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Tech Focus:

Rugged Ethernet Switch Board Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


DoD Budget Report: Program and Technology Impacts of Sequestration Volume 15 Number 3 March 2013

An RTC Group Publication

14th Annual End-of-Life Directory

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. AS9100 and ISO 9001 Certified

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

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Where OpenVPX and VME Overlap and Diverge

CONTENTS March 2013

Volume 15

Number 3

SPECIAL FEATURE Where OpenVPX and VME Overlap and Diverge

10  OpenVPX and VME Contend with Overlaps and Differences Clarence Peckham

18  System Requirements Drive OpenVPX and VME Choices

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 Positioning for Success 8

The Inside Track


COTS Products

58 Editorial Army Regroups and Redirects

RJ McLaren, Kontron


Coming in April See Page 56

DoD Budget Report: Major Programs

24  DoD Leaders Weigh in on Effects of Budget Uncertainties Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

32  Resources Abound to Mitigate the Growing Obsolescence Challenge Jeff Child

38  Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards

42  Ethernet Switch Board Choices Span a Range of Form Factors Jeff Child


Ethernet Switch Boards Roundup

Digital subscriptions available:

On The Cover: VME enjoys a rich history as an upgradable, rugged embedded computing form factor. For example, the VME-based advanced mission computer (AMC) for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft performs general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing. For 12 years the unit has served as a reliable center for the aircraft. This open architecture approach lets users upgrade with the latest capability without the expense of changing the aircraft or its support systems. (U.S. Navy photo by MC 2nd Class James R. Evans)



The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

introducing Rugged, Deployable, Mission Oriented Data Storage

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman,

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child,

Drive Magazine Based High Performance Multi-Protocol RAID System

t4PMJE4UBUFPS)BSE%JTL%SJWFT in only 2U of panel height t5XP2VJDLMZ3FNPWBCMF4UPSBHF.BHB[JOF  each containing up to 12 HDDs or SSDs each t'BVMU5PMFSBOU )PU4XBQ$PNQPOFOUT - no single point of failure t4VTUBJOFE3FBEBOE8SJUF%BUB5SBOTGFS3BUFT - of over 5000 MB/sec and 3000 MB/sec respectively t.*-45%( .*-45%&$FSUJĂśFE


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


AS9100 Rev C/ISO 9001: 2008 CertiďŹ ed

w w h i 714-283-4800

Untitled-1 1

2/28/13 9:53 AM


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



COTS Journal | March 2013

COTS_Subscribev1.indd 1

Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2013, 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.

1/9/13 11:06 AM

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NOTEBOOK Positioning for Success


hether you’re a user or a supplier, we can’t stick our heads in the sand waiting for Congress to act on the military budget and tackle sequestration. We have to react to whatever gets thrown at us and do it in the most costeffective way possible. History and common sense tell us that problems caused by the current lack of decisiveness regarding funding for the military have to end in the near future. So now is the best time to ensure that we are prepared. Knowledge is power, and having the best and most current information will place the more knowledgeable users and suppliers in preeminent positions. As budgets and programs open up, it will be essential to provide sound justifiable solutions. And persons or companies that can do that quickly will have a great advantage. As has been said before, the best time to move ahead of the pack is in a down time when everyone else is crawling into a hole. COTS Journal is practicing what it has been preaching. We are expanding, and with that we’re providing features in both our print and electronic solutions to assist our readers and suppliers in getting through this period. Recently, we added Clarence Peckham to the editorial team, adding another experienced editor in the industry to our staff. Clarence has a long history in the embedded marketplace, including being president of a major technology supplier to the military. His engineering and market expertise brings even greater insight to our editorial team, as well as enabling COTS Journal to expand into new key technology areas. Until this period of uncertainty subsides, we will add a new section within COTS Journal that will enable decision makers to make quick, yet essential choices on suppliers and products. It will provide the latest essential information on companies and their products targeting military applications. Our goal with this section is to ensure that military system designers are fully aware of the latest and best solutions available. Such knowledge is a prerequisite to meeting the new mandates and program needs that will be part of the fallout from the new military budget. COTS Journal will also continue to urge suppliers to take full advantage of the many free or low-cost opportunities to billboard their company information or products. These opportunities take a variety of forms including our standard sections, New Product Press Releases, Tech Focus product listings, Product Gallery ads and company news within the Inside Track, right next to Military Watch analyst’s market insight. Gone are the days when electronics and computing technologies were just a part of military deliverables functionality. Today they are fundamentally tied to capabilities and require6

COTS Journal | March 2013

ments of everything from radar systems to fire control systems to advanced communications gear. The result is that high-level technical decision makers—from DoD execs, to program managers (both uniformed and non-uniformed), to engineering managers—need to keep pace with the system-level technology issues along with the many global, big-picture trends that are driving technology decision making. Those are areas above the realm of focused engineering-level publications such as COTS Journal. To address those needs, we are producing Military Intelligent Systems Journal as a COTS Journal supplement to focus on this expanding technology, its unique requirements and needs of interconnecting these systems. To assist with this project, we have engaged Johnny Keggler, renowned military program and systems editor, further expanding the depth of COTS Journal’s staff and capability. We are also increasing our presence at key military conferences such as AUVSI and MILCOM as well as industry generic electronics conferences like Design West and Design East. Most notably, COTS Journal will again host a large booth at MILCOM 2013 that will serve as an incubator enabling smaller military systems suppliers to participate and have a presence at this key military conference. Providing cost-effective access for new suppliers to key military electronics system developers is an essential endeavor in order to bring new ideas and technologies into the military arena. Maintaining our position as the military electronics and computing industry’s leading platform for the exchange of critical technology information between users and suppliers is our primary mission. Adding key personnel to our staff, and creating new sections and supplements to the publication, is only a small part of the complete information resources and tools COTS Journal provides its readers. Improving and intensifying efforts at this time is key not only for COTS Journal but for integrators, designers and suppliers. We need to use every tool and opportunity available to us to ensure that when this temporary budget situation resolves, we can be in a position to take advantage of the turnaround.

Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal

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INSIDE TRACK Analytic Systems to Supply Power Products for Shadow UAV Ground Control Stations Analytic Systems has announced its largest order ever for a power system for AAI’s Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Figure 1), which are in service with customers including the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. For this project, Analytic Systems made use of its recently purchased Aegis Manufacturing Operations Software, which is designed to improve efficiencies and quality by streamlining and controlling process planning and launch, process tracking and control, and quality and test management. It improves reliability, flexibility and traceability in the production of important projects like this. Working with AAI’s Engineering team, Analytic Systems has modified their LIAC600 (US Army/USMC AC Lithium-Ion Battery Charger), their LIDC600 (US Army DC Lithium-Ion Battery Charger), and their PWS1510MS ruggedized power supply to work as a complete power system for AAI’s next-generation Universal Ground Control Station. AAI’s UGCS is the next generation of AAI’s proven One System Ground Control Station (GCS) technology, which is in service today with the U.S. Army, Army National Guard and Marine Corps unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) units. It provides information exchange capabilities for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C4ISR.

Figure 1

Analytic Systems, Delta, British Columbia, Canada. (604) 946-9981. [].

A UAV crew with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team wheels out a Shadow 200 UAV for a flight in Afghanistan.

Army Orders MUOS Upgrade for AN/PRC-155 Manpack Radios

in a far distant location. The MUOS waveform, based on the communications interface found in commercial cellular networks, will deliver highspeed voice and data communications and ten times greater capacity than the military’s current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system. With a smartphone-like f low of information, the upgraded PRC155 radios will allow soldiers to access the MUOS communications system wherever they are deployed, on foot or from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.

The U.S. Army ordered kits to upgrade 100 Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) AN/PRC-155 twochannel radios to enable them to communicate with the military’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications system. This MUOS channel upgrade, comprising a field-replaceable power amplifier and supporting software, will allow secure voice and data communication with the MUOS system. The order is valued at $5 million; the kits will be delivered in the fall of 2013. The two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio (Figure 2) also runs the essential waveforms 8

COTS Journal | March 2013

Figure 2

AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios in production at the General Dynamics radio factory in Scottsdale, Arizona. One hundred of the AN/PRC-155 radios built by General Dynamics will be upgraded with the MUOS satellite communications kit. from the defense department library. With the MUOS capability in the PRC-155, a network of soldiers can be interconnected with others

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

Mercury Systems’ Digital Receivers Tapped by Naval Research Lab Mercury Systems has been awarded a 3-year indefinite quantity/indefinite delivery (IDIQ) contract by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Tactical Electronic Warfare Division (TEWD). Worth up to $16.7 million, the contract calls for Mercury to supply advanced mixed signal digital receivers for prototype electronic warfare applications on airborne and surface shipboard platforms. Mercury’s array of mixedsignal offerings delivers ultra-fast tuning, high dynamic range and extreme data processing. The Naval Research Laboratory, commissioned in 1923 by Congress for the Department of Navy, serves as the Navy’s corporate


Stiletto Maritime Demo Program Hosts Capability Demonstration The Stiletto Maritime Demonstration Program conducted its first Capability Demonstration in late January. The initial demonstration was hosted for the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) off the Virginia coast near the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story in Virginia Beach, VA. The Capability Demonstration provided NECC Sailors an opportunity to observe new technologies developed by industry in a realistic military maritime environment. The program also provided the 15 participating industry partners an opportunity to receive immediate end-user feedback toward increasing tech-

Figure 3

The Stiletto Maritime Demonstration Program team launches an 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat from the highspeed experimental boat Stiletto. (U.S. Navy photo)

Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division Bethesda, MD (301) 227-4465 [ carderock/].

Military Market Watch Subdued Growth in Force Protection Offset by Emerging Markets The need for force protection systems increased significantly during the Iraq and Afghanistan war. With operations in Afghanistan now winding down, the demand for such systems, especially among NATO countries, is set to stabilize. In contrast, strong strategic intent and economic prowess are making Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East the hotspots for future market growth. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Global Force Protection Market Assessment, finds the market generated $6.1 billion (U.S dollars) in 2012 and is estimated to reach $7.55 billion in 2021. The research covers vehicle, soldier and base protection segments. All three segments present multiple, large-scale opportunities, with base protection expected to gross the highest revenues. According to the research, the economic downturn is expected to minimally impact the global force protection market; force protection considerations are set to be the core of all future procurements. Decreasing troop strength and falling vehicle procurement Force Protection Market: Key Market Drivers and Restraints, 2012-2021 volumes will change force 1-2 years 3-5 years 6-10 years structures, creating greater Ongoing Combat Operations demand for advanced force Force Modernization protection systems during Decreasing Vehicle Procurement numbers 2012-2021 (Figure 4). Suband Troop Strength dued growth is projected in Recapitalizing equipment due to budget constraints the more traditional markets of Europe and North America. In contrast, the Withdrawl from Afghanistan emerging markets in APAC and the Middle East offer Budget Constraints brighter growth prospects. The APAC market is Medium High Medium Low expected to register the -High highest growth—10.2 Source: Frost & Sullivan analysis percent—over the forecast period. By 2015, revenues Figure 4 from the APAC market will surpass that of its European A variety of drivers and restraints will affect the Force Protection market over the next ten years. counterpart. The Middle East will rack up a solid compound annual growth rate of 10 percent over 2012-2021, followed by Latin America and Africa. Global Force Protection Market Assessment (M840-16) is part of the Defence Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related research services include: Global Military Support in Service Market Assessment, European Defence Support in Service Market Assessment, and Global Military Training & Simulation Market Assessment. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. For further information about Frost & Sullivan’s report Global Force Protection Market Assessment, contact Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at Market Drivers

Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA. (866) 627-6951. [].

novative maritime technologies across all of the armed services. Engineers and technicians with specialized expertise in maritime technology from Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division’s (NSWCCD) Norfolk Detachment maintain and operate the program.

nology readiness levels. The Stiletto Maritime Demonstration Program (Figure 3) is funded by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office, Emerging Capabilities Division to help accelerate the delivery of in-

Market Restraints

laboratory. NRL conducts a broad program of scientific research and advanced technological development directed toward maritime applications of new improved materials, techniques and equipment. TEWD provides new and advanced concepts and systems in electronic warfare that improve the ability of the Navy to perform its vital mission.

Frost & Sullivan, San Antonio, TX. (210) 348-1000. [].

March 2013 | COTS Journal


SPECIAL FEATURE Where OpenVPX and VME Overlap and Diverge


COTS Journal | March 2013

OpenVPX and VME Contend with Overlaps and Differences OpenVPX is on the rise as a system architecture for building military systems. Will VME-based systems coexist with OpenVPX, or be relegated to a limited number of applications? Clarence Peckham Senior Editor


ince its beginning in the early 1980s, VME has evolved and even mutated in later years. The evolution was driven by the desire to support faster and newer technologies such as faster processors and faster interconnect methods. Mutation was controlled for many years. The original 6U and 3U board formats have been maintained and the original three-row DIN connectors were kept for over a decade. Has the evolution been managed and the mutations allowed only as required? As technology increased it became apparent that a parallel bus that only allowed 10 MHz transactions (limit of 40 Mbytes/s bus transfers for a 32-bit bus) was a stumbling block for future VME systems. Systems would be I/O bound as the compute power increased. So the DIN connector was redefined in the early 1990s to allow for a five-row DIN connector that would allow for more power and ground pins on the outer rows but keeping the inner three rows the same for backward compatibility. This new connector allowed the bus performance to increase to 80 Mbytes per second for 32-bit transfers. This performance was increased again for synchronous block transfers until 320 Mbytes per second was achieved. But the bus was still a master/ slave parallel bus architecture.

Time for the Mutation At this point the rise of serial bus architectures, or fabrics if you will, was beginning with promised speeds into the March 2013 | COTS Journal







Traditional VME bus single board computer and I/O




OpenVPX dual SBC with I/O full mesh connection using serial fabric Figure 1

Compared here are a traditional VME SBC and I/O (top) versus a system with dual OpenVPX SBCs with an I/O full mesh connection using serial fabric (bottom). multi-Gbit range. The DIN connector was not a viable candidate for such fabrics and in fact, since all of the pins were defined, it was an issue for backward compatibility. So a new connector was defined specifically for the performance of the new and future serial fabrics. This new connector fit in the space between the P1 and P2 connectors and was labeled the P0 connector. The first such fabric used was PCI followed quickly by InfiniBand and RapidIO. A new version of the VME spec released as VITA 41— the VXS specification. To build a VXS system, all that is required is a new backplane with the new 12

COTS Journal | March 2013

P0 connector and the five-row DINs for P1 and P2. In addition, the routing of the P0 connector on the backplane was implemented according to the version of the VXS spec that was to be used in the system. Choices were 1 Gbit Ethernet, InfiniBand or RapidIO.

Robust Set of Specs At this point in time there was a very robust system of VME specifications in place that provided for a traditional VME-based system with performance up to 320 Mbytes per second on a parallel bus, plus the addition of serial fabric for high-speed data transfers between

cards in the system. This was an excellent platform for testing the new technologies emerging for embedded systems. Instead of building a traditional VME system with one or more processor cards and I/O, systems were being developed using processor cards, DSP engines, FPGA boards, high-performance video/graphics and traditional I/O. Unfortunately technology does not stand still and processing power increased—PCI expanded to PCI E Gen 1, 2 and 3, and both InfiniBand and Serial Rapid I/O speeds increased tenfold. On top of these changes, the P0 connector was limited in pins and size due to its location between P1 and P2 on a 6U VME board. Worst of all, since the P0 connector cannot be used on a 3U VME board small form factor, VME systems built on 3U cards were limited to only the P1 connector and limited bus performance. At this point, around 2006, it was determined that a major change was required and a new version of VME was required; one that would not be hampered by backward compatibility or rely on a parallel bus architecture. The only true carryover was the use of 6U and 3U board form factors. Every other feature of the specification was up for debate. Over a period of two years the VITA standards organization (VSO) worked to develop a new specification that emerged as VITA 46—VPX. As a follow on, the VSO realized that the VPX specification was very complex. So to make sure there was interoperability between vendors’ products and clear guidelines to develop a system, a VSO subcommittee developed VITA 65, the OpenVPX specification, to define profiles for VPX features that would allow boards to work together in a system.

Is VME Obsolete? At this point the temptation is to pronounce the VME specification obsolete and of no further use, and declare OpenVPX as the solution for future system applications. However this is far from the truth. A review of the differences between OpenVPX and VME provides some interesting conclusions. First and foremost, OpenVPX is a data driven



a orm

f Per


3-30 Gbit/s

Gb Ethernet on P0


VPX 3-100 Gbit/s

VME Evolution to VPX

Backward Compatible

architecture, one that was defined to move the most data as rapidly as possible between the most numbers of boards. Although VME is an event driven architecture, it is driven by interrupts and by I/O transfers that consist of one or two bytes of information. As shown in Figure 1, both systems have places in today’s application needs. In the system at the top of the diagram is a typical VME system with one single board computer (SBC) and several I/O boards. Data is transferred over the VME data bus in a master slave configuration with one owner of the bus at a time. Generally this is a configuration that is sufficient for a lot of military control applications. The bottom of the diagram shows an OpenVPX system defined as a multiprocessor system, in this case two SBCs and an I/O board that are connected in a full mesh system. In this example each of the boards can be transferring data between the other two boards simultaneously. This example requires that the I/O card have the intelligence to participate in the data transfers.

320 Mbyte/s VME 2eSST

80 Mbyte/s

VME 64x

80 Mbyte/s

VME 64

40 Mbyte/s

VME 32

Figure 2

Charted here is the evolution of VME—and its various milestones—into today’s OpenVPX technology.

Co-Existing in Same System Does this mean that systems that require high-performance data throughput must exclude event driven needs? Fortunately this is not the case. The VSO OpenVPX task force realized that there is a need for both to co-exist in the same system. So the OpenVPX specification includes a profile definition that allows a single backplane to provide both an VPX section with serial fabrics and a section of the backplane that allows for standard VME cards to be fitted. This is an interesting concept that goes back to the time of large mainframes. The hybrid VPX/ VME chassis can be compared to the mainframe of old that had a processing element and the concept of intelligent I/O channels that handled all of the peripheral devices. The difference is the VPX/ VME implementation requires 1000th of the physical space and power requirements and provides more than 1000 times the performance capability. The diagram in Figure 2 shows the evolution of VME into VPX by

standard. The VME specification also evolved over the years to include different cooling methods to meet different application markets. The introduction of conduction-cooling helped VME gain acceptance in military applications. As the VPX specification was developed, changes were made to allow for more power, better cooling and better use of board space. The changes incorporated a board spacing of 1.0” vs. 0.8” used for VME. The extra spacing means better use of components on both sides of a board as well as better air-cooling, the addition of flow-through board cooling and better conduction-cooling.

VME/VPX Hybrid Solutions The VPX specification provided for a hybrid system by defining a mapping of the VME bus onto the VPX J2 connector. A backplane can be provided that includes VME slots and VPX slots, and a bridge card is used to interconnect the two bus systems. Figure 3 is an example

of a hybrid backplane developed by Elma that has two VME slots and five VPX slots. Two of the VPX slots on the backplane are mapped to the VME bus, and all of the VPX slots are mapped as a full mesh system. Another method of interconnecting VME cards and VPX cards in the same backplane is to utilize the P0 connector on the VME card to provide an Ethernet connection to the VPX backplane. Both methods are used today in deployed systems. Hybrid systems provide a convenient way to add legacy VME boards to a VPX system for those situations where a comparable product is not available as a VPX solution. This hybrid solution is also useful for unique custom designed VME boards where the cost of a redesign is not feasible. As previously mentioned, there is a distinct difference between the types of systems being developed for VPX vs. VME. The VPX systems are very data driven with a need to collect massive amounts of data, process it and output March 2013 | COTS Journal



the results as rapidly as possible. Traditional VME-based systems are event driven and are used to monitor and control processes. Typical applications in the military include fire control, flight control, vehicle instrumentation and maintenance management. I/O requirements are lower performance such as MIL-STD-1553, CAN bus, Serial I/O and

parallel I/O. Both the data-driven applications and the event-driven applications represent the universe of the modern military vehicle applications. Although both can reside in one system, such as a hybrid VME/VPX solution, more solutions are being implemented in separate systems and interconnected over a network installed in the military vehicle.

Figure 3

This example of a hybrid backplane developed by Elma has two VME slots and five VPX slots. Two of the VPX slots on the backplane are mapped to the VME bus, and all of the VPX slots are mapped as a full mesh system.

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There have been many rumors suggesting that traditional VME systems used in the military will be replaced by newer solutions such as VPX or CompactPCI. However, that does not appear to be the case based on market data. In a comparison to the growth of VPX versus the decline of VME, as shown in Figure 4, VME continues to maintain a better than 50% share of the market. VPX does grow over the next four years, but VME does not show any major decline. Why isn’t VPX growing at a faster rate? There are a couple of reasons. First, OpenVPX-based systems in general are large multiprocessor heterogeneous systems designed for large applications. The time from specification to deployment will be lengthy. Second, there are competing architectures for large systems. For applications that do not require extensive environmental specifications, an architecture such an ATCA is a competitive solution. Another driving factor is that the


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Figure 4

VME continues to maintain a better than 50 percent share of the market. VPX does grow over the next four years, but VME does not show any major decline. defense budget for the next several years is expected to be significantly reduced from past budgets, so the number of new starts will be limited. System upgrades will continue. There’s certainly a large number of existing VME systems deployed in all forms of military applications. Unless there is a major change of the function of the system, the tendency will be to upgrade the existing system. In some cases, however, the function specifications will change enough to require more performance than is available with an existing system. When it makes sense to combine systems into one, the door will be open for a new VPX system.

Users Decide Success The overall winner is the customer. In the case of the military, since the first release of the original VME specification and the first military systems based on Motorola 68000 processors, the VME specification has been developed at no cost to the customer. The infrastructure of vendors and users have worked together to continuously develop the set of VME specifications over the past 20 years with the intent of providing the latest

technology with the least impact to the customer. Until the VPX and OpenVPX specification, customers could upgrade by replacing boards, or at most the backplane and boards. Even with OpenVPX, a system can be upgraded at the box level without changing the footprint and space required in the vehicle. Overall the future of VME and OpenVPX looks very bright. Both are still competitive solutions for military applications, and the infrastructure of vendors remains strong with companies providing system and board solutions for both VME and OpenVPX.

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SPECIAL FEATURE Where OpenVPX and VME Overlap and Diverge

System Requirements Drive OpenVPX and VME Choices Deciding whether OpenVPX or VME is the optimum computing technology is not an easy task. A multi-faceted set of issues drives where they diverge and overlap. RJ McLaren, Manager Military and Aerospace Products Kontron


ilitary system designers have the tough task of continually developing the most technologically superior applications. All are looking to win in this highly competitive market, and the best design earns the contract. Determining the optimal embedded computing form factor approach is many times a key element in design success. Whether the military system is a new design, a program add-on, or a tech refresh, the choice today is often between the stalwart VME and the newer powerhouse OpenVPX platforms. Overall system requirements take the lead in this important selection, and developers must carefully consider such needs as desired performance, Size, Weight and Power (SWaP), bandwidth, I/O, thermal, security, application longevity and more. By comparing all the integrated computing requirements against the features of VME versus OpenVPX, designers get a better picture of how each standard’s capabilities may overlap or where they totally diverge. The selection of the “best” embedded computing solution is definitely more difficult when the application’s requirements and the features of VME and OpenVPX solutions lie in the gray areas where both overlap. Going through a 18

COTS Journal | March 2013

Questions for Selecting System Architecture Upgradability

Will it need to be continually updated or will a static design be all that is required?

Physical Requirements

What are the size, height or footprint constraints, thermal and operational temperature requirements and level of ruggedness needed?


How much bandwidth or throughput speed will do the job—is 1 Gbit Ethernet (GbE) sufficient, or does this application call for faster 10 GbE or PCI Express (PCIe)?

Compute Power

What processor architecture meets the system’s performance demands? Does the system need to perform computationally intensive calculations in image or sensor-based applications?

Interface and I/O Requirements

What interface and I/O capabilities are necessary?

Net-Centric Interoperability

Where must the system fit into the breadth of military programs or meet interoperability or network-centric battlefield demands?

Cost and BOM Budget

What is the BOM budget or competitive cost constraints associated with this project?

Figure 1

Described here are the key questions system developers need to answer in order to guide them toward the correct technology choices. logical decision tree of relevant questions typically leads OEMs on the right course. Next generation VME-based embedded platforms offer a traditional approach

that makes perfect sense as a “drop-in” solution for some refresh programs. But other, more complex upgrades that need higher speed signaling, increased I/O and


Features Serial bus single/dual star, full mesh topologies PCIe, GbE, SRIO InfiniBand VMEbus, parallel User I/O High Speed Diff pairs, Coax, Optical, SE 3U, 16-bit PMC, FMC, XMC 64bit, multiprocessor VMEbus VPX 6U IEEE 1101.1 Technology Air Cooled, Conduction 3U / 6U with 0.8”, 0.85”, 1.0” pitch 0.8” pitch High power per slot capability

OpenVPX VPXRedi Figure 2

Using a Venn diagram makes it easier to visualize where the features of VME and OpenVPX boards overlap and where they diverge. more sophisticated interfaces, may require the additional capabilities and benefits of CompactPCI, VPX and now even integrated application-ready platforms.

ties. Making all applications more mobile is an ongoing trend that is being spurred on by the availability of advanced, highly integrated and low-power technologies.

Decision Tree: Questions to Ask

Taking a Venn Diagram Approach

The diverse set of military systems forces developers to thoroughly evaluate each application’s technology and workload needs over the course of its deployment. Figure 1 lists the key questions system developers need to answer in order to guide them toward the correct technology choices. Satisfying application requirements is the primary task before developers, but attention must be given to evolving military system trends in order to be most competitive. Current trends call for ongoing and greater bandwidth improvements to satisfy defense initiatives for highly reliable network-centric connectivity for everything from surveillance data and ballistic calculations to wearable soldier computers and handheld GPS-based radios. Sensors that generate an immense amount of data are playing an important role along with secure video imaging, which enable increased surveillance and situational awareness capabili-

Determining where and when OpenVPX and VME may overlap and the areas where they diverge can be a helpful resource and brings to mind the tried and true Venn diagram. Venn diagrams use overlapping circles to show elements of at least two different subjects. The area where the circles overlap or intersect represents the characteristics the subjects have in common or share. There are some common elements and qualities of OpenVPX and VME, but the differences are clear-cut, which allows designers to have a relatively distinct decision path to determining the best form factor standard for a particular application. Figure 2 shows a simplified Venn diagram of VME and OpenVPX features. Size and Footprint: Both VME and OpenVPX keep the Eurocard form factor board sizes of 6U and 3U. Due to SwaP requirements, many developers opt for the 3U form factor. If SwaP is a strict neces-


COTS Journal | March 2013

sity, this will push the design to 3U VPX, as 3U VME solutions are not seen as viable for most military applications due to the fact that it doesn’t support 32-bit processors or higher. 3U CompactPCI has provided a viable solution as it does support 64-bit processors, but I/O pins have been limited. When the design consideration is a calculation between the number of daughter cards or the number of slots in a system, then the 6U form factor comes into play. For systems that can accommodate a taller height and have a long list of application capability demands, designers must weigh the features or capability gains from 6U VME versus 6U VPX. Rugged Thermal Capabilities: VME and OpenVPX boards offer efficient conduction-cooled thermal methodology. Both board standards are well-suited for systems that demand increased processing density and I/O bandwidth within tight thermal envelopes. OpenVPX provides improved heat transfer of the conduction-cooled module along with options for different board pitches (0.8”, 0.85” and 1.0”). The larger pitch helps dissipate heat to the cold wall. VME has held a successful position in facilitating the development of rugged COTS military systems for almost three decades. VME’s success is attributed to its open architecture, forward compatibility, proven conduction-cooled reliability and well-developed broad ecosystem. With continual bandwidth, connector and I/O enhancements to the VME standard, it has remained a viable solution for many military applications. However, there is a limit to the throughput performance of VME. It may be a crucial requirement to upgrade the performance of deployed VME systems and integrate new technologies that allow for increased bandwidth, performance and flexibility. Figure 3 shows an example VME board based on a Core i7 processor. OpenVPX is seen as the successor for military systems that must handle a massive data increases from advanced sensors, as well as integrating enhanced radio communication along with radar and other imaging systems powered by high performance processors and chip sets.


Where They Diverge Cost: Upgrades can be costly, so many military OEMs are choosing to stay with and develop new VME products to meet tight budgets. By integrating the latest processing technology, taking a more conservative upgrade approach with VME can be the most cost-effective and efficient path that wins the contract. Costs can also be curtailed in development time and resources, and it is a logical alternative to replacing the chassis, I/O cards and software of a VME-based system when it is not warranted in many large, existing programs. If the project calls for a total technology refresh or a high-end system, then the OpenVPX backplane design can help reduce costs and development time. Reducing BOM costs, a specialized data transmission mezzanine that allows the exchange of data from board to board with front end cables is no longer needed. Development of OpenVPX-based systems is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, development is shortened because the core chipset provides high-speed I/O on the backplane and doesn’t require specific device driver development. On the other hand, VPX affects the backplane and all system cards, which complicates the design much more than a simple CPU card upgrade. Development time is affected as additional design expertise is needed to understand the broad range of new interface standards and to replace the bus-based architecture with a network-based protocol, not to mention the need to upgrade application software. Increased Throughput and I/O Support: The VME64X standard proved VME’s adaptability through support for a 64-bit bus plus I/O features that included an additional backplane connector and rear I/O capabilities. However, the connector technology changes are not enough for applications that push the throughput performance limits to the maximum levels available today. The VME backplane is limited to 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) bandwidth. The most important area where VME and VPX diverge is in the backplane. VPX replaces all VME legacy con-

Figure 3

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Figure 4

A high-performance solution for radar, sonar and general image processing, the VX3905 is a 3U VPX PCI Express and Ethernet hybrid switch. nectors to support a minimum of four x4 fabric ports per slot with the ability to support more should the application require. The OpenVPX connector and backplane design allows access to higher-performance 10 GbE, Serial RapidIO and PCI Express technologies. VPX employs GbE to implement highspeed serial link point-to-point connections between boards so full dataplane bandwidth is no longer shared between boards. Each VPX board can have one or

more dedicated high-speed connections via GbE, 10 GbE, or PCI Express. Adding value to military systems designs, OpenVPX interconnects offer a backplane infrastructure that enables the development of scalable x86-based higher performance applications. For example, compute-intensive radar, sonar and other sensor or imaging-based systems can readily use the increased I/O bandwidth that can be delivered by two independent Single Board ComputMarch 2013 | COTS Journal



ers (SBCs) in a single 3U or 6U VPX slot. Further design flexibility is afforded with an I/O backplane that permits separate operating systems to run on each processor. Plus, due to its higher connectivity per slot, VPX enables additional switching capabilities to be integrated into every processing node. Figure 4 shows an example 3U VPX board. Design Flexibility and Resources: With VPX-based boards, fabric proto-


col compatibility is no longer an issue. OpenVPX specifies that the signal allocation and voltage on the backplane are the same regardless of the final choice of fabric technology. This gives designers greater flexibility to add different types of I/O directly into the fabric. To compete effectively, OEMs must meet shorter deployment schedules, which make resources that simplify and streamline the integration of these new


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TECH RECON DoD Budget Report: Major Programs

DoD Leaders Weigh in on Effects of Budget Uncertainties With sequestration looming and uncertainty casting a wide shadow, DoD leaders express their points of view as to what the impact on programs, technology and defense industry will be as they put together their 2014 fiscal budget plans. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


here’s no doubt that this year’s season of DoD budget planning is the strangest in many years. In a normal year, the DoD Budget Request for the next fiscal year (2014) would have been made public in mid-February. Because of the uncertainty regarding sequestration, the budget proposal has been kicked to March 25, according to the Pentagon Deputy Comptroller John Roth. At time of this printing of COTS Journal, it’s unclear whether the massive spending cuts due to sequestration will hit March 1, requiring $500 billion in defense spending cuts over the next 10 years. There’s a possibility of a deal being made between Congress and the Administration to avoid sequestration, and the DoD’s budget proposal will have to change drastically depending on which way things go. Complicating the planning process further, the Pentagon is contending with a continuing resolution (CR) that is $11 billion under the DoD’s 2013 spending request. When—or perhaps if—a level of budget certainty is reached, COTS Journal—in a subsequent issue—will report on the details of the major DoD Weapons Systems budgeted for, highlighting those that use the largest amounts of embedded 24

COTS Journal | March 2013

computing and electronics. For this issue, we will instead offer a view on where the top DoD decision makers see the challenges ahead in the face of sequestration and its long-term impact.

Preparing for Severe Cuts In preparation for the looming possibility of the sequestration cuts, in January Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter released a memo directing the service branches and defense agencies to begin planning for possible upcoming budget challenges. Since Congress did not approve an appropriations act for fiscal 2013, the Defense Department has been operating under a continuing resolution. Because most operating funding was planned to increase from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2013, but instead is being held at fiscal 2012 levels under the continuing resolution, funds will run short at current rates of expenditure. The memo allowed the various segments of the DoD to review contracts and studies for possible cost savings, to cancel third- and fourth-quarter ship maintenance, and to examine ground and aviation depot-level maintenance. It also called on all research and development and production and contract

Figure 1

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter says a technologically vibrant and financially successful defense industry is in the national interest. modifications that obligated more than $500 million to be cleared with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics before being awarded. For science and technology accounts, the DoD branches and agencies


Figure 2

“We need budget certainty,” said General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, “That is, we need the antithesis of sequestration—namely, a steady, predictable funding stream.”

were tasked to provide the Under Secretary and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering with an assessment of the impacts that the budgetary uncertainty will cause to research priorities.

DoD Leaders Speak Before Congress Providing perhaps the most comprehensive view on where the DoD is at in terms of wrestling with the budget situation, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and each of the leaders of the DoD’s service branches spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in mid-February. They outlined the effects of budget pressures and how they could require an alteration in the national defense strategy. Detailed below are the parts of those testimonies that relate to defense industry, technology and major defense programs. Ashton Carter was the first to give testimony in the hearing. Within his presentation was a focus on the defense in26

COTS Journal | March 2013

dustry itself. “Just as sequestration and the reductions in the discretionary caps will have devastating effects on the nation’s defense force,” said Carter, “they will also be harmful to the defense industry upon which we depend.” He cited the quality of the weapons systems produced by our defense industry, which is second only to the quality of our people in uniform, making our military the greatest in the world. Carter also stated that a technologically vibrant and financially successful defense industry is in the national interest (Figure 1). Continuing along that vein, Carter pointed out that the act of sequestration and longer-term budget cuts, and even the prolongation of uncertainty, will limit capital market confidence in the defense industry. They could cause companies to be less willing to make internal investments in their defense portfolio. The impact will be even greater on our subcontractors, who lack the capital structure to withstand turmoil and uncertainty. It’s also significant that 60 to 70 percent of U.S. defense dollars are subcontracted— and among those subcontractors are small businesses in the embedded computing industry. Sequestration could also cause a spike in program inefficiency— stretching out programs and driving up unit costs.

Certainty Sought After Next up, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Dempsey kept his testimony somewhat global and general, in order to leave the details of the various branches to the individual branch chiefs. Dempsey pointed out the urgency to reset and refit, and in many cases replace, war-torn equipment that has returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dempsey also stressed that the uncertainty was making any kind of transition difficult. “To do this, we need your help. First, we need budget certainty,” said Dempsey. “That is, we need the antithesis of sequestration—namely, a steady, predictable funding stream. We can manage the transition—the military embraces change. One of Joint Force 2020’s underlying assumptions is that we will need to get smaller but stay strong. And I am convinced that we can restore

the versatility of our force at an affordable cost” (Figure 2). Dempsey’s second major point was that more time is needed to deliberately evaluate trade-offs in force structure, modernization, compensation and readiness. With two rounds of sequestration scheduled in March, totaling $46 billion in fiscal year 2013 reductions, it will be difficult for the force to absorb these cuts without long-term damage. “We need flexibility to allocate our resources to our highest priorities,” said Dempsey.

Cuts to Resets and Research General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, was next to speak to the Congress. Using DoD planning assumptions for sequester, the General said he estimates that sequestration will impose an additional $12 billion cut on the Army’s budget in the remaining months of FY13, to include a $5 billion cut in OMA, and approximately $1 billion in the Reserve Component operation and maintenance accounts. The remaining $6 billion will be taken across the board from our procurement; Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RTDE); and military construction accounts. Depot maintenance would be among the area where Army cuts would be made. This includes reducing Army purchase orders with 3,000 companies, of which 37 percent or approximately 1,100 may consequently face moderate to high risk for bankruptcy. The reduction in maintenance will delay equipment readiness for six divisions. Odierno went on to say that these delays will halt the reset of 1,000 Tactical Wheeled vehicles, 14,000 communication devices and 17,000 weapons in Active and Reserve units for three to four years following redeployment. In an area directly affecting technology suppliers, the General said that the Army would need to curtail Operational Test and Evaluation operations affecting program of record development and fielding schedules. These are expected to add costly delays to critical acquisition programs and the fielding of equipment to soldiers. This will


Figure 3

Chief of Staff of the Army, General Raymond T. Odierno, says budget cuts will particularly affect the areas of networking capability. Delays can be expected in key network programs such as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). Here, soldiers stand near a WIN-T Increment 2 Point of Presence platform. particularly affect the areas of networking capability and precision munitions. Delays can be expected in key network programs such as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and the Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) (Figure 3). The Army is making plans to reduce its Science and Technology (S&T) programs by approximately $300 million. The reductions will impact federal civilian employees and support contractors, and reduce programs with our academic and industry partners across all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology) provided an assessment to the Assistant

Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering) on 1 February 2013 detailing the impact to Department of Defense research priorities.

New Start Navy Programs Affected Speaking for the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s testimony included a look at how the CR is precluding the start of new projects. “If the CR is extended for the whole fiscal year, we will stop work on two aircraft carrier refueling overhauls (USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Theodore Roosevelt), one of which is within four months of completion,” said Greenert. “The prohibition on ‘new starts’ under the CR also compels us to defer con-

struction of USS John F. Kennedy (CVN79), USS Somerset (LPD-25) and USS America (LHA-6), and cancel the planned procurement of an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, multiple P-8A Poseidon aircraft and hundreds of weapons.” Similarly, the Navy will not begin about $675 million in “new start” military construction projects while under the CR. On top of reductions in operations and maintenance funding, sequestration will reduce FY13 funding for each investment program (about $7.2 billion overall). In some programs, such as the F-35C Lightning II, P-8A Poseidon and E-2D Hawkeye, this reduction will compel the Navy to reduce the number of platforms procured in FY13 (Figure 4).” March 2013 | COTS Journal



Figure 4

In some programs, such the F-35C Lightning II, P-8A Poseidon and E-2D Hawkeye, budget reductions will compel the Navy to reduce the number of platforms procured in FY13.

More on the Industrial Base Speaking to the issue of a damaged industrial base, the Admiral said that “delayed or cancelled ship and aircraft construction, cancelled maintenance and repair, and reduction of the civilian workforce will immediately impact private shipyards, aircraft and weapons manufacturers and our military industrial base. The loss of work in FY13 alone may cause some smaller suppliers and service providers to shut down.” As Greenert indicated last year to the Senate Armed Services Committee 28

COTS Journal | March 2013

(SASC), under a set of fiscal circumstances in sequestration, the Navy may be a fleet of around 230 ships. That would be a loss of more than 50 ships, including the loss of at least two carrier strike groups. The Navy would be compelled to retire ships early and reduce procurement of new ships and aircraft. Programs such as the F-35 Lightning II, next-generation ballistic missile submarines and Littoral Combat Ships, might be reduced or terminated. Speaking again to the impact on the industrial base, he noted that these changes will severely damage our industrial

base. Some shipyards will not be able to sustain steady construction or maintenance operations and may close or be inactivated. Aircraft and weapons manufacturers will slow or stop their work entirely. In particular, the small firms that are often the sole source for particular ship and aircraft components will quickly be forced to shut down. “Once these companies and their engineers and craftspeople move on to other work,” said Greenert, “they are hard to reconstitute, sometimes impossible, at a later date when our national security demands it.”


phibious Combat Vehicle. Such delays could result in the possibility of NunnMcCurdy breaches, Initial Operational Capability delays, and increased unit and total program cost (Figure 5). Budget pressures would mean canceling major multi-year procurements such as the MV-22, and incur greater cost and program delay in future program buys.

Disruptions Add Costs Weighing in on the Air Force’s situation, General Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, said that sequestration cuts to Air Force modernization investments, if applied at the program, project and activity level as planned, impact every one of the Air Force’s investment programs. For example, the F-35A low rate initial production would see reductions of

Small Size Big Performance Perfect Fit

Figure 5

General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, predicted a need to delay major procurement programs such as the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and Amphibious Combat Vehicle. Such delays could result in the possibility of Nunn-McCurdy breaches, Initial Operational Capability delays, and increased unit and total program cost.

U.S. Marine Corp Vehicles Representing the U.S. Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, said that they would need to reprioritize an entire year of military construction projects into FY14 and beyond. Given the current fiscal limitations, some projects could be delayed or deferred, or cancelled. “When reductions in facilities sustainment are compounded with the inability to execute our planned military construction program for FY13,” said Amos, “we are faced with a situation where we have severely impacted planned aviation unit lay-downs associated with the MV-22 and F- 35B, as well as other critical projects at home and in the Pacific.” Amos predicted a need to delay major procurement programs such as the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and Am-

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Figure 6

General Mark A. Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, points out that potential reductions drive up unit costs— resulting in FY14 production funding shortfalls. But they also delay follow-on software and flight testing.

at least two aircraft from the requested 19 in FY13. Such potential reductions drive up unit costs—resulting in FY14 production funding shortfalls. But they also delay follow-on software and flight testing (Figure 6). Test and evaluation delays could increase total test costs three-fold across all programs, and delay delivery of critical capability to the field. Sequestration also would put the Air Force’s acquisition strategy on complex space systems—efficient space procurement—at risk by jeopardizing cost-efficiencies. Welsh cited, for example, an estimated $1 billion in savings within this strategy for the Space Based Infrared Radar System (SBIRS) would be lost under sequestration. “Each of these long-term investment account disruptions negate thousands of man-hours spent on planning, implementing and managing complex programs intended to best balance the efficiency of taxpayer dollar expenditure with the effectiveness of capability creation to fulfill the Defense Strategic Guidance,” said Welsh. “Over time,” he

continued, “more taxpayer dollars would be spent to address the contract re-structures and time-delay inefficiencies that sequestration will induce.”

Opportunities for Tech Upgrades Not included above in viewpoints from the various DoD leaders are numerous other items that fall outside the purview of COTS Journal’s scope—such as personnel cost and non-technical contract services, etc. Our focus was rather on the relevant aspects of technology, program and industry that influence our market. Whatever happens, the U.S. will remain the largest procurer of military hardware, and that hardware will continue to have a greater electronics composition. These shifts mean that major programs will be evaluated and modified in their mission requirements and their volume. In many cases this means a life extension rather than replacement, creating opportunity for tech upgrades using boards and systems from the embedded computing market.

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w w w. l c r- i n c . c o m 2/28/13 9:39 AM

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

Resources Abound to Mitigate the Growing Obsolescence Challenge Especially in this era of constrained budgets, the costs and problems stemming from component obsolescence are more dire than ever. Fortunately a cadre of government groups, distributors and specialty engineering firms provides services to ease such problems. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


ith the military being such a small part of the overall electronics market, it has long been at the mercy of the major drivers of computing and semiconductor technology. Those driving markets such as PCs— and now consumer devices like phones and tablets—have system lifecycles even less than a year. To keep pace, the components used in those broader markets are facing ever shorter life spans, creating an ever worsening problem for the military where platform lifecycles are still at least a decade long if not longer. The problem of obsolescence—also dubbed Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) in military parlance—is therefore not getting any less severe. On the bright side, there’s a well established cadre of companies and organizations armed to battle this problem. COTS Journal’s 14th Annual End-of-Life Supplier Directory, displayed on the following three pages, lists those organizations and the services they provide.

Many Resources to Help There is actually a variety of ways to attack the problem of an IC or subsystem that’s no long available. There 32

COTS Journal | March 2013

Figure 1

Designed to launch satellites for military, intelligence, civil and commercial customers, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program faced component obsolescence issues in its development. are packaging firms who do custom assembly of obsolete integrated circuits using existing wafer and die. Beyond that, there are even some firms

that will remanufacture the obsolete die—often at a more current process size. And on the more straightforward side, there are many aftermarket chip


The Importance of Technology Management Because obsolescence and technology advances are two sides of the same coin, it’s important for system developers to have a technology management strategy in mind. The latest version of the guidebook, SD-22, Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages: A Guidebook of Best Practices for Implementing a Robust DMSMS Management Program, emphasizes that technical performance and supportability objectives should be defined in explicit, quantitative and testable terms. This is important to facilitate trade-offs, as well as to support the selection and assessment of the product and process technologies. This process includes having an understanding of the supplier base and its ability to develop, produce, maintain and support the system. From a DMSMS perspective, technology management is one of the most important aspects of supply chain management throughout the lifecycle. Beyond the Technology Development phase, this approach is also referred to as modernization through spares, continuous modernization, or technology insertion/refreshment. Effective technology management enables a design acquisition strategy and lifecycle sustainment strategy that minimizes the cost of resolving future obsolescence issues, while incorporating state-of-the-art technologies to increase reliability, lower sustainment requirement costs, and increase warfighting capability to meet evolving requirements throughout an indefinite service life. According to the guidebook, Robust DMSMS management by itself will, of course, lower the costs associated with obsolescence issues. However, even in the best of programs, DMSMS resolutions are often suboptimal. Life-of-need procurements are problematic because of limited contractual horizons and uncertainties in estimating the total requirement over the remainder of the lifecycle. Finding or qualifying alternative items may work for a time, but such approaches rarely take advantage of new technologies and capabilities. Unplanned redesigns are costly. Therefore, incorporating a technology management strategy into design, acquisition and sustainment activities is a best practice to further reduce DMSMS cost and readiness impacts throughout the lifecycle. Designers should consider potential seamless upgrade paths for technologies and components, and should provide a timetable for replacing items even if they are not obsolete. Effective technology management begins with a strategic understand-

suppliers who stock inventories of devices that have gone obsolete. These range from small firms specializing in aftermarket business to large distributors who include aftermarket products in their portfolio. In terms of embedded computing, the emergence of standards-based slot card systems has been one defense against the problem. Instead of replacing a whole military computing platform when its processors and memories are obsolete, a new single board computer can be 34

COTS Journal | March 2013

ing of the market and its trends. Market research entails collecting information about existing and emerging technologies, products, manufacturers and suppliers. It has two components: • Market surveillance—a continuous canvassing of the commercial market to identify existing and future technologies, vendors’ products and market trends that can potentially meet existing and emergent requirements from a strategic perspective. Market surveillance methods include searching the Internet, attending trade shows, reading technology publications, hiring consultants, issuing requests for information from prospective manufacturers/ suppliers, visiting manufacturer/supplier facilities and viewing product demonstrations. • Market investigation—a focused process of identifying and determining if specific technology products can meet particular functional requirements. Market investigation also includes system obsolescence profiling to proactively plan for the continued support or replacement of soon-to-be obsolete products. This productlevel information and the associated budget requirements form the basis for sustaining the operation or functionality of a system. Market investigation methods can include beta testing; prototyping; testing for compliance, conformance and compatibility; and querying manufacturers/suppliers about product obsolescence status. The following are important steps to consider when monitoring a military system’s lifecycle phases. · Anticipate obsolescence situations due to rapid and asynchronous product changes. · Plan and budget using a broader range of product obsolescence management options. · Maintain insight into technology trends, as well as internal product changes by the manufacturer, and test the effects of those changes on the system. · Assess the quality of a manufacturer and the impact on a system of a product’s change, including its suitability for the user, information security characteristics and supportability. · Determine the manufacturer’s support period and inventories for a particular product.

swapped in to refresh the systems technology as long as there’s a standard backplane architecture in place such as VME or CompactPCI.

Obsolescence Impacts The problem of component obsolescence affects almost every military program in a large or small way. Numerous stories crop up of whole programs that are stalled because of the obsolescence problem. An example is the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle

(EELV) program designed to launch satellites for military, intelligence, civil and commercial customers (Figure 1). In June 2011, the EELV program provided a sustainment plan to Congress that identified required technology and investments to maintain the program’s current capability. The plan called for special emphasis to be placed on designing and qualifying new designs to mitigate obsolescence issues. Many of the parts across the system have designs that have become obsolete or are no longer


Figure 2

OceanServer Digital Compass Products:

The DMSMS management team (DMT) for the Virginia-class submarine resolved over 1,090 obsolescence issues and reaped over $124 million of documented cost avoidance since inception. produced. For example, to sustain some EELV mission-critical components, the Air Force drafted a plan to identify obsolescence issues and identify opportunities to insert new technology and design common systems. Another program where obsolescence was a disruption is the Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High program. The SBIRS High satellite system is being developed to perform a range of missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness missions. SBIRS High will consist of four satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), two sensors on host satellites in highly elliptical orbit (HEO), two replenishment satellites and sensors, and fixed and mobile ground stations. Functional testing on the first satellite in 2009 revealed solder fractures on some hardware components, and testing on the second satellite in 2011 uncovered anomalies and erratic performance on similar components. In both cases, some rework has been required to the satellites. The SBIRS program plans to make slight changes to the design of its two HEO re-

plenishment sensors, addressing parts obsolescence and electromagnetic interference issues that affected the operation of its first two sensors. The follow-on production contract for SBIRS High is delivering flight hardware, but it is experiencing cost and schedule pressure due to parts obsolescence and technical issues. Officials attribute this to an 8-year production gap between the first two satellites and the third and fourth.

Three Pronged Solution Three government groups that are important when any large military program gets underway are the Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), and the Defense Supply Center, Columbus (DSCC) Sourcing and Qualifications Unit. Usually a Diminishing Manufacturing Sources (DMS) team is set up, comprised of members from the program office itself as well as from the various depots, acquisition logistic centers (ALCs) and OEMS involved. An obsolescence program usually goes in one of two directions. One is

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a logistics solution direction. This entails finding the appropriate components through DSCC or other sources. The other is an engineering solution direction—redesigning the system in order to negate the need for the obsolete parts. If the DMS team can’t find a part, the DMEA can sometimes help find the part through its contacts. Their main focus, however, is to help evaluate whether a logistics solution is best, or whether it’s perhaps more costeffective to either reverse engineer the ICs involved and move to an ASIC or an FPGA, or compress several functions into a single ASIC or FPGA. With today’s ASIC mask costs, it’s more practical to use an FPGA. When a component could help several different programs, it’s useful to take a logistics approach. The role of the Defense Supply Center, Columbus (DSCC) Sourcing and Qualifications Unit is to establish and maintain a known-good supplier base. Such suppliers must successfully demonstrate that their products

meet the specified performance, quality and reliability levels via the DoD Product Qualification program. In other words, the DSCC’s role is as an item manager for piece-parts, working with the inventory control points of the various branches of the military. The third leg of the tripod is the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP). GIDEP acts as a centralized database for various kinds of information, including DMS issues. It serves as a center for sharing technical information essential during research, design, development, production and operational phases of the lifecycle of systems. The group keeps track of DMS notices when parts become obsolete, and solutions for those notices.

Significant Cost Savings The success of these organized efforts to address Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) is well documented. Failure to continually address DMSMS issues throughout a system’s lifecycle can some-

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times cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The B-1 Bomber program’s DMSMS management team (DMT) overcame obsolescence and supportability issues. The result was an estimated 10-year cost avoidance of $316 million. Similarly, the Apache program’s DMT avoided more than $200 million in expenditures, and the Virginia-class submarine’s DMT resolved over 1,090 obsolescence issues and reaped over $124 million of documented cost avoidance since inception (Figure 2). It is important for program managers to embrace a DMSMS management strategy and plan early in the lifecycle. To help stakeholders understand the issues, Defense Standardization Program Office last summer released an updated version of it guidebook: SD-22, Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages: A Guidebook of Best Practices for Implementing a Robust DMSMS Management Program. This guidebook provides best practices for robust DMSMS management. Program managers, engineers and lifecycle logisticians should find the guidance particularly useful. The book replaces a version published in September 2010. The book is available online at Aside from the B1 and Virginia-class submarine examples above, the guidebook lists other examples of DMSMS planning, saving substantial costs. The obsolescence working group for the Apache helicopter program shares power equally between the government and contractor. Issues and details are discussed and resolved within this small team with an expansion of participation as needed from other functional disciplines. An empowered program office champion drives recommendations to reality. This model has resulted in early discovery and intervention of obsolescence risks in an environment of agreed-to mitigation plans. The benefits have been no part shortages or schedule delays, and the identification of funding to mitigate obsolescence that does not require robbing one cost center to pay for another. The cost avoidance realized by this working group across all configurations and lifecycle phases of this system added up to over $200 million.







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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory Company/Organization





Annapolis, MD. (410) 266-4000. [].

B, DB, L, R

ARINC works with companies to develop a cost-effective obsolescence management program. This includes developing and implementing a DMSMS program, determining future component availability and evaluating alternative strategies for component replacement. They can determine status of mechanical parts with ARINC Logistics Assessment and Risk Management System (ALARM).

Arrow/Zeus Electronics

Englewood, CO, (303) 600-1200. [].

O, S

Offers up-screening and testing through third-party test labs, selected and approved by customers. Offers a range of DMS services. Listed on the GIDEP notification system and an active member of JEDEC. Services range from "front-end" Bill of Materials (BOM) management to "back-end" sourcing solutions.

Artisan Scientific

Champaign, IL. (888) 887-6872. [].

B, L, O

Helps customers manage their DMSMS supply and COTS obsolescence requirements for their in-service and extended-life equipment platforms. These programs allow our customers to extend their system's end-of-life.


Phoenix, AZ. (480) 643-2000. [].

DB, E, L, O, P, R, S

Global electronics distributor with numerous value-add services from testing and screening to assembly. Offers supply-chain and design-chain services, logistics solutions, product assembly and more. Avnet’s logistics centers that house military product are ITAR certified and meet or exceed homeland security requirements.

Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)

College Park, MD. (301) 405-5323. [].

B, DB, R, S

The Electronics Systems Cost Modeling Laboratory (ESCML) at the University of Maryland develops modeling methodologies and tools that address all aspects of the lifecycle cost of electronic systems from hardware fabrication and software development through sustainment and end of life. The ESCML currently has programs that address electronic part obsolescence driven design refresh planning. Their part obsolescence mitigation approach focuses on optimization and lifetime buy quantity prediction.

CPU Technology

Pleasanton, CA. (925) 224-9920. [].

B, E

CPU Tech produces secure processors that protect software and systems from reverse engineering. Acalis enables the development of secure and compatible electronics modernization technology solving obsolescence problems while reducing size, weight and power (SWAP).


McClellan Park, CA. (916) 231-1555. [].

B, E, F, G, P

DMEA provides long-term, strategic support for the entire range of DoD systems that utilize microelectronics. DMEA presents the system manager with appropriate solution options to not only keep the system operational but also transform it to the next level of sophistication. These solution options range from component upgrades to board or system upgrades with advanced technology.

DPA Components International

Simi Valley, CA. (805) 581-9200. [].

D, P, S

Provider of testing and analysis of electronic parts for mission-critical systems in the aerospace, space and military industry. In addition to Turn-Key Solution of innovative electrical, electromechanical, electronic (EEE) parts solutions, today the company is manufacturing standard QML memory products, providing custom packaging, qualification, screening, counterfeit analysis and its own patent-pending DPEM (De-capsulate Plastic Encapsulated Module) process for obsolete parts.

DLA Land and Maritime

Columbus, OH. 1-800-262-3272. [].

DB, G, R

An end-to-end supply chain manager, DLA Land and Maritime's state-of-theart systems connect business processes from the supplier to the customer through the Land and Maritime Supply and Demand Chains.

e2v aerospace and defense

Santa Clara, CA. (408) 737-0992. [].

DB, D, E, F, R

e2v supports the supply of hi-rel semiconductors for specialist aerospace and defense programs over the full system lifecycle. Offers design, development and re-engineering services combined with the capability to store, test and package devices.

Electronic Expediters

Camarillo, CA. (805) 987-7171. [].


Buys, sells and stocks military and commercial electronic components. Specializes in military, industrial and commercial-type component parts, and carries a large selection of obsolete and hard-to-find spare parts.

Falcon Electronics

Commack, NY. (800) 444-4744. [].

L, O, S

Distributor to the avionics, military and space industry. Falcon’s line card showcases superior, high-reliability product lines from the industry’s top manufacturers, all with long-term Mil-Aero strategies, reducing the possibility of obsolescence.


COTS Journal | March 2013

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Company/Organization




GD California

Livermore, CA. (925) 456-9900. [].

B, E, O

GDCA teams with embedded OEMs to manufacture and repair end-of-life and so-called “obsolete” embedded computing products that exactly meet their original specifications. These products include: VME bus, STD & STD32 bus, CompactPCI, MBI, MBII, SBUS, QBUS, UNIBUS, telecommunications systems, SCSI bus boards; graphic boards; data storage units; chassis and canisters; and small computer systems.


Corona, CA. (951) 898-3207. [].

DB, G, R

GIDEP (Government-Industry Data Exchange Program) is a cooperative activity between government and industry participants seeking to reduce or eliminate expenditures of resources by sharing technical information. Obsolescence information is received from various manufacturers, government activities and industry participants. Using GIDEP DMSMS reports and tools will assist users in implementing their Obsolescence Management program while improving the availability, reliability, maintainability, quality and safety of their systems and equipment.


Sydney, Australia +61 2 8206 6940. [].


IEC generates international standards for the practice of uprating components and using them in systems. IECQ conducts the IEC’s certification program for electronic components, processes and related materials, including aerospace.


Englewood, CO. (303) 790-0600. [].


Offers services to accelerate critical decisions over the product’s lifecycle to improve designs, comply with standards and regulations, eliminate supply chain disruptions and assure sustainment for decades-long service lives.

Innovasic Semiconductor

Albuquerque, NM. (505) 883-5263. [].


A fabless semiconductor that solves obsolescence problems by developing pin-compatible integrated circuits that have been discontinued by the original manufacturer. Also offers ICs for new designs.

Inventory Locator Service (ILS)

Memphis, TN. (901) 794-5000. [].


Inventory Locator Service enables subscribers in the aerospace, defense and marine industries to buy and sell parts, equipment and services. Over 80 million line items of available inventory, 65,000 customer accesses each day, and 23,000 subscribers.


San Diego, CA. (714) 758-4158. [].

B, E, P

Facilities for electronic and mechanical design, rapid prototype development, ISO-compliant flexible manufacturing systems, and complete functional lifecycle support.

Lansdale Semiconductorr

Phoenix, AZ (602) 438-0123. [].

D, E, O, P

Aftermarket support of obsolete ICs from major semiconductor suppliers. Has expanded its product offerings by manufacturing some of the electronic component industry’s most popular and in demand, RF and wireless integrated circuits ICs.

Maxwell Technologies

San Diego, CA. (858) 503-3300. [].

E, P

Uses MCM package as form, fit and functional replacement. Maxwell Technologies is qualified to MIL-PRF-38535, Class Q and Class V. Many of our products are manufactured using MIL-PRF-38534 as a guideline and screened to Maxwell’s self-defined Class H and Class K flows.

Micross Components

Los Angeles, CA. (215) 997-3200. [].

B, DB, D, L,P, R

Capability covers obsolescence solutions including stock management, component / bare die storage and fit, form and function component emulation.

Minco Technology Labs

Austin, TX. (512) 834-2022. [].

D, O, P

Offers custom packaging with additional emphasis in standard part packaging, known-good die processing, and other high-reliability applications. Services include lot and wafer traceability for proper tracking and long-term obsolescence management capabilities if necessary.


Hopkins, MN. (952) 931-2400. []

B, DB, D, O, P, S

A material manager, procurement, distribution and light manufacturing supplier of military spare and repair parts for a wide range of military vehicles and electronic equipment to the U.S. Department of Defense, OEMs and over 60 Defense Forces around the world.

Now Electronics

Huntington, NY. (631) 351-8300. [].

L, O, P

Distributor specializing in military and aerospace level components. Approved supplier to Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing Sanmina-SCI Systems, the U.S. Defense Dept., NATO and many others.

Phoenix Logistics

Tempe, AZ. (602) 231-8616. [].

E, O

Provides complete system development and lifecycle management of integrated data transmission and avionics interconnect solutions including MILSTD-1553, RF/Microwave and high-speed data to the military and aerospace market.

Pikes Peak Test Labs

Colorado Springs, CO. (719) 596-0802. [].

B, D, E, L, O, P, S

Lab experienced in SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) with Elemental Analysis (EDX) capabilities, electronic component upgrade screening to MIL-STD-883, Class B, lid torque, radiation hardness testing and evaluation. Offers in-house services to assist in determining whether your components are genuine or potentially counterfeit.


COTS Journal | March 2013

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Company/Organization





Gaithersburg, MD. (240) 883-9170. [].


Precience develops and markets products that reduce the environmental and safety risks, engineering cycles, mitigate product obsolescence, and provides rapid implementations of regulatory environmental compliance.

Richardson Electronics

LaFox, IL. (630) 208-2200. [].

DB, O, P

Engineering services to aid product manufacturing, systems integration, prototype design and parts logistics from design-in through aftermarket stages.

Rochester Electronics

Newburyport, MA. (978) 462-9332. [].

D, F, O, P, R

Authorized/franchised supplier of aftermarket parts. Specializes in continuing the manufacture of EOL and mature semiconductors. Can also re-create semiconductors that have limited or no IP but are still urgently needed. In addition to finished devices, Rochester maintains a die bank that contains the world's largest supply of silicon wafers —over 10 billion.

SRI International

Princeton, NJ. (609) 734-2168. [].

B, E, F, R, P

Through the GEM and AME programs, DLA, DSCC and Sarnoff offer a flexible technology that can be use during any phase of a weapon system lifecycle, offering a permanent solution to obsolescence at the component or board level while reducing total ownership cost and maintaining readiness levels.

Sensitron Semiconductor

Deer Park, NY. (631) 586-7600. [].

B, D, E, F, P, R, S

Specialties include design, process materials, electrical, packaging and testing. Facility has AS9100 3rd Party Registration Certificate Process to the MILPRF-19500 Flow Qualified to MIL-PRF-38534 Hybrids Class H Level.

Sunset Supply Base (SSB) NSWC

Corona, CA. (951) 273-4209. [].

B, G

The Sunset Supply Base Program (SSB) is a process developed by NSWC Corona Division engineers for mitigating the risk of obsolete COTS products to DoD weapons systems. It is based on establishing strategic business relationships with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) for long-term support, thereby eliminating the need for costly Life-of-Type-Buys and engineering redesigns.

Tektronix Service Solutions

Beaverton, OR 1-800-438-8165. [].


Offers test and calibration services to space and defense prime contractors, government agencies and commercial manufacturers, including automotive, avionics, telecom and medical. Services include semiconductor and passive component test, wafer probe, product test and evaluation, and repair and calibration of general electrical and mechanical test equipment.

T.S.I. Microelectronics

Danvers, MA. (978) 774-8722. [].

D, E, O, P

Specializes in Hybrid Microcircuits and assembly of semiconductors in hermetic packages, such as: Flat Packs, DIPS, TO-46, TO-18, TO-87, TO-39, TO-99, TO-3, TO-254, TO-257, TO-258 to name a few. T.S.I.'s product line includes replacement devices for products that have been discontinued by sources.

Total Parts Plus

Fort Walton Beach, FL. (850) 244-7293. [].


Specializes in environmental compliance and obsolescence management solutions in the form of data content, web-based solutions and hosted services. Provides a real-time PCN/PDN Alert Service, alternate component sourcing and lifecycle forecasting.





Board level

Solves board-level DMS problems (as opposed to component-level problems).



Provides a database covering topics such as alternate sources, devices that are obsolete, cross-references or uprating results.


Die processor

Refers to processing OEM die, not an emulated solution.


Emulation/reverse engineering

Vendor may emulate a DMS device in a gate array or full-custom device, or provide a pseudo-form, fit and functional equivalent.



Has foundry capability to fabricate wafers.


Government agency




The vendor provides a service to locate DMS components and boards/systems.


Obsolete inventory

Maintains OEM inventory in die or packaged form.


Specialty packaging

Packages components as monolithic or multi-chip modules.


Industry reference

Denotes an organization or company with widely recognized knowledge or information concerning the DMS industry.



Performs uprating or upscreening.

March 2013 | COTS Journal


TECHNOLOGY FOCUS Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards

Ethernet Switch Board Choices Span a Range of Form Factors With the military’s acceptance of Ethernet now firmly established, the technology offers a dual solution as both a networking technology and an interconnect fabric in computeintensive applications. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


ith 10 Gbit Ethernet networking now a tried and true technology in the commercial world, the military has followed on to embrace it as a high-speed data transfer mechanism for demanding military sensor interfacing and processing. The large bandwidth and exceptional scalability of the 10 Gbit Ethernet network enables systems developers to seamlessly scale up with increasing channel count and bandwidth. It offers a standards-based server solution that takes advantage of processing power gain and market pressures for driving down processing costs. The 10 Gbit Ethernet network simplifies system architecture and provides easy partitioning of data acquisition and data processing, by separating the sensitive analog mixed signal front end from the digital back end. Ethernet has come a long way from when it once was used as just merely as a networking solution for command and control systems in the military. Today Ethernet has taken its place as an interconnect fabric in compute-intensive military applications. Ethernet is quickly becoming the military’s favorite interconnect fabric in compute-intensive applications like sonar, radar or any application that networks sensor arrays together. Military system de42

COTS Journal | March 2013

Figure 1

ViaSat mobile broadband systems that use a managed private network are flown on over 300 government aircraft including the C-130. signers can leverage the marriage of Ethernet with embedded computing form factors like OpenVPX, VME, VXS, Compact PCI Serial, XMC and PMC. Almost limitless synchronized scalability is possible by simply adding fibers for additional 10 Gbit Ethernet links. Ethernet allows simplified acquisition devices to be placed near the antenna that pipes the data to processing platforms in a sheltered location. A 10 Gbit Ethernet system also handles real-time bandwidth in excess of GHz on a continuous and sustained basis. In an example of Ethernet switch technology used in the military, ViaSat announced recently that it will provide broadband airborne SATCOM services for a U.S. government customer under a contract award valued at $52 million. The one-year contract is a renewal for services

already provided using ViaSat ArcLight technology over a managed private network established in 2009 to support military missions for the War on Terror. ViaSat mobile broadband systems are designed to provide high-speed, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications for media-rich ISR, C2 and other applications. Typical operational data rates range from 1 to 8 Mbits/s off the aircraft using Ku- and Ka-band SATCOM links. These systems are flown on over 300 government aircraft such as the C-130 (Figure 1), C-17, U-28 and various King Air models, accumulating over 500,000 mission hours. These same terminals can operate seamlessly on the global Yonder satellite network. In addition, ViaSat offers higher priority regional service overlays to Yonder network coverage with a range of connectivity and performance options.


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

CompactPCI Ethernet Switch Is Suited for Harsh Environments

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

Aitech Defense Systems offers the rugged C660, part of a series of high-performance, single-slot Gigabit Ethernet switches. The new 6U CompactPCI PICMG 2.16-compatible switch serves as a robust communications backbone for moving massive amounts of data around tightly coupled processing or I/O data concentrators, typically found in military, aerospace and spacecraft applications. This new full wire speed, non-blocking switch provides high-speed connectivity and traffic management for streaming video, audio and

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.

data. The C660 uses Marvell’s BobCat Gigabit Ethernet (BobCat-GE) switch controller and Marvell MTS management suite to perform Layer 2 and 3 routing and switching for 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and up to four 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. All switches will be available in vibrationand shock-resistant versions, compliant to commercial, rugged and military specifications with a maximum operating temperature range of -55° to +85°C. The mechanical and electrical design of these switches guarantees reliable operation over the full range of military and rugged application environments. The switches are available in industry-standard 0.8” pitch for the VME and CompactPCI versions. The VPX version comes in 0.8-, 0.85- and 1.0-inch pitch conduction-cooled or 1.0-inch pitch air-cooled form factors as well as in the VITA 48 (VPX REDI) format with ESD covers to support two level maintenance LRM requirements for the 0.85” pitch version.

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


COTS Journal | March 2013

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

Conduction-Cooled PMC Ethernet Switch Card Targets Avionics Applications A new 10-port managed/ unmanaged Ethernet switch PMC for embedded use in the aerospace and defense industries features advanced management functions, health monitoring, onboard magnetics and an integrated Ethernet controller (NIC). The MPR-ES-1 from Ballard Technology includes two Gbit ports and eight 10/100 Mbit/s ports. One Gbit port routes directly to the integrated

Ethernet controller and provides the host computer with a direct connection to the switch for easy system expansion. The second Gbit port can act either as a straight 1 Gbyte path for the host single board computer, as a highspeed uplink to other switches, or as a standard 10/100/1000 Mbit/s port. The CCPMC form factor allows easy integration with modern embedded computers, including VME, VME64, cPCI and VPX systems. The MPR-ES-1 combines an advanced Marvell switch controller with onboard magnetics for high performance and reliable operation. It provides IEEE 802.1X MAC-based authentication and support for up to 8K MAC address entries with automatic learning and aging. Management functions include VLAN, QoS and ingress/egress limiting. In addition, the switch includes health monitoring and diagnostic features such as Built-in Test (BIT), temperature monitoring, port mirroring and Virtual Cable Tester. Low power consumption and high MTBF ratings make the MPR-ES-1 an ideal choice for rugged, high-availability systems. The MPR-ES-1 is suitable for both conduction- and convection (air)-cooled systems.

Ballard Technology Everett, WA. (800) 829-1553. [].

Ethernet Switch Boards ROUNDUP

VME Card Sports 24-Port Gbit Ethernet Switch

XMC Ethernet Switch Module Delivers 12 Ports of Gbit Ethernet

Managed 8-Port Gbit Ethernet Switch Matches PC/104 Footprint

VME and Ethernet have a history of living together on embedded computing platforms. Concurrent Technologies’ latest Gbit Ethernet switch board, the FP 210/024, is designed to operate alongside their range of VMEbus-based single board computers. The FP 210/024 is an “unmanaged” embedded Ethernet switching platform that provides a low-cost, low-power switching solution for integrators. Typically consuming less than 20 watts, it offers 24

A managed XMC 12-port Gbit Ethernet Switch for the embedded market can be mounted on virtually any VPX or VME module supporting the XMC mezzanine standard, and enables designers of rugged embedded systems to integrate high-speed Ethernet switching functionality on a space, weight and power (SWaP) optimized mezzanine module that requires no additional chassis slot to deploy. The XMC-651 module from CurtissWright Controls Embedded Computing is also available in a PMC mezzanine configuration

Diamond Systems provides Epsilon, a managed Layer 2 Ethernet switch module offering eight 10/100/1000 Mbit/s copper twisted pair ports on a PC/104 form factor board. Epsilon can be used standalone, without any connection to a single board computer, or in conjunction with a host CPU. The module’s built-in microcontroller handles configuration and management. Onboard memory holds dual application images, boot

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

technologies and companies. Whether (PMC-651) that provides up to 8 ports of your goal code, MAC addresses and other parameters, 10/100/1000 Mbit/s auto-negotiating Ethernet into products, the latest fromThe a company, speak directly and can also be used for program execution. managed GbEdatasheet switching. XMC-651 ports, 12 accessible via the VMEbus P2 I/O is to research with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the supports full line-rate non-blocked switching connector and up to 12 via the front panel with An RS-232 serial port enables communication goal of Get Connected is to put you in touch with the right resource. and the in-field management of a broad range the option for two being optical. The switch between the module’s onboard management Whichever level of service you require for whatever type of technology, of networking features including VLANs, core contains a wire-speed, Layer 2, Quality microcontroller and a host processor. Epsilon’s Get Connected will help you connect with the companies and products multicast and Quality of Service. Designed of Service (QoS) switch fabric. Commercial built-in microcontroller is also accessible via you are searching for. for use in rugged military environments, the and extended temperature versions are now a web management interface over one of the module is available in both air-cooled and available, and ruggedized, conduction-cooled Ethernet ports. conduction-cooled variants. or air-cooled versions will be available shortly. Epsilon provides a full PC/104 stackthrough The XMC-651 implements Ethernet This switch facilitates communications within bus interface, allowing it to be integrated into switching functions via Broadcom 10th a chassis as well as supporting the network any PC/104 stack. However, the module does generation switching technology. Eight of the outside the chassis in a variety of applications not interface to the PC/104 bus and does not module’s ports support 10/100/1000Base-T including defense. require it for its operation. Input power can with auto-negotiation. An additional four The FP 210/024 sustains full duplex full wire be provided Get Connected with technology and companies providing solutionsthrough now the built-in, wide-range ports support SerDes (1000Base-BX) Gbit 10/100/1000 Mbit/s speeds on all 24 ports. Ports +7-36 VDC power supply, enabling operation Get Connected is a new resource for further exploration into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research th offering flexibility in connecting 1 to 12 are used for connection to the nodes datasheetEthernet, using industrial power sources. Alternatively, from a company, speak directly with an Application Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connect in-chassis devices. The XMC-651 implements via the VMEbus P2 I/O connector. Ports 13 in touch with Epsilon cantype be powered from a +5 VDC source. the right resource. Whichever level of service you require for whatever of technology, Layer-2 full wire-and productsTo to 24 are via 12 RJ45 connectors on the front the temperature extremes of fixed Get Connected willEthernet help you switching connect withwith the companies yousupport are searching for. speed performance on all ports and features an panel. The switch can handle time-critical/ and mobile applications in both indoor and 8K entry MAC address table, with automatic multimedia traffic such as voice, video and outdoor environments, the module supports learning, advanced flow-control and head of data as it utilizes four hardware priority queues fanless operation over -40° to +85°C. Single line blocking prevention. per port and supports a range of QoS traffic unit pricing for the model EPS-8000-XT starts classifications: port ID, MAC address, IEEE at $450. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions 802.1p, IEEE 802.1Q, IPv4 and IPv6.

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


Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

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

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March 2013 | COTS Journal


Ethernet Switch Boards ROUNDUP

PMC/XMC Provides Router Function with Cisco IOS The XPedite5205 PMC/XMC-based Embedded Services Router (ESR) router runs Cisco IOS Software with Cisco Mobile Ready Net capabilities, providing highly secure data, voice and video communications to stationary and mobile network nodes across wired and wireless links. When combined with UHF, VHF, Wi-Fi and other radio platforms, the combination can create mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), without requiring a connection to central infrastructure for military and emergency response. The router offers high performance, four Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and a rich Cisco

Managed OpenVPX 10 Gbit Ethernet Switch for High Performance Apps A rugged 6U OpenVPX data plane switch module is targeted at demanding high-performance computing (HPC) and networking applications such as communications, ISR and radar. The GBX460 from GE Intelligent Platforms now offers customers a choice between the fully managed switch with the flexibility, versatility and functionality provided by the OpenWare suite of protocols and switch management software, or the alternative time-to-operation of the

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

unmanaged version. IOS Software feature set. To meet the needs of The GBX460 with OpenWare supports high demanding mobile and embedded networking throughput interprocessor communication applications, the XPedite5205 ESR provides (IPC) between 10 Gbit Ethernet -enabled onboard hardware encryption to off-load processing nodes for deployed networkencryption processing, radio aware routing centric defense and aerospace applications. Its (RAR) with support for the latest Dynamic non-blocking 10 Gbit Ethernet ports provide Link Exchange Protocol (DLEP), support for high-performance throughput across the VPX d IPv6, integrated threat control with integrated backplane; the non-blocking feature means Cisco IOS firewalls and Intrusion Prevention that the GBX460 can pass traffic across all System (IPS), and Quality of Service (QoS). The 10 Gbit Ethernet ports at wire speed without XPedite5205 ESR uses the same Cisco IOS that bottlenecks. IT staffs in the military, energy, public safety The GBX460 can support multiple OpenVPX and other industries are already trained on, slots/module profiles for maximum flexibility enabling thesenow organizations to expand their nies providing solutions and throughput. The standard build provides network to personnel, equipment, facilities and 20 x 10 ion into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research theGbit latestEthernet data plane fat pipes and 16 vehicles at the edge of the network—warfighters x 1 Gbit Ethernet control plane ultra-thin pipes tion Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you on whatever the battlefield, mines and drilling you require for type of technology, to support multiboard 6U VITA 65 (OpenVPX) natural and productsplatforms, you are searching for.disaster mobile command system configurations. Multiboard systems can centers—without any additional training. The be configured by using the GBX460 together XPedite5205 ESR is an air- or conductionwith GE processor cards such as the SBC622 cooled PMC/XMC router card that can plug Intel Core i7-based single board computer into existing sockets or be used in stand-alone and IPN250, and NPN240 NVIDIA CUDA applications. X-ES provides an XPedite5205 GPGPU processors to scale to extraordinary development platform, along with ruggedized, levels of performance for size, weight and deployable, packaged router systems. power (SWaP)-constrained applications such

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

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COTS Journal | March 2013

3U OpenVPX Switch Blends PCI Express and Ethernet A new 3U OpenVPX PCI Express and Ethernet hybrid switch delivers extremely high transfer rates in centralized VPX and OpenVPX platforms. With up to 4 x 6 Gen1/ Gen2 PCIe backplane ports for the data plane, the VX3905 from Kontron provides ten times the I/O bandwidth found in systems deploying today and paves the way for a new generation of high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications. OEMs will benefit from flexible OpenVPX system designs, which enable application-specific configurations through

as deployed image, radar, sonar and signal processing.

centralized COTS backplanes. Owing to the open configurability of the Kontron VX3905, system developers can minimize development time and cost for specific system designs while enabling the reuse of these designs for other applications. The hybrid switch VX3905 is compliant with the OpenVPX VITA65 switch slot profile SLT3-SWH-6F6U-14.4 for highest compatibility in multiboard designs. It provides up to 24 PCI Express Gen 1/Gen 2 ports for up to 32 lanes, which can be configured ( x8, x4, x2 and x1) depending on the required bandwidth. This offers OEMs a maximum data transfer rate of up to four gigabytes/s per port for serial interboard communication, an extended lifecycle of OpenVPX applications as well as enough headroom for future high-bandwidth designs. Up to nine Gbit Ethernet ports are available on the VX3905 for the control plane, enabling dedicated system management for high availability. An optional SATA disk carrier in accordance with the OpenVPX VITA65 SLT3-STO-2U-14.5.1 profile facilitates central data storage for OpenVPX systems without the need to use valuable payload slots, further simplifying the system design.

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

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

Ethernet Switch Boards ROUNDUP

3U CompactPCI Serial Cards Provide 16 Gbit Ethernet Ports

3U cPCI, Gbit Ethernet Switch Provides 12 Ports

6U OpenVPX Blade Server with Integrated 10 Gbit Ethernet Switch

MEN Micro offer two 3U CompactPCI Serial-based Gigabit Ethernet switches for high data processing and versatile I/O implementations. Each switch provides up to 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back or three ports on the front panel and 13 on the rear. Both the managed G302 and the unmanaged G303 switches support full or half duplex operation, fast non-blocking store-and-forward switching and auto-negotiation as well as Layer

The 75D4-H2 is a 3U cPCI Layer 2+ Gbit Ethernet Switch from North Atlantic Industries, built upon the company’s multifunction, cPCI board technology. The 75D4 motherboard contains a high-density I/O module slot that supports an H2 switch function. The 75D4 with H2 consumes approximately 9.5W of total power at 5V to operate at full 1000Base-T speeds. In addition, the 75D4 motherboard can integrate

A rugged, high-performance 6U VPX (VITA 46) Single Board Computer (SBC) features a quad-core Intel L5408 Xeon processor and integrated 10 Gbit Ethernet switch to support full-mesh backplane data layer interconnectivity for up to eight SBCs integrated into a single chassis. Available in aircooled or conduction-cooled formats, the CPU111-10 from Parvus conforms to the OpenVPX (VITA 65) payload module profile MOD6-PAY4F2T- with four fat pipes (10 GBaseBX4) and two thin pipes (1000Base-T).

2 switching. Compliant to EN 50155 for railway operation, the new switches are ideal for use in rugged applications. Operating temperature is -40° to +85°C with shock and vibration tested in accordance with EN 61373. The built-in test mechanism increases the switches’ reliability in communication-based operations. The switches’ CompactPCI Serial architecture provides flexible integration into any rugged system. In a peripheral slot, the G302 and G303 can take over typical tasks for connecting external devices without any software overhead. When used in the system slot, these full-mesh switches foster powerful multi-computer architectures, where CPU cards are plugged into the peripheral slots. The fault-tolerant G302 has the ability to restore itself. If a link is temporarily unavailable, frames can be sent via backup or redundant links, eliminating data loss. The G303 can function similar to a managed switch with fixed settings via an application-specific configuration EEPROM. This allows the switch to offer features atypical of an unmanaged switch, including 802.1p priority and portbased priority, port-based VLAN or IEEE 802.1q VLAN IDs. Pricing for the G302 starts at $810; pricing for the G303 starts at $538.

four channels of RS-232/423/422/485 serial communications. This adds an additional 1.5W of 5V power. Serial data is available on the cPCI bus or can optionally be available over Ethernet via the use of one of the switch ports. The card supports IEEE 802.3Ab (100BASE-T Gig-E), IEEE 802.3u (100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet), IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T Ethernet) and IEEE 802.3x (Flow control/full and half duplex). The 75D4 can also be configured to support a complement of NAI’s high-density I/O functions found here. Furthermore, 3U cPCI processing is supported using the 75DP3 with multiple processor options, or expanded I/O is supported using the 75C3 multifunction I/O board in a system to provide a complete low-power/high- performance, programmable cPCI solution for sensor control/interfacing and communications. For 6U VME Switch options, please see the 64DP3.

Providing unparalleled data processing capabilities in a single-slot 6U VPX form factor card with built-in 10 Gbit Ethernet fabric switching, the CPU-111-10 serves as an ideal openarchitecture building block for next-generation Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications on board (un)manned air / ground vehicles and shipboard platforms. Standard onboard I/O resources include up to eight 10 Gbit Ethernet, two 1 Gbit Ethernet, four SATA, two USB 2.0, one RS232/485 and VGA video ports. Dual XMC / PMC expansion module sites enable additional I/O expansion, including 10G XAUI lanes from each XMC card to the 10G switched fabric. Offered in both convection-cooled and ruggedized conduction-cooled variants, the CPU-111-10 is designed for use with ANSI/ VITA 46 1.0” pitch VPX form factor backplanes. Air-cooled variants provide a front panel SFP+ port supporting CX4 copper and fiber applications for chassis-to-chassis and rackto-rack communications. Conduction-cooled variants feature traditional board stiffeners, heat spreaders and wedge locks to passively transfer heat to the chassis and tolerate high shock and vibration environments. An optional Rear Transition Module (RTM) is available that brings out VPX I/O over industry standard connectors.

MEN Micro Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. [].

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

Parvus Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. []. March 2013 | COTS Journal




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ADC/DAC 6U VPX Module Targets Electronic Warfare Applications

Get Connected with with companies mentioned in this article. Applications like electronic warfare have a huge appetite for low latency, high ADC/DAC performance combined the highest available I/O bandwidth. With that inwith mind, Curtiss-Wright Controls introduced the Industry’s first Xilinx Virtex\-7 OpenVPX Get Connected companies and products featuredhas in this section. the CHAMP-WB (“WideBand”), DSP Engine designed for sense-and-response applications that require high bandwidth and minimal latency. In addition, Curtiss-Wright is also introducing its first module for the CHAMP-WB, the TADF-4300, featuring Tektronix Component Solutions’ 12.5 Gsample/s ADC and DAC technologies. Combined, these two modules form the CHAMP-WB-DRFM and provide the highest bandwidth/highest resolution platform for wideband Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) processing available in the embedded defense and aerospace market, delivering an unprecedented 12.5 Gsamples/s 8-bit ADC and 12.5 Gsample/s 10-bit DAC performance from a single 6U slot. This new rugged 6U card set is the first product resulting from Curtiss-Wright’s recently announced technology and marketing partnership with Tektronix Component Solutions, and features the jointly developed TADF-4300 module. Based on Tektronix’s silicon germanium (SiGe)-based data converters, the TADF-4300, when coupled with the CHAMP-WB’s onboard Virtex7 FPGA and high-speed wideband interfaces, enables designers to develop powerful embedded DRFM solutions with 3x the performance of existing CMOS-based offerings. The board’s modular design supports both standard Virtex7-compatible FMC (VITA 57) mezzanine cards as well as providing for higher throughput modules such as the TADF-4300. The board’s data plane connects directly to the FPGA with support for Gen2 Serial RapidIO (SRIO) data plane fabric. Alternate fabrics can also be supported with different FPGA cores. A Gen3 PCI Express (PCIe) switch connected to the board’s expansion plane enables a single host card, such as Curtiss-Wright’s VPX6-1957 or CHAMP-AV8, to control multiple CHAMP-WB cards without utilizing data-plane bandwidth. Memory support on the CHAMP-WB includes two 64-bit, 4 Gbyte DDR3L memory banks that provide up to 8 Gbytes of on-card data capture or pattern generation capability. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. [].

1553B PMC and PCI Interface Boards Suit Networked Systems

Front End Hot Swap Power Supplies Deliver 92% Efficiency

Sabtech Industries has introduced its Falcon family of PMC and PCI interface boards. The new interface family consists of the Falcon PMC and the Falcon PCI models that connect computers with PMC and PCI bus slots to military computers and peripherals over a serial bus as defined in MIL-STD-1553B. The PCI version also features an optional MIL-STD1397C Type A, B, C or H interface. Sabtech’s Falcon PMC 1553 provides single or dual MIL-STD-1553B channels on a single PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC). On dual-channel models, both channels can operate concurrently with full performance and programmability. Additional features include software controlled bus coupling, dual-redundant bus connections and interrupt, PIO/DMA operation. The Falcon PCI model features independent MIL-STD-1553B and NTDS Parallel Type A/B/C/H interfaces on a single board. The Falcon saves valuable slot space without sacrificing performance by allowing a single PCI card to communicate simultaneously over both Link-11 (MIL-STD-1397C) and Link16 (MIL-STD-1553B). It is supported by an extensive application programming interface (API) library and a device driver that integrates support for both the 1553 and NTDS channels.

TDK has announced the expansion of its TDK-Lambda HFE1600 range of 1.6 kW high-density, front end power supplies with the addition of a 32V model. Particularly well-suited for use in broadcast applications, the HFE1600-32 operates from a universal 85 to 265 VAC input, and the high efficiency of up to 92% minimizes heat dissipation and power consumption thus meeting Climate Savers Computing efficiency standards. In addition to the 32V model, these supplies are available with other standard output voltages including 12V, 24V and 48 VDC. The outputs are user adjustable to suit custom requirements. Each HFE1600 supply has two variable-speed cooling fans and can operate in temperatures ranging from -10° to +70°C. As with all models in the HFE1600 series, the HFE160032 AC-DC power supply can be used individually, or up to 5 units can be mounted into a dedicated 1U rack delivering up to 8 kW. To form a hot swap N+1 redundant power system, up to 10 units mounted in two racks can be configured in parallel with single wire current sharing. The HFE1600 power supplies are available now and priced from $399 each in quantities of 500 units.

Sabtech Industries, Yorba Linda, CA. (714) 692-3800. [].

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

CompactPCI Serial SBC Sports Third Gen 3.3 GHz Core i7 MEN Micro offers its latest 3U CompactPCI Serial SBC, the G22. With speeds up to 3.3 GHz using Turbo Boost functionality, the new Intel Quad Core i7-based board provides exceptional processing performance in data-intensive environments. The G22 also provides high graphics performance as well as state-of-the-art I/O functionality. The board enables fast serial data transfers up to 12 Gbit/s and full mesh capabilities without additional configuration overhead. All of the eight Gigabit Ethernet interfaces specified in the CompactPCI Serial standard can be led to the backplane. The G22 comes with 4 or 8 Gbytes of soldered DDR3 DRAM, complete with ECC. All components are soldered to withstand heavy shock and vibration, and conformal coating protects the 3U SBC from dust and humidity. Watchdogs monitor the processor and board temperature. Pricing for the G22 is $3,008.

MEN Micro, Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. []. 48

COTS Journal | March 2013

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

Coaxial Resonator Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. Frequency

Oscillator Boasts Doubler

Crystek’s new CVCO55CXT-4812-4812 Coaxial Resonator Oscillator (CRO) is a coaxial-based VCO with an internal proprietary frequency doubler. The CVCO55CXT family’s frequency doubling, 2X fundamental technology reaches new performance levels of lower phase noise and much lower harmonics over the competition, while achieving lower current consumption in the process. The CVCO55CXT-4812-4812 operates at 4812 MHz with a tuning voltage range of 0.3 VDC to 4.7 VDC. This coaxial VCO features a typical phase noise of -102 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset and has good linearity. The CVCO55CXT-4812-4812 CRO exhibits an output power of 3.0 dBm typ. into a 50 ohm load with a supply of +5.0 VDC and a current consumption of 25 mA (max.).

Crystek, Ft. Myers, FL. (239) 561-3311. [].

SBC Spans 300 to 800 MHz Range with ARM Cortex-A8 Processors MSC Embedded has announced a nanoRISC embedded processor module that is based on the Texas Instruments AM335x. Different members of the AM335x family of ARM Cortex-A8 processors, clocked from 300 to 800 MHz, are used for the module offering a wide variety of features and interfaces. The module can hold up to 512 Mbyte of DDR3 DRAM, up to 512 Mbyte of SLC NAND Flash and optionally up to 64 Gbyte eMMC Flash. A microSD card holder on the module enables the addition of Flash memory cards. The MSC nanoRISC-AM335x module is fully compliant to the nanoRISC specification and provides for popular embedded I/O signals such as Ethernet, USB, CAN, UART, SPI, I2C and I2S audio. Initially, two processors from TI’s AM335x family will be used for the nanoRISC-AM335x module. The AM3352 clocked at 300 MHz with its very low power consumption and basic feature set will mark the economic entry-level module, while the AM3354 at 800 MHz will provide very high computing power as well as hardware 3D graphics acceleration. The new module supports direct LCD drive (16/18/24-bit RGB) at a resolution of up to HD (1366 x 768 pixels). Some members of the module family provide 3D graphics acceleration built into the CPU’s SGX530 graphics subsystem. The 10/100 Base-T Ethernet interface can optionally be used as Gigabit LAN or as two independent 10/100 LAN interfaces. Further options include a versatile Programmable Realtime Unit (PRU) allowing fast response to real-time events, and Industrial Ethernet for industrial field bus applications. The 70 x 50 mm nanoRISC module consumes less than 2W of power (1.7W for the 300 MHz version) and can be operated without any cooling. In OEM quantities the module with the Quad-Core CPU will cost $168.

Appliance Inlet Handles High Temp Environments Schurter has announced its 1681 series with an IEC style C22 appliance inlet for hot conditions up to 155°C. With the addition of the new C22 high-temperature inlet, Schurter offers the full range of rated currents, maximum pin temperatures and protection class covered in IEC 60320. The 1681 appliance inlet is ENEC approved for 16A at 250 VAC and cCSAus approved for 21A at 250 VAC. It has a maximum pin temperature of 155°C and operating temperature range of -25°C to 155°C. It is available in snap-in and screw-on mounting with solder, quick-connect or screw terminals. The C22 connector is ideal for use in devices that work with high currents and /or increased ambient temperature. Pricing for the 1681 starts at about $2.52 each for 100 pieces.

Schurter, Rosa, CA. (707) 636-3000. [].

MSC Embedded, San Bruno, CA. (650) 616-4068. [].

Module Provides GPIB TO LAN Instrument Interfacing ICS Electronics has announced a GPIB-to-Ethernet Interface for adding instruments with Ethernet interfaces to the GPIB Bus. ICS’s Model 4865B is a new version of ICS’s 4865 Interface that enables a user to add Ethernet-based instruments to his GPIB Test System. The 4865B is 2x to 5x faster than the original 4865 and includes the Raw Socket protocol for interfacing to a larger number of instruments. The new Model 4865B gives the user his choice of two protocols: VXI-11 for communicating with VXI-11.3-compatible instruments, and Raw Socket for communicating with raw socket instruments. The Model 4865B is configured over its Ethernet interface with any Web browser and does not require any special configuration utilities or drivers. Pricing for the Model 4865B is $575 each in quantities of 1 to 4 units.

ICS Electronics, Pleasanton, CA. (925) 416-1000. []. March 2013 | COTS Journal


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Core i7-Based OpenVPX Module ProvidesGet InfiniBand ConnectedLink with companies and products featured in this section.

When data plane bandwidth is a priority, fabrics like InfiniBand provide unique capabilities. Following that trend, Mercury Systems has expanded its product line to offer the industry’s first embedded processing module using the powerful Intel 3rd generation Core i7 quadcore Ivy Bridge mobile-class processor and dual Mellanox ConnectX-3 host adapters for a total of four InfiniBand fabric connections. The new LDS6523 can be configured to support Double Data Rate, Quad Data Rate and 40 GigE speeds. Solutions based on the LDS6523 are perfectly suited for multi-dimensional applications requiring high throughput, determinism and low latency—such as CyberINT, IMINT, SIGINT and radar. The LDS6523 is powered by the i7 quad-core processor running at 2.3 GHz. The processor utilizes Intel’s revolutionary Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) instruction set, which doubles the width of its SIMD engine and greatly increases floating-point processing performance. The ConnectX-3 device serves as a bridge between PCI Express 3.0 interfaces on the processor and the OpenVPX data plane, and offers configurable speed settings that can scale the data plane bandwidth. To balance higher processing density, the data plane bandwidth scales on the LDS6523 architecture to ensure that the processor is fully utilized and never starved for more data. The LDS6523 provides two mezzanine sites for configuration with standard I/O cards—one PMC/XMC site and one XMC site. The PCI Express architecture brings a PCIe interface to both XMC sites and to the PMC, thus maximizing the flow of I/O into the processing subsystem. The LDS6523 enables mission security features and offers multiple I/O options and advanced system management in a VITA 65/46/48 (VPX-REDI)-compliant form factor. The LDS6523 is available and shipping today.

Mercury Systems, Chelmsford, MA. (866) 627-6951. [].

PCIe Synchronous Serial Interface Offers Four Configurable Ports

Universal PCB Tester Is Complete Stand-Alone System

Sealevel has announced the 5402e, a PCI Express synchronous serial interface that provides four ports individually configurable for RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, RS-530, RS-530A or V.35. Designed using the first 4-port PCIe sync board to support the popular Zilog Z85230 Enhanced Serial Communication Controller (ESCC), the synchronous serial adapter is an ideal solution for military, satellite, radar and other applications that require robust synchronous communications. In RS-232 mode, all common modem control signals are implemented for compatibility with a wide range of peripherals. For maximum compatibility with a variety of synchronous protocols, a digital phase lock loop (DPLL) is included on each port, and the board supports data rates up to 128 Kbits/s in burst mode. For easy implementation, a fan-out cable is included that terminates the onboard 100-pin SCSI-style connector to four DB-25M connectors. Terminal blocks, adapter cables and other helpful accessories are available to simplify installation. All products are in stock and pricing begins at $1,599.

Saelig has introduced the ABI BoardMaster 8000 PLUS—a unique, versatile, self-contained and easy-to-use PCB test system. The BoardMaster 8000 Plus is a comprehensive set of test instruments, complete with built-in PC, for testing and fault-finding on almost any kind of PCB. Incorporating a full range of test instruments in one compact box and offering a variety of available test methods, the BoardMaster 8000 PLUS provides a cost-effective, stand-alone solution for electronics faultfinding across a wide range of industries. A typical BoardMaster 8000 PLUS configuration offers two Board Fault Locator modules, with 128 test channels for multiple test methods for fault diagnosis and functional testing of digital ICs (in-circuit / out-ofcircuit), IC connections status, and voltage acquisition, and V-I Curve testing of components on unpowered boards. Also included is an Analog IC Tester for in-circuit functional testing of analog ICs and discrete components (no programming or circuit diagrams needed) and a fully configurable V-I Tester for detection of faults on unpowered boards. A Multiple Instrument Station provides eight high specification test and measurement instruments in one compact module (Frequency Counter, Digital Storage Oscilloscope, Function Generator, Digital Floating Multimeter, Auxiliary PSU and Universal I/O). A Triple Output Variable Power Supply provides required supply voltages to the unit under test.

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

Saelig Company, Fairport, NY. (585) 385-1750. [].

Embedded PC Features Dual Core Atom D2550 The Impact-E 150 from Amplicon is a compact fanless embedded system powered by the Intel Atom D2550 dualcore processor, making it ideal for multiple applications. The new Impact-E 150 utilizes the Cedarview Atom D2550 processor that supports Intel GMA3600 graphics, is capable of delivering a rich multimedia and Internet experience, including support for dual display and full HD 1080p video playback. Designed for applications where space is at a premium, the Impact-E 150 has a compact footprint. The Impact-E 150 has the space for an additional 2.5-inch hard drive or solid-state drive as well as for optional Wi-Fi and cellular modules. Encased in a fanless aluminum chassis, the Impact-E 150 dissipates heat effectively, ensuring smooth operation in the most demanding environments.

Amplicon, Brighton, UK. +01273 570 220. []. 50

COTS Journal | March 2013



USB DAQ Module Family Adds More Digital I/O Functionality ADLINK Technology has announced its new USB-7230 and USB-7250 isolated USB digital I/O modules, adding to its USB form factor DAQ/ DIO product line. The enhanced integration of a high-speed frequency/ event counter, digital filter and change of state (COS) detection in a single USB module supports the flexibility and reliability requirements of high voltage control and monitoring applications. The USB-7230 provides 32-CH isolated digital I/O and 2-CH frequency/event counters, while the USB-7250 provides 8-CH solid-state relay output (4 form C and 4 form A), 8-CH isolated DI and 2-CH frequency/event counters. The device features high voltage on/off control and monitoring and isolation voltage support up to 2500 VRMS. The integrated frequency/event counting and COS detection provided by the built-in complex programmable logic device (CPLD) occupy no CPU resources, while at the same time avoid data loss from changes in signal status. In addition, a programmable digital filter removes unexpected glitches from input channels to monitor I/O status more efficiently. All of ADLINK’s USB DAQ modules feature USB power, removable screw-down terminals for simplified connection, and a multi-functional stand for fast and easy desktop-, rail- or wallmounting. Additionally, a lockable USB cable secures connectivity. The USB DAQ modules also simplify device ID setting with a rotary control conveniently identifying the active module in multiple-connection configurations.

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

Power Supply Designed for Rugged Uses Power supplies designed for the oil industry offer levels of rugged performance that are attractive to military system designs. Behlman Electronics has announced that additional orders have been received for 200 of their Model BL1500 power supply. The BL1500 is one of many Behlman power supplies that provide the highest levels of support for oil exploration, drilling, evaluation completion and intervention. The Behlman BL1500 unit is powered from 115 VAC, 47-63 Hz and provides two ranges of high-voltage AC at 60 Hz. Units can be stacked for increased power. Protective circuits include input, short circuit, constant current and thermal protection. BL1500 power supplies have an RS-485 interface, allowing the unit to be controlled and monitored remotely from a central station. It operates from 32° to 131°F, and has a high-strength 19-inch rackmount chassis 3.5” high x 21.5” deep (48.25 cm wide x 7.87 cm high x 54.61 deep).

Behlman Electronics, Hauppauge, NY. (631) 435-0410. [].

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Rugged Stand-Alone Box & PCI Express Product Gallery Featuring the latest in Rugged Stand-Alone Box & PCI Express Product technologies NEW! ADLMES-8200 Modular Enclosure System

NightHawk ICU Aitech’s NightHawk ICU, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom-based, self-contained control unit weighs 4.5 lbs. This weight reduction, slimmer profile and natural convection/ radiation cooling that dissipates less than 20W at +35°C in still air, make the rugged control unit ideal for rugged industrial and outdoor environments.

Modular Design Supports Variable Stack Heights (2 - 6 Cards) Three Basic Size Profiles Available To Reduce Time To Market Front I/O Plate Can Be Easily Customized For Feature and Function High and Low Ingress Protection (IP) Systems Thermally Conductive Base, Ribbed Sidewalls and Finned Top For Superior Conductive and Convection Cooling

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. Phone: (858) 490-0597 Fax: (858) 490-0599

E-mail: Web:

Aitech Defense Systems Phone: (888) 248-3248 Fax: (818) 350-6888

DDC’s Programmable 38 Channel ARINC 429/717 PCI-Express Cards! DD-40000K:

PCIe dual IF receiver with powerful FPGA resources Custom FPGA-based DSP design, development, and integration services available

Up to 36 ARINC 429 Programmable Tx/Rx Channels 2 Programmable Tx/Rx ARINC 717 Channels for Flight Data Recorder Testing Up to 16 Avionics Discrete I/O On-Board Message Scheduling and DMA Variable ARINC Speed Output Also available in PCI, PMC, and cPCI/ PXI

Data Device Corporation


E-mail: Phone: (800) DDC-5757 Web:

Phone: (503) 690-1234 Fax: (503) 690-1243

ExpressBox 4 1U – 4 Slot PCIe Expansion

Phone: (858) 530-2511 Fax: (858) 530-2733

E-mail: Web:

Magma – PCIe Expansion for any environment Phone: (858) 530-2511 Fax: (858) 530-2733

E-mail: Web:

SIU6 - Embedded I/O System – Sensor Interface Unit High Density Multi-function I/O subsystem for data acquisition, distribution and processing applications Features compact, conduction-cooled enclosure, 6U VME high density multi-function I/O boards, integrated power supply and Ethernet/Networkcentric communications Modular architecture allows mixand-match I/O, communications and processing functions Low profile, rugged base-plate cooled chassis

up to 3rd. Generation Core i7 ext. temp. -40°C up to +85°C no fan & full power 8 - 36/48 VDC Openframe up to IP67 housing OEM and customized solutions 10+ years availability 20+ years repairable Think Long-Term - Think MPL

Phone: +41 56 483 34 34 Fax: +41 56 493 30 20

E-mail: Web:

Smart, Manageable, Multi-Host PCIe Expansion Provides 16 PCIe slots - (2) x16 PCIe and (14) x8 PCIe slots 4U industrial, rugged rack-mount chassis Connects to host computer through PCIe card and cable Partition slots among multiple servers Minimize rack space for I/O expansion

Long-term Embedded Intel Solution

MPL AG Switzerland

For digital signal processing (DSP) and digital communications systems Multirate, multichannel designs Wideband / multichannel softwaredefined radio High-speed filtering Adaptive signal processing Real-time signal acquisition and analysis

ExpressBox 16 – 16 Slot PCIe Expansion

Mission Critical, Space Saving PCIe Expansion Install and remove PCIe cards without shutting down the server Attach (4) x8 PCIe slots through a single host PCIe slot 1U rack-mount chassis with hotswappable fans and redundant power Daisy-chain feature incrementally adds additional slots as needed

Magma – PCIe Expansion for any environment

E-mail: Web:

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

Phone: (631) 567-1100 Fax: (631) 567-1823




Rugged Stand-Alone Box & PCI Express Product Gallery Super Wide View TFT LCDs Are Sunlight Readable Kyocera Display America has announced three new TFT-LCDs that will be added to its TFT-LCD product line. The three new products are a 7.0-inch WVGA and two 8.4-inch SVGA TFT-LCD displays. All displays feature Super Wide Viewing (SWV) technology and two of them are super high brightness for sunlight readable outdoor applications. Super Wide Viewing technology delivers true color and the best optical performance. It enables people to view images with vivid color (no grey inversion) from any angle. Designed with the latest high-efficiency, long lifetime LED backlight, the LCD panels achieve brightness levels as high as 1200 nits (cd/m2), and provide an ideal solution for medical, automotive and any outdoor applications requiring sunlight readability. The new TFT-LCDs are designed with standard LVDS interface, and offer a wide operating temperature range of -30° to 85°C.

MOBL-D2 Universal Mobile Computer Modular Open system architecture Application agnostic Fanless operation – no moving parts Wide temperature range -30°C +70°C Low power CPU MIL-810F shock and vibration Designed, manufactured and certified in the US

Computers in Motion Phone: (303) 430-1500 Fax: (303) 426-8126

Kyocera Display America, Plymouth, MI. (734) 416-8500. [].

Cobalt Model 78671: PCI Express Board with Four 1.25 GHz 16-bit D/As, Extended Interpolation, Virtex-6 FPGA

BGA Socket Presents No Performance Penalty Users can socket their 141-pin 1.27 mm pitch LTM4609 ICs with a socket whose footprint is the same as the IC footprint. Ironwood Electronics’ new high-performance socket, the SF-BGA141A-B-32F, allows 1.27 mm pitch, 15x15 mm body, 12x12 array Linear’s highefficiency switching mode buck-boost power supply IC to be placed in socket and operated without compromising performance in DC/ DC applications. The Giga-snaP BGA socket adapter pair consists of SF-BGA141A-B-32F, patented female BGA sockets with machined pins molded into an assembly that matches the male pin LS-BGA141A-31 adapter. The SF-BGA141A-B-32F BGA socket is soldered to a PCB using standard soldering methods without warping, which results in reliable connection to the PCB. The Giga-snaP BGA socket adapter line is available in many different pin counts/pitches, and customs can be delivered in days. Pricing for the SF-BGA141AB-32F is $32.00 each with reduced pricing available depending on quantity required.

E-mail: Web:

Pentek, Inc. Phone: (201) 818-5900 Fax: (201) 818-5904

PCI Express Gen. 1 and 2 interface up to x8 Four 1.25 GHz 16-bit D/As Four digital upconverters Extended interpolation range from 2x to 1,048,576x Programmable output levels 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA Clock/sync bus for multiboard synchronization Optional user-configurable gigabit serial interface Also available in XMC, OpenVPX, and cPCI formats E-mail: Web:

DC-DC Converters for Avionics and Other Hi-Rel Apps VPT hi-rel DC-DC converters offer wide temperature cycling, screening for shock and vibe, industry standard specs including DO-160, hermetic or nonhermetic modules, circuit protections, fixed frequencies, and typical delivery from stock.

Ironwood Electronics, Eagan, MN. (952) 2298200. [].

VPT, Inc. Phone: (425) 353-3010 Fax: (425) 353-4030

cots1303_showcase.indd 2

E-mail: Web:

March 2013 | COTS Journal


3/6/13 9:50 AM

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

OpenVPX System Combines Fanless Enclosure, Customizable I/O Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Emerson Network Power has announced its first system-level OpenVPX fanless enclosure—including power, storage and processor elements—designed to minimize size, weight and power (SWaP) for military, aerospace, commercial and other High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) applications. The VPX3000 includes a configurable I/O Adapter Board (IAB) that routes I/O from the payload blades to the front of the enclosure. The IAB is designed to mate with Emerson Network Power’s iVPX7225 processor blade, based on the Intel 3rd generation Core mobile chipset. The VPX3000 accepts up to three 3U conduction-cooled OpenVPX modules and includes a VITA-62 compliant AC or DC power supply with a MIL-38999 power input connector and a front panel switch. Two Data Plane Fat Pipes from each slot are connected in a full mesh configuration. Two Control Plane Ultra Thin Pipes from each slot are routed to the IAB as 1000Base-T interfaces. USB 2.0 and Display Port interfaces are also routed to the IAB in all variants. A rugged variant of the VPX300, targeted at military, aerospace and government applications, includes three MIL-38999 connectors for I/O from each slot. An alternative variant includes commercial connectors on the IAB and is targeted toward industrial and development applications.

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

Fanless Third Gen Core i7 Server Boasts Compact Size

Embedded NUC Form Factor Computer Has Dual Core i3s

AndersDX has announced the availability of MicroSVR, a server based on Generation Intel Core i7 processor technology. MicroSVR is extremely small at 6 x 16 x 26 cm and uses powerful Core i7 Ivybridge processor family options, offering clock speeds up to 2.5 GHz, and dual channel memory with support for up to 32 Gbytes of EEC RAM. It has an extremely rich set of standard I/O including 2x GbE, 2x USB3, 2x USB2.0, 2 x RS-232 serial connectors, ESATA and both HDMI and Display Port for multiple display support, leveraging Intel’s HD4000 graphics chip, for up to WQXGA resolution (2560x1600). Connectivity is also offered through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, while Intel’s AMT enables an effective remote management solution. For storage, MicroSVR supports 4 x 2.5” hard discs, RAID 0,1,5,10 + mSATA socket. One of the key benefits of MicroSVR is the almost unlimited options for expansion due to 2x miniPCIe sockets, which can be used for standard cards such as video capture or 3G / GPS connectivity, and the support of the FACE module concept, which extends across other products in the range. FACE modules literally enable users to “change the front face” of the product and integrate additional functionality that is brought out through an internal I/O extension.

Logic Supply has announced the arrival of the NUC-based LGX AG960 Core i3 Compact Multimedia Computer. Its flexibility, computing power and compact size makes the AG960 ideal for military multimedia applications. Based on the Intel NUC form factor, the system fits in the palm of a hand and allows for discreet placement in space-constrained environments. Because it’s designed with a single centrifugal side blower fan, the system remains cool and quiet during operation. With a 1.80 GHz Intel Dual Core i33217U processor and the QS77 chipset, it eliminates the typical tradeoff between computer size and speed. The low TDP (Thermal Design Power) processor allows the system to run at under 30W, staying cool and ensuring stability, maximum uptime and longevity. With Intel HD Graphics 4000, four 2.0 USB ports and two HDMI, the computer can power HD video and dual displays making it ideal for graphic-intensive applications. The AG960 is based off the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) form factor, but this embedded version varies from its commercial cousin in important ways. The case is 100% metal and constructed of high-quality rust-protected steel to ensure longevity and durability. The unit boasts an additional front panel USB port and user power button with a LED indicator.

AndersDX, London, UK. +44 (0)20 7388 7171. [].

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

X-Band Low Noise Amplifier Targets Radar Applications M/A-COM Technology Solutions has announced an X-Band extension to its Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) family. The MAAL-010528 is designed for customers who need a quick LNA solution for V-Sat, Radar and Microwave Applications. This LNA delivers higher Gain and Linearity performance over the 8.012.0 GHz frequency band than many competing parts, providing customers with system advantages for their LNA requirements. Packaged in a small 3x3 mm PQFN Surface Mount and having a single, positive bias supply, the device allows customers a simple and elegant LNA solution. The MAAL-010528 GaAs MMIC LNA provides a nominal Gain of 20 dB with excellent gain flatness, high OIP3 linearity of 26 dBm, and a mid-band noise figure supply of 1.6 dB.

M/A-COM Technology Solutions, Lowell, MA. (978) 656-2500. []. 54

COTS Journal | March 2013

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

Virtex-7 Boards XMC VPX Form Get Connected withRide companies and and products featured in this Factors section.

Two highly configurable modules feature advanced digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities

and multiple I/O options and are available from 4DSP in both 3U VPX and XMC from factors. The FM780 is XMC (VITA 42.3) compliant with a PCI Express Gen 2 interconnect while the VP780 is 3U VPX form factor (VITA 46) compliant. Both modules provide an FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card, VITA 57) site and two 4DSP Board Level Application Scalable Technology (BLAST) locations that are closely coupled to the onboard Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA and 2 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM. In addition to 2 Gbytes of onboard DDR3 SDRAM, the FM780 and VP780 have a variety of memory options such as NAND Flash, QDRII SRAM+ and extra DDR3 SDRAM through BLAST modules. The VP780 and FM780 are available in operating temperature ranges of 0° to 70°C or -40° to 85°C with optional conformal coating.

4DSP, Austin, TX. (800) 816-1751. [].

AMC Family Boards Are Based on Third Generation Core i7 Processor Four new AMC single board computers all offer a choice of dual or quad core 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 processors based on 22nm process technology, and supporting up to 16 Gbyte DRAM. These four AMC products from Concurrent Technologies are designed to meet the needs of different applications by varying form factor, backplane fabric and I/O interfaces. The AM 910/x1x is a single-width processor board with PCI Express (PCIe) Gen 3 backplane connectivity. It is a plug-compatible upgrade for the previous generation AM 31x/x1x. Users of the AM 91x/x1x could experience an increase of up to 15% in CPU performance and an increase of up to 50% in graphics performance when compared to previous architectures while operating within the same power budget as previous Intel Core processor-based AMC products. The AM 93x/x1x combines the power-efficient 3rd Generation Intel Core processor with Serial RapidIO backplane connectivity. Systems designers can take advantage of the board’s processing power, high-performance backplane fabric connectivity and the peer-to-peer networking performance of Serial RapidIO to develop large multiprocessing systems. The AM 92x/x1x is designed in compliance to AMC.0 including full hot swap and IPMI capabilities along with AMC.2 Type E2 (2x Gigabit Ethernet) and AMC.3 Type S2 (2x SATA ports). Additionally, the front panel provides connectivity to a Gigabit Ethernet port, DisplayPort interface, a USB port and RS-232 port. Bootable Flash memory can be supported via an optional onboard SATA Flash module. The AM 90x/x1x is a double-width single board computer designed in compliance to AMC.0, AMC.1 Type 8 (x8 PCI Express, Gen 1, Gen 2 or Gen 3), AMC.2 Type E2 (2 x Gigabit Ethernet) and AMC.3 Type S2 (2 x SATA ports). The distinguishing feature is the support for the MicroTCA for Physics (MTCA.4) standard, which provides rear I/O and precision timing extensions to the MicroTCA architecture, thereby extending the MicroTCA architecture to applications related to physics research.

Slim SATA SSDs up to 512 Gbyte Capacity The ability to integrate very high Slim SATA capacity gives OEMs an optimal small form factor alternative to 2.5-inch SATA SSDs or hard drives for networking, industrial, AdvancedTCA and other blade applications. The StorFly 200 SSDs from Virtium support industrial operating temperatures of -40° to 85°C, and deliver outstanding performance in a 54 mm x 39 mm x 4 mm form factor—less than 15% the volume of a 2.5-inch, 9.5 mm SSD. The StorFly 200 design doubles the capacity of other Slim SATA solutions, giving industrial, embedded and intelligent systems OEMs the ability to maximize their storage capacity per mm3 while meeting application goals for endurance, temperature and lifecycle.

Virtium, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. (949) 888-2444. [].

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

System Platform Aims at Cloud Computing The first in the series of Kontron’s new cloud platforms is the SYMKLOUD MS2900 Web. Only 2U in height and 21 inches (533.4mm) deep, the Kontron SYMKLOUD MS2900 Web has integrated single or redundant L4 to L7 switching, up to two load balancer subsystems, and up to nine independent Intel Xeon E3-1265 Lv2 Quad-Core processors. All switch, load balancer and processor subsystems are hot-swappable. Storage options include up to 13.5 Terabytes of HDD or SSD 2.5” drives. In addition to its power management controls, the Kontron SYMKLOUD MS2900 Web provides additional energy efficiencies by only requiring 1100W redundant AC or DC hot-swap, power supplies.

Kontron, Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. []. March 2013 | 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

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

Coming Next Month Special Feature: GPGPUs vs. FPGAs for Military Signal Processing The concept of putting high-performance graphics processors to work on general-purpose processing tasks is beginning to gain traction. But GPGPUs are not expected to supplant FPGAs overnight. GPUs have potential in application areas including target tracking, image stabilization and SAR (synthetic aperture radar) simulation. Sensor processing and software defined radio are also well suited for this kind of processing. Board-level products have emerged specifically for GPGPU computing in a number of form factors including OpenVPX. Tech Recon: Embedded Computing in Unmanned Ground Systems There’s no doubt that military robots—or unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) as they’re more often called—have proven an incredibly valuable life-saving resource in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. And while UGV technology has nowhere near matched the level of maturity that UAVs have, they’ve come a long way over the past several years. This section explores the technologies that support military robotics and looks at the DoD’s plan for their future. System Development: Advances in Smart Munitions and Small UAV Payloads Smart munitions and small UAV payloads both share an increasing appetite for highly integrated, low-power embedded computing. Selecting the right embedded electronics and embedded computers in those systems becomes a make or break decision. This section focuses on the electronics aboard UAVs in the “Small” category as well as the full range of smart munitions. Tech Focus: Small Non-Standard Boards While standard, open-architecture board form factors continue to dominate in military systems, nonstandard form factors free designers from the size and cost overheads associated with including a standard bus. Articles in this section look at the trade-offs between standard and non-standard form factors. A product album compares the latest representative small non-standard boards. 56

COTS Journal | March 2013


EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Army Regroups and Redirects


s I have done for the past 10 years, last month I trekked down to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the AUSA Winter show. With companies and the Army itself reining in their spending tighter than ever, I expected a smaller, slower event than in normal years. But the exhibitor floor was even more sparse than I could have imagined. Among the primes, for example, Boeing was literally the only one that had any technology on display in their booth. The looming threat of sequestration and overall uncertainty about the DoD budget have sure had an effect. As we go to print with this issue, the Congress hasn’t accepted or made any deals that will head off the March 1st automatic cuts, so it looks like the Army and the exhibitors at AUSA were wise to be frugal. That said, there were a handful of small technology suppliers at the show that had both a lot to show off and a positive story to tell about the niche they serve in the military market. No matter what the outlook is for the Defense Budget overall, it remains true that lucrative opportunities for tech insertion and tech upgrade tend to increase when “new start” program opportunities recede. In this current climate of reduced budgets, the argument for embracing standards-based boards and systems is more compelling than ever. It’s an era where primes can no longer afford to do everything themselves. They’ll have to embrace a long-term approach that doesn’t require expensive redesigns every time computing technology shifts to a new level of speed and density. Solutions based on embedded computing form factors such as VME, VPX, CompactPCI, PC/104 and others serve exactly those needs. While the exhibition situation was beyond AUSA’s control—and hopefully an anomaly because of this year’s peculiar budget quandary—the conference side of AUSA did not disappoint. A number of uniformed and non-uniformed speakers gave very substantive presentations and updates on some of the Army’s key technology areas. In one of the talks at AUSA Winter, Lt. Gen. James Barclay, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, for the Army, explained how the sequester will affect the Army’s modernization plans. The General emphasized that their modernization is not program specific—it’s not like picking a program like JLTV or GCV, but rather a broader strategy. Sequestration will force the Army to slash $18 billion to $20 billion from its accounts between March and September. After fiscal 2013, the Pentagon will have to continue spreading that $500 billion reduction to planned spending over nine years. 58

COTS Journal | March 2013

In order to deal with this challenge, Barclay said the Army will extend the timelines on its modernization programs. The service will also look at staggered modernization, in other words incremental changes in different variants, and staggering modernization over a longer period of time. Getting specific, Barclay said the CH-47 will be pushed back a couple years and the Apache fleet is going to be extended by three to five years. The Black Hawk fleet meanwhile will also be extended by three to five years in order to meet the new fiscal realities. New-start programs will take a hit. The Army won’t be able to launch any newstart programs, sign any new contracts or even expand existing programs. One loser under this scenario is the Paladin PIM mobile gun platform. The platform was slated to receive a production decision this summer and would have been considered a new-start program. Another speaker at AUSA offered an update on the status of the GCV, the Army’s next-generation combat vehicle. According to Army Times, Col. Rocky Kmiecik, of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, shared some information after his AUSA speech updating the industry on mobile firepower requirements. Col. Kmiecik reportedly provided a sneak peak at some of what the Army found during the AoA conducted on a variety of mostly foreign-made infantry carriers at Fort Bliss, Texas, over last spring and summer. Kmiecik said the Israeli Namer, for example, was simply too heavy to be seriously considered by the U.S. Army. It was never designed to be expeditionary, since the Israelis optimized it to operate in places they can drive to, such as the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip. That said, the Namer vehicle taught the team about crew compartment protection and force protection, which Kmiecik says has helped inform the GCV program. The CV90 infantry carrier meanwhile was optimized for the European plains. Yet the team learned a lot about digital architecture from studying the vehicle. As of now, the Army is planning on a gun “larger than 25 mm, most likely a 30 mm” for the GCV, according to Kmiecik. That would allow the crew to eliminate dismounted and other small threats with fewer rounds. This would save weight because the vehicle would carry fewer rounds. The fiscal pressures have caused disruptions in the GCV program’s progress. In January, the technology development (TD) phase of the program was extended by six months in anticipation of the fiscal challenges over the next four or five years. Moving the program’s schedule back by six months puts a final production decision at an expected timeframe of fiscal 2019.

d n a


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