TEK Microsystems and QinetiQ RTES Sponsor Virtual Streaming Protocol

12/1/2005 - TEK Microsystems, Inc. of Chelmsford, MA and QinetiQ Real Time Embedded Systems (RTES) of Malvern, UK announced they are sponsoring a new standard, the Virtual Streaming Protocol (VSP) or VITA 55. VSP supports data communications within high performance embedded systems without the overhead of general purpose switched fabric solutions providing more processing power for image or signal processing applications.

VSP is based on the combination of board-to-board interconnect standards such as VITA 41 (VXS) and VITA 42 (XMC), and existing FPGA-based link layer solutions such as Xilinx's Aurora interface. VSP combines specific link layer interfaces with a transport layer targeted at applications that need basic transport services at minimum cost in FPGA resources.

"VSP defines a method of streaming multiple asynchronous channels of sensor data through a single physical point-to-point link without the complexity of a full-blown switched fabric interconnect solution," said Andrew Reddig, president/CTO of TEK Microsystems and VITA 55 task group chairman. "In many applications, VSP offers a simple solution that frees up FPGA resources for signal or image processing functions. The end result is more processing capability within the power and size constraints of deployed systems."

"Many systems-in-a-box use fixed communication topologies, and the overheads of switched fabric technologies, both in terms of FPGA resource, and bandwidth, are not justified," commented Bill Smith, QinetiQ's real-time embedded systems manager. "VITA 55 will provide a simple transport-layer protocol, considerably simplifying the system integration task, and providing a consistent interface across VXS products from multiple vendors."

The VITA 55 standard is being developed within the VITA Standards Organization (VSO), an ANSI-accredited standards body within the VMEbus Industrial Trade Association (VITA). The VITA 55 task group was co-sponsored by TEK Microsystems, Inc, QinetiQ and Mercury Computer Systems and has active participation from many other companies in the high performance embedded marketplace, including Curtiss Wright Embedded Computing, Pentek and VMETRO.

"VITA's core mission is to provide the framework, through the VITA Standards Organization, for continuing innovation in the development and implementation of open technology standards," said John Rynearson, VITA Technical Director. "As the VME standard approaches its 25th anniversary, it is exciting to see that innovation is alive and well in the VMEbus community and we appreciate the leadership role that Tekmicro and QinetiQ have taken through the VITA 55 effort to create an open standard for FPGA-based data links."

The VITA 55 standard is currently in draft development and is expected to move to initial ballot review in the spring of 2006. Products based on VITA 55 are expected to reach the market during the same time period. Because VITA 55 compatible products are by definition based on reconfigurable FPGA technology, products can be updated to support revisions to the standard through FPGA upgrades without hardware changes.

About TEK Microsystems, Inc.
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, TEK Microsystems, Inc., designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of advanced high-performance solutions for embedded real-time applications. Tekmicro's comprehensive product line includes advanced I/O carrier boards based on widely adopted industry standards and more than 30 PMC/XMC cards. These products are used in real-time systems designed for data recording, data acquisition, instrumentation, and signal processing applications such as reconnaissance, signals intelligence, satellite telemetry, mine detection, medical imaging, radar, sonar, semiconductor inspection and seismic research.

Under a commercial alliance TEK Microsystems and QinetiQ jointly develop, market and sell high performance carrier, payload, PMC/XMC, and computer boards in the United States.

About QinetiQ
QinetiQ (pronounced ki net ik as in 'kinetic energy') is a leading international defense security and technology company that was formed in July 2001 from the UK Government's Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA). Today, QinetiQ has over 11,500 employees, who deliver technology-based services and exploit QinetiQ's strengths in technology research by selling systems solutions, products and licenses to government and commercial customers in a spectrum of defense, security and other commercial markets. QinetiQ has also developed a significant overseas customer base and has established a US sales operation in Crystal City, near Washington DC to forge closer links with this potentially significant market.

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 with additional market exposure and providing users with timely technical information. Today, VITA's mission includes not only promoting VMEbus, but also promoting the very concept of open technology as embodied in the many standards currently under development within the VITA Standards Organization. Virtually all players in all markets from the smallest to the largest now use the word "open" in their company and product promotions. The VITA name is now synonymous with open systems. VITA's continuing goal is to unite manufacturers and users through the acceptance and implementation of open technology standards. For information about VITA membership, or to find out how to obtain VITA specifications, call VITA headquarters at 480-837-7486.

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