Embedded COTS Systems in Military, Aerospace, and Defense Applications


According to a VDC reseach report, demand for standards-based, merchant, embedded COTS computer boards and systems in military/aerospace/defense applications continues to grow across a wide range of missions, applications and platforms. These products are showing strength in both North America and Europe over the next two years.

VDC interviewed purchasers of both embedded COTS boards and integrated systems. The purchasers – defense contractors, system integrators, and integrated OEMs – were asked to identify the electronics mission classifications (specific applications), platforms and programs for which they were using the embedded military COTS boards or systems they purchased. In most cases, not all the information was available. However, mission classification generally was available.

The graphics below shows the electronics mission classifications supported by the standards-based, embedded COTs boards and systems purchased by the survey respondents.

VDC Embedded COTS Systems in Military, Aerospace, and Defense Applications

VDC’s study on Embedded COTS Systems in Military, Aerospace, and Defense Applications confirmed that embedded COTS systems are becoming increasingly network-centric. This represents a new age in military electronics shaped by Future Combat Systems (FCS) and a host of related initiatives – all driven by changing mission profiles. Among the new hard requirements is that installed and greenfield platforms are integrated, or at least networked with a broader range of individuals, wheeled and tracked fleets, aircraft – manned and unmanned, ships – surface and undersea, and the complete range of command and control centers.

Many military/aerospace systems that previously did not require embedded computers now require them to enable this communication.

A second demand driver for enhanced, standards-based embedded computing and communications platforms is the demand for additional signal acquisition, conversion, processing and transmission. Many deployed systems that did not carry these requirements has limited – or no – general-purpose embedded computing and communications platform. Early UAVs with radar and image acquisition and processing, may now have more sophisticated C4ISR requirements. The embedded platforms in those UAVs now require a more powerful – or entirely new addition embedded computing/ communications platform to support the new signal processing as well as the higher level of communication.

This new set of requirements has transformed the embedded COTS market by regenerating demand for a number of stable, standards-based COTs embedded computing architectures – and their latest generation(s).

VME has risen to the occasion with the VXS and VPX/VPX-REDI architectures that combine high-speed switch fabrics with the ruggedness and reliability of VME. Military communication applications are already generating real demand for VXS and VPX boards and integrated systems.

Network-centric military equipment is also driving interest in MicroTCA, an architecture that has the advantage of having been created for telecom/datacom applications and thus nicely meets network-centric requirements.

More info: Venture Development Corporation