Aitech's C108 rugged 6U VME SBC

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 21 March 2008



(2008), "Aitech's C108 rugged 6U VME SBC", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 80 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Aitech's C108 rugged 6U VME SBC

Article Type: Equipment From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 2.

Aitech Defense Systems Inc., independent manufacturer of open architecture board and subsystem level products for harsh environment defense, aerospace and astronautics applications, has released the new high performance C108, the latest addition to Aitech's extensive C10x single board computer (SBC) series, for use in both new and legacy military embedded applications.

For newer applications, the rugged 6U single-slot VME SBC claims up to 1.4GHz of processing power via the G4+PowerPC (PPC) MPC7448 processor, the highest performing Freescale PPC. For legacy applications, the board features pin-to- pin backplane and I/O compatibility with previous Aitech processor boards employing the PPC MPC74xx processor family allowing easy, cost- effective upgrades to newer technology.

As with all Aitech SBCs used in military-embedded applications, including mission management computers, heads-up display controllers, radar and sonar processors and advanced improvised explosive device autonomous vehicle protection subsystems, the C108 provides numerous I/O capabilities for exceptional flexibility.

According to Aitech's Vice President of Marketing, Doug Patterson, “this exceptionally low power, high performance SBC reduces heat generation for increased reliability, while its pin compatibility reduces upgrade, O&M (operating and maintenance) and logistics expenses for our existing customers.”

The C108 supports new and legacy systems via a host of diverse I/O interfaces, which include a Gigabit Ethernet port, two fast Ethernet ports, two dual-redundant MIL-STD-1533B interfaces, two USB ports, eight serial ports and 16 discrete I/O channels. Two PMC expansion slots enable standard, quick and easy increases to the board's functionality. For new programs, Aitech has added an onboard, optically isolated CAN Bus 2.0B to interface with modern vehicle electronics and major functional subsystems without sacrificing one of the on-board PMC sites as well as to reduce modern subsystems costs.

A Discovery system and memory controller on the C108 work together to perform as both the processor's memory controller and as the high- speed crossbar bridge to the PCI bus. The C108 features two independent PCI buses to maximise PCI bus utilisation and to enable various configurations. The first bus can operate at 33/66MHz, while the second operates only at 33MHz to help separate fast and slow devices and enable each to operate at its maximum speed. Both buses support 64-bit operation and fully comply with PCI Rev. 2.2.

In addition to the 1GB of onboard, soldered, ECC-protected fast SDRAM, the C108 features other memory arrays such as 128MB of Flash for user application storage, 32MB of boot flash memory and up to 4GB of high- density flash for mass data storage. 128kB NVRAM for user/application- specific parameter storage that does not require an external power supply during power down is also included.

Other features claimed of the high- performance C108 include eight 32-bit timers that provide high-resolution timing as well as long interval counting and two integrated digital temperature sensors for thermal management and protection. Two watchdog timers allow the user to set a programmable time-out interval, which will reset the board providing an extra level of software and subsystem reliability.

An extensive firmware package with startup firmware (boot software), an AIMon monitor/debugger tool and an AIDiag diagnostic tool and BIT that can be executed during power-up or after the board has been booted is also included.

A board support package for the new C108 is available for WindRiver VxWorks as well as Green Hill's INTEGRITY and INTEGRITY-178B, with other real time operating systems available upon request. The two mechanical formats of the SBC are air-cooled per ANSI/VITA 1-1994 and conduction-cooled per IEEE 1101.2. The board's custom metal frame provides exceptional rigidity and shock resistance in addition to providing an array of stiffeners for rugged PMC boards.

Details available from: Aitech Defense Systems Inc., 888-Aitech-8 (248-3248)

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