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Serial back-plane technologies in advanced avionics architectures

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1 Author(s)
Varnavas, K. ; MSFC, NASA, Huntsville, AL, USA

Current back plane technologies such as VME, and current personal computer back planes such as PCI, are shared bus systems that can exhibit nondeterministic latencies. This means a card can take control of the bus and use resources indefinitely affecting the ability of other cards in the back plane to acquire the bus. This provides a real hit on the reliability of the system. Additionally, these parallel busses only have bandwidths in the 100s of megahertz range and EMI and noise effects get worse the higher the bandwidth goes. To provide scalable, fault-tolerant, advanced computing systems, mere applicable to today's connected computing environment and to better meet the needs of future requirements for advanced space instruments and vehicles, serial back-plane technologies should be implemented in advanced avionics architectures. Serial backplane technologies eliminate the problem of one card getting the bus and never relinquishing it, or one minor problem on the backplane bringing the whole system down. Being serial instead of parallel improves the reliability by reducing many of the signal integrity issues associated with parallel back planes and thus significantly improves reliability. The increased speeds associated with a serial backplane are an added bonus.

Published in:

Digital Avionics Systems Conference, 2005. DASC 2005. The 24th  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

30 Oct.-3 Nov. 2005