Features

Thermal Design Models

Flomerics, Inc. (Marlborough, MA) released the Flopack V6.2 version of its Web-based SmartPart library that generates thermal models for IC packages, standard test harnesses, and associated parts.

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Dual-Slot Controller

Linear Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA) offers the LTC4242, a narrow, dual-slot PCI Express Hot Swap™ controller for mid-range networking or storage servers and embedded applications. The device simplifies the application by eliminating complex software interfaces, and allows for independently controlling the main supplies (12 V and 3.3 V) and the auxiliary (3.3 V AUX) supply on two slots.

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Single-Board Computers

Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. (Chatsworth, CA) has expanded the C900 series of rugged 3U CompactPCI (cPCI) single-board computers (SBCs) with the C903, available in air- or conduction-cooled models; both conform to PICMG 2.0 R3.0 and ANSI/VITA 30.1-1991 specifications, respectively.

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Analog Output Boards

United Electronics Industries (UEI, Canton, MA) has released the DNA-AO-308 series of analog output boards for PowerDNA DAQ Cubes. Each board has eight analog output channels with maximum update rates to 100 kHz per channel (800 kHz per board).

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Development Packages for M-Modules and PMCs

MEN Micro, Inc. (Ambler, PA) introduced the Universal Submodule (USM) development packages for M-Modules and PMCs that turn specialized I/O requirements into a series of standard products. The product implements a board’s desired functionality through one or more IP cores in an FPGA, augmenting the flexibility of M-Modules and PMCs with individual functionality. The same USM may be used on M-Modules, PMC modules, XMCs, and conduction- cooled PMC modules. Operating temperature is -40 to 85°C.

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Data-Centric Network Integration Takes Headaches Out of Avionic Upgrades

Avionics systems are becoming more powerful and more dependent upon data exchanged between instruments. These instruments and subsystems reside on a network and must share time-critical data to achieve their mission. For example, targeting systems require real-time input of aircraft speed and attitude, as well as position and velocity data of the target. At the same time, additional bandwidth is required for data from onboard systems, such as GPS, airspeed and directional gyro, flight control systems, and dozens of other instruments and subsystems. As a result, network traffic is high, and potential data interactions can be highly complex. This complexity makes real-time integration of the data from disparate instruments during operational missions a significant challenge. Furthermore, upgrades of avionics and software applications during the useful life of the airframe means that new subsystems must be seamlessly integrated with legacy subsystems. In other words, data paths, interactions, and integration are not fixed forever. Today, aircraft systems typically are constructed to provide point-to-point communications between instruments and control systems that require realtime data. This approach has a significant impact on the complexity of the system and its subsequent maintainability. If an instrument is upgraded or replaced, the interfaces between it and other directly connected devices have the potential to change, requiring significant recoding and retesting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs

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Filtered Conduction Empowers Mil-Spec Desert Systems

As embedded computing systems become more powerful, so are the challenges to protect and cool the payload. In the past few years, we have seen the power of a single board increase in most cases to over 100W per slot. To further challenge the designers, these systems are being deployed in rugged environments with a push to use COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) products. Recently, liquid-cooled systems have been developed to combat these However, there are some challenges with liquid cooling that can make this technology prohibitive. For example, not all boards are available in conduction- cooled format, or there may not be an external chiller/pump available to implement the liquid approach. So how does a designer handle an environment where there is no liquid coolant available, ambient temperatures hover around 55°C, the enclosure has a payload of 500W, and the client wants the system to operate on numerous rugged platforms (ground vehicle, rotary wing, UAV, etc.)? Oh, and the enclosure has to be sealed to protect the COTS boards from the harsh environments and EMI concerns. And with all of this, there is a desire to monitor the temperatures/ health of the system to protect the expensive payloads.

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