VF370 3U OpenVPX Single Board Computer module proving itself in military ops – Etion


Pretoria-based electronics company, Etion Create, a subsidiary of Reunert Applied Electronics, has now matured its VF370 3U OpenVPX Single Board Computer (SBC) module to operational service, with Saab’s IDAS-310 defensive aids suite using the SBC.

Launched at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition in 2018, this embedded product is a critical component in Electronic Warfare Self Protection Systems (EWSPS) used in both helicopters, fighter jets and other fixed wing aircraft.

“It has been many years in the making, but Etion Create’s embedded products like our VF370 3U OpenVPX SBC and the widely used CM120 COM Express Type 10 module, both Intel powered, are proving their mettle,” said Tobie van Loggerenberg, executive manager business development. “It is testament to our design and manufacturing capability that the VF370 module has been selected by global defence company Saab for their Integrated Defensive Aids Suite, the IDAS-310 launched last year.”

He explained that the VF370 module is now rated at technology readiness level TRL9, the highest maturity level rating. TRLs were originally developed by NASA in the 1970s for technologies in space exploration.

Numerous aircraft types in more than 15 countries are equipped with Saab’s IDAS suite, which provide warning against threats like radars, infrared guided missiles, and battlefield laser systems.

The VF370 is a 3U OpenVPX Single Board Computer (SBC) module that utilises the Intel Atom E3900 series of embedded processors, Intel Cyclone V FPGA technology and an FMC mezzanine site, to provide a module with scalable processing power and flexible IO options for reduced Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) applications, Etion Create said. It is available in standard air-cooled and rugged conduction-cooled versions. The VF370 is fully designed and manufactured by Etion Create.

“We believe this VF370 SBC module, like our already trusted CM120, is highly versatile and finding a niche in the military and industrial markets,” Van Loggerenberg stated. “With Saab having integrated it into their IDAS-310, Etion Create has seen other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) expressing interest.”