Rugged single board computer

Jon Lawson

Aitech Defense Systems Inc has released the most advanced Intel-based SBC (single board computer) available in its broad line of 3U VPX computing products. The rugged C874 uses a 5th generation Intel Core i7 processor to deliver speeds of up to 2.6 GHz, while withstanding extremes of temperature, shock and vibration.

The high performance SBC, with a secure boot and trusted platform module (TPM) option, provides a protected processing environment and versatile on-board I/O enabling flexible design implementations. The board is offered in four standard factory configurations with six VPX backplane options. Additional routing parameters are possible depending on specific user requirements.

I/O options include USB 2.0, SATA II, 1000Base-T+100Base-BX/KX GbE and discrete I/O lines and serial ports.  The board also offers HDMI/DVI out, RGBHV out and Audio In + Out ports and features a standard PMC/XMC slot that further expands the C874's flexibility.

The HD 5600 Graphics integrated into the processor combines with a Lynx Point QM87 I/O Platform Controller Hub (PCH) chipset to maximize data throughput. Avionics windowed and standard watchdog timers, an IPMI, temperature sensors, a real time clock and an elapsed time recorder all contribute to the board's reliable and full-featured processing abilities. A primary BIOS Flash boot device initializes and monitors normal board operation, while a secondary boot Flash ensures recovery and maintenance tasks are performed quickly and properly.

With an on-board memory of up to 16 GB of DDR3L SDRAM, complete with ECC, the C874 easily handles large volumes of data. Up to 544 GB of SATA Flash disk memory is available in either single level cell (SLC), multi-level cell (MLC) or in combinations of both for on-board mass storage.

Military-grade versions of the C874 can withstand altitudes of over 70,000 ft. as well as shock and vibration per VITA 47 specifications.  Operating temperature ranges from -40°C to +85°C. The board comes in standard 3U VPX REDI air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions along with conformal coating as standard.  A conduction-cooled 2LM (two level maintenance) option is also available. Typical power consumption is 26.6W.

The new SBC comes in a number of widely-used OpenVPX (VITA 65) slot profiles to ensure interoperability with systems utilising the industry specification.  As part of an extensive line of VPX and VME embedded computing products, the C874 is pin-out compatible with the C873, Aitech's earlier 3U VPX SBC based on Intel's 4th generation Core i7 processor family.