When High-Performance Embedded Computing Meets Open-Systems Standards

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September 24, 2020

When High-Performance Embedded Computing Meets Open-Systems Standards

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by Jamie Whitney

When it comes to aerospace and defense embedded computing systems, open standards continue to hold a firm place in development and deployment. These include Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA), VITA, Hardware Open Systems Technologies (HOST), and Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA).

The emerging SOSA standard, overseen by The Open Group in San Francisco, aims to enable military embedded designers to create new systems and make significant upgrades to existing systems much quicker than today’s technologies allow.

MOSA, as the name implies, focuses on modular approaches between systems, components, and platforms, and, like SOSA, aims to lower costs and allow the rapid deployment of new technology.

HOST uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components in a small form factor, like VITA’s OpenVPX standard.

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Beyond Open

In addition to open standards like VITA and MOSA, experts at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions in Ashburn, Va., say that 2017’s “Third Offset” strategy introduced by then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter continues to drive trends in embedded systems.

The Third Offset strategy aims to use technology to win and deter military conflicts while acknowledging that other world powers are catching up to American technical superiority. Open standards are key to updating embedded systems used by the American military quickly and affordably.

“A big part of that strategy is very much the go get it to the field, and get it the field quickly,” says David Jedynak, Curtiss-Wright’s chief technology officer of technological improvements. “We’re really enforcing the open standards. The lines are cleaner. Build it in such a way that you don’t have to tear it apart to upgrade it. With those top-level trends, we’re seeing faster data communication - the speed of the Ethernet is going up to 100 gigabits.”

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