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Switch Module Enables Secure Embedded Networks

A Gigabit-Ethernet (GbE) switch module simplifies the job of maintaining security in open-architecture VPX systems.

Security is a concern in modern networks, especially those tailored for the armed forces, and Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has developed a Gigabit-Ethernet (GbE) switch module that simplifies the job of maintaining security in open-architecture VPX systems. The model VPX6-688 24-port 6U OpenVPX GbE switch module makes it possible for embedded systems to safely share data, even on wide-area networks (WANs). It disables nonessential services while providing secure management interfaces. Using regular software updates, the switch module is protected against emerging cybersecurity threats. For applications that require WAN connections, an optional services mezzanine module is available with a full-featured Cisco IOS router.

The VPX6-688 switch module (see figure) provides 24 ports of IEEE 802.3-compliant 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet to the backplane. It is designed for hostile environments and supports the high-precision IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) synchronization required by real-time and high-speed signal-processing applications. It is available with four 1000BASE-SX Gigabit links for high-speed optical interfaces as an option. The switch module is suitable for airborne and ground-based applications.

Curtiss-Wright's GbE switch.

“Today, nearly every computing system and module depends on Ethernet to carry traffic from a myriad of applications on a converged network,” said Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager for Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division. “Curtiss-Wright leads the embedded COTS industry with a complete range of Ethernet switching solutions for the most demanding applications.

“Our new rugged 24-port switch simplifies the integration of secure intra-platform networks that need many connections between SBCs, external sensors, and other systems within a platform,” Bamford continued. “It enables our customers to deploy higher-performance solutions while addressing the critical need for cybersecurity.”

The VPX6-688 works with the full line of Curtiss-Wright 6U VPX single-board computers, all of which feature a 1000BASE-T connection in their base configuration.

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