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Wireless Mezzanine Combines Wi-Fi, Zigbee, GPS and Cryptography

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A multi-function mezzanine card combines wireless, GPS and cryptography to deliver portable, secure in-the-field wireless connectivity. The lightweight, small form factor XMC-660 from Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing is a solution for quickly and easily adding high-performance trusted wireless communications to VME, VPX and CompactPCI embedded systems for applications including luggable computers, manpacks and secure laptop computers.

Designed for rugged environments, the XMC-660, based on the VITA 42 XMC standard, combines support for WiFi 802.11 n/a/b/g communications, Zigbee 802.15 asset tracking, and GPS location services on a single plug-in mezzanine card, to deliver a solution for systems integrators building embedded wireless networks. Power dissipation for the card is 7 watts (typical)/ 8.4 watts (max). It requires only a 5V power supply from the basecard. All other necessary voltages are generated on board the XMC-660.

Although targeted for multi-function wireless applications, the XMC-660 also provides advanced back-end AES/3DES cryptographic support for secure wireline communications over PCI/PCIe to a base card. As a modular building block, the XMC-660 can, for example, be mounted on a Curtiss-Wright Controls’ VPX3-1100 Atomic base card (using an ATOM 1.6 GHz processor), resulting in a 100 mm x 160 mm x 2.54 mm lightweight solution embeddable in a manpack or a ground vehicle as a wireless computing end node.

The XMC-660 features a dual band MIMO 2T3R chipset with PCI interface. The chipset consists of two highly integrated RF and baseband/MAC IC modules that are fully compliant with the IEEE 802.11n draft specification, as well as IEEE 802.11 a/b/g standards that operate in the 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The GPS module is a small high-sensitivity solution comprising a 20 channel GPS receiver (SiRF Star- III) capable of providing accurate location, altitude, velocity and direction data of moving objects. The Zigbee interface is provided by a single chip TI CC2480 processor running Texas Instruments’ Zigbee Z-Stack. The application running on the base card can make use of this ZigBee stack through APIs provided on the base card driver.  The XMC-660 hardware interface for ZigBee includes UART for data communication and GPIO lines for configuration and control. Software support includes drivers for the Windows XP, Linux GPPLE and VxWorks 6.7 (roadmap) operating environments.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Leesburg, VA. (613) 254-5112. [www.cwcembedded.com].