LightCONEX Optical Interconnects for OpenVPX and SOSA-aligned Applications 

Apr 14, 2022 | Cables & connectors

Smiths Interconnect, a leading provider of technically differentiated connectors, cable assemblies, fibre optics and radio frequency components has announced the release of its new LightCONEX optical plug-in and backplane module connectors 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 recognized reliability and robustness of the optical modules of Smiths Interconnect’s Reflex Photonics® technology, LightCONEX active blindmate 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 blindmate 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 fibrecable 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 edgemounted transceivers into theplug-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 edgemount transceiver
Rugged interconnects capable of 500 mating cycles and qualified to MIL-STD-1344A for shock and vibration


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