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VXS processor board is conduction cooled

Posted: 12 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Alex Mendelsohn? VMETRO? Phoenix VPF1? processor board?

dual-PowerPC VME/VXS processing card

VMETRO Inc. is announcing a conduction-cooled ruggedized version of its existing Phoenix VPF1 VXS processor board.

The VPF1 is a dual-FPGA, dual-PowerPC VME/VXS processing card. The Phoenix family is for applications requiring realtime multi-processors and high-speed serial communications. Air-cooled versions of the VPF1 have been shipping since mid-2004.

With this latest VPF1, users can deploy systems with substantially more compute power in autonomous vehicles such as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) than could be done previously. Typically, a VPF1 can run WindRiver VxWorks or Linux in such applications.

According to VMETRO, there's been confusion in the industry regarding the ability to have conduction-cooled VXS boards. That's primarily because some vendors have tried to pit the VITA 46 (VME Bus International Trade Association) and VITA 48 standards against VXS (as defined in VITA 41). In reality, both VXS and VITA 46 boards can be delivered in conduction-cooled versions to meet different application needs.

Even without a VITA spec that addresses conduction-cooled environments for VME or VXS boards, VMETRO contends it's possible to design conduction-cooled VME and VXS boards. The company designed the conduction-cooled VPF1 around industry-standard IEEE-1156.1-1993, IEEE Standard Microcomputer Environmental Specifications for Computer Modules.

Motorola and Xilinx silicon
The conduction-cooled VPF1 runs dual Motorola AltiVec-based PowerPCs, and uses dual Xilinx Virtex-II Pro XC2VP70 FPGAs. It confers eight 2Gbps to 3.125Gbps off-board serial communications channels, and includes on-board Ethernet, RS-232 and RS-422 I/O. You also get a 64bit 66MHz PMC (PCI mezzanine card) site for local I/O.

VMETRO says its conduction-cooled VPF1 is shipping now. Pricing starts at less than $38,000 in single unit quantities. Pricing for air-cooled versions starts at about $30,000 in single unit quantities.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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