OpenVPX Community Churns Out Standards and Solutions

Now entrenched as a critical technology for high-performance military systems, OpenVPX continues to expand in terms of product choices and standards activities. Standards work in the past several months provide new solutions for RF designs and system cooling.


With its acceptance now past any doubt, OpenVPX has secured its place as the de-facto embedded slot-card open architecture high-bandwidth, data-intensive military applications. Fueled by an every growing ecosystem of vendors, OpenVPX is furthered bolstered by an active standards body in VSO (VITA Standards Organization) that’s done a lot of work over the last 12 months. Over the past year there’s been a lot of standards and interoperability activity around OpenVPX. Add to all that a continuous wave of new generation OpenVPX products keeping its place as one of the most active product category in our market in terms of new product releases.

In October VITA got a significant new sponsor member: the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). CERDEC is developing the U.S. Army’s Modular Open RF Architecture (MORA) which will enable the development of true open standards-based RF and microwave modules and small-form factor subsystem designs that address the size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP) constraints of today’s ground vehicles. MORA is based on OpenVPX. MORA-based hardware and software solutions developed by VITA member companies are expected to enable enhanced C4ISR/EW capabilities to exist within the SWaP constraints of platforms and provide subsystem commonality across the vehicle fleet to reduce life cycle costs.

In other standards activity, in January VITA announced the formation of a working group that is developing an air flow through (AFT) cooling standard, VITA 48.8, for use in size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) constrained 3U and 6U VPX module-based systems. VITA 48.8 is expected to achieve weight and cost reduction for AFT cooling by eliminating the use of wedgelocks and ejector/injector handles. The resulting open standard will be the first to bring AFT cooling to 3U form factor VPX modules. It will also help reduce weight and cost for cooling high density, high power dissipation 3U and 6U module based systems.

Because VITA 48.8 does not use module-to-chassis conduction cooling, it also promises to help drive innovative use of new lightweight plastic or composite material based chassis. The VITA 48.8 Working Group is chaired by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, with Lockheed Martin serving as the standard’s editor. The working group has set a goal of submitting the finalized VITA 48.8 draft for ANSI ratification later in this year.

Even though actually formally announced design wins of OpenVPX seem scant, vendors say there are happening with greater frequency. An example was back in January with Abaco Systems announcing it had secured orders with an initial value of £7.5 million (around $11.5 million) from BAE Systems Maritime Services business in the UK. Abaco’s 3U VPX Power Architecture and 4th generation Intel Core i7 technology SBCs will be used within the ESCU (Electronic System Computer Unit) that will control the Royal Navy’s Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo in deployment, providing advanced real time signal processing of the Spearfish’s onboard sonar to enable it to reach its intended destination, and networking to allow communication between the torpedo and the host submarine (Figure 1).

Figure 1 3U VPX Power Architecture Core i7 SBCs will be used within the Electronic System Computer Unit that will control the Royal Navy’s Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo.

The OpenVPX SBCs Roundup and Links are listed below

  Figure 1

Figure 1 Abaco Systems

Core i7 SBC with 40 Gbit Etherent Aims at Very Large Radar Systems

Abaco Systems’ DSP282A is a 6U OpenVPX rugged multiprocessor with 40 Gbit Ethernet. It is designed to fulfil the requirements of very large radar systems such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI). 40 Gbit Ethernet on the backplane allows data derived from multiple high resolution sensors to be moved to the processor and then output as meaningful, actionable information in the minimum possible time.

  • Single slot 6U VPX single board computer.
  • Dual 5th Gen Intel Core i7 i7-5700EQ quad-core processors.
  • Two channels of DDR3L SDRAM up to 16 Gbytes each.
  • Up to 16 Gbytes SATA NAND flash.
  • 40 Gbit Ethernet fabric over the backplane; I/O: Audio, GPIO, SATA, and USB.
  • Configurable security hub FPGA; Intel Trusted Execution; Intel ES new instructions).
  • AXIS and deployed test software.

DSP282A Data Sheet:  Click Here

Abaco Systems
Huntsville, AL
(866) 652-2226

Figure 2

Figure 2 ADLINK Technology

Conduction-Cooled 3U VPX Blade Sports Xeon Processor D-1500

The ADLINK Technology’s VPX3010 Series is a rugged, conduction-cooled 3U processor blade featuring the Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 Product Family. The design of the VPX3010 conforms to numerous VITA standards, including the VITA 46.0 VPX Base Standard and VITA 65 OpenVPX architecture framework for VPX. Soldered SLC NAND flash 32 Gbyte SATA 6 Gbit/s storage comes standard, with expansion options available using an RTM.

  • Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 SoC up to 12 cores (formerly “Broadwell-DE”).
  • DDR4-2133 soldered ECC SDRAM up to 16 Gbytes.
  • One 10GBASE-KX4, up to three 1G Ethernet ports.
  • Up to PCIe x16 Gen3 interface supporting non-transparent bridge.
  • One XMC expansion slot, PCIe x8 Gen3 with Rear I/O to P2.
  • Extended temperature range of -40 to +85 degrees C is supported.

VPX3010 Series Data Sheet:  Click Here

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

  Figure 3

Figure 3 Aitech

QorIQ-based 3U VPX SBC Leverages PowerPC AltiVec Performance

The 3U VPX C912 from Aitech Defense Systems combines NXP’s latest generation T4 series of QorIQ SoC multicore e6500 processors with AltiVec along with extensive on-board I/O features. Each e6500 core supports two hardware threads that appear to the application software as virtual CPUs and features a dedicated AltiVec vector execution accelerator allowing up to 16 complex math operations per clock cycle per core.

  • Rugged 3U VPX Single-Slot SBC.
  • NXP QorIQ Multicore SoC with up to 8 e6500 Cores and Altivec Unit.
  • PCIe and 10G (XAUI) Fabric Options.
  • 4 Gbytes DDR3 with ECC; 128 Mbytes NOR Flash Memory; 16 Gbyte SATA flash drive.
  • Board I/O includes XMC Slot, USB, Serial, GbE, SATA and Discrete.
  • OpenVPX Compliant; 2LM Option per VITA 48.2.
  • Conduction and Air-Cooled Versions; Vibration and Shock Resistant.

C912 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

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

  Figure 4

Figure 4 CES (Creative Electronic Systems)

OpenVPX Core i7 SBC Provides Built-In Video Capture

The CIOV-2231 from Creative Electronic Systems (CES) is a 3U OpenVPX SBC featuring an Intel Core i7 Quad-Core dual-threaded (8-threads) Broadwell microarchitecture. The CIOV-2231 embeds all the necessary hardware to capture video and I/O directly on-board. The high integration of the CIOV-2231 provides system architects and integrators with a very powerful and unique Intel based single board solution.

  • Intel Core i7 Gen5 processor Quad-Core dual-threaded (8-threads total) Broadwell microarchitecture.
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 GPU.
  • Extended Range Conduction-Cooled [-40 to 85 degrees C]; General Purpose Air-cooled [0 to 55 degrees C].
  • 16 Gbytes of DDR3L DRAM, 16 Gbytes of on-board SATA flash memory; RAID 0 and RAID 1 support over dual SATA III.
  • Digital video capture (HD/SD-SDI).
  • PCIe Gen3 1x 8-lane, 2x 4-lane, 4x 2-lane with support for NTB port; PCIe Gen2 Full Mesh network for near deterministic communication.

CES (Creative Electronic Systems)

CIOV-2231 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required
Geneva, Switzerland
+41 (0)22 884 51 00

  Figure 5

Figure 5 Concurrent Technologies

3U VPX Server Board Targets Clustering and Storage

Concurrent Technologies’ TR C4x/msd provides server grade performance with excellent storage connectivity. The 10G Ethernet data plane connectivity allows multi-processor systems to be easily constructed by slotting in additional processor boards whilst high bandwidth co-processing resources can be connected in adjacent slots via PCI Express expansion plane connections. Enhanced security, built-in test and other options are available to suit application needs.

  • 8-core Intel Xeon Processor D-1548.
  • 3U VPX form factor.
  • Up to 16-cores and 32 Gbytes of DDR4 memory for high performance applications.
  • Optional 128GB SATA Flash module and 2.5-inch SSD for local storage.
  • 2 x 10GBASE-KR data plane connectivity.
  • x4, x8 or x16 PCI Express Gen3 expansion plane for local co-processing and I/O resources.
  • Long life-cycle support.
TR C4x/msd Data Sheet:  Click Here

Concurrent Technologies
Woburn, MA
(781) 933-5900

  Figure 6

Figure 6 Curtiss Wright

Rugged Dual GPGPU OpenVPX Module Boasts 5 TFLOPS Performance

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions’ CHAMP-GP3 GPGPU Application Accelerator is a 6U OpenVPX module that brings the extensive floating point processing power of NVIDIA’s latest generation of Maxwell architecture class GPGPUs to the embedded aerospace and defense market. It is designed for addressing the massive amounts of data generated by modern Radar, SIGINT and EO/IR sensors and provides unparalleled HPEC performance in cross-cueing applications.

  • 6U OpenVPX form factor with NVIDIA Tesla M6 MXM mezzanines.
  • One or two NVIDIA Maxwell architecture GPGPUs.
  • Each GPGPU has: each with: 1536 cores; 8 Gbytes of GDDR5 memory; 256-bit wide memory bus; 147.2 Gbyte/s memory bandwidth; and 16-lane Gen2 PCIe interface.
  • Temperature, voltage, and current sensors; IPMI support; 12V power.
  • Rugged conduction-cooled.
CHAMP-GP3 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

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

  Figure 7

Figure 7 Extreme Engineering

3U OpenVPX REDI SBC Features Secure Processing Technology

The XPedite7672 from Extreme Engineering Solutions is a secure, high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, SBC based on the Intel Xeon D-1500 family processor. The XPedite7672 is an optimal choice for computationally heavy applications requiring maximum data and information protection. The SmartFusion2 SoC provides authentication and detection against many types of attacks.

  • Supports Intel Xeon D-1500 family processors.
  • SecureCOTS for secure and trusted processing; SmartFusion2 SoC.
  • 3U VPX (VITA 46) module; REDI per VITA 48.
  • Up to 16 Gbytes of DDR4-2133 ECC SDRAM in two channels; Up to 32 Gbytes of SLC NAND flash.
  • XMC site; Two x4 PCI Express backplane fabric interconnects.
  • Two 10 Gbit Ethernet, two Gbit Ethernet ports; Four SATA ports and two USB 2.0 ports.

XPedite7672 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

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

  Figure 8

Figure 8 General Micro Systems

2.7 GHz Quad Core i7 6U VPX SBC Features Advanced Security

The VPXCB1102 “Sparrow” from General Micro Systems is an Intel 5th generation Core i7 OpenVPX SBC module designed to provide the highest security and performance possible in a fully ruggedized and conduction-cooled VPX module. The board’s conduction cooling works so well using GMS’s RuggedCool that the CPU needs no throttling in order to run at full performance at +85 degrees C.

  • Up to 2.7 GHz Intel quad Core i7 Broadwell processor with 6MB of L3 Smart Cache.
  • Up to 32 Gbytes of 1600 MHz DDR3L memory with ECC.
  • 4x Gbit Ethernet ports; 2x USB 3.0 ports and 2x USB 2.0 ports; 2x COM ports; Up to 3 Display Ports.
  • Trusted Execution Technology (TXT); Trusted Platform Module (TPM) (Optional).
  • Fully compliant to MIL-STD-810G, MIL-S-901D and DO-160D.
  • Operates at standard temp 0 to degrees C or extended temp -40 to +85 degrees C.

VPXCB1102 Data Sheet:  Click Here    

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

  Figure 9

Figure 9 Interface Concept

3U OpenVPX SBC Marries Zeon-D Processor and Kintex-7 FPGA

The IC-INT-VPX3d/e from Interface Concept is an OpenVPX 3U SBC based on the Broadwell-DE processor-14nm High Performance Chip of Intel’s Low Power Spectrum. Combined with the company’s ComEth 4580a 10 Gigabit Ethernet router or hybrid ComEth4410a switch (PCIe & Ethernet) and other IC’s Processor/FPGAs boards with IC’s software / Firmware libraries, the IC-INT-VPX3d/e is the key building block of the next High Performance Embedded Computing systems (HPEC).

  • One Intel Xeon Processor D-15xx.
  • Two banks of DDR4 with ECC (up to 8 Gbytes per bank).
  • 3U VPX board compliant with VITA 46.0 standard.
  • Available in air-cooled and conduction-cooled grades.
  • One SATA NAND SSD (up to 16 Gbytes).
  • 1 FPGA Kintex-7, 5 PCIe x4 ports; General purpose I/Os; 4 Ethernet ports; 1 RS485/RS232 port; 2 USB 2.0 ports; 1 XMC slot, Optional video interface.

IC-INT-VPX3d/e Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

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

  Figure A

Figure A Kontron

3U Blade Serves Up 8-Core Xeon-D and 16 GB DRR DRAM

Kontron’s 3U VPX blade VX3058 is based on the highly integrated 8-core Intel Xeon D architecture, supporting Dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet, high bandwidth PCI Express 3.0, and high speed DDR4 memory. It is consequently SWaP-C optimized with versatile mezzanine options for XMC, storage, graphics, M.2, and I/O. Kontron’s VxFabric API extends the TCP/IP protocol over the PCI Express infrastructure.

  • 3U OpenVPX blade.
  • 8 Core Xeon Processor D.
  • 16 Gbytes of DDR4 DRAM with ECC.
  • Dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
  • x8 PCI Express Gen3 bandwidth.
  • Mezzanine options for XMC, storage, graphics, M.2, and I/O.
  • Suited for Virtual Machines and HPEC applications.
  • Extended life cycle and 10-year silicon reliability.

VX3058 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Kontron America
Poway, CA
(858) 677-0877

  Figure B

Figure B Mercury Systems

3U SBC Sports 8-core Broadwell DE Intel Xeon D Processor.

Mercury Systems’ Ensemble LDS6526 processing blade integrates the latest Intel Xeon processor D SoC product family and software-defined off-load processing with built-in, double-bandwidth sensor I/O capability. Mercury’s software-defined, FPGA-based protocol offload engine technology (POET) combined with Altera’s latest Arria 10 device delivers twice the sensor I/O bandwidth than other OpenVPX blades.

  • 6U OpenVPX single server blade.
  • Intel Xeon D (Broadwell) server-class processing.
  • 40 Gbit Ethernet high bandwidth SW defined fabrics.
  • Four channels built-in sensor I/O.
  • Dual XMC mezzanine sites.
  • 16 Gbytes of DDR4-2400 SDRAM.
  • PCIe connectivity to OpenVPX expansion plane.
  • Module package options: Air-cooled, Conduction-cooled, Air Flow-By, Liquid Flow-By.

Ensemble LDS6526 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Mercury Systems
Chelmsford, MA
(978) 967-1401

  Figure C

Figure C Sundance Multiprocessor Technology

3U OpenVPX Board Combine Stratix FPGAs and TI Keystone DSP

The VF360 from Sundance Multiprocessor Technology is a 3U OpenVPX module that leverages on Altera Stratix V FPGA and Texas Instruments KeyStone Multicore DSP technology. It is suited for computation and bandwidth intensive applications such as Radar, Networking, SIGINT, EW, SDR and Video. Both air-cooled and conduction cooled versions are available. Further flexibility is provided through build options to cater for 10 different FPGAs from Altera’s Stratix V GX and GS device families.

  • Stratix V family FPGA in the KF40 (1517 FBGA) package.
  • Up to 2 Gbytes DDR3 DRAM.
  • Up to 32 Mbytes QDRII+ SRAM.
  • TI KeyStone Multicore C667x family DSP with up to 8 cores at 1.2 GHz.
  • FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC-HPC):
  • VPX Interface complies with OpenVPX MOD3-PAY-3F2U-16.2.12-2 module profile.
  • Supports FPGA configurable User I/O on P2.

VF360 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology
Chesham. UK
+44 1494 793167