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Kontron VPX board geared for embedded systems

30 May 2013

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Kontron has announced its latest 3U VPX PowerPC processor board intended for rugged embedded systems that need to process compute-intensive applications using the lowest possible power consumption. To meet this requirement, the processor board VX3240 features the power optimised Freescale P2041 QorIQ quad-core processor, noted the company.

The headless VPX design has four 1.2GHz Power Architecture e500mc cores, which helps engineers to successfully meet current and future challenges of Size, Weight & Power and Cooling (SWaP-C) requirements for constrained environments in the military, aerospace and transportation markets, said Kontron. Moreover, the integrated hypervisor support enabling the use of low level safety critical virtualisation technologies from companies such as Wind River, RTS or Sysgo, makes the VX3240 the ideal SBC for consolidation of multiple applications into a single platform, further improving the SWaP-C balance, the firm added.

Network-centric applications also benefit from the data path acceleration architecture (DPAA), which offloads packet handling tasks from the core, providing increased processor performance for critical tasks while the secure boot feature of the CPU can be used for trusted boot implementation, allowing only authenticated code to run on the board. Applications for the new Kontron 3U VPX processor board VX3240 include, C4ISR, software defined radio and networked applications that require rugged OpenVPX designs to operate in the most demanding environments. Safety-critical railway applications also benefit from this architecture.

Its wide range of I/Os, including Gigabit Ethernet, GPIOs, USB, SATA and serial interfaces, simplifies integration in new, data- intensive, low-power system designs. Furthermore, an on-board PMC/XMC slot offers engineers a space-saving extension option to integrate dedicated I/O, field bus or storage modules without occupying an additional VPX system slot. The multi-core processor is also designed to execute application code written for legacy PowerPC versions, enabling simple upgrades of existing installations without the need to change the code basis. Backed up by Kontron's Long Term Supply Program, the Kontron VX3240 is an ideal fit for long-term projects, providing 20+ years secured availability.

 Kontron VX3240 processor board

Kontron VX3240 processor board.

The Kontron VX3240 is based on the 1.2GHz quad-core Freescale QorIQ P2041 processor with up to 8GB soldered DDR-3 SDRAM. An optional XMC/PMC slot enables application specific customisation by adding specialised PCIe or PCI based expansion boards, saving a valuable system slot. Additional VPX boards can be connected over the backplane via four PCI Express lanes. For networking and peripherals there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0, two serial interfaces and 6 GPIOs. Storage media are connected via one SATA 2 port over the backplane. An on-board soldered SATA NAND-Flash up to 32GB is optionally available to host OS and application code for a rugged and space-saving system layout in mission critical applications.

The Kontron VX3240 can be ordered as a stand-alone platform or as an integral part of the multi-mission rugged computer system, ApexVX, for the rapid deployment of a broad range of military and avionics applications. The Kontron VX3240 is available with standard air-cooling or conduction-cooling operating at an extended temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. It supports Linux and VxWorks.

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