As an equipment manufacturer designs and develops a new piece of kit for today's warfighter, the world of embedded electronics and components, along with the ways to keep them cool, is often an afterthought, or just barely afforded a sideways glance. But as the recent Meecc conference in Long Beach, California proved, industry is beginning to focus critical attention on the busses and boards that give life to today's electronic and computer-based equipment.
The first of its kind, the Military Embedded Electronics and Computers Conference (Meecc) in Long Beach, California, brought this sector's manufacturers and developers together with their customers in open-door discussions and presentations, which allowed both sides to discover new innovations and voice opinions.
Embedded computing is the sector of industry that covers both the 'printed circuit boards' and connections to the databus that carries information to other sensors or controls within a piece of gear. Whether it be a radar on a ground-based or airborne platform, a turret drive control, a torpedo's guidance system or a UAV ground control station display, electronic systems require some sort of interface between sensor and soldier. This is the kingdom of embedded electronics.
In the Continuum
First out of the gate was Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (CWCEC), who took advantage on the afternoon of the day before the show opening to announce its new unifying product-line architecture--Cots Continuum--which supports the migration between product generations and board standards. The new family of Single Board Computers (SBC) and multi-computing engines (in both DSP and FPGA platforms) to be released under the 'Continuum umbrella' will be based on the new Vita 46 standard.
Along with the architecture announcement CWCEC introduced its SVMX/DVMX-185, which is a single-board computer based on the new Vita 46 switched serial fabric standard and is the industry's first Vita 46 product. The card will feature up to two Vita 42.3 XMC modules that will provide support for both PCI Express connectivity to the XMC and high-speed I/O from the XMC to the backplane (where the actual connectors live).
CWCEC was formed but two years ago through the acquisitions of six leaders in the embedded computing marketplace, Vista Controls, Peritek, Systran, Synergy Microsystems and Prima Graphics. Therefore, whilst being a newcomer on the block in name, CWCEC enjoys a surprising large amount of...