Expanding Options in VPX Connectivity

Abstract

Republished from Military Embedded Systems, October 2011

You can never have too much bandwidth. High-speed processing and growing amounts of data to be communicated require generous bandwidth from the board level to the I/O. VPX, with a backplane connector system supporting 6.25 Gb/s in a switched fabric architecture, is the latest generation of VMEbus and offers new levels of performance for embedded computer systems. VPX systems are designed for flexible application of demanding high-speed protocols, such as 10G Ethernet, RapidIO, InfiniBand, and HyperTransport protocols, in ground, aerospace, and marine applications.

VPX is presently most widely used in defense applications, particularly for C4ISR (command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance). Signal intelligence (SigInt), electronic intelligence (ElInt), radar, and similar processor-intensive applications require a great deal of computing horsepower and bandwidth. VPX is a ruggedized approach to embedded computing that aims to satisfy high-speed processing needs in harsh environments such as flight, ground defense, and other military applications.

As a young, vibrant, and rapidly expanding ecosystem, VPX benefits from the global backing of both the computing and aerospace/defense industries. This widespread backing has driven the standardization to move forward relatively efficiently, with many participants at the various levels of supply chain – components, subsystems and platforms. A key to the success of VPX has been the heavy reliance on commercial off-the-shelf products, fostering a wide international supplier base, shortening time to market and further feeding the ecosystem’s evolution. Republished from Military Embedded Systems (October 2011)