infoTECH Feature

April 08, 2010

GE Software Solution Ideal for PCI Express Based VPX Based System

There was a time when the programmers of PCI (News - Alert) Express based VPX Based Systems had to "hand-craft" a solution, which had its adverse affects on program cost and time to market. But now, GE claims that its software solution reduces cost, increases productivity, and shortens time to market for these programs.

GE's software solution takes very less system space which lessens the CPU overhead or the performance limitations of a network stack such as TCP/IP, claims GE.

Using high speed switched serial fabrics such as Gigabit Ethernet, Serial RapidIO (News - Alert) and PCI Express, the VPX architecture creates high speed interconnects between the various hardware elements of a system.  While peer-to-peer connectivity is possible with Gigabit Ethernet through the use of a network stack (TCP/IP), the problem with achieving similar connectivity with PCI Express has been significantly more challenging, states GE.

"Time to market and managing costs are key concerns for the large majority of our customers, and this new software capability responds to those concerns," said Peter Cavill, General Manager, Military & Aerospace Products at GE Intelligent Platforms (News - Alert).  "It provides a highly flexible connectivity solution and eases system integration. Moreover, it has an extended roadmap that will see it embracing a range of current and future hardware and software technologies."

This new GE software capability will be ideal for system integrators who are implementing multiple serial switched fabrics in their system, or those using 3U VPX where PCI Express may be the only fabric option for data plane communication. GE has announced that the Initial solutions are available immediately on several GE VPX single board computers using VxWorks.

Recently, the company provided support for the latest VxWorks 653 Integrated Modular Avionics, or "IMA," platform from Wind River, in order to help customers to reduce program risk. Wind River's latest VxWorks 653 is a real-time operating environment for controlling complex, safety-critical, ARINC (News - Alert) 653 IMA systems. It is leveraged in more than 180 subsystems.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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