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March 2016, Volume 18 – Number 3 •

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL


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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL


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 he 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.

March 2016 Volume 18 Number 3

FEATURED p.10 VME and CompactPCI Deal Winning Hands for Upgrade Programs SPECIAL FEATURE Tech Upgrades with VME, CompactPCI and More


10  VME and CompactPCI Deal Winning Hands for Upgrade Programs

6 Editorial



The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

Space Battles

Jeff Child

Power Supply Loading Requirements Involve Tricky Hurdles Stephan Westdal, Rantec Power Systems

JEFF’S PICKS Jeff Child’s Top Anti-tamper Tactics for Electronics 20

Experts Discuss Today’s Challenges in Security and Anti-Tamper Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual Obsolescence Services Directory 24

Engineering and Government Groups Ease the Sting of DMSMS Issues Jeff Child

Coming in April See Page 44 On The Cover: VME eased the process of tech upgrades for the AN/SQQ-32(V) mine-hunting sonar systems on Navy Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships. Shown here the Avengerclass mine countermeasure ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after participating in RIMPAC 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by MC 2nd Class Paul D. Honnick/Released).

DATA SHEET FPGA Processing boards Roundup 28 FPGA Boards Leverage Advances in FPGA Speeds and Densities Jeff Child


FPGA Processing boards Roundup

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COTS Journal | March 2016




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COTS Journal HOME OFFICE The RTC Group 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 150 San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050 EDITORIAL OFFICE Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief Phone: (603) 429-8301 PUBLISHED BY THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2016, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.


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COTS Journal | March 2016


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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Space Battles


At first glance, I don't think most people generally remember 1991's Desert Storm as the world's first space war. But from a technology point of view that's exactly what it was. When Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi army to invade Kuwait and the U.S. led a coalition to eject them, the U.S. was fortunate to have in place the space-based building blocks needed to form the first true theater level battle network. The DoD began to fully exploit spacebased communications while at the same time using GPS to provide joint forces precise timing, positioning and navigation information. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work discussed the significance of that first space war capability in his speech at the Satellite Industries Association annual leadership dinner early this month. The Secretary used that discussion to set up his remarks on what the DoD is doing in the area of space mission assurance-both today and into the future. In Dessert Storm space-based capabilities dramatically improved the entire US joint battle network. Space-based ISR and weather capabilities allowed U.S. to peer into and throughout the battlespace with impunity, gaining full understanding of the Iraqi order of battle, its disposition, and how weather might impact operations. The GPS constellation allowed the entire battle network to be synched in time and space, and enabled precise navigation across trackless desert sands. All of this allowed new organizations such as they Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) to plan precise attacks, and space-based comms allowed the U.S. to command and control forces in real time through the theater. And Desert Storm saw the very first GPS-guided munitions employed in combat, providing the capability to strike targets precisely, day or night, even in bad weather. After the war, as Work explained, the DoD continued to refine and exploit those capabilities, primarily by aggressively pursuing GPSguided munitions, which allowed 24-hour a day guided munitions bombardment regardless of weather. Fast forward to present day, and the new challenge is to not grow too comfortable in the belief that space is a virtual sanctuary. As Work points out, our rivals have studied our way of warfighting, searching for gaps to exploit. And they are aggressively pursuing counter-space capabilities. The DoD must now prepare for a conflict that extends into space. Reflecting that, the Department's budget shows it's continuing to invest more in space, totaling more than $22 billion just this year alone. Previously in this column I discussed the so-called Third Offset Strategy efforts of the DoD, with its eye on how to maintain a technological force-multiplier advantage into the near future. "And space


COTS Journal | March 2016

will be as central to the battle networks we develop in the 3rd Offset strategy as it was to those we built in the 2nd," said Work. "The key difference now is our adversaries will be targeting those battle networks with a range of weapons-cyber, kinetic, directed energy, and others. So we need to think about how we're going to 'fight the constellation.' " Achieving all that includes a number of factors: First is making our system architectures and our operations more resilient with a dynamic, layered, defense-in-depth that encompasses the full range of passive measures required for denial, such as different orbits, mobility, deception, distributed architectures. That also includes active measures, such as threat suppression and damage limitation. Next, Work talked about where the innovation will come from to feed this more robust space operational capability. Work in his speech reminds us that well up until the 90s government investment drove space innovation. That's in stark contrast to the electronics and computing segments, where the commercial sector overtook the government-produced technology decades ago ushering in the COTS movement. But for its part, the space industry benefited from a trickledown effect of technology transfer from government to the commercial sector. Today, it's working the other way. Consumer demand for ever smaller devices with greater computing power and more functionality is leading to advances in space that we are now adapting to address government needs. "We're seeing this innovation in new concepts for commercial launch, for proliferated constellations for a truly worldwide internet on orbit, for more persistent space-based imaging, for space situational awareness, for on-orbit servicing, for hosted payloads, and much more", said Work. As an example, Work cited how in the next five years more than a dozen GEOINT constellations-with more than 500 smallsats-will launch, and begin to continuously image the earth. He went on to discuss how the 3rd Offset strategy includes things like: leveraging decision science, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to accelerate the speed of information. It's fair to say that the space-qualified portion of our embedded computing and electronics industry is perhaps a niche-withina-niche. But the unique products and technologies they bring to the game are significant and fit precisely into the high-integration, harsh-environment, low power system needs the U.S. DoD has for any future space battles it will fight and also those space battles it can deter by applying superior technology.

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INSIDE TRACK KVH Delivers First Order of TACNAV Systems for Army's New AMPV Fleet KVH Industries has announced that is has begun shipment of the first order of tactical navigation systems to BAE Systems for a prototype program designed to produce a new fleet of U.S. Army Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPVs) (Figure 1). KVH’s TACNAV systems are designed to provide the vehicles with such critical elements as continuous heading and pointing data output and extremely accurate navigation regardless of GPS availability. KVH’s TACNAV military vehicle navigation systems provide unjammable precision navigation, heading, and pointing data for vehicle drivers, crews, and commanders. KVH’s proprietary fiber optic gyro (FOG) technology is a differentiating factor in enabling the TACNAV systems to provide

extremely accurate heading and pointing data. Deliveries of the tactical navigation systems are part of a recent purchase order that covers the life of the program, which is expected to run through 2020. The initial order of 34 TACNAV II systems is supporting prototype vehicles, and there is potential for an option for additional systems to support the low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the vehicles. According to BAE Systems, the $1.2 billion AMPV program is designed to replace the U.S. Army’s M113s.

Cubic Awarded $44 Million More in Orders for I-MILES IWS by Army

small, lightweight components for individual soldiers and requires less time to attach the Small Arms Transmitters and align to the weapon than previous versions. It also maintains alignment during an entire exercise.

Cubic Global Defense (CGD) has announced it was awarded contracts valued at $44 million for its Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Individual Weapon Systems (I-MILES IWS) from the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). I-MILES IWS is critical to the quality of home-station training as it offers heightened realism during exercise scenarios. I-MILES IWS uses laser transmitters attached to military weapons and body sensors to detect hits and perform real-time casualty assessments to replicate combat and record data for later review. The user-friendly system features 8

COTS Journal | March 2016

KVH Industries Middletown, RI (401) 847-3327

Figure 1 TACNAV systems are designed to provide the vehicles like AMPVs with continuous heading and pointing data output and extremely accurate navigation regardless of GPS availability.

Cubic Defense Systems San Diego, CA (858) 277-6780

Raytheon Software Translates Modern Weapons for Legacy Aircraft Raytheon has developed the Envoy software solution to quickly and affordably integrate newer weapons onto legacy aircraft. Envoy, formerly known as Interface Bridge, will provide numerous integration options for UAI weapons without costly hardware changes.

Figure 2 Raytheon’s Envoy software has already been demonstrated on F-16 (shown) and F-18 fighter aircraft. Work is underway for integration on the MQ-9 and other international aircraft.

Envoy has been completely funded by Raytheon to provide more affordable, easier integration. It is adaptable across various

platforms, carriage systems and platform-to-weapon interfaces. With Envoy, today’s state-ofthe-art weapons can be easily and



Figure 3 Operating at altitudes up to 1,500 feet the WASP system can significantly extend ISR capabilities and communications in remote and austere locations.

affordably integrated into legacy aircraft worldwide, according to Raytheon. Envoy can be implemented across various platforms and current bomb rack systems. The software has already been demonstrated on F-16 (Figure 2) and F-18 fighter aircraft. Work is underway for integration on the MQ-9 and other international aircraft. Raytheon Waltham, MA (781) 522-3000 www.raytheoncom

BAE Systems Awards Drone Aviation Corp. Contract for Aerostat Upgrades Drone Aviation Corp. has been awarded a contract to upgrade existing U.S. Government-owned Winch Aerostat Small Platform (“WASP”) tactical aerostat systems from Department of Defense (DoD) prime contractor BAE Systems. The upgrade contract, valued at

$194,000, includes a number of technical enhancements to the WASP systems currently owned and operated by a DoD customer. These upgrades will enable enhanced flight operations and greater payload flexibility as a result of an upgraded APIU (Aerial Payload Interface Unit) specially designed to support a wide variety of payloads including advanced video and communications systems. Operating at altitudes up to 1,500 feet AGL with launch sites at 6,000 feet ASL, the WASP system can significantly extend ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities and communications in remote and austere locations (Figure 3). The soldier-operated systems can be rapidly configured to support a variety of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads. DRONE Aviation Corp. Jacksonville, FL (904) 834-4400

M. Levin (DDG 120). The Navy has named DDG 124 the Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., after a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor for valor during the Vietnam War. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is a multi-mission combatant that offers defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Bath, ME (207)443-3311

L-3 to Provide Power Node Control Center for US Navy Destroyers L-3 Communications announced it has received an initial contract from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works to deliver its Power Node Control Center (PNCC) to support the U.S. Navy’s Destroyer Program. Funded delivery orders are currently in process, with the first production units scheduled for delivery in Decem-

ber 2017. Eight PNCC units will be initially installed on each DDG 51, beginning with DDGs 121 and 122 (Figure 4). Primarily developed through internal research and development investment, L-3’s PNCC is an integrated electrical system that can be configured to simultaneously perform multiple functions, including operating as a transfer switch, frequency converter, circuit breaker, power conditioner, power transformer and motor controller. The PNCC is scalable, flexible, affordable and robust in converting power for a variety of applicationsfrom commercial-off-the-shelf to qualified MIL-SPEC equipment. L-3 New York, NY (212) 697-1111

Navy Awards GD-BIW $644.3 million to Build DDG 51 Class Destroyer The U.S. Navy has awarded funding for the planning and construction of DDG 124, the Fiscal Year 2016 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer under contract at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The $644.3 million contract modification fully funds this ship, which was awarded as part of a multiyear competition for DDG 51 class destroyers awarded in 2013. The total value of the five-ship contract is approximately $3.4 billion. There are currently four DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works: Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) and Carl

Figure 4 Shown here is the USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) which was also built at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and was commissioned in 2012.

COTS Journal | March 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE Tech Upgrades with VME, CompactPCI and More


COTS Journal | March 2016


VME and CompactPCI Deal Winning Hands for Upgrade Programs Especially when a military platform simply needs its computing technology modernized, VME and Compact provide ideal architectures for tech upgrade programs. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


s the number of “new start” defense programs have fallen off in recent years, there’s been a steady increase in tech upgrade, tech insertion kinds of contracts. Fortunately the embedded computing industry is perfectly suited to take advantage of the many more opportunities to add new technology to existing military platforms. How to best craft an effective tech upgrade strategy varies depending on whether it’s just the processing technology that needs a refresh or whether the interconnect speeds and other capabilities are the issue. To different degrees, VME and Compact each continue to be very popular technologies for upgrade situations. Using either VME and CompactPCI a new board with the latest and greatest processor, memory and I/O can easily be dropped into a slot that could be decades old. Vendors of VME and CompactPCI are keeping pace by rolling out new SBCs with the latest computing technology each year. Some complications have arisen on the VME side as the some VMEbus interface chips have gone end-of-life. But there again, vendors are providing solutions to keep that functionality available using FPGAs.

COTS Journal | March 2016



nels of opto-coupled discrete outputs, and 16 channels.

VME Bridge IC Obsolescence

Figure 1 Northrop Grumman’s FlightPro Gen III VME-based mission computer integrates advanced mission, weapons and video processing capabilities into a conductioncooled, high-performance airborne system for the UH-1Y helicopter.

Helicopter Computer Upgrade Even as the number of different embedded computing open architecture choices expand, there are none that boasts the long and successful legacy in military systems claimed by VME. That’s partly because VME has been able to remain backward compatible and facilitate technology refresh in military programs. Even today there are hundreds programs in the military using VME. While not vendors publically reveal all these upgrade wins for VME, some of the highest profile over the years include the Abrams Tank Systems Enhancement Package (SEP) Upgrade; F-18 Advanced Multi-Purpose Display Program; Bradley Vehicle Electronics Upgrade; B-52 Mission Computer Upgrade; Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer Sonar Upgrade; B-2 Bomber Radar Upgrade; Boeing B-1B Bomber Avionics Upgrade; and C-130 Cockpit Upgrade. VME does healthy business as a tech refresh solution in all of these upgrade programs and programs like them. In another recent example, last summer Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract from Naval Air Systems Command to deliver its next-generation mission computer for Lot 12 of the Marine Corps’ H-1


COTS Journal | March 2016

helicopter upgrade program. The contract called for Northrop Grumman to provide FlightPro Gen III mission computers for the UH-1Y (Figure 1) and AH?1Z aircraft. The period of performance for this Lot 12 contract is slated for October 2016 through October 2017. The lightweight FlightPro Gen III VME-based mission computer integrates advanced mission, weapons and video processing capabilities into a conductioncooled, high-performance airborne system that can drive four independent, multifunction displays. The FlightPro system functions as the central output distribution point for keyset inputs, display data and systems discrete signals. It embeds a ruggedized 6U VME PowerPC-based single board computer. FlightPro interfaces include Fast Ethernet, four serial ports, parallel input/output and built-in-test. According to Northrop Grumman, the system has a standard, partitioned real-time operating system (RTOS) with ARINC 653 and POSIX support. The standard configuration also includes a quad channel 1553 mezzanine card, high-speed serial card, digital input/output module with eight channels of opto-coupled discrete inputs, eight chan-

A hurdle associated with VME’s long life is that it faces obsolescence issues in more severe way than alternative technologies. Some but not all VME board designs used the Tsi148 VME bridge chip. When that de-facto VME bridge, available from a single source went going End of Life around the end of 2015 board vendors had to find a way to mitigate the problem. For its part, Concurrent Technologies was among the first early last year to unveil a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue. It launched some brand new VMEbus boards and new bus-less variants last year in time before the end of life deadline. The VMEbus boards use the UniverseII VMEbus bridge device. The supplier of the Universe II is IDT and it claims the chip will be supported ‘indefinitely’ because it isn’t tied to a specific manufacturing fab. And for the small percentage of system developers using the higher speed VME transfer protocols such as 2eSST, the company offered an extended manufacturing option and has also completed an evaluation of an alternate FPGA based bridge with this functionality. The advantage of an FPGA based solution it that it provides independence from specific silicon obsolescence. Also going the FPGA route, Extreme Engineering Solutions recently announced several new 6U VME SBCs featuring a Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA-based VME Bridge. These 6U VME products are designed to be pin-compatible with the Radstone/GE/ Abaco PPC7D VME IDT Tsi148-based card, and will provide users with a straightforward, disruption-free upgrade path for legacy systems and a solution to End-ofLife (EOL) VME products that included the obsolete Tsi148 VME Bridge. Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions likewise took an FPGA approach last month announcing its FPGA-based Helix PCI Express to VME64x Interface as replacement for the Tsi148 VME interface (Figure 2). Curtiss-Wright will use Helix on all new VME module designs, such as the soon to be announced SVME/DMV-196 Power Architecture SBC. Helix is also being used to


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update the design of select current flagship VME SBC products, such as the NXP Power Architecture-based VME-194 and Intel 4th generation Core i7-based VME-1908 SBCs.

CompactPCI Holds its Own Although it will never rival VME’s legacy in the defense market, CompactPCI has certainly secured its position as a trusted and mature technology for military systems. Based on the same proven Eurocard form factor as VME, CompactPCI has enjoyed success over the years in industrial control, transportation and defense applications. And while new start defense programs seem to be giving it less consideration in recent years, it still remains strong as a for tech upgrades of legacy systems. Because PCI sees a lot broader use than VME, CompactPCI hasn’t faced the same kind of bridge chip interface obsolescence problems that VME has. PCI, and now PCI Express, is inherent on many processors and their support silicon. Enhancements to the spec like CompactPCI Serial add new levels of bandwidth. Just like with VME, board vendors

continue to roll out products with the latest and greatest processors like Intel Core i7, NXP’s ( formerly Freescale’s) QorIQ and even ARM CPUs. CompactPCI technology has been used on board the rotary wing UAV Fire Scout. The UAV’s Vehicle Management Computer (VMC) embeds CompactPCI boards to do all the control computing functions such as flight path, guidance and navigation, stability control and vehicle subsystems control. A couple years ago the Navy chose CompactPCI single-board computers for upgrades to the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)-class hovercraft (Figure 3). The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division reportedly made use of Intel-based CompactPCI SBCs for the LCAC command, control, communications, computers, and navigation (C4N) system. The LCAC C4N system is being upgraded to enhance capability and to mitigate technology obsolescence issues. No matter which embedded computing architecture is used, industry vendors offer a rich set of product and technology resources to suit diverse needs. PICMG and

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Figure 3 The Navyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)-class hovercraft is using Intel-based CompactPCI SBCs for upgrades to its command, control, communications, computers, and navigation (C4N) system.

VITA-the standards groups for CompactPCI and VME respectively-and the product vendors involved in technologies like VME, CompactPCI and more continue to offer solutions while taking component obsolescence burdens on themselves so that their customers need not worry about them. Abaco Systems Huntsville, AL (866) 652-2226 Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA (888) 248-3248


COTS Journal | March 2016

Concurrent Technologies Woburn, MA (781) 933 5900

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

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

Kontron America Poway, CA (858) 677-0877

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

MEN Micro Ambler, PA (215) 542-9575

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SPECIAL FEATURE Tech Upgrades with VME, CompactPCI and More

Power Supply Loading Requirements Involve Tricky Hurdles There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the challenge of detailing the system load characteristics. Understanding these pitfalls can avoid costly redesigns and performance hiccups. Stephan Westdal, Senior Power Supply Designer Rantec Power Systems


ilitary power supplies are distinctive from their commercial counterparts based on the rugged electrical and mechanical operating environments. Prime examples include full performance over the input power characteristics defined in MIL-STD-704 and environmental conditions per MIL-STD-810. However, in addition to the standard system flowdown requirements it is also important to sufficiently detail the system load characteristics. This may seem deceptively simple, but if not properly defined, it can lead to unexpected performance resulting in costly redesign and/or delayed system integration-even though the power supply meets specification. As an example, imagine a custom power supply that among other requirements is to provide 28V at 10A with over-current protection at 13A. The power supply successfully goes through full qualification but during system integration the power supply intermittently loses regulation. After extensive troubleshooting, it is determined the load has brief pulses of 15A that cause the power supply to engage over current protection. The lesson here is that the complete load characteristics must be fully understood. Whatever the load is doing, it is important to specify it up front. To facilitate successful system integration, the following are some common loading specifications that are important to power supplies, why they are important, and how to properly specify them. 16

COTS Journal | March 2016

Maximum and Minimum Loading Maximum load is important to specify so that the designer can make sure the power supply can deliver the required load. To protect the system from accidental shorts or other over loading conditions, over current protection (OCP) is often a desired feature. In this case the true maximum load is a necessary requirement to ensure the protection circuitry doesn’t throttle the current when the system actually needs it. What may be surprising is that minimum load is also a very important param-

eter! Some converter topologies enter “pulse skipping” at light loads. In this scenario the output ripple can be worse than anticipated, if such a loading condition is never specified. A “zero switching loss” converter might lose its required efficiency. Minimum load may be a “no load” condition, and should be specified as such if this represents the system.

Constant Resistance, Current and Power Load One detail that is very important is a description of the load type. These are com-



I Load I1

I Load








TR Dynamic Load Increase

Figure 1 Transient voltage regulation due to a dynamic load change.

Dynamic Load Decrease

SPECIAL FEATURE monly referred to as constant resistance (CR), constant current (CC), or constant power (CP). It may also be useful to state what the load is; for example, the gimbal for a turret, radar, a heater, linear or switching power supplies, analog circuits, digital circuits and so on. The load type affects the power supply in significant ways. For example, starting into full load of a constant resistance is not the same as starting into full load of a constant current. With a 28V, 10A power supply, starting into full constant current load re-

quires delivering the full 10A during startup, plus additional current to charge the load capacitance. This means ensuring the unit does not hit over current protection. On the other hand, a constant resistance load means the power supply works into a fixed resistance, and the current demand is variable in accordance with Ohm’s law. As the power supply turns on, the current demand starts from zero and ramps up with the supply voltage. As a result, a power supply tested on the bench with a constant resistance load might take longer to start

Pulse Envelope Period/Repetition Rate

COSATM Architecture Processor of Choice

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Pulse Period/ Repetition Rate

Figure 2 Shown here is a pulsed load with envelope.

up, or not start up at all, when integrated into a system with a constant current load. This information helps the power supply to be designed and tested in a way that is representative of the actual system. The takeaway here is that testing a power supply to the wrong load type during qualification can mask problems until they are revealed at the system level.

Inductive and Capacitive Loading A full description of a load will also include any inductive or capacitive loading. These are important parameters because they have a significant impact on the power supply stability. The load capacitance may be the aggregate bypass caps or other bulk capacitance distributed across the system power bus. The minimum and maximum capacitance of the load should be provided, as

either extreme could cause instability if not accounted for. Large capacitance also has a high current demand at turn on, potentially triggering OCP. It is also helpful to provide the type of capacitors to understand their impedance looks like. Any inductive loading must be accounted for when optimizing the power supply controls; unexpected inductive loading will alter the power supply control system and could lead to instability. For this reason, it is also important to understand the impedance of the interconnect Long cabling may introduce unexpected inductance or voltage drops. Where the power supply’s sense lines are connected has an effect on performance, since the power supply will now try to compensate for the interconnect impedances. Also, additional protection may be required on the power supply output

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the system needs, it is necessary to define the dynamic behavior of the load using the details shown in the figure. Certain loads, such as radar, have known periodic pulsed loads. For some radar applications, the load is a continuous stream of pulses; for others there is a burst of pulses contained within an envelope window. This type of load is shown in Figure 2. In addition to the dynamic load characteristics mentioned earlier, the pulsed load description should contain the pulse width and the pulse period or repetition rate. The pulse envelope width and period or repetition rate should also be included, if applicable. During bench qualification, the power supply will be tested using these parameters to ensure it performs to meet the system requirements.

Other Unique Requirements Figure 3 A Rantec 3U, 270Vin, 400W power supply tests dynamic load performance.

to protect against inductive loads.

Military systems require custom solutions because of stringent and mission critical performance. As a result there may be unique load requirements, such as a brief pulse that exceeds the rated current of the power supply without triggering over current protection circuitry. Such a requirement is the VITA 62.0 condition to allow 125 percent of rated current for 50ms.

Dynamic Load It takes some time for a power supply to respond to a load change. This is illustrated in Figure 1, which shows the output voltage transient response to a dynamic load. The maximum voltage excursion Vm and recovery time TR are directly related to the change in load and the rise and fall times Tr and Tf. Per the IEEE Std. 1515-2000, it is customary for the rise and fall time to be the time it takes for the load to change between 10- to 90-percent of the start and end values. The load rate of change can also be specified as a slew rate in terms of amps per microsecond A/µs. The power supply designer will tailor the performance to maintain the voltage regulation limits given the specified loading profiles. If there are multiple load step conditions, provide each in the specification. Undefined load changes could result in excessive voltage excursion, leading to processor brown out or other undesirable effects. Therefore, to ensure the power supply is designed to provide the performance 18

COTS Journal | March 2016

Whatever the load requirements are, the power supply will be designed and tested based on the parameters of the specification provided. Inadequate specification risks last minute changes of scope, leading to increased cost and schedule. Conversely, over specifying can have the same effect due to unnecessary design complexity. The solution then is to intimately understand the actual system requirements, and then be sure to properly specify these requirements to the power supply designer. As a case in point, Figure 3 shows a Rantec 3U, 270Vin, 400W power supply undergoing dynamic load testing using Rantec automated test equipment (ATE). At the beginning of the project, the customer provided the necessary load specifications such as step size, slew rates, load type, etc. relevant to their system. The power supply was designed to these specifications, passed integration, and the customer had a successful demonstration of their system. A summary of load parameters is listed in table in Figure 4. The web version this article also follows this with a sample load specification. Rantec Power Systems Los Osos, CA (805) 596 6000



Maximum and Minimum Loading

• Max and Min Loading, Not Just Normal

Constant Resistance Constant Current Constant Power

• State What the Load is (ex: Heater) • State Load Type or Hot to Test (ex: CR, CC, CP)

Inductive and Capacitive Load

• Max and Min Load Capacitance • Any Inductive Loading • Provide Interconnect Impedance, Since it Appears as Part of the Load

Dynamic Load

• Load Step Values (ex: 10-20A) • Rise/Fall Time or Slew Rate • If There are Multiple Load Step Conditions, Provide Each in the Specification

Pulsed Load

• Pulse Amplitude, Pulse Width, Pulse Period or Repetition Rate • Envelope Width, Envelope Period or Repetition Rate (if Applicable) • Rise/Fall Time or Slew Rate

Other Unique Characteristics

• Provide any Additional Unique Load Characteristics

Figure 4 The table shows a summary of load parameters.

Established platform parallel bus protocols like VMEbus and CompactPCI still have their place in today’s and tomorrow’s harsh environment, real-time/hard-deadline embedded sub-system applications...especially when these products are upgraded and maintained to keep pace with the newest, fastest processor and memory technologies. While there are some applications where high speed serial fabrics like VPX are ideal, there are others where VMEbus or CompactPCI still rule the roost. One company continues to actively invest in maintaining – and not obsolescing – their military and space embedded computing products with a proactive 12-year minimum COTS Lifecycle+™ Program. And one company continues to also invest in delivering the very best of the newest embedded COTS computing platforms with the new, serial fabric protocols.

And one company actively invests in technology insertion at the board level, creating backplane, pin-compatible products with the latest, next generation memory and processor technologies “on-board”. And that same company still delivers their legacy bus products at full speed and full capability and full mil temp range (-55 to +85°C) with those latest technologies. The one company to do all that? Aitech. Check our website to learn more about our technology roadmaps and how they protect your investments. Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. 19756 Prairie Street Chatsworth, CA 91311 email: Toll Free: 888-Aitech8 - (888) 248-3248 Fax: (818) 407-1502

JEFF’S PICKS Top Anti-tamper Tactics for Electronics

Experts Discuss Today’s Challenges in Security and Anti-Tamper Employing good security and anti-tamper tactics is a huge challenge because the threats are always evolving and shifting. Effective solutions require methodical approaches and constant assessments.


here’s little doubt that the trend of designing embedded security and encryption functionality into systems continues to grow in importance. This is a particularly challenging area because the demand for expertise is high while the costs of doing customized designs are a real burden. The reality is that support for anti-tamper capability or Differential Power Analysis (DPA) attack prevention aren’t something that consumer chip makers are motivated to add to processors and memory chips. There have been advances in FPGAs and SoC offerings along these lines however. And embedded board vendors have started to take advantage of those. One quirk of this topic is that many embedded computer vendors we talked to for this section couldn’t reveal a many-or any in some cases-details of their anti-tamper technologies. As a result for this month’s Editor’s Pick section we’re taking a different approach, and choosing a winning vendor of anti-tamper technology and services, and giving them a chance to discuss the critical issues of this subject. With all that in mind, recently COTS Journal’s Jeff Child had the opportunity to sit down with two executives from Microsemi-Paul Pickle, President and Chief Operating Officer and Jim Aralis, Chief Technology Officer-to discuss the complex challenges and issues in implementing effective security and anti-tamper functionality in this day and age (Figure 1).


COTS Journal | March 2016

Figure 1 Microsemi’s Jim Aralis, Chief Technology Officer (left) and Paul Pickle (right) President and Chief Operating Officer and—discuss many angles and issues involved in crafting security and anti-tamper solutions for today’s systems.


Jeff Child, COTS Journal: How do you

Paul Pickle: It depends, of course, on the

determine what threats are viable to a system?

Jim Aralis: The threat assessment process must consider four key areas - the nature and capabilities of the adversary, the objectives of an adversary, the degree to which the adversary can obtain unconstrained access to the system, and the points of exposure for the adversary’s objectives over the system’s operational cycle. The objectives and their respective points of exposure enumerate every possible success path for the adversary, including the access level and capabilities of the adversary serve to filter the exposure points down to the relevant, viable, set of threats against the system. Exposure is the most technically challenging and rapidly advancing aspect.

CJ: How much security is enough?

situation. For security situations where the consequences are operational or financial, then it is possible to subject this question to cost-of-security vs. cost-of-securityfailure trade-space analysis. To develop such a cost-benefit analysis, one must understand the impact of a security failure. What are we trying to prevent? Damage or denial-of-service to critical systems? Loss of IP or data? Unauthorized access to a system? In military systems, the trade-space analysis may differ based on an adversary’s objective. If an adversary seeks technology transfer-acquisition of a new technology cheaper or faster than they could develop it themselves-then there is a preliminary question to be answered: “Does the adversary have any other means of acquiring the technology?” If the answer is ‘no’, then the security requirements depend on the consequences of allowing the adversary to acquire the technology, and may be quite high;

in the alternative case, the appropriate level of security is typically a function of the delay and cost to be imposed on the adversary, making technology transfer from the target system less desirable than acquisition from other sources. For cases where an adversary seeks countermeasure development-the ability to defeat the target system by leveraging weaknesses in its method-then the security requirements should capture the value of the technological advantage offered by the target system; essentially, this becomes a cost-of-protection vs. cost-of-loss tradespace analysis. Finally, if an adversary seeks sabotage, the context is likely direct tactical operations against a military installation

CJ: How do you stay abreast of continually evolving threats?

Paul Pickle: Historically, our focus on security has been driven by the defense vertical market; as a natural consequence of our role as a sub-contractor on many

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COTS Journal | March 2016



defense programs, we have been continually exposed to the state-of-the-art in-systems exploitation. More recently, the academic community has become interested in security vulnerability exploitation as an area of scientific investigation. This is a real boon to the security community in that it provides exposure to new ideas and spurs innovation in security technologies.

CJ: How do you develop a meaningful protection plan to deter system threats?

Jim Aralis: Security is a weakest-link problem; the easiest way into a system is the one that will be exploited. A protection plan must be begin with a systematic analysis of the likelihood that an adversary can exploit each potential route into a system. A meaningful protection plan is one that yields a well-balanced, acceptable residual risk of exploitation for each potential attack-path. In building a plan, protection mecha-


COTS Journal | March 2016

nisms are typically selected to prevent, deter, detect, or mitigate the effects of adversary actions, in order to reduce the likelihood that each attack path is feasible, to raise the cost of each attack path beyond what it practical, or to impose permanent consequences for attempting to compromise a system by a given route. Each added protection mechanism becomes a potential attack target and adversaries may attempt to circumvent them all.

here is to periodically invalidate any partial progress made by an adversary. For systems that cannot support such reconfigurable security, one might provide static security that can withstand attack for the technology-obsolescence period of the target system.

CJ: How are security trends shifting - what markets have new security concerns? What logistics/real world scenarios are hindering deployment of solutions for those markets?

CJ: How do you win the continual arms

Jim Aralis: The security environment is

race between attackers and defenders?

going thru dramatic changes as everyone knows. The need for security is exploding as our lives are being digitized. But the existing infrastructure was built with almost no planning for security and limited ability to expand its capability to increase its safety. This is not just in the public internet but also in the DoD systems and networks, government, and the intelligence community. Also the changes in the nature of electronic implementation

Jim Aralis: For deployed systems, the question is better posed as, â&#x20AC;&#x153;how can defenders hold the attackers in perpetual stalemate?â&#x20AC;? Fortunately, there are several approaches. One approach borrowed from the financial industry is to periodically change the set of security mechanisms in use via software and firmware updates; the intent


is closing the technology advantage we have had, and our adversaries will be at a much better competitive position then in the past. The changes will be seen as IC process technology moves into the 5um area, making the building of semi-custom, extremely high power processing element, not just a possibility but a necessity for cost-effective commercial solutions. This will negate our current cost advantage -- think of the problem if the bad guys have a 100x increase in processing power. We will need to step ahead in software, where adversaries benefit from a much smaller foot print. Another challenge is standards, which simplify system deployment but create a single system to crack.

discipline with two major branches: antitamper proper-ensuring a system cannot be modified-; and anti-reverse-engineeringensuring the principles and technology embodied in a system cannot be learned. The objectives for applying anti-tamper are typically to prevent unauthorized parties from learning controlled technologies, copying a system, enhancing a system, sabotaging/cyber-exploiting a system, or developing countermeasures against a system.

CJ: What types of tampering or attacks might a fielded system be subjected to? Which are the biggest threats in terms of being easiest for the adversary to pull off?

CJ: What is “anti-tamper”, and when is it

Jim Aralis: Specific threats against

generally required by the government to be applied to a defense system?

military systems, and intelligence data about the capabilities of adversarial nation states, are not widely disseminated. Instead, one can look at the open literature and perform the thought-experiment

Jim Aralis: Anti-tamper generally refers to a systems-level security-engineering

‘what could the academic authors have achieved if backed by the budget of an adversarial nation state’. Initial source material for this thought-experiment can be found in examples such as CAM reverse-engineering for satellite television, extraction of cryptographic keys by sidechannel analysis, hardware analysis and exploitation such as the DRAM-hammer attack, Princeton cold-boot attack, and various attacks against secured hardware modules. In terms of practical difficulty, the open literature conveys techniques that have been produced on an academic budget, and frequently academic authors release tools for reproducing the resultsso they provide the obvious candidate for ‘easiest to leverage’. See online version for more Q&A Microsemi Aliso Viejo CA (949) 380-6100

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COTS Journal | March 2016


SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Annual Obsolescence Services Directory

Engineering and Government Groups Ease the Sting of DMSMS Issues Thanks to a collection of distributors, specialty engineering firms and government groups, military system developers don’t have to grapple with component obsolescence on their own. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


ith long development cycles ever out of synch with the consumer semiconductor market, the military can’t escape the problem of component obsolescence. Referred to in defense industry parlance as Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS), component obsolescence is caused by the mismatch of decade long design cycles for military platforms and the sometimes only a year-long life cycles of the consumer products for which semiconductor supplies make their revenue. Displayed on the following three pages of COTS Journal’s 17th Annual Obsolescence Services Directory are a sophisticated group of companies and organizations that are in the business of dealing with such problems. Included are many aftermarket chip suppliers who stock inventories of devices that have gone obsolete. These range from small firms specializing in aftermarket business to large distributors who include aftermarket products in their portfolio. Then there are packaging firms who do custom assembly of obsolete integrated circuits using existing wafer and die. Meanwhile there are engineering shops set up to remake the obsolete die-fabricating it on a more current process size of course. And finally there are government groups like the Defense Microelectronics 24

COTS Journal | March 2016

Activity (DMEA) and the GovernmentIndustry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) that provide comprehensive support beyond what business entities can offer. One online resource-established in 2012 but continuing to grow-is the DoD’s DMSMS Knowledge Sharing Portal. The DMSMS DKSP) is focused on being a nonbiased one-stop provider of DMSMS related information, resources and material to empower the Department of Defense (DoD) community, both Organic and Industrial, to implement best practices for monitoring, tracking, resolving, and performing analytical logistic and engineering analysis related to obsolescence impacts. Visitors to the website can use the DKSP as a resource that facilitates optimal resolution, test, parts management, design, upgrade and redesign methodologies, thereby minimizing detrimental weapons systems readiness resulting from DMSMS and obsolescence impacts. As further example of resources available from the DoD, in January Defense Standardization Program Office (DSPO) in January released an updated edition of the SD-22 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS): A Guidebook of Best Practices for Implementing a Robust DMSMS Management Program (Figure 1). This guidebook provides best

Figure 1 The updated January 2016 edition of the SD-22 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) provides best practices for robust and proactive DMSMS management.

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT practices for robust and proactive DMSMS management. The guidebook explains things to do and why those things are important. It covers why it’s important to fully fund DMSMS management activities and resolutions and


ensure that the right people are trained and involved; How to link DMSMS health assessments with the program’s product roadmaps to mitigate issues before they materialize; How to ensure that resolutions minimize life-cycle costs; solutions that are



O, S

Arrow has purchased hundreds of millions of dollars in obsolete finished goods and die. Customers with ongoing demand for parts after the component manufacturer has discontinued production can order pedigree, factory-direct parts directly from Arrow.

Artisan Technology Group

Champaign, IL. (888) 887-6872.

B, L, O

Provides solutions for legacy COTS platforms, extending the life cycle of critical embedded boards, Automated Test Stations and Equipment (ATS/ATE), VXI/VME systems and more. Provides end-of-life hardware support, procurement of obsolesced equipment, and sustainment of reserve equipment for spares and replacement parts. Repair services provided also.

Avnet/ Components Direct

Phoenix, AZ. (480) 643-2000. www.,

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

Avnet’s Components Direct subsidiary is a franchised source for excess and end-oflife components offering 100% guaranteed product traceability and no OEM, EMS or broker-owned inventory. Components Direct’s e-commerce store is a “one stop shop” for all electronic component needs with datasheets, technical design information, online or offline buying capabilities and same day shipping.

Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)

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

B, DB, R, S

The Electronics Systems Cost Modeling Laboratory (ESCML) at the University of Maryland develops modeling methodologies and tools that address all aspects of the lifecycle cost of electronic systems from hardware fabrication and software development through sustainment and end of life.


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

B, E, F, G, P

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

DPA Components International

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

D, P, S

In addition to Turn-Key Solution of innovative electrical, electromechanical, electronic (EEE) parts solutions, the company performs all manufacturing processes required to package monolithic microcircuits in conformance with DSCC approved procedures and processes under our MIL-PRF-38535 QML “Q” and “V” level manufacturing lines.

DLA Land and Maritime

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

DB, G, R

An end-to-end supply chain manager, DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) Land and Maritime’s state-of-the-art systems connect business processes from the supplier to the customer through the Land and Maritime Supply and Demand Chains.

e2v aerospace and defense

Milpitas, CA. (408) 737-0992.

DB, D, E, F, R

e2v’s Semiconductor Lifecycle Management (SLiM) proactive planning program offers long-term continuity of supply for critical semiconductor components through wafer banking and accredited final manufacture, backed by redesign and reengineering capabilities.

Electronic Expediters

Camarillo, CA. (805) 987-7171. www.militarycomponents. com.


Buys, sells and stocks military and commercial electronic components. Specializes in military, industrial and commercial-type component parts, and carries a large selection of obsolete and hard-to-find spare parts. Warehouse contains over 316,902 line items at a value of more than $60 Million.

Falcon Electronics

Commack, NY. (800) 444-4744.

L, O, S

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


Livermore, CA. (925) 456-9900.

B, R, E, O

A specialist in COTS obsolescence management, GDCA is authorized by our OEM partners to continue to manufacture and repair the embedded legacy products critical to longlasting applications. Using OEM-authorized IP and original specifications, GDCA provides repair, long-term customer support, manufacturing, and sustainment for over three thousand End-of-Life, COTS, and custom-embedded computer boards and systems.


Corona, CA. (951) 898-3207.

DB, G, R

GIDEP (Government-Industry Data Exchange Program) is a cooperative activity between government and industry participants seeking to reduce or eliminate expenditures of resources by sharing technical information essential during research, design, development, production and operational phases of the life cycle of systems, facilities and equipment. Since GIDEP’s inception, participants have reported over $2.1 billion in prevention of unplanned expenditures.

Arrow Electronics

Centennial, CO. (303) 600-1200.


inexpensive upfront may have significant future cost; and more. A copy of the new version of the Guidebook can be downloaded from the DMSMS Knowledge Sharing Portal (DKSP) at

COTS Journal | March 2016








Sydney, Australia +61 2 8206 6940.


The IECQ is a worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components and associated materials and assemblies (including modules) and processes. It uses quality assessment specifications that are based on International Standards prepared by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


Englewood, CO. (303) 790-0600.


IHS Supply Management solutions can help reduce costs through more strategic and informed purchasing decisions. Offers objective, defensible analysis, in-depth industry and economic expertise, proven methodologies and vast proprietary databases-including 500,000+ historic prices and 4,000+ forecasts, costs, and wages.

Innovasic Semiconductor

Albuquerque, NM. (505) 883-5263.


Produces silicon and software solutions for customers with long product life-cycles. Supplies extended-life processors, peripherals, ASICs and mixed-signal devices for embedded communication and control. Developed technology to quickly and reliably develop form, fit and function replacement ICs.

Inventory Locator Service (ILS)

Memphis, TN. (901) 794-5000.


Inventory Locator Service enables subscribers in the aerospace, defense and marine industries to buy and sell parts, equipment and services. Over 85 million line items of available inventory, 75,000 customer accesses each day, and 23,000+ members.


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

B, E, P

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

Lansdale Semiconductor

Phoenix, AZ (602) 438-0123.

Micross Components

Orlando, FL. (407) 298-7100.

B, DB, D, L,P, R

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


Hopkins, MN. (952) 931-2400.

B, DB, D, O, P, S

A material manager, procurement, distribution and light manufacturing supplier of military spare and repair parts for a wide range of military vehicles and electronic equipment to the U.S. Department of Defense, OEMs and over 20 countries around the world.

Now Electronics

Huntington, NY. (631) 351-8300.

L, O, P

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

Phoenix Logistics

Tempe, AZ. (602) 231-8616.

E, O

Specializes in managing spares and repairs for low volume legacy systems. Services include full ECO activity, design, reverse engineering, upgrades, and replacement of obsolete components. Through acquisition of obsolete product lines, in support of specific military and aerospace legacy systems, they provide comprehensive support to maintain systems beyond their expected life span.

Pikes Peak Test Labs

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

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

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

Richardson Electronics

LaFox, IL. (630) 208-2200.

DB, O, P

Provides specialized technical expertise and â&#x20AC;&#x153;engineered solutionsâ&#x20AC;? based on core engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Provides solutions and adds value through design-in support, system integration, prototype design and manufacturing, testing, logistics, and aftermarket technical service and repair through its global infrastructure.

Rochester Electronics

Newburyport, MA. (978) 462-9332.

D, F, O, P, R

Offers comprehensive solutions for mature and end-of-life semiconductors. Rochester works with customers to help turn End-of-Life problems into Extension-of-Life solutions to provide the semiconductor industry with an authorized, guaranteed source of supply for long-lifecycle applications. Manufacturer dedicated to ongoing support of critically needed semiconductors for the entire lifecycle.

SRI International

Princeton, NJ. (609) 734-2168.

B, E, F, R, P

The Generalized Emulation of Microcircuits (GEM) technology uses a set of gate arrays and single line processing technology. Advanced Microcircuit Emulation (AME) Enrichment may be used to provide Form, Fit, and Function (FFF) solutions at the digital component level for logic devices, ASICs, FPGAs, static memory devices, hybrids, microprocessors, and microcontrollers.


COTS Journal | March 2016

D, E, O, P

Licensed to manufacture over 3000 military, commercial wireless, telecommunications, and aerospace ICs with the original tooling and packages, exactly as they were produced by Motorola, Freescale, Philips, Signetics, Intel, National, Fairchaild, Raytheon and AMD.






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

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

Sensitron Semiconductor

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

Sunset Supply Base (SSB) NSWC

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

B, G

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

Total Parts Plus

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


Provider of parts data content for product environmental compliance and lifecycle management. TPPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s data collection and validation services along with suite of software tools and applications provide a comprehensive solution for data analysis and compliance reporting.







Board level

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



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



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


Obsolete inventory

Maintains OEM inventory in die or packaged form.


Specialty packaging

Packages components as monolithic or multi-chip modules.


Industry reference

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


Uprating/ upscreening



Die processor

Refers to processing OEM die, not an emulated solution.

Emulation/reverse engineering

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




Government agency

Has foundry capability to fabricate wafers.


Performs uprating or upscreening.


COTS Journal | March 2016


DATA SHEET FPGA Processing boards Roundup

FPGA Boards Leverage Advances in FPGA Speeds and Densities As FPGA chip vendors continue to bulk up densities and enhance throughput speeds, FPGA processing board vendors are crafting more powerful solutions aimed at military signal processing systems. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


oday FPGAs have hands down become the main engine for digital signal processing in military system designs. The kind of signal processing functionality on today’s FPGA chips are ideally suited to the kind of system-oriented DSP functions used in defense. And signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb satisfying those applications for whom an appetite for ever more processing muscle is endless. Today FPGAs have even become complete systems on a chip. The high-end lines of the major FPGA vendors have general-purpose CPU cores on them. And the military is hungry to use FPGAs to fill processing roles. Devices like the Xilinx Virtex-6 and -7 and the Altera Stratix IV and V are examples that have redefined an FPGA as a complete processing engine in its own right. And newer FPGA families like Xilinx’s UltraScale Kintex 7 and Altera’s Arria 10 and Stratix 10 FPGAs are also showing up on embedded board-level products. The Data Sheet roundup on the next couple pages shows several examples of board and module products using all those leading edge FPGA devices. Exemplifying the cutting edge developments of FPGA chip vendors, Xilinx in January announced its first customer shipment of the Virtex UltraScale+ FPGA: the industry’s first high-end FinFET FPGA built using TSMC’s 16FF+ process. The Virtex UltraScale+ devices 28

COTS Journal | March 2016

Figure 1 To enable digital conversion in radar systems board vendors continue to push the barriers with solutions with ever faster ADCs and more sophisticated FPGAs. For size-constrained radar systems aboard UAVs those board level solutions need to be highly integrated. join the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoCs and Kintex UltraScale+ FPGAs putting all three families of the now into the Xilinx 16nm portfolio. Virtex UltraScale+ devices build on the success of the Virtex UltraScale family, the industry’s only 20nm high-end FPGAs. The devices feature capabilities like 32G transceivers, PCIe Gen 4 integrated cores and UltraRAM on-chip memory technology. For its part Altera, now the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG) within Intel Corporation, recently announced adding transceiver

technology that will enable Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs to support data rates up to 56 Gbps. Altera demonstrating the FPGA industry’s first dual-mode 56-Gbps pulse-amplitude modulation with 4-levels (PAM-4) and 30-Gbps non-return-to-zero (NRZ) transceivers. The transceiver technology doubles the bandwidth available on a single transceiver channel. Aside from processing, another big advantage of FPGAs lies in their ample, programmable, high-speed I/O, which is why they are often found close to the analog-to-digital converters (ADC) behind radar phased arrays. Board level vendors continue to roll out integrated solutions using the latest greats ADCs and DACs tied with FPGA processing. To feed those needs, board vendors continue to push the barriers with solutions with ever faster ADCs and more sophisticated FPGAs. A number of digital receiver products combine ADCs and FPGAs on one VME, VPX, or PCI Express board, while others partition the integrate an FPGA processing engine with mezzanine-based ADCs using form-factors like FMC or XMC. And for size, weight and power (SWaP) constrained radar systems aboard UAVs for example, those board level solutions need to be highly integrated (Figure 1). The FPGA Processing Boards Roundup and Links to the full data sheets for each product are posted on the roundup part of this section.


FPGA Processing boards Roundup

UltraScale-based PCIe Gen3 x8 Card Provides Dual FMC Sites

XMC Modules Feature Xilinx Artix -7 FPGA with 200l Logic Cells

Dual Arria 10 FPGA PCIe Board Sports 10G Optical I/O

The PC821 from 4DSP is a highperformance, PCI Express card with advanced DSP capabilities and multiple I/O options. It supports two VITA 57.1-compliant HPC FMCs that are closely coupled to the Virtex or Kintex UltraScale FPGA and a DDR4-2133 SDRAM SO-DIMM. The PC821 is well suited for applications that require large-band signal digitization or generation through the use of accelerated frequency domain algorithms.

Acromag’s XMC-7A200 modules feature a high-performance user-configurable Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA enhanced with 200k logic cells, high-speed memory and a highthroughput serial bus interface. The result is a powerful and flexible I/O processor module that is capable of executing custom instruction sets and algorithms. Typical uses include hardware simulation, communications, in-circuit diagnostics, military servers, signal intelligence, and image processing.

Bittware’s A10PED is a full-length PCIe x8 card featuring two Altera Arria 10 GT/ GX/SX FPGAs. The Arria 10 boasts high densities and a power-efficient FPGA fabric married with a rich feature set including high-speed transceivers up to 15 Gbps, hard floating-point DSP blocks, and embedded Gen3 PCIe x8. The board is ideal for a wide range of applications, including network processing and security, compute and storage, instrumentation, broadcast, and SIGINT.

• Reconfigurable Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA with 200k logic cells.

• Two Altera Arria 10 GT/GX/SX FPGAs.

• Virtex UltraScale or Kintex UltraScale. • PCIe Gen3 x8. • 1x Primary FMC HPC ( front). • 1x Secondary FMC HPC (rear). • DDR4-2133 SDRAM SO-DIMM. • 1 Gbit FPGA configuration flash; 256 Mbit serial flash. • Single-lane SFP+ interface. • Bidirectional x8 FireFly connection (optional); Standalone operation (optional). 4DSP Austin, TX (800) 816-1751

• 128M x 64-bit DDR3 SDRAM; 32M x 16-bit parallel flash memory for MicroBlaze FPGA program code storage.

• Two PCIe x8 interfaces supporting Gen1, Gen2, or Gen3. • Two 12x Avago fiber optic modules. • QSFP cage for 4x 10GigE.

• 4-lane high-speed serial interface on rear P15 connector for PCIe Gen 1/2 (standard), Serial RapidI/O, 10Gb Ethernet, Xilinx Aurora.

• Board Management Controller for Intelligent Platform Management.

• 60 SelectI/O or 30 LVDS pairs plus 2 global clock pairs direct to FPGA via rear P4 port.

• Memory options include up to 4 Gbyte Hybrid Memory Cube; Up to 64 Gbytes of DDR4 SDRAM with ECC; Up to 144 Mbytes QDR-IV and up to 288 Mbytes QDR-II+.

• 34 SelectI/O or 17 LVDS pairs plus 2 global clock pairs direct to FPGA via rear P16 port. Acromag Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310

• Utility I/O: USB 2.0, SATA, powered GPIO header, Ethernet.

BittWare Concord, NH (603) 226-0404

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FPGA Processing boards Roundup

Board Set Combines Virtex 7 FPGA Board with 25 GS/s ADC Card The CHAMP-WB-A25G is a board set from Curtiss-Wright that couples the dense processing resources of a single large Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA with a highbandwidth 25 Gsample/s 8-bit ADC module in a commercial grade 6U OpenVPX (VITA 65) form factor module. The 25G ADC module can also operate in a dual channel 12.5 Gsample/s mode. The board set complements this processing capability with a data plane directly connected to the FPGA with support for Gen2 Serial RapidIO (SRIO) or Aurora up to 10.3 Gbps.

6U Conduction-Cooled Signal Processing Module Sports Dual Virtex-7s FPGAs The XCalibur5090 from Extreme Engineering is a high-performance, reconfigurable, conduction-cooled 6U LRM module based on the Xilinx Virtex-7 family of FPGAs. With a pair of Virtex-7 FPGA, high-speed serial interfaces, DAC and ADC channels, external memory, and flexible, high-density I/O, the XCalibur5090 is ideal for customizable, high-bandwidth, signalprocessing applications. • Two Xilinx Virtex-7 XC7VX690T FPGAs.

XMC Module Marries UltraScale FPGA and Dual 5.1 GSPS DACs Innovative Integration’s XU-TX is an XMC module which features two ACcoupled single-ended 16-bit DAC outputs with programmable DC bias. The DAC devices employed support synchronization, interpolation, and their unique output circuits allow improved frequency synthesis in the 2nd and 3rd Nyquist zones. The maximum sample rate of the DAC IC is 10.2 GSPS. • Two 16-bit, greater than 5.1 GSPS DAC channels.

• OpenVPX (VITA 65) MOD6-PER4F-12.3.1-8; MOD6-PER-1Q-12.3.5-2 VPX REDI (VITA 48 option).

• Up to 1 Gbyte of DDR3-1600 SDRAM per FPGA in two channels.

• Over 2 GHz analog bandwidth (1X),

• Non-volatile FPGA configuration flash;

• Single user-programmable Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGAs X690T, with 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM.

128 MB of user NOR flash per FPGA.

• Up to 7,800 Mbyte/s streaming via PCIe or Aurora.

• Single-channel 25 GS/s, dual-channel 12.5 GS/s 8-bit ADC. • 20 x backplane SerDes capable of 10.3 Gbps each. • Onboard PCIe Gen3 switch. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800

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COTS Journal | March 2016

• Conduction-cooled 6U LRM form factor. • Four 14-bit 2500 MSPS AD9739 DAC; Two dual-channel 12-bit 3200 MSPS ADC12D1600RF ADC. • 234 single-ended FPGA interconnects; Eight high-speed serial FPGA interconnects. • 28 FPGA GPO to the backplane; 51 FPGA GPI from the backplane; 17 FPGA GPIO to the backplane. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155

• Enhanced 2nd and 3rd Nyquist modes.

• Internal or external clocking; Fixed latency, multi-board synchronization. • Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA XCKU060/085. • 4 Gbytes of DDR4 DRAM in 2 banks each with 64 bit interface. • 4 Mbytes of QDR SRAM in 1 bank with 32 bit interface. Innovative Integration Simi Valley, CA (805) 578-4260


FPGA PROCESSING BOARDS ROUNDUP Links to the full data sheets for each of these products are posted on the online version of this section.

Virtex-7 FPGA-Based 3U VPX Board Provides FMC Site

XMC I/O Module Features In-Mission Dynamic FPGA Reconfiguration

FPGA Accelerator Card Delivers Sustained 3 Teraflops Performance

The IC-FEP-VPX3c expands Interface Concept’s Front End Processing family with a solution based on Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGAs to respond to seemingly insatiable bandwidth demand. Designed for applications requiring a very high level of computing power in a compact 3U form factor, the board is aimed at developers who want to streamline development by concentrating their efforts on their most critical tasks.

Mercury Systems’ Ensemble IOM-300 series are rugged, programmable I/O XMC modules and the industry’s first fiber-optic modules which are supported by two FPGA devices. The primary Altera industrialgrade Stratix-V FPGA is a formidable, customizable processing resource for low-latency signal processing and is supported by a second configuration-FPGA that enables in-mission, real-time image refreshes.

Nallatech’s 510T is an FPGA co-processor designed to deliver ultimate performance per watt for compute-intensive datacenter applications. The 510T is a GPU-sized 16-lane PCIe 3.0 card featuring two of Altera's new floating-point enabled Arria 10 FPGAs delivering up to sixteen times the performance of the previous generation. Applications can achieve a total sustained performance of up to 3 Teraflops. Memory bandwidth configured as eight independent banks of DDR4 plus an ultra-fast Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC).

• Xilinx Virtex-7 XC7VX690T FPGA (other versions on demand).

• Main FPGA processor: Altera Stratix V 5SGXA5 or 5SGXA7.

• Two banks of DDR3: 64-bit wide, 2 Gbytes each; Optional QDRII+ 450MHz, 36-bit wide / up to 36 Mbits; 128 Mbytes of BPI NOR Flash.

• Configuration FPGA: (PCIe Gen 2.1 interface).

• GPU form factor card. • PCIe Gen3 x 16 host interface.

• Four 4-lanes fabric ports on P1; General purpose I/Os on P2; FMC interfaces.

• 5 Gbytes DDR3 SDRAM; 128 Mbytes of flash memory. • Gen 2 x8 or Gen 3 x8 PCI Express ports to host processor.

• PIC µ-controller for System Management to VITA 46.11; 8 LEDs; 8 configuration switches. • Rear Transition Module. • Air-cooled and conduction cooled versions compliant with VITA 47 classes. Interface Concept Quimper, France +33 (0)2 98 57 30 30

• Up to 12 pairs of fiber optic links at 10 Gbits/s each, full-duplex 850 nm multimode fiber (~range 150m). • XMC P16 ports: 8 SERDES at up to 10 Gbit/s; 12+19 LVDS pairs (various speeds, 19 LVDS pairs separable to single ended). Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA (866) 627-6951.

• Two Arria 10-10A 1150 GX FPGAs. • Up to 290 Gbytes/s peak aggregate memory bandwidth. • 85 Gbyte/s Peak DDR4 memory bandwidth per FPGA (4 Banks per FPGA). • 30 Gbyte/s Write +30 Gbyte/s Read Peak HMC bandwidth per FPGA. Nallatech Camarillo, CA (805) 383-8997

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COTS Journal | March 2016




XMC Blends 200 MHz, ADC, FPGA and VITA Radio Transport Protocol

PCIe/104 Card Sports Spartan-6 User Programmable FPGA

VXS/VME FPGA Card Serves up 12-Bit ADCs and DACs

Pentek’s 71664 is part of its Cobalt family of high-speed data converter XMC FPGA modules. This board provides a 4-channel, 200 MHz 16-bit A/D with programmable digital down converter, and is based on the Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA. The 71664 is the first Pentek product to include an IP engine for the VITA 49.0 Radio Transport (VRT) protocol.

RTD Embedded Technologies’ FPGA35S6046 and FPGA35S6101 (shown) are PC/104 FPGA modules with a PCIe/104 stackable bus structure. The FPGA35S6xxx modules provide a platform for customer developed FPGA code. Based on a Xilinx Spartan-6, they feature four RS-232/422/485 transceivers connected to FPGA pins allowing custom serial port implementations.

The QuiXilica Gemini-V6 VXS from TEK Microsystems is a 6U VME and VXS high-speed digitizer board that combines FPGA processing with 12-bit ADC and DAC technology. By employing three Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGAs, the board combines high resolution wideband signal acquisition and generation with the onboard high density FPGA processing for applications such as target generation, jamming, and CM / CHM techniques.

• Complete radar and software radio interface solution,

• PC/104 form factor.

• PCIe output supports VITA 49.0 VITA Radio Transport (VRT) Standard.

• PCIe/104 stackable bus structure.

• Supports Xilinx Virtex-6 LXT and SXT FPGAs.

• Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA with up to 101,261 Logic Cells, 5,800 Kb of internal RAM and PCI Express interface.

• Four 200 MHz 16-bit A/Ds; Four multiband DDCs; Multiboard programmable beamformer. • Up to 2 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM or 32 Mbytes of QDRII+ SRAM. • PCI Express (Gen. 1 & 2) interface up to x8 wide; Optional LVDS connections to the Virtex-6 FPGA for custom I/O. Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ (201) 818-5900

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COTS Journal | March 2016

• PCIe x1 interface.

• Gbit of DDR2 SDRAM. • On-board 27 MHz oscillator. • 32 RS-232/422/485 I/Os using four connectors; Each connector can support a single full RS-232 port or two TX/RX only ports. RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA (814) 234-8087

• One 12-bit ADC channels at 3.6 GSPS, or three channels at 1.8 GSPS. • Combines ADC with DAC output channel at up to 4.0 GSPS. • Twelve fiber optic interfaces. • One SFP port for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. • Three Virtex-6 devices available per board (LX240, SX315, or SX475). • 5 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM. • Convection or conduction cooled options. TEK Microsystems Chelmsford, MA (978) 244-9200


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High Performance Video and Graphics Empower Rugged GPU PMC Board Aitech Defense Systems has announced the M598, a video and graphics PMC that uses the AMD Radeon E8860 (Andelaar) GPU, providing six independent graphics heads with 2 Gbytes of GDDR5 operating at up to 1,125 MHz. In addition to the independent video stream capture, the M598 provides advanced video overlay functionality. Once the E8860 processor generates the graphics images, an input from one of the video formats is superimposed and the final image is sent to a monitor. Used in civil or military aviation or ground vehicle systems, the M598 is ideal for a number of graphics-intensive display computing environments. A 4th generation unified video decoder (UVD) within the GPU decodes H.264, VC-1, MPEG2 and MPEG4 formats. Up to 128 Mbytes of DDR3 for real time image conversion and data manipulation also supports full 2D/3D video processing capabilities in the M598. The resultant videos and images can be routed to the PMC's various analog and digital output channels available standard on the AMD GPU or to the optional sophisticated • Military-Grade Custom and COTS FPGA for output. Rugged Systems Designed to Excel An on-board temperature sensor and in the Harshest Environments configurable thermal shutdown options • 25 Year Track Record of Excellence on the M598 provide added security for • SWaP Optimized working in harsh environments with extreme temperature ranges from -40 to +85 degrees C. Military-grade versions of the M598 can withstand altitudes of over 70,000 ft. as well as shock and vibration per VITA 47 specifications. The board comes in standard air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions. Typical power consumption at idle is 15.7 W and Flat Panel Displays and Computers max 33.8 W when running at 625 MHz.

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COTS Journal | March 2016



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SBC Features an NXP Power T2080 and FPGA-based VME interface Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has introduced the SVME/DMV-196, its newest Power Architecture (PA) based 6U VME SBC. The rugged SBC delivers up to 6x higher performance in a similar power envelope, and at a lower price point, compared to earlier single and dual-processor PA VME SBC designs. The SVME/ DMV-196 is the first in a new family of SBCs designed with the company’s new obsolescence fighting FPGA-based Helix PCI Express to VME64x Interface. The SVME/DMV-196 also offers on-card integrated MIL-STD-1553B interfaces to reduce weight, power and cost by eliminating the need for a separate mezzanine. The SBC offers higher performance, similar or lower power, and pinout compatibility for previous generations of Curtiss-Wright VME SBCs (VME-181/182/183/184/186 and 194), all at a very competitive cost. Each of the SVME/DMV-196’s T2080 processor cores is supported with an AltiVec engine that runs at the core frequency. The SVME/DMV-196’s T2080 processor is supported with up to 16 Gbytes of DDR3 memory and a rich complement of I/O, including three Gbit Ethernet ports, up to six serial channels, discrete and differential digital I/O, SATA, 1553B, Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 ports, and dual PMC/XMC sites. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800

Rough & Ready Data Storage AS9100 Rev C/ISO 9001: 2008 Certified Phoenix-developed state-of-the-art enabling technology provides users with products that ensure the highest performance storage and data network systems. These systems range in size and application from multi-terabyte Fibre Channel RAID, NAS and Storage Area Network (SAN) configurations to conduction cooled plug-in Open VPX solid state disk storage modules.

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COTS Journal | March 2016

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Low-Power SoCs Enable Scaling Up of x86 Embedded Platforms AMD has announced its 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs and the Embedded G-Series LX SoC. The latest offerings expand developers’ ability to scale x86 platforms, starting with the entry-level AMD Embedded G-Series LX SoC, which is pin compatible to the previous generation G-Series SoC devices. Also announced today are two new, higher performing 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs, codenamed “Prairie Falcon” and “Brown Falcon,” which introduce for the first time pin compatibility for G-Series processors with the higher performance AMD Embedded R-Series SoC. The G-Series LX is the most relevant to the military market. The Embedded G-Series LX SoC is a new, low-power x86 SoC. It features the “Jaguar” CPU core with support for Error Correcting Memory (ECC) and GCN, as well as support for DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and OpenCL 1.2. The Embedded G-Series LX SoC uses the same FT3b socket as its predecessor codenamed “Steppe Eagle” and provides a higher-performance migration path for AMD Geode customers. The first 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs are available immediately with additional offerings planned in the first and second quarter of this year. The first AMD Embedded G-Series LX products are expected to be available in March. Advanced Micro Devices Sunnyvale, CA (408) 749-4000

Rugged Rack Server Storage at a Very Exceptional Value. Benefit from proven server design, manufacturing and delivery experience to support your organization’s data-center computing needs and total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) objectives. Middle Canyon 2U rack-mount server leverages modular-design principles to provide a robust, highly-configurable and energyefficient platform. Middle Canyon’s server products incorporate the latest processor, memory and storage technology with thermally-optimized mechanical designs and advanced power solutions to increase your organization’s networking performance and energy efficiency.

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COTS Journal | March 2016



3U cPCI Quad QorIQ P2041 SBC Offers 1553B and ARINC 429/575 Links North Atlantic Industries (NAI) has announced the availability of a Quad Core Power PC, 3U cPCI SBC solution targeted at military and avionics platforms that require high density communications and performance in SWaP-constrained environments. The 75PPC1-FT3-AR1 is powered by NXP’s 1.2 GHz Quad QorIQ P2041 PowerPC processor, and is configured with quad channel, dual redundant, MIL-STD-1553B, and 12-channel ARINC 429/575 Tx/Rx communications bus ports. This 3U cPCI rugged SBC leverages NAI’s modular COTS products built on an open systems architecture (COSA) allowing technology insertion, and conforms to all open standards. The board includes a MIL-STD-1553B – (FT3) quad-channel, dual redundant, balanced-line physical layer; a (differential) network interface; time division multiplexing; half-duplex command/response protocol, and up to 31 remote terminals per channel designed for use with rugged and commercial avionics applications. Also provided is ARINC 429/575 in up to twelve programmable Rx/Tx channels. This pprovides essential airdata information for displays, autopilots, and other flight controls and instrumentation on commercial and military aircraft. Pricing for the 75PPC1-FT3-AR1 begins at $12,784 in quantities of 100+. North Atlantic Industries, Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100.

You Know Embedded Computing. We Know Packaging. Partnering with Pixus Technologies for your enclosure, backplane, integrated system, subrack, components, plug-in units, or instrumentation and electronics cases, allows you to focus on your core competencies. With expertise in industry standard form factors including ATCA, CompactPCI, MicroTCA, VME, and VPX, Pixus has the industry experience you need in a packaging partner. To learn how we can help with your next project, contact us today.


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COTS Journal | March 2016

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Encapsulated Chassis Mount DC/DC Converters Deliver 360 Watts Calex has announced the 360 Watt TCM Series of chassis mount DC/DC converters. The wide 4:1 input range of the TCM, 9 to 36 VDC, make the TCM ideal for 12V battery, 24V process control and 28V military COTS applications. The chassis mount case is designed for backplane or enclosure mounting with or without DIN rails. Through holes are provided in the case for backplane mounting and a DIN adapter is available for DIN rail mounting. The TCM boasts a compact encapsulated 3.20- x 4.53- x 1.00-inch enclosure with efficiencies just over 96 percent. The TCM is fully isolated input to output. The isolation voltage is 2,250 VDC. The output voltages available are 12, 24 and 28 VDC.

Compact Rugged Avionics Interface Computer is SWaPOptimized Data Device Corp. (DDC) has introduced the new BU-67125W Compact Avionics Interface Computer (AIC-RC), offering a completely customizable, off-the-shelf solution. The AIC-RC combines Intel’s embedded Atom computing architecture, with DDC’s avionics data networking expertise and custom I/O capabilities, to deliver avionics connectivity computing in a small form factor, deployable, rugged enclosure. The system is qualified for rugged air and ground environments. It is expandable using mPCIe and I/O expansion modules to support a wide range of I/Os. Custom front panel connector configurations support unique deployed I/O requirements. Data Device Corp. Bohemia, NY (631) 567-5600

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COTS Journal | March 2016



10G/40G Network Emulator Exploits Xeon Mulitcore Processing East Coast Datacom (ECD) has announced the EDS-10/40G Network Emulator. The product is geared for network impairment testing prior to customer deployment. The versatile EDS-10/40G supports Copper or Fiber Ethernet for 10/100/1000, 10GbE and 40GbE WAN Emulation testing in one easy to use platform. The COTS hardware design supports one of the highest Packet Per Second(PPS) throughput rates on the market, according to ECD. The EDS-10/40G uses a pipelined software architecture, which exploits the power of Intel multicore Xeon processors. Fast network I/O is provided by new high performance Intel network adapter cards, the Open Source Netmap software framework, and careful tuning of the Linux operating system. Stages of the processing such as input, traffic selection, shaping and delay emulation, packet manipulations and output are assigned to different cores, according to speed requirements and the complexity of the processing. This allows the EDS-10/40G to scale performance as the number and speed of the LAN ports grow. At the same time, the pipelined architecture inherently preserves the ordering of all traffic. The EDS-10/40G is supplied in a 2U high, rack mount or bench top chassis. The unit operates on 90-240VAC power and has a list price of $16,995. East Coast Datacom Rockledge, FL (321) 637-9922

COTS Technology with a Custom Twist. Many companies choose to focus on what they offer to the customer by way of solutions and skills. System providers and niche market OEMs often sub-contract their computer hardware design. If your application has unusual requirements, Sundance has the skills and resources to specify, design, manufacture and test a custom solution for you. Our design engineers will help you to develop a specification that meets your requirements, whilst making every effort to ensure that your product conforms to appropriate industry standards. By doing so, your product will be re-useable in future system-building applications. As a result, you will enjoy the benefits of both compatibility and an optimised solution, along with a fast, cost-effective route to market. For more information on any of these products, or assistance please contact us and we will help you the best we can.

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COTS Journal | March 2016


COM Express Module Marries Xeon and Intel Iris Pro graphics Congatec has added an advanced graphics version to its COM Express Basic Server-on-Module portfolio. The new module features the Intel Xeon Processor E3-1515M v5, fast DDR4 memory and Intel Iris Pro graphics. The GPU of the new SoC module provides 128 Mbytes of eDRAM and with 72 execution units it has three times more parallel execution CONVERTER power than the Skylake architecture without Iris graphics. The new congaTS170 Computer-on-Module will suited for applications like GPGPU-based video transcoding, deep packet inspection or for Military & High Reliability Applications big data analytics. • 800 Watts Conduction Cooled (No Fans) The conga-TS170 module features • 9~45 or 16~80 VDC Input Ranges the latest 14nm Intel Xeon Processor • MIL-STD-704, 461 & DO-160 Compliant E3-1515M v5 and Mobile Intel CM236 • Measures only 180 x 120 x 60mm Chipset. It supports up to 32 GB superfast SO-DIMM DDR4-2133 memory with ECC for data-sensitive server applications. The integrated Intel Gen9 Iris Pro graphics provides 72 execution units with a maximum clock rate of 1150 MHz. For parallel computing tasks 800 Watt Modular DC-DC Power System it supports OpenCL 2.0. and DirectX 12 as well as Open GL 4.4 for the highest • Up to 4 Isolated Outputs performance 3D graphics on up to 3 • Parallel or Serial Connections independent 4K (3840 x 2160) displays • -40~+85°C Ambient (-55°C Option), via HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2. For Conduction Cooled Operation legacy applications, a dual-channel LVDS • Ultra-Wide input ranges: output and VGA are available. Hardware- 9~45Vdc (transient 60Vdc/100ms) accelerated encode and decode of HEVC, - 16~80Vdc (transient 100Vdc/100ms) VP8, VP9 and VDENC video is also • Reverse Polarity Protection supported. In addition to PCI Express • Inrush Current Limiting Gen 3.0 Graphics (PEG), the choice of • Advanced Status & Control available I/O interfaces includes 8x PCI - Global Output Enable / Inhibit Express Gen 3.0 lanes, 4x USB 3.0, 8x - Individual Voltage Enable / Inhibit USB 2.0, LPC and I²C. SSD and other non - Synchronization In/Out (560kHZ) volatile mass storage can be connected - Over Temperature Monitor via 4x SATA 3.0, including RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 - Remote Sense (≤10% compensation) support. - Output Voltage Trimming


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- Output Current Trimming - Active Current Share (± 5% Accuracy) • Up to 88% efficiency

w w w . g a i a - c o n v e r t e r. c o m COTS Journal | March 2016



OpenVPX Processor Blade Integrates Xeon-D and Arria 10 FPGA Mercury Systems has announced the rugged OpenVPX Ensemble LDS6526 processing blade that integrates the Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 system-on-a-chip (SoC) product family ( formerly codenamed “Broadwell DE”), the versatility and performance boost of software-defined off-load Add Life to Your Legacy System processing with built-in, doublebandwidth sensor I/O capability into a 6U form factor blade for streaming signal processing applications. Mercury’s software-defined, FPGA-based protocol offload engine technology (POET) combined with Altera’s latest Arria 10 FPGA effortlessly deliver twice the sensor I/O bandwidth of any other OpenVPX blade with four channels of I/O that can be routed to either the processor or data plane. This innovative embedded technology is switch fabric-agnostic and runs 40 Gbit/s Ethernet or many other protocols at full speed. Both the Xeon D-1500 and Arria Add 7 to 10 years of life to your VMEbus system ▪ FPGA-based VME to PCIe bridge 10 FPGA are rugged, extended with modern technology. The XVME-6510 ▪ Programmable CPU power for heat high-performance SBC features a FPGA-based temperature devices that utilize the latest sensitive applications VME to PCIe-bridge solving the end of life issue manufacturing technology to draw less with the TSI148 VME interface chip. Acromag power contributing to the LDS6526’s ▪ Up to 16GB of high-speed DDR3L is focused on developing embedded computing remarkable SWaP performance. LDS6526 memory with SODIMM lock-down solutions that provide the best long term value blades are powerful signal ingestion mechanism in the industry. So if you’re one of the thousands engines that are ideally suited to who depends on the continued use of your streaming low-latency signal processing ▪ 4th Generation Intel Core: VMEbus systems you can feel confident that applications including next-generation Quad Core i7 CPU for Acromag is there for you. radar, complex image intelligence high performance (IMINT), multi-functional sensor chain This single board computer updates your legacy and advanced situational awareness ▪ Dual PMC/XMC Sites systems with an Intel® CoreTM i7 processor and applications. Arria 10 FPGAs supports utilizes the Intel 8-Series QM87 PCH chipset for main processor off-loading, private and ▪ Intel 8-Series QM87 PCH chipset extensive I/O support that will deliver significant personalized security and enables micro performance advancements. via radial interconnect-optimized (MVRI) switch fabrics to be updated, making the LDS6526 exceptionally versatile, capable Embedded Computing & I/O Solutions and fast. Embedded MVRI technology is OpenVPX-compliant and enables rugged OpenVPX subsystems to run switch fabrics at speeds of 40 Gbits/s and higher.

With the NEW VME SBC

Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA (866) 627-6951

VPX Carriers

I/O Modules


SFF Embedded Computers | | 877-295-7084


COTS Journal | March 2016


50 Terabyte RAID Storage Systems Supports Data at Rest Encryption Phoenix International Systems has introduced Self Encrypting Drive (SED) technology support for its RPC24 4004 Series Drive Magazine based, rugged storage solution. The Phoenix International RPC24 4004 Series now supports TCG compliant and FIPS 140-2 certified AES 256 encryption as well as instant secure erase when configured with solid state disks and hard disk drives with these capabilities. The Phoenix International RPC 4004 Series is available in a variety of configurations for 2.5 inch SSDs and 2.5-inch HDDs. Each RPC24 converged interface storage array includes two four-port controllers and can be easily configured in the field with eight 16 Gbit Fibre Channel ports, eight 10 Gbit iSCSI ports, or a combination of four 16 Gbit Fibre Channel and four 10Gb iSCSI ports. IT managers often use Fibre Channel for the storage network within the data center, and iSCSI for replication and other data management services outside of the data center. These storage arrays are fully backward-compatible with 8Gb/4Gb Fibre Channel and1 Gbit iSCSI networking solutions such as switches and host bus adapters. The RPC24 4004 12 Gbit SAS models are fully backward-compatible with 6 Gbit SAS investments. All 4004 models are meta-data compatible with previous generation RPC24 arrays, so that customers can accomplish data-in-place migration by simply upgrading to 4004 generation controllers. Featuring a storage capacity of over 50 terabytes, the RPC24 4004 series includes two easily removable magazines containing up to twelve solid state disk or hard disk drives, each housed in rugged 2U (3.5 inch) panel height, 19.5 inch deep enclosure. Incorporating aluminum and steel in its rugged construction, it series weighs only 51 lbs with a full complement of 24 SSDs, is less than 20” deep and is certified to military specifications MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-461E. Phoenix International Systems Orange, CA (714) 283-4800

Streamlined NXP Hypervisor Software Provided on NXP QorIQ Modules Extreme Engineering Solutions has announced that it will provide a modified, lightweight version of the NXP hypervisor that supports partitioning and isolation for X-ES’ NXP QorIQ SBCs and processor mezzanine modules. The NXP ( formerly Freescale) hypervisor is a special low-level software program that facilitates secure partitioning. It acts as a partition’s resource and security manager, presenting a virtual machine to the operating system running in each partition. The hypervisor may manage multiple virtual machines and partitions, from a single thread on a core to multiple threads and multiple cores. The NXP hypervisor can be used on a variety of X-ES NXP QorIQ T-Series products, including the XCalibur1931 6U VME SBC (shown). Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155

XMC Host Adaptor Card Links to PCI Express x4 Cabling EKF has released the DC2-STAG, an XMC style mezzanine card, designed for dual PCIe x 4 external cabling (host system adapter). The module is provided with two PCIe x 4 front panel connectors, for attachment of one or two remote target systems via PCI Express. AOC (active optical cables) allow for up to 300m cable length. For distances up to 7m low cost copper cables are available. Coupling systems by PCI Express is a solution with significantly more throughput and lower latency compared for example to Gigabit Ethernet. EKF Elektronik Hamm, Germany +49 (0)2381/6890-0 FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | March 2016



30W GaN Power Amplifier Targets S-band Radar RFMW has announced design and sales support for the Qorvo TGA2818-SM power amplifier. The TGA2818-SM provides 30W of saturated output power for S-band Radar systems operating over 2.8 to 3.7GHz. Large signal gain is less than 18dB with power added efficiency of less than 47 percent. This 2-stage, GaN on SiC amplifier runs on 28V bias drawing 200mA of current. Housed in a 6x6mm QFN plastic package, the Qorvo TGA2818-SM has good thermal properties and supports a range of bias voltages while performing well under pulse applications including commercial and defense radar. RFMW San Jose, CA (408) 414-1450

OpenVPX Backplane Offering Adds New 3U and 6U Configurations Pixus Technologies has greatly expanded its OpenVPX enclosure offering along with new backplane configurations. The company has new 3U backplanes in 5, 9, and 18 slots and new 6U versions in 2 and 5 slots. The boards are compliant to the VITA 65 specification. The backplanes come with or without rear I/O connectors and are designed to cable over to Pixus power boards for VITA 62 or PICMG 2.11 power supplies. They have header options for VITA 46.11 for system management. Pixus also offers OpenVPX backplanes to VITA 66 for Optical and VITA 67 for RF. Pixus Technologies Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (519) 885-5775


PRODUCT GALLERY Rugged, Small Form Factor Embedded Computer Acromag’s ARCX embedded computer is a customizable-off-the-shelf (COTS), SWaPoptimized deployable solution. This rugged, small form factor mission computer is designedfor extreme rugged and MIL-AERO applications. This true COTS solution uses the Acromag COM Express Type 6 product platform.

• 4th Generation Intel Core i7 • Programmable power limits • IP67 NEMA rating • MIL-STD-810F environmental specification

• Optional power filter • Wide range input power • Ports available: Two HDMI/DVI ports, One VGA port, Three USB 2.0 ports, One SATA port, Two Gigabit Ethernet ports • Provides access to standard computer peripherals via Type 6 COM Express CPU • Dual SSD drive bay (optional)

SIU35 – 3U cPCI Sensor Interface Unit NAI’s SIU35 is a highly configurable rugged COTS system or subsystem ideally suited for military, industrial, and commercial applications that require high-density I/O, communication, Ethernet switching, and processing. The SIU35 uses up to five NAI fieldproven, 3U cPCI boards to deliver off-the-shelf, SWaP-optimized COTS solutions that Accelerate Your-Time-to-Mission.

• 5 x 3U cPCI slots – for installation of up to 15 I/O and communication function modules • 40+ intelligent I/O or Comms modules to choose from • SBC-less, stand-alone operation supported via Ethernet connection to mission computer • Processor options: NXP PowerPC QorIQ® P2041, Intel® Core™ i7, Intel® Atom™, and ARM Cortex-A9

• COSATM Architecture • 7.13”W x 4.78”H x 8.71”D • Operating temperature: -40°C to +71°C conduction-cooled (air-cooled option)

Acromag, Inc.

Phone: (877) 295-7084 Email: Web:

North Atlantic Industries, Inc.


COTS Journal | March 2016

Phone: (631) 567-1100 Web:


Ferrule Design Proven to Withstand 1 kg Pull of Force Reflex Photonics has announced that its MicroClip MT ferrule design has proven it can withstand a 1 kg live traffic fiber pull test on a 12-fiber ribbon cable pigtail mated to its LightABLE products (40G SR4 and 120G SR12), without any signal performance degradation. This result exceeds by a factor of 2 the requirements of Telecordia GR-468-CORE Fiber Integrity Side Pull Test and confirms the reliability of the Reflex Photonics fiber ribbon interface with the LightABLE and its MicroClip ferrule. The MicroClip is a low-profile, low-mass spring loaded mechanical assembly that offers a rugged optical connection that is resistant for shock and vibration and is suitable for harsh environment. Reflex Photonics Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada (514) 842-5179

High-Density Aircraft Modules Provide Enhanced Pin Protection TE Connectivity has announced its DMC-M high-density 30-23 modules for aerospace. Designed for EN4165, BACC65 and ARINC 809 shells, the modules achieve higher density with a reverse design that protects against damage due to exposed contacts. The increased density of the new 30-position modules provides a 50 percent increase in contact counts over the existing 20-22 modules, allowing two 30-23 modules to provide the same 60-contact density as three 20-22 modules. This reduces the connector and harness sizes, enabling space and weight savings. TE’s plastic clip technology provides additional weight savings and simplifies the assembly process, providing possible weight savings of up to 20 percent. TE Connectivity Berwyn, PA (610) 893-9800

RUGGED TO THE CORE On the outside, today’s aerospace designs are sleek and elegant machines. But on the inside, extreme temperatures and vibration demand the most rugged equipment. TE Connectivity’s (TE) Fortis Zd, Mezalok and MULTIGIG RT 2-R rugged modular connector systems for backplane applications were specifically constructed for high-speed aerospace projects that require design fl exibility, incorporate power and signal and provide rugged reliability. Connect with TE to learn more about our rugged, high speed backplane connectors for aerospace and military applications at © 2016 TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies. All Rights Reserved. MULTIGIG RT, Fortis Zd, Mezalok, EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS, TE, TE Connectivity and the TE connectivity (logo) are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies.


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1/6/16 COTS Journal | March 2016

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ADVERTISERS INDEX GET CONNECTED WITH INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS SOURCE AND PURCHASABLE SOLUTIONS NOW Intelligent Systems Source is a new resource that gives you the power to compare, review and even purchase embedded computing products intelligently. To help you research SBCs, SOMs, COMs, Systems, or I/O boards, the Intelligent Systems Source website provides products, articles, and whitepapers from industry leading manufacturers---and it's even connected to the top 5 distributors. Go to Intelligent Systems Source now so you can start to locate, compare, and purchase the correct product for your needs.


Company Page# Website

Company Page# Website



Aitech Defense Systems,

Phoenix International..........................34...........................


Pico Electronics, Inc............................13.................

Chassis Plans......................................37...................




Mercury Systems, Inc. .........................2..................................

Middle Canyon...............................21, 23, 35.............

Systel Rugged Computers...................33..........................

North Atlantic Industries..................15, 17................................


Novasom Industries..............................4............

One Stop Systems, Inc. ....................22, 47.....................

COTS Product Gallery..........................42.........................................................

COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 150, 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. 150, San Clemente, CA 92673.

COMING NEXT MONTH Special Feature: Rugged Box Systems Target UAV Payload Needs

System Development: DoD Budget Report: Major Weapons Programs

Tech Recon Jeff’s Picks: Jeff Child’s Top FPGA-Based Digital Conversion Approaches

Data Sheet: VME SBCs for Tech Refresh Roundup

For medium and large UAVs, the pressure is on to add more payload functionality in the same space or add more separate payloads on the same platform. Many vendors are announcing solutions tailored to meet those needs specifically. This section looks at box-level computer systems and the trade-offs versus slot-card solutions and how system consolidation is impacting the radar, imaging processing and communications capabilities of next-gen UAVs.

In 2016 our Tech Recon feature will directly leverage Jeff’s decades of experience covering the embedded computing and defense market. He will choose the top products in a different category each month and share his insights on why they’re significant in terms of design innovation, market relevance and technology leadership. April’s section looks at the technology and products that do FPGA-based digital conversion.


COTS Journal | March 2016

In keeping with the trend of the last several years the DoD’s budget request for fiscal year 2017 has much more of a focus on upgrades and modernization than on new start programs. While many advanced programs are likely to see some shifts in funding. This section examines what has happened in the DoD’s major military programs and what the opportunities are for embedded computing and electronics technologies.

VME was crafted specifically so that it can adapt to new technologies while still retaining backward compatibility. That’s why it’s perfect for technology refresh programs. A new board with the latest and greatest processor, memory and I/O can easily be dropped into a slot that could be decades old. Articles in this section examine the current activity in traditional VME SBCs with a product album listing representative products.

When the going gets tough... TQ embedded modules are built for the most demanding tasks and conditions. ■ Low power consumption ■ Access to all CPU pins ■ Rugged Tyco connectors ■ Long-term availability–we’re

there when you need us. ■ Extended temperature -40C to +85C. ■ Full Linux environment ■ Optional conformal coating ■ Compact size ■ Embedded Modules available for: NXP (Freescale) & TI ARM® NXP (Freescale) QorIQ™ Intel® x86

To order a Starter Kit or for more information, call (508) 209-0294, or visit:

COTS Journal’s


External load that the new CH-53K King Stallion helicopter is designed to lift. The craft was taken for an operational test flight on March 23 at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach. The pilot’s flight included hover points and out to 140 knots with 15 degree angle-of-bank turns. The PFCS work up included 120 knots, climbs and descents, and hovering pedal turns. The flight test ran for one hour, taking EDM1 over the 30-flight hour mark since it first took to the skies on Oct. 27, 2015.

22 pounds

Approximate weight of a new 81 mm mortar bipod system to be development by the Watervliet Arsenal, as compared to the 27 pounds of the legacy system. The Watervliet Arsenal has received a $4.6 million contract to start a new product line for the 81mm mortar system. This next generation of an 81mm mortar bipod is a continuation of the Army’s effort to reduce the weight of small indirect fire systems that are carried by soldiers. The first shipment of the mortar bipods is scheduled to leave the arsenal in March 2018. Each bipod consists of about 25 close-tolerance, machined parts.

243 Million


Value of order Oshkosh Defense has received from the U.S. Army the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program including 657 vehicles, 2,977 installed kits and related support. The order will serve both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The JLTV program remains a top priority for the DoD, filling a critical capability gap for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps by replacing a large portion of the legacy uparmored HMMWV fleet with a modern light protected vehicle. The JLTV production contract calls for Oshkosh to deliver a total of nearly 17,000 vehicles, as well as kits and services over an eight-year period. 46

COTS Journal | March 2016

Total potential value among three awardees for a contract by the U.S. Navy to support amphibious warfare and surface combatant ships home-ported in the Port of San Diego. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract has a total potential value of $1.32 billion among three awardees one of which is General Dynamics NASSCO. As part of the contract, GD NASSCO will help modernize, maintain and repair Navy ships that dock in San Diego, including six classes of military combat and amphibious vessels.

79-Feet Wing span of the new Predator B ER (Extended Range). General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) announced the successful first flight of Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Extended Range (ER) Long Wing, retrofitted with improved long-endurance wings with greater internal fuel capacity and additional hard points for carrying external stores. The flight occurred on February 18 at GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Test Facility in Palmdale, Calif., on a test aircraft. The 79-foot wing span not only boosts the UAVs endurance and range, but also serves as proof-of-concept for the next-generation Predator B aircraft.

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.

COTS Journal  

March 2016

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