Abaco Systems has extended its range of portable avionics devices that offer the Intel Thunderbolt 3 interface with the addition of an ARINC664-compatible RCNIC-A2PA-TB and multiprotocol RAR15XF-TB that supports up to four channels of MIL-STD-1553 and 18 channels of ARINC 429 on a single device. These new devices complement the company's QPM-1553-TB and RCEI-830A-TB.
The company's Thunderbolt 3 design provides maximum flexibility and performance to increase the functionality of existing test systems without the addition of more slots. It also provides portability and convenience for test and simulation users and for flight-line use. Typical applications incorporate bus analysis/simulation, system integration activities, and flight-line, including 615-3 data loading and MRO.
ExpressCard and PCMCIA slots are vanishing from the portable computers generally used in avionics test and simulation, and have mostly been replaced by USB.
However, USB latency limits real-time interaction with data and channel density is also limited. Neither is ideal in an avionics environment in which low latency and high bandwidth are crucial. The Thunderbolt 3 interface has become a de facto standard interface on new laptops and is a solution that restricts neither the performance nor the adaptability of avionics databus adapters. Thunderbolt 3 throughput is at least 4x faster than the highest speed USB connection and has orders of magnitude lower latency than USB. It offers customers with a stable roadmap into the future, ensuring long-term viability and giving performance advantages over USB-based devices.
“In addition, recent government-mandated security requirements have presented a challenge to avionics interface customers in that migrating to newer operating systems and hardware creates significant technical obstacles,” said Peter Thompson, Vice President, Product Management at Abaco Systems. “The RCNIC-A2PA-TB and RAR15XF-TB ease this process by providing support for the Thunderbolt 3 interface, which is widely available across modern systems.”
“Beyond this,” he added, “Power over Thunderbolt 3 simplifies wiring and connections for reduced integration time.”