VITA Reveals Roadmap for Advanced VME Technology

11/10/2004 - The members of VITA (VMEbus International Trade Association) have released a comprehensive new roadmap positioning key VMEbus technologies for the future.

Embedded computing's most successful bus standard, VMEbus, shows no signs of slowing down as it maintains its position as the industry's de facto standard into the 21st century. The foundation of VME's longevity, namely its steady rate of technological evolution combined with a commitment to backward compatibility with legacy hardware and software, has been the linchpin of its popularity for nearly twenty-five years. Today, innovative enhancements to the standard, through the VME Standards Organization (VSO), continue to improve VMEbus' speed, performance and reliability, strengthening its position as the ideal solution for today's increasingly stringent commercial, industrial and military system requirements.

As evidence of VMEbus' continued momentum, several key VMEbus technology suppliers have highlighted an ongoing stream of new product offerings recently announced or that will be announced soon around the latest developments in VME technology. More details and impact analysis are provided in the attached white paper titled "VME Momentum."

The pace of specification development related to VMEbus technology has been at an all time high over the past several months with work advancing on both parallel bus and switch fabric solutions in the VITA 41 and VITA 46 projects. Advancements in the performance of the traditional parallel VMEbus combined with switch fabrics and new mechanical capabilities have kept VMEbus technology in the forefront of embedded computing solutions. The members of VITA have been very active in advancing the technology roadmap (see attached white paper for details) while at the same time assuring evolutionary migration pathways and bridges for existing users.

As application requirements change, VMEbus evolves to address them. Today, many applications demand increased high-speed serial backplane Input/Output connectivity for sensors and storage, along with the raw performance promised by the emerging serial fabric interconnect architectures. The VITA 41 and VITA 46 VSO participants are working to ensure that the VMEbus maintains its interoperability in these serial backplane I/O environments to protect each customer's investment in legacy software and hardware.

VITA 41, VME Switched Serial (VXS), combines the existing event-driven parallel VMEbus with enhancements to support switch fabrics over a new P0 connection. VITA 41 maintains backward compatibility with existing backplanes that do not have a conflicting P0 scheme. Several fabric protocols are mapped out for VXS including, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express, Serial RapidIO and Infiniband. VME's parallel bus architecture provides bus control and maintenance data, handling everything from single byte transactions to 300+MB/s block data transfers. Combining this in various ways with the emerging switch fabric technologies for multi-point, high-speed data transfers creates choices for embedded computing designs of all types.

VITA 46, VME PCI Serial Switched Fabrics, breaks out from the traditional connector scheme of VMEbus to merge the latest in connector technology with the latest in bus technology. VITA 46 combines best-in-class technologies to assure a very long technology cycle similar to that of the original VMEbus solutions. Traditional parallel VMEbus will continue to be supported by VITA 46 through bridging schemes that assure a solid migration pathway.

"Centering the new advancements around the original VMEbus foundation assures users compatibility options not offered by any other technology," commented Ray Alderman, executive director of VITA. "State-of-the-art options for switch fabric implementations address today's data plane challenges, while parallel bus implementations continue for control plane requirements. The continued evolution of VME technology continues to fuel the momentum."

VMEbus uniquely offers systems designers the flexibility and extensibility to address the full range of embedded system applications from the most simple, single board-based machine controller to the most complex multi-node, real-time radar, sonar and image processing platforms. Even better, VMEbus has maintained physical, electrical and most importantly, software compatibility, with all the preceding generations of derived products. Key to the success of this uniquely long-lived bus architecture is its ability to simultaneously look backward and forward, ensuring support for the vast array of fielded VME-based systems, while embracing the evolutionary changes needed to maintain leadership and relevance as technology charges forward. VME's advantage is that it accommodates technological change quickly and easily, minimizing the design effort so customers are freed to leverage what they do best--their end-application software.

VMEbus has a rich tradition of long life-cycle support that is combined with state-of-the-art computer bus technology. Its performance and functionality is second to no other technology solution. Consult the VITA website for a list of other advancements available or in development by the VITA community.

About VITA
VITA, the VMEbus International Trade Association, is an incorporated, non-profit organization of vendors and users having a common market interest. Founded in 1984, VITA believes in and champions open system architectures as opposed to proprietary system architectures. VITA's activities are international in scope. The functions performed by VITA are technical, promotional and user related and are aimed at increasing the total market size, providing vendors additional market exposure and providing users with timely technical information. For information about VITA membership, or to find out how to obtain VITA specifications, visit the VITA website at or call VITA headquarters at (480) 837-7486.

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