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ABSI at Embedded Tech Trends 2019

Sunny San Diego, a big change from my local weather in Southern Sweden where it was -4°C and 25cm of snow on the ground. The location, Andaz hotel which is a great location in central Downtown. The event – Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) 2019.

“Embedded Tech Trends is an industry-wide forum where suppliers of component, board and system level solutions can meet exclusively with members of relevant industry media to discuss technologies, trends, and products.” (ETT Web page).
Over 110 people attended ETT this year which is a big rise on last year when approximately 80 were in attendance. I believe the reason for an increase in attendance is due to the change in technology that the markets are experiencing. Data rates are evolving and a greater emphasis on Engineering and Production is recognised as a requirement to enable the next generation of products.
Data rates over 10 Gigabytes per second are required and this means that signal integrity over the backplane needs to be addressed. Simulation, PCB materials, connector technology, Engineering knowledge, PCB manufacturing, measurement hardware, enhanced software and automated in-line production test equipment are just some of the ???? that need to be considered to ensure these mission critical applications do not fail once deployed in the field.
VITA and PICMG were both in presence and it was very interesting to listen to their thoughts on the future roadmap for the Standards Organisations and how they are addressing the evolution of the technologies. This also raises the question over the future architectures for higher data rates – VPX or CPCI-Serial? I think it is generally thought that CPCI-Serial is the cheaper option but VPX already have ruggedized connectors released from Amphenol and TE to reach the next generation data rates. CPCI-Serial uses Amphenol Airmax connectors but we have not yet released a ruggedized version yet to help extend the CPCI-Serial bandwidth to reach 100GBASE-KR as an example.
I remember when the IT/Datacom market went through the same data rate evolution 10 years ago and how we implemented new design techniques and manufacturing equipment to help facilitate this. Now our R&D is working on a solution for 112G PAM4 serial links over traditional copper backplanes! I think the Military/Defence and Industrial markets still have a way to go before requiring such bandwidth but with an emphasis on security and mission critical systems it is not the speed of the signal but the integrity of the signal that is required. A single bent pin in the assembly of a backplane can cause a mission critical system to fail. This is why Amphenol-BSI have invested millions of dollars over the last few years to implement mature production lines in our facilities that assemble and test backplanes that operate at higher data rates such as 25 gigabytes per second.
Signal integrity is a must have requirement at this technology level and our SI Engineers are located in our production facilities to help with the NPI and Production environment. The theme of ETT 2019 was “The Future is Now” and it is going to be an exciting time in the evolution of the Military/Defence and Industrial markets.

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