Curtiss-Wright Announces industry's first 6U VPX Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Multi-layer Switch/Router

New VPX6-684 FireBlade II Brings High Performance Rugged Switching and Routing to VPX (VITA 46) and VPX-REDI (VITA 48) Systems

LEESBURG, VA – July 23, 2007 -- Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing has announced the first high-density 6U VPX Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) multilayer switch/router board designed for rugged embedded aerospace and defense applications. The new VPX6-684 FireBlade II, available with 12, 20 or 24 GbE ports and up to 4x10GbE ports, is ideal for system integrators architecting secure high performance IPv4/v6 Intra-Platform Networks (IPNs). The board, which operates as either a fully managed or an unmanaged switch/router, provides significant performance and configuration advantages to developers building Layer 2 or Layer 2/3+ networks. With support for a ‘defacto' industry standard CLI, the FireBlade II drastically speeds time to market by reducing set-up, configuration and maintenance times.

“Curtiss-Wright is a technology leader in providing system integrators with complete switching and routing solutions for building the network-centric infrastructure that forms the underlying foundation of the ‘rugged Internet'” said Lynn Patterson, vice president and general manager of Modular Solutions, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing. “The VPX6-684 FireBlade II builds on our leadership by migrating our unmatched VME-682 switch/router technology, with 10GbE stacking links, wirespeed IPv4/v6 support, and enhanced security features, to designs that require the heightened bandwidth and rugged packaging provided by the VPX architecture.”

Taking Performance Farther with VPX

The VPX6-684 FireBlade II extends the proven design of its 6U VME predecessor, the SVME/DMV-682 FireBlade which is currently being designed into land, air and sea platforms around the world, with the high performance, rugged packaging of the VPX (VITA 46) board architecture. Additional feature enhancements include support for routing up to 4x10GbE to the FireBlade's P1 connector, and support for copper interfaces to the backplane for all of the board's 12, 20 or 24 GbE ports. The Layer 2/3+ management and configuration software runs on the FireBlade's Freescale 8245 Power Architecture processor.”

“The VPX6-684 FireBlade II is the industry's most advanced rugged GbE switch wirespeed performance, delivering 24x1GbE ports and up to 4x10GbE ports in a single 6U VPX slot,” said Nauman Arshad, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Curtiss-Wright's Switching Center of Excellence, “Each of the board's 12, 20, or 24 1GbE interfaces can individually auto-negotiate 10/100/1000 Mbps operation in a non-blocking manner, while its four (4) 10 GbE ports can be used for architecting a high performance 10G platform backbone or a redundant fail-over network, or alternatively, can be used as an inter-switch stacking solution that can scale to higher port counts for larger systems. If desired, the FireBlade can be scaled down to provide lower port count combinations for smaller systems.”

The FireBlade was designed to provide port flexibility. Four (4) of the board's GbE ports can be configured as optical (1000BaseSX). The first generations of the FireBlade will bring the optical ports out the front of the card with either pluggable connectors or with more rugged pig-tail connectors whose optical strands can easily be routed to the back of the card. Plans for future generations of the FireBlade include direct rear optical routing on VPX backplane using the P5 and/or P6 connector.

Unsurpassed Security Features

The VPX6-684 FireBlade II is ideal for use in applications that require high levels of security. When used as a Unified Threat Management (UTM) router the VPX6-684 FireBlade II provides strong perimeter defense via an ICSA certified firewall. Additional security features supported by the board include Access Control List (ACL) filtering, Network Address Translation (NAT), Virtual Private Network (VPN) with tunneling support (IPSec/L2TP), IPv6 ESP/AH payloads, and Encryption/ Decryption/ Authentication support.

When configured with Curtiss-Wright's PMC-110 Kryptonite mezzanine card the FireBlade provides enhanced security including Statefull firewall, NAT with Multicast support, VPN support, IPSec, and Crypto Engines. Statefull firewall can be used to protect against various network attacks such as Denial of Services (DoS). Cryptography, provided by the security engines on the Freescale MPC8555E processor, can be used for encryption/decryption to protect data using algorithms such as AES-256, 3DES. The Kryptonite PMC module can also perform Authentication using MD5 and SHA.

Unsurpassed Flexibility

FireBlade's switched Gigabit Ethernet architecture enables system designers to easily inter-connect boxes, compute blades, and compute nodes within platforms. It's ideal for deploying COTS-based Gigabit Ethernet switching in harsh environments. The VPX6-684 FireBlade II is available in both air-cooled and conduction-cooled configurations. VPX-REDI (VITA 48) -compliant 2-Level Maintenance versions of the board, which can drastically reduce the costs of in-field maintenance, will also be supported.

Network Management Simplified

FireBlade's powerful set of network management interfaces includes CLI, Telnet, SNMP and Web for easy configuration and network management. Additionally, complete layer 2 switching, layer 3 routing, Quality of Service (QoS), IP multicasting and security software over either IPv4 or IPv6, extensive BIT capability, and secure memory erase are supported to provide a feature rich switching solution that can support the simplest to the most complex network connections.

VPX6-684 FireBlade II Features:

· Available in Fully Managed or Unmanaged versions

- CLI (‘defacto' industry standard'), Web, SNMP Interfaces

- Extensive MIB support

· 12/20/24 auto-negotiating ports (10/100/1000BaseT)

- Additional up to 4x10GbE uplink/stacking ports (XAUI)

· Optical Support

-Optional 4 Optical, Gigabit Ethernet, or Fast Ethernet ports

- Optical expansion port

· Supports high performance Layer 2/3+ switching/routing software

- Extensive IETF RFCs supported

- Switching, VLANs, Routing, Multicast, Tunneling, QoS

- SSH, SSL, Secure memory erase

· Wire-speed IPv4/v6 support

· Extensive Built In Test (BIT) support

- Power-up, Initiated, and Continuous BIT

· Enhanced security with PMC-110 Kryptonite™

- Statefull Firewall (ICSA certified)

- Network Address Translation (NAT)

- Access Control List (ACL) filtering

- Encryption/Decryption/Authentication

- VPN with secure tunneling (IPSec/L2TP)

- Intrusion detection and content filtering

· IPMI capable (roadmap)

- Health Monitoring (voltage, current, temperature)

· Lightning and ESD protection

· Air-Cooled and Conduction-Cooled versions

· Industry leading technical and life-cycle management support

The VPX6-684 FireBlade II is the latest addition to Curtiss-Wright's broad family of board and configure system switch/router products. It joins the SVME/DMV-682, the 6U VME 680, the 3U CompactPCI 681 and the SwitchBox I and SwitchBox II fully integrated switch/router subsystem. It also complements Curtiss-Wright's wide range of Single Board Computers, Digital Signal Processors, Graphics and Communications and IO products. For more information about Curtiss-Wright networking solutions please visit

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About Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing is the industry's most comprehensive and experienced single source for embedded solutions, ranging from Processing, Subsystems, Data Communication, DSP, and Video & Graphics to the most advanced board level components and fully integrated custom systems. The Embedded Computing group serves the defense, aerospace, commercial and industrial markets and is part of Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. For more information about Curtiss-Wright visit

About Curtiss-Wright Controls, Inc.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Curtiss-Wright Controls is the motion control segment of Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW). With manufacturing facilities around the world, Curtiss-Wright Controls is a leading technology-based organization providing niche motion control products, subsystems and services internationally for the aerospace and defense markets. For more information, visit

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