Curtiss-Wright’s Latest Generation OpenVPX GbE Switch Module Enables Secure Embedded Networks

July 10, 2018

ASHBURN, Va. – July 10, 2018 – Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has introduced the VPX6-688 24-Port 6U OpenVPX Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Switch module. In addition to providing system integrators with a fully-featured GbE switch solution that simplifies the integration of a complete networking solution into open architecture VPX systems, this new, highly integrated, enterprise-class switch enables embedded systems to safely share data on intra-platform and wide-area networks. The rugged module addresses emerging requirements for network security by allowing non-essential services to be disabled. It also provides secured management interfaces for administration. To protect against emerging cybersecurity threats, Curtiss-Wright provides regular network software updates, ensuring that the VPX6-688’s network security posture is kept up to date. If the application requires secure WAN connections, Curtiss-Wright offers an optional services mezzanine module that provides a fully-featured Cisco IOS™ router.

Designed for use in demanding C4ISR applications, the VPX6-688 supports the high-precision IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) synchronization required by real-time and signal processing applications. The rugged module provides 24 ports of IEEE 802.3 compliant 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet to the backplane. Four optional 1000BASE-SX Gigabit links are available to support high-speed optical interfaces. The VPX6-688 delivers full performance in harsh environments, with line-rate switching on all ports across all packet sizes. Suitable for use with a wide range of embedded computing and vehicle network applications, the VPX6-688 provides standards-based network connectivity to VPX embedded computing systems. It’s ideal for integrating robust and secure Ethernet for airborne, naval and ground mobile networks, as well as fixed installations.

“Today, nearly every computing system and module depends on Ethernet to carry traffic from a myriad of applications on a converged network,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division. “Curtiss-Wright leads the embedded COTS industry with a complete range of Ethernet switching solutions for the most demanding applications. Our new rugged 24-port switch simplifies the integration of secure intra-platform networks that need a large number of connections between SBCs, external sensors, and other systems within a platform. It enables our customers to deploy higher-performance solutions while addressing the critical need for cybersecurity.”

VPX6-688 features include:

  • 24 ports of IEEE 802.3 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
  • Option for four ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Fully managed multi-layer switching with CLI, SNMP and web-based interfaces
  • Extensive networking feature set for segmentation, filtering, QoS and traffic management
  • Optional optical interfaces (4x 1000BASE-SX Gigabit links)
  • Optional Cisco IOS® ESR software router module (provides rich set of WAN features including firewall, VPN and enterprise-class dynamic routing protocols.)
  • Available in standard air-cooled and conduction-cooled rugged form factors
  • Pin-compatible replacement for the earlier VPX6-684 switch products to eases lifecycle extensions and upgrades.

A Standards-Based, High-Performance Interconnect Solution

Embedded systems engineers must ensure that mission-critical data is given priority as platform networks become more congested. The VPX6-688 is designed with the latest networking features to manage quality of service, ensure efficient multicast stream distribution, and enforce policies for filtering and limiting data rates. It incorporates robust multi-layer switching services based on proven enterprise-class networking software.

The VPX6-688 works with the full line of Curtiss-Wright 6U VPX single-board computers, all of which feature a 1000BASE-T connection in their base configuration.

Enhanced Security

As embedded computers transition from stand-alone appliances to connected systems, the importance of network security continues to grow. The VPX6-688, designed from the start with cybersecurity in mind, offers secure management interfaces for configuring and monitoring the network. Hardware write-protection features can be used to prevent unauthorized or unintentional modification of the switch configuration. Regular updates to the VPX6-688’s software mitigates the risk of system compromise resulting from vulnerabilities in older operating system or networking services.

Sales inquiries: Please forward all Sales and reader service inquiries to [email protected].

For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, please visit

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,600 people worldwide. For more information, visit


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