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Boosting bus performance

VME developments are bringing a higher speed bus. By Bob Tufford.

The VME specification is now more than 20 years old. Introduced in 1981 with the aim of becoming a flexible environment capable of supporting a variety of computing intensive tasks, VME is now widely used.

Not surprisingly, the VME specification has changed over the years. There have been two notable landmarks: firstly VME320, then VME64, which extended VME to support 64bit data transfer and hence higher bandwidth.

Yet despite these developments, VME has shortcomings and this has led to CompactPCI gaining a foothold in the market, particularly where high availability and hot swap are needed. Nevertheless, VME still holds 90% of the market, underpinned by its high reliability and support for legacy systems.

Even with a 90% market share, VME has been perceived as a technology of the past. In a move to change this perception, Motorola Computer Group (MCG) launched at the beginning of last year the VME Renaissance.

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Graham Pitcher

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