VITA Standards Organization activity updates

The September VITA Standards Organization (VSO) meeting was held in Germantown, Maryland, and hosted by DRS Technologies. This update is based on the results of that meeting. Contact VITA if you are interested in participating in any of these working groups. 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 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 form factor with open-standard switch fabric interconnects.

Status: ANSI/VITA 42-2016 Standard 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 public. The update added the concept of using the preferred Paste-On-Pad (POP) connector.

ANSI/VITA 46.9: VPX: PMC/XMC Rear I/O Fabric Signal Mapping on 3U and 6U VPX Modules

Objective: This standard defines PMC or XMC mezzanine rear I/O pin mappings to .0 plug-in module backplane connectors.

Status: Various updates and additions have been proposed for anticipated use in profiles. The working group is currently reviewing comments from the first round of balloting.

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 into 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 recent 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 has completed vibration testing and review of the results. Additional cases for testing have been identified. A draft version of the standard is under development. 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 the need for retainers and uses jackscrews instead of levers.

Status: The draft of the standard has been reviewed by the working group. The document is being prepared for ANSI balloting, and is in the final step. Anyone interested in participating in this open public ballot should contact VITA.

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

Objective: The standard defines a transport-layer protocol designed to promote interoperability between radio frequency receivers and 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 been complete, and comments are under review before the document will be submitted to public ANSI ballot. A new study group has been formed, VITA 57.5 Physical Tools to Aid in + Development, to define a set of development tools. Interested parties are invited to join this study group.

ANSI/VITA 62: Modular Power Supply

Objective: This standard provides requirements for building a power supply module that can be used to power a VPX chassis. The module will fit within the standard envelope defined for VPX modules in the .0 standards.

Status: ANSI/-2016 Modular Power Supply Standard 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.

ANSI/VITA 65: OpenVPX Architectural Framework for VPX

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

Status: The working group is reviewing clocking, , and nomenclature proposals for the next release.

VITA 67.3: VPX: Coaxial Interconnect, 6U, Four Position SMPM Configuration

Objective: This specification details the configuration and interconnect within the structure of .0, enabling a 6U VPX interface containing multi-position blind mate connectors with up to four SMPM contacts.

Status: The first working group ballot was completed and comments addressed. A second ballot is being prepared.

VITA 68.2: 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 is updating the draft of this standard.


Objective: 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 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 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 that is currently under review.

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 the 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