Vmetro: Zero-latency circuit switch for VXS


Embedded Control

Vmetro’s CSW1 circuit switch offers additional optional I/O capabilities, including up to 12 front-panel transceiver channels (fiber-optic or copper) and a short XMC site.

Point-to-point interconnection of multiple VXS (VITA 41) boards in a custom VXS backplane using a simple protocol (Aurora or serial front-panel data port) works well for many signal-processing applications. However, it requires users to develop a custom backplane for each new application (or a new backplane, if requirements change)—adding development time and cost. Ability to build VXS systems is simplified with the availability of Vmetro 's Phoenix CSW1 VXS switch board.


Part of a product family that enables system solutions for real-time (RT) multiprocessors with high-speed serial communications, Phoenix CSW1 solves the customization problem through use off-the-shelf VXS backplanes. It lets users change routing topology in CSW1, not develop a new backplane, according to Vmetro. CSW1 enables connection of VXS “payload cards” with fast, protocol-agnostic data links as well as provides front-panel, fiber-optic transceivers. The resulting benefits fit demanding RT embedded computing applications: radar, sonar, signal intelligence, electronic intelligence, and RT imaging.


Phoenix CSW1 supports 56 1x VXS backplane data links operating at up to 3.2 GHz. Data links also can be configured as 14 4x payload slot links in off-the-shelf VXS star backplanes. Backplane and communications routing topology of the switch board is set at system power-up; links created can be thought of as hard-wired “circuits,” so that CSW1 is a “circuit switch” as opposed to a “packet” switch that dynamically routes each packet, explains Vmetro. Predetermined, static links are well suited for many embedded RT applications requiring deterministic and low-latency operation.


“Sometimes the simple ideas are the best and most powerful,” says Vmetro's Jeremy Banks, product manager for processor and I/O products. “The CSW1 will make it much easier for customers to build VXS systems using off-the-shelf VXS star backplanes.”


Phoenix CSW1 product is available 8-12 weeks after receipt of order.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,

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