Small form factor I/O boost for VNX+

Small form factor I/O boost for VNX+

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

A new I/O standard is being developed by VITA for an emerging small form factor board and system standard.

The VNX+ standard is design to fit into 5in launch tubes and CubeSats. It is going through the VITA standards process as VITA90 for release early next year. This would allow small modules with processors, GPUs, FPGAs, switches, sensors and RF to link together over a 110GHz backplane that could be optical.

This has more pins on a tighter pitch than the VPX VITA46 standard, which is now 16 years old, but with a lower thermal budget of 25W/slot. It follows the adoption of the SOSA 2 protocol adopted at the end of last year. 

The small size gives potential issues with I/O. The QMC sub-group follows on from mezzanine extensions such as XMC to map pins to the backplane for VNX+. This could be used to add extra I/O or for protocols such as 1553, CAN or video.

Snapshot 2 of VNX+ is set to go to VITA members at the end of October before heading for review for release, says Mark Littlefield, director of system products at Elma Electronics. He expects the first products before the end of the year.

“VITA 90/VNX+ is really just getting started. Organizations are just starting their first products and projects against the standard. We can expect those first-generation products to be announced and shipping before the end of the year, which means that the first integration projects using those components will be firmly underway in the late-2023 and early 2024 period,” said Littlefield.

“If components of the various major groups – SBCs, switches, radios/receivers, FPGA processors, GPU/video processing, and backplanes – all get launched/announced by mid-2024, then we can expect relatively healthy adoption through the 2024/2025 period. By 2025 early projects should be heading towards full production, so sales of VNX+ components should start to rise quickly and new product introductions should accelerate,” he said.

“There is an expectation that VNX+ plug-in cards will be “affordable” – more so than VPX.  This is a reasonable expectation because the VNX+ power densities (usually less than 25W per slot) means lower-performance (meaning less expensive) components will be used. In addition there is an expectation of higher volumes for VNX+. If this does not happen, or if the price points are not “low enough”, the market will not grow as fast as we anticipate. Lower costs will feed higher volumes, which, in turn, will feed even lower costs.

“The power densities we are expecting are based on initial thermal models.  There is still a lot of work to do here in both modeling and design of thermal structures within the VNX+ plug-in cards, as well as enclosures and chassis.”

There is also a VITA 93 Small Form Factor Mezzanine (SFFm) being developed that is significantly smaller than XMC with host and I/O interface connectors that will work with VNX+. The host interface supports modern high-speed serial fabrics. The I/O interface supports either front-panel or backplane I/O.

Multiple SFFm modules can be installed on various carrier-card form factors including 3U/6U cards for VPX, cPCI and PCIe expansion card.

There is also a version planned for space systems, VITA90.5, or SpaceVNX+.

Elma has also demonstrated interoperability for the MOSA (Modular Open Systems Approach) standard. This integrates a single board computer from Concurrent with an RF card from EPIQ. “It’s an exciting example of the power of SOSA,” said Littlefield. “The software is following the hardware with the cards talking to each other.”;


If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles