VITA Standards Organization activity updates

The March VITA Standards Organization (VSO) meeting was held in Orlando, Florida. This update is based on the results of that meeting.

Accredited as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developer and a submitter of Industry Trade Agreements to the IEC, the VSO provides its members with the ability to develop and 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.

ANSI/VITA 42.0: XMC Switched Mezzanine Card Base Specification

Objective: This standard defines a PMC form factor with open-standard switch fabric interconnects.

Status: The draft specification has completed the ANSI balloting phase, and comments received during the ballot are under review.

ANSI/VITA 47: Environments, Design and Construction, Safety, and Quality for Plug-in Units

Objective: Supplying vendors’ certification of COTS plug-in units to this standard will facilitate the cost-effective integration of these items in larger systems.

Status: ANSI/VITA 47-2005 (R2007) has been opened up for revision to improve interoperability, create less reliance on individual supplier ruggedization guidelines, and make sure environments are concurrent with new VPX updates. The working group is actively scheduling meetings and working on revisions. Participation is encouraged.

VITA 48.4: VPX REDI: Mechanical Specification Using Liquid Flow Through (LFT) Applied to VPX

Objective: This standard will establish the mechanical design requirements for an LFT-cooled electronic VPX module.

Status: The working group is developing a vibration test plan, as well as designing a simplified prototype vibration test module and backplane fixture to further validate the concept of removing the two outer guide pins. A first draft version of the standard is out for review to establish the content structure, with details filling in as the design solidifies. The goal is to have testing complete and a draft standard ready for review by the end of the year.

VITA 48.8: VPX REDI: Mechanical Standard for 3U, 6U Air Flow Through (AFT) Cooling

Objective: This standard will develop an AFT standard using VPX connectors without need for retainers and uses jackscrews instead of levers.

Status: The first draft of the standard is under review by the working group. Interested parties are invited to join the effort.

VITA 49.2: VITA Radio Transport (VRT) Control Packet Rules

Objective: The VRT standard defines a transport-layer protocol designed to promote interoperability between radio frequency receivers and signal processing equipment in a wide range of applications. The VRT protocol provides a variety of formatting options allowing the transport layer to be optimized for each application. The VITA 49.2 standard specifies the rules governing control packets.

Status: The working group has developed a draft document for review and discussion. Interested parties are invited to join the working group.

VITA 57.4: FMC+

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 ballot has passed, and comments are under review before the document will be submitted to ANSI ballot.

ANSI/VITA 65: OpenVPX 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 reviewing clocking, keying, and nomenclature proposals for the next release.

VITA 66: 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: VITA 66.4 has completed the ANSI public review ballot. The working group is reviewing comments.

VITA 67.3: 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 analog connectors with up to four SMPM contacts.

Status: The working group has completed working group balloting and is addressing the open comments.

VITA 68: 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 approved moving the specification to “VITA Draft Standard for Trial Use” status. Specifications are available for download by VITA members and are posted at the VITA Store for purchase by the general public.


Objective: VNX describes a rugged small form factor subsystem intended to be rugged for deployed environments.

Status: The working group has started several activities to complete the work necessary to take this specification to ANSI accredited status. Several additional dot specifications have been introduced to expand the capability of VNX. Interested parties are invited to join the working group.

VITA 76: High Performance Cable – Ruggedized 10 Gbaud Bulkhead Connector for Cu and AOC Cables

Objective: Describe the copper interface of a new generation of ruggedized circular connectors with a MIL-DTL-38999L series III shell.

Status: ANSI/VITA 76.0-2016 High Performance Cable – Ruggedized 10 Gbaud Bulkhead Connector for Cu and AOC Cables has been ratified by ANSI. The standard is available for download by VITA members and is posted at the VITA Store for purchase by the general public.

VITA 78.1: SpaceVPX Lite Systems

Objective: This document leverages the work done on ANSI/VITA 78 to create a specification with an emphasis on 3U module implementations. The most significant change from SpaceVPX is to shift the distribution of utility signals from the SpaceUM to the System Controller to allow a radial distribution of supply power to up to eight payload modules.

Status: The working group has developed a draft document of the specification.

VITA 84: Hardware Open System Technology (HOST) Study Group

Objective: This is a newly formed study group with the vision of creating a hardware technical reference framework for developing embedded computing systems through successful development of an overarching HOST strategy to maximize platform and system “openness,” modularity, interoperability, scalability, sustainability, and reuse.

Status: The study group was kicked off in February by NAVAIR. The first public release of HOST draft specification is awaiting approval.

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