High-Speed Switched Serial Fabrics Improve System Design Sixth Edition

As evolutionary enhancements to the venerable , both and deliver significant improvements in data bandwidth, connectivity, power distribution, and cooling. When was first introduced, its shared bus backplane interboard transfer rates of 30 or 40 MBytes/sec were more than adequate for most applications. As requirements grew, VME acquired new interfaces such as , , ++, , , and , thereby ensuring a healthy community of suppliers and a new stream of products.

Well into its third decade of widespread deployment, VME adopted the new VXS gigabit serial interface, clearly representing the most significant leap in backplane data transfer rates throughout its entire history. Because VXS delivered such a dramatic improvement in embedded system performance, the use of gigabit serial technology was extended to create VPX. The initiative followed shortly thereafter, as risk-averse government agencies mandated the need for industry-wide standards. The hallmark of any successful standard is that it continues to evolve with technology, and none offers a better example than VME’s evolution to VXS and VPX.

In a similar venue, the mezzanine card, became the dominant architecture for mezzanine I/O in VMEbus-based embedded systems. PMC was successfully adopted for both commercial and government electronic systems. In the following years, important extensions to the PMC standard included ruggedized and conduction-cooled versions for severe environments and the adoption of the processor PMC specification. With the adaption of gigabit serial interfaces, , a natural extension of that technology to PMC modules, followed soon.

Topics covered in this article