ESMexpress Slated for ANSI/VITA Standardization as VITA 59: RSE

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Ruggedized version of popular COMs will offer compatibility with COM Express

MEN Micro Inc., a world-renowned provider of embedded computing and I/O solutions for mission-critical industrial, mobile and harsh environment applications, has successfully applied for the resumption of VITA 59 Rugged System-On-Module Express (RSE) standard in a statement of work (SOW) with the VITA Standards Organization (VSO). The standard, which now includes a provision for COM Express compatibility, is set for completion by the middle of 2013.

Manfred Schmitz, CTO and co-founder of MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH, the parent company of MEN Micro, has served as head of the VITA 59 working group since its inception.

“From the time COMs came on the scene in the early 2000s, there was a double-edged sword to contend with. While being very cost-effective and saving on board development time, COMs never had definitive guidelines to mandate inter-compatibility among different manufacturers. And, the modules did not possess rugged capabilities, which limited their use in many applications, such as mobile,” Schmitz noted.

Computer-on-Modules (COMs), also called System-on-Modules (SOMs) are complete computers on a plug-on module, where individual functionality is tailored to each application by configuring the I/O on a separate carrier board.

The incorporation of conduction cooling and completely encapsulated electronic components inside a metal housing, areas lacking in other COM concepts, are an integral part of the new VITA 59 standard.

John Rynearson, Technical Director for VITA, said, “One of the main reasons standards organizations, such as VITA, exist is to provide a positive ecosystem of technology growth for our members as well as the engineering community at large. Rather than reinventing the wheel, VITA 59 takes an innovative step forward from the popular COMs concept to make these modules usable in harsh applications.”

Ruggedized versions of COMs, currently known as MEN Micro’s ESMexpress family, have operated effectively in harsh environment systems for several years. The standardization of the ESMexpress mechanics will allow more manufacturers to develop interchangeable products to bring the cost and development benefits of rugged COMs to a wider range of applications.

In addition to addressing the concerns noted by Schmitz, the updated SOW for ANSI/VITA 59 includes specific provisions for future compatibility with PICMG COM.0 (COM Express) to guarantee that every ANSI/VITA 59 COM can be used on any carrier card complying with the standard.

VITA 59 will also comply with other industry standards, such as RTCA/DO-254, to enable component tracing and will use common aeronautical language.

For additional information, visit or contact Stephen Cunha, MEN Micro Inc., 24 N. Main Street, Ambler, Pa. 19002; Phone: 215-542-9575; Fax: 215-542-9577; E-mail: Stephen(dot)Cunha(at)menmicro(dot)com.

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UPCOMING TRADESHOWS: AdvancedTCA Summit, Santa Clara, CA, September 18-19, 2012

READER SERVICE INQUIRIES: Please forward all reader service inquiries to Stephen Cunha, MEN Micro Inc., 24 N. Main Street, Ambler, Pa. 19002; E-mail: Stephen(dot)Cunha(at)menmicro(dot)com.

About MEN Micro Inc.
Since its inception, MEN Micro has focused on innovation, reliability and flexibility to develop standard and custom embedded boards and systems that employ the highest technology and innovations. The company provides a robust offering of highly reliable embedded computing and I/O solutions widely used in extreme environmental conditions found in industrial and safety-critical applications.

MEN Micro offers more than 100 standard boards and systems based on Intel and PowerPC with corresponding BIOS, BSP and driver software as well as a host of custom solutions. In addition to CompactPCI, CompactPCI PlusIO, CompactPCI Serial and VMEbus SBCs, the company’s products include DAL and SIL certifiable safe computer assemblies; ESMexpress, ESMini and ESM Computer-On-Modules; PMC, XMC and M-Modules as system-independent mezzanine I/O standards; box and display computers; and network components, gateways and Ethernet switches.

Starting with development, through design-in and beyond, MEN Micro provides its customers with advice and support as well as environmental qualification services in accordance with industry standards. MEN Micro is the US subsidiary of MEN Mikro Elektronik in Germany, which has over 200 employees worldwide and is a member of several industry associations, consortiums and alliances.

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