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LightCONEX optical interconnects for OpenVPX and SOSA-aligned applications

04 March 2022

Smiths Interconnect has announced the release of its new LightCONEX optical plug-in and backplane module connectors.

These are compatible with the VITA 66.5 draft standard and aligned with the SOSA Technical Standard for VPX systems within rugged embedded computing applications and sensor systems.

The Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Consortium is developing a common framework for transitioning sensor systems to an open systems architecture, based on key interfaces and open standards established by industry-government consensus.  Smiths Interconnect has been a leader in the VITA 66.5 standard development under OpenVPX and is an active member of the SOSA consortium, which references the VITA 66.5 draft standard.

Building on the recognised reliability and robustness of the optical modules of Smiths Interconnect’s Reflex Photonics technology, LightCONEX active blind-mate optical interconnect system is a revolutionary solution for VPX systems that incorporates an optical transceiver into the plug-in module connector. The optical interconnect meets military standard requirements for shock, vibration, and harsh environmental conditions.

Tullio Panarello, Vice President and General Manager of the Fibre Optics and Components Business Unit at Smiths Interconnect, commented: “The LightCONEX family of optical interconnects is the answer to the stringent size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements of today’s SOSA-aligned Defence applications. 

It offers flexibility, light weight, very high bandwidth, and forward compatibility with developing standards, while addressing the challenges of high bandwidth port density and volumetric density on the plug-in card”.

The LightCONEX blind-mate optical interconnect system includes a fixed plug-in connector and a floating backplane connector compatible with the VITA 66.5 standard. The low-profile plug-in transceiver connector is screw-mounted on the board edge through an electrical interposer, saving board space and eliminating fibre cable handling. The backplane connector has a spring-loaded MT to ensure a secure MT to MT mating connection under extreme shock and vibration conditions.

LightCONEX VPX optical interconnects offer the following differentiating benefits:

• Increased volumetric density by incorporating 10G or 25G edge-mounted transceivers into the plug-in interconnect
• Port bandwidth density of up to 700 Gbps full-duplex in a half-width aperture
• Easy VPX board assembly and rework by eliminating fibre pigtail on edge-mount transceiver
• Rugged interconnects capable of 500 mating cycles and qualified to MIL-STD-1344A for shock and vibration

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