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MOVING ON FROM OBSOLETE VME

VME SOURCING CHALLENGES

Typical VME Chassis Setup

Developed in the 1980’s and popularized by VME Microsystems International Corporation (VMIC), the VME architecture was widely used in many programs with large I/O needs. It was built for the Motorola 68000 line of CPUs which was then replaced by the PowerPC architecture.

VME based systems had been the standard for real-time DAQ and embedded control systems for years. However, due to the age of most VME technology, as well as the lack of vendors in the market, many VME users are now facing “end-of-life” issues.


THE VME SYSTEM MARKET IS NOW FACED WITH:

  • Dwindling supply of VME boards and general VME-based technology.
  • Struggling to maintain obsolete parts, as well as trying to develop costly and timely in-house solutions to keep systems in operation.
  • Inability to find vendors with adequate VME supplies, with long lead times, and questionable commitment to future VME manufacturing or support.
  • Difficulty transferring the manufacturing fixtures and knowledge to offshore partners, particularly low volume analog and digital I/O boards.
  • Resorting to foraging for VME parts on consumer-to-consumer eCommerce sites.
Example of a common EOL message found on VME product pages

In today’s marketplace, VME is simply not seen as deserving significant investment in new product development or maintenance.



Replacement DAQ, Test & Control Technology Factors

Future size, weight, and power requirements need to be considered with the next generation of I/O systems.

Size Weight
Legacy VME are large, bulky, and often stationary systems. Modern DAQ and I/O systems have flexible sizing and VME just cannot compete.The smaller the system, the less susceptible it is to shock/vibration. Modern DAQ and I/O drastically reduce weight so systems can be managed by one person.
PowerProcessing
Bulky VME systems have large power draws and heat issues. Modern systems are getting smaller and preserve or increase power capability. Boards are smaller and use less power and heat.VME systems are either not compatible with or cannot be retrofitted with processors for modern workloads. A lack of processing capability leads to work arounds. VME power is not ideal for modern military and industrial applications.



Replacement VME systems must:

  • Have the flexibility to fit in a wide variety of spaces.
  • Be able to operate in a range of conditions.
  • Needs to be agile and rugged.
  • Have systems capable for use on new and old parts.
  • Have advanced testing functionality and troubleshooting capabilities.
  • Cannot rely on obsolete parts or legacy solutions.


Obsolescence: The Reality of the Sunsetting VME Market

The market that current VME users are facing is centered around obsolete components and final time buys. Faced with “End of Life” (EOL) issues, designers are looking for alternative solutions to replace VME entirely. Though redesigns on substitute VME products have happened in some instances, it is not a sustainable solution as VME boards continue to completely sunset. Engineers are now basing their replacement systems on modern commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet I/O products and computers.


UEI's Long-Term Guaranteed Solution

UEI’s modern Ethernet I/O technology backed by a 10-Year availability guarantee. UEI guarantees the availability of all RACKtangle (rack systems) and Cube series products for a minimum of 10 years. Unless you are specifically notified at the time of purchase, all hosted (PowerDNx) and embedded (UEIPAC) products will be available for repurchase for at least 10 years. We understand the investment you make by using our products and we ensure long-term product availability. Protecting customers from product obsolescence issues is nothing new at UEI.


UEI Solutions Are Ready Today

Transitioning from dated VME to modern DAQ and I/O systems from UEI.

Price Performance
With smaller chassis sizes, shorter wiring, and intuitive software drivers, cost savings becomes very significant with UEI versus VME technology. UEI offers support for all popular OSs, languages, and applications. UEI provides drivers for Windows, Linux, VxWorks, RTOSs, and more.
Software SupportCOTS Production
Our patented DMAP™ Ethernet protocol ensures systems with thousands of I/O points are monitored / updated in less than a millisecond. Learn more in this paper. All UEI's chassis are COTS products. We offer emergency replacements to get you back up and running immediately.


Application Story: UEI & FlightSafety




Challenge

Alleviate supply chain headaches of building commercial and military simulators due to product obsolescence and too many suppliers, all while improving the efficiency of their engineering team.

Solutions

Co-designed over a dozen products on standardized UEI reliable, rugged, flexible platform, consolidated three systems into one (combined DAQ and avionics) while significantly reducing cabling/wiring and costly system inspections.



Results: FlightSafety Saved 10’s of millions of dollars through greater production and operational efficiencies.

Plus, FlightSafety saved 1000’s of hours to install and maintain, simplified procurement process, increased system reliability, mitigated obsolescence, increased uptime, and improved time to market.

Download the Full Application Story


VME and Reflected Memory

Reflective Memory is a method for sharing and synchronizing data in multiple chassis with VME (VERSA-Module Euro card) boards. A mainstay technology in both military and industrial I/O, Reflective Memory networks typically provide the deterministic timing required by real-time control systems and at the same time minimize the network load on the chassis CPU.

UEI's Approach to Modern Reflective Memory

UEI’s patented DMAP™ alternative to Reflective Memory provides the same functionality but eliminates the requirement for dedicated memory boards by taking advantage of recent technology and in particular, speed advances in CPU, FPGA, DDR2 memory technologies. DMAP uses a simpler, less expensive architecture and uses a standard Ethernet technology as the communications link.

DMAP™ Benefits:

  • Deployed on a standard Ethernet network with true real-time performance.
  • The basis for the patented DMAP protocol is UDP packets and patented communications control algorithms.
  • UEI can offer deterministic, real-time update rates up to 4 kHz (250 microsecond updates) on GigE networks.
  • The data image in the host CPU’s memory and the image held in the I/O chassis’ data registers is kept identical and synchronized -- eliminating the requirement for any special memory board as utilized in Reflective Memory systems.
  • DMAP can operate completely in the background.
  • Various I/O function calls provided in the API simply read and write the appropriate memory locations in the local I/O image.

Transitioning Off VME

UEI has solutions available right now to mitigate the time required to replace VME and keep your applications running.


Comprehensive OS Support:


And more!

Preserve your Wiring:



Interface adapters can be designed to preserve the existing cabling. Connect the interface board directly to UEI, and use the existing 96 pin cable!

An example of UEI equivalent replacements appear below. Please call for details!



Hardware:

VME Board Description UEI Equivalent
VME-2128 Digital Output Board DIO-432
VME-1128 Digital Input Board DIO-448
VME-3113A Analog to Digital Converter Board AI-207 or AI-217
VME-4132-011 Analog Output Board AO-333
VME-2232 Relay Output Board DIO-462
VME-4152 Analog Input/Output Board

AI-207, AO-332

VME-1111 RS-422 Level Digital Input Board CT-602
VME-2533 RS-422 Level Digital Input Board

CT-602

VME-2120 HV DO Board

DIO-432

VME-4120 D/A Current Out, D/A Voltage Out AO-332, AO-308-020
VME-1150 HV Din Board DIO-449
VME-2536 HV DIO Board DIO-449, DIO-432

VME-3122

Analog to Digital Converter Board

AI-207, AI-217

VME-2210 Latching or Momentary DIO-462
VMIVME-4512 Analog Input/Output Board AO-333, AI-207
VMIVME-4500 Analog Input/Output Board

AO-333, AI-207

VMIVME-1110 Discrete Input DIO-448
VMIVME-3100 Analog Control

AO-333

VMIVME-4905 Digital to Synchro AI-255
VMIVME-4900 Digital to Synchro AI-255
VMIVME-4911 Synchro to Digital AI-255
VMIVME-6015 Serial I/O Board SL-501