PowerPC-based Ai-RIO adds cost-effective open source OS to available SDK options
- Linux-based operating system (OS) support in new software development kit (SDK)
- Intelligent remote I/O interface unit with dual-core PowerPC
- Modular design enables exceptional design flexibility
- High-performance, low-power processing with reduced engineering costs
Chatsworth, Calif. July 2019 – Aitech Defense Systems, Inc., a part of the Aitech Group, has ported the cost-effective, open source Linux operating system onto its intelligent Ai-RIO remote I/O interface unit (RIU). This modular small form factor (SFF) RIU internally networks up to eight expansion modules – or ‘slices’ – for extremely high density and low power in a compact physical space.
George Romaniuk, director of space products, for Aitech Group noted, “By increasing the available OS options on the Ai-RIO, we’re providing customers with technology advantages to ensure their systems are developed on-time and on-budget, while incorporating the needed processing speeds and real-time functionality of critical embedded systems.”
The Linux-based software development kit (SDK) for the Ai-RIO facilitates easy development of applications. With the combination of the new SDK and the SFF’s modular expansion design, the Ai-RIO provides the ability to create custom-tailored embedded systems that offer high performance, design flexibility and low-cost development. It is available in both ruggedized military or space-qualified versions.
The Linux BSP is delivered as a Virtual Machine (VM) with the complete source code and build environment. The VM has a pre-configured TFTP server to boot the kernel and an NFS server to be used for storage and file sharing during the development.
All Ai-RIO units are tested and characterized directly by Aitech for radiation effects over 25 krads (Si) TID. The dual-core, high performance, low power NXP P1020 processor was selected, since it is immune to latch-up, with other components chosen to meet the heavy ion Linear Energy Transfer threshold (LETth) of at least 37 MeV-cm2/mg for latch-up.
The addition of the Linux SDK complements the existing VxWorks SDK, giving system designers additional development opportunities, based on application needs.
The Linux-based RIU platform also provides a low-cost path to leverage the flight-proven NASA Core Flight System (cFS) when implementing new mission critical systems.
Using Aitech’s RIO-NET client/server software, the unit can also serve as a standalone command and data handling (C&DH) platform or media converter, or as a networked remote command/response I/O data concentrator.
The modular subsystem features onboard temperature sensors as well as A/D voltage and current monitoring with built-in test (BIT) for high reliability and a base configuration weight of only 3.75 lbs with a power dissipation of less than 12 W.
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Established in 1983, Aitech offers military and space-qualified, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) embedded computing products for rugged defense, aerospace and astronautics (space) applications as well as provides radiation tolerant and full MIL-SPEC solutions.
The company provides a wide array of high-speed, fabric-based boards and sub-systems using industry-standard, open architectures (VMEbus, VPX and CompactPCI) as well as GPGPU, video/graphics and mass memory boards, Ethernet switches and enclosures. The company also offers complete custom solutions, subsystem integration along with logistics, configuration control, component obsolescence mitigation and earned-value management services.
In the early 1980s, Aitech pioneered the development of true conduction-cooled military VMEbus products for use in mainstream defense, aerospace and space applications, including the ISS. Since then, the company has utilized its broad base of off-the-shelf products and technologies to develop customer-specific solutions, deliver superior cost-performance and reliability, and expedite time to market.
Applications for its products range from mission processors, targeting and fire control, platform stabilization, mission control and autonomous robotic subsystems for ground vehicles to surface and subsurface naval platforms, tactical and strategic fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and low- to high-earth orbit and deep space vehicles.