100Gb Connectivity in VPX Systems for Aerospace and Defense

The need for 100Gb connectivity in the aerospace and defense industries is driven by the ever-growing demand for higher data rates in real-time data transmission, enhanced communications capabilities, signal intelligence, operational efficiency and cybersecurity. Chip manufacturers continue to respond quickly to market needs and as a result; new SOSA aligned 3U and 6U payload modules now support 100 GbE (100GBASE-KR4) and PCI Express® (PCIe) Gen-4 protocols in processing, as well as FPGA and switching products. For backplanes, these advancements have triggered an associated per lane upshift in data rate requirements from 10Gbps to 25Gbps.

With this demand for higher data rates increasing over time in aerospace and defense applications, the push is on for even faster backplanes in systems that support these requirements. Advancements in networking technology, including improved signal processing techniques, higher-speed transceivers and high speed connectors have made implementing 100Gb connectivity feasible in ruggedized embedded computing applications.  New backplane materials are now in use that support the high speeds enabled by faster silicon and connectors. New high speed PCB laminates provide the 25Gb per lane data rates necessary for 100Gb pipes and they ensure the high signal integrity required in defense applications.  

Chassis, backplanes and integrated systems that support VPX modules and modules in alignment with the SOSA Technical Standard, including 100Gb SOSA aligned VPX Systems from LCR, play a key role in enabling the use of 100Gb connectivity in the defense and aerospace industries. Intelligent system designs that make use of cutting edge technology enable solutions that stay ahead in the race on the battlefield. Swift uptake of emerging solutions ensures faster time to action where it matters most.

Putting 100Gb to Use

Data transfer speeds in and between current systems, platforms and command centers continually to struggle from a lack of bandwidth and high latency. This limits the volume of data that can be transmitted simultaneously, delaying transmission of critical information, as well as constraining the capabilities of surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence. All of these things directly impact situational awareness, decision-making and the effectiveness of a mission.

Helping the WarfighterJet Plane

Today’s warfighters need the most up-to-date information available to make critical decisions in high-stress situations. Military command centers rely on high-speed connectivity to monitor and manage operations effectively. With 100Gb connectivity, commanders can access real-time situational awareness data, coordinate troop movements and communicate with deployed forces more effectively. Having information and locations transmitted in real time, could mean the difference between life and death.

In Remote Operations

In remote operations, mission success relies on real time high-speed remote control, telemetry and data transmission streams in manned and unmanned systems. This level of connectivity supports a wide range of critical functions in battlefield management including situational awareness, reconnaissance, surveillance, weapons control and most importantly in hostile environments, where physical access might be limited or dangerous ensures the well-being of deployed personnel. It enables the military to leverage advanced technologies, maintain secure and reliable communications, as well as respond swiftly to dynamic operational challenges.


Defense organizations invest in extensive cybersecurity technology to protect sensitive and critical infrastructure from cyber threats. With inadequate bandwidth and slower data transfer speeds, cybersecurity operations would be hindered, making it more difficult to detect and respond to threats. As digital threats continue to evolve, it has become increasingly more important to secure communication networks against these attacks. Today’s high-speed connectivity allows for the implementation of advanced encryption and security protocols to protect sensitive data and communications. This would not have been possible 5 years ago at 10Gb speed.

Signal Intelligence

Signals intelligence relies on the rapid transfer of intercepted signals. High-speed connectivity facilities rapid transfer and signal processing for analysis and response. This is vital in maintaining a strategic and tactical advantage that ensures timely decision-making and enhances the effectiveness of intelligence operations. Signals intelligence systems collect and analyze electronic signals for intelligence gathering to help strategize electronic countermeasures.

Electronic Warfare

In electronic warfare, different frequency bands are used for various purposes such as communication, surveillance, radar, jamming and countermeasures. The choice of frequency depends on the range of operation, the nature of the target, the propagation characteristics of the electromagnetic waves and the capabilities of the electronic warfare systems involved.

Frequencies used in electronic warfare operations can vary widely depending on the specific application and the type of electronic systems involved – spanning a range from 30 KHz in the VLF range to 3GHz in the UHF range. Digitization of these signals results in a firehose of data flooding embedded systems tasked with processing and distribution. Indeed EW applications are a primary driver for high speed signal handling technologies of any kind in embedded systems.

100Gb connectivity in VPX systems is essential in meeting the demands of high-performance computing and networking environments. It helps to enable faster data transfer, improved performance and improves scalability so military command and warfighters on the ground receive actionable and reliable real-time information.

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