Curtiss-Wright’s New FPGA-based VME Interface Combats Obsolescence

Curtiss-Wright’s New FPGA-based VME Interface Combats Obsolescence

Helix PCI Express to VME64X interface replaces EOL’ed TSI148 (Tempe) device with long life reconfigurable FPGA solution

ASHBURN, Va. – March 14,  2016 – Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today introduced its new obsolescence fighting FPGA-based Helix™ PCI Express to VME64x Interface. The Helix is the next generation of VME bridge solution for Curtiss-Wright VME module products.  It addresses the gap created when the popular Tsi148 (Tempe) VME interface device was recently announced at End Of Life. As VME continues to play a significant role in the rugged embedded system market, the Helix bridge provides a powerful solution for ensuring that VME systems continue to be viable, with support for the long lifecycles typical of defense and aerospace programs.   Helix is an FPGA-based VME interface that can continue to be supplied for years to come. It effectively mitigates customer and system integrators' concerns about obsolescence in the future and enables them to continue to support and supply VME systems as long as required by their programs. 

Curtiss-Wright will use Helix on all new VME module designs, such as the soon-to-be-announced SVME/DMV-196 Power Architecture single-board computer (SBC). Helix is also being used to update the design of select current flagship VME SBC products, such as the NXP® Power Architecture®-based VME-194 and Intel® 4th Generation Core™i7-based VME-1908 SBCs. Updating these VME SBCs with the Helix FPGA ensures that they can continue to be designed into new systems, and provides customers with the confidence that these SBCs will be available for many years to come.

“Our new Helix VME64x interface device eliminates EOL concerns through the use of a reconfigurable FPGA that will ensure the ongoing availability of VME to meet the full lifetime needs of demanding rugged embedded applications,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President, and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “With the debut of this obsolescence mitigating VME bridge and our upcoming VME board products, Curtiss-Wright is making a strong declaration of our unstinting commitment to our VME customers, that we will support them with viable solutions for many years to come.” 

With its high-performance PCI Express interface, the Helix VME64x interface supports all of the key features of VME required by existing and future applications including:

  • PCIe Gen 2 interface;
  • The complete set of VME data transaction types (SLT, BLT, MBLT, 2eVME and 2eSST); 
  • Hardware-based byte-swapping capability;
  • 2eSST Broadcast mode, including self-addressing capability;
  • A dual-channel Intelligent Chained DMA engine (IDMA);
  • PCI Express MSI or Legacy interrupts by means of an embedded Interrupt Controller that can manage up to 64 internal interrupt sources, including:
    • VME IRQ [7:1], SYSFAIL, and ACFAIL
    • Location Monitor
    • Mailboxes
    • Message passing FIFO
    • Intelligent DMA Engine (IDMA)
    • Local VME64x Errors
    • GPIOs
  • Programmable VME Slave support on two address spaces:
  • CR/CSR as defined by the VME64x specification. This 512 KB window provides a remote configuration port
  • A32 as a programmable window from 1 to 2048 MB


About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets.  Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,400 people worldwide.  For more information, visit


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