RapidIO® Selected As Standard for Future Space-based Electronics

NGSIS group selects RapidIO as standard for next-generation satellite electronics

The RapidIO Trade Association is pleased to announce that RapidIO has been selected as the basis for the Next Generation Space Interconnect Standard, an industry and government agreed standard for intra-satellite physical and logical interconnects.

The NGSIS working group has been meeting for over a year with the charter of developing requirements for interconnect technology for use in satellites. Independent trade study results, by NGSIS member companies, demonstrated the superiority of RapidIO over other existing commercial protocols, such as: Infiniband, Fibrechannel, and 10G Ethernet. As part of the effort, the NGSIS requirements committee developed extensive requirements criteria with 47 different elements for the NGSIS interconnect. The group decided that RapidIO offered the best overall interconnect foundation to the needs of next-generation satellites. The two organizations began a dialog on the best way to work together and have determined that the RapidIO Trade Association will service as the organizational home for completing the NGSIS standards work. Many of the companies participating in the NGSIS effort are already member companies of the RapidIO Trade Association. The RapidIO Trade Association also has a well functioning process and eco-system to support standards development work.

The RapidIO NGSIS group will develop additional standards specifications detailing how RapidIO should be implemented in space-borne equipment this may include the development of optical interface standards and connector standards. The NGSIS has also had discussions with VITA to support the definition of mechanical chassis standards.

Patrick Collier of the Air Force Research Lab and a leader of the NGSIS effort said: “We are excited to work with the RapidIO community to establish these important standards of next-generation satellites. The satellite industry has a growing need for high-speed data and also for extremely high reliability. RapidIO offers both high-speed and also very reliable communications.”

“The RapidIO Trade Association is pleased with the selection of RapidIO by the NGSIS group.” said Sam Fuller, Executive Director. “NGSIS member companies will be able to leverage the robust ecosystem of RapidIO products and services to develop next-generation space-based electronics that will offer significantly higher processing and communications capabilities than existing solutions.
The selection of RapidIO by the NGSIS group validates the fundamental value proposition of RapidIO as a high-performance, reliable switch fabric technology that has been optimized for demanding embedded applications. Being an open industry standard supported by dozens of companies ensures that the space industry will be able to continue to work with the technology for decades into the future.”

Current NGSIS member companies and organizations include: BAE Systems, Boeing Space Systems, Cisco, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, NASA/JPL, NASA/Goddard, Orbital Sciences, Sandia National Laboratories, Space Systems/Loral and the US Air Force Research Laboratory.

Companies interested in participating in this standards development effort should contact the RapidIO Trade Association for membership information.