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VPX/OpenVPX on the front lines

Figure 2 | A 6U conduction-cooled VITA 62 module, which is fully compliant with the VITA 48 mechanical profile.

Since all VITA 62 slots are connected in parallel, this allows secondary slots to add key system features without affecting pri- mary slot functionality. A module designer could provide extra capability on a utility VITA 62 module, which, upon detection of loss of primary po wer, would “hold up” the inputs to the VITA 62 power sup- ply for up to 50 ms or more. The VBAT pin can be used to maintain a lo w-power trickle charge to modules in the systems when main power is no longer available, thus allowing CMOS settings and “time of day” to remain active. The connection to the system management infrastructure pro- vides the ability for a 46.11 shelf manager to reside in the VITA 62 utility slot.

What all this means The diverse nature of the VITA 62 slot in system backplanes naturally lends itself to supporting important features that tra- ditionally have been configured in a more ad hoc manner. And, VITA 62, once com- pleted, will be integrated into the current OpenVPX standards by adding prof iles for slots, modules, and backplanes, thus

22 VME and Critical Systems / Spring 2011

allowing system architects to fully design new VPX systems using a complete set of COTS modules. VITA 62 requires that the complete set of capabilities supported on the module be published by the vendors, so that system architect can then ch oose the module which best meets their needs. VITA 62 also solves the issues of manag- ing inrush current, output control, EMI, synchronization, and nuclear detection. CS

Patrick Shaw is the chair of VITA 62 and participates in many of the other VITA committees. He is the chief BIOS engineer at General Dynamics Canada

and acts as a system architect for single board computer products. He can be reached at

General Dynamics Canada 613-596-7000

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