CompactPCI Serial faces hard climb in aerospace and defense in competition with VPX and COM Express

PCI technology-short for Peripheral Component Interconnect-is setting a course to move PCI embedded computing into the modern era of high-speed, switch-fabric serial interconnects, and enable PCI to compete directly with VPX and take a role in aerospace and defense applications, as well as for industrial rugged uses such as railroads, oil and gas, and factory automation.

This new flavor of PCI, called CompactPCI Serial, is not without challenges, however-particularly where aerospace and defense applications are concerned.

First, CompactPCI Serial is a newer and less established computing interconnect technology than its primary competitor, VPX, and has not yet established an industry infrastructure and ecosystem to match VPX.

Second, this technology is establishing itself primarily in Europe, and has yet to see market momentum build in the United States.

Third, CompactPCI Serial is seeing its most promising applications in the industrial rugged market, and not in aerospace and defense.

Still, CompactPCI Serial has not come close to meeting its potential, and leaders of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) in Wakefield, Mass., plan a big marketing push this year to broaden the technology's installed base. PICMG is the standards organization that oversees CompactPCI Serial.

All this, moreover, ignores what is perhaps the primary market advantage of CompactPCI Serial: The technology represents the most natural migration path for embedded computing users of PCI to move into high-speed switch fabrics, which rapidly are replacing parallel databus architectures in demanding embedded computing applications.

"PCI is still a very popular technology, and it's had some significant mid-life kickers in the past few years," says Joe Pavlat, president and chairman of PICMG. "CompactPCI Serial does most of the things that VPX does, but is much less expensive."

Teledyne LeCroy has unveiled a new CompactPCI Serial Interposer for use with the company's PCIe Protocol Analyzer.
Teledyne LeCroy has unveiled a new CompactPCI Serial Interposer for use with the company's PCIe Protocol Analyzer.

Just as CompactPCI Serial is one of the latest incarnations of embedded PCI that aims at high-performance, switch-fabric serial applications, VPX is one of the most modern versions of the VERSAmodule Eurocard embedded computing standard that is better known as VME.

Historically, aerospace and military embedded systems designers have gravitated toward VME when they seek to design industry-standard architectures. VPX, which is the 3U and 6U incarnation of VME for high-speed, switch-fabric applications, has a few-years head start in the market over CompactPCI Serial, which will place it at a disadvantage to VPX for aerospace and defense applications-particularly in the United States.

"The ecosystem from the CompactPCI Serial board suppliers has not materialized like it has for VPX," explains Shan Morgan, senior vice president of system sales at Elma Electronic Inc. in Fremont, Calif., which specializes in backplanes and enclosures for a wide variety of embedded computing technologies, and supports CompactPCI Serial as well as VPX.

"U.S. applications will depend on momentum in Europe, and building up the ecosystem there," Morgan says. "CompactPCI Serial is now in a race with VPX, and VPX has a fairly strong adoption rate in the defense industry."

Still, CompactPCI Serial may see broader adoption in the future in aerospace and defense applications in which price is critical, such as civil avionics, cockpit control, and non-military control stations for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), says Stephen Cunha, vice president of MEN Micro Inc. in Ambler, Pa.

MEN Micro, which has its world headquarters in Germany, was among the most influential companies that helped formulate the CompactPCI Serial standard.

"MEN Micro does sell into military and defense applications, but it is not a primary focus for us, so we don't see as many opportunities there," Cunha says.

Instead, MEN Micro officials "see a lot of traction in industrial, and particularly rail, such as putting racks on trains inside and outside the train," Cunha explains. "We see opportunities even for some safety- critical applications, such as UAV control stations, Navy shipboard control, and Navy ships in general."

Other potential aerospace and defense applications for CompactPCI Serial include airborne applications such as data and inflight recording, and military ground vehicles like Humvees for reconnaissance and surveillance that might need relatively inexpensive racks of embedded computers.

Widespread future success for CompactPCI Serial in aerospace and defense applications still may be facing additional difficulties as military embedded systems designers move increasingly toward new small-form-factor architectures, such as COM Express.

Not only does CompactPCI Serial complete against VPX in the VME world, but it also competes against COM Express in the PCI world. Time will tell, yet CompactPCI Serial may find its biggest hurdle in being squeezed between VPX and COM Express.


COMPANY INFO

3M Interconnect Solutions Austin, Texas 512-984-1800

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Interconnect/Home/Solutions/IOConnectors/
Concurrent Technologies Plc Colchester, England +44 1206 752626
www.gocct.com/index.htm
EKF Elektronik GmbH Hamm, Germany +49 (0)2381/6890-0
www.cpci.eu/e/e.html
Elma Electronic Inc. Fremont, Calif. 510-656-3400
www.elma.com
Eurotech Amaro, Italy +39.0433.485 411
www.eurotech-inc.com
Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc. (X-ES) Middleton, Wis. 608-833-1155
www.xes-inc.com/
Fastwel Corporation US Brooklyn, N.Y. 718-554-3686
www.fastwel.com/
FCI USA LLC Etters, Pa. 800 237 2374
http://portal.fciconnect.com/portal/page/portal/fciconnect/homepage
Hartmann Elektronik Stuttgart, Germany +49 0711/1 39 89-0
www.hartmann-elektronik.de/
MEN Micro Ambler, Pa. 215-542-9575
www.menmicro.com
One Stop Systems Escondido, Calif. 877-438-2724
www.onestopsystems.com
Pentair Technical Products Warwick, R.I. 401-732-3770
www.schroff.biz/internet/html_us/
Pixus Technologies Inc. Waterloo, Ontario 519-885-5775
www.pixustechnologies.com
Schroff GmbH Straubenhardt, Germany +49 07082 / 794-0
www.schroff.biz
Teledyne LeCroy Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. 845-425-2000
http://teledynelecroy.com
V Rose Microsystems Johnstown, N.Y. 518-762-1288
www.vrosemicrosystems.com




Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Flexible Printed Circuit Board

Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are one of the most popular types of circuit boards used in a var...

Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCB ASSY) is as critical a process as circuit board manufacturing.

CANoe.A429

CANoe.A429 is ideal for the test and analysis of ARINC 429 buses and of individual devices on up ...

VN0601 - Interface for ARINC 429 Bus Systems

The VN0601 is a compact and powerful interface for ARINC 429 bus systems. The interface convenien...

XPand6020 | Small Form Factor (SFF) System Featuring XPedite5205 Running Cisco IOS® and XPedite7450

The XPand6020 is a Small Form Factor (SFF) system that features an XPedite5205, which runs Cisco ...

XPm2120 | MIL-STD-704 3U VPX VITA 62.0 Power Supply with Integrated MIL-STD-461E Filtering

The XPm2120 is a VITA 62.0-compliant 3U VPX power supply that allocates 12 V as the primary distr...

XChange3019 | 3U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with XMC and Optional Managed Switching and Routing Support

The XChange3019 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 3U VPX, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. It pro...

XPedite7470 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI SBC

The XPedite7470 is a high-performance, low-power, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

XCalibur4444 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4444 is a high-performance, multiprocessing, 6U VPX, single board computer that is id...

XPand6000 Series | Rugged Small Form Factor Intel® Core™ i7 or Freescale QorIQ-Based System with PMC or XMC Support

XPand6000 Series systems are based on convection-cooled and conduction-cooled, fully-ruggedized S...

Related Companies

A-FLEX

Provides customized Printed Circuit Board fabrication in California. The entire process can be customized according t...

TASC Technical & Assembly Services Corporation Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

Electronic Manufacturing sub-contractor. Circuit Board assembly, Cable Assembly, Wire Harness Assembly, Box Build Ass...

Vector Informatik GmbH

Provides solutions to benefit developers and test engineers for aerospace electronic networking. Focuses on tools for...

DDC-I Inc

Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

STMicroelectronics Inc

ST serves customers across the spectrum of sense, power, automotive products, and embedded processing solutions. From...

MERITEC

Signal integrity leaders and preferred vertically integrated manufacturer of high-performance electrical and electron...

Stealth.com

Manufactures industrial rugged computers and peripherals, including custom rack servers, rugged LCD monitors, mini PC...

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE