New Single Board Computer Simplifies Avionics Safety Certifiability

By Mike Ball / 10 May 2017

Curtiss-Wright T2080-based COTS Single Board Computer
Curtiss-Wright has announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced the newest addition to its growing family of DO-254 DAL A safety-certifiable COTS single board computers (SBC), the new VPX3-152, a rugged 3U OpenVPX board that features NXP’s QorIQ T2080 multicore system-on-chip (SOC).

Find suppliers of Embedded Computing Solutions for Unmanned Applications >

For safety-certifiable SBC designs, this quad core AltiVec-equipped 64-bit Power Architecture SOC processor has emerged as a de facto standard, thanks to its support from a wide range of operating system vendors, including Green Hills Software, Lynx Software Technologies, SYSGO, and Wind River. Curtiss-Wright designed the 3U VPX VPX3-152 from the ground up to support DO-254 DAL A safety certifiability for critical defense and aerospace avionics applications.

Designed around the NXP T2080 SOC, the VPX3-152 takes full advantage of the T2080’s features to reduce the chip count and complexity, which lowers the cost and the risk associated with the safety certification effort. Designed for use in size, weight, and power (SwaP)-constrained applications, the VPX3-152’s compact 3U design is ideal for use in a wide range of C4ISR applications for manned and unmanned aircraft deployed in harsh environments, especially those that require safety certifiable DO-254 hardware and DO-178C software.

“In the past, our embedded avionics customers were on their own, having to design complex safety certifiable single board computers and collect the myriad of data artifacts required by the DO-254 DAL A process,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “Our family of safety certifiable modules, designed from the ground up for certifiability, makes life much easier for avionics system designers, eliminating program risk and speeding time to deployment. Even better, we offer the module’s complete data artifact package to support the certification effort.”

The new SBC combines the performance and advanced I/O capabilities of the T2080 with an extensive I/O complement to deliver a powerful processing solution for SWaP-constrained environments. Compared to the recently introduced T2080-based VPX3-133 SBC, the VPX3-152 provides system designers with additional onboard Ethernet support, including dual 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet interfaces and dual 1000BASE-KX ports (which can also be configured to operate a 10GBASE-KR).

Designed to RTCA/DO-254 from the start, the VPX3-152 provides system designers with a complete COTS hardware/software solution for their avionics systems. To speed and ease the safety certification process, an RTCA/DO-254 data artifact package is available for the SBC.

Software support for the VPX3-152 includes Curtiss-Wright’s U-Boot, Green Hills Software INTEGRITY-178 tuMP, Wind River VxWorks 653, and NXP SDK Linux.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact