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Can your FPGA COTS supplier go the distance?

May 19, 2017 | BY: Denis Smetana

In today’s instant gratification and consumer-driven world, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest shiny toy with the newest, wiz-bang features. However, when putting together a system whose main purpose is to protect the war-fighter, it is critical to look behind the curtains and dig a little deeper into the products being chosen to go into that system.

When considering FPGA and other processor products from COTS suppliers, it is important to not only look at the technical capabilities of the product but also to look at the ecosystem that surrounds the product. You want to be confident that your supplier will be able to address both your short-term needs as well as your long-term needs. Military and defense programs run for many years and without the proper eco-system, that shiny new module may cause more frustration than satisfaction.

CHAMP-FX4 FPGA Processor Card has Total LifeCycle Management

Here are some things you should look for when choosing an FPGA COTS supplier:

  • Full range of products from the sensor interface through the back end processing; including DSP, FPGA, GPGPU, SBC, switches, storage and I/O to provide a complete ecosystem in a one-stop-shop
  • Sub-system expertise to build customized boxes utilizing COTS hardware
  • Vast experience shipping rugged deployed hardware
  • – Products are designed to meet strict quality and ruggedization process standards, and are thoroughly tested to those standards
  • Proper lifecycle support with a dedicated team to handle component obsolescence – see our Total LifeCycle Management (TLCM)
  • Experience in tin-whisker mitigation, Signal Integrity, PCB design
  • Leading-edge In-house manufacturing
  • Multi-tiered Customer Support to provide the technical assistance needed
  • Program Management support to ensure any issues that impact your programs are tracked and resolved.

These capabilities may not appear on a product datasheet, but many times, these are the capabilities the spell the difference between success and failure when using COTS products. As products continue to get more sophisticated and complex, it is critical that your COTS supplier has the infrastructure and the eco-system to work through any challenges that arise with you. Remember, it is the long term success that counts! Learn more about Curtiss-Wright Total LifeCycle Management (TLCM).

Author’s Biography

Denis Smetana

Senior Product Manager - FPGA

Denis Smetana is Senior Product Manager for FPGA products for Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, based out of Ashburn Virginia. He has over 25 years of experience with ASIC and FPGA product development and management in both the telecom and defense industry and over 10 years of experience with COTS FPGA products. He has a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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