XMCs and FMCs Help Shake Up the Definition of “System”

Once functioning as a method of adding peripheral functionality to system, todays XMC are better defined as complete subsystems in their own right. Meanwhile, FMCs ride the wave of FPGA popularity with new next gen version of FMC in the works.


The two most active mezzanine standards in the industry continue to be XMC and FMC. This year’s XMC and FMC roundup on the next several pages includes an unprecedented 18 vendors that have had a new XMC or FMC new product within the last 12 months. XMCs stands as the natural successor to PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card). Meanwhile fabric-based Processor XMCs allow military system integrators to swap out just the computing core and leave the base board unchanged. The proliferation of PrXMCs combined with XMC that are complete graphics, Ethernet or storage subsystems are an indication that XMCs are now subsystem-level solutions in their own right.

Defined under VITA 42, the XMC specification extended the PMC card by adding new connectors to support gigabit serial interfaces plus list of alternative I/O standards. XMCs also match well with the emerging OpenVPX architecture leveraging the same switched fabric technologies as that system specification. Like VME itself, XMC continues to evolve with technology. In standards activity, the draft specification of the 2014 revision of XMC-ANSI/VITA 42.0-2008 (R2014)-has been approved to move to the ANSI balloting phase.

Another mezzanine technology seeing a lot of design activity these days is the FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC). FMCs provide modular functions commonly used with FPGAs linking to an FPGA on the host board. As called VITA 57, the specification is about half the size of a XMC or PMC mezzanine module. FMCs provide a small footprint, reduced I/O bottlenecks, increased flexibility and reduced cost through the elimination of redundant interfaces. Interest in FMC is huge. According to Jerry Gipper, Executive Director of VITA, the FMC specification right now the most frequently downloaded specification in VITA’s inventory of nearly 100 specifications.

Late last year the VITA 57 working group began work on an update the specification was started aimed at extending the VITA 57.1 FMC specification to handle up to 32 Gbps transceivers. The next-generation specification calls for a new set of connectors to support higher-speed serial interfaces. At last report, the working group is reviewing pinout proposals and plans to finalize a specification for working group ballot by the end of this month.

An example of FMC in use, Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions this summer announced it completed the development phase of a contract received from LIG Nex1 to supply its rugged COTS-based radar processing module technology for use in the Korean Army’s Next-Generation Local Air Defense Radar and Korean Air Force’s Long-Range Surveillance Radar programs (Figure 1). Under the agreement, Curtiss-Wright provided LIG Nex1 with its latest generation high performance OpenVPX modules, including high performance FPGA, single board computer, DSP, Network Switch and FMC processing module products. These modules provide the pulse compression and beamforming processing for the Radar’s new Signal Processing system.

Figure 1 The Korean Army’s Next-Generation Local Air Defense Radar and Korean Air Force’s Long-Range Surveillance Radar programs make heavy use of COTS-based radar processing module technology including FMCs.

The XMC and FMC Board Roundup and Links to the full data sheets for each product are posted on the roundup below. 

Figure 1

Figure 1 4DSP

FMC Provides Sixteen 16-bit D/A Channel at 312.5 Msamples/s

The FMC216 from 4DSP is a sixteen-channel DAC FMC Daughter Card which is fully compliant with the VITA 57.1-2008 standard. The FMC216 provides sixteen D/A 16-bit 312.5Msps (2.5 Gsamples/s with x8 interpolation) channels which can be sampled by an internal clock source (optionally locked to an external reference) or an externally supplied sample clock. A trigger input for customized sampling control is also available. The FMC216 has the HPC (high-pin count) connector, front panel I/O, and is conduction cooled capable.

  • 16-channel D/A 16-bit 312.5 Msps.
  • VITA 57.1-2010 compliant.
  • Single-ended, DC-coupled analog signals.
  • Breakout cable with SMA connectors available from the front panel.
  • Clock source, sampling frequency through SPI communication buses.
  • Flexible clock tree.
  • Power-down modes to switch off unused functions for system power savings.

FMC216 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Austin, TX.
(800) 816-1751

Figure 2

Figure 2 Abaco Systems

ARINC 429 XMC Aids Both Development and Deployment

Abaco Systems (formerly GE Intelligent Platforms) offers its RAR-XMC ARINC 429 High Density XMC Interface supports maximum data throughput on all channels while providing onboard message scheduling, label filtering, multiple buffering options, receive message time-tagging and error detection, and IRIG-B receiver (AM or DC/TTL) and generator (DC/TTL).

  • Up to 16 Rx and 16 Tx/Rx fully compliant ARINC 429 channels.
  • XMC.3 (PCIe 4 lane) host interface.
  • Front I/O, or P14 or P16 rear I/O.
  • Standard Industrial operating temperature of -40 to +85 degrees C at the XMC rail.
  • 64-bit message time-tagging; 1 microsecond timing resolution.
  • Supports maximum data throughput on all channels simultaneously.
  • Support for 2-wire ARINC 573, 575 and 717.

RAR-XMC Data Sheet:  Click Here

Abaco Systems
Huntsville, AL
(866) 652-2226

  Figure 3

Figure 3 Acromag

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

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 high-throughput 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.

  • Reconfigurable Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA with 200k logic cells.
  • 128M x 64-bit DDR3 SDRAM; 32M x 16-bit parallel flash memory for MicroBlaze FPGA program code storage.
  • 4-lane high-speed serial interface on rear P15 connector for PCIe Gen 1/2 (standard), Serial RapidI/O, 10Gb Ethernet, Xilinx Aurora.
  • 60 SelectI/O or 30 LVDS pairs plus 2 global clock pairs direct to FPGA via rear P4 port.
  • 34 SelectI/O or 17 LVDS pairs plus 2 global clock pairs direct to FPGA via rear P16 port.

XMC-7A200 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Wixom, MI.
(248) 295-0310

  Figure 4

Figure 4 Aitech

Rugged XMC Simultaneously Delivers Video Streams in Separate Formats

Aitech’s M596 6-Head Multiple Output Graphics XMC provides a high-performance, highly versatile embedded video and graphics solution for harsh environment applications. Designed around the AMD E8860 Six Head GPU, the M596 can simultaneously drive several independent video streams in a wide variety of output formats. It integrates multiple supporting hardware engines such as graphics language accelerators, parallel processing engines, video and audio de-compression units, and more.

  • Single Width XMC with PCIe x8 Gen 2.0 Host Interface.
  • AMD Radeon E8860 GPU; 6 Independent Graphics Heads; 2 Gbytes of GDDR5.
  • Digital Inputs: 2x, SD-SDI, HD-SDI; Analog Inputs: 7x, Composite (RS-170A, NTSC, PAL), 1x, STANAG 3350 or Qty 3 S-Video.
  • Digital Outputs: 2x, DVI or 1x HDMI + DVI; Analog Outputs: 2x, Composite, 1x S-Video, STANAG 3350 (B, C), 1x RGBHV.
  • Supports DirectX 11.1, Shader 5.0, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.1.

M596 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

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

  Figure 5

Figure 5 Alpha Data

XMC Serves Up UltraScale FPGA and 8 Gbytes DRAM

Alpha Data’s ADM-XRC-KU1 is a high performance reconfigurable XMC (compliant to VITA Standard 42.0 and 42.3) based on the Xilinx UltraScale range of platform FPGAs. It features 8 Gbytes of DDR4 memory in four independent banks. Enhanced system monitoring enables the board to be managed by PCI Express or via USB.

  • PCI Express Gen2 x4 host interface.
  • Xilinx Kintex UltraScale (KU060, KU115) (A1517).
  • 8 Gbytes of SDRAM in 4 independent banks.
  • 2x QSPI serial NOR flash; Configuration flash provides an initialization design for automatic loading into the target FPGA.
  • Drivers for Microsoft Windows, Linux and VxWorks.
  • SDK provides the example C and HDL source code, giving software engineers and FPGA designers a head start in creating applications.
ADM-XRC-KU1 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Alpha Data
Denver, CO
(303) 954-8768

  Figure 6

Figure 6 Annapolis Micro Systems

FMC Serves Up 10-bit, 2.5 Gsample/s Analog-to-Digital Conversion

The 2.5 GSps 10-Bit ADC FMC from Annapolis Micro Systems provides high fidelity and high speed analog-to-digital conversion along with a rugged design. The 2.5 GSps 10-Bit ADC FMC is shipped with a custom heatsink which enables proper cooling of the ADC. An on-board temperature monitor is also supplied which allows for real-time monitoring of the ADC’s internal die temperature.

  • 2.5 GHz Max Input Sample Rate.
  • 10-Bit A/D conversion with e2v EV10AS150A or EV10AS150B Analog-to-Digital converter.
  • Trigger Input options range from 2.5V LVPECL to 3.3V LVCMOS.
  • Internal Clock options: 1.8 GHz, 2.5 GHz and custom.
  • External clock can be driven from a single ended 50 ohm signal source.
  • Optional 10MHz Internal, Backplane and Front Panel Reference Sources.
  • Motherboard with FMC(s) installed occupies a single AMC slot.

2.5 GSps 10-Bit ADC FMC Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Annapolis Micro Systems
Annapolis, MD
(410) 841-2514

  Figure 7

Figure 7 Concurrent Technologies

Conduction-cooled 10 Gbit Ethernet XMC Supports Rear I/O Connectivity

Concurrent Technologies’ XM530/x22 provides two 10 Gbit Ethernet ports. This module supports rear I/O connectivity making it suitable for deployment in harsh environments where boards are typically mounted inside a rugged enclosure with all external connectivity through suitable grade connectors. The conduction cooled version has been tested to survive harsh levels of shock and vibration.

  • 2 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces supporting 10GBASE-T/1000BASE-T/100BASE-Tx.
  • Link and speed indicators for each interface.
  • Pn6 rear I/O with option for VITA 46.9 X8d or X12d signal mapping.
  • XMC format single size CMC with up to x8 PCI Express interface.
  • Air-cooled version (N-Series) operates from 0 to 55 degrees C; Rugged conduction-cooled versions (RC-Series) operates -40 to +85 degrees C, conformally coated.
  • Conduction cooled to ANSI/VITA 20-2001 (R2005).

XM530/x22 Data Sheet:  Click Here  

Concurrent Technologies
Woburn, MA
(781) 933-5900

  Figure 8

Figure 8 Creative Electronic Systems

QorIQ P3041-based SBC XMC is Safety-Certifiable

Creative Electronic Systems’ MFCC-8557 is a safety-certifiable, rugged, SBC XMC mezzanine module engineered for the most stringent mission-critical and safety-critical defense applications. The card has been engineered for DAL safety certification, systematically applying DO-178C/DO-254 design guidelines. It can be delivered with all documentation, certification evidences and supporting artifacts required to prove compliance.

  • Design Assurance Level C (DO-178C/DO-254).
  • Extended range conduction-cooled.
  • Freescale QorIQ P3041 processor.
  • Low power: 15W typical.
  • Four PCIe Gen2 interfaces on XMC (Full Mesh Support).
  • One FETH interface on XMC (DAL-C).
  • Maintenance / Mission mode with specific hardware logic.
  • Safety optimized board management controller.

MFCC-8557 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Creative Electronic Systems
Geneva, Switzerland.
+41 (0)22 884 51 00.

  Figure 9

Figure 9 Curtiss Wright

PrXMC Board Sports Atom Bay Trail CPU and Optional Cisco Routing

The XMC-120 from Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions is a low-power quad-core Intel Atom (“Bay Trail”) E3845-based XMC Processor Mezzanine SBC. With a typical power consumption of only 15 W, the XMC-120 is also available pre-integrated with the Cisco Systems 5921 Embedded Services Router (ESR) Software, enabling system designers to deploy a single-slot solution that combines both Cisco network routing and Intel multi-core processing.

  • Intel “Bay Trail” Atom processor XMC.
  • Quad-core E3845 processor at 1.91 GHz.
  • Up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3L with ECC at 1,333 MT/s.
  • Up to 32 Gbytes of SATA NAND flash.
  • Quad Gigabit Ethernet ports, serial RS-232/422, USB, SATA, and DIO interfaces; Dual display with DVI/DP and VGA outputs.
  • Low power (15W typ, 20W max).
  • Available pre-loaded with Cisco IOS.Embedded Services Router (ESR) software.

XMC-120 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

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

  Figure A

Figure A Data Device Corp

XMC/PMCs Boast High Channel Count, Multi-Protocol Data Bus Networking

Data Device Corp.’s BU-67118 XMC/PMC cards offer Multi-Protocol Data Bus Networking XMC and PMC cards capable of supporting all avionic I/O requirements. The cards’ high channel mix enables this single, compact solution to replace several individual I/O cards providing significant size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) savings. Unique features include onboard DMA and 4 kbyte address space boundaries for critical real-time applications.

  • Up to 4 Dual Redundant MIL-STD-1553 Channels.
  • Up to 20 Programmable Tx/Rx ARINC 429 Channels.
  • Up to 2 Programmable Tx/Rx ARINC 717 Channels.
  • Up to 2 ARINC 825 (CANbus 2.0) Channels.
  • Up to 8 Programmable RS-232/422/485 Channels.
  • Up to 10 Avionics/Digital Discrete I/O.
  • 48-bit/100ns Time Stamp; IRIG-B Input.

BU-67118 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Data Device Corp.
Bohemia, NY
(631) 567-5600

  Figure B

Figure B Extreme Engineering

XMC Blends Virtex-7 FPGA and 14-bit 2,500 Msample/s DAC

The XPedite2400 XMC module from Extreme Engineering Solutions uses the Xilinx Virtex-7 Family of FPGAs to merge high throughput, configurable I/O, and DSP-level processing with exceptional thermal efficiency. The combination of high-end signal processing and high-speed Analog-to-Digital or Digital-to-Analog conversion makes the XPedite2400 an optimal solution for demanding RF signal acquisition, SDR, and DSP requirements.

  • Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA XC7VX690T.
  • Conduction- or air-cooled XMC module.
  • 14-bit 2500 Msample/s AD9739 DAC.
  • Up to 2 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM in two channels.
  • Front panel I/O.
  • 22 FPGA differential/LVDS user I/O.
  • Non-volatile FPGA configuration flash.
  • 128 Mbytes of user NOR flash.
  • Linux support.

XPedite2400 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

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

  Figure C

Figure C Innovative Integration

SBC Blends Zynq Z7045 SoC with FMC I/O Expansion

The Cardsharp from Innovative Integration is a user-customizable, turnkey embedded SBC that provides two A9 CPU cores directly-coupled with FPGA fabric. Uniquely customizeable due to its XMC footprint and FMC I/O expansion site, Cardsharp is ideal for applications such as distributed data acquisition. It is L3-ruggedized, booting from eMMC flash in a compact, 150 x 75mm footprint that is ready for operation in harsh environments.

  • Zynq Z7045 SoC with FMC IO module.
  • Dual, floating-point ARM A9 CPU.
  • Rugged, XMC form factor: 149 x 74 mm.
  • Self-bootable, stand-alone operation; Able to operate diskless and headless.
  • Configurable IO uses standard HPC FMC IO module. Add anything from RF receivers to industrial control modules.
  • IO site (VITA 57) deliver up to 6 Gbytes/s to PL memory, 2 Gbytes/s to PS memory.
  • USB2.0, 1 Gbit Ethernet, eMMC, SPI, RS232 ports.

Cardsharp Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

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

  Figure D

Figure D Mercury Systems

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

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 industrial-grade 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.

  • Main FPGA processor: Altera Stratix V – 5SGXA5 or 5SGXA7.
  • Configuration FPGA: (PCIe Gen 2.1 interface).
  • 5 Gbytes DDR3 SDRAM; 128 Mbytes of flash memory.
  • Gen 2 x8 or Gen 3 x8 PCI Express ports to host processor.
  • Up to 12 pairs of fiber optic links at 10 Gbits/s each, full-duplex 850 nm multi-mode 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).

Ensemble IOM-300 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Mercury Systems
Chelmsford, MA.
(866) 627-6951.

  Figure E

Figure E Pentek

XMC Module Provides Dual Channel Adaptive IF Relay

Pentek’s Model 71624 is a dual channel, 34 signal, adaptive IF (Intermediate Frequency) relay XMC with a Virtex-6 FPGA. As an IF relay, it accepts two IF analog input channels, modifies up to 34 signals, and then delivers them to two analog IF outputs. Any signal within each IF band can be independently enabled or disabled, and changed in both frequency and amplitude as it passes through the module. Targeted applications include signal monitoring, signal jamming, channel security, countermeasures, beamforming and radar applications.

  • Modifies 34 IF signals between input and output.
  • Up to 80 MHz IF bandwidth.
  • Two 200 MHz 16-bit A/Ds; Two 800 MHz 16-bit D/As.
  • 34 DDCs and 34 DUCs (digital downconverters and digital upconverters).
  • Signal drop/add/replace; Frequency shifting and hopping; Amplitude boost and attenutation.
  • PCI Express Gen 1: x4 or x8.

Model 71624 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Upper Saddle River, NJ
(201) 818-5900

Figure F

Figure F Tech Source

Conduction-cooled H.264 XMC Video Encoder Card Runs on 7W

The VC100xX H.264 from Tech Source is a high quality video capture and compression card. This rugged and fully conduction-cooled card simplifies the video compression task in challenging surveillance/C4ISR applications using the VPX Platform. Featuring an H.264 video encoder with baseline, main and high profile support up to Level 4.1, the board supports up to 4 composite video inputs (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) or up to 2 SDI inputs (HD-SDI/SD-SDI).

  • H.264/AVC baseline, main or high profile up to L4.1 or MJPEG.
  • Low power (less than 10W).
  • 2 Channels up to 1080p30 or 4 Channels of TV (Composite).
  • 2 stereo audio inputs.
  • Video streaming over TCP/IP (host machine or dedicated); Video recording (on host machine); Raw video capture (VC102x).
  • Front or rear I/O.
  • Convection or conduction cooled.

VC100xX Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Tech Source
Altamonte Springs, FL.
(407) 262-7100

  Figure G

Figure G Technobox

Advanced 32-channel RS485/422 XMC Offers Rich Features

Technobox’s 7757 is an advanced FPGA-based module for configurable digital I/O that offers in the XMC form factor many of the features and functions of the long-running Technboox P/Ns 2674 and 4289. The standard assembly is built around an Altera Cyclone FPGA and features a total of 32 general-purpose RS422/RS485 driven digital I/Os wired to both the front panel and rear PN4 connector.

  • FPGA-based, 32-channel general-purpose Digital I/O XMC (VITA 42 or VITA 61).
  • Altera Cyclone V architecture (5CGXFC4C6 standard population).
  • Front I/O via 68-pin SCSI; Rear I/O via PN4 connector.
  • External SRAM (256k x 32b).
  • GEN-1 PCI Express, 2 lanes (2.5 Gb/s each); CvP mode limits operation to 1 lane.
  • Programmable from host via PCIe, on-board flash, or direct via Altera USB Blaster.
  • User defined LEDs; User accessible temperature sensor; Silicon delay lines.

7757 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

West Berlin, NJ
(856) 809-2306

  Figure H

Figure H TEWS Technologies

XMC Module Family Delivers User-Programmable FPGAs

TEWS Technologies has two XMC compatible modules providing a user programmable FPGA Xilinx XC6SLX45T-2 or Xilinx XC6SLX100T-2 Spartan6 FPGA.. The TXMC633 and TXMC635 are designed for industrial, COTS, and transportation applications, where specialized I/O or long-term availability is required. They provide a number of advantages including a customizable interface for unique customer applications and a FPGA-based design for long-term product lifecycle management.

  • Xilinx XC6SLX45T-2 or Xilinx XC6SLX100T-2 Spartan6 FPGA.
  • TXMC633: 64 ESD-protected TTL lines or 32 differential I/O with EIA 422 / EIA 485 compatible, ESD-protected line transceivers.
  • …or 32 TTL I/O and 16 differential I/O with Multipoint-LVDS Transceiver.
  • TXMC635: 48 TTL I/O, 8 channels single-ended 16 bit analog output with up to ±10.8V output voltage range, and 32 single ended or 16 differential 16 bit analog inputs with full-scale input voltage range of up to ±24.576V.

TXMC633/635 Data Sheet:  Click Here

TEWS Technologies
Reno, NV.
(775) 850-5380

  Figure I

Figure I Vadatech

Quad 10GbE Port FMC Features Signal Conditioning

The FMC109 from Vadatech is an FMC per VITA 57 specification. The FMC109 has quad SFP/SFP+ cages which allows for Quad GbE/10GbE to be routed to appropriate FMC pins. The FMC109 has quad re-driver on board to allow long copper cables for the SFP+ vs. fiber to reduce total system cost.

  • FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) per VITA-57.
  • Single FMC slot module; Four port Gbit Ethernet, 10 Gbit Ethernet.
  • Quad SPF/SPF+ cages for quad ports.
  • Re-driver on all four ports for a better signal quality.
  • Operating temperature -5 to 55 degrees C.
  • Storage temperature -40 to 85 degrees C.
  • Compliant to PICMG 3.0 Rev 3.0, RoHS 2 and NEBS Level 3.

FMC109 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Henderson, NV.
(702) 896-3337