Rugged, High-Performance Conduction-Cooled 3U OpenVPX SBC with Intel® Xeon® E3 CPU

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Computing Features
- 3.0GHz Intel® Xeon® E3 (Kaby Lake, 7th Generation Core™) processor with 4 Cores and Turbo Boost 2.0; 8MB of Smart Cache (E3-15xxM V6)
- Up to 64GB of DDR4 memory with ECC
- Three-head Intel® HD Graphics P630 with GT2, 8-bit VP9 8-bit CODEC, 10-bit HEVC (H.265) CODEC
- Support for DirectX 11/12, OpenGL 4.3/4.4, ES 2.0, and OCL 2.x - Optional fixed mSATA SSD for OS boot (optional encrypt/secure erase/write-protect)
- Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x/VT-d) and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)
- Intel Enhanced SpeedStep Technology and configurable TDP (cTDP) for improved thermal management
- Encryption and security via Intel® AES-NI encryption and Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM)

I/O and Expansion Options
- Two 10Gigabit Ethernet ports with TCP/IP Offloading Engine (TOE)
- Two Gigabit Ethernet ports with TCP/IP Offloading Engine (TOE)
- One buffered SATA port
- Line-In, Headphone-Out, and Mic-In
- Two USB 3.0 ports
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- Two Serial Ports with RS-232/422/485 options
- Four buffered GPIO lines with interrupt capabilities
- One USB port to front for diagnostics and configuration
- One SAM™ sites for custom I/O (MIL-STD-1553, Wi-Fi/BT, GPS, etc.)
- 32MB of BIOS Flash for system parameters and user data
- Real Time Clock (RTC) with internal or no battery operation
- CPU temperature and voltage monitoring for safe operation
- Two x4 PCIe lanes to VPX-P1, configurable as transparent or blocking
- Two x1 PCIe lanes to VPX-P2 for additional system I/O
- Conduction-cooled module, fully compliant to OpenVPX 3U, VITA 46/47/48 standards
- +3.3V, +5V and +12V operation

SWaP-E (Size, Weight and Power – Efficiency)
- Greatest computing density, cores and RAM in one 3U OpenVPX card
- Ultra-low SWaP for 3U, 5 lbs. and as low as 60W
- MIL-STD-810G, MIL-S-901D, DO-160D, MIL-STD-461E compliant
- Operates up to extended temp -40°C to +85°C (Optional)
- Available in ruggedization levels R1-R5


The Sparrow is designed to provide the ultimate OpenVPX SBC to replace multiple legacy OpenVPX SBCs (x86 or PowerPC™) with a single SBC utilizing Intel’s Virtualization Technology (VT-x/VT-d2). Furthermore, with the Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), the SBC is secure from unauthorized boot devices and unauthorized replications of the system. The VPXC120 is ideal for defense applications, where investments have been made on an OpenVPX platform and where true hard “Real Time” is required. No other bus architecture can provide this hard “Real Time” performance like OpenVPX and its switched serial backplane. The Sparrow may be ordered from the factory with operating systems such as Windows® or Linux® pre-installed.

General Description

The VPXC120 "Sparrow" is a sixth-generation 3U OpenVPX SBC module based on GMS's upgradable CPU "computing engine" technology. It is designed to provide the highest level of workstation performance possible in a conduction-cooled, single-slot OpenVPX module. It may be operated in all OpenVPX backplanes compliant to VITA 46/47/48 backplanes/chassis. Sparrow is targeted for applications where high-speed processing power is required for upgrading legacy hardware or for applications where hard Real Time is required. The Sparrow is the highest performance OpenVPX SBC in the market with vast I/O and an upgradable CPU for extended life cycles.
Sparrow is equipped with the latest, most power-efficient Intel® Kaby Lake-H workstation processor with Hyper-Threading (also called Intel® Xeon® E3-15xxM v6) for a total of up to four physical cores (eight logical cores) operating up to 3.0 GHz and using Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 4.0GHz. To harvest this incredible CPU performance, the CPU is coupled with up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM organized in two banks with ECC support (2-bit error detection and 1-bit error correction). These Kaby Lake Xeon® E3 cores coupled with Sparrow’s I/O can be used to create multiple virtual machines (VMs) allowing a single Sparrow card to replace up to 8 separate single-processor systems.
The I/O subsystem for the Sparrow is designed to support a wide array of standard and custom I/O functions. The VPXC120 standard configuration supports two 10Gigabit Ethernet ports, two one Gigabit Ethernet channels with TCP/IP offloading engine (TOE), two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, three DisplayPorts up to 4K resolution, two COM ports with RS-232/422/485 options, one eSATA, four buffered GPIO, two x1 PCIe lanes and two x4 PCIe lanes for additional system I/O. Expansion options include one SAM™ I/O site (Special Application Module) for custom I/O such as Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, GPS, Quad Video capture, CANbus, MIL-STD-1553, ARINC-429, and more. SAM I/O offers legacy system interfaces as well as the ability to add future upgrades.
Sparrow also offers the most secure storage subsystem possible. It supports up to 32MB BIOS Flash with hardware-write protect and secure erase. The onboard fixed mSATA boot device provides optional hardware write-protect, ATA Secure Erase and encryption functions. The VPXC120 can optionally support FIPS-140-2 and FIPS-197 encryption standards for ultra-secure data storage. These data security functions, along with Intel’s AES-NI encryption and the onboard the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 plus Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), make Sparrow the smallest and most secure embedded server system on the market.

Technology Used

The Sparrow utilizes the latest 14nm Intel® Xeon® E3 Kaby Lake-H workstation processor. The Xeon® E3-15xxM (mobile, embedded) processor is ideal for microservers and embedded platforms, boasting up to 4 cores/8 threads and advanced thermal management. Advanced thermal management is provided via Intel’s configurable TDP (cTDP) and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology. The Xeon® E3 supports Hyper-Threading for a total of 8 logical cores and supports 8MB of SmartCache shared among the cores. The processor clocks up to 3 GHz per core with Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0 clocking up to 4 GHz. On Sparrow, the Xeon® E3 CPU also supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM with ECC.
For video support Kaby Lake-H offers the latest, most powerful embedded Intel® HD Graphics P630 for superior graphics performance over previous Intel® graphics. Intel® Xeon® E3 Kaby Lake-H workstation processor graphics provide up 4096x2304 resolution at 60Hz (4K and UHD), DirectX 11/12, OpenGL 4.4, ES 2.0, and OCL 2.x and up to three (3) video heads simultaneously supported. The Xeon® E3 processor is considered the most powerful per-watt workstation-class processor on the market, with many added security features such as AES-NI, second-generation Virtualization Technology VT-x, Directed I/O VT-d, and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). The Xeon® E3 CPU and PCH-H platform support PCI Express Gen 3, USB 3.0, and Intel’s future OPTANE™ memory for the highest performance possible on a server platform.

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