Are there some general resources (other than spec sheets of boards) to compare the differences between computing formats like VPX, VME, IBM bladecenter-h, etc?

I am tasked with doing some legwork what form-factor we should be looking at when buying our processing equipment for a high performance semi-rugged system.

I've read specs on size, connectors, bandwidth density, power usage, etc. Is there anything more I am missing? I'm having trouble comparing the overall possible bandwidth to each server in each architecture. Particularly VPX and all of its dot level specifications.

These would run custom software and FPGAs, DACs, ADCs, a linux machine, etc.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you are wanting to know this from a sys admin perspective you might want to go here serverfault.com \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Oct 11, 2010 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


If this is professional interest, the VITA standards documents are available for $300 or so for a CD of all of them.

Edit to add: what are you looking for? Performance, price, ubiquity, etc?

Edit: some additional thoughts. Will add to these as I think of them.

  • COTS Journal, Embedded Computing Design, and similar trade magazines have high level technical articles on these interfaces. Caveat emptor, since the articles are written by vendors.

  • For ADC/DAC applications, how much bandwith do you really need? If this is a control/sensing application (LVDT, etc), you may not need more than a few tens of KHz/channel. Which might imply that you don't need a x16 PCIe interface. My experience is that a lot of folks tend to spec as much CPU, RAM, Flash, and IO bandwidth as they can get. Even if they need to move a few dozen bytes every 50 mSec.

  • If you're looking at commercial cards or chassis, you should also consider IO card availability. Don't forget the possibility of using PMC/XMC cards on carriers.

  • I would stay away from anything that doesn't have a decent ecosystem yet. VME and cPCI are safe. RapidIO? StarFabric? Maybe not there in 5 years.

  • I think VPX's costs will kill it. $140 per board connector, x3 for a 3U IO card? Really?

  • \$\begingroup\$ First, I'd just like an overview of general differences, since each can use many of the same switched fabrics. In the end, performance and price, but I surmise the implementation of particular needed hardware on those architectures will generally dictate that? \$\endgroup\$
    – eruditass
    Oct 12, 2010 at 15:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 on the basis of 'consider IO card availability' alone. \$\endgroup\$
    – JustJeff
    Oct 13, 2010 at 11:23

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