VITA Standards Organization activity updates

The January VITA Standards Organization (VSO) meeting immediately followed Embedded Tech Trends in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 30 people were in attendance to participate in status updates and several working group discussions. This update is based on the results of this meeting. Visit the VITA website ( for details on upcoming VSO meetings.

Accredited as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developer and a submitter of Industry Trade Agreements to the IEC, the provides its members with the ability to develop and to promote open technology standards. The VSO meets every two months to address embedded bus and board industry standards issues.

VSO study and working group activities

Standards within the VSO may be initiated through the formation of a study group and developed by a working group. A study group requires the sponsorship of one VITA member, and a working group requires sponsorship of at least three VITA members.

Work in progress

Several working groups have current project work underway; the following roundup summarizes those projects.

VITA 17.x: Front Panel Data Port (FPDP)

Objective: This standard defines a multi-drop synchronous parallel non-addressable bus connection between multiple boards in a single chassis. Extension specifications define protocols for specific use cases.

Status: ANSI/VITA 17.1 was opened up for minor edits and is now going through the process for re-accreditation. A VITA 17.3 working group was recently formed to incorporate the Interlaken protocol for packet transfers scaling from 10 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s.

.11: System Management on

Objective: This standard defines a system management architecture for VPX systems.

Status: Currently in “VITA Draft Standard for Trial Use” status. Input from the first round of interoperability testing is being incorporated into the specification with plans to move to ANSI ballot in April 2015.

ANSI/VITA 49.x: VITA Radio Transport (VRT)

Objective: The VITA Radio Transport (VRT) standard defines a transport-layer protocol designed to promote interoperability between RF (radio frequency) receivers and equipment in a wide range of applications. The VRT protocol provides a variety of formatting options that allow the transport layer to be optimized for each application. The ANSI/VITA 49.1 VITA Radio Link Layer (VRL) standard specifies an optional encapsulation protocol for VITA-49.0 (VRT) packets.

Status: The working group has reopened ANSI/VITA 49.1 for revision. The VITA 49.2 working group is preparing a draft for control packet and spectrum analyzer packet specifications.

VITA 57.4:

Objective: The goal of this project is to develop a next generation specification calling for a new set of connectors to support higher speed serial interfaces.

Status: The working group has reviewed connector options and is working on a draft specification.

ANSI/: Architectural Framework for VPX

Objective: The OpenVPX architectural framework specification is a living document that is continuously being updated with new profile information and corrections.

Status: The working group is currently receiving input on new profiles for the next edition. A proposal was presented to enable the working group to incorporate profiles into the specification faster and more effectively.

: Optical Interconnect on VPX – Half Width MT

Objective: The VITA 66 base standard defines physical features of a stand-alone compliant blind mate Optical Interconnect for use in VPX systems. This standard defines a Half Width MT style contact variant.

Status: The working group has submitted VITA 66.4 for ANSI balloting, the final step to an approved specification

.3: VPX: Coaxial Interconnect, 6U, Four Position SMPM Configuration

Objective: This specification details the configuration and interconnect within the structure of VITA 67.0, enabling a 6U VPX interface containing multi-position blind mate connectors with up to four SMPM contacts.

Status: The working group has started on the draft specification.

: VPX: Compliance Channel

Objective: This standard defines a VPX compliance channel including common backplane performance criteria required to support multiple fabric types across a range of defined baud rates. This allows backplane developers to design a backplane that supports required bit error rates (BER) for multiple fabric types. This also allows module developers to design plug-in modules that are interoperable with other modules when used with a compliant backplane.

Status: The working group has developed a simulated model and is now collecting actual performance data to help refine the models.

VITA 78-NGSIS: SpaceVPX Systems

Objective: This document describes an open standard for creating high-performance, fault tolerant, interoperable backplanes and modules to assemble electronic systems for spacecraft and other high availability applications. Such systems will support a wide variety of use cases across the aerospace community. This standard leverages the OpenVPX standards family and the commercial infrastructure that supports these standards.

Status: Completed ANSI ballot and will be released to the public in February 2015.

Participating in these working groups is a great way to influence the direction of the next generations of technology important to the critical embedded computing industry. Contact VITA if you are interested in participating in any of these working groups, and for details on upcoming VSO meetings.

Copies of all specifications reaching ANSI recognition are available from the VITA website. For a more complete list of VITA specs and their status, go to