Proven Linux OS Expanded to Aitech's Multi-core Remote I/O Subsystem

Chatsworth, Calif. July 2019 – Aitech Defense Systems, Inc., a part of the Aitech Group, has ported the cost-effective, open source Linux operating system onto its intelligent Ai-RIO remote I/O interface unit (RIU). This modular small form factor (SFF) RIU internally networks up to eight expansion modules – or ‘slices’ – for extremely high density and low power in a compact physical space.

George Romaniuk, director of space products, for Aitech Group noted, “By increasing the available OS options on the Ai-RIO, we’re providing customers with technology advantages to ensure their systems are developed on-time and on-budget, while incorporating the needed processing speeds and real-time functionality of critical embedded systems.”

The Linux-based software development kit (SDK) for the Ai-RIO facilitates easy development of applications. With the combination of the new SDK and the SFF’s modular expansion design, the Ai-RIO provides the ability to create custom-tailored embedded systems that offer high performance, design flexibility and low-cost development. It is available in both ruggedized military or space-qualified versions.

The Linux BSP is delivered as a Virtual Machine (VM) with the complete source code and build environment. The VM has a pre-configured TFTP server to boot the kernel and an NFS server to be used for storage and file sharing during the development.

All Ai-RIO units are tested and characterized directly by Aitech for radiation effects over 25 krads (Si) TID. The dual-core, high performance, low power NXP P1020 processor was selected, since it is immune to latch-up, with other components chosen to meet the heavy ion Linear Energy Transfer threshold (LETth) of at least 37 MeV-cm2/mg for latch-up.

The addition of the Linux SDK complements the existing VxWorks SDK, giving system designers additional development opportunities, based on application needs.

The Linux-based RIU platform also provides a low-cost path to leverage the flight-proven NASA Core Flight System (cFS) when implementing new mission critical systems.

Using Aitech’s RIO-NET client/server software, the unit can also serve as a standalone command and data handling (C&DH) platform or media converter, or as a networked remote command/response I/O data concentrator.

The modular subsystem features onboard temperature sensors as well as A/D voltage and current monitoring with built-in test (BIT) for high reliability and a base configuration weight of only 3.75 lbs with a power dissipation of less than 12 W.