Verotec has recently designed and supplied three very different bespoke VMEbus systems for customers operating in the scientific, development and military sectors. The decline and eventual demise of VMEbus has frequently been postulated, mainly on the grounds of low bandwidth when compared to more recent open systems architectures, notably cPCI. If bandwidth is the only relevant criteria, then such criticism is valid. However, VMEbus is still going strong: support for 21 slots and a very efficient interrupt scheme make it an attractive choice. What is often overlooked is the huge installed base, the enormous number of standard modules available from multiple vendors and the enduring popularity of VMEbus in military and other hi-rel applications where inter alia, redundancy and resilience are key requirements.
For data capture and measurement equipment in the European Spallation Source, a multi-disciplinary research facility based on what will be the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source that is currently under construction in Lund, Sweden, Verotec are supplying horizontal 3U 6 Slot EMC screened, thermally managed and powered 19” rack mount systems. For a major US-based corporation, desktop 9 Slot VME64x development systems, thermally managed, powered and screened provide a secure R & D environment for the development, testing and debugging of new powerful SBC and associated modules offering dedicated functionality. The final member of the trio is 3 x isolated 6U/6 slot VMEbus systems in a 21 slot 9U chassis for a large US marine defence contractor. Each of the three sections has independent thermal and power management that gives great flexibility and enhanced efficiency when the equipment is operating.
These three systems, very different in configuration, size and intended application, are excellent examples of the enduring attraction and versatility of VMEbus, often decried but still more than relevant in today’s demanding applications.