Why is OpenVPX Standard popular with Defence?

OpenVPX Standard Group of Embedded Computing Products

To answer the question on why the OpenVPX Standard is popular with Defence – we need to look at the basics.

Firstly, reliable, high speed embedded computing systems for Defence applications is critical.  Computing power requirements are increasing as quickly as technology advances.  Systems have limited space and must operate in the harshest of environments.

VPX Form Factor

The VPX form factor was built on VITA standards (also known as VITA 46).  It processes data at lightning-fast speeds.  According to WIKI, VPX supports a range of switched fabrics rather than using data buses. Switched fabrics include SerialRapidIO, PCI Express, 10GbE and more.  This provides the extra speed.

About OpenVPX Standard

With VPX being discovered, OpenVPX™ was formed.  OpenVPX is built on VITA 65 which is based on VITA 46.  This has allowed the creation of an open architecture platform with a set of guidelines.  The advantage being it allows compatibility between different products from different suppliers.  This standard opened the market to many suppliers – rather than just relying on technology from only a few.

SOSA™ Consortium

Finally, taking it one step further is the consortium called Open Group SOSA™ Consortium.  This group consists of the US Department of Defense, Defence Contractors and Manufacturers of VPX Embedded Computing Products.  Their purpose is supporting the US Department of Defense and Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Tracking (C4ISRT) systems development by defining the hardware, interfaces, and software standards further for specific Defence applications.

SOSA aligned architectures are currently developed for some of the following critical Defence applications.  Such as:

  • Communications or Comms
  • Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR)
  • Electronic Warfare (EW)
  • Radar and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT Systems) which support airborne, subsurface and space-based mission areas.

So why do Defence like OpenVPX Standard and the SOSA version?

  1. The processing speed for emerging critical technologies
  2. Open market providing a larger choice of COTS products that meets the criteria
  3. Interoperability between various suppliers’ products
  4. The standard is constantly being refined as Defence Systems change with the development of new technologies
  5. Able to operate in harsh conditions

VPX Components in Embedded Computing

There are several components which come together to make an embedded computing system such as:

  • 3U or 6U Single Board Computers
  • Graphics Cards
  • Carrier Cards
  • Switches
  • Backplanes
  • I/O Boards
  • Chassis
  • Connectors
  • Cables
  • Power Supplies
  • Software
  • Storage / Memory

Metromatics has several partners who manufacture a range OpenVPX™ COTS products suitable for Defence Applications.  All are associates on the SOSA™ Consortium.  They have a range of COTS embedded computing components that meet current standards.

Acromag – High Performance OpenVPX™ Processor Single Board Computers

VPX6600 OpenVPX 3U Single Board Computer6U OpenVPX Processor Board
AcroExpress VPX6600

3U OpenVPX Single Board Computer or Processor Board – Air or Conduction Cooled

AcroExpress VPX6860

6U OpenVPX Single Board Computer or Processor Board – Air or Conduction Cooled

Acromag – OpenVPX™ Carrier Cards

VPX 6U Carrier Cards6U vpx carrier card

6U OpenVPX Carrier Cards for XMC or AcroPack Modules – Air Cooled or Conduction Cooled with Extended Temp.


6U OpenVPX Carrier Cards conforms to many VITA Standards.  Conduction or Air Cooled versions.

VPX Carrier Cards for XMC or PMC Modules VPX4821A6U VPX Carrier Cards with 2 XMC Slots VPX4840

6U OpenVPX Carrier Cards for XMC or PMC Modules


6U OpenVPX Carrier Cards for XMC Modules

For more information, check out this brochure – Acromag-VPX_Catalog

WOLF –  SOSA Aligned Graphics Cards and Switches for Video Output, Image and Data Processing, Video Encoding, and HPEC applications

3U VPX Graphics Card with Coaxial Connections VPX3U-RTX5000E-COAX-CVVPX6U-RTX5000E-DUAL-VO is 6U VPX Graphics Board

3U VPX Graphics & Video Card with NVIDIA Quadro Turing GPU


6U VPX Graphics & Video Card with dual NVIDIA Quadro Turing GPU


For WOLF’s SOS Aligned Products, click here.

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