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Integrity matters

Backplane design is evolving in response to the challenges of high data rate fabric requirements, placing high demand on signal integrity. By Martin Blake.

Applications demanding high rate data transfer and high signal integrity are driving the growth of serial link fabric solutions. In turn, this requires an important shift in the backplane industry.
Backplane design engineering is evolving rapidly to meet new challenges of speed and signal integrity for defence, avionics and telecom applications. Since traditional approaches cannot meet the new demands, new architectures have been developed using differential pair channels organised in specific topologies.
The VMEbus International Trade Association’s (VITA) VXS specification defines the topologies and the requirements for signals and mechanics. However, recent standards no longer specify HOW to achieve compliance; they merely indicate WHAT characteristics are required. Therefore backplane design needs much more knowledge to develop the ‘how’ details to meet specifications with maximum performance available at system level.
The VXS backplane integrates a high speed fabric backplane geared towards defence/avionics applications with VME based backward compatibility.
The standard VME64x backplane design has been updated to implement a high speed fabric by replacing the existing P0 connector with a multigigabit/s seven row connector and adding hub slots fully populated with the new connector.

Martin Blake

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