AUSTIN, Texas. Open systems bring interoperability, but does everyone want interoperability? Yes, and no, says Michael Munroe, technical product specialist at ELMA Electronic Inc. in Fremont, California. Embedded computing suppliers used to enjoy being sole-source suppliers, but open systems can bring new opportunities.
VPX began to get really popular because customers wanted more compatibility; they wanted to be able to do conversions, Monroe explains in his ETT presentation, “Where VPX is going and why.” Instead of having a separate box with its own I/O for every different function it might have, which created a space, maintenance, service, and upgrade problem – moved to every function was a function on the card… with one power system, running one monitor, etc.
The Hardware Open Systems Technology (HOST) and Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) committees are working with the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) to create new, fully defined slot profiles. Multiple users have come together and are asking for the same thing. It’s lucky – the end result is lower costs for standard parts, such as single-board computers, FPGA processing cards, etc., that are part of almost every program.
The market is being driven by three branches of military service holding out contract opportunities in favor of interoperability. It’s making VPX more affordable and growing the market for all of us, Monroe says.