Curtiss-Wright Debuts Its Densest and Smallest Rugged 3U VPX Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Multi-layer Switch/Router[...]

New Small Form Factor VPX3-683 FireBlade Brings High Performance Networking to Aerospace and Defense VPX / VPX-REDI Subsystems

OTTAWA, CANADA – January 14, 2009 -- Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing has introduced its highest density small form factor Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) multilayer switch/router board designed for rugged embedded aerospace and defense applications. The new VPX3-683 FireBlade, available with 24 GbE SerDes ports and up to two (2) x10 GbE XAUI ports, is ideal for system integrators architecting secure high performance IPv4/v6 Intra-Platform Networks (IPNs). This rugged, compact 3U VPX card, which can operate either as a fully managed switch/router, provides significant performance and configuration advantages to developers building Layer 2 and Layer 2/3+ networks. With support for the “defacto” industry standard CLI, the VPX3-683 FireBlade significantly speeds time to market by reducing set-up, configuration and maintenance times.

“Our VPX3-683 FireBlade GbE switch card enables the DoD’s vision of network-centric connectivity by providing an accelerated path to ‘network ready’ architectures able to interoperate seamlessly within the Global Information Grid (GIG),” said Lynn Patterson, vice president and general manager of Modular Solutions, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing. “With the VPX3-683 FireBlade, Curtiss-Wright extends its stature as a technology leader in providing system integrators with advanced rugged switching and routing solutions to build the network-centric infrastructure.”

The VPX3-683 FireBlade is ideal for space, weight and power (SWaP) constrained military applications. No other router in the industry delivers its combination of performance and integration in a form factor and package durable enough to perform in the harshest environments. Based on the VPX board architecture, the card combines high bandwidth and unmateched ruggedization with support for standards-based 2 Level Maintenance (2LM) to enable in-the-field repair and upgrades while reducing long term maintenance and sparing costs.

Advanced Management Features

Operational as either a fully managed switch/router, the VPX3-683 FireBlade router delivers substantial advantages to system integrators designing Layer 2 or Layer 2/3+ networks. The VPX3-683 FireBlade is supported with numerous advanced management interfaces including CLI, SNMP and Web for easy configuration and network management. Complete layer 2/3 software, Quality of Service (QoS), IP multicasting and security is provided for a feature rich solution that can support the simplest to the most complex network requirements.

Because it provides a familiar “industry standard” CLI, the VPX3-683 FireBlade can drastically accelerate time to market by reducing set-up, configuration and maintenance times. In addition, special features such as “secure” memory erase, fast boot, and a comprehensive set of RFCs make the VPX3-683 FireBlade ideal for building transformational Network-Centric systems.

The VPX3-683 FireBlade scales to meet small to large platform requirements through flexible software and port configuration capability. The card’s GbE ports can be disabled to meet low power requirements. Its two 10GbE ports enable switch-to-switch stacking (48 ports), dual-redundant networks (fail-over), and the architecting of high performance 10 Gbps network backbones. The card also enables embedded backplane routing via SerDes GbE. An optional Rear Transition Module (RTM) provides support for 1000BaseT, 1000BaseSX, and other network standards.

VPX3-683 FireBlade Features:

• 3U VPX form-factor

• Fully Managed or Unmanaged

-CLI (industry standard), Web, SNMP Interfaces

-Extensive MIB support

• 24 x 1GbE SerDes ports

-IEEE 802.3

• 2 x 10GbE uplink/stacking ports (XAUI)

-IEEE 802.3ae

• Rear Transition Module (RTM) with SFPs for 1 GbE

-Infiniband connectors for 10 GbE

-Supports 1000 Mbps SerDes

-Supports 1000BaseT copper

-Supports 1000BaseSX optics

-Supports 10GbE XAUI copper

• Supports 9.5K Jumbo frames

• Declassification capability

• Fast boot with extensive protocols support

• Management ports

-Serial RS-232 port for out of band management

-In-band GbE management support

-Out of band 10/100 software debug port

• High performance Layer 2/3+ switching/routing


-Wire-speed IPv4/v6 support

-Extensive IETF RFCs supported

-Switching, VLANs, Routing, Multicasting, Tunneling

-Port mirroring, flow control, QoS and traffic shaping using CoS

-SSH, SSL, Secure memory erase

• Extensive Built In Test (BIT) support

-Power-up, Initiated, and Continuous BIT

• IPMI capable

-Health Monitoring (voltage, current, temperature sensors)

• Field upgradeable software

• Air-Cooled and Conduction-Cooled versions

• VITA 48.2, 0.8” pitch (L0, L100, L200)

• VITA 48 - 2 Level Maintenance support (0.85” pitch)

• Industry leading technical support

• Industry leading life-cycle management support

• Field upgradeable software

• Air-Cooled and Conduction-Cooled versions

• VITA 48.2, 0.8” pitch (L0, L100, L200)

• VITA 48 - 2 Level Maintenance support (0.85” pitch)

• Industry leading technical support

• Industry leading life-cycle management support

The VPX3-683 FireBlade is the newest addition to Curtiss-Wright’s broad family of board and configure system switch/router products. It joins the VPX6-684 FireBlade, 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

For editorial information regarding Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Multi Computing products or services, contact John Wranovics, Director of Media Relations, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Tel: (925) 640-6402; email: Web site:

Sales Inquiries: Please forward all Sales and reader service inquiries to Jerri-Lynne Charbonneau, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Tel: (613) 254-5112; Fax: (613) 599-7777; e-mail:

Quantity pricing for the VPX3-683 starts at $7,995. Availability is off the shelf.

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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