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Elma Electronic is at the forefront of new standards in the embedded computing space. We deliver solutions to defense organizations in the guise of embedded systems, rugged enclosures, and electro-mechanical components such as durable rotary switches and encoders. These are used in a wide range of applications found in sensor processing and digital communications for C5ISR, SIGINT, EW, radar, sonar, and more.

Take a dive into our blog posts to learn about the latest updates in open standards architectures, platform solutions, events, news, or general musings from members of our technical staff.”

Anatomy of a Card Retainer

The simple card retainer may not have the glamour associated with the latest embedded processors, which tout faster data throughput, low power consumption and a host of other performance-related attributes, but this often-overlooked structural element is an integral part of an embedded system. Mounted directly to the printed circuit board (PCB) itself, a card retainer, also called a wedge lock, securely holds the board in place, reducing the risk of damage to the electronics within an embedded system.

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Factors of Increased Heat Generation in OpenVPX Systems

It’s no secret that higher performance means higher thermal management requirements. Denser electronics packed into smaller spaces oftentimes leaves designers with the challenge of finding more creative ways to dissipate the increased amount of heat for conduction-type cooling methods.  OpenVPX enables extraordinary leaps in aggregate system bandwidth and processing speeds that mandates new methods to meet the resulting thermal challenges.

OpenVPX has introduced optical and RF signals to the backplane, removing these otherwise discrete connectors from the front of the cards. While the new backplane connections eliminate what would otherwise be a jumble of cables, the aggregate high-speed signals that now traverse the backplane rapidly heat up the system, exacerbating the already difficult-to-manage temperature increases.

We explore different cooling considerations avaailable for next generation OpenVPX designs. 

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New Thermal Management Standards Improve OpenVPX

OpenVPX (VITA 65) has enabled significant improvements in system speeds, reliability, upgradeability, packaging and SWaP-C (size, weight and performance-cooling*) for critical military applications. It also provides greater bus structure commonality across multiple boxes and even across services. 

As system density has increased, the need for more aggressive and innovative thermal management techniques are needed. OpenVPX now boasts several standards that provide various means of dissipating heat within a system.

  • 48.4, liquid flow-through (LFT), probably the most efficient up to 450 watts per card
  • 48.5, air flow-through, which enables metering the air to specific cards
  • 48.7, air flow-by
  • 48.8, air flow-through cooling without sealing for small form factor 3U and 6U VPX modules, (ANSI ratified October 2017)
Here we take a closer look at VITA 48.8, as it shows encouraging signs of becoming...

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