MEN Micro draws crowd with safety-critical avionics presentation, new products for harsh environments at Avionics Europe 2012

MUNICH, 22 March 2012. MEN Micro is drawing attention on the Avionics Europe 2012 exhibition floor with several new product introductions, as well as a presentation on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computers in safety-critical avionics.

MEN Micro’s presentation by the company’s Detlef Schaadt is titled: “Design and Deployment of COTS Computers in Safety Critical Avionics Applications; How COTS computers (Standard Products) can be deployed in safety-critical projects and integrated with safe software.”

New offerings from MEN Micro, also on display at Avionics Europe, include a PowerPC-based rugged computer-on-module (COM) offering speeds up to 1.5 GHz via multi-core processing. Equipped with a Freescale QorIQ processor, the new XM51 is an extension on MEN Micro’s family of ruggedized COMs based on the space-saving ESMexpress standard, currently in preparation with ANSI/VITA as RSE 59.

When coupled with an application-specific carrier board, the compact XM51 becomes a semi-custom solution for harsh, mobile, and mission-critical environments. The COM is scalable, from an eight-core, high-end data processing unit to an energy- and cost-efficient, four-core module. Regardless of configuration, all versions feature multi-core and advanced processing capabilities, including encryption.

The computer-on-module supports four USB 2.0 interfaces with host function and one USB client port, two Gigabit Ethernet channels, two 3 Gigabit SATA ("gen 2"), and two PCI Express x1 links with 5 Gbits/s each (PCIe 2.x), which can be made accessible on any ESMexpress carrier.

The XM51 offers 16 GB of soldered DDR3 SDRAM memory with ECC, which–thanks to the QorIQ technology–is controlled by one or two controllers and can be assigned to the processor cores as desired. Up to 128 KB of onboard non-volatile FRAM and 256 MB of Flash provide more memory options, which can be expanded via USB on the carrier board.

The COM is installed in a closed, conduction-cooled housing that allows the module’s high-performance operation in temperatures from -40°C to +85°C, while guaranteeing 100% EMC protection. All components are soldered against shock and vibration and prepared for coating against humidity or dust.

ESMexpress is designed for extreme resistance against shock and vibration. Modules are firmly secured to the board with eight screws and come with rugged connectors supporting high frequency and differential signals. All ESMexpress modules use a single, space-saving 95 mm x 125 mm form factor.

ESMexpress combines advanced cooling techniques, the latest serial buses, and rugged components with the common COM concept. COMs are complete computers on a mezzanine board that use a standard CPU with I/O configuration only required on a carrier board to allow for individual functionality tailored to the specific application. 


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