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Tech Focus:

FPGA Processing Board Roundup

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Video Processing Subsystems Feed Situational Awareness Needs Come See Us At

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BONUS CONTENT: DoD Budget Report: Major Programs Update SDSI Technology Tackles Test Equipment Obsolescence

An RTC Group Publication

Volume 16 Number 4 April 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.


CAN Device

CAN Device

CAN Device


RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. provides a wide range of CAN bus products for vehicle-based and monitoring applications. Pair the robustness of the PC/104 architecture with the benefits of the CAN protocol including bit-wise message arbitration, simple connectivity, and error detection. The scalability and modularity of these CAN networks offer system designers a wide range of solutions. Contact our engineering team to learn more.



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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

X 10

Embedded Technologies Tackle Video XX Processing Challenges

CONTENTS April 2014

Volume 16


E ditorial The Word Business Unmanned Systems Investment


The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

Number 4


Positioning Video Processing: OpenVPX Boards and VME and Systems


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.

EV mbedded ME and VPX Technologies Follow Parallel Tackle andVideo Overlapping Processing Paths Challenges Jeff Child

14  16 VME R elaying and Video OpenVPX to Ground Stake Out Poses Territory Bandwidth alongHurdles the Continuum of Choices Michel Stern,Fadeley, Christopher GE Intelligent Tech Source Platforms

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

TECH RECON DoD Budget Report: Major Programs TECH RECON

Technology Roadmap for Unmanned Ground Systems

22  Major DoD Programs Budget Emphasizes Cost-Effectiveness Jeff Child

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

On The Cover: Instead of a traditional periscope, the Virginia class submarines have two telescoping photonics masts. mast high-resolution cameras, On TheEach Cover: VMEcontains has a long legacy of being able to insert along with light-intensification andsame infrared sensors, new computing technology into the systems. Suchan infrared laser rangefinder, and kept an integrated ESMbomber array. VME technology upgrades have the B-2 Spirit The USSwith Minnesota (SSN 783) is shown here during sea outfitted advanced processing for years. Shown here, atrials B-2 last SpiritJune. bomber aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, (U.S. NavyAir Whiteman photo Force courtesy Base, MO. of Huntington flies over Kansas. Ingalls Industries/ (U.S. Air Force photo). Released)

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Mitigating Obsolescence in Test Technologies

Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory

30  Synthetic Instrumentation Eases ATE Obsolescence Woes 32  O rganizations EnhanceRADX Methods of Handling Board- and IC-Level Obsolescence Robert Wade Lowdermilk, Technologies Jeff Child Carey, Wilkes University Dr. David

34  Annual EOL and Component Obsolescence Directory


38 FVPGA Processing Boards Alive Ride Signal Processing Wave 38   ME SBCs Keep Refresh with New Technology 40 40

Coming Coming in in April May See Page 50 48

Jeff Jeff Child Child

FPGA Processing Boards Roundup VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup Digital subscriptions available:


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon,


Drive Magazine Based High Performance Multi-Protocol Fibre Channel, SAS or iSCSI System

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


COTS Journal | April 2014

Critical Recording in Any Arena When You Can’t Afford to Miss a Beat!


Introducing Pentek’s expanded line of Talon COTS, rugged, portable and lab-based recorders. Built to capture wideband SIGINT, radar and communication signals right out-of-the-box: • • • • • • • • • •

Analog RF/IF, 10 GbE, LVDS, sFPDP solutions Real-time sustained recording to 4 GB/sec Recording and playback operation Analog signal bandwidths to 1.6 GHz Shock and vibration resistant Solid State Drives GPS time and position stamping ® Hot-swappable storage to Windows NTFS RAIDs Remote operation & multi-system synchronization ® SystemFlow API & GUI with Signal Analyzer Complete documentation & lifetime support

Pentek’s rugged turn-key recorders are built and tested for fast, reliable and secure operation in your environment. Call 201-818-5900 or go to for your FREE High-Speed Recording Systems Handbook and Talon Recording Systems Catalog.

Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 • Phone: 201.818.5900 • Fax: 201.818.5904 • • Worldwide Distribution & Support, Copyright © 2013 Pentek, Inc. Pentek, Talon and SystemFlow are trademarks of Pentek, Inc. Other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.


EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Unmanned Systems Investment


hile of course all types of military systems rely on increasing amounts of embedded computing and electronics, to me there’s something special about the role they serve in unmanned systems—including air, sea and ground unmanned platforms. By definition unmanned systems depend on computing architectures to provide control and automation of their activity. Moreover, while there are other subsectors of technology where the defense industry is a follower, there are parts of unmanned systems development where the military is a leading technology innovator. Beyond just the military, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), for example, continue as the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade. According to market research firm Teal Group, UAV spending will more than double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $5.2 billion annually to $11.6 billion, totaling just over $89 billion in the next ten years. If you look at the DoD’s latest Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap (FY2013-2038), a comparison of DoD funding plans versus industry predictions shows that the DoD will not be the bulk user within that market. However, the DoD does intend to be the most innovative user. As the roadmap describes, UAVs have grown to a sizable fleet providing a variety of capabilities that the DoD will need to maintain over the near term. On the UAV payload side of the equation, Teal Group’s research provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads. Adding up Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensors (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and EW Systems, C4I Systems, and CBRN Sensors, the total was worth $2.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2013 and forecast to increase to $4.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2022. The report says that the UAV electronics market will grow steadily, with the fastest growth and opportunities in SAR and SIGINT/EW. An important evolution in the way the DoD views unmanned systems in recent years it to treat them as part of an overall Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) strategy. The President’s FY 2015 DoD Budget Request released last month describes them as part of what it calls Global Integrated ISR operations. For the Air Force part of that, the FY 2015 Budget Request realigns and reprioritizes capability and capacity across the ISR portfolio. For medium-altitude, permissive ISR, the Air Force plans to sustain the current capability of 50 steady state MQ-1/MQ-9 Combat Air Patrols (CAPs), with the ability to support 65 surge 6

COTS Journal | April 2014

MQ-1/MQ-9 CAPs until the full transition to an all-MQ-9 fleet is made later in the FYDP. The FY 2015 budget calls to fully resource 55 steady state MQ-9 CAPs by FY 2019. Under the BCA (Budget Control Act)-level funding, the Air Force would expect to further reduce the overall MQ-9 capacity beginning in FY 2016. Looking at the Global Hawk, in the FY 2015 Budget Request, the Air Force alters its high-altitude ISR capacity through the restoral of the RQ-4 Block 30 and subsequent planned retirement of the U-2 in FY 2016. Investment funds are added to RQ-4 Block 30 to ensure platform viability beyond 2023, improve reliability, and improve sensor performance to close the gaps with the U-2. Finally, in accordance with the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, the Air Force will divest the MC-12W manned medium-altitude ISR capability and transfer this capability to the U.S. Army and Air Force Special Operations Command. In the Navy /Marines segment, investment in unmanned systems will bring the first Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) aircraft and MQ-4 Triton Unmanned Aircraft System to the Fleet with the procurement of 24 systems through FY 2019. In the area of Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMS)—which comprises unmanned maritime vehicles (UMVs), including both unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and all the integrated sensors and payloads aboard them—funding is falling in the short turn, but future UMS inventories continue to rise. The thinking is that, as new littoral combat ships arrive in service, support for UMS designed to be used aboard them will rise. Meanwhile for the Army, as 10 years of war wind down, DoD inventories and funding of Unmanned Ground Systems (UGSs) are expected to decrease in 2014. But in proportion, UGSs aren’t considered a Major Weapons System within the FY2015 Budget Request. That said, the dip this year is expected to be followed by a gradual upward trend in 2016 and beyond with the fielding of new programs of record (PORs) to meet expanding mission requirements. The Army has a 30-year UGS campaign plan based on the goal to coordinate and synchronize UGS RDT&E efforts with Army force modernization requirements. While DoD plans and budgets for unmanned systems vary across its different branches, it’s clear that this category of military platforms has become both a vital part of U.S. military strategies and a technology driver at the same time.


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Visit to see how Mercury Systems’ SIGINT and COMINT solutions deliver unrivaled capabilities. Copyright © 2014 Mercury Systems, Innovation That Matters are trademarks of Mercury Systems, Inc.


INSIDE TRACK Northrop Grumman G/ATOR System Approved for LRIP Phase The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition approved the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) program for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) at a Department of Defense acquisition event known as Milestone C. Northrop Grumman is the G/ATOR system prime contractor. Over the past year, the system was subjected to intense test and environmental conditions, proving the capability of providing excellent situational awareness against a variety of platforms, including fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned autonomous system platforms (Figure 1). G/ATOR’s open architecture design and the ability to scale the system technology permit the product line to meet a multitude of ground- and ship-based radar missions and capabilities. The Milestone C decision follows last year’s successful completion of Developmental Testing, Operational Assessment and a formal Marine Corps Production Readiness Review. To ensure the system was subjected to a broad range of operational conditions, Developmental Testing was conducted in both the littoral environment at the Surface Combat Systems Center at Wallops Island, VA, as well as the desert and mountain environments at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, AZ. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA. (310) 553-6262.

Figure 2

The Rockwell Collins Flight2 avionics system will provide the Royal Air Force of Oman C-130 aircraft with unrestricted access to global airspace by meeting CNS/ ATM requirements.

Oman C-130 Aircraft to be Upgraded with Avionics Running on LynuxWorks RTOS LynuxWorks announced the LynxOS-178 real-time operating system (RTOS) will be used in the Rockwell Collins Flight2 avionics management system. 8

COTS Journal | April 2014

Figure 1

G/ATOR’s open architecture design enables it to meet a multitude of ground- and ship-based radar missions and capabilities. The deployment of the Rockwell Collins Flight2 avionics system will be for the Royal Air Force of Oman’s C-130 upgrade program (Figure 2). The Rockwell Collins Flight2 avionics system will provide the Royal Air Force of Oman C-130 aircraft with unrestricted access to global airspace by meeting Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/ Air Traffic Management (CNS/ ATM) airspace requirements that are currently identified. Included in the avionics upgrade are new primary flight displays, a state-of-the-art flight management system, autopilot, communication radios, navigation sensors and surveillance systems including MultiScan Hazard Detection Weather Radar, Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System, Terrain Awareness and Warning System and digital map. The upgrade of

the three planes will provide the Oman Air Force with state-ofthe-art capabilities consistent with the world’s leading C-130 operators. LynuxWorks San Jose, CA. (408) 979-3900.

Navy Awards General Dynamics Contract for MLP 3 Afloat Forward Staging Base The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $128.5 million contract for the detail design and construction of the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) 3 Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). NASSCO is a business unit of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the contract, NASSCO will provide the detail

design and construction efforts to convert the MLP 3 to an AFSB variant. The work will be performed at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard and is scheduled to be completed by October 2015. The MLP AFSB is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s large-scale airborne mine countermeasure mission. The ship is designed to facilitate a wide variety of future mission sets in support of special operations. With accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck, the MLP AFSB will provide a highly capable and affordable asset to the Navy and Marine Corps. General Dynamics NASSCO San Diego, CA. (619) 544-3400.


INSIDE TRACK Mil Market Watch Total Graphics Chip Market shares

Figure 3

GMLRS is an all-weather rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons.

Lockheed Martin Receives Army Contract for Guided MLRS Rocket Production Lockheed Martin received a $255 million contract in late 2013 from the U.S. Army for Lot 9 production of the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary rocket. The new allotment of rockets will be delivered to the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Republic of Italy. Delivery will begin in April 2015. Work will be performed at the Lockheed Martin facilities in Camden, AR and Dallas, TX. GMLRS is an all-weather rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons (Figure 3). GMLRS Unitary rockets greatly exceed the required combat reliability rate and have established a reputation for affordability.

Market share this quarter

Market share last quarter

Unit Change Qtr-Qtr

Share Difference Qtr-Qtr

Market Share Last Year

























Figure 4

According to Jon Peddie Research, the GPU market is up with Intel and Nvidia graphics winners in Q4 2013, while AMD was down.

GPU Market Grows as Intel, Nvidia and AMD Jockey for Share With GPGPU technology becoming an important solution for key military applications, the GPU chip market is being watched closely these days. Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry’s research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, has estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers’ market share for 2013 4Q. The quarter was the second quarter in a row to show a gain in shipments, up 1.6 percent quarter-toquarter, and up 2 percent compared to the same quarter last year. According to the report, AMD’s overall unit shipments decreased 10.4 percent, quarter-to-quarter; Intel’s total shipments increased 5.1 percent from last quarter; and Nvidia’s shipments increased 3.4 percent. The attach rate of GPUs to PCs for the quarter was 137 percent, and 34 percent of PCs had discrete GPUs, which means 66 percent of the PCs are using embedded graphics. The overall PC market increased 1.8 percent quarter-to-quarter, but declined 8.5 percent year-to-year. Most of the PC vendors are guiding down to flat for the next quarter. The popularity of tablets and the persistent economic slowness are the most often mentioned reasons for the decline in the PC market. The one bright spot in the PC market has been the growth of gaming PCs where discrete GPUs play a significant role. The CAGR for total PC graphics from 2013 to 2017 is -1.3 percent in 2013; 446 million GPUs were shipped and the forecast for 2017 is 422 million. Overall, the trend for discrete GPUs is roughly flat with a CAGR from 2013 to 2017 of-1.3 percent. The Jon Peddie Research’s Market Watch is available now in both electronic and hard copy editions. For information about purchasing the report, contact Robert Dow at JPR Jon Peddie Research Tiburon, CA. (415) 435-9368. In combat operations, each GMLRS rocket is packaged in an MLRS launch pod and is fired from the Lockheed Martin HIMARS or M270 family of launchers. GMLRS is an international cooperative

program among the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Other international customers include Japan, Jordan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

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

April 2014 | COTS Journal


SPECIAL FEATURE Video Processing: Boards and Systems

Embedded Technologies Tackle Video Processing Challenges With video now a critical centerpiece of situational awareness, embedded computing solutions are tasked for processing, distributing and displaying growing amounts of captured video information. A new crop of board- and box-levels solutions are feeding those needs. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


COTS Journal | April 2014



ven in this era of tighter budgets, the move to more advanced video display technologies continues to be strong. There are two main reasons for that. On the one hand there’s a fundamental shift in technology toward network-centric operations. On the other hand, there’s an acknowledgement that a reduced military will need to increase its situational awareness capabilities, and the sharing and display of information feeds into that trend. As part of that, video processing technology has moved front and center now. Driving that is the goal for every UAV, every vehicle, every aircraft, every ship and every soldier on the ground to be able to quickly share video information with almost any level of the DoD’s operation. UAVs and other military platforms are capturing large amounts of full-motion video and still imagery—a lot of that moving to high-definition (HD). That video is monitored and used in real time but also stored for later analysis. Leveraging cutting-edge graphics chips developed for the demanding gaming market, military graphics subsystems are now able to offer complex video and graphics functionality in highly integrated board-level solutions. Command and Control systems have embraced these capabilities and now rank among the most demanding users of these advanced graphics technologies. One shift that’s been happening in the military video processing world is the idea of doing the processing on the system— such as an airborne platform—before transmitting it to the ground. Along such lines, last fall Mercury Systems announced the deployment of one of its OpenVPXbased sensor processing subsystems on an airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) application. The subsystem can process and exploit huge amounts of sensor data in real time, store it on board for retrieval and forensic analysis, and send imagery to ground stations or handheld devices. The unit integrates

Figure 1

The Skyquest VRD1 Video Management System (VMS) provides extensive video I/O that supports a wide variety of analog and digital formats and provides on-thefly conversion, switching, recording and network streaming of the platform’s video data.

Intel Xeon server-class processors, general purpose graphical processing units (GPGPUs) and ruggedized solid state disk storage arrays­—essentially a server-class computing capability in a SWaP-constrained airborne environment.

Linking to Storage Systems

As the sheer amount of video data grows, it has become critical that storage of captured data doesn’t become a bottleneck. Addressing that challenge, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions has demonstrated its Skyquest VRD1 Video Management System (VMS) and Vortex Data Transport System (DTS) working together. The demo showed control and display of video sensor data with support for secure, removable storage of that video. The combined system is targeted at applications that require real-time viewing and recording of large amounts of high-definition (HD) video data and require a method for storing and encrypting that data while being able to access it on demand for post-mission analysis. The VRD1’s extensive video I/O supports a wide variety of analog and digital formats and provides on-the-fly conversion, April 2014 | COTS Journal



switching, recording and network streaming of the platform’s video data. Allowing the integrator to route all video through a VRD1, to connect all of the sources and destinations, reduces system complexity and maximizes flexibility while also reducing total mass: this VMS approach has saved more than 40 lbs. of cabling in previous applications (Figure 1). When a VRD1 is combined with Curtiss-Wright’s DTS, system design-

ers are able to securely store and encrypt all of their video data on the turn-key DTS’s 2.5-inch SATA solid state drive.

Video Tracking in Small Footprint

At the other end of the size spectrum are subsystems that enable better video capture on small platforms. An example is GE Intelligent Platforms’ ADEPT3100 rugged miniature automatic video tracking and imFigure 2

The ADEPT3100 combines video tracking and image stabilization in a single device. The 34 mm x 24 mm card can operate with PAL or NTSC analog video signals, and incorporates onboard serial links, allowing it to interface to most platforms.

age stabilization solution. Designed specifically for environments in which size, weight and power are severely constrained—such as small autonomous platforms and manportable devices—the ADEPT3100 combines video tracking and image stabilization in a single device. Despite its extremely small size, at 34 mm x 24 mm, it is approximately the size of a microprocessor, the ADEPT3100 can operate with PAL or NTSC analog video signals, and incorporates onboard serial links, allowing it to interface to most platforms. The module has a weight of just six grams and power consumption of only 1.5W (Figure 2). To keep pace with the rapidly changing display needs of military system developers, mezzanine card solutions are a convenient way to swap in new video processing electronics. An example is the VPP-8112 video I/O and processor XMC from Creative Electronic Systems. The VPP-8112 is specifically designed as a powerful video acquisition and processing solution for harsh environmental conditions. The VPP-8112 features the DaVinci digital media processor from Texas Instruments. It incorporates an ARM CortexA8 processor, running an embedded Linux system, a floating-point VLIW DSP, a video image coprocessor for H.264 and MPEG-4 video compression, decompression, and a 3D graphics processing unit. 12

COTS Journal | April 2014

A42_COTS_1-3V_2-25x9-875_Layout 1 3/5/14 4:45


Transformers and Inductors all!

sm O C I P k hin


think... low profile from



Over 5000 Std. Ultra Miniature

Surface Mount (and Plug-In) Models

Figure 3

COTS Journal’s Jeff Child is briefed on Sabtech’s Data Display Computer at an industry trade exhibition.

Its multiple integrated I/O peripherals provide native support for a PCIe x1 Gen2 link, two Gigabit Ethernet links, one SATA-II interface for external storage and two USB 2.0 ports. The VPP-8112 has two stereo audio inputs and outputs to complement the video capability of the module. The VPP-8112 module has options for aircooled and conduction-cooled operating environments.

Mezzanines for Mixing and Matching

Another mezzanine-based video solution example is the family of M59x graphics boards from Aitech Defense Systems. The M595 PMC and M597 XMC boards can both simultaneously drive two independent video streams in a wide variety of graphics and output formats for flexible video input and frame grabbing formats to meet users’ specific application needs. Both singlewidth mezzanine boards integrate multiple supporting 2D/3D hardware engines. This includes LVDS, SDI, HDI, SMPTE 292 and H.264, and graphics languages including DirectX, OpenGL and OpenCL. The M595 and M597 use the advanced AMD/ATI E4690 graphics processing unit

(GPU) operating at 600 MHz with a 512 Mbyte on-chip GDDR3 SDRAM frame buffer. The E4690 enables multiple video outputs from its native video ports and eliminates the need for external transmitters or encoders. It works with an integrated, onboard FPGA to support a wide variety of additional video output formats, overlay, underlay and keying features as well as multiple video input formats and signal conditioning options. The M595, a dual-head display XMC, transfers graphics and video to the host system via a high-speed eight port PCIe link. Interfaces include two RGBHV (CRT) channels, an HDTV/TV out port, an LVDS channel and four single-link DVI/HDMI/ DP channels through the E4690. Both of these DO-178/DO-254-certifiable mezzanine products are available in vibrationand shock-resistant versions as well as in conduction-cooled and air-cooled versions and to commercial, rugged and military specifications with a maximum operating temperature range of -55° to +85°C.

Flat Screen Systems in CRT Slot

A lot of military video display technologies these days are replacing older sys-

Audio / 400Hz / Pulse Multiplex Data Bus / DC-DC Converter Transformers / Power & EMI Inductors te ly m e d ia ta lo g im om fu ll C a c . ’s o s ic c See P ctroni

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April 2014 | COTS Journal



tems that had quite different mechanical footprints. Large, bulky CRT-style monitors took up a lot more space than today’s thin HD flat screen displays. Sabtech took advantage of that in their Sabtech Data Display Computer (SDDC) product. The SDDC is a rugged, general-purpose computer that could fit in the volume of a CRT monitor, but features a large flat screen 19� (diagonal) display for optimal viewing. It

has a backlit 102-key keyboard with tactile feedback and a three-button HULA pointing device. The keyboard and pointing device are environmentally sealed and can be operated with gloves on. It comes with one BD-DVD drive and can have up to two removable solid state hard drives. A rear-mounted USB port provides connectivity to any compatible peripheral device. Audio communications are supported with

microphone and headphone jacks, and an integrated speaker provides for audible alarms. Dual copper Gigabit Ethernet ports provide LAN connectivity through locking sealed connectors. In addition to industrial and general military applications, the SDDC is a direct replacement for the OJ-454(V)/UYK Data Display Console and ORTSNET workstation used in the Aegis Operational Readiness Test System (ORTS). In this configuration, the SDDC runs ORTS Network Emulation Terminal (ORTSNET) software, providing status, maintenance direction, fault reporting, indication and display, and readiness assessment of the Aegis Weapon System. Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. Creative Electronic Systems Geneva, Switzerland. +41 (0)22 884 51 00. Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA. (866) 627-6951. Sabtech Industries Yorba Linda, CA. (714) 692-3800.

Untitled-18 1


COTS Journal | April 2014

5/2/12 2:03:25 PM

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SPECIAL FEATURE Video Processing: Boards and Systems

Relaying Video to Ground Poses Bandwidth Hurdles Using a customizable H.264 hardware encoder is essential to delivering the high compression ratio and guaranteed speed needed for mission-critical manned and unmanned video streaming applications. Christopher Fadeley, Software Engineer, Tech Source


he change in emphasis to a more avionics approach to the military theater has introduced a new set of challenges in terms of technological feasibility. It is often requested to have an active video feed sent large distances back to ground, with low latency and in high definition. These criteria must be met at all times. The video feed is typically used for monitoring and/or recording of the mission, so if the video feed arrives too late or in poor quality, the resulting images are of no use to control staff and the mission can be compromised. The real challenge is dealing with the low bandwidth available to stream video. All transmissions must be sent wirelessly, and ground control may be a long distance away, especially when it involves remotecontrolled UAV or intelligence gathering missions (Figure 1). Wireless transmission is usually performed in an atypical method with limited bandwidth, like a cellular relay or satellite transmission. This often puts a very strict limitation on the data transfer rate of the video.

Raw Video Bandwidth Issues

Raw video by definition is lossless, but it is also highly wasteful in the amount of data it takes to display. A 1080p 30fps 16

COTS Journal | April 2014

raw video has a data rate upward of 200 Mbytes/s. Raw video has its place in the military field in the form of live local viewing and GPGPU processing on the fly. But in applications where the video needs

to be streamed remotely, raw video is not feasible. The solution is to compress the video, but this comes with its own set of challenges. Compressing video can cause a

Figure 1

UAVs need the feed streamed remotely in as timely a fashion as possible, otherwise the mission may be compromised. (Photo credit: Joe Lena,


drop in quality. The bigger challenge is that video must be sent in a timely fashion and compression introduces latency. Latency is the time between the camera capturing the video and the time that data is actually displayed or recorded remotely or locally. Compression takes time, especially if high quality and/or resolution are needed. The best way to ensure low latency with reasonable compression is to use dedicated compression hardware. And given the military field, the hardware must be ruggedized to survive in harsh environments and still consume low power. Keeping that low power while compressing with expected results can be difficult. Hence the hardware must also be computationally efficient.

Standard Encoding

The current standard for compressing video is H.264/MPEG4-Part 10 AVC. This process of compression is also called encoding. H.264 is now the most widely adopted advanced video codec in part due to its high compression ratio and highly configurable options. The strict bandwidth limitations make the configuration of H.264 a necessity. H.264 can encode to either a constant or variable bitrate. For more about constant vs. Variable Bitrate, see the web-only sidebar “Constant or Variable Bitrate?” in the online version of this article.

Raw Video Feed


Video Decoder Decoded Video


H.264 Stream

H.264 Encoder

MPEG-TS Stream RTP Stream

RTP Packetizer

UDP Packetizer UDP Stream



UDP Stream

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Block diagram shows the full pipeline of sending video remotely and then displaying at control.

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Bottleneck Troubles

If a video stream is difficult to encode, there is a chance the variable bitrate encoder will surpass the available bandwidth, and this could result in potential loss of video (dropped frames or buffered delayed frames). Therefore, constant bitrate settings are most often used for the military space. Variable bitrate encoders do have the option to enact a strict maximum size in order to limit this potential for overflow, but this can cause more strain on the encoder and is unnecessary for most military applications, and ultimately the variability of the bitrate is an unnecessary addition to an already complex system. H.264 also has various profiles or ways in which the encoding is handled— the three primary profiles are Baseline,

Main and High. Baseline is computationally simple and fast to encode. Main and High add more features (like B-frames), making the resulting compression ratio better, but at the cost of computation time and hence latency.

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Time Is of the Essence

Compression ratios keep getting better and better, but this always comes at the cost of simplicity and processing time. And anything that becomes more computationally difficult typically takes longer to process. The process to receive video from a sensor and send it back to ground is quite complex as Figure 2 shows. For more on the process of moving video data between a sensor and the ground, see the

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The encoding time is manageable based on hardware and settings. A dedicated H.264 hardware encoder is an absolute requirement to properly meet user expectations. CPUs are too slow due to their fundamentally serial approach. And the GPGPU approach is possible but is ultimately wasteful in power and still not as fast as a dedicated encoder. The only way to have both a high compression ratio with guaranteed speed is to have dedicated hardware to perform the tasks. With a dedicated encoder, the time to encode and wrap into a streaming format is minimized. As mentioned before, the real user of time is the process of sending the encoded data back to ground. But this may be difficult to improve upon and depends on the communication method between the capture and the display sites. This encoded video must also be decoded on the receiving side. This means the encoded stream must be extracted from the MPEG-TS mux and decoded back to regular pixel data before being displayed. This is essentially reversing the whole encoding process already performed and in turn takes a similar amount of time to the encoding process. Hence, like the encoding process, this too must be optimized as much as possible to ensure a timely display of remote video. Many of the latest GPUs (graphics processing units) have built-in decoders that display applications can use.

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Video needs to be sent back to control in a timely fashion, otherwise the entire mission could be compromised. The reality of the situation is the video being shown at ground will always be “late” when compared to what is actually happening. The goal is to limit “how late” the video is by as much as possible. If the video is too late, it is ultimately useless and decisions made back at ground are being made with a faulty reality. The result of these decisions based on incorrect data can be devastating. The dedicated encoder on board must

Figure 3

The VC100x XMC H.264 encoder allows video to be sent remotely and in a timely fashion.

then be optimized for the specific environment. As previously mentioned, the strict bandwidth limitations are the real challenge. And with these strict bandwidth limitations, the video will never look perfect. And if it is a high motion video, it may not even be close. Hence, if the video isn’t time-sensitive (monitoring the video instead of controlling back at ground), certain optimizations can take place at the encoding layer that add extra time (in the magnitude of ms), but potentially ensure better quality. As previously mentioned, implementing a high profile encode may take a few extra milliseconds (5-20ms), but it may be the necessary addition to make the video useable. Filters (like temporal motion filters) can also be applied, which analyze the video frames for items like motion and sharp contrast and then computationally alleviate these issues. Again, any addition to the pipeline will always add some degree of extra time.

Tradeoff Factors

Encoded video will always have the tradeoff between size, quality, power consumption and speed. The smaller the size, the worse the video will look. And

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the more processing that needs to be performed to improve this quality adds to the final latency and power. Further developments in the encoding field will continue to improve this situation, but this tradeoff will always be an inherent issue. For now and for some time, H.264 is the standard for compressing video, and military applications must work within both compression level and the bandwidth

limitations to ensure successful implementation.

Alleviations and Implementation

Based on implementation and application need, there is the possibility to implement a system that highly alleviates this tradeoff simply via brute force with multiple streams. If the encoding product has multiple dedicated encoders on board

that can be customized individually and bandwidth availability permits, then both encoders can be utilized to meet all needs. For example, one encoded stream can be set to encode at the full 30 frames per second at low quality ensuring every frame is sent timely and with no frame loss. And the other encoded stream can be set to encode at a higher quality but at a lower frame rate (5fps for example) and with more leniency for buffering. This way a video feed can be analyzed in real time with no frame loss for live use and the second higher quality stream can be recorded (locally) or referenced live if there is a sudden need for high visual fidelity. A few card and box level encoders with this dual encoding capability are available in the market today. One such example of a product is the Tech Source Condor VC 100x (Figure 3). This rugged XMC card is highly configurable and is an extremely low power hardware encoder that is used in several current programs to achieve the low encoding latency with very high efficiency. With two independent encoders, it achieves the dual mode configuration that is discussed here. Another configuration is to utilize a combination of raw and encoded video utilizing the same feed. For example in a manned aircraft, the raw video can be captured and analyzed locally for live motion tracking and radar display while the encoded version can be sent back to ground for mission control, recording and analysis. Priorities and requirements must first be properly evaluated in order to implement a successful and effective system. There will always be latency in sending video from aircraft back to ground. There is simply no way around this reality. The solution is to alleviate as many bottlenecks as possible in the pipeline prior to implementation. A dedicated hardware encoder is an absolute necessity to limit this delay. Only a dedicated customizable encoder optimized for high efficiency with low power consumption can be used in both manned and unmanned avionics streaming. Tech Source Altamonte Springs, FL. (407) 262-7100.

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TECH RECON DoD Budget Report: Major Programs

Major DoD Programs Budget Emphasizes Cost-Effectiveness The 2015 Defense Budget Request balances modernization with the need to accommodate the nation’s fiscal challenges. A focus on technology upgrades to existing platforms along with an overall network-centric strategy means embedded computing has a key role to play. Jeff Child, Editor in Chief


ith 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. Looking forward, this year sees at least a more normal planning cycle. For years, the President’s Budget Request for the DoD typically came midFebruary. But last year, because of the uncertainty regarding sequestration, the budget proposal was kicked to April. This year the schedule was back to at least closer to normal, with the Budget Request going to Congress on March 4. At $0.4 billion less than the enacted FY 2014 appropriation, the President’s proposed defense budget provides $495.6 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund base defense programs in fiscal year 2015. Within that budget, the acquisition funding request for the DoD totals $153.9 billion, which includes $154.2 billion in new budget authority for FY 2015 offset by the cancellation of $0.3 billion of prior year funding. The $154.2 billion for the base budget includes $90.7 billion for Procurement-funded and $63.5 billion for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E)-funded programs. Out of that amount, $69.6 billion is for programs that have been designated as Major 22

COTS Journal | April 2014

Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). Figure 1 shows a breakdown of how major program funding is being allocated. Within the MDAP umbrella, the major categories include: Aircraft, C4 Systems, Ground Programs, Missile Defense, Munitions and Missiles, Shipbuilding/Maritime Systems, and Space Based and Related Systems. Mission Support and Science and Technology also fall under the MDAP net. Covered in this article are the details of the major DoD Weapons Systems budgeted for, highlighting those that use the largest amounts of embedded computing and electronics.

actually are among Army programs, not Air Force. The plan divests the aging OH-58 Kiowa Warrior over the next few years, beginning with the termination of the Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program and the discontinuation of all major modifications. The lost capacity is replaced with former Guard and Reserve AH-64 Apaches and UAVs in the Active force. Procurements of UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) are allocated in the National Guard and Army Reserve for homeland defense and theater missions.

Aircraft and Related Systems

On the UAV side, investment continues in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Predator and Army Gray Eagle UAVs. For Predator, the Budget Request funds for development and fielding of USAF modifications to the airframe and ground station elements continue. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) divests their MQ-1s starting in FY 2015. For Gray Eagle, the Army continues development and integration of the Universal Ground Control Station, a ground-based sense-and-avoid system, and a signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability; and procures 19 Gray Eagle aircraft. Meanwhile, for the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper UAV Program, the plan is to continue development, transformation and

Similar to other segments, the budget for aircraft comprises a blend of modernization plans, program terminations and program restructurings. As Figure 2 shows, investment continues in general technology UAV development, but even more investment is being made in upgrading existing manned aircraft. Due to the funding constraints, the FY 2015 budget delays the Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) for two years to fully investigate lower cost options. There is no funding in the FY 2015 request for CRH, but the development program for it is funded beginning in FY 2016. Except for the CRH, all the aircraftrelated program restructures in the budget

UAVs Offer Advanced SIGINT


FY 2015 Modernization – Base: $153.9 Billion Space Based Systems $7.2 Shipbuilding & Maritime Systems $22.0

($ in billions)

Aircraft & Related Systems $40.0

C4I Systems $6.6 Ground Systems $6.3

RDT&E S&T $11.5

Mission Support Activities $43.1

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Missile Defense Programs $8.2

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Missiles & Munitions $9.0

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Numbers may not add due to rounding

Figure 1

DoD FY 2015 Major Program categories.

fielding of Reaper aircraft and ground stations to field and maintain 50 steady state and 65 deployed (surge) Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) in FY 2015, growing to 55 MQ-9 Reaper CAPs by FY 2019. The FY 2015 request supports the procurement of 12 aircraft and 12 fixed ground control stations. Additionally, the request includes funding to support the modification of additional MQ9s to the extended range (ER) configuration. For the DoD’s largest UAV, the Global Hawk, the FY 2015 budget request puts the Block 30 version back into play. The Global Hawk family includes the U.S. Air Force RQ-4, Navy MQ-4C and NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Unmanned Aircraft System programs. The RQ-4 Block 30 includes a multi-intelligence suite for imagery and signals intelligence collection, and the Block 40 includes multi-platform radar technology for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging and moving target detection. The DoD has decided to restore the 21 Block 30 systems and fund modernization efforts to operate beyond FY 2023.The final two Block 40 USAF RQ-4s will be delivered in FY 2014.

The budget funds USAF development efforts for the Block 30, Block 40, ground stations and Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion programs; the U.S. contribution to the NATO AGS; and the Navy MQ4C Triton Engineering and Manufacturing Development effort and advance procurement for four planned Low Rate Initial Production systems in FY 2016.

Small UAV System Funding

Investment in the Small UAV category also continues. The FY Budget Request calls for upgrades to system hardware and performance-based logistics support for the RQ-7 Shadow. The plan procures upgrades and provides training and contractor logistics support for the RQ-11 Raven. It also procures three systems. Each system consists of five air vehicles, two ground control stations, payloads, launch/recovery system and associated ground support equipment. Funding is also allocated to conduct operational test and evaluation, and provides contractor logistics support for the RQ-21 Blackjack. One of the DoD’s most expensive programs, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) (F-35),

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is targeted for a further development and aircraft procurement. The budget asks for continued development of the air system, F-135 single engine propulsion system, conducts systems engineering, development and operational testing, and supports follow-on development. The plan procures a total of 34 aircraft: 2 CV for the Navy, 6 STOVL for the Marine Corps and 26 CTOL for the Air Force in FY 2015. Among the more advanced programs is the P-8A Poseidon, which is a multi-mission platform based on a derivative of the Boeing 737 aircraft. The aircraft carries sensors on board that all contribute to a single fused tactical situation display, which is then shared over both military standard and Internet protocol data links, allowing for seamless delivery of information between U.S. and allied forces. The P-8A will carry a new radar array, which is a modernized version of the Raytheon APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System. The budget procures eight P-8A aircraft, support equipment and spares, and provides advance procurement for 15 FY 2016 aircraft.

Major Ground Programs

The DoD continues to modernize its ground force capabilities, with emphasis on existing platforms. The Department determined that the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) design concepts were not optimized for the future Army and canceled the program following Technology Development efforts in FY 2014. The Army funded additional modernization and upgrades of select Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). Stryker vehicles, Abrams Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Paladin 155mm Howitzer are all undergoing modernization. Continued technology research and concept exploration will benefit future Army and Marine Corps combat portfolios. The Marine’s long-term ground force development is focused on the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). This Pre-MDAP will deliver shore- and sea-based infantry to the battlefield in vehicles designed for future operational environments. Figure 3 shows a breakdown of Ground Vehicle funding. The only remaining major new vehicle in the works is the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)-a joint program currently 24

COTS Journal | April 2014

FY 2015 Aircraft & Related Systems – Base: $40 Billion ($ in billions)

Aircraft Modification $6.0

Aircraft Support $6.3

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle $2.4

Cargo Aircraft $8.2

Technology Development $1.4

Support Aircraft $1.9

Combat Aircraft $13.8

Numbers may not add due to rounding

Figure 2

DoD FY 2015 Major Aircraft Program funding.

in development for the Army and Marine Corps. The JLTV is intended to replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which is the current light tactical vehicle. There are two variants planned: Combat Support Vehicles (3,500 lb) and Combat Tactical Vehicles (5,100 lb). The FY 2015 budget completes engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) efforts and testing in preparation for Milestone (MS) C decision in fourth quarter. It also funds Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) following MS C decision. EMD contracts were awarded to AM General, Lockheed Martin and Oshkosh Corporations to build 22 vehicles each. Development also continues on the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), a vehicle designated to replace the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier program that was terminated in 2007. The budget funds continued development efforts to include Milestone B decision and EMD award planned for first quarter FY 2015.

Perhaps the poster child for longterm successful technology upgrades, the M1A2 Abrams is still the Army’s main battle tank. The Army has modernized it with a series of upgrades to improve its capabilities, collectively known as the System Enhancement Package (SEP) and the Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK). Currently funded modifications to the M1 Abrams include Vehicle Health Management and Power Train Improvement & Integration Optimization, which provide more reliability, durability and fuel efficiency. Survivability enhancements include Frontal Armor upgrades. The FY 2015 Budget Request asks for modifications and upgrades needed to maintain the armor facility at a sustainable level and minimize loss of skilled labor. The plan procures numerous approved modifications to fielded M1A2 Abrams tanks, including the Data Distribution Unit (DDU) and Blue Force Tracking 2 to enable network interoperability,

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FY 2015 Ground Systems – Base: $6.3 Billion ($ in billions)

Weapons $0.6

Combat Vehicles $1.8 Heavy Tactical Vehicles $0.1

Light Tactical Vehicles $0.3

Support Equipment $3.4

Medium Tactical Vehicles $0.1

Numbers may not add due to rounding

Figure 3

DoD FY 2015 Major Ground Systems funding.

Ammunition Data Link (ADL) to enable firing of the Army’s new smart 120mm ammunition, and the Low Profile Commander’s Remote Operating Weapon Station (CROWS).

Shipbuilding and Maritime Systems

With the shift to an Asia-Pacific defense strategy, Navy funding is enjoying a stronger focus. But the central principle to the U.S. Maritime Strategy remains forward presence. Forward presence means the idea of promoting conflict deterrence by ensuring forces are in a position to expeditiously respond to conflict. The Shipbuilding Portfolio for FY 2015 includes the funding for the construction of seven new ships (two Virginia Class SSN 774 nuclear attack submarines; two Arleigh Burke DDG 51 Class Flight IIA destroyers; and three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The funding in this category finances the developmental efforts, the equipment procurements and the construction of ships that will allow the U.S. Navy to maintain maritime superiority well into the 21st 26

COTS Journal | April 2014

century. Figure 4 highlights the FY 2015 Shipbuilding Portfolio Budget Request. Aircraft carriers remain the centerpiece of U.S. Naval forces. Currently there are 10 active carriers in the Navy’s fleet. The CVN 78 class ships will include new technologies and improvements so that the ship and air wings can operate with fewer personnel by replacing maintenance-intensive systems with low maintenance systems. The new A1B reactor, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) and Dual Band Radar, all offer enhanced capability. The Gerald R. Ford class will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and early decisive striking power in a major combat operation. FY 2015 budget funds a third year of construction for USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), completion costs for USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), and continued development of ship systems.

AEGIS Destroyer Procurement

The DDG 51-class AEGIS Destroyer is another key vessel type in the Navy’s


arsenal. This Arleigh Burke class is comprised of three separate variants: DDG 51-71 represent the original design, designated Flight I ships, and are being modernized to current capability standards; DDG 72-78 are Flight II ships; and DDG 79 and later ships are Flight IIA ships. The budget funds two DDG 51 AEGIS class destroyers as part of a multiyear procurement for nine ships from FY 2013 - FY 2017 and provides advance procurement for two ships beginning construction in FY 2016. A critical part of the Navy’s strategy involves the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The LCS is a fast, agile and small surface combatant capable of anti-access missions against asymmetric threats in the littorals (coastal areas). Interchangeable mission modules for Mine Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare are used to counter anti-access threats close to shore, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and swarming small boats. The seaframe acquisition strategy procures two seaframe designs, which are a separate and distinct acquisition program from the mission module program. The two programs are synchronized to ensure combined capability. The Budget Request funds construction of three LCS seaframes and procurement of mission modules.

Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4)

Perhaps one of the most active consumers of embedded computing and electronics is the C4 (Command, Control, Communications and Computer) Systems part of the DoD’s Budget. The DoD is transforming and developing new concepts for the conduct of future joint military operations. The overarching goal is full spectrum dominance—defeat of any adversary or control of any situation across the full range of military operations—achieved through a broad array of capabilities enabled by an interconnected network of sensors, shooters, command, control and intelligence. Sometimes called network-centric operations, this interconnectivity increases the operational effectiveness by assuring access to the best possible information by decision makers at all levels. Net-centricity transforms the way that information is managed to accelerate decision-making, improve joint warfighting and create intelligence advantages. Hence, all information is visible, available, usable and trusted—when needed and where needed— to accelerate the decision cycles. Net-centricity is a service-based architecture pattern for information sharing. It is being implemented by the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) community via building joint architectures and roadmaps for integrating joint airborne networking capabilities with the evolving ground, maritime and space networks. It encompasses the development of technologies like gateways, waveforms, network management and information assurance. Figure 5 shows the funding breakout of the C4 Systems category. The major programs here include JTRS and WIN-T. The JTRS Program of Record(s) was transitioned to a Military Department-management program in 2013.

Tactical Networking Radio Systems

The former Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) was a joint Department of Defense (DoD) effort to develop, produce, inte-

FY 2015 Shipbuilding and Maritime Systems – Base: $22.0 Billion ($ in billions)

Surface Combatant $7.4

Technology Development $1.8

Support Ships $1.1

Outfitting & Post Delivery $0.5

Support $3.5 Submarine Combat $7.7 Numbers may not add due to rounding

Figure 4

DoD FY 2015 Major Shipbuilding and Maritime funding.

FY 2015 Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) Systems – Base: $6.6 Billion ($ in billions)

Automation $0.6 Base Communications $0.6 Theater Combat C3 & Services $4.4

Information Security & Assurance $0.6 Technology Development $0.4 Numbers may not add due to rounding

Figure 5

DoD FY 2015 Major Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4) program funding.

grate, test and field a family of software-defined, secure, multichannel, digital radios that are interoperable with existing radios and increase communication and networking capabilities for mobile and fixed sites. The program encompassed ground, airborne, vehicular, maritime and small form fit variants of the radio hardware; 15 waveforms for porting into the JTRS hardware; and network management applications. Now under the general category of Tactical Networking Radio Systems, FY 2015 budget funds include the Army’s Low Rate April 2014 | COTS Journal



Initial Production of the Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit (HMS) Non-Developmental Item hardware and software, and the qualification and operational testing and sustainment of fielded radios and certified waveforms. The budget request funds the development efforts associated with Army waveforms and Joint Enterprise Network Manager (JENM), and the Small Airborne Link-16 Terminal (SALT)


COTS Journal | April 2014

intended for fielding to the AH-64 Apache. Funds continue operational testing, platform integration and initial sustainment support for the Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR) program.

high-capability backbone communications network, linking Warfighters in the battlefield with the Global Information Grid. The network is intended to provide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and WIN-T Rolls Forward in 2015 reconnaissance. The system is developed The Army’s Warfighter Informa- as a network for reliable, secure and seamtion Network-Tactical (WIN-T) is the less video, data, imagery and voice sercornerstone for the Army’s high-speed, vices for the warfighters in the theater to enable decisive combat actions. The WINT program development consists of four increments. Increment 1 (Inc 1) provides “networking at the halt” by upgrading the Joint Network Node (JNN) satellite capability to access the Ka-band defense Wideband Global Satellite (WGS). Increment 2 (Inc 2) provides networking on-the-move and delivers the network to the company level. Increment 3 (Inc 3) provides Integrated Network Operations development. Increment 4 (Inc 4) provides protected satellite communications on-the-move. A lot of deployment and development activity is planned for WIN-T in FY 2015. The budget funds the upgrade of 81 WIN-T Inc 1 units with Modification kits to enhance interoperability with units fielded with WIN-T Inc 2. Also funded is the procurement of WIN-T Inc 2 for one Brigade Combat Team and one Division. The Army will continue fielding and support for previously procured Low Rate Initial Production equipment. Support is planned for Development Testing that leads to a Follow-on Test and Evaluation in 1st quarter FY 2015. The Budget Request also funds development of Network Operations software (Build 4) as part of WIN-T Inc 3. Integration will be supported for 179 Modification kits for the AN/TRC-190 line of sight radio systems. The plan is to also procure and field Tactical NetOps Management Systems to 48 non-WIN-T units, along with program management support for Single Shelter Switch (SSS), High-Capability Line of Sight, Battlefield Video-Teleconferencing Center, and Troposcatter Communications systems upgrades.

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warfighters in ground vehicles with the highest degree of protection and information gathering capabilities with real-time stitching and panning of video and sensor feeds. Let us demonstrate how this or our other image processing and exploitation capabilities can be used to get your ISR program deployed sooner. To learn more about ISR solutions from GE Intelligent Platforms, please visit our ISR Visualization website:

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

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Mitigating Obsolescence in Test Technologies

Synthetic Instrumentation Eases ATE Obsolescence Woes ATE obsolescence can be a costly long-term problem. By moving to modular, software defined synthetic instrumentation, system developers can enjoy a new path toward efficient test operations. Robert Wade Lowdermilk, Co-Founder and CTO RADX Technologies Dr. David Carey, Assoc. Professor of EE, Wilkes University


etween 1980 and 1992, the U.S. DoD spent over $50 billion on Automated Test Equipment (ATE) and Systems (ATS) procurements. During that time period, and until relatively recently, ATS were developed to support a single military weapon, an electronic warfare or communications system. This resulted in a proliferation of unique and costly ATE, all of which, like the systems they support, have life cycles of 20+ years. And similar to the weapon systems they support, military ATS face an Obsolescence Management (OM) problem that is on the order of billions of dollars. With ATE, the OM problem is both acute and recurring, because ATE is typically comprised of discrete, offthe-shelf General Purpose Electronic Test Equipment (GPETE)—analyzers, oscilloscopes, meters and so on. Such GPETE have life cycles that are often far shorter (4-7 years) than the military ATE in which they are deployed (25+ years), as shown in Figure 1. The ATE OM problem is exacerbated by the fact that, for budgetary and other reasons, OM is usually only considered once End-of-Life (EOL) for key GPETE is looming. Unfortunately, recently fielded and even new ATS procurements do not include OM as a key requirement, so the 30

COTS Journal | April 2014

ATE OM problem continues to grow. Moreover, ATS procurements that consider OM tend to focus on component-level obsolescence—without examining the impact of

Commercial Demand 4-7 Years

component changes on the ATE software and its efficacy as a whole. ATE program managers will often attempt to “bolt-on” OM when an EOL situation forces action.

Demand Commercial Demand Military


Decline (and Obsolescence) Growth

Phase-Out Government Demand: Up to 25+ Years

Introduction Figure 1

Commercial vs. military instrumentation life cycle ("product life cycle data model," American standard ANSI/EIA-724, September 19, 1997).















Figure 2

SDSI block diagram for RF, microwave and wireless communications test and measurement.

However, bolting-on OM in the middle of Figure 2 contains a high-level block dia- or direct digitization of input RF signal(s). a program is more expensive and substan- gram of an SDSI for RF, Microwave and Once the signals are digitized, specific meatially less effective than if included from Wireless Comms stimulus, test and mea- surements are performed by DSP-based surement. or numeric processing techniques within program start, since a bolt-on approach The Embedded Controller (EC) pro- the FPGA for real-time measurements can rarely address the key elements that vides housekeeping, dominate the Life Cycle Cost (LCC). As a result, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) local and remote of ATE includes the rewrite and recertifica- control for the SDSI, as well as non-realtion of Test Program Sets (TPS), but also GPETE calibration, repair and other logis- time DSP functions, DSP post-processing tics expenses. A promising capability for fundamen- on FPGA output and tally addressing ATE OM issues that has display processing for emerged in recent years is Software De- the system and each Amazingly compact fined Synthetic Instrumentation (SDSI). “synthesized instruand designed to run Analogous to Software Defined Radio ment.” The EC also completely fanless, the Relio R2 is perfect for (SDRs) that synthesize “radio” function- hosts sequences TPS applications requiring alities, SDSI “synthesizes” measurement that are run locally high reliability, small capabilities or “instruments” via software on the SDSI. TPS are footprint, scalable processing, and long that runs on a common hardware plat- usually written in a product life cycle. form. SDSI provides a fundamental benefit high-level, mark-up Relio R2 systems offer: or scripting language in ATE OM because SDSI mitigates and • Intel Dual-Core i7, i3 or Atom Processor and typically include in some cases can eliminate the required • Dual Gigabit Ethernet • Optional 802.11 a/g/n Wireless Interface multiple instruments, change and recertification of TPS—which • 2 RS-232, 1 RS-485 and 4 USB Ports multiple measuredominates ATS TCO. SDSI can also greatly • Video and Audio Interfaces ments and, in many reduce the expense associated with GPETE • Versatile Mounting Options calibration and repair, which also is a pri- cases, multiple Unit Visit or scan the QR code. Under Test (UUT) mary contributor to ATS TCO. And since SDSI may also be modular and off-the- settings as well. shelf (MCSDSI), the modular replacement, For each TPS technology insertion, reduced logistics measurement, the • 864.843.4343 • expenses and multi-source procurement EC configures signal advantages associated with modular, off- paths and uses either the-shelf products also accompany SDSI. RF down conversion April 2014 | COTS Journal



troller (via GigE) using protocols such as Interchangeable Virtual Instrument (IVI). Depending on the hardware modules and Measurement Science software loaded and the RF interfaces included, the SDSI discussed earlier can replace multiple instruments and support dozens of discrete or sequenced (automatic) tests on a wide number of different UUTs.

SDSI Improves TPS Portability

Figure 3

MCSDI with PXIe chassis and modules and synthesized real-time spectrum analyzer. (Courtesy RADX and NI).

and within the EC’s CPU for non-realtime measurements. Similarly, the SDSI supports stimulus capabilities to test the receive side of UUTs. For ATE applications, the EC also supports remote control, during which the EC receives ATE commands from and provides individual measurement or TPS results to the ATS Con-

DoD program managers certify ATE TPS on mission-critical programs to provide assurance that TPS, when conducted correctly on a given UUT, provide adequate functional and parametric coverage to warrant mission readiness. TPS rewrite and recertification is required when obsolete instruments are replaced with new (and different) ones. And the cost of TPS rewrite and re-certification almost always exceeds the cost of discrete instrument replacement. Studies by the Army have shown that TPS rewrite and recertification costs, many of which stem from ATE obso-



lescence, dominate ATE TCO—by as much as a factor of 5:1. Because of the inevitable differences in instrument generations, as well as the underlying instrument-specific software over an ATS life cycle, TPS modification and recertification on discrete or modular instruments is virtually unavoidable. Rather than try to avoid TPS modification and recertification, SDSI, because its software defined instrumentation accommodates generational changes in underlying technology with relative ease and with minimal or no impact to TPS, coupled with its inherent modularity to accommodate technology insertion, provides a fundamental means to anticipate the inevitable changes that must occur over time and to minimize their impact and costs.

Hardware/ Software Isolation

Because an SDSI synthesizes measurements using software that runs on top of its underlying hardware platform, there is inherent isolation between the SDSI hard-

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ware and the software defined “instrument.” Accordingly, there is also a similar degree of isolation between the SDSI hardware and the TPS that calls the synthesized instrument to test a particular UUT. Similar to conventional instruments, SDSI will require software and hardware upgrades throughout its life cycle. However, because hardware or software changes made internally to the SDSI, assuming they do not affect instrument precision, do not affect the hardware and software interfaces to the UUT or to the TPS, the need to rewrite TPS due to SDSI hardware or synthesized instrument changes is greatly reduced if not eliminated entirely. In summary, properly designed SDSI should be immune to hardware and software obsolescence from the standpoint of TPS portability. SDSI’s fundamental change in TPS portability can benefit both new and legacy ATE systems into which it is inserted. For new ATE systems, TPS should only require modifications and recertification to accom-

UUT Repair Cost Reductions and Productivity Gains with Synthetic Instrumentation 140 Units/Mo. 130 Units/Mo.

99 Units/Mo.

120 Units/Mo. 110 Units/Mo. 100 Units/Mo.


$2,402 $2,224

$1,723 98 Units/Mo.

$2,000 $1,750

131 Units/Mo.


90 Units/Mo.


80 Units/Mo. $1,054

70 Units/Mo.

65 Units/Mo.

$1,000 $750

60 Units/Mo. 50 Units/Mo.


Radio H Semi Automatic Test

Radio H Synthetic Radio T Manual Test Radio T Synthetic Instrument Automatic Instrument Automatic Test Test


UUT Failure Diagnosis and Repair Productivity UUT Repair Cost (Extrapolated from Original Figure)

Figure 4

U.S. Army Ground Radio UUT productivity gains and repair cost reductions from SDSI use.


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modate new functionality. And these TPS should require recertification only if the underlying hardware or software modules change in a way that affects the measurement science.

Easier TPS Modifications

For insertion into existing programs, TPS would only have to be modified once, as opposed to several times as each legacy instrument is replaced with a successor generation. Similarly, for SDSI, TPS only require recertification once to accommodate the initial replacement. In most cases, once an SDSI has been inserted into an existing ATE system, TPS modifications and recertification should be extremely rare, which will result in significant reductions in TPS LCC, and therefore overall ATE TCO. In studies conducted by the author and in other studies published at IEEE Autotestcon, the cost to rewrite and recertify TPS on discrete replacement instruments is, on average, approximately $150k/TPS. This expense, because of the life cycle of

GPETE, will recur over the life of the ATE. Developing and recertifying TPS on SDSI is typically about $45k/TPS, which results in a savings of approximately $105k/TPS or 70 percent per TPS. When multiplied across dozens of TPS per instrument and three to five generations of GPETE over the life of an ATS, the potential savings in TPS costs alone are very significant. In addition, as more SDSI become deployed throughout the DoD, the potential for upgrading ATE to test and diagnose faults in multiple weapon systems becomes feasible, enable further savings.

From Modular to Synthetic

Modular GPETE—such as VXI, LXI and so on—emerged in the 1980s to eliminate subsystem redundancy by leveraging common infrastructure and thereby reducing ATE Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) and supporting modular replacement, both of which reduce TCO. Like GPETE, MGPETE is also designed to perform specific functions—to measure signal frequency,


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COTS Journal | April 2014

one would use a frequency counter, spectrum analyzer and/or oscilloscope, each of which is housed in a separate instrument or module. MGPETE eliminates subsystem redundancy and provides modular replacement by distilling instruments down to their measurement-specific components, with common elements shared among modules. SDSI eliminates instrument-level redundancy by providing an instrument synthesis platform that can emulate a number of instruments— or measurements—with little or no additional hardware. To add another measurement function using MGPETE, one adds another measurement-specific hardware or hardware/software module. To add another measurement function using SDSI, one simply adds another software module. Accordingly, in most instances, one SDSI can replace several discrete or modular instruments, which leads to wholesale savings in logistics, calibration and TPS maintenance expense, all of which are important factors in ATE TCO.


Video demos at


Life-Cycle Mismatch

Methodology for Enhancing Legacy TPS/ Quantifying SDSI Cost MGPETE also still suffers from the ATS Sustainability via Employing Synthetic Employing SDSI on both new and relatively short life cycle of traditional Instrumentation Technology,” IEEE Au- existing ATE programs should result in GPETE, so it does not address the ATE totestcon 2011 Proceedings, the authors substantial cost savings that stem directly OM problem that results from the mis- identified six primary ATE OM objec- from the SDSI architectural advantages match in life cycle between off-the-shelf tives that rationalize the use of and would (software defined instruments effected instruments and military ATE. Further- benefit from SDSI insertion. For more on via common hardware) over discrete and more, since ATE TCO is dominated by that investigation, see the web-only sidebar non-SI-based modular instrument ATE TPS maintenance and GPETE calibra- “ATE OM Objectives and SDSI” in the online solutions. The anticipated OM and TCO tion and repair costs, MGPETE, with a version of this article. benefits from incorporating SDSI into ATE relatively short life cycle and with a conventional software architecture that inextricably connects TPS software with the underlying instrument hardware, contributes to the former problem and does not address the latter problem whatsoever. Modular SDSI, since it uses software to synthesize specific measurements and it supports modular replacement and potentially seamless tech insertion, shows great promise in addressing both problems. Many MCSDSI today employ PXI Express, the modular implementation of PCI Express with added instrumentation features that is supported by leading GPETE suppliers including National Instruments, Keysight Technologies (formerly Agilent), RADX Technologies and others. Figure 3 depicts a typical rackmount MCSDSI that includes a National Instruments PXIe chassis and modules, and a local display showing a RADX Technologies real-time 100GbE FMC Carrier FPGA – synthesized Spectrum Analyzer. For more They are here! The 100GbE Processor AMC with Cavium AMC534 details on RADX Technologies’ family of CN6880 and a high-end FPGA with Altera Stratix V •Altera™ Stratix V GT FPGA SDSI equipment, see the web-only sidebar usher in the next echelon of performance. With 100G out •Distributed processing for “RADX LibertyGT 1200B Modular, COTS the front ports and 40GbE across the backplane, performance & reliability Benchtop SDSI Family” in the online verthe market just hit a new dimension of speed, density, •Dual zQSFP+ ports to sion of this article. and options. Whether it’s the full ecosystem of PXIe-based MCSDSI supports field front panel f MicroTCA-based products or a customized architecture, Mic sparing at the module level, which can come to VadaTech–The Power of Vision. save substantial amounts over sparing at the instrument level. And MCSDSI that includes appropriately designed, standards-compliant, measurement science 100GbE Processor AMC – software that enables technology inserAMC738 tion, may be field upgraded with software Chassis Application - Ready •Cavium™ CN6880 multi-core upgrades and software/hardware modules. Boards Platforms Platforms •Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA Doing so avoids costly EOL “Last-Time•Dual CFP2 or zQSFP+ ports to Buys” of obsolete modules while simulfront panel taneously extending the ATE life cycle by adding new functions and capabilities not foreseen when the systems were originally deployed—all while preserving existing TPS, which is essential in avoiding costly rewrite and recertification efforts. In “A

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are significant enough that SDSI should be considered for most, if not all new ATE programs. Furthermore, cost savings from inserting SDSI (especially modular SDSI) into existing ATE programs appears to be able to offset new hardware and/or software procurement costs associated with doing so. In addition, employing SDSI also yields productivity improvements that help reduce costs and also improve ATE program effectiveness, which ultimately enhances weapon, EW and communication systems readiness. In a study conducted at Tobyhanna Army Depot, we compared the costs of maintaining obsolete GPETE with the costs of inserting (modular) SDSI to quantify the anticipated reduction in maintenance costs. The study, which was limited in scope, but very informative nonetheless, did confirm the theory that replacing discrete instruments with SDSI should both increase productivity and reduce costs. Some of the data from the project on two subject U.S. Army ground radios is contained in Figure 4. As shown by the data, the increases in productivity measured 41 percent in terms of units per month repaired, while the reduction in UUT repair cost was reduced by 48 percent. With such savings and productivity gains, combined with the 3:1 savings realized from TPS rewrite and recertification, the return on investment for MCSDSI insertion into ATE programs with at least one more obsolescence cycle is quite clear.

Long-Term Benefits

The reliance of ATE on off-the-shelf GPETE results in costly obsolescence issues that, unmitigated, will continue to erode the military’s ability to provide reliable and repeatable test results and assure mission readiness of critical systems. Upgrades, enhancements, migration and modernization are needed for new test and measurement capabilities, improved test throughput and efficiency, and help with OM. This must be accomplished while considering the risks associated with software and TPS rewrite and recertification. Current projections indicate that the operation and sustainment (O&S) costs for obsolete GPETE and ATE will continue to grow, which given budget limitations, is untenable. While it’s early in the process, the potential for SDSI to fundamentally address the ATE OM issue and, in so doing, improve ATE program efficiency and dramatically improve the cost effectiveness of military ATE is significant. By deploying modular SDSI on new ATE programs, the DoD can eliminate future growth of downstream ATE OM issues. And by inserting modular SDSI into existing ATE programs that have remaining GPETE replacement cycles, the DoD can address the most costly and disruptive aspects of today’s ATE obsolescence issues. RADX Technologies Palo Alto, CA. (765) 481-1430.


COTS Journal | April 2014


FPGA Processing Boards Ride Signal Processing Wave As FPGA chip vendors continue to bulk up and enhance their offerings, FPGA processing board vendors are developing more powerful solutions aimed at military signal processing system designs. Jeff Child, Editor in Chief


ecause several military applications have an insatiable appetite for more digital signal processing muscle, the role of FPGAs in such systems is huge as they beef up their signal processing capabilities. Such systems continue to call for ever more data collection capacity. For example, they need to process captured data—in the form of radar captured video or images. To keep pace, board-level FPGA computing solutions have grown to become key enablers for waveform-intensive applications like sonar, radar, SIGINT and SDR. An example system relying heavily on FPGA processing includes Raytheon’s AN/SPY-3, the first U.S. shipboard Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) system. It operates in the X-band radar frequencies (8 to 12 GHz frequency range). It will be used in the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers (Figure 1). Faster FPGA-based DSP capabilities combined with an expanding array of IP cores and development tools for FPGAs are enabling new system architectures. Today FPGAs are complete systems on a chip. And the military is hungry to use FPGAs to fill processing roles. The high-end lines of the major FPGA vendors even have general-purpose CPU cores on them. Devices like the Xilinx Virtex-6 and -7 and the Altera Stratix IV and V are examples that have redefined an FPGA as a complete processing engine in its own right. 38

COTS Journal | April 2014

Figure 1

Systems that rely heavily on FPGA processing include Raytheon’s AN/ SPY-3, the first U.S. shipboard Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) system. It operates in the X-band radar frequencies (8 to 12 GHz). It will be used in the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers. USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) shown here in drydock last October. For its part, late last year Xilinx announced a 4.4M logic cell device, more than doubling its highest capacity Virtex-7 2000T device. As the highest-end device of Xilinx’s All Programmable UltraScale portfolio, they also announced the Virtex UltraScale VU440 3D IC. Using advanced 3D IC technology, the VU440 device delivers more at 20nm than publicly stated competitive plans at 14/16nm. The Virtex

UltraScale VU440 device delivers 50M equivalent ASIC gates for next-generation production and prototyping applications. Among the latest Altera FPGA developments, the company announced the availability of a broad range of JESD204B solutions designed to simplify the integration of Altera FPGAs and SoCs and highspeed data converters in systems using the latest JEDEC JESD204B standard. The interface standard is used across many applications, including radar and software defined radios. JESD204B is a high-speed serial interface standard that greatly simplifies circuit board design when interoperating FPGAs with analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs). Altera has validated device interoperability with leading data converter suppliers, including Analog Devices and Texas Instruments (TI), and is actively working to expand its offering by validating interoperability with many other data converter companies. Altera offers JESD204B solutions that support its latest 28 nm products, including high-performance Stratix V FPGAs; mid-range Arria V FPGAs and SoCs; and low-power, lowcost Cyclone V FPGAs and SoCs.

Two Are Better Than One

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TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: FPGA Processing Boards Roundup Virtex-7 Boards Offered in XMC and VPX Form Factors

XMC Links Virtex-6 FPGA to PCIe, SRIO and Gbit Ethernet

6U OpenVPX Card Has Stratix V FPGAs and Anemone Coprocessors

Two highly configurable modules feature advanced digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities and multiple I/O options and are available from 4DSP in both 3U VPX and XMC from factors. The FM780 is XMC (VITA 42.3) compliant with a PCI Express Gen 2 interconnect while the VP780 is 3U VPX form factor (VITA 46) compliant. Both modules provide an FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card, VITA 57) site and two 4DSP Board Level Application Scalable Technology (BLAST) locations that are closely coupled to the onboard Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA, and 2 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM.

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

BittWare offers a 6U VPX board powered by Altera’s 28-nm Stratix V FPGAs. The S5-6UVPX (S56X) is a rugged VITA 65 6U VPX card providing a configurable 48-port multi-gigabit transceiver interface supporting a variety of protocols, including Serial RapidIO, PCI Express and 10GigE, and two VITA 57 FMC sites for enhancing the board’s I/O and processing capabilities. When combined with the optional BittWare Anemone floating point coprocessors, the board packs a powerful punch for those applications requiring flexible FPGA processing in a rugged form factor.

The Virtex-7 FPGA device available on board is user-programmable and can implement high-end signal processing algorithms. Based on customer requirements, front-panel I/O modules may be added to enable the FM780 or VP780 to perform data acquisition and waveform generation, high-speed communication, image processing, and implement various types of complex DSP applications. In addition to 2 Gbytes of onboard DDR3 SDRAM, the FM780 and VP780 have a variety of memory options such as NAND Flash, QDRII SRAM+ and extra DDR3 SDRAM through BLAST modules. Optionally, the user-configurable BLAST mounting sites may be populated with JPEG2000 CODECs or even a customer’s specific logic devices or circuit designs. Both the FM780 and VP780 are available as conduction-cooled modules.

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

By leveraging the Stratix V GS FPGA’s floating point DSP blocks, which deliver up to one TeraFLOP of computing performance, combined with the FPGA’s low-power, multigigabit transceivers and a high-density, highperformance architecture, BittWare’s S56X board delivers a rugged and completely flexible signal processing solution capable of driving innovative new capabilities in military applications. The board also sports an 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 control processor and two Anemone floating point coprocessors (optional). I/O includes 48 multi-gigabit transceivers along with GigE, SerDes, LVDS and RS-232 links. Up to 8 Gbytes of onboard DDR3 memory are also included.

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

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COTS Journal | April 2014

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


ADC/DAC 6U VPX Module Targets Electronic Warfare Applications

3U VPX Virtex-6 FPGA Processing VITA 57 FMC Front-End

Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA-Based XMC and VPX Modules

Applications like electronic warfare have a huge appetite for low-latency, high-ADC/DAC performance combined with the highest available I/O bandwidth. With that in mind, CurtissWright Controls has introduced the CHAMPWB (“WideBand”), the Industry’s first Xilinx Virtex\-7 OpenVPX COTS DSP Engine designed for sense-and-response applications that require high bandwidth and minimal latency. In addition, Curtiss-Wright is also introducing its first module for the CHAMP-WB, the TADF4300, featuring Tektronix Component Solutions’ 12.5 Gsample/s ADC and DAC technologies.

VPX and FMC are two of the fastest growing new embedded computer form factors, and the military has its eye on both. Hitting both of those trends, Elma Electronic offers the TIC-FEP-VPX3b, an FPGA-based 3U VPX front-end processing board that provides an FMC site coupled to a large capacity Virtex-6 FPGA for extremely flexible I/O. Designed for digital signal processing (DSP), the versatile TIC-FEP-VPX3b is ideal for applications such as radar, sonar, electronic warfare, imaging and communications. The new board offers highperformance logic, increased SerDes-based I/O, and powerful DSP slice resources that help meet

Two high-performance FPGA processing modules are now available in industry-standard XMC and 3U VPX form factors. The COTS XPedite2470 3U VPX and XPedite2400 XMC modules from Extreme Engineering Solutions utilize the Xilinx Virtex-7 Family of FPGAs to merge high throughput, configurable I/O and DSP-level processing with high thermal efficiency. These modules can use the VITA 49 VITA Radio Transport (VRT) protocol, which provides an industry-standard framework for formatting the data of a digitized IF stream. This enables interoperability and simplifies system integration

Combined, these two modules form the CHAMP-WB-DRFM and provide the highest bandwidth/highest resolution platform for wideband Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) processing available in the embedded defense and aerospace market, delivering an unprecedented 12.5 Gsamples/s 8-bit ADC and 12.5 Gsample/s 10-bit DAC performance from a single 6U slot. Based on Tektronix’s silicon germanium (SiGe)-based data converters, the TADF-4300, when coupled with the CHAMPWB’s onboard Virtex7 FPGA and high-speed wideband interfaces, enables designers to develop powerful embedded DRFM solutions with 3x the performance of existing CMOS-based offerings. Memory support on the CHAMP-WB includes two 64-bit, 4 Gbyte DDR3L memory banks that provide up to 8 Gbytes of on-card data capture or pattern generation capability.

higher bandwidth and performance demands, while utilizing up to 25% less power. Supported by low-power and high-speed GTX transceivers at rates up to 6.5 Gbits/s, the board enables the application of interfaces used in today’s embedded systems. Onboard PCIe Gen 1 and Gen 2 protocols, via a hard IP block and Ethernet MAC blocks, allow PCIe x4 and GbE interfaces to be implemented from the FPGA to form data and control planes respectively. Built to the VPX specifications, the TIC-FEP-VPX3b includes four 4-lane fabric ports on the P1, connected by GTX transceivers to the main FPGA. Featuring an onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA, the board comes with two banks of 40-bit 1.25 Gbyte DDR3 memory with transfer rates of 7.5 Gbits/s and a Spartan-6 control node used to load logic images into the main FPGA. The Spartan-6 control node enables “on the fly” bitstream management for dynamic FPGA configuration. Other resources include zero bus turnaround (ZBT) SRAM with a throughput of 400 Mbyte/s for expedited read/write processing. The board comes in three environmental grades: standard, rugged and conduction-cooled. Pricing for the TIC-FEP-VPX3b depends on the choice of Xilinx FPGAs and environmental grade. The board is currently shipping.

because, prior to the release of VRT, each receiver manufacturer would implement its own proprietary digitized formats. Additionally, VRT data can be carried over commonly used industrystandard protocols, such as Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express, Aurora, Serial RapidIO (SRIO) and Serial Front Panel Data Port (S-FPDP). The XPedite2470 is a configurable, 3U VPXREDI, FPGA-processing module that provides eleven high-speed GTX lanes to the backplane and eight high-speed GTX lanes to an on-card FMC site. It includes a Freescale P1010 QorIQ processor for additional signal-processing or general-purpose capabilities. The compact XPedite2400 is an FPGA-based XMC module that includes a high-speed DAC, 2 Gbyte of DDR3 SDRAM, a Gen3 PCI Express interface and up to ten high-throughput GTX lanes. The module’s integrated DAC supports a 14-bit resolution and a sample rate of up to 2.5 Gsamples/s.

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

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

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

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April 2014 | COTS Journal



FPGA PMC/XMC Module Blends Digitizing and Processing

XMC Module Does Advanced Mixed-Signal Processing

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

The Echotek Series DCM-V6-XMC Module from Mercury Systems implements a flexible FPGA-based architecture in a space-efficient mezzanine form factor. The modules combine the latest wideband high-performance ADC with a high-speed, high-resolution DAC, both working in conjunction with powerful Xilinx Virtex-6 technology. With this unique set of features, the Wideband DCM-V6-XMC Module delivers an ultra-high-speed digitizer and processing solution that addresses a range of demanding signal requirements. Dual Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs assist with the

that support multi-card synchronization for large scale systems. A Xilinx Virtex-6 SX315T (LX240T and SX475T options) with four banks of 1 Gbyte DRAM provides a very high-performance DSP core with over 2000 MACs (SX315T). The close integration of the analog I/O, memory and host interface with the FPGA enables real-time signal processing at extremely high rates. The X6-250M has both XMC and PCI interfaces, supporting PCI Express or older PCI systems. The PCI Express interface provides up to 3.2 Gbyte/s sustained transfers rates through an x8 PCIe Gen2 interface. System expansion is supported using secondary PCI Express or Aurora port used as a private data channel or second system bus. The X6-250M power consumption is 23W for typical operation. The module may be conduction-cooled using VITA20 standard and a heat spreading plate. Ruggedization levels for wide-temperature operation are from -40° to +85°C (conformal coating) and 0.1 g2/Hz vibration.

signal processing and data movement functions, while the EchoCore FPGA Development Kit (FDK) streamlines the development of FPGA-based applications. The card does direct digitization of L-Band signals. Its advanced mixed-signal capability is suited for EW, SIGINT, ELINT, SDR, radar and wireless test and measurement. The board’s single channel 12-bit ADC samples at up to 3.6 GSPS. Another option is a dual channel 12-bit DAC at up to 1.6 GSPS. The single channel 14-bit DAC offers up to 2.5 GHz. The Virtex-6 LX240T has 241,152 logic cells, 37,680 slices and 768 DSP blocks in an 1156 pin-package FPGA.

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

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COTS Journal | April 2014

Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401.

FPGA Accelerator Card Serves Up Interfacing with Network and Storage I/O

FPGA acceleration has moved beyond the benchmarking phase and is increasingly gaining acceptance for large-scale computing systems. Nallatech has announced availability of the 395 FPGA accelerator card for data-intensive network and coprocessing applications. The 395 FPGA accelerator card provides a powerful I/O and compute platform suitable for a range of applications including signals intelligence, network security and algorithm acceleration. The four SFP+ network interfaces of the 395 enable applications that require real-time

data processing, filtering and inspection of network traffic. The 395 also supports the Altera Software Development Kit (SDK) for OpenCL, which allows users to combine the OpenCL programming model with Altera’s massively parallel FPGA architecture for highperformance, energy-efficient computing. This combination enables dramatic acceleration of compute-intensive applications while reducing power consumption and total cost of ownership. An 8-lane PCI Express 3.0 interface provides high-bandwidth communications to the host platform. Four SFP+ ports support 1GbE, 10GbE, 10G SONET and various OTU standards. Four banks of DDR3 SDRAM provide up to 16 Gbytes directly coupled to the Stratix V FPGA. Two banks of QDR-II SRAM offer random memory access.

Nallatech Camarillo, CA. (805) 383-8997.


Wideband Software Radio Module for UAV, Radar and Communications

A single-channel, high-speed data converter XMC FPGA module can receive and transmit at the same sampling rate, supporting signal bandwidths up to 400 MHz. The Model 71730 from Pentek is a 1 GHz 12-bit A/D, 1 GHz 16-bit D/A module that is based on the high-density Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA. The Model 71730 appeals to customers that need the wider symmetrical bandwidth for both input and output signals. In combination with the Virtex-7 FPGA, additional memory and the PCIe Gen 3 interface, this Onyx board offers the performance that many

wideband communications systems require. The Model 71730 comes preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for data capture, synchronization, time tagging and formatting, making the board an ideal turn-key interface for radar, communications or general data acquisition applications. The Model 71730 features an A/D acquisition intellectual property (IP) module for easy capture and data moving and a sophisticated D/A waveform playback IP module that allows users to easily play back waveforms from onboard memory or the PCI Express interface. These modules greatly enhance the functionality of the Model 71730 and reduce the development time and effort to module deployment. Software support packages are available for Linux and Windows operating systems. Pricing starts at $19,495.

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

PCIe/104 Card Sports Spartan-6 User Programmable FPGA

VXS/VME Board Provides HighSpeed 12-Bit ADCs and DACs

The FPGA35S6101 is a PC/104 FPGA module with a PCIe/104 stackable bus structure. This module provides a platform for customer developed FPGA code. It is based on a Xilinx Spartan-6 with a hardware PCIe x1 endpoint to provide an interface to the host CPU. On-board DDR2 memory provides dedicated storage space for the FPGA application. This board features four RS-232/422/485 transceivers connected to FPGA pins which enable custom serial port implementations. A total of 96 I/O pins interface the FPGA to the outside world, and allow for a variety

VXS continues to provide a “here and now” solution for high-speed VME-based military embedded computing. Feeding that need, TEK Microsystems has announced the latest member of our QuiXilica product family. The new Gemini-V6 supports either one 12-bit analogto-digital converter (ADC) input channel at 3.6 Gsamples/s (GSPS) or three input channels at 1.8 GSPS, combined with a 12-bit DAC output channel operating at up to 4.0 GSPS. Gemini-V6 is based on the National Semiconductor ADC12D1800RF device, which supports either a pair of channels in non-

of signal levels including 5V tolerant LVTTL, LVDS, and RS-232/422/485. The Spartan-6 device offers 101,261 logic cells and 5,800 Kb of internal RAM. Example FPGA code is included to demonstrate I/O pins, DDR memory, and the PCI Express interface. With a -40 to +85°C operating temperature, this embedded FPGA board is ready for deployment in a variety of military and industrial applications.

interleaved mode or a single channel using 2:1 interleaved sampling. Gemini-V6 contains two ADC devices, supporting a total of either three channels plus trigger at 1.8 GSPS, or one channel plus trigger at 3.6 GSPS, plus a separate 12-bit DAC output channel based on the Euvis M653D that operates at up to 4.0 GSPS. The Gemini-V6 contains two front-end FPGA devices, one attached to the ADCs and one to the DAC. The front-end FPGAs can be configured with LX240, SX315, or SX475 devices, providing both the highest FPGA processing density available in any 6U form factor today as well as the only VME / VXS platform supporting Virtex-6 FPGAs. The two front-end FPGAs are supplemented with a “back-end” FPGA that can be used for additional processing or for backplane or front panel communications. The Gemini-V6 includes six banks of DDR3 memory with total capacity of 5 Gbytes and aggregate throughput of 32 Gbytes/s, supporting a wide range of signal processing algorithms with deep memory buffering of the entire signal acquisition stream.

RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA. (814) 234-8087.

TEK Microsystems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 244-9200.

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April 2014 | COTS Journal


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SBC Marries CompactPCI Serial and QorIQ Quad Core Processing

MEN Micro offers the G51, a 3U CompactPCI Serial SBC equipped with a high-performance QorIQ processor and a multitude of standard I/O interfaces on both the front and rear of the board. The G51 is ideal for a number of high computing functions including data acquisition and encryption as well as simulation and process control. Soldered components, high shock and vibration tolerance and a -40° to +85°C operating temperature enable its use in harsh environments. Using CompactPCI Serial’s full mesh architecture, all of the board’s eight Gigabit Ethernet channels—three on the front and five on the back—can be switched to the backplane, if needed, without hardware modification. The board provides solid connectivity. Additional rear I/O includes four PCIe ports and two SATA II ports, one of which can control an mSATA disk, as well as six USB 2.0 ports. Two additional USB 2.0 ports on the front can also be led to the backplane. Other design options include M12 Ethernet front connectors as well as conformal coating for use in dusty and humid environments. Based on Freescale’s P3041 QorIQ quad-core processor, the G51 offers up to 1.5 GHz of processing speed with or without encryption as well as four high-performance Power Architecture e500mc cores. The SBC offers up to 8 Gbytes of soldered DDR3 SDRAM system memory with ECC as well as several board management functions and a Linux BSP. The G51 is compliant to EN 50155 (railway) and is prepared for ISO 7637-2 E-mark compliance (automotive). Pricing for the G51 is $1,895.

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

Rugged Embedded Computer Suits Harsh, SpaceConstrained Applications

Small 25-Watt DC/DC Converter Provides 2:1 Input

Crystal Group announced the release of the RE0814 Rugged Embedded Computer. This new computer is the ideal fit in environments with restrictions on moving parts and physical footprint. The unit has an exceptional operating temperature of 85°C and it encloses a new powerful processor—Intel Core i3, i5, or i7. It is packaged into a small rugged 1U short chassis that is 11 x 14 inches. The RE0814’s billet construction is made from machined strain hardened 6061T651 structural aircraft aluminum. This compact construction weighs only 7.5 lbs. with the ability to include 4 SATA 2.5-inch solid state drives and 5 USB ports, 4 on the back and 1 on the front. The unit is also available with up to 4 Ethernet ports and a VGA or DVI-I port.

ConTech has announced the “QMS” Series of DC/DC converters. The QMS Series offers up to 25 watts of fully regulated output power. The series offers a 2:1 input range with nominal input voltages of 12, 24 and 48 VDC. Single outputs offered are 3.3, 5, 12 and 15 VDC. Dual outputs are +/-12 and +/-15 VDC. The footprint used on the 1 x 1-inch package is same as that of an industry standard 1 x 2-inch. The QMS Series operates with efficiencies as high as 90 percent. Features include Remote On/Off, Output Trim and Short Circuit Protection. The operating ambient temperature range of the QMS is -40° to +50°C with no de-rating.

Crystal Group, Hiawatha, IA. (319) 378-1636.

ConTech, Concord, CA. (925) 609-1193.

Intel Core i7-Based System Is Flight-Qualified

Extreme Engineering Solutions has announced another flight-qualified Intel Core i7-based multiprocessor system. The XPand4208 includes two Intel Core i7-based 3U VPX modules, an XPm2120 VITA 62 3U VPX power supply, and two XPort6193 removable SSDs that allow for quick, tool-less insertion and extraction. The system utilizes an XChange3013 3U VPX Gigabit Ethernet switch mated with the XPedite5205 Cisco IOS-based router XMC to provide its backplane fabric and secure networking capabilities. This system also simplifies future upgrades and additional configurations with two 3U VPX expansion slots for additional I/O or processing capabilities and an open architecture based on the use of 3U OpenVPX (VITA 65)-compatible modules. The SWaP-optimized XPand4200 Series systems utilize a compact, lightweight and extremely rugged forced-air heat exchanger design to maximize high-temperature performance in the most demanding environmental conditions, while minimizing size and weight. They also integrate a dynamic fan controller, allowing them to run nearly silent in controlled environments. For this deployment, the XPand4208 LRU was qualified to comply with MIL-STD-810F and DO-160F environmental specifications for temperature, altitude, vibration, shock, humidity, sand and dust, waterproofness, magnetic effects, explosive atmosphere, fluid susceptibility, fungus resistance, and salt fog. It was also qualified for EMI compliance according to MIL-STD-461F for conducted, as well as radiated, emissions and susceptibility.

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. 44

COTS Journal | April 2014

Military DC-DC Power SuPPlieS VITA 62 Compliant High Efficiency Field Proven

 VITA 62 Compliant  High efficiency: 90% at full load  3U: 500W total output power  6U: 1000W and 800W total output power  Active current share through backplane  MIL-STD-461F, MIL-STD-704, and MIL-STD-810G Compliant  Qualified to the most stringent VITA-47 levels Made in the United States of America. 1-978-849-0600

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Rugged PCI/104-Express SBCs Sport Interchangeable QSeven COMs

Diamond Systems, a leading global developer of compact, rugged, I/O-rich embedded computing solutions for a broad range of real-world applications, unveiled Quantum, a conduction-cooled PCI/104-Express SBC (single board computer) family with interchangeable, full size QSeven COMs processors and a highly integrated I/O baseboard. The processors available on the new Quantum SBCs include the 1 GHz AMD Fusion G-T40E CPU, the 1 GHz AMD G-Series eKabini GX-210HA SOC and ARM A9 i.MX6 single/dual/quad cores up to 1.2 GHz. The SBCs fully utilize the latest serial high-speed buses available with QSeven for extended product viability as well as the concept’s modular plug and play function that enhances performance scalability. The new PCI/104-Express-based family offers a wide range of onboard I/O including data acquisition with A/D, digital I/O, counter/timers and pulse width modulators. Standard PC I/O includes USB 2.0, RS-232/422/485, Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and digital I/O. Designed to excel in harsh environments including industrial, on-vehicle and military applications, Quantum SBCs feature a bottom-side heat spreader that mounts directly to the baseboard, relieving stress on the Qseven module and enhancing durability. Most I/O is provided on latching connectors for increased ruggedness. The boards also incorporate a 6V to 34V wide voltage power input. Quantum SBCs support I/O expansion with PCI-104, PCIe/104 and PCI/104-Express I/O modules. A new miniature, low-cost PCIe connector supports both PCIe/104 Type 1 and Type 2 modules and provides compatibility with existing PCIe/104 I/O modules. The compact connector also enables the board to accommodate more I/O features than other PCI/104-Express SBCs. The Quantum SBC was designed with rugged applications in mind from its extended operating temperature of -40° to +85°C on most models and the onboard DDR3 SDRAM to the latching I/O connectors.

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

Module Sports an ARM Cortex-A9 with Dual and Quad Core CPUs

Toradex has introduced its latest product offering in the Apalis family of ARM computer modules, the attractively priced Apalis iMX6. The module houses an ARM Cortex-A9 with dual and quad core CPU, on a Freescale i.MX 6 System-on-Chip (SOC), running at up to 1.2 GHz per core. The Apalis COM family is based on NVIDIA Tegra 3 and Freescale i.MX 6 multicore ARM processors. Designed as a complement to Toradex’ Colibri module family, Apalis supports a large variety of industry standard interfaces. Apalis brings to market various new technologies, among them is Direct Breakout, which considerably simplifies routing of high-speed signals on the carrier board. The new Apalis iMX6 comes in -40° to +85°C versions and offers a compelling price for this form factor.

Toradex, Altsagenstrasse, Switzerland +41 41 500 48 00 1.

Turnkey Instrument Offers Digital Receiver/ Recording Solution

Innovative Integration has announced the Digital Receiver Instrumentation Series, turnkey solutions providing integrated digital downconversion (DDC), FFT, spectrum monitoring and digital beam-forming functions. The solutions consist of three parts: an FPGA-based analog digitizer module, a PC-based host controller, plus an optional firmware development kit to allow customization. The digitizer module is provided with software examples and C++ API, plus pre-compiled firmware bit image and a comprehensive manual. The module may be installed onto an XMC-PCIe adapter to allow use within a conventional PC. Alternately, it can be used within Innovative’s Andale Data Recorders to capture extremely long time sequences. Or, the module may be installed within an Innovative ePC or VPXI-ePC embedded computer to create a miniature, self-contained instrument. Regardless, the application software may be used to capture and analyze the data immediately—a turnkey solution. First in the series is 90401 Digital Receiver with eight independent DDC channels and one 32K FFT, a great solution for Digital Receiver/Recording, Spectrum Analysis, Surveillance, or Software Defined Radio. A development kit is available to support creation of advanced custom firmware.

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

Fully Managed Network Switch Rides PCI/104-Express

Curtiss-Wright has announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced the new Parvus SWI-22-10, the industry’s first 20-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Switch PCI/104-Express card. With 2x the ports previously provided by earlier designs, this fully managed COTS GbE switch reduces slot-count while adding advanced Layer 2 network management features. With significantly reduced power and cost-per-port, the SWI-22-10 is ideal for use in rugged deployed manned and unmanned military and civilian sensitive mobile, tactical, airborne and vehicle platforms for situational awareness and network-centric operations. Designed to meet MIL-STD-810G environmental requirements, the SWI-22-10 delivers optimal performance in extended temperature (-40° to +85°C) and high shock and vibration airborne and ground vehicle applications. The SWI-22-10 is an ideal solution for connecting a large number of IP-enabled embedded devices, including computers, cameras, sensors, and command-and-control equipment, deployed in manned and unmanned system platforms at the network edge. The SWI-22-10 is a fully managed Layer 2 switch card and supports IPv4 and IPv6 multicast traffic, Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), port control (speed / mode / statistics / flow control), Quality of Service (QoS) traffic prioritization, Link Aggregation (802.3ad), SNMPv/1/v2/v3 management, secure authentication (802.1X, ACLs, Web/CLI), redundancy (RSTP/MSTP), precision timing (IEEE-1588v2), port monitoring, IGMP Snooping, and data zeroization.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. 46

COTS Journal | April 2014




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Company Page# Website Access I/O Products, Inc................ 14..........................

Company Page# Website North Atlantic Industries.............. 21, 23...............................

Acromag....................................... 12..........................

One Stop Systems, Inc................32, 37............

Adlink........................................... 11........................

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

AUVSI........................................... 47.........................

Phoenix International Systems, Inc...

Ballard Technology,

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

Cots Product Gallery......................49.......................................................

RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc....2....................................

Creative Electronic



SynQor, Inc....................................45.............................

Data Bus Products, Corp................20..............

TE Connectivity Ltd........................ 17....................................

Data Device Corporation................36..........................

Trenton Systems,


WinSystems, Inc............................ 15......................

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

TQ Systems GmbH......................... 18.......................................................

GE Intelligent Platforms..................29......................


Vadatech Incorporated...................35..........................

Interface Concept..........................26..............


LCR Embedded Systems,


Mercury Systems, Inc.....................7................................. COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673.

Coming Next Month Special Feature: Target Report: Upgrades and Modernization in Military Vehicles With the Ground Combat Vehicle program canceled and budgets tightening—especially for the Army—decision makers continue to rethink and revamp their plans. Onboard communications and control electronics are still expected to multiply in sophistication for both next-generation and Current Force fighting vehicles. But in the short term tech upgrades of existing vehicles will be the dominant activity in this space. Articles in this section explore the latest requirements and how these changes may be influenced by technology and the latest products available. Tech Recon: PCI Express and 10 Gbit Ethernet as System Interconnects 10 Gbit Ethernet is becoming entrenched as a favorite data plane interconnect fabric in compute-intensive applications like sonar, radar or any application that networks sensor arrays together. But PCI Express has inherent advantages that make it better for control functions than Ethernet. This section updates readers on the product and technology trends driving board-level Ethernet switch products, and explores how system designers can benefit from the marriage of Ethernet and PCI Express with embedded computing form factors like VPX, VXS, Compact PCI Express, MicroTCA and AMC. System Development: Trends in Memory Storage Interface and Media Technologies As military systems continue to rely more and more on compute- and data-intensive software, the storage subsystem is now a mission-critical piece of the puzzle. This section examines the emergence of Ethernet and IP-based storage interfaces, while comparing how traditional interface schemes like SATA, Fibre Channel and SCSI are positioned these days. Rotating drives still offer the best density, but flash-based solid-state disks (F-SSDs) are able to operate under the harshest conditions. Tech Focus: Small Non-standard Boards While standard open-architecture board form factors continue to dominate in military systems, non-standard form factors free designers from the size and cost overheads associated with including a standard bus. Portable military gear, unmanned ground vehicles and small UAVs are just some of the systems that rely on such technologies. Articles in this section look at the trade-offs between standard and non-standard form factors. A product album compares the latest representative small non-standard boards. 48

COTS Journal | April 2014


cPCI-6530 Series 6U CompactPCI® Processor Blade Plus I/O

Rugged PCIe MiniCard Family from Diamond Systems

75ARM1 – 3U cPCI ARM Cortex-A9 SBC

• Quad-core 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor with ECC

PCIe Minicards with a rich set of benefits including industry leading functionality at a competitive price, modular and field-swappable cards, lightweight and compact design, latching connectors, and wide temperature operation.

•A  RM Cortex™ - A9 Dual Core 800MHz Processor

• Dual channel DDR3L ECC memory, soldered and SO-CDIMM, up to 16GB • Supports three independent displays • Dual PMC/XMC sites • Remote management and TPM support • Conduction-cooled version available, CT-6530

Modules available with: • 4-port high speed serial • 4-port opto-isolated serial • Dual CAN 2.0 ports • Data acquisition • Digital I/O • Gigabit Ethernet

•U  p to three I/O or comms configurations • 4 0+ modules to choose from • 1 28 MB DDR3 SDRAM • 4 GB SATA II NAND Flash • 2 x 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet ports •W  ind River® VxWorks® or Linux and Altera Linux OS Support

ADLINK Technology

Diamond Systems

North Atlantic Industries, Inc.

Phone: (408) 360-0200 Email: Web: ENews Link: EventAnalytics.asp?code=0614032101&no=1

Phone: (650) 810-2500 Email: Web: products/minicards.php

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

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.

(800) 747-5972 e-mail

April 2014 | COTS Journal






Number of flight hours a MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter surpassed after a test flight at Point Mugu, CA on March 10. It will continue to undergo testing at Point Mugu this year. In July, the Navy will conduct dynamic interface testing with the MQ-8C aboard USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) to test the vehicle’s take-off and landing procedures. Initial deployment for MQ-8C is planned for 2015.

$642.5 million

Value of contract the U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works to construct an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The award brings the total number of ships to be constructed by Bath Iron Works under a multi-year procurement to five, and the total value of the contract to approximately $3.4 billion. There are currently two DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works, Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) and Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).


The total number of production orders for Low Band Transmitters (LBT) that Cobham is now up to, thanks to a $21.8 million contract modification awarded by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command. LBTs are a variety of antennas and adapter interface modules for the AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System to be used by the U.S. Navy and the Australian military. It is flown on U.S. Navy EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G aircraft (shown) and Marine Corps EA-6B aircraft, and has been used in combat operations. 50

COTS Journal | April 2014

1,000 The number of members that the director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, or JIEDDO, says he plans to shrink the organization to by the end of the fiscal year. The director, Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, said he was asked by former-Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to “scale the current 3,000-member JIEDDO down and to draw up plans for what an ‘enduring’ JIEDDO might look like in the future.” Johnson said that one of the areas he’s looking to protect is the intelligence integration functions of the JIEDDO.

Above 3,600 mph... or Mach 5, the speed requirement for the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) technology effort. AHW is part of an effort to develop a conventional “Prompt Global Strike” capability. Conventional means non-nuclear. The AHW can be launched from the United States and can hit a target anywhere in the world. In August, the Army expects to again test its AHW Demonstration. The results of that test will help determine the system’s future.

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

The industry’s most trusted and widely used USB interfaces

Portable Avionics Databus Interfaces A reliable USB interface from Astronics Ballard Technology does it all – databus test, analysis and simulation. Use it in

· MIL-STD-1553, EBR 1553 · ARINC 429, 708, 717 · Serial, Discrete

the lab or in the field – it’s fully powered by a single USB port. Simply connect it to any available laptop, desktop or tablet PC and it’s ready to go. Add our CoPilot® interactive software for a complete easy-to-use solution.

NEW models with multiple protocols mean the best is now even better! Visit our website or call 425-339-0281 to learn more.

AS9100 / ISO 9001 Registered

Get the best solution – all the protocols and channels you need in a single device

COTS Journal  

April 2014

COTS Journal  

April 2014