Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has introduced a new 24-Port 6U VMEbus Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Switch module. The VME-690, with built-in support for up to 24 GbE interfaces, is Curtiss-Wright’s third generation of VME GbE Switches. It provides a lower power (~35W), pin-compatible replacement for earlier designs while adding advanced data security features. The VME-690 enables system designers to modernise their legacy VME systems and ensures that new designs have access to the latest secure data communications technology.

Today, VME-based solutions continue to provide critical embedded computing in a wide array of front-line deployed aerospace and defence applications. New VME module designs, such as the VME-690, enable system integrators to perform technology insertions that deliver improved performance and high-speed connections to advanced sensors. The VME-690’s high data link count enables system designers to bring new capabilities to existing platforms. Compared to alternative VME Ethernet switches that offer unmanaged switching with no control over network policy, the VME-690 provides fully managed switching with a wide range of features for classifying and filtering traffic to prioritise key applications and enforce security policies.

“With the introduction of the VME-690, our newest VMEbus Gigabit Ethernet Switch module, Curtiss-Wright furthers its commitment to extending the life of deployed VME systems,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division. “This rugged 24-port switch enables our customers to build lower-power, higher-performance solutions, while addressing the critical need for cyber-security.”

Highly Flexible GbE Interface Configuration

To provide the highest level of flexibility, the VME-690 features up to 20 1000BASE-T interfaces available from the backplane, with support for 10/100/1000 and auto-negotiation. It also provides system integrators with options for additional Ethernet interfaces, such as four additional 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet interfaces to the backplane or four 1000BASE-SX optical interfaces. For connections to external networks, the VME-690 can also be configured with an XMC-620 ESR module that provides a fully-featured Cisco® IOS® services router with VPN, firewall, and mobile networking capabilities.

Pin-Compatible Upgrade for VME System Networking

The VME-690 provides a pin-compatible replacement for Curtiss-Wright’s earlier VME-680 and VME-682 switches. It delivers a full range of modern multi-layer switching features, including support for the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol to ensure high-precision synchronisation for real-time or signal processing applications using networked processors. The VME-690 features a highly integrated, enterprise-class switch device that delivers line-rate switching on all ports across all packet sizes. Integrated multi-layer switching software provides an extensive set of features for monitoring and enforcing traffic policies. Management features include a powerful command line interface, SNMP, and web-based options. The module’s in-band management and networking features provide support for both IPv4 and IPv6.

Enhanced Security

As embedded computers transition from stand-alone appliances to connected systems, the importance of network security continues to grow. The VME-690 is designed with cyber-security in mind and integrates features to limit and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. These include multiple management interfaces for configuring and monitoring the network. In addition, administrative interfaces can be individually disabled to limit access, protected with passwords, or secured with standards-based encryption.

Hardware write-protection features can be used to prevent unauthorized or unintentional modification of the switch configuration. The VME-690’s newer software mitigates the risk of system compromise caused by vulnerabilities in older operating systems or networking services. To ensure the highest level of cyber-security protection, the VME-690 is supported with regular software updates and a commitment to software maintenance over the life of the product.

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