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Tech Focus:

VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Roadmap for UGVs Eyes Improved Autonomy

15th Annual Obsolesence and EOL Directory

An RTC Group Publication

Volume 16 Number 3 March 2014

CAN Protocol Solutions

Fiber and Twisted-Pair CAN Networks from RTD For Additional Fiber-Optic CAN Devices

Isolated CAN Network #1

Stackable ISA Bus





X10 Open


Dual CAN Module Isolated CAN Network #2




Isolated Copper Twisted-Pair CAN Bus #1

8-36 VDC Input +5 V Output

CAN Device

Isolated Copper Twisted-Pair CAN Bus #2

For Additional Copper Twisted-Pair CAN Devices

8-36 VDC Input +5 V Output

X10 Open



For Additional Copper Twisted-Pair CAN Devices



CAN Device





X9 Open



1 Mb/s Fiber-Optic CAN Devices


These modules are shown separately for clarity in the diagram. In real-world applications, the PC/104 modules can be stacked together to form a rugged unit. Our dual-CAN controller supports up to 32 devices on each isolated network.


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01 90

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Copyright Š 2014 RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. RTD is a co-founder of the PC/104 Consortium and an AS9100 and ISO9001 Certified Company. All trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

CPU Module


CAN Device

CAN Device

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


VME and VPX Follow Parallel and Overlapping Paths

CONTENTS March 2014

Volume 16


E ditorial The Word Business


The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

Number 3


Positioning OpenVPX and VME


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 customer-paid 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.

V ME and VPX Follow Parallel and Overlapping Paths Jeff Child

14  VME and OpenVPX Stake Out Territory along the Continuum of Choices Michel Stern, GE Intelligent Platforms

20  System Management on VPX Leveraging Established Technologies Mark Overgaard, Pigeon Point Systems

Coming in April See Page 50


Technology Roadmap for Unmanned Ground Systems

28  DoD’s Unmanned Ground Vehicle Goals Strive for Autonomy Jeff Child


Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

32  Organizations Enhance Methods of Handling Board- and IC-Level Obsolescence Jeff Child

34  Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory


38  VME SBCs Keep Refresh Alive with New Technology Jeff Child


VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup Digital subscriptions available:

On The Cover: VME has a long legacy of being able to insert new computing technology into the same systems. Such VME technology upgrades have kept the B-2 Spirit bomber outfitted with advanced processing for years. Shown here, a B-2 Spirit bomber aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, MO. flies over Kansas. (U.S. Air Force photo).


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon,


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COTS Journal | March 2014

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 PUBLISHED BY THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2014, 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.

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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

The Word Business


t’s hard for me not to roll my eyes at a phenomenon that seems to raise its head every few years: debate and discussion over what the term “COTS” means. Though it’s been with us for decades now, it’s still amazingly misunderstood. Once again there are rumblings in some quarters saying “let’s figure out what it means.” In my experience such discussions are ultimately never very productive, and if I could I’d love to remain above the fray. But since “COTS” is in our magazine’s name, we have somewhat of a custodianship over the word, so it seems right for me to weigh in. First of all, from our point of view at COTS Journal, we’ve never had any confusion about what the term COTS means. We have a very clear definition that we hold to and profess. In fact, in case any of you missed it, we actually print the correct definition of COTS in the upper right hand corner of our table of contents page. One of the key parts of that definition that many overlook is that COTS is a procurement philosophy-not some classification of product type. The simple one-line definition is: COTS is anything not specifically designed with government money. COTS can be customized products, rugged products; COTS can even meet a variety of Mil-Spec requirements. As someone who is in the word business—and the technology word business in particular—I’m aware that there comes a time when a term represents something so pervasive that it becomes a little silly to say this is X, but this isn’t X. So let’s look at some history. I’m not old enough to remember when the term “electronics” became widely used, but it began somewhere. And if it hadn’t been embraced by the technical publications of day, I suspect it wouldn’t have caught on. Any of you remember the publication named Electronics? I am old enough, however, to have lived through the emergence of the word “embedded,” and I was one of many editors that expended energy debating what embedded was and what it wasn’t. Today, you can’t name me a device or system that doesn’t have some embedded computing in it—whether it’s an ARM processor in your cell phone, or a set of OpenVPX boards in your radar system. It’s pervasive to the point where fixating so much on the word embedded is now pointless. The same is true now for COTS. 6

COTS Journal | March 2014

The proud legacy behind our name COTS Journal stems from the fact that this publication was born when the COTS movement was in place. Moreover, when our CEO John Reardon along with Warren Andrews and Pete Yeatman launched COTS Journal in 1998, the launch was aided by the father of the COTS movement himself: former Secretary of Defense Dr. William Perry. Fast forward to today, where we are so very far from the era when the economics of semiconductor technology could support any chiplevel components manufactured only for the defense market; and by that I mean microprocessors, memory chips, I/O chips, FPGAs and so on. The volumes in the defense industry are just orders of magnitude too small in comparison with the consumer electronics market that drives semiconductor technology. Unlike the commercial market, the military may require those chips to be soldered directly onto a board, or demand a more sophisticated heatsink design, but at some level it’s all the same stuff. It’s all COTS. That’s a concept COTS Journal readers probably grasp easily, because our demographics show that you’re more technical than readers of our competitors’ magazines. I am definitely bothered when people put forth the notion that the COTS stuff is the crappy stuff and the Rugged Military stuff is the good stuff. It’s all COTS, because again, it’s a procurement philosophy. Everything in a military program has to meet its program requirements. Period. When a prime makes its choice about which portions of its deliverable system’s electronics to outsource, that’s a separate issue; and in my opinion the term COTS used in that context again just causes confusion. It’s all COTS. Simply put, our industry is about embedded computing and electronics technologies applied to military system designs. And COTS Journal’s job—via our articles, our advertisements and our web content-is to provide you the best information to help you make smart technology and product choices along those lines. The COTS movement is here to stay, but when we fixate on the word itself we’re not serving that end. It’s our responsibility— those of us in the word business—to be sure we’re serving you.


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INSIDE TRACK Lockheed Martin Tapped for Army Apache Targeting and Pilotage System Contract Lockheed Martin received a $92 million Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract from the U.S. Army for sustainment of the AH-64 Apache helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system (Figure 1). The firm, fixed-price contract is the foundation for a comprehensive sustainment solution that enables M-TADS/PNVS mission readiness, reduces operation and support costs, and drives reliability and maintainability improvements. This is the second of three one-year options that support the initial $111 million PBL contract awarded in 2012. The total four-year contract value is $375 million. M-TADS/PNVS provides Apache helicopter pilots long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for mission success and flight safety day or night, or in adverse weather conditions. Forwardlooking infrared sensors provide enhanced image resolution that enables Apache aircrews to prosecute targets and provide situational awareness in support of ground troops outside detection ranges. The Apache M-TADS/PNVS PBL program provides efficiencies in supply chain management and critical sustainment support worldwide. Figure 1

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

USMC Reaches Acquisition Milestone for General Dynamics’ AC2S A General Dynamics C4 Systems-led team recently supported the successful critical design review of the Aviation Command and Control Subsystem (AC2S), a part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ new Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S). General Dynamics will now build four AC2S engineering development models (EDM) for integration into a CAC2S system for developmental testing and operational assessment. The first EDM was delivered to the Marine Corps in January 2014. CAC2S provides Marine Corps operators with the unprecedented ability to share missioncritical voice, video, sensor and other command and control data during any mission. The data sub-


COTS Journal | March 2014

The M-TADS/PNVS system provides Apache helicopter pilots long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities.

system fuses sensor inputs from expeditionary radars, weapon systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance resources into a high-resolution, real-time display that forms a common operational picture for Marine Air-Ground Task Force commanders and their staffs. CAC2S will replace the legacy Marine Air Command and Control System. General Dynamics C4 Systems Scottsdale, AZ. (480) 441-3033.

Northrop Grumman to Demo Improved Parts Obsolescence Plan for B-2 Bomber The U.S. Air Force will get its first look at a faster, more affordable way to replace obsolete

Figure 2

An increasing number of LRUs on the B-2 Bomber face or will soon face obsolescence. avionics on the B-2 stealth bomber under a contract awarded last August to Northrop Grumman (Figure 2). Under the 43-month, $43.5 million award, the company will produce a functional replacement for a B-2 avionics box called the Audio Central Distribution Unit (ACDU). More significantly,

the work will map out a smart, cost-effective way to address a growing threat to B-2 readiness: mission-essential parts that cannot be repaired or easily replaced. An increasing number of LRUs on the B-2 face or will soon face obsolescence. In some cases, the company that produced an LRU is out of business or can no longer produce the unit. In other cases, the equipment required to test an LRU is no longer available. The Common Processor concept is achieved by taking advantage of functional similarities among avionics LRUs on the B-2 today. Common hardware elements will be used in unique combinations to create different types of LRUs. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262.



The 00389 power supply is designed to meet the requirements of MIL-STD-704A and RTCA-DO160, as well as MILStandards 901; 810C; 167; and 461C/D.

Behlman Receives Follow-On Order for Power Supplies for U.S. Navy Behlman Electronics has received an additional order for a quantity of its Model 00389 COTS power supplies. These power supplies have been used by the U.S. Navy since 1999 to support anti-submarine and antiship surveillance and targeting systems. The Behlman 00389 power supply is a rugged, highly reliable unit designed and built for military and high-end industrial applications (Figure 3). It is designed to meet the requirements of MIL-STD-704A and RTCADO160, as well as MIL-Standards 901; 810C; 167; and 461C/D. These power supplies have repeatedly proven their reliability and performance in airborne naval systems, while similar Behlman COTS power supplies have proven themselves on shipboard and mobile applications. Model 00389 power supplies operate from 115/200 VAC +/-20% at 360 to 440 Hz, and provide eight DC outputs of varying power. Other features include superb specs for Load and Line Regulation; PARD-Ripple and Noise; Over-voltage Protection; Short-circuit Protection; Current Limit, Extreme Operating and Storage Temperatures; and High MTBF, in a very compact chassis.

Figure 4

The Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) program was awarded to Insitu for its Integrator UAS in July 2010.

Insitu Delivers STUAS Capability to Marines Insitu announced today that it has delivered and flown one of two Integrator Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) that will provide the U.S. Marine Corps an early operational capability for the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) program (Figure 4). The STUAS program was awarded to Insitu for its Integrator UAS in July 2010 to provide persistent maritime and land-based tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collection and dissemination capabilities to the warfighter. Just six months after contract award, the first operational assessment was completed and the Marine Corps elected to obtain an early operational capability. The Marines are acquiring the first system through a Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated (GOCO) business arrangement. The Marines will own the system at Twentynine Palms while Insitu Field Service Representatives (FSRs), who have accumulated more than 575,000 combat flight hours with the ScanEagle UAS, will operate and maintain it. Insitu Bingen, WA. (509) 493-8600. Behlman Electronics Hauppauge, NY (631) 435-0410.

Raytheon Successfully Demos Griffin Block III Missile Raytheon Company demonstrated its latest variant of the combat-proven Griffin missile, the Griffin Block III, throughout a series of test shots culminating in several direct hits against a va-

riety of static and moving targets. The Griffin Block III introduces an improved semi-active laser seeker and a new Multi-Effects Warhead System that maximizes the weapon’s lethality against a variety of targets. Block III’s enhancements will improve the warfighter’s ability to engage a broad set of static and fast-moving targets with assured confidence and greater performance.” The Griffin missile’s new seeker adds enhanced electronics and signal processing to improve

performance in the most challenging scenarios and expands the employment footprint. Production of the Griffin Block III missile is currently underway and the company expects it to serve as the core weapon for current and future Griffin users. Raytheon Waltham, MA. (781) 522-3000.

March 2014 | COTS Journal



VME and VPX Follow Parallel and Overlapping Paths The long staple of the industry, VME, and the firmly established OpenVPX. each offer different advantages. As the technologies move forward, their courses both intersect and diverge. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


COTS Journal | March 2014



ME, like no other form factor, boasts the richest successful legacy in military systems. That’s in part because of its unique ability to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. Meanwhile the VPX standard (VITA 46), or OpenVPX, emerged with a different set of characteristics for system bandwidth and backward compatibility. With VME’s huge installed based across hundreds of military programs, it’s not going away anytime soon. And it’s actually a misconception that VPX is really positioned as a replacement for VME. It’s more accurate to say VPX is decidedly aimed more at high-bandwidth, data-intensive military applications. Now that VPX has won its way to a pretty clear acceptance in the military market, the question becomes where do VME and VPX overlap and how are they positioned differently. In terms of market forecasts, analyst IHS sees that even by 2017 the worldwide market for VPX boards and systems will get closer to VME’s level, but not surpass it (Figure 1).

Perfect for Real-Time

Because VME is so perfectly suited for technology refresh programs, VME board vendors continue to roll out new VME boards based on the latest and greatest microprocessors like the Intel Core i7 and Freescale QorIQ. But aside from tech refresh programs, there are situations where VME is more suited anyway. VME is tailor-made for applications that are event-driven. Examples include anything from controlling motors and actuators to moving gun turrets and missile launchframes into position, etc. VME provides an interrupt structure designed to handle such real-time operations. Meanwhile, switched-fabric technologies and parallel PCI bus-based systems don’t handle those kinds of requirements nearly as well. So with that in mind, VME is positioned to remain the primary choice for those situa-

The World Market for Selected VITA Components Revenues ($M) - 2012 and 2017 2012

VME (System-Level)


VPX (System-Level)

VME (Board-Level)

VPX (Board-Level)

Source: IHS









Figure 1

All totaled, IHS estimated the global market for these VME and VPX products to be worth $480 million in 2012. But while VPX is growing fast, it hasn’t surpassed VME and is not expected to out to 2017.

tions platforms for many years. Based on switched fabrics as its mode of data exchange, VPX is decidedly aimed more toward high-bandwidth, data-intensive military applications. But like its VME cousin, OpenVPX provides that backward compatibility (to OpenVPX) that is so important in the military where program development cycles span many years. Just like with VME, a new VPX board with newer processor, memory and I/O components can easily be dropped into a slot that could be several years old. Therefore, as vendors continue to roll out new OpenVPX boards, the VPX technology will follow a similar parallel path of tech refresh cycles that VME has enjoyed for decades.

Side by Side Paths

Exemplifying the side by side nature

of VME and VPX technologies, some vendors are now even releasing VPX and VME products together with similar computing architectures. An example along such lines is a pair of SBCs from Aitech Defense Systems based on the latest Freescale 12-core T4240 QorIQ processor architecture. Both the VME-based C111 and the VPX-based C112 are designed to offer integrated performance characteristics that enable enhanced processing in data-intensive rugged and defense computing environments (Figure 2). The single slot SBCs operate at up to 1.8 GHz with up to 16 Gbyte of ECC-protected SDRAM to ensure high data integrity. The SDRAM memory is divided into two separate 8 Gbyte banks allowing maximum speed in processorto-memory or memory-to-memory data transfers without bus thrashing. It also alMarch 2014 | COTS Journal



lows dynamic allocation of the 12 processor cores to either memory bank to help balance memory data transfers and performance within the application. Both boards offer additional memory resources including 512 Mbytes of NOR Flash memory, up to 16 Gbytes of Flash disk mass storage and 512 kbytes of NVRAM (MRAM). Equipped with two PMC/XMC sites each, the boards

provide extended resources and design flexibility. Both the C111 and C112 are available in conduction- and air-cooled versions for use in a diverse set of rugged environments. The C111 supports both 2eSST and 2eVME protocols as well as legacy VME interfaces. The VME bridge located on the PCI-X bus for high-speed throughput provides full system controller functionality including arbitration, inter-

Figure 2

The VME-based C111 and the VPXbased C112 are both systems based on the latest Freescale 12-core T4240 QorIQ processor architecture and are suited for data-intensive defense computing environments.

rupt handling and clock generation. The SBC’s diverse set of I/O includes Ethernet, SATA 2.0, USB 2.0, serial ports and discrete I/O channels to accommodate a variety of storage, communication and other onboard peripherals. Developed to the new VPX (VITA 46.0) and OpenVPX (VITA 65) platforms, the C112 is mechanically and electrically compatible to these specifications.

Hybrid VPX/VME Systems

As VPX stakes out more military market territory, it is naturally overlapping with a lot of legacy VME-based systems. In some cases systems will require the bandwidth of VPX for one part of an application, while still needing to accommodate specialty legacy VME boards (with custom application-I/O for example) as part of the same system. There are also systems where there’s a need to transition from VME to VPX, and an intermediate solution has to accommodate both technologies. Either way, these are known as hybrid systems. Fortunately hybrid topology was thought about in the basic architecture of VPX. Many of the leading vendors of embedded computer boards who collaborated within the VITA 46 Working Group had different fabric interconnect topologies in mind for their markets—some were pipeline architectures, other were mesh topologies. Combining topologies isn’t that much 12

COTS Journal | March 2014


as defined by the VPX (VITA 46/48) open standard. MPMC-9H5x is a 3U high 1/2 ATR flexibly configured rugged system that supports a mix of 3U and 6U VPX and 6U VME form factor modules with a standard backplane configuration. This enables system developers to easily transition from custom legacy VME and I/O configurations to take full advantage of today’s state-of-the-art VPX-based pro-

cessing and networking without having to redesign or replace their existing VME and I/O hardware. The unit supports the full range of military ruggedization levels. The MPMC-9H5x’s hybrid backplane provides support for one 6U VME, two 6U VPX and two 3U VPX cards. Figure 3

The MPMC-9H5x Multi-Platform Mission Computer provides hybrid VME and VPX backplane support as defined by the VPX (VITA 46/48) open standard.

Spec Accommodates VME via VPX

With the goal of defining the proper usage of a variety of optional topologies and their mixed use, the VITA 46 Working Group developed specific "dot-specs" that define each supported topology. VITA 46.0 is the base specification and sets the requirements for the backplane’s differential signal assignments and location of channels. VITA 46.1 defines parallel VME within a VPX slot as was discussed earlier. The VITA 46.1 dot-spec allows the integrator to specify how many slots will support the parallel VME signals. All slots would also conform to the basic requirements of VITA 46.0. In this way, VPX and VME can be used in the same system. Beyond basic hybrid backplanes, there have also been complete system solutions that mix the two technologies. An example is the MPMC-9H5x Multi-Platform Mission Computer from Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) (Figure 3). It provides hybrid VME and VPX backplane support

rugged & ready when you are OPEN VPX [ configured and ready to ship


of leap. Because of that it was agreed from the very beginning that the VPX backplane would allow system architects to select the ideal mix of topologies.

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VME and OpenVPX Stake Out Territory along the Continuum of Choices As OpenVPX strengthens its grip on new program designs, VME’s legacy continues to hold a key position as a means for smooth technology upgrades of legacy systems. Michel Stern, Product Manager GE Intelligent Platforms


he VME bus specification defines a vendor-agnostic, digital data and control bus to which designers have interfaced many different data processing chip sets as well as a wide range of input output (I/O) devices to interact with realworld sensors, actuators, data storage and communication appliances. The standard defines the electrical interfaces and various mechanical profiles for boards including 3U and 6U card heights, connectors, backplanes and system racks supporting interoperability and varying levels of ruggedization to meet extended environmental requirements for a wide range of embedded system applications. In the early 1980s, several companies were able to bring together a shared vision of how such an open standards approach— overseen by a committee of industry players, the VME International Trade Association (VITA)-could move the latest digital processing technology from proprietary form factors and the desk top to the shop floor. This initiative encouraged innovation by lowering the cost of entry to companies with expertise in a variety of industries, creating an ecosystem of catalog products relevant to a range of applications from communications infrastructure to transportation, industrial automation and con14

COTS Journal | March 2014

trol, high-energy physics and defense and aerospace to name a few.

From KiloFLOPS to GigaFLOPS

Since that time, semiconductor design and fabrication technology have evolved apace. In the early 1980s, a microprocessor such as the Motorola 68000 (68k) was comprised of less than 100K transistors built on a 3.5µm process-whereas today’s latest microprocessors, such as the Intel 4th generation Core-i7, are fabricated on a 22nm line and boast more than 1 billion transistors per device. As chip geometries have decreased, clock speeds have increased from the 10s of MHz to multiple GHz, and data widths have moved from 16 bits and 32 bits to 64 bits, moving the floating point operations per second (FLOPS) needle from KiloFLOPS to hundreds of GigaFLOPS per central processing unit (CPU). Such increased processing performance is particularly important to a range of applications in the defense and aerospace sector, where 6U VME systems have been widely used over many years. This includes radar, image processing and sensor processing where the latest processor chip sets can bring game-changing levels of performance to deployed airborne, ground and naval platforms. These platforms have

Figure 1

The DSP220 multiprocessor (top) and CRX800 Serial RapidIO switch (bottom) are both VXS (VITA 41.2) compliant.

the potential to greatly enhance the effectiveness of theater operations by turning sensor data into actionable intelligence within shorter time frames and with much greater resolution than ever before. During this time frame, and to address the need for increased data throughput, the


A TQMa6x module with a Freescale i.MX6 can save you design time and money

TQ embedded modules:

Figure 2

A screen shot from GE Intelligent Platforms AXIS software development environments showing OpenVPX 10Gigabit Ethernet Scatter Channel using RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) between two Intel Core-i7 multicore processors.

VME bus standard has progressed from 32 bits to 64 bits and adopted a new clocking scheme (double-edged source synchronous transfer: 2eSST) that can achieve theoretical data bandwidths of 320 Mbytes/s between card slots using the standard 96way VME connector. This increased performance goes some way toward releasing the potential of the latest processing arrays. However, radar or sensor processor subsystems often need to share Gbytes/s of data and scale to many processing nodes in a multi-board system to meet timing requirements. A bus-based architecture such as the VME bus is not ideal for such platforms because it is not designed to support low latency, Gbyte/s, one-to-many or allto-all data networks typical of such signal processing subsystem applications.

VXS Helps VMEbus Transition

Here again, the VITA community formed working groups to come up with new solutions to address these requirements. For example, the VITA41 (VXS)

Are the smallest in the industry, without compromising quality and reliability

Bring out all the processor signals to the Tyco connectors

Can reduce development time by as much as 12 months

The TQMa6x module comes with a Freescale i.MX6 (ARM® Cortex™-A9), and supports Linux operating systems.

standard combines the VME bus with a parallel data path using complementary multi-gigabit connector technology to provide a high-speed serial switched fabric interface across a system back plane (Figure 1). The VITA41 standard offers a relatively low-risk platform that combines longstanding industry support for the VME bus protocol via standard 96-way P1/J1-P2/J2 connectors along with parallel point-to-point switched fabrics such as Serial RapidIO, PCIe and Ethernet on the high-speed P0/J0 multi-gig interface. The high-speed serial interface can support the throughput and timing requirements of many radar, image and sensor processing platforms while the VXS form factor connects to legacy VME card slots that may be integral to existing platforms within a single VME chassis enclosure. The latest CPU chips boast increased levels of integration, including multicore processors and system-on-chip (SoC) platforms. Such CPUs can run multiple operating systems and have the performance

The full-function STKa6Q-AA Starter Kit is an easy and inexpensive way to evaluate and test the TQMa6x module.

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| COTS Journal

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required to support more than one application on the same device. Many also include on-chip, high-speed serial switched fabric interfaces that can be networked across arrays of CPUs on a single board or between multiple boards within a single system enclosure, providing scalability to address very demanding data processing tasks. These types of processor chip sets can be found throughout our connected world

in handheld devices, laptops, desktops and data center blade servers. Given the performance capabilities of the latest multicore system-on-chip (SoC) and many-core processors, system integrators can now scale their application across a wider size, weight and power footprint by exploiting various highspeed serial fabrics to ingest, process and distribute sensor data streams. A typical

system may include one or more sensor inputs over multiple Ethernet, PCIe or other switched fabric channels and the processor subsystem could consist of one or many CPUs plus clusters of many-core coprocessors, such as a graphics processing unit (GPU) to address the complexity, timing and throughput requirements of the application. Once again, the VITA community has stepped up to embrace the latest market trends by creating the VITA46 (VPX) standard. Whereas VITA41/VXS maintained VME’s 96-way connector pair and added a new multi-gigabit-capable data plane connector, VPX replaces the legacy 96-way VME connectors with a complete set of configurable multi-gigabit board and backplane connector technology. Some first generation 6U VPX designs continued to support the VME bus. However, most second and third generation modules have dropped the VME bus interface altogether, moving to high-speed serial switched fabrics for both data and expansion planes while using an Ethernet network for system control and to bridge to legacy VME subsystems where possible.

OpenVPX Improves Interoperability, Scalability

In order to fully exploit the promise of high-speed serial interconnects and to expand the supplier base while addressing the need for higher levels of performance, interoperability and scalability, the VITA community came together to agree on the VITA65 OpenVPX standard. This new standard builds on VITA46 to define standard 3U and 6U slot and module profiles, but does not dictate a particular interface protocol as was the case with the VME bus standard. Instead, OpenVPX modules can harness the full potential of the latest SoC chip sets and host channel adapters from the desk top and high performance computing (HPC) arena by mapping native serial protocols across the system backplane. Whereas the VME bus created a new data and control bus standard specific to the embedded market, the latest commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) OpenVPX boards extend or bridge high-speed serial switched fabrics across the VITA65 system backplane to harness the very same Untitled-4 1


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physical layers, protocol stacks and software middlewares that predominate in commercial installations (Figure 2). The real strength of OpenVPX is that it enables system integrators to rapidly deploy the latest mainstream CPU and SoC chips sets and builds on the native highspeed serial interconnects they include to exploit mainstream open software stacks from much larger commercial markets. Key benefits include increased performance and ease of use, shorter time to solution, lower technical risk, lower development costs, application portability and faster system upgrades during the entire platform life cycle. Today, an OpenVPX system comprised of two to six 3U processor boards can deliver TeraFLOPS of compute capability within a modest SWaP and cost footprint. The same processing and fabric interconnect can scale to one or more racks of 6U card sets to deliver 20 or more TeraFLOPS to deployed tactical systems on land, sea or in the air.

Wide Market Base for VME

VME has established a wide market base over the last thirty plus years and will benefit from the latest processor technology upgrades being offered by an established COTS board and system supplier base. However, OpenVPX offers a platform that can scale from one to many processing nodes through the use of on-chip serial fabrics along with mainstream software support and open middlewares that accelerate the adoption of the very latest processing and interconnect technologies. As noted above, this new paradigm can expand the operational capabilities of a range of defense and aerospace system platforms across a wider SWaP footprint than traditional 6U VMEbus-based architectures. It would be easy to believe that there are no longer valid reasons for choosing VME bus as VPX appears to sweep all before it— but that’s not necessarily the case. The latest processor chip sets continue to be made available on 6U VME bus cards from a range of COTS board vendors today. 3U VME cards, however, have not kept pace. This means that in order to harness the latest CPU performance boosts, system architects are looking at 6U form

factors only. There are plenty of 6U cardbased systems in use, so this may work well. For customers looking to shrink the size of a system, however, taking advantage of the 3U form factor, 3U VPX is the way forward. VME may be a very good low-risk platform, especially if the increased processing capability of the latest CPUs and SoC devices can run multiple applications

or handle system functions that may have required multiple CPU boards in the past. While 6U cards may be required, integrators may be able to reduce the card count significantly for some applications by condensing functionality onto a single card with the prospect of reduced cost, power and spares holding requirements. Upgrading to new VME processor cards within a rack that includes legacy

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March 2014 | COTS Journal



or proprietary I/O interface cards may be attractive, especially if those legacy cards use the VME bus as their system interface. This might enable system upgrades without the need to redesign the entire system backplane or real-world I/O. In contrast, moving to OpenVPX from an existing VME platform will require a new system backplane and mechanics. However, depending on the application, integrators may be able to reduce the system footprint from a 6U chassis to a 3U card set while also improving system throughput with the latest high-speed serial fabrics as discussed earlier. This might support moving the platform into a smaller space within the current vehicle or platform, but it could also mean that increased system capabilities might be available to new or smaller deployed platforms within a smaller SWaP budget. The real benefit of OpenVPX lies in its ability to scale from small (3U) to large (6U) system footprints to cater to a variety of high-performance embedded comput-

ing requirements. In addition, OpenVPX enables application developers to map widely used software stacks from the HPC, data center and desk top onto deployed embedded platforms, quickly opening the door to a rich eco-system of applications that can be hosted across these platforms to address the needs of a much broader user community.

multi-teraFLOP performance levels to expand the operational capabilities of the latest radar, sonar and image processing platforms. GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738.

VME’s Future Is Strong

In conclusion, it seems likely that VMEbus continues to have a future—albeit it is an unlikely candidate for new systems. The military and aerospace business has wholeheartedly embraced VPX. COTS board and systems vendors such as GE Intelligent Platforms continue to offer a broad range of solutions, with demand for VMEbus best characterized as “continuing”—while demand for VPX is “growing.” 3U VPX systems especially are bringing new levels of capability into space- and power-constrained applications, while 6U OpenVPX is scaling to

LCR Embedded System’s complete line of integrated rugged industrial and military systems, from off-the-shelf to fully customized, are ideal for all aspects of mission-critical computing. To learn more about what we can do for you and your application, contact us today. Our integrated systems feature VME, VPX, ATCA and CompactPCI architectures For chassis, backplanes and integrated systems, LCR Electronics is now LCR Embedded Systems.

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COTS Journal | March 2014


System Management on VPX Leveraging Established Technologies VPX systems are well suited for system management functions. By leveraging ideas from ATCA architecture’s system management, military system designers can get a leg up on implementation. Mark Overgaard, Founder and CTO Pigeon Point Systems


ssentially all VPX systems need management functionality to monitor and supervise system operation. Traditionally, this functionality has been integrated into the application subsystems of those systems and often developed separately for each application. As defense budgets tighten and the incentives for COTS-based hardware strategies get ever stronger, the need for standardized management functionality that can be shared and re-used across applications gets more important as well. In November 2013, after several years of work, VITA 46.11 was adopted as a draft standard for trial use in the VPX community. The draft standard defines components, interfaces, mechanisms and general infrastructure to support the implementation of an interoperable, application-independent management subsystem within VPX that enables features such as inventory, sensor and diagnostic management, as well as system configuration and recovery. By taking advantage of VITA 46.11 VPX-based defense systems in today’s constrained budget environments, system developers can achieve, for key management functionality, savings in cost and time comparable to the hardware savings that led them to choose a COTS modular architecture like VPX in the first place. 20

COTS Journal | March 2014

Two Levels of Management

VITA 46.11 addresses two main levels of system management. The lowest level is the individual front-loading plug-in module, where the integrated management entity is called an intelligent platform management controller (IPMC). The next level up is the overall chassis, including all the modules and other management visible facilities (such as fan trays) it contains. The management entity at this level is the Chassis Manager, which supervises the chassis and its constituent elements, in addition to representing the chassis to upper layers of management. This article focuses on the Chassis Manager level of VITA 46.11, introducing the functionality and responsibilities of this level. It also covers possible approaches to implementing this level using a generic hardware plus firmware component that provides the core of a Chassis Manager, suitable for adaptation to the needs of a particular chassis and associated applications.

Overall System Management Architecture

Figure 1 shows the system management elements in an example VITA 46.11 managed chassis. The details of an actual chassis, such as the number of plug-in modules and/ or the existence of rear transition module

(RTM) provisions, would likely differ. This example has dual redundant Chassis Managers, where a backup instance is ready to take over management of the chassis at any time, if the active Chassis Manager goes down for any reason. Some applications may not need such redundancy or may choose to implement redundancy in a different way. Also, the example arbitrarily shows one of the plug-in modules with a pair of onboard Field Replaceable Units (FRUs) that are visible to system management. Actual plug-in modules may have more or fewer onboard FRUs. The key logical concept for a system that adopts VITA 46.11 is that each chassis has a Chassis Manager, with IPMCs on each plug-in module, all connected via the System IPMB (Intelligent Platform Management Bus). The Chassis Manager(s) may be implemented on specialized FRUs in the chassis or integrated with plug-in modules. The System Manager in VITA 46.11 is a logical entity representing the management layers above the Chassis Manager. A single System Manager may supervise one chassis or many chassis. The standard simply defines some key aspects of the System Manager Interface used to communicate with the Chassis Manager; other aspects of System Manager functionality are deferred to implementers.

A29_COTS_1-3V_2_25x9_875_A29.qxd 2/5/14 1


System Manager

VPX System Management Specification Elements Chasis Manager Chasis Management Controller (ChMC)

Chasis Manager (Active)

Intelligent Platform Management Controller (IPMC)

Chasis Manager (Backup)

On-Module FRU

Fan Tray [1...N]

Other Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) VPX Module and Optional Rear Transition Module (RTM)




VPX Module

VPX Module

Optional RTM

On-Module FRU

IPMC Optional RTM

On-Module FRU

IPMC Optional RTM


VPX Module

Radial Communications Plane, Typically Ethernet

Figure 1

System management architecture for an example VITA 46.11-based system. The VITA 46.11 working group chose to leverage the management infrastructure in PICMG’s AdvancedTCA (ATCA) architecture rather than developing a brand new standard. This choice accelerated the development of VITA 46.11 and will hasten availability and maturity of compliant products because, for instance, the Chassis Managers for those products can be based on mature ATCA Shelf Managers.

How VITA 46.11 and ATCA Relate

VITA 46.11 and ATCA’s management layer are both based on the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), which is an openly published management architecture that is widely used in the PC and server industries for hardware management. (IPMB is part of the IPMI architecture.) IPMI provides a rich infrastructure for defining and monitoring analog and digital sensors in an implementation-independent and consistent way. These sensors can provide visibility for a wide range of system attributes, including, for instance, voltages, currents, temperatures and fan speeds (along with key thresholds and associated alerts for each). IPMI and VITA 46.11 allow these and other disparate attributes to be monitored in a uniform way across what could be a range of chassis elements developed independently by distinct vendors.

Duties of the Chassis Manager

The Chassis Manager can interpret, archive and act on, in a consistent way, alert messages for any of these sensors. Similarly, the Chassis Manager can report, track and collect inventory data for chassis modules and other FRUs, leveraging IPMI- and VITA 46.11-defined data structures recorded in those FRUs. The Chassis Manager also determines the level of security to enforce on the System Manager Interface, choosing among the security options defined in IPMI, which include a range of cipher suites. Each cipher suite combines a particular selection of authentication, integrity and confidentiality algorithms. One key difference for management between VPX and ATCA is that the management layer is optional in VPX and mandatory in ATCA. This difference reflects the fact that VPX system developers and their customers have a wide range of preferences on the extent to which management is handled as a separate generic layer or merged into the applications. To further facilitate this range of preferences, VITA 46.11 defines two tiers of functionality. Tier 1 Chassis Managers (and Tier 1 IPMCs, as well) have a minimum of mandatory features and should be simpler and less expensive to implement. The corresponding Tier 2 components have more extensive mandatory features.

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March 2014 | COTS Journal



System Manager



SRI Active

Standby HRI






CLI via ssh




System IPMC

Chassis Adaptation Layer

Chasis Definition


CROSSConnected Switch Modules RMCP



Figure 2

Block diagram for typical Chassis Manager.

In addition, VITA 46.11 omits some features of the ATCA management architecture that are not relevant to VPX, such as support for hot swapping of VPX plug-in modules in a live system. Hot swapping is not supported in the VPX architecture. On the other hand, VITA 46.11 defines facilities that are not in ATCA, such as a set of mandatory sensors (e.g. for voltage, temperature and overall hardware health). These sensors allow a Chassis Manager to provide a simple and consistent overview of the health of the plug-in modules in a chassis. Finally, VITA 46.11 defines its own set of IPMI command numbers that are independent of the numbers used for ATCA commands (though most of the commands are functionally equivalent between the two sets in the current revision of VITA 46.11). As a result, the ATCA and VSO command sets can be evolved independently, if necessary.

Key Subsystems and Interfaces

Figure 2 provides a block diagram for a typical Chassis Manager. The standard doesn’t address internal organization or implementation of this component (only its functional responsibilities and key interfaces), so this is just one possible architecture. 22

COTS Journal | March 2014

This example aligns with the organization of Figure 1, in that active/standby redundancy is supported. In Figure 2, redundant switch modules service the management plane in the chassis and provide connectivity with the System Manager, which may be physically separate from or integrated within the chassis. The System Manager Interface provides several ways to interact with the Chassis Manager. The Remote Management Control Protocol (RMCP) is defined in IPMI and mandated in a VITA 46.11 Chassis Manager. The remaining interface options in the Figure are not addressed in VITA 46.11 and are therefore implementation-defined and/ or based on other standards. A Command Line Interface (CLI) typically provides an operator- or script-optimized set of commands and parameters. The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is widely used for remote management and the protocol is standardized. The details of the SNMP chassis representation are implementationdefined, however. Finally, a Chassis Manager can offer a web interface based on Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), with details determined by the implementation.

Supporting Redundancy

When Chassis Manager redundancy is supported, typically one Chassis Manager instance is active at any given time, with a standby instance providing backup. The two instances may be linked by hardware and software redundancy interfaces (HRI and SRI, respectively) for mutual monitoring and to ensure that the standby instance is ready to take over quickly, if necessary. A Chassis Manager likely includes subsystems responsible for cooling (e.g. monitoring temperature sensors and managing fan speeds), FRUs (maintaining the inventory of FRUs in the chassis and their operational states), and events (for instance, collecting, archiving and responding to threshold crossing events from sensors in the chassis). In addition, if the Chassis Manager is intended to be adapted into a range of chassis types, there is typically an adaptation layer to facilitate such adaptations. Part of that layer governs the interface to System IPMB. One approach that is widely and successfully used in the ATCA ecosystem is to take a COTS Chassis Manager and adapt it

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Example COTS Chassis Manager: the Pigeon Point ChMM-700R.

to the details and needs of the target chassis and its intended customers. Such adaptations need to address physical issues of where in a chassis the Chassis Manager function would reside—for instances a separate FRU or integrated with a VPX module. They also need to address functional questions, such as whether Chassis Manager redundancy is needed or not. Down this path, the generic Chas-

sis Manager can be supplied by a specialist company that takes primary responsibility for thorough understanding of the standards compliance and interoperability requirements that must be met. As a result, the chassis developer can focus on chassis architecture and features, deferring Chassis Manager challenges to that specialist partner. One example COTS Chassis Manager that can work well with this model is the Pigeon Point Chassis Manager, which is available as the ChMM-700R SODIMM module pictured in Figure 3. Just like the VITA 46.11 standard, the ChMM-700R benefits from its heritage in ATCA; an equivalent module supports an ATCA Shelf Manager that is installed in tens of thousands of ATCA shelves worldwide.

Independent System Management

The benefits of an application-independent system management layer for VPX are increasingly important for today’s VPX-based defense system developers and subsystem suppliers. VITA 46.11 de-



fines such a layer by leveraging a decade of success for this sort of layer in the worldwide telecommunications market, while adapting it to the special needs of the VPX context. One of those needs is flexibility in how to partition the system management function between that standardized layer and application subsystems. The Chassis Manager is a critical element of the VITA 46.11 architecture, responsible for monitoring and supervising all the elements of a chassis and representing that chassis to higher level management. One of the most cost-effective ways to implement a compliant and interoperable Chassis Manager is to adapt a COTS Chassis Manager core to the specific needs and constraints of a particular VPX chassis or range of chassis. Pigeon Point Systems Oceanside, CA. (760) 757-2304.

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TECH RECON Technology Roadmap for Unmanned Ground Systems

DoD’s Unmanned Ground Vehicle Goals Strive for Autonomy With a proven legacy of success, unmanned ground vehicles are ready to evolve to the next generation of DoD vision and requirements. Modularity, cost and autonomous operation are leading priorities on the roadmap for USVs in the future. Jeff Child, Editor in Chief


o longer newcomers on today’s battlefields, Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) are designed for a wide range of duties—everything from locating and defusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to suspected object identification and route clearance. Credited with saving hundreds of lives during these counter-IED missions, ordnance teams detected and defeated over ten thousand IEDs using UGVs since operations in Iraq and Afghanistan began. Looking forward, the DoD has sophisticated goals for future UGVs, or Unmanned Ground Systems (UGSs) as they are also called. Many of those goals were spelled out in the DoD’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, FY 2013 - 2038 released last fall. The first wave of UGS fielding resulted from rapid acquisition programs driven by urgent warfighter needs in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. But as 10 years of war wind down, DoD inventories and funding of UGS are expected to decrease in 2014, followed by a gradual upward trend in 2016 according to the Roadmap. That will be followed by the fielding of new programs of record (PORs) to meet expanding mission requirements. Recognizing the need to maintain the 28

COTS Journal | March 2014

Figure 1

The DoD’s roadmap for UGSs by mission/capability area. (Source: DoD’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, FY 2013 – 2038). UGS capability beyond today’s fight, but lacking fielded PORs, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army approved a directed re-

quirement for continued support and sustainment of selected contingency systems. The directive encompasses sustainment of


specific capabilities beyond today’s operations to bridge the capability gap until enduring capabilities are developed. Figure 1 illustrates the DoD’s Roadmap for UGSs by mission/capability area. Within the service branches, the Navy/Marines and Army have their own focused plans for their UGS campaigns. According to the Roadmap, a major goal of naval developments for Marine Corps applications is to make systems smarter and cheaper. The focus is on low-cost, ubiquitous, intelligent, tactical UGSs that will operate as a force multiplier integrated with manned, unmanned, and optionally manned systems. The current state of autonomy for most tactical UGSs requires human decision makers and line of sight (LOS) communications. Systems that are autonomous require highly structured and predictable environments. Meanwhile, the Navy is developing technologies to navigate trafficable on- and off-road terrain at tactically appropriate speed. Cost is a key requirement for all these developments, and effective operation in day, night and GPS-denied environments is critical. In the near term, the Office of Naval Research is developing technologies that will enable a 2016 limited military utility assessment of the logistics connector Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). This will include multimode perception, day and night operation, and complex terrain traversibility. For its part, the Army S&T (science and technology) vision is one where manned and unmanned systems work together with greatly enhanced capabilities in the following five problem domains: adaptive tactical reasoning. The Robotic Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA) uses the following anthropomorphic shorthand to describe these five problem domains: think; look; move; talk; work. This includes focused situational awareness; safe, secure, and adaptive movement; efficient proactive interaction with humans; and interaction with the physical world. The RCTA plans a Capstone Experiment in FY2014. The Capstone Experiment is centered around a notional cordon-and-search operation: during urban transit by a small unit (around four to five

soldiers), a fugitive is reported to have entered a building the unit is approaching. A man-transportable robot is instructed to “cover the back door” of the building by the unit commander because he cannot safely split up his limited resources. The robot must understand and acknowledge the order, associate the order with its perceived environment, move safely and securely to an appropriate vantage point,

observe activity behind the building, and report any salient events to the unit commander. Like with the other Service Branches, middle- and long-term work by the RCTA will continue to evolve and improve capabilities to increase the level of autonomy in systems from the current, remotely operated systems to autonomous systems and system-of systems (SoS) approaches.

The 100GB Revolution Is Taking Off

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Figure 2

COTS Journal’s Jeff Child is briefed on Northrop Grumman’s Titus UGV at a press event at last year’s AUVSI show in Washington D.C.

In terms of the embedded computing technology in UGVs, the use of open architecture computing has been relatively slow to catch on. Many started out with proprietary systems and continue to use them. A recent UGS example that embraces open architecture is Northrop Grumman’s Andros line of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). In the Andros series the Andros operating system provides a large amount of information to the operator while easing user workload through more interactivity with intelligent payloads such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear sensors, along with preset arm positions and the ability to “fly the gripper,” which makes manipulation of objects much easier. The most recent UGV in the Andros family is Northrop’s Titus robot. Lighter and faster than its predecessors, Titus weighs 135 pounds and measures 27 inches long, 16 inches wide and just 23

inches high. It retains the proven fourarticulator design that has given Andros vehicles the best performance for more than 20 years. The system also features a unique operator control unit featuring a hybrid touch-screen and game systemstyle physical controls. According to Northrop Grumman Remotec, a small form factor Gumstix embedded computer provides the “brains” of the Titus. Titus was designed using a modular approach, which allows the robot to be quickly adapted for a variety of mission scenarios. Removable articulators, wheels and tracks provide users with the capability to navigate passageways that are only 16 inches wide or race down range to address a threat at a top speed of 7.5 mph. Industry standard interfaces such as USB and Ethernet make Titus easier to maintain and upgrade and to incorporate payloads and sensors.

GE Intelligent Platforms

Delivering on your promises takes more than the latest technology GE has announced a range of single board computers that take advantage of the latest 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors. More processing power. More 3D graphics capability. More I/O flexibility. But all within the same power envelope as before for optimum SWaP. It’s not just about the processor technology, though, or about perhaps the industry’s broadest range of supporting technologies. It’s about the company behind the technology. It’s about working with a company with the resource, talent and commitment to help customers bring in programs on time and on budget – and a company with a multi-decade track record of helping customers achieve the lowest lifetime cost of ownership. That company is GE.

© 2014 General Electric Company. All rights reserved. All other brands, names or trademarks are property of their respective owners.

© 2013 GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. All rights reserved. All other brands or names are property of their respective holders.

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

Organizations Enhance Methods of Handling Board- and IC-Level Obsolescence There’s no getting away from the growing problem of obsolescence in this industry. But thanks to a contingent of distributors and specialty engineering firms and government groups, there are a lot of resources to help mitigate such issues. Jeff Child, Editor in Chief


DMSMS Resources Abound

As the Directory shows, there are a bunch of different ways to address the issue of an IC or subsystem that’s no longer available. On one hand, there are many aftermarket chip 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. Then there are packaging firms who do custom assembly of obsolete integrated circuits using existing wafer and die. Meanwhile there are engineering shops set up to remake the obsolete diefabing it on a more current process size of course. Typical of firms in the obsolescence management business, GDCA has moved to ever more sophisticated services. The com32

COTS Journal | March 2014



New Lifecycle with PLM+



ertainty is a rare quality in today’s defense market, but one thing is certain: The problem of component obsolescence keeps getting more severe in the defense industry. That’s because all large scale computing and semiconductor technology development these days is aimed at the needs of driving markets such as consumer devices like phones, tablets and PCs. And those devices have system lifecycles that have gone from about 18 months to now sometimes less than a year. Just to keep up, 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 and often longer. The problem of obsolescence—called Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) in the jargon of the defense industry—is inevitably always getting worse. But thankfully there is a sophisticated group of companies and organizations who are in the business of dealing with such problems. Displayed on the following three pages of COTS Journal’s 15th Annual End-of-Life Supplier Directory, are those organizations and the services they provide.










Figure 1

The Proactive Legacy Management (PLM+) approach plans for EOL issues in advance, enabling a smoother path in the postobsolescence period of a board or subsystem. pany makes and supports over 3,000 COTS and custom embedded boards and systems. GDCA touts its Proactive Legacy Management (PLM+) approach (Figure 1). The PLM+ methodology is an innovative alternative to traditional obsolescence management. GDCA provides long-term customer support and sustainment for embedded legacy products. Features of the program include forecasting assessments, legacy management early in the design and development cycle, and protection of and assured access to critical Intellectual Property (IP) during design and sustainment. The service also offers visibility into potential obsolescence threats along a program’s life cycle.

Building Blocks Designed To Last

Like the Great Pyramids at Giza, computers engineered with board-level building blocks from Trenton Systems are built for performance and longevity. Ok, it’s not likely that a rackmount computer built with Trenton’s long-life SBC’s, backplanes or embedded motherboards will be around 4,500 years from now. However, Trenton boards do extend system functionality while reducing the overall cost of computer ownership by utilizing long-life board components with built-in support for standard I/O option cards. Trenton building blocks enable the initial system investiments to pay dividends over typical computer deployment cycles of seven years or more!

Here’s a snapshot of the available Trenton board-level building blocks for your next computer system design: Trenton’s BXT7059 is a robust dual-processor single board computer featuring long-life Intel ® Xeon ® processors. The single-processor TSB7053 offers a wide range of I/O and video interface options. Our backplanes come in all shapes and sizes engineered to deliver maximum value in your unique system design. The JXM7031 embedded MicroATX Micro motherboard has a unique long-life design featuring dual Intel ® Xeon ® processors.

Our board engineering experts are available to discuss your unique military computing application requirements. Contact us to learn more at 770.287.3100 / 800.875.6031 or

The Global Leader In Customer Driven Computing Solutions™ 770.287.3100


SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory Company/Organization



Annapolis, MD. (410) 266-4000.

Arrow/Zeus Electronics

Englewood, CO. (303) 600-1200.

Artisan Scientific

Champaign, IL. (888) 887-6872.


Phoenix, AZ. (480) 643-2000.

 enter for Advanced Life Cycle C Engineering (CALCE)

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

CPU Technology

Pleasanton, CA. (925) 224-9920.



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

COTS Journal | March 2014



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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Company/Organization




DPA Components International

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

D, P, S

Provider of testing and analysis of electronic parts for missioncritical 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-the-art 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 hardto-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.

B, E, O

GDCA teams with embedded OEMs to manufacture and repair endof-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.

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.


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.


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.

GD California

Livermore, CA. (925) 456-9900.


Corona, CA. (951) 898-3207.


Sydney, Australia +61 2 8206 6940.


Englewood, CO. (303) 790-0600.

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.

March 2014 | COTS Journal


SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Company/Organization




Lansdale Semiconductor

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 MIL-STD-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.


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. 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.

Rochester Electronics

Newburyport, MA. (978) 462-9332.

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 MIL-PRF-19500 Flow Qualified to MIL-PRF-38534 Hybrids Class H Level.


COTS Journal | March 2014

D, F, O, P, R

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Company/ Organization


Corona, CA. (951) 273-4209. nswc/corona.

Sunset Supply Base (SSB) NSWC

Beaverton, OR 1-800-438-8165. service-solutions.

Tektronix Service Solutions

T.S.I. Microelectronics

Total Parts Plus

Danvers, MA. (978) 774-8722.

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



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 longterm support, thereby eliminating the need for costly Life-of-TypeBuys and engineering redesigns.


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.

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, TO254, 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.


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.

Key: Abbreviation




Board level

Solves board-level DMS problems (as opposed to componentlevel 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.

Turn & Burn with TE’s New MULTIGIG RT 2-R Connector Quad-Redundant Contact System • Rugged Survivability… High level shock and vibration beyond VITA 47 • Lightweight, high-speed connector system • “Pinless” Interface tested to 10,000 mating/ unmating cycles • Backward compatibility to VITA 46 connector system

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March 2014 | COTS TE_COTS_Multigig_2p25x9p875.indd 1


3/4/14 37 2:43 PM


VME SBCs Keep Refresh Alive with New Technology Especially in this era of tight defense budgets, VME provides an ideal form factor to fuel strategies of upgrading existing platforms and refreshing their embedded computing technologies. Jeff Child, Editor in Chief


hile there are a lot of embedded computing open architectures these days, there are none that can boast the rich and successful legacy in military systems that VME claims. VME has been able to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. Even today, a new board with the latest and greatest processor, memory and I/O can easily be dropped into a slot that could be decades old. These days with the reductions in the DoD budget a fact of life, VME upgrades and refreshes are much more likely to be funded, rather than whole new designs requiring new backplanes, packaging and power supplies. Ensuring VME’s longevity is the fact that there are hundreds of programs in the military using VME. Feeding those needs, several vendors continue to produce new VME boards that sport the latest and greatest processors and memory technology. An example of a long-term VME upgrade success story is Thales-Raytheon Systems’ upgrade of their Firefinder Weapons Locating Radar (Figure 1). The AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Radar is an artillery, rocket and mortar locating radar. Location of artillery at ranges beyond the capability of the AN/TPQ-36 is provided by the AN/TPQ-37, the other radar that makes up the Firefinder system. Using 38

COTS Journal | March 2014

Figure 1

The AN/TPQ-36 Weapon Locating Radar is an artillery, rocket and mortar locating system. An upgrade to the AN/ TPQ-36’s radar processor, it consists of a 3-Card Slot VME Implementation with two PowerPC-based boards, two PMC slots and one VME clock interface card.

only a different computer software program, the same operations shelter can be used for either radar. When it was upgraded, the new combined radar solution became a 3-Card Slot VME Implementation consisting of two PowerPC cards for signal and data processing, two PMC daughter cards for A/D and synchronization, and one interface clock card. A definite shift that has occurred

among VME SBCs is the shift to a demand and supply of Intel processor-based boards. Many of the represented VME SBC products in this month’s Roundup are based on Intel processors. As Intel’s line of processors developed for laptop and other portable devices evolved, the power dissipation dropped over the past several years. As a result, Intel processors like its Core i7 family are now solidly in the range of cutting-edge performance within a reasonable realm of power dissipation. Over the past year or so, an avalanche of single board computing products based on Core i7 have emerged, the latest of which sport the 4th generation Core i7 processor. Based on the new Intel microarchitecture, formerly codenamed “Haswell,” the new processor integrates new features such as the Intel AVX2 instructions, which dramatically accelerate floating-point-intensive computations. Also included is the improved Intel AES-NI, which accelerates data encryption and decryption. The processor also features upgraded 3D/media graphics and an OpenCL-programmable on-chip GPGPU, while the thermal footprint has remained nearly the same. Several military embedded computer vendors rolled out new board-level products based on that new Haswell architecture.




TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup Conduction-Cooled 6U VME SBC Sports 2.53 GHz Core i7

VME and VPX SBCs Do Combined Data Plane and Control Processing

Rich I/O Feature Set Enhances 3rd Gen Core i7 6U VME Board

The XVME-6300 from Acromag is a highperformance 6U VME processor board based on the Intel i7 Core. This module offers a wide range of front and rear I/O options, designed for new and legacy systems. The Core i7 processors with speeds up to 2.53 GHz are supported. Memory is up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3 ECC RAM and 8 Gbytes flash memory with write-protection. Dual

Aitech Defense Systems offers two new rugged SBCs based on the latest Freescale 12-core T4240 QorIQ processor architecture. Both the VMEbased C111 and the VPX-based C112 provide integrated performance characteristics that enable enhanced processing in data-intensive rugged and defense computing environments. The single slot SBCs operate at up to 1.8 GHz

Concurrent Technologies has released the VP 92x/x1x, an SBC that uses 3rd generation Intel Core processors to provide high levels of processing and graphics performance and offers a very wide choice of front and rear I/O interfaces. By using XMC or PMC modules, this I/O feature set can be further extended. With optional BIT and optional security features, the

PMC/XMC sites provide room for expanded functionality. The XMCs are PCIe x8. Additional ports on the front panel include quad USB ports, VGA (switched with rear), dual Gigabit Ethernet and dual RS-232 ports. Meanwhile the board’s backplane I/O is comprised of dual Gigabit Ethernet (on optional P0), dual SATA ports, 8 GPIOs, dual USB ports, DVI-D, VGA and dual RS-232/422/485. The board’s environmental specs start with an operating temperature of -40° to 85°C— assuming a fully installed conduction-cooled rack. Storage temperature is -55° to 105°C. For relative humidity the board handles from 20 to 80% non-condensing. Shock ratings are 30g peak acceleration, 11 ms duration in operation, with non-operating shock rating of 50g peak acceleration, 11 ms duration. Vibration is 0.015-inch peak-to-peak displacement, 2.5g max acceleration.

with up to 16 Gbyte of ECC-protected SDRAM to ensure high data integrity. The SDRAM memory is divided into two separate 8 Gbyte banks allowing maximum speed in processorto-memory or memory-to-memory data transfers without bus thrashing. It also allows dynamic allocation of the 12 processor cores to either memory bank to help balance memory data transfers and performance within the application. Additional memory resources on either board include 512 Mbytes of NOR Flash memory, up to 16 Gbytes of Flash disk mass storage and 512 Kbytes of NVRAM (MRAM). Equipped with two PMC/XMC sites each, the boards provide extended resources and design flexibility. Both the C111 and C112 are available in conductionand air-cooled versions for use in a diverse set of rugged environments. The C111 supports both 2eSST and 2eVME protocols as well as legacy VME interfaces. The VME bridge located on the PCI-X bus for high-speed throughput provides full system controller functionality including arbitration, interrupt handling and clock generation. The SBC’s diverse set of I/O includes Ethernet, SATA 2.0, USB 2.0, serial ports and discrete I/O channels to accommodate a diverse set of storage, communication and other onboard peripherals.

board is highly suitable for a wide range of new and existing applications within the defense, energy, scientific and industrial markets in particular. The VP 92x/01x supports the Mobile Intel QM77 Express chipset along with up to 16 Gbytes of ECC DRAM. The 3rd generation Intel Core processor offers enhanced graphics and processing capabilities when compared to previous architectures operating within the same power budget. In addition, the 3rd generation Intel Core processor extends itself to support compute-intensive applications by providing support for OpenCL. The board’s wide choice of I/O features include front panel DVI-D and VGA, Ethernet and USB interfaces with further graphics, USB and Ethernet interfaces via the rear connectors. Additional rear I/O interfaces include 8x GPIO signals, SATA and HD Audio. This I/O feature set can be further enhanced by adding one or two PMC or XMC modules directly to the board. VITA 31.1 Gigabit Ethernet on a VME64x backplane enables a tried and tested method of implementing a LAN-based multiprocessor architecture by leveraging readily available Ethernet hardware, TCP/IP software, clustering and other network management tools.

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

Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | March 2014

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

VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup

VME SBC Based on 4th Generation Intel Corei7 Processor

Core i7 SBC Provides -40° to +85°C Operation

6U VME SBC Marries Core i7 Haswell CPU and 32 Gbyte of DRAM

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions offers a rugged, high-performance VME single board computer, the S/DVME-1908. The SBC features the new 2.4 GHz quad-core 4th generation Intel Core i7-4700EQ processor, previously code-named “Haswell.” This rugged air- or conduction-cooled SBC is designed for high-performance operation in benign to

Dynatem , a Eurotech subsidiary, is now shipping the CPU-71-15, an SBC based on the VMEbus 6U form factor. The CPU-7115 is offered in both convection-cooled and ruggedized conduction-cooled variants, meeting the needs of numerous commercial and military applications requiring maximum processing power, low power consumption and small

The XCalibur4530 is a high-performance 6U VME single board computer that is ideal for ruggedized systems requiring high-bandwidth processing and low power consumption. With the 4th generation Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, the XCalibur4530 delivers enhanced performance and efficiency for today’s network information processing and embedded computing

harsh environments and is ideal for upgrading SWaP-C-constrained legacy systems on the most demanding fielded applications from unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, tactical aircraft and armored vehicles to rugged naval systems. Designed especially for demanding military systems that require maximum processing in extreme temperature conditions, the SVME/ DMV-1908 Intel Core i7 SBC features typical power dissipation rated at 50-60W. The board’s contemporary high-speed DDR3 memory subsystem connects directly to the Intel chipset to maximize the powerful Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0 floating point processing units on the Intel Core i7 processor. The processor’s L3 cache enables it to process larger vectors at peak rates than was previously possible with earlier processor technologies. Standard memory on the SBC includes 8 Gbytes of flash and up to 16 Gbytes of SDRAM. The S/DMV-1908’s comprehensive range of I/O includes dual XMC/ PMC mezzanine module sites to support system expansion via either the newest or legacy daughter cards. Additionally, the board provides a host of standard I/O including Gigabit Ethernet, RS232/422, GPIO, DVI, SATA, USB and Audio. Pricing for the S/DVME-1908 starts at $5,500.

physical footprint. At the heart of the CPU-71-15 is an Intel 2nd Generation Core i7 ULV Sandy Bridge Processor and a QM67 Cougar Point Platform Controller Hub (PCH). These two devices form the central processing backbone of the design. With a dual-channel memory controller integrated in the processor, the CPU-71-15 supports up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM running at up to 1333 MHz. The CPU-71-15 supports two PMC and one optional XMC sites. The onboard XMC site is connected to the Core i7 CPU by one x8 gen 2 PCIe link; the two PMC sites are implemented with a PCIe to PCI bridge (PLX8112) connected to the QM67 PCH with a x1 PCIe link. The VME interface to the backplane is implemented with the Universe IID PCI-VME bus interface controller. The board offers both front panel and P2/P0 Ethernet ports. An Intel 82579 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet controller is routed to an RJ45 interface on the front panel access, while an 82571EB dual 10/100/1000 BaseT provides two additional Gigabit Ethernet ports routed to either P2 or P0. Extended temperature versions are available for -40°/+85°C operation.

applications. The board provides up to 32 Gbytes of DDR3L-1600 ECC SDRAM in two separate channels, two PrPMC/PrXMC slots, and up to 64 Gbytes of NAND flash. The XCalibur4530 also hosts numerous I/O ports, including Gigabit Ethernet, USB, SATA, graphics, mezzanine I/O and RS-232/422/485 through the backplane connectors. Significant maintenance and diagnostics advantages are achieved through using the remote configuration and management feature, Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT), within X-ES’s previous generation Intel Core i7 processorbased products. As a result, X-ES is continuing to offer those advantages to its customers by including Intel AMT 9.0 support for its 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor-based products. Meanwhile, improvements within the 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor include increased raw processing performance per watt, hardware-based memory encryption with Intel AES New Instructions (AES-NI), and increased floating-point and integer performance utilizing Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0 (AVX 2.0). The graphics processing unit (GPU) in the 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor has also been enhanced, adding additional execution units and up to a 24% increase in raw performance. The 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor also supports OpenCL 1.2, enabling it to perform as a general-purpose graphics processing unit (GPGPU).

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.

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

Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. FIND the products featured in this section and more at

March 2014 | COTS Journal


VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup

6U VME SBC Suited to HPEC Needs

GE Intelligent Platforms has added to its line of products it offers based on the quad-core 4th generation Intel Core i7 architecture (“Haswell”) with the announcement of the XVR16 6U VME rugged single board computer. The improved capabilities of the XVR16 will allow it not only to address existing command/control applications, but also to be deployed in more demanding High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) signal processing applications such as ISR

(intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), sonar and radar. While the price/performance of the XVR16 is expected to be attractive to new users, it was designed in line with GE’s commitment to maximizing the value of customer investments by continuously providing a frequent, straightforward, cost-effective upgrade/ technology insertion path. The XVR16 offers existing users of the XVR14 and XVR15 significantly more processing power, graphics performance, functionality and I/O capability. Importantly, it does this within the same power envelope as its predecessors, enabling simple “drop in” replacement. The XVR16 features up to 16 Gbytes of memory and benefits from the 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor’s support of PCI Express Gen3 technology and USB 3.0, providing even greater bandwidth for onboard and off-board connectivity and enabling the high bandwidths required by today’s applications. It supports two onboard PMC/XMC expansion sites. The board is available in five build versions from air-cooled to fully rugged, providing cost-effective solutions in environments from benign to extremely harsh.

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

FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | March 2014

6th Gen VME SBC Blends 2.4 GHz Processing and Wide I/O Set

VME SBC Sports Core2 Duo CPU and M96 GPU

The VSB2105 “Albatross” from General Micro Systems is a sixth-generation VME SBC module based on GMS’s upgradable CPU technology. It is designed to provide the highest level of workstation performance possible in a fully ruggedized, single-slot VME slot. It may be operated in all VME backplanes with 3-row or 5-row VME connectors with or without VME

Ideal for military tech refresh situations, the VME marketplace is seeing a wave of upgraded boards with the latest and greatest silicon. An example of this is Interface Concept with its new VME board based on the Intel Core2 Duo processor SL9380/SU9300 associated with the Intel 3100 chip set. The IC-DC2-VMEb, being VME64x-VITA31.1-compliant, is aimed at

P0. The board supports the latest Intel fourthgeneration Core i7 processor with up to four physical CPU cores with Hyper-Threading for a total of 8 logical cores, each operating at up to 2.4 GHz with the ability to TurboBoost. The I/O subsystem for Albatross is designed to support a wide array of standard and custom I/O functions. The VS2105 standard configuration supports four Gigabit Ethernet channels with TCP/IP offloading engine (TOE), one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 to front panel, four USB 2.0 to rear, mSATA with write-protect and secure-erase for OS boot up to 1 Terabyte, one 2.5” SATA drive (lose PMC/XMC), one VGA port and one HDMI port to rear, one DVI-I (DVI/HDMI and VGA) to front panel, four COM ports with RS232/422/485 options, Super I/O with COM port to front panel, audio headset jack, and sixteen buffered GPI/O lines. The Albatross is equipped with GMS’s patentpending RuggedCool technology, which is the most unique cooling system in the industry and operating up to -20° to +75°C at full load (0° to +55°C standard). This cooling approach provides the lowest thermal resistance to the case while providing the highest shock specifications known in the industry.

highly integrated applications like leading-edge computing, embedded network control, signal processing, etc. The large number of interfaces turns this IC-DC2-VMEb into an ideal open platform for a wide range of applications. The board boasts an AMD/ATI M96 Graphic Processor Unit (Radeon E4690- R700 core), which provides the IC-DC2-VMEb with the performance needed for demanding embedded graphics applications. The analog video interfaces offer STANAG B & C support, especially useful to airborne applications. While maintaining low power consumption and a wide temperature range, the IC-DC2-VMEb benefits from a long life product cycle for high-reliability and safetycritical embedded applications.

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

Interface Concept Quimper, France. +33 (0)2 98 57 30 30.

VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup

6U VME Card Serves Up QorIQ Processor

6U VME SBC Features Six I/O Function Module Slots

VBC SBC Provides Quad-Core Xeon Processors

MEN’s new A21 VMEbus single-board computer comes with the most up-to-date PowerPCs of the QorIQ series. The A21 is a cost-effective 6U PowerPC card with a fast VME64 interface and provides master and slave functionality, making it a perfect choice for multiprocessing in VMEbus systems. The singlecore P1013 or the dual-core P1022 processor of

The 64INT2 from North Atlantic Industries is a 6U VME Intel Core i7-based SBC that can be configured with up to six NAI Intelligent I/O and communication function modules. Ideally suited for rugged Mil-Aero applications, the 64INT2 delivers off-the-shelf solutions that accelerate deployment of SWaP-optimized systems in air, land and sea applications. NAI’s Custom-On-

A host of deployed programs and long design cycle programs continue to demand VME SBC upgrades that drop into an existing slot with the latest and greatest processing technology. Feeding that need, vendors continue to roll out new VME boards that sport the newest processors and memory technology. An example along those lines is Themis Computer’s XV2

the QorIQ family allows clock frequencies of up to 1.067 GHz and serial communication. At the front, 2 Gigabit Ethernet channels and one RS-232 COM interface are provided. Further I/O functions such as USB 2.0, UART COM, a display interface and further interfaces are possible as customer options. The most prominent feature of the card, however, is the use of two XMC or PMC modules on the A21C version, or three M-Modules on its sister design A21B. By plugging in standard modules, the board becomes a semi-custom solution in a fast and easy way, using a broad offering of different I/O functions like graphics, additional Ethernet or process I/O. Apart from flash and FRAM, up to 2 Gbyte DDR3 DRAM with ECC are available as a main memory. A microSD and an mSATA slot provide mass storage capacity. The A21 is specified for an operating temperature of -40° to +85°C. All components are soldered to withstand shock and vibration and are prepared for conformal coating against humidity and dust.

Standard Architecture (COSA) offers a choice of over 40 Intelligent I/O, communications, or Ethernet switch functions, providing the highest packaging density and greatest flexibility of any 6U SBC in the industry. Pre-existing, fully tested functions can be combined in an unlimited number of ways quickly and easily. Memory includes up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM and up to 32 Gbyte SATA II NAND flash. A PCIe interface to function module slot 5 provides additional dual Gig-E ports. And a SATA II interface to function module slot 6 supports up to 256 Gbytes additional NAND flash storage. Up to 6 independent Intelligent I/O function modules are supported. An independent x1 SerDes interface is available to each function module slot. I/O functions include 2x 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet; 2 to rear or 1 to rear and 1 to front I/O, 2x USB 2.0, 1 to front and 1 or 2 to rear I/O, 1x RS-232 to front or rear I/O and factory configurable Video Output; HDMI, DVI, LVDS or VGA. Operating temp is 0° to 70°C or -40° to +85°C for the rugged version.

VME SBC. The XV2 is based on the low-power Quad-Core Xeon L5518 processor clocked at 1.73 GHz, and Intel’s 3420 chip set used in highperformance Xeon servers. The L5518 memory controller supports ECC to maintain the highest system integrity, and provides the bandwidth necessary to support high-performance I/O. XV2 memory is expandable to 24 Gbytes of DDR III memory. The XV2 base configuration includes 3 Gbytes of DDR III memory, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, five SATA II ports, four SAS ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and two XMC/PMC slots. An onboard ATI ES1000 video controller is provided with either front or rear panel VGA display access. Storage is provided through the use of an onboard CompactFlash or with an optional onboard 2.5inch SATA drive. The computer includes dualGigabit Ethernet to support the modern highly networked environments.

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

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

Themis Computer Fremont, CA. (510) 252-0870.

FIND the products featured in this section and more at

March 2014 | COTS Journal


COTS FIND the products featured in this section and more at

PRODUCTS FMC/VPX Carriers Sport Optical Backplane Interface

Optical backplane technology has been talked about for years, but now the demand is here and there are solutions to meet the need. Along such lines, Pentek has introduced the first members of its Flexor line of FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) carriers and FMC modules: the Model 5973 3U VPX FMC carrier with a Virtex-7 FPGA and the Model 3312 multichannel, high-speed data converter FMC. They combine the high performance of the Virtex-7 with the flexibility of the FMC data converter, creating a complete radar and software radio solution. The Flexor Model 5973 features a high-pin-count VITA 57.1 FMC site, 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM, PCI Express (Gen. 1, 2 and 3) interface up to x8, optional user-configurable gigabit serial I/O and optional LVDS connections to the FPGA for custom I/O. The card delivers new levels of I/O performance by incorporating the emerging VITA 66.4 standard for half-size MT optical interconnect, providing 12 optical duplex lanes to the backplane. With the installation of a serial protocol, the VITA 66.4 interface enables gigabit backplane communications between boards independent of the PCIe interface. The Flexor Model 5973 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronization, time tagging and formatting, all tailored and optimized for specific FMC modules, such as the Flexor Model 3312. The Flexor Model 3312 FMC and Flexor Model 5973 VPX carrier are designed for air-cooled, conduction-cooled and rugged operating environments. The Flexor Model 3312 starts at $2,495.

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

Small Circular Connectors Serve Rugged Military Needs

TE Connectivity (TE) now offers a full complement of high-performance circular connectors, including DEUTSCH connectors, to its portfolio of circular connectors serving nanominiature, microminiature and compact small form factor applications. Ranging in size from ultra-miniature to near-double density 38999 styles, TE now offers one of the largest selections of small circular connectors designed for rugged durability and space and weight savings (SWaP) within the military and aerospace markets. The range of products achieves highspeed networking as high as 10 Gbit/s, and withstands vibration and shock, as well as achieve environmental sealing. In addition, these connectors provide shielding for EMC, offer a high mating cycle life, deliver coupling options and offer various materials and platings to match application needs.

Heatsink System Provides Variety of Cooling Options

Ohmite Manufacturing has announced their B60/C60 Heatsink System that provides designers with a variety of cooling options for up to six TO-246 or TO-264 devices, such as TO-247 and TO-264 power resistors. The B60 version offers ample mounting surface for a variety of larger components as well, such as Ohmite WFH90 Series, 850 Series, or TGH Series SOT-227 packages. The 75 mm long heatsinks can be used individually, or in pairs with the ability to accommodate a standard 60 mm x 60 mm fan for active cooling. Ohmite’s patented camming clips easily secure TO devices in place without the need for holes or screws.

Ohmite Manufacturing, Arlington Heights, IL. 1-866-9-OHMITE.

TE Connectivity, Berwyn, PA. (610) 893-9800.

Compact High-Efficiency DC/DC Converter Delivers 2100 Watts

Calex has introduced the MBH Series of DC/ DC Converters. The MBH offers up to 2100 watts in a lowprofile 9.0- x 6.5- x 1.25-inch ruggedized chassis mount package. The module weighs only 3.3 lbs., making the MBH ideal for harsh shock and vibration environments. The MBH Series’ high efficiency, up to 97%, is accomplished through the use of high-efficiency synchronous rectification, advanced electronic circuitry and thermal design. The operating temperature range for the MBH is -40° to 95°C with storage of -55° to 100°C. The MBH Series consists of five models. Three of the models offer a 10 to 16 VDC input range making them ideal for 12V mobile applications. The outputs are 28 VDC at 40, 60 and 75 amps. The remaining two models have a 23 to 32 VDC input range with output voltages of 12 and 13.5 VDC, both at 100 amps.

Calex, Concord, CA. (925) 687-4411.


COTS Journal | March 2014

COTS PRODUCTS FIND the products featured in this section and more at

Mezzanine Card Does Dual Channel IF Signal Capture

EDT has introduced the DRX16-a mezzanine board that pairs with a PCI Express main board to digitize two independent IF signals, each via its own port and 16-bit ADC. EDT firmware and software are included for basic signal capture and spectral display. Custom FPGA-based DSP designs are available for such applications as: wideband software-defined radio; realtime signal acquisition and analysis/test and measurement; adaptive signal processing; and high-speed filtering. The board has a configurable Xilinx Virtex 6 LX FPGA (XC6VLX240T) and two identical ports for 2 to 300 MHz. The ports can be filled with two no-gain input direct modules (IDX, option A), or two fixed-gain input direct modules (IDX-FG, option B) with independent gain settings. Output is digitized via ADCs and captured in the FPGA, which performs DSP or routes data to the main board. Each port has a sample clock that is independently programmable from 10 to 130 MHz. A third clock is available via the sample clock I/O connector, which can be set as input or output. The timebase can be the 10 MHz TCXO provided by EDT, or another source linked to the reference input. A reference output and a time code input (1 pps or IRIG-B) also are included. The main board supplies DMA, plus additional memory and programmable FPGA resources.

EDT, Beaverton, OR. 1-800-435-4320.

Avionics Module Features Vibrating Cylinder Technology

Curtiss-Wright has announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced its latest generation air data computer, the new Air Data Computer Module (ADCM). Designed and manufactured by Defense Solutions’ Avionics & Electronics business unit, the ADCM is the company’s smallest, lightest and most stable vibrating cylinder-based air data computer module, with features unmatched in the market today. The ADCM provides aircraft avionics designers with a compact and lightweight slot-based solution for integrating air data processing directly into their platform’s existing host equipment, thereby reducing weight, LRU count and fuel consumption. Designed for use in both Civil and Defense aircraft platforms, the module speeds and simplifies the integration of air data processing into existing avionics such as Attitude Heading Reference Systems (AHRS), Electronics Flight Instrument Systems (EFIS), Inertial Reference Systems (IRS) or Global Navigation Inertial Reference Systems (GNIRS). To lower the cost of ownership the ADCM uses vibrating cylinder technology, which eliminates the need for calibration and the costs of scheduled maintenance. It also delivers significantly reduced drift, resulting in less downtime and increased operational readiness. Furthermore, because the ADCM integrates directly into an existing avionics subsystem, overall weight is lowered resulting in reduced fuel consumption.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Ashburn, VA. (613) 254-5112.

Long-Life 150W ATX Power Supply Rides PCI/104-Express

ADL Embedded Solutions has announced its 150W ADLPS104ISO-150 power supply board. It’s designed to meet the needs of high-powered Intel Core industrial and embedded motherboards by providing robust ATX voltages in a stackable PCI/104-Express form factor, and is designed for -40° to +85°C operation. The ADLPS104ISO-150 provides up to 500V of galvanic isolation from dirty power and unwanted transients. The power supply is tailored to work in conjunction with ADL Embedded Solutions’ advanced high-performance SBCs with more than enough headroom for inrush startup currents, and quiescent operation with multiple peripheral cards. The ADLPS104ISO-150 boasts an MTBF > 600,000 hours, is designed for extended temperature operation, and can be ruggedized for MIL-STD 810 and rugged industrial applications. It also features ATX-compliant signaling to allow ACPI/APM power management from within compliant operating systems. The ADLPS104ISO-150 is available in two variants, one allowing an input voltage range of 7-36V but providing only the 5V, 5VS and 3.3V outputs, the other with a narrower input voltage range of 15-36V but providing 5V, 5VS, 3.3V and 12V outputs. A MILCOTS filter option for MIL-STD 704/1275/461 applications is also available.

ADL Embedded Solutions San Diego, CA. (858) 490-0597.

MicroTCA Chassis Platform Provides 40G

VadaTech has announced the industry’s first 40G MicroTCA chassis platform. The 5U chassis holds up to 12 full-sized Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) modules in the single-width format. Currently, MicroTCA-based systems use PCI Express, Gigabit Ethernet and Serial RapidIO fabrics. Multiple fabrics can be routed on the same backplane. While previous versions handled 10GbE traffic, the VT866 is designed for 40GbE (10GBASE-KR) signals. The VT866 chassis features a 36-layer backplane with a high-performance dielectric material for clean signals. The chassis includes dual rearmounted 1000W swappable power supplies. With a special easy-glide lining, the power supplies can be easily and smoothly inserted/removed from the chassis.

VadaTech, Henderson, NV. (702) 896-3337

March 2014 | COTS Journal


COTS PRODUCTS FIND the products featured in this section and more at

Rugged PCI/104-Express SBC Boasts Rich I/O Capabilities

Diamond Systems offers Atlas, a rugged PCI/104-Express single board computer (SBC) based on Intel’s dual-core Cedar Trail N2800 CPU. Offering a speed of 1.86 GHz and dual-core hyperthreading technology that enables applications to run in parallel, the new SBC provides exceptionally efficient processing. Available I/O includes USB 2.0, RS-232/422/485, Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and digital I/O. Atlas supports I/O expansion with PCI-104, PCIe/104, PCI/104-Express and PCIe MiniCard I/O modules. Atlas uses a new miniature, costeffective, high-speed expansion connector that supports most PCIe/104 I/O modules. The Atlas SBC was specifically designed for rugged applications. From an operating temperature of -40° to +75°C and onboard DDR3 SDRAM to an integrated conduction-cooling heat spreader and a high tolerance for shock and vibration, Atlas thrives in harsh environments. The bottom-mounted heat spreader provides a convenient mounting platform for the board, reduces case interior temperatures for improved system reliability, and simplifies the installation of I/O modules and cables by eliminating interference from heat sinks. Two models of the Atlas PCI/104-Express SBC are available. The ATLN2800-4G offers 4 Gbytes of onboard RAM, and the ATLN2800-2G has 2 Gbytes of onboard RAM. Single unit pricing starts at $645.

Diamond Systems, Mountain View, CA. (800) 367-2104.

Mini Encapsulated Linear Power Supplies Gain UL and CE Approvals

Acopian Power Supplies has achieved UL recognition and CE approval of their mini encapsulated series of linear regulated power supplies. The AC-DC power supply series is encapsulated in an ultracompact, low-profile housing to provide the ultimate in environmental protection in spacelimited applications. Featuring excellent regulation and ripple parameters, the single and dual tracking output devices are provided with screw terminal connections. The modules feature regulated voltage outputs ranging from 1V to 75V DC, current as high as 2.5A, and an output power range of 0.5W to 14W. Prices for Acopian’s mini encapsulated series of linear regulated power supplies with screw terminals start at $99.00 per unit.

Acopian, Easton, PA. (610) 258-5441.

Fanless Embedded Box PCs Powered by Core i7

Advantech has announced the new ARK3500 and ARK-3510 series of fanless embedded box PCs. They are powered by 3rd generation Intel mobile QM77, and support up to a Core i7 quad core processor. ARK-3500 series boasts versatile expansions-2 PCI, PCIe x1, PCIe x4, MIOe module and 2 MiniPCIe to fulfill diverse applications. Complete storage options include 2 hard drives or SSD/ 2 mSATA/ Cfast, and there is also optional wireless communication Wi-Fi / 3G / GPS support. As for rugged design, ARK-35 series supports wide-range power input: 9~34V/ 12V DC, and wide operating temperature from -10° to 60°C with SSD. These new series provide complete EMC & Safety Certifications (CE/ FCC/ UL/ CCC/ CB/ BSMI).

Advantech, Irvine, CA. (949) 420-2500.

Rugged Data Acquisition Platforms Meet MIL-STD-461/810/1275 Compliance

United Electronic Industries (UEI) has announced two new military-grade DAQ (Data Acquisition) and I/O Control platforms. The DNR-MIL and DNA-MIL are designed for MIL-STD-461/810/1275 compliance and deployment in environmentally harsh applications involving military and aerospace computing, oil drilling platforms and storage refineries, heavy machinery, outdoor test stands and other I/O applications exposed to hostile environments. Both platforms offer several technological advantages, including the ability to create a configurable COTS-based solution for virtually any analog/digital I/O sensor, interface and control application. Using an advanced modular architecture, the DNR-MIL and DNA-MIL are supported by a growing family of over 50 plug-and-play-compatible analog, digital and communications I/O boards. Specific interfaces are available for: ARINC-429, MIL-1553, CAN, RVDT/LVDT, synchro/resolver, RS-232/422/485, strain gauge, quadrature encoder, high-voltage analog outputs, high-drive outputs up to 50 mA, analog inputs up to 300V, DIO to 150V, and other applications. All I/O boards are accessed through 38999-style connectors using a single API layer, which greatly simplifies the software development effort. Manufactured in the USA with a 10-year availability guarantee for program longevity, each platform is factory tested, rated for operation from -40° to +70°C, and able to withstand 5g vibration and 100g shock. Onboard BIT (Built-in-Test) diagnostics also help ensure uptime and failsafe operation. Pricing starts at $6,000. Shipments will begin in April of 2014.

United Electronic Industries, Walpole, MA. (508) 921-4600.


COTS Journal | March 2014

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Company Page# Website

Company Page# Website


One Stop Systems, Inc................. 19,24............


Pentek, Inc......................................5.............................

Ballard Technology,

Phoenix International Systems,

Data Bus Products, Corp.................47.............

Pico Electronics,

Equipto Electronics Corp.................17.....................

Extreme Engineering Solutions....... 51............................

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc..2, 26-27...........................

GE Intelligent

SIE Computing


SynQor, Inc....................................23.............................

Intelligent Systems

TE Connectivity Ltd.........................37...................................

Interface Concept...........................22.............

Trenton Systems,

LCR Embedded Systems,

TQ Systems GmbH..........................15......................................................

Mercury Systems, Inc......................7................................


North Atlantic Industries..............25, 30...............................

Vadatech Incorporated....................29.........................

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: Video Processing Boards and System Solutions Video processing technology has now moved front and center. Driving that is the trend toward every vehicle, every aircraft, every ship, every UAV and every soldier on the ground being able to quickly share video information with almost any level of the DoD’s operation. This section explores the display, GPU, board and box system technologies that are all a part of this push toward building out a Net-Centric military. Tech Recon: DoD Budget Report: Major Programs With a budget deal in place, there’s at least the promise of more certainty in the year ahead. But many advanced programs are likely to see some shifts in funding, and tech refresh and upgrade programs are already seeing an increase in activity. This section examines what has happened in the DoD’s major military programs and what the opportunities are for embedded computing and electronics technologies. System Development: Laser Technologies for Targeting and Combat Laser technology isn’t a new kid on the block in terms of applications for the military. In particular, laser sighting and targeting has been used in the field for years. But it’s starting to find uses in new platforms. Smart munitions like the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) have a laser variant that lets it attack land-moving targets when designated by an airborne or ground laser. Research is also underway to use lasers as direct attack weapons. The Navy for its part has talked about deploying a solid-state laser prototype weapon aboard a ship in fiscal year 2014. This section examines the state of military laser technology along with the embedded computing solutions needed to support it. Tech Focus: FPGA Processing Boards As the signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb, board-level configurable computing solutions have grown to become key enablers for waveformintensive applications like sonar, radar, SIGINT and SDR. Such systems have an insatiable appetite for more digital signal processing muscle. This feature section delves into the solutions available in this area and explores how they’re transforming military signal processing systems. 48

COTS Journal | March 2014


NEW ADLMES-8200 Modular Enclosure System

• Intel® E3800 Series SoC Processors, DC/Quad

• Modular Design Supports Variable Stack Heights (2 - 6 Cards)

• Up to 8 GB DDR3L-1333, 1.35V SoDIMM204 Socket

• Three Basic Size Profiles Available To Reduce Time To Market

• Type 2 Downward-Stacking PCIe/104 V2.01 with 2x Gen2 PCIe x1 Lanes

• Quick Turn Front I/O Plate Can Be Easily Customized

• 4x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 2x Serial COM

• IP60 and IP65 Configurations

• 2x SATA 3 Gb/s, 2x GLAN Ethernet

• Wide Range of PC/104 SBCs Ranging From Low Power Atom to 4th Gen Intel Core i7

• PCI Express Mini Card 1.2 Socket, Compatible with Mini PCIe or mSATA Modules

• Designed For MIL-STD 704/1275/461

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc.

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc.

Phone: (858) 490.0597 Email: Fax: (858) 490.0599 Web:

Phone: (858) 490.0597 Email: Fax: (858) 490.0599 Web:

HPERC-IBR High Performance Extreme Rugged™ System

SIU33 Sensor Interface Unit – Conduction Cooled •C  onfigure with up to 9 I/O and communications function modules

• SWaP-efficient, sealed SFF system

• 4 0+ different modules available

• Intel® Core™ i7 dual or quad-core processor

• S BC-less, standalone operation supported via Ethernet connection to your mission computer

• Soldered DDR3L-1333 8GB, up to 16GB RAM

• 3 x 3U cPCI Slots

• Quad GigE; ultra-fast solid state RAID; 3 DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI

•P  rocessor options: Freescale™ PowerPC QorIQ P2041, Intel® Core™ i7, Intel® Atom™ or ARM Cortex™-A9

• Available GPGPU on 16-lane 3rd generation PCI Express

ADLINK Technology

• VITA 75.22 coldplate mounting or finned convection

Phone: (408) 360-0200 Email: Web:

• MIL-STD-461F, MIL-STD-1275 & 704A

North Atlantic Industries, Inc. Phone: (631) 567-1100 Fax: (631) 567-1823 Email: Web:

MOBL-D2 Universal Mobile Computer

Expandable 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch

• Open system architecture

•E  xpandable Ethernet boards & systems for high-performance switching needs

• Software agnostic

• S tackable PCI Express (PCIe/104)

• Robust RF support

•B  roadcom BCM53115M switch with unmanaged operation

• MIL-810F shock and vibration • Wide temperature range -30°C - +70°C • Low power CPU

• 5 Ports with RJ-45, screw down D-Sub or military cylindrical connectors

• Designed, manufactured and certified in the US

• S tandalone board-level and watertight enclosure packaging options •O  perational from -40 to +85°C

Computers in Motion

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.

Phone: +1 (303) 430.1500 Email: Fax: +1 (303).426.8126 Web:

Phone: (814) 234-8087 Email: Web: AS9100 & ISO 9001 Certified

March 2014 | COTS Journal





Mode 4

The flight mode, also known as short takeoff/ vertical landing (STOVL), for the F-35B aircraft in which two F-35B aircraft flew in close formation while in mode for the first time. Pilots Peter Wilson and Dan Levin flew the test jets in Mode 4 with the F-35B LiftFan engaged and engine rotated downward. The mission measured the effects the aircraft had on each other while in Mode 4 to ensure that they can operate in formation safely in an operational environment.

7 to 38 kilometers

The range over which the U.S. Army and Raytheon successfully fired 30 GPS-guided Excalibur Ib projectiles during an extensive First Article Test series at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. This test series validated performance and reliability of the Excalibur Ib production configuration, and moves the program toward full-rate production. During the testing, gunners fired Excalibur Ib projectiles from the Paladin and M777 howitzers to various targets. Average miss distance for the 30 projectiles was 1.6 meters.

$520 million Amount of the contract modification the U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat to buy long-lead-time material for four Virginia-class submarines, SSN-794, SSN-795, SSN796 and SSN-797. The contract provides funding for steam and electrical-plant components, main propulsion unit and ship-service turbine generator sets, as well as for miscellaneous hull, mechanical and electrical-systems components to support construction of the submarines. 50

COTS Journal | March 2014

$3.3 billion

Value of the global market for military land vehicle electronics in 2014, according to a new research report published by Called Military Land Vehicle Electronics (Vetronics) Market 2014-2024: Communications, Computing, Sensors & Remote Weapon Stations (RWS), the 168-page report provides an in-depth breakdown of the sources of growth and areas of contraction in the military land vehicle electronics market, including detailed ten-year budget forecasts for the 15 highest spending countries. For more info see

10 locations

The number of different locations to which Northrop Grumman’s virtual Common Imagery Processor (CIP) is capable of handling dual simultaneous data streams and outputting imagery. The CIP has taken another important step in supporting the Global Hawk Block 40 Unmanned Aircraft System by deploying to Grand Forks Air Force Base in Grand Forks, ND last year. Once virtualized CIP capabilities were understood, Grand Forks personnel obtained Air Force approval for the deployment through the Global Hawk Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Module and System-Level Solutions from Intel® and Freescale™ Single Board Computers


4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-based 3U VPX SBC with XMC/PMC


Freescale QorIQ T4240-based 6U VPX SBC with dual XMC/PMC

Secure Ethernet Switches and IP Routers


Secure Gigabit Ethernet router XMC utilizing Cisco™ IOS®


3U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet managed switch and router

High-Performance FPGA and I/O Modules


Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA-based XMC with high-throughput DAC

High-Capacity Power Supplies


3U VPX 300W power supply with EMI filtering for MIL-STD-704 & 1275

Rugged, SWaP-Optimized, COTS-Based Systems


Sub-½ ATR, 6x 3U VPX slot system with removable SSDs


SFF 2x 3U VPX system with removable SSD and integrated power supply


SFF Intel® Core™ i7 or Freescale QorIQ-based system with XMC/PMC

Extreme Engineering Solutions 608.833.1155

Designed, manufactured, and supported in the USA

Aircraft Interface Devices (AID) Solve avionics system integration and compatibility problems with Astronics Ballard Technology’s versatile Aircraft Interface Devices. These rugged units are an essential part of many avionics upgrades, such as tactical mission systems and electronic flight bags (EFB), where they serve avionics data while protecting aircraft control domains from interference and corruption.

Speed program development and reduce costs with our validated COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) AIDs Visit our website or call 425-339-0281 to learn more.

Common AID Functions AID Data / Protocol Conversion

AID Data Concentration / Separation Firewall

AID Domain Isolation / Protection

AS9100 / ISO 9001 Registered

COTS Journal  

March 2014

COTS Journal  

March 2014