving the increased demand for larger display sizes. The front panel is made of stainless steel and offers IP65 protection against dust and spray water. The resistive touch display, with LED backlight, enables reliable operation even when working with gloves and pens is required. Optionally, the front panel can be designed to cater to customers’ specifications, including individual branding. The Kontron V Panel Express, with long-term availability of up to 5 years, supports the Intel Core i7-2655 dual-core processor with 2.2 GHz (2.9 GHz in turbo mode) and up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3 memory. The integrated range of interfaces suitable for industrial deployment includes 5x USB (1x front, 4x rear), 1x LAN 10/100, 1x LAN 10/100/1000, 2x RS-232 and 1x DVI-I.

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

5W Dual Output DC/DC Converter Provides Rugged Reliability

Capacitive Touch Platform Offers High Resolution Sensing

VPT has announced the availability of a new dual output DC/DC power converter to power electronics in unmanned vehicles, ships, armored ground vehicles and other rugged systems. The VPT5-2800D DC/DC power converter delivers up to 5W from a small footprint of approximately one square inch, meets several military standards, and features a six-sided metal package. The dual output converter satisfies rigorous design standards that include MIL-STD-704 input voltage requirements, full operation over an extended temperature range, and all-sided metal packaging to provide excellent EMI shielding. This product is on the shelf and ready to provide smooth power through harsh environments. The VPT5-2800D is a step down DC/DC power converter with dual outputs of ±5V, ±12V and ±15V. It supports full operation over -55° to +100°C military temperature range. Features include low input/output noise, input undervoltage lockout, output soft start, short circuit protection and current limit protection. It is packaged in a six-sided rugged metal enclosure that is internally conformal coated. Its size is 1.110 x 1.11” x 0.4 inches with a weight of just 22g. Compliances and certifications include MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-704A and MIL-STD-461C-F when used with a VPTF1 Series EMI filter. Also supported are DO-160, ISO-9001, DEF STAN 61-5 and DEF STAN 59-411 when used with a VPTc10-28 EMI filter. Modules are in stock now with pricing beginning at U.S. $100.00 in OEM quantities.

A family of capacitive touch ICs for a wide range of home appliances and consumer electronics enhances the ECO mode present in many green home electronics by integrating an IR decoder for system wake up. This enables the host to go into sleep mode during system standby and minimizes the overall power consumption. The analog sensor front end in the SX95xx platform from Semtech is equipped with a highresolution ADC, which can detect down to 4fF of capacitance and is optimized for robust touch and proximity detection. These controllers also feature an advanced 256-step LED driver for various blinking and breathing control providing enhanced visual feedback. The SX9510/11/12/13 are in an 8-channel configuration and are offered as space saving 4 mm x 4 mm 20-QFN and 4.4 mm x 7.8 mm 24-TSSOP packages; and the SX9500/01 provide 4-channels in a tiny 3 mm x3 mm 20-QFN package. Semtech guarantees all of these devices to operate over the extended (-40° to +85°C) temperature range. Key features include a high resolution touch sensing solution in eight- and four-channel versions with options for enhanced proximity sensing, integrated IR decoder for ECO system design, built-in LED drivers for visual feedback and an onchip buzzer control for audible feedback.

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

Semtech, Camarillo, CA. (805) 498-2111. [].

15W DC/DC Converter Provides 16 to 160 VDC Input Range Murata Power Solutions has announced its RUW15 series of 15W ultra-wide single output isolated DC/DC converters. These were developed for applications where the input voltage may vary widely and a hold-up capability is required. Accommodating an extremely wide input range from 16 to 160 VDC, the RUW series has a high immunity to input surges and is able to “ride-through” drop-outs of indefinite duration across the input range by addition of a relatively small external capacitor. For example, the output can be maintained for up to 120 ms at full load from any input when using a 900 uF capacitor. Models are available with the nominal outputs of 5, 12 or 24 VDC.

Murata Power Solutions, Mansfield, MA. (508) 339-3000. []. 50

COTS Journal | December 2012


PXI Frequency Reference Module Supports High Precision Agilent Technologies has introduced a highprecision PXIe frequency reference. The Agilent M9300A generates clean 10 MHz and 100 MHz signals for high-performance RF systems. Agilent designed the M9300A for applications that require a low phase noise, 100 MHz local oscillator, such as those in a wide variety of wireless and aerospace/defense test systems. The new frequency reference is packaged into a one-slot PXIe module and uses a fractional-N design, which minimizes phase noise and spurs. The M9300A features the ability to lock to an external reference from 1 to 110 MHz and provide flexibility with multiple outputs all with excellent performance. Available now, the Agilent M9300A PXIe frequency reference is priced at $4,099. One M9300A module can be shared between multiple modular instruments.

Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, CA. (650) 752-5000. [].

Untitled-2 1

Multichannel Software Radio Module Sports Virtex-7 FPGAs Complete FPGA-based solutions are the trend in software radio applications. Feeding those needs, Pentek has announced the newest member of its highly popular Onyx family of multichannel, high-speed software radio XMC FPGA modules. The Onyx Model 71720 3-channel, 200 MHz A/D, 2-channel 800 MHz D/A module is based on the high-density Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA. Pentek is among the first board suppliers to leverage the high-performance, lowpower Virtex-7 FPGA family, addressing the most challenging unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), radar and communications applications. GateXpress is a sophisticated FPGA-PCIe hardware engine for managing the reconfiguration of the FPGA, representing a major enhancement in the Onyx architecture. At power up, the GateXpress manager immediately presents a PCIe target to the host computer for discovery and enumeration, giving the FPGA time to load from Flash. This is especially important for larger FPGAs where the loading time can exceed the PCIe discovery window, typically 100 ms on most PCs. The Model 71720 XMC module is designed for both air-cooled and conduction-cooled operating environments. It is available on carriers for 3U / 6U CompactPCI (Models 73720/72720), 3U VPX (Model 53720) and PCIe (Model 78720). Software support packages are available for Linux, Windows and VxWorks operating systems. For systems that require custom functions, IP can be developed using the Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, extending or even replacing the factory-installed functions. The Model 71720 XMC module with 4 Gbytes of memory starts at $15,995. Additional FPGA options are available.

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

11/8/12 December 2012 | COTS Journal

8:29 AM



Solid or Spin... we go both ways

Core i7 6U VPX Module Can be Conduction- or Air-Cooled

Ruggedized VPX Driv Drive v e Storage S torage Module Whatever your drive mount criteria criteria, everyone knows the reputation reputation, value and endurance of Phoenix products. The new VP1-250X, compatible with both solid state or rotating drives, has direct point-to-point connectivity or uses the PCI Express interface with the on-board SATA controller. It is available in conduction cooled , conduction with REDI covers (VITA 48) and air cooled (shown) configurations.

We Put the State of Art to Work


Untitled-1 1

A conduction- or air-cooled 6U VPX SBC supports second and third generation Intel Core i7 processors. With a dual- or quad-core processor, 16 Gbytes of memory and dual PMC/XMC sites, the XCalibur4440 from Extreme Engineering Solutions is a suitable platform for the most demanding military applications. The XCalibur4440 features include a choice of Intel Core i7-2655LE, -2610UE, -3555LE, -3517UE and -3612QE processors and up to 16 Gbytes of DDR3-1600 ECC SDRAM in two channels and 32 Mbytes of boot flash and up to 256 Gbytes of user flash. It is available in an OpenVPX-compliant conduction- or air-cooled 6U VPX form factor. Interfaces include dual PMC/XMC interfaces with rear I/O and front panel I/O support and four Ethernet ports. There is one HDMI/ DVI-D video port, four USB 2.0 ports and four SATA 3.0 Gbit/s ports.

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. []. 9/7/12 9:54 AM

VME USB3 Carrier with Removable Drive Modules Digital PWM Controllers Offer Ultra-Low Standby Power


Removable storage for VME systems


Fast USB3 transfer rates. Compatible with USB2


Drive modules rated for 100,000 mating cycles


Drive modules use COTs 2.5� SATA drives


SATA interface option also available

RedRockTechnologies,Inc. 480Ͳ483Ͳ3777

Two new digital pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers offer extremely low standby power consumption to just 10mW at up to 12W output power and 20 mW at up to 24W output power. The iW1761 and iW1762 controllers from iWatt exceed current energy standards in the markets in which the company competes, including the proposed stringent 2012 U.S. DoE (1) regulation requiring under 100 mW AC/DC adapter standby power consumption and tighter efficiency requirements. Like the previous iWatt parts, both the iW1761 and iW1762 enable high power density in an ultra-small overall adapter size. In addition to very low standby power consumption, these new controllers provide good dynamic load response (DLR). The iW1761 and iW1762 are priced in 1,000-piece quantities at $0.34 for both parts.

iWatt, Campbell, CA. (408) 374-4200. []. 52

Untitled-13 1

COTS Journal | December 2012

9/4/12 4:15 PM

Why Should Researching SBCs Be More Difficult Than Car Shopping? INTELLIGENTSYSTEMSSOURCE.COM IS A COMPARISON TOOL FOR DESIGN ENGINEERS LOOKING FOR CUSTOM AND OFF-THE- SHELF SBCS AND SYSTEM MODULES. Today’s systems combine an array of very complex elements from multiple manufactures. To assist in these complex architectures, ISS has built a simple tool that will source products from an array of companies for a side by side comparison and provide purchase support.


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

Qseven Starter Kit Offers Quick Way to ARM-Based Designs Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

A new Qseven Starter Kit provides developers with a complete package to rapidly prototype embedded systems for ARM designs. Thanks to their compact size and extremely low power, Qseven embedded computer modules based on ARM architectures are a good solution for virtually any low-power or ultra-mobile embedded PC application. To minimize the development costs of such systems, congatec has combined all the necessary components in a comprehensive starter kit. The kit’s centerpiece is the new conga-QMX6 Qseven module, based on the Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 processor. The module has an ingenious 3D-capable high-end HD graphics interface with extremely low power consumption. The integrated graphics core is designed for multimedia applications featuring a video processing unit (VPU), 2D and 3D graphics (GPU2D/3D), four shaders with up to 200 MT/s (million triangles/second) plus dual stream with 1080p/720p. The available graphics interfaces include HDMI v1.4 and 18/24 bit dual channel LVDS with a resolution of up to 1920x1200 (WUXGA). The starter kit also includes the flexible Qseven evaluation carrier board, conga-QEVAL, and a matching 12V power adapter. With the supplied cable set, it takes just minutes to build a compact demo system. The conga-QEVAL is easy to integrate and offers multiple interfaces including five USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI, 18/24 bit LVDS and a PCI Express socket. For the connection of mass storage devices, 1x SATA and SD card are integrated on the baseboard. The Qseven module itself provides a microSD socket, and as an optional extra, eight gigabytes of soldered solid state drive (eMMC) for robust applications.

Congatec, San Diego, CA. (858) 457-2600. [].

Conduction Cooled OpenVPX StoreEngine Moves 750 Mbyte/s

2U Rackmount Network Server Serves Comms Applications

A scalable storage server designed for high-performance embedded systems provides the built-in capability to operate as a high-bandwidth data recorder, embedded RAID or file server. The StoreEngine from Critical I/O is an OpenVPX Conduction Cooled scalable solid state storage blade that is easily scalable in storage capacity and performance by simply adding additional StoreEngine blades, which seamlessly work together. StoreEngine provides superior storage capability, ultra high performance and high capacity all within a small size, weight and power (SWaP) footprint. StoreEngine is suitable for high-bandwidth data recording, file serving and general purpose RAID applications. Embedded storage applications are often challenging as they require a wide range of performance, capacity and interface options—and this is particularly true for high-bandwidth data recording functions. So StoreEngine is designed to address these specialized requirements by making it highly configurable and easy to scale by adding additional blades. File serving, RAID and data recording functions are all built in and available with the StoreEngine blade. And now StoreEngine is available in a highly rugged conduction-cooled OpenVPX form factor, enabling this advanced storage product to be used in flight or other rugged environments.

A highly functional and modular 2U rackmount communication appliance offers a comprehensive solution for customers in the military network security, communications and infrastructure market. The modular design of the CAR-5020 from American Portwell utilizes the Intel Platform for Communications Infrastructure, formerly codenamed “Crystal Forest.” The platform features Intel QuickAssist Technology, supports dual processors up to 16 cores with CPU support for Level 3 Cache (up to 40 Mbytes), 16 DIMMs and DDR3 240pin memory slots. Specifically, the CAR-5020 supports dual Intel Xeon processors E5-2600 series with up to 16 cores and 2 QPI links. The platform supports dual-channel DDR3 1333/1066 UDIMM/ RDIMM memory with maximum capacity up to 128 Gbytes. The three swappable NIC module card slots on the CAR-5020 appliance offer a wide range of choices to customers to accommodate Ethernet interfaces, for example, 4/8GbE copper or 2/4/8GbE fiber with 0/1/2 bypass segments; expandable with 2 ports 10GbE (RJ45/ SFP+) with or without bypass. In addition, there are four expansion slots—two PCI-E x8 Gen2 slots and two PCI-E x8 Gen1 slots to satisfy various customer demands. The CAR-5020 appliance implements both IPMI 2.0 and Power Management Bus I/O on-board, providing robust remote monitoring and management capabilities.

Critical I/O, Irvine, CA. (949) 553-2200. [].

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

Miniature Triaxial Accelerometer Targets Engine Testing A piezoelectric accelerometer supports the high-precision shock and vibration testing of hard drives, electronic peripherals, engine rotor and stator blades, as well as their associated components. The Endevco 35A miniature triaxial ISOTRON from Meggitt Sensing Systems offers low-impedance output for its dimensional size. The shear mode Endevco 35A provides a complete measurement package for the collection of IEPE acceleration data across three orthogonal axes. The integral internal amplifier of the model 35A converts high-impedance accelerometer charge input into low-impedance voltage output. Output is transmitted through the same wires that supply required 4 mA constant current power.

Meggitt Sensing Systems, Fribourg, Switzerland, +41 26 407 11 11. []. 54

COTS Journal | December 2012


CompactPCI Serial SBC Sports Quad-Core i7 A rich-featured high-performance 4HP/3U CompactPCI Serial CPU board is equipped with an Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge + ECC (dual- or quad-core) mobile processor based on 22nm technology. The front panel of the SC1-Allegro from EKF Elektronik is provided with two Gigabit Ethernet jacks, two USB 3.0 receptacles and two Mini-DisplayPort connectors for attachment of high-resolution digital displays. The module is equipped with up to 16 Gbytes RAM with ECC support. 8 Gbytes of memory is provided for rugged applications, and another 8 Gbytes are available via the DDR3 ECC SO-DIMM socket. As an option, a low-profile mezzanine module with dual mSATA SSDs may serve as a high-speed RAID mass storage solution. The SC1-ALLEGRO backplane connectors comply with the PICMG CompactPCI Serial system slot specification.

EKF Elektronik, Hamm, Germany. +49 (0)2381/6890-0. [].

Vibration Amplifier Is Designed for Jet Engine Measurements A microprocessor-based vibration amplifier is designed to condition and display rotating machinery data while offering simultaneous outputs as broadband, acceleration, velocity and displacement. The Endevco 6634C from Meggitt Sensing Systems is designed to accept inputs from a single-ended, differential piezoelectric or ISOTRON (IEPE) accelerometer, velocity coil or remote charge converter. Full-scale AC and DC output ranges, as well as sensitivity, are user programmable in selectable engineering units and are representative of acceleration, velocity or displacement. Programming is accomplished from the front panel keyboard or optional RS-232 computer interface. Units also have an optional six-pole filter, which may be programmed from the front panel. Up to ten unique setups can be stored and recalled from the non-volatile memory, while two TTL-compatible latched alarm outputs provide both warning and alert functions. An optional 19-inch mounting rack, also available from Meggitt Sensing Systems, can accommodate up to six units. With its versatility to accept and condition multiple transducer output types, the Endevco 6634C vibration amplifier is suitable for the turbine and generator health monitoring of jet engines, generators, turbines and pumps. They are also well-suited for aerospace engine test cell applications, which further incorporate the use of high-temperature accelerometers, or where vibration data is required to be expressed in terms of velocity. These rugged units may also be used with other balanced differential output devices. Additional applications include fixed and mobile test cells for small turbofans and air cyclers, as well as in-laboratory test rigs.

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

Humidity and Temp Sensor Features Easy Scaling A new sensor represents a cost-effective, highly accurate and reliable solution for measuring relative air humidity and temperature. The precision of the EE160 by E+E Elektronik is combined with the latest manufacturing technologies to create a product with an attractive price/performance ratio. The enclosure minimizes installation costs and provides outstanding protection against contamination and condensation, thus ensuring flawless operation. The EE160 employs the new humidity/temperature E+E sensor element HCT01 with excellent long-term stability and resistance against pollutants. In combination with a long calibration experience, the EE160 provides a measurement accuracy of Âą2.5%RH and is available for wall or ductmounting with current, voltage or Modbus RTU output.

E+E Elektronik Engerwitzdorf, Austria. +43 7235-605-0. [].

Core i7-Based SFF System Works for Development, Demo or Deployment A small form factor (SFF) system with commercial connectors can be used as a COM Express development platform, a deployable SFF system, or a demo platform for applications requiring a high-performance Intel Core i7 processor solution. The XPand6104 from Extreme Engineering Solutions comes in a natural convection-cooled SFF enclosure with dimensions of 2.10 in. (H) x 4.88 in. (W) x 7.70 in. (L) and weighing less than 4 lbs. It includes an XPedite7450 Intel Core i7 ruggedized COM Express module and an optional 1.8 in. SSD. The front panel features an RJ-45 Ethernet connector to a 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 connector to a USB 2.0 port, and an eSATA connector to a SATA 3.0 Gbit/s port.

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. []. December 2012 | COTS Journal


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

SFF SignalGetProcessing Platform OpenVPX Ecosystem Connected with companies Expands and products featured in this section.

Elma Electronic, in cooperation with Pentek and Concurrent Technologies, has developed a small form factor (SFF), OpenVPX-based signal acquisition system for processing and recording applications. The new SigPro1, the first in Elma’s OpenATR Series of systems, demonstrates interoperability of a multivendor OpenVPX-compliant board set, strengthening the VPX ecosystem and reducing user dependence on singlesourced systems. Recording at over 200 Mbytes/s, the rugged SFF signal processing platform can be used for data acquisition, radar, beam forming and other signal processing applications in harsh environments. It can operate in dual channel record and playback mode with dual A/D converters operating at 200 Msamples/s, 14-bit or 500 Msamples/s, 12-bit. The system is based on Pentek’s Cobalt series FPGA XMC with a high-performance A/D front end, Concurrent Technologies’ 803 Series 3U VPX-REDI Core i7 single board computer for processing and a storage subsystem using high capacity solid state disks developed by Elma. The new SigPro1 is a very configurable hardware platform base for multiple uses. Any of Pentek’s FPGA cards, all of which support configurable front-end data acquisition and recording environments using Pentek’s Talon data record software, can be implemented in the new SFF system. The platform uses a three-slot VPX backplane, with the card payload packaged in a compact, conduction-cooled chassis measuring only 5.12 x 6.9 x 12.25 inches. The SigPro1 is passively cooled, with sealed MIL-STD DTL 38999 connectors for I/O. SigPro1, which operates from a 28 VDC power supply, includes two-output D/A converters and two 2-1/2” SATA drives. Other I/O includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB ports and an external VGA port. Other FPGA firmware and application software can be integrated into the new SFF signal processing platform. It is offered by Elma as a general purpose platform and by Pentek with its Talon Data Record software.

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

Graphics XMC Delivers Performance for Constrained Environments

Projected Capacitive Panel Is Resistive Touch Replacement

A high-performance graphics board designed for demanding graphics applications in harsh environments features the latest E6460 graphics processing unit from AMD to deliver the highest possible performance from a restricted power envelope. The rugged XMCGA7 mezzanine from GE Intelligent Platforms addresses typical applications that include command and control workstations, radar consoles and cockpit displays. The XMCGA7 provides a form, fit and function upgrade to its predecessor, the XMCGA6, and is a further example of GE’s strategy to maximize the long-term value of customer investments, minimize cost of ownership and provide support for the multi-year deployments typical of the defense industry. Depending on the build variant, the XMCGA7 provides up to four independent graphics channels, which can be either two channels of DVI or VGA or four channels of DVI. In addition to pin-compatible rear outputs, the XMCGA7 optionally offers front output, providing greater flexibility for applications in benign environments, and also easing initial lab development. Drivers are available for both Windows and Linux operating systems.

Sophisticated displays for harsh environment applications require high-quality state-of-the-art touch panel solutions. Display Solution has announced the availability of Evervision, a new improved projected capacitive touch panel (IPCT) product line from Enervisions. The product specifically addresses the challenge of rising costs of projected capacitive touch technology when applied to customized small order quantities with long term availability. Due to mechanical dimensions that are identical with the existing resistive touch panel standard, IPCT touch panels can be integrated into current projects in the course of a redesign without the need to modify the enclosure. Projected capacitive touch technology allows touch recognition through a glass surface mounted on top of the display. The IPCT touch panel’s glass surface allows cleansing and disinfection with almost all agents. Evervision offers IPCT in sizes from 3.5 inch up to 10.2 inch. The IPCT touch panel comes with a durable surface hardness of 7H, reliably detects up to five fingers and is neither sensitive to detergents nor to disinfectants. Its transparency is 85 percent. Further characteristics are an I2C interface (USB in Q1/2013) and a chip-on-flex structure.

GE Intelligent Platforms, Huntsville, AL. (256) 382-8137. [].

Enervision, Karlsruhe, Germany. +49 (0)721 82447-53. []. Display Solution, Gilching, Germany. +49 (0)8105-73 403-0. [].

PCIe Network Board Serves Up Core i3-2115 The WIN SoNIC module from Win Enterprises supports the 32nm Intel Xeon processor E3-1125 or Intel with 2 or 4 cores. It also incorporates the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx series with Intel QuickAssist technology. It features a dual 10 GbE optical LAN with modular expansion to 100 GbE. The WIN SoNIC (System-on-NIC) uses software from Wind River and other Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance members to consolidate network workloads through integrated data preprocessing, deep packet inspection, crypto acceleration and dual 10 GbE optical LAN capabilities, which will be expandable to 100 GbE. WIN SoNIC is a standard half-length PCIe card that connects to network servers through a PCIe slot to enable significant performance improvements in broadband networking.

WIN Enterprises, North Andover, MA. (978) 688-2000. []. 56

COTS Journal | December 2012


PC/104 Express Frame Grabber Provides 8 Channels An 8-Channel PC/104 Express Frame Gabber is targeted for demanding real-time situational awareness systems like remote video surveillance, traffic monitoring and control of vehicle-based video capture in hostile environments. The AVC8000X from Advanced Micro Peripherals delivers high-performance 8-channel video capture and overlay on a single PC/104 form factor card. Combining high throughput, ruggedness and flexibility, the AVC8000X captures up to eight concurrent analog PAL/NTSC/RS170 video inputs for local system display, or if preferred, on-going software analysis and processing. Features include 8 live NTSC/PAL video inputs (240 fps) and 8 mono audio inputs and 8 D1 size capture at full frame rate. The module also allows arbitrary video window sizing, cropping and scaling.

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

PCIe Frame Grabber Captures 8 Channels of NTSC/PAL A/V

Industrial ATX Form Factor Motherboard Has 3rd Gen Core Processors

A new frame grabber is equipped with eight asynchronous input channels and a high-speed PCI-Express x 1 interface. With the Model 812 PCI Express 8-Channel Frame Grabber from Sensoray, each video channel captures at full frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps) for NTSC or 25 fps for PAL, which results in an aggregate frame rate of up to 240 fps for NTSC or 200 fps for PAL. Associatively, eight channels of mono audio can be captured as well. The board implements a PCI Express x 1 interface that facilitates plug and play operation into any width of PCI Express slots. All operating power is supplied from the PCI Express bus and no external power supply is needed. Sensoray provides an SDK for the Model 812 that includes drivers and programming samples for both Windows and Linux operating systems. OEM quantity 2-9 pricing for the Model 812 is $184.

A new industrial ATX form factor motherboard is based on Intel’s mobile QM77 PCH supporting the latest third generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 (formerly codenamed Ivy Bridge) processor with power management technology, DDR3 support and dual Gigabit Ethernet. The RUBY-D714VG2AR from American Portwell also features four 240-pin DIMM sockets to support dual-channel DDR3 1600/1333 SDRAM up to 32 Gbytes; dual display support via VGA/DVI-D/HDMI and one PCIe x16 (PCIe x16 signal). In addition, there is one PCIe x16 (PCIe x4 signal), one PCIe x4 (PCIe x1 signal), four PCI expansion slots and one Mini PCIe socket. Dual Intel GbE LANs (one of which can support iAMT 8.0) are supported along with four USB 3.0 connections at rear I/O and 6 USB 2.0 connections via onboard headers. The board also has five SATA interfaces (2 x SATA 6 Gbits/s, 3 x SATA 3 Gbits/s) with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and CF-SATA II; plus six serial ports including 4 x RS-232 and 2 x RS-232/422/485. The new RUBY-D714VG2AR offers many significant improvements in computing performance and lower power consumption over the previous Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processor-based solutions. The key difference is that the RUBY-D714VG2AR, even when equipped with the Core i7 CPU, has a thermal design power (TDP) at 77W, which is far lower than the previous 95W via the 2nd generation Core processors. PCIe x16 Gen 3 supports much greater graphics processing speed for users who need high-performance add-on graphics cards and to fulfill the high-end requirements from current imaging applications. The built-in Intel HD Graphics 4000/2500 architecture supplies the enhanced graphics capabilities demanded by such industries as medical and digital signage at no extra cost.

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

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

COM Express Carrier Offers I/O Plus Mini PCIe Expansion Site A new carrier card hosts Type 2 or Type 3 COM Express modules in a small footprint of only 95 mm x 125 mm. Designed for extreme applications, the ACEX4405 from Acromag has an extra rigid PCB and extended temperature support. Features include dual ports for Gigabit Ethernet, RS-232/422 and USB plus many other features. A mini PCIe slot adds further flexibility for expanded, high-speed I/O capabilities. Locking and latching connectors prevent shock or vibration from loosening cables. Acromag’s carrier card supports a wide variety of applications with a broad feature set. In addition to the Ethernet, serial and USB support, the ACEX4405 includes dual SATA connectors, audio and VGA video interfaces. The single quantity list price is $695.

Acromag, Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0865. []. December 2012 | COTS Journal



December 2011

January 2012

Tech Focus: XMCs and

Tech Focus: VME SBCs

Processor XMCs Roundup

for Tech Refresh Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing





The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Small UAV Payloads Enable Advanced Communications

5 Technology Trends That Change the Game



Rugged Box Systems Evolve to Fit Constrained Environments

ATCA and CompactPCI Find Their Military System Niches

— VME and VPX Solutions Meet Volume 13 Number 12 December 2011

Airborne Data Storage Needs

An RTC Group Publication

— Ethernet and Other Links Feed Volume 14 Number 1 January 2012

Rising Sensor Bandwidth Demands

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook The Transformation of MILCOM................................................. 6

Publisher’s Notebook Buried in Trash................................................................................ 6

Special Feature—SWaP Hurdles for Small UAV Controls Embedded Processing Brings More Functionality to Small UAVs.................................................................................... 10

Special Feature—Five Game-Changing Technology Trends for the Military Five Game-Changer Technology Trends Facing the Military.... 10

Jeff Child

Tech Recon—I/O Architectures in Rugged Box-Level Systems Rugged Box Systems Technologies Confront I/O Challenges.... 18 Jeff Child

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

System Development—VPX and VME Tackle Airborne I/O and Data Storage VME and VPX Data Storage Solutions Face Airborne Challenges..................................................................................... 34 Tom Bohman, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems

Technology Focus—XMCs and Processor XMCs XMCs and PrXMCs Bring Modularity into the Fabric Era Needs....................................................................................... 48 Jeff Child

XMC and PrXMC Roundup........................................................ 50 Editorial The Tech All Around Us............................................................... 74

Jeff Child

Single Event Effects Complicate Military Avionics System Design............................................................................................ 20 Minal Sawant, Microsemi

Middleware Evolves to Suit the Era of Multicore....................... 32 Marshall Oberg-Porter, Objective Interface Systems

Tech Recon—ATCA and CompactPCI Take Post-Acceptance Victory Laps ATCA Military Adoption Mirrors Telecom Success.................... 38 John Long, Radisys

Embedded Computer Building Blocks Serve High-Bandwidth Military Needs............................................................................... 46 David Pursley, Kontron

System Development—10 Gbit Ethernet as Board- and SystemLevel Data Plane New Focus for Sensor Data Recording Tech: Scalability............ 50 Greg Bolstad, Critical I/O

10 GbE Digital Recording Feeds Demands from Wideband Sensors........................................................................................... 58 Rodger Hosking, Pentek

Technology Focus—VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Refresh-Centric SBCs Keep VME’s Immortality on Track......... 64 Jeff Child

VME SBCs for Tech Refresh......................................................... 66 Editorial The Way Ahead for Unmanned Tech........................................... 82


COTS Journal | December 2012


February 2012

March 2012

Tech Focus: CompactPCI and

Tech Focus: Small Form

CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup

Factor Boards Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

FPGA Boards Revamp Radar and SIGINT Designs




Power Supplies Evolve to Better Meet Rugged Military Needs

— Embedded Software Solutions Up Volume 14 Number 2 February 2012

Their Security, Reliability Game

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook A Defense Plan: “Sustaining Global Leadership: Priorities for the 21st Century Defense”.................................................................... 6 Special Feature—FPGA Boards in Radar and SIGINT FPGA Processing Boards Fuel Radar and SIGINT Advances..... 10 Jeff Child

FPGAs Keep Pace with Expanding Defense Mission Challenges..................................................................................... 18 Tom Roberts, Mercury Computer Systems

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

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

Tech Recon—Power Supply Trends for Board and Box Level Systems Power Converter Technologies Adapt to Rugged Military Needs............................................................................... 36 Jeff Child

System Development—Secure Embedded Systems SPARK and MILS Aid Secure Military System Design............... 42 Greg Gicca, AdaCore

Relay Approach Improves Military Database Replication.......... 48 Steve Graves, McObject

Technology Focus—CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards CompactPCI Moves Forward as Serial Version Gains Ground.. 54 Jeff Child

CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup............ 56 Editorial More Than Ever, SWaP Matters................................................... 70

GPUs Line Up for General Purpose Computing Duties

DoD Budget Report: Major Programs Overview Volume 14 Number 3 March 2012

13th Annual End-of-Life Directory

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook And We’re Off! 2012 Defense Budget............................................ 6 Special Feature—GPGPUs vs. FPGAs for Military Signal Processing GPGPU Solutions Gear Up for Signal Processing Duties.......... 10 Jeff Child

Case Study: Adapting GPGPU Tech for Mil DSP Use................ 16 Ian Stalker and Ivan Straznicky, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions

Exclusive Roundtable: Experts Discuss Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE)................................................. 20 Tech Recon—DoD Budget Report: Major Programs Leaner Major Programs Budget Keeps Technology in Forefront........................................................................................ 26 Jeff Child

System Development—Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory Many Roads to Keeping Obsolescence Issues in Check............. 40 Jeff Child

Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory............. 42 Die Extraction Strategy Solves DMSMS Challenges................... 46 Brian Shumaker, Global Circuit Innovations

Technology Focus—Small Form Factor Boards Small Form Factor Boards Up Their Compute Density Game................................................................................ 50 Jeff Child

Small Form Factor Boards Roundup........................................... 52 Editorial The Army and Agile Acquisition.................................................. 66

December 2012 | COTS Journal



April 2012

May 2012 Tech Focus: Ethernet S witch B oards Roun Round dup Switch Boards Roundup

Tech Focus: FPGA Processing Boards Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Four Winning Embedded Computer Form Factors

Tech Upgrades Fuel Military Vehicle Advances


Technology Convergence Fuels Military Robotics

— Shielding and Signal Integrity

Challenge Rugged System Designs


VME and OpenVPX Team Up for Hybrid Solutions

— Mil Batteries and Power Supplies Volume 14 Number 4 April 2012

An RTC Group Publication

Volume 14 Number 5 May 2012

Adapt to Changing Needs

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook The Army’s All-in Bet..................................................................... 6

Publisher’s Notebook Military Systems and Security........................................................ 6

Special Feature—Four Embedded Form Factors with the Most Secure Future Futureproof Form Factors: Picking the Winners........................ 10

Special Feature—Military Vehicle Upgrades and Modernization Computing and Comms Enable Mil Vehicle Modernization Efforts............................................................................................ 10

Jeff Child

One Size Doesn’t Fit All in Form Factor Choice......................... 18 David Pursley, Kontron

FPGAs and GPGPUs Vie for Military System Design Mindshare..................................................................................... 26 Marc Couture, Mercury Computer Systems

Jeff Child

VICTORY Initiative Lays Path to Improve Vehicle C4ISR Designs.......................................................................................... 16 David Jedynak, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions

IEEE Instrumentation Standard Suits Needs of Military System Designs.......................................................................................... 22 Neal Stollon, HDL Dynamics

Tech Recon—Advances in Military Robotics Ambitious Road Ahead for Military Robotics Technology........ 36 Jeff Child

System Development—Harsh Environment Testing for Boards and Enclosures EMI Shielding for Enclosures Calls for Application-Specific Thinking........................................................................................ 44 Joel Young, Crenlo

Signal Integrity and OpenVPX Backplane Architecture Trends............................................................................................ 48 Michael Munroe, Elma Electronic

Technology Focus—Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards Blend Fabric and Network Roles............................................................................................... 54 Jeff Child

Ethernet Switch Boards Roundup............................................... 56 Editorial Engineering Cost Control............................................................ 70


COTS Journal | December 2012

Tech Recon—Hybrid Systems Blend OpenVPX and Legacy VME Hybrid Backplanes Link Legacy VME with OpenVPX Performance.................................................................................. 32 Jeff Child

System Development—Military Batteries and Power Converters Mil Batteries and Power Supplies Advance Their Game............ 42 Jeff Child

Thermal Management: Key to Designing for Harsh Environments................................................................................ 48 Dennis Scott, Noren Products

Technology Focus—FPGA Processing Boards FPGA Boards Crank Up Their Processing Muscle..................... 56 Jeff Child

FPGA Processing Boards Roundup............................................. 58 Editorial Superheroes and Supercomputing............................................... 70


June 2012

July 2012 Tech Focus: PC/104 and PC/104

Tech Focus:

Family Boards Roundup

OpenVPX SBC Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing



The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Military Interconnect Strategies Cover 1553, Ethernet and More

Pre-Integrated Systems Feed Tech Readiness Needs



Data Storage Technologies Offer Many Choices

Modeling and Language Advances Enhance Safety-Critical Software

— OpenVPX Fabrics Vie For Volume 14 Number 6 June 2012

Military Mindshare

An RTC Group Publication

— Volume 14 Number 7 July 2012

Open Architecture Strategies Aid Navy Modernization

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook New Defense Budget Requires COTS............................................ 6

Publisher’s Notebook Primes and Mice Dance.................................................................. 6

Special Feature—Military Interconnect Strategies: 1553, Ethernet and More Ethernet and 1553 Position Themselves along Military I/O Continuum.................................................................................... 10

Special Feature—Pre-Integrated Systems and Technology Readiness Tech Readiness Needs Propel Pre-Integrated System Advances........................................................................................ 10

Jeff Child

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

Tech Recon—Military Data Storage: SSD and HDD Tradeoffs Military Storage Systems Span Many Formats and Sizes........... 28 Jeff Child

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

System Development—Fabric Bandwidth Comparisons on VPX Backplanes OpenVPX Backplane Fabric Choice Calls for Careful Analyses......................................................................................... 44 Peter Thompson, GE Intelligent Platforms

Technology Focus—PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards PC/104 Reaches its 20th Year on Solid Footing.......................... 56 Jeff Child

PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup............................ 58 Editorial Star Wars vs. Real Missile Defense............................................... 74

Jeff Child

Pre-Integrated Systems Feed Needs of Tightening Engineering Resources....................................................................................... 20 JC Ramirez, ADL Embedded Solutions

Intelligent I/O Approach Lets Developers Right-Size Systems.......................................................................................... 26 Lino Massafra, North Atlantic Industries

Pre-Integrated Systems Expedite Defense Application Deployment................................................................................... 34 John Long, Radisys

Tech Recon—Safety-Critical and Security Software and Standards Model-Based Design Aids Signal Processing Prototyping......... 40 Stephan van Beek, Sudhir Sharma and Sudeepa Prakash, The Mathworks

Ada 2012: A New Language for Safe and Secure Software......... 46 Benjamin M. Brosgol, AdaCore

System Development—Technologies for Navy Modernization Enabling Rapid Technology Insertion in Submarine Combat Systems.......................................................................................... 52 Gordon Hunt, Real-Time Innovations

Technology Focus—OpenVPX SBCs OpenVPX Plants More Seeds with Products and Program Wins............................................................................... 58 Jeff Child

OpenVPX SBC Roundup............................................................. 60 Editorial Getting It Right with Mobile Devices.......................................... 74

December 2012 | COTS Journal



August 2012

September 2012

Tech Focus:

Tech Focus:

COM Express Board Roundup

Test and Instrumentation Board Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Tech Insertion Programs Tap Strengths of VME, cPCI and VPX

Net-Centric Military Communications Start to Coalesce



Display Technologies Enable Complex Command Systems

Mobility Requirements Drive Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs

— Counter-IED Operations Present Volume 14 Number 8 August 2012

Data Challenges

An RTC Group Publication

— Space-Qualified Boards and ICs Volume 14 Number 9 September 2012

Meet Rad-Hard Needs

An RTC Group Publication

Publisher’s Notebook To Partner or Not to Partner.......................................................... 6

Publisher’s Notebook The End of the Storm..................................................................... 6

Special Feature—VME, VPX and cPCI Target Tech Insertion Needs VME, cPCI and VPX Fuel Technology Upgrade Efforts............ 10

Special Feature—Processing Solutions for the Net-Centric Military Networking and Comms Evolve into Game-Changing Military Resources....................................................................................... 10

Jeff Child

Managing Tech Insertion for Sensor Processing Subsystems..... 18 Thomas Roberts, Mercury Computer Systems

VME Still the Right Choice for Radar Upgrades........................ 24 Andrew Reddig, Tek Microsystems

Many Paths Lead to Tech Refresh Success................................... 32 R.J. McLaren and Vincent Chuffart, Kontron

Tech Recon—Displays and Subsystems for Command and Control Display Advances Enable Larger, More Complex Command Systems.......................................................................................... 40 Jeff Child

Case Study: APUs Solve Real-Time Image Processing Challenge....................................................................................... 48 Cameron Swen, AMD Embedded Solutions

System Development—Military Instrumentation and Test Hurdles for Structuring Counter-IED Data Are Many.............. 52 Dr. Michael Stumborg, Intelligent Software Solutions

Technology Focus—COM Express Boards COM Express Continues its Quick Ascent toward Military Acceptance..................................................................................... 58 Jeff Child

COM Express Boards Roundup................................................... 60 Editorial EW and IT: An Evolving Marriage............................................... 74


COTS Journal | December 2012

Jeff Child

FPGA Implementations Sometimes Need a Coprocessor.......... 20 Jeff Milrod, Bittware

Fast Processors Drive Need for Cooling Mobile Electronics...... 30 Jim Burnett, Aspen Systems

Tech Recon—Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs Serve Mobile, Connected Military.......................................................................................... 36 Jeff Child

System Development—Space-Qualified Electronics and Subsystems Space-Qualified ICs and Systems Leap New Hurdles................. 46 Jeff Child

Space Industry Looks toward On-the-Fly Reconfiguration....... 54 Bernard Bancelin and Nicolas Ganry, Atmel

Technology Focus—Test and Instrumentation Boards PXI and PXI Express Dominate Test and Instrumentation Trends............................................................................................ 64 Jeff Child

Test and Instrumentation Boards Roundup............................... 66 Editorial The Industry Needs List............................................................... 78


October 2012

November 2012

Tech Focus:

Tech Focus:

Rugged Stand-Alone Box System Roundup

ATCA Blades and Systems Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Box-Level Systems Penetrate UAV Payload Design

New Standards Propel Small Form Factor Box Systems


FPGAs and OpenVPX Team to Meet Radar and SIGINT Needs

Simulation Advances Fuel Cost-Effective Warfighter Training


Distributed Power Evolves to Meet Complex Military Needs An RTC Group Publication

Volume 14 Number 10 October 2012

An RTC Group Publication

Efforts Gel for Soldier Communications and Networking

Volume 14 Number 11 November 2012

Publisher’s Notebook TMI, Sergeant.................................................................................. 8

Publisher’s Notebook The Dark Lords............................................................................... 6

Special Feature—Box-Level Systems in UAV Payload Designs UAV Payloads Embrace Compute-Dense Rugged Box Systems.......................................................................................... 12

Special Feature—New I/O and Format Standards for Box-Level Systems Small Form Factor System Approaches Vie for Military Mindshare..................................................................................... 10

Jeff Child

Effective Video Handling on Unmanned Vehicles...................... 20 Tim Klassen, GE Intelligent Platforms

Compact Box-Level Systems Enable Net-Centric Open Architectures................................................................................. 28 Ákos Csilling, CES Creative Electronic Systems

Achieving Network Security with Common Criteria................. 34 Gene Keeling, Cisco Systems

Jeff Child

Creating Mobile Networks for Tactical Environments............... 18 Kevin Holcomb, Cisco Systems and Mike Southworth, Parvus

MXM Standard Enables GPGPU Use in Rugged Systems......... 24 Marc Couture, Mercury Computer Systems

Counterfeit Chips Cause Problems in Military Supply Chain............................................................................................. 28 Steve Martin, Components Direct

Tech Recon—FPGA VPX and VXS Boards in Radar and SIGINT FPGA OpenVPX Technology Feeds ISR and SIGINT Needs..... 38 Tom Roberts, Mercury Computer Systems

Throughput and FPGA Processing Drive Mezzanine Choices.......................................................................................... 48 Rodger Hosking, Pentek

Where SWaP Meets Stronger and Faster in OpenVPX Systems.......................................................................................... 54 Justin Moll, Pixus Technologies

System Development—Training and Simulation Technology Training and Simulation Systems Leverage PC Processing........ 58 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—Rugged Stand-Alone Box Systems Rugged Box Systems Take a More Application-Focused Turn............................................................................................... 64 Jeff Child

Rugged Box Systems Roundup.................................................... 66 Editorial Rough Road for Ground Vehicles................................................ 82

Tech Recon—Power Conversion for High-Performance Computing Complex Factors Drive Mil/Aero DC/DC Converter Choice.... 32 Steve Butler, VPT

Distributed Power Evolves to Handle Diverse Needs................. 40 Dave Proli, Marway Power Solutions

System Development—Soldier and Vehicle Mounted Comms and Networking Initiatives Come Together for Soldier and Vehicle Mounted Comms.......................................................................................... 44 Jeff Child

Technology Focus—ATCA Blades and Systems ATCA Meets Rising Performance and Compute Density Needs............................................................................................. 50 Jeff Child

ATCA Blades and Systems Roundup........................................... 52 Editorial Can’t Stop the Signal..................................................................... 66

December 2012 | COTS Journal


ADVERTISERS INDEX Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutions now Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research the latest datasheet from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products you are searching for. Company Page# Website

Company Page# Website

Acromag.......................................... 24.............................

Microsemi Corporation................... 16..........................

Aitech Defense Systems, Inc........... Avionics Interface Technologies......

Microsoft Windows Embedded Evolve 2012..................................... 21..................

Chassis Plans, LLC.........................

Ocean Server Technology, Inc......... 47......................

CMGet Computer. ................................. 68....................... Connected with companies and

Octagon Systems............................

products featuredInc.. in this section. Data Translation, ...................... 29...................

with companies in this article. One Stop Systems, mentioned Inc....................

Elma Electronic................................. 7....................................

Phoenix International...................... 52.............................

Embedded World 2013....................

Pico Electronics, Inc........................

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc.....35............................... Get with companies and26.products featured in this section. GAIAConnected Converter...............................

Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference................... 65...................................

Galleon Embedded Computing.......

Red Rock Technologies, Inc............ 52........................

GE Intelligent Systems.................... 67..............................

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc......

Innovative Integration...................... 25...................

SynQor............................................ 37................................

Intelligent Systems Source..............

Trenton Systems, Inc.......................

Lauterbach...................................... 20..........................

VXS and VPX SBCs & Storage Subsystems Gallery........ 22, 23.........................................................

End of................................. Products Nallatech, Inc.. Ballard Technology, Inc.................... 5..........................

Get Connected


LCR Electronics, Inc.........................

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: Five Most Compute-Intensive Military Applications Compute density has become the mantra for many of today’s advanced military programs. More and more of system functionality is now implemented as software running on single board computers rather than using hard wired electronic assemblies. This section picks out the five most compute-intensive military applications, and explores what embedded form factors and technologies are available to serve their needs. Tech Recon: Busless Modules vs. Slot-card Computing in Defense Systems COM boards provide a complete computing core that can be upgraded when needed, leaving the application-specific I/O on the baseboard. COM Express adds high-speed fabric interconnects to the mix. As complete systems become more doable using those technologies, they’re beginning to replace some platforms that once relied on slot-card systems like VPX, VME and cPCI. But for many military applications, the advantages of a slot-card approach take precedence. This section compares the trade-offs between busless COM systems versus the slot-card VPX/VME/cPCI kind of approach. System Development: Rackmount Bladed Systems Meet Compute Density Needs When the goal is packing in as much compute density as possible into a system, it’s hard to beat a rackmount blade computer architecture. A wealth of product and system solutions are available targeting military applications with these requirements. This section explores the background behind this trend and ways military programs are exploiting these technologies. Tech Focus: VME SBCs for Tech Refresh VME has a rich successful legacy in military systems in part because of its unique ability to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. A new board with the latest and greatest processor, memory and I/O can easily be dropped into a slot that could be decades old. Articles in this section examine the current activity in traditional VME SBCs with a product album listing representative products. 64

COTS Journal | December 2012


EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

A Time to Reflect


’m sure I’m not alone in that I find December the most reflective time of the year. Maybe in part that’s because, for us New Englanders, the weather keeps us inside more. That plus the holidays and the year coming to a close naturally make me reflect on our industry, COTS Journal and technology— where they’ve been and where they’re going. As I look back over the last year or so, actually there hasn’t been that much change in the way successful companies in our industry position themselves to do business with the defense market. But there are some key differences compared to ten years ago. Today, more than ever, established relations with prime contractors and the DoD are vital to success. Technology suppliers who didn’t know how to forge such ties have been weeded out. Meanwhile decision makers at the primes depended significantly more on the knowledge and expertise of their electronic component and embedded computer suppliers than they did a decade ago. This comes not just from mandates from the government to embrace COTS, but also from the sheer resource management issues primes face as they struggle to do more with less. Because computer technology changes so fast, it only makes sense for military system designers to let the embedded computer vendors from our industry step up and be the experts on all the facts that make up embedded computing. What’s happened over the years is that engineers at the primes have developed trust in the embedded computing industry to be their go-to experts for knowledge on memory architectures, processor performance roadmaps, cooling solutions, I/O and fabric interface standards, and so on. And while that awareness hasn’t been consistent across the defense prime contractor spectrum, it’s heading for a new plateau as primes are forced to control costs better by outsourcing more. Complete box-level systems that were once developed by the primes or sub-primes themselves, are now shifting down to the technology supplier level. And companies in our industry have stepped up to fill those needs. Some of these are function specific, whereas others are more generic computing/networking platforms. Also fueling demand for these systems is the rise in the importance in the military for complete systems that are at high TRL (Technology Readiness Level) when primes go to bid for defense contracts. Shifting gears to technology—which is both the heart of our industry and the soul of COTS Journal—it’s been rewarding for me as technologist to see so much come together. Em66

COTS Journal | December 2012

bedded computing serves not just as the “brains” of today’s advanced military systems—it is also the meat and bones of them. That’s because more and more of system functionality is now implemented as software running on single board computers, rather than using hard wired electronic assemblies. Long gone now are the days when “new” technologies like FPGA computing, switched fabrics, GPGPUs, solid-state disk drives, multicore processors and box-level systems were perceived as risky avenues to embrace or to outsource. The acceptance of those advanced computing building blocks is now a given. Here in December, as politicians wrestle to work out possible ways to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” there is a lot of uncertainty in the defense market. Technology suppliers and prime contractors alike have no way of knowing whether defense cuts will be “just deep” or “extremely drastic.” It is true that our industry is positioned well to see success either way. When defense programs get cut, the shift in money goes to technology upgrades and tech refreshes—areas where vendors of slot-card boards like VME, cPCI and VPX shine. Also, a reduced-sized military inevitably needs more electronic “eyes” and “ears,” and that means an emphasis on better radars, sensors, situational awareness systems, etc.—again, all areas that our embedded computing industry plays heavily in. All that said, tight military budgets present both obstacles and opportunities to suppliers of electronic and computer systems. At all levels, those who provide the most cost-effective solutions are more likely to achieve success. As political priorities shift, the focus has turned to reliance on proven technologies while system hardware is used to replace personnel. Primes and sub-primes will be challenged in finding ways to avoid development costs while still designing to meet mission requirements. For our part at COTS Journal, we promise to continue to offer you the best quality of technical material to help system developers build embedded computer-based systems for the military. Our mission as always is to cover technology at a level specifically for engineers—in other words, at a level of technical depth that’s suited to help our readers get their jobs done under today’s new challenges and constraints. From all of us at COTS Journal and the RTC Group, let me wish you a happy holiday and a successful, healthy new year. And most importantly, please join me in thanking the brave men and women in the U.S. military that serve and sacrifice for this country. We wish them all the best and a safe return home.

GE Intelligent Platforms

You can’t see them – but there are 300,000 people standing behind this display What you can see is GE’s Intelligent Vehicle Display, available with a 10" or 15" screen. By combining it with a powerful on board processor, memory and extensive I/O and networking capabilities, it can make a significant contribution to reducing in-vehicle size, weight and power. What you can’t see are the people behind it. Every GE product comes with a guarantee of exemplary customer support – the kind of support it takes to enable you to turn products into solutions more quickly and at lower cost, speeding your time to market and helping you achieve competitive advantage. At GE Intelligent Platforms, we can offer you the best of both worlds: the agility and responsiveness of a small company, backed by the resources and strength in depth of one of the world’s most dependable companies. Add the GE team to your team, and experience the GE difference.

© 2012 GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. All rights reserved. All other brands or names are property of their respective holders.


20°C less than Conventional 3U ATRs Maintenance free Operation in service O Extensive set of Front Panel user Indicators O Integrated Rear fans Finger Guards O Stand alone Low Weight solution O Internal Card-cage airflow recirculation O Independent Fan & Power Supply input voltage O Customizable to specific requirements O Low Profile Mounting Tray with quick release O



























t t











48 VDC / 270 VDC / Autorange 90-264 VAC @ 47-880Hz / 200 VAC-3Ph @ 47-880Hz

The leading ATR chassis manufacturer in Europe & the USA All our chassis products are delivered Tested and Certified by independent authorized Labs per MIL-STD-461E & MIL-STD-810G for immediate deployment in US Navy & US Air Force military UAVs, Fighters & Helicopters. Contact to request our new Chassis Catalog.







Contaminant-free enclosure (S+HES Models) VPX, VME64 & cPCI ready (1” Pitch) O Accepts Conduction & Air-cooled 3U Modules O Flexible Top & Bottom I/O wiring O In-line EMI/EMC MIL-STD-461E Filter O Operating Temperature -40ºC to +85ºC O Up to +85 Watts per slot O Integrated Temperature Supervisory Unit O Dramatically increases Payload MTBF by 4x


t t








Three 5-slot 3U chassis cooling techniques are available to suit all applications. All models (S/HES/FAC) integrate the same enhanced PSU and Backplane electronics.



Suggested BUS





These military ATRs benift from improved thermal dissipation and have been designed for cost effective 3U high power military systems and UAVs.

True COTS capabilities

Backplane DC +5VDC

Vin Options


CM Computers latest line of compact COTS ATR enclosures incorporate all proprietary technologies, advanced features and well established mechanical and electrical solutions developed during the past 20 years.

















COTS Journal  

December 2012

COTS Journal  

December 2012