VSO spring break

The March VSO meeting was hosted by the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, FL. Over 50 people were in attendance to participate in several working group discussions. Many may have been there for a spring break to escape the long and cold weather experienced by much of the northern U.S. this past winter! But everyone hunkered down to make serious progress on several efforts.

The meeting started with the announcement of Jing Kwok as the new technical director replacing John Rynearson, who had held the position since 1993. Jing officially takes over on May 1 but he has already rolled up his sleeves, jumping immediately into the role.

Jing first became involved with VITA in the early 1990’s when he began participating in VITA standards development. He was chapter editor for ANSI/VITA 1 and he was the chairperson of the ANSI/VITA 20 Conduction Cooled PMC and ANSI/VITA 46 VPX working groups during the development of those specifications. Jing has led or participated in multiple projects, from detailed design to architecture of various products, throughout his career at DY-4, Curtiss-Wright, and other companies. Jing will be taking over starting with the May meeting in Phoenix, AZ. He is working with John to incorporate new tools based on Kavi Workspace that will streamline the standards development process for the VITA Standards Organization working groups.

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

VITA 46.11: System Management on VPX

This standard defines a system management architecture for VPX systems. It is currently in “VITA Draft Standard for Trial Use” status. The working group is currently focused on interoperability testing. The first VITA 46.11 Interoperability Workshop is scheduled for September 9th through the 11th in Chelmsford, MA at a location to be determined. Anyone with VITA 46.11 equipment and/or software to test is invited to attend. Contact Jeff David (jdavid@mrcy.com) at Mercury Systems for more information.

VITA 65: OpenVPX Architectural Framework for VPX

The OpenVPX system specification is a living document that is continuously being updated with new profile information and corrections. The working group is currently receiving input on new profiles for the next edition.

VITA 76: High Performance Cable

The working group is defining a standard cable for box-to-box interconnection. The draft specification is being updated to include optical capability.

VITA 78-NGSIS: SpaceVPX Systems

This is a new working group that is developing a standard for intra-satellite physical and logical interconnects that covers high- and low-data rate use cases. The working group is reviewing comments from the initial working group ballot. VITA is currently soliciting members to join the working group.

VITA 79: Embedded Photonics

This working group is chartered with developing a standard based on work done by the JEDEC 13.6 subcommittee for photonics. This is the first step in preparing a series of projects to address using optical backplane technology in the future. The initial draft is in development. VITA is currently soliciting members to join the working group.

VITA 80: Interoperability

This working group is chartered with developing interoperability testing for products within the OpenVPX community. It is necessary that the interoperability test effort be an industry-wide effort where interoperability testing is conducted under the auspices of the appropriate organizations. For OpenVPX, it is VITA, specifically within the charter of the VITA 80 Interoperability Working Group. The working group has defined a set of tests and released test software for comments. Plans are coming together for the first interoperability workshop in the coming months.

Two new efforts have recently been launched:

VITA 82: Virtual Mezzanine Module

The goal of this project is to determine the roadmap and possible solutions for the next generation of I/O for VPX that leverages the high lane count of 28+ Gbps serial interfaces being driven by the FPGA suppliers. The study group plans to develop the concept of virtual mezzanine with optical interconnects.

VITA 83: Advanced Rugged Power Supply Standard

The project will provide guidelines to building a high power, high input voltage power supply module that can be used to power VPX chassis, as well as other Eurocard-sized platforms, and as a standalone network-compatible unit. This draft will also provide guidelines for battery blades, super capacitor/hold up modules, and power conditioning/booster modules.

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.