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Multi-Fabric switch enables complex SBC development

GE Fanuc Embedded Systems : 12 July, 2013  (New Product)
The PEX431 multi-fabric switch from GE Intelligent Platforms enables complex and high performance single-board computers to be developed

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the PEX431 multi-fabric switch and PMC/XMC carrier card. Designed to enable the development of complex, scalable, high performance 3U VPX systems in today’s increasingly-connected military/aerospace world, it is characterized by significant flexibility. The PEX431 complements GE’s recent announcement of the SBC326 3U VPX single board computer based on the fourth generation Intel Core i7 (‘Haswell’) processor.

For customers who need a multi-fabric network switching capability that includes PCI Express Gen 2.0/Gen 3.0 and up to nine ports total of 1000BaseBX and 1000BaseT Gigabit Ethernet, the PEX431 supports three OpenVPX payload profiles.

The PEX431 can also make a significant contribution to reducing SWaP (size, weight and power). It provides both control plane and data plane switching on a single board and, by providing the ability to be a carrier card for an XMC mezzanine card, potentially reduces the number of slots required to implement a given system – or allows more functionality to be configured in the same number of slots.

“Increasingly, customers are compelled by the idea of sourcing as much of their systems requirement from a single vendor – and, by so doing, minimizing program risk while maximizing the likelihood of the program coming in on time and on budget,” said Rod Rice, General Manager, Military & Aerospace Products, GE Intelligent Platforms. “By extending even further the breadth and depth of GE’s 3U VPX offering, the PEX431 enhances those customers’ ability to achieve the benefits of ‘one stop shopping’”.

Many of today’s high performance embedded computing (HPEC) systems deploy multiple processors and multiple I/O modules within a single chassis. A single PEX431 enables six processors to be interconnected: for even higher performance systems with more than six processors, multiple PEX431s can be daisy-chained.

The PEX431 is also supported by GE’s innovative software capability that allows VPX PCI Express peer-to-peer connectivity. Without this, customers are required to “hand-craft” a solution, with consequent impact on program cost and time to market.

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