Our last blog on Everything Ethernet covered the basic subject of why Ethernet is a good choice for military and embedded applications. Now that Why has been explained, I thought that I would spend some time talking about the What? Most people are often surprised by the different flavors, so to speak, of Ethernet that exist. I’m not sure that there are actually 31 flavors, but for this discussion, it is close enough.

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This is a first in a series of blogs covering the latest and greatest information surrounding Ethernet. However, I thought I’d start out the first blog answering the question “Why Ethernet?” and then, I’ll proceed through a series discussing the latest innovations, standards, and applications.

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Autometrix is an industrial cutting system out of Northern California. A little over a year ago, their electrical engineer, Tyler Green contacted MilSource. Tyler was looking for a basic, board-level Fast Ethernet switch that he could integrate in to his on-board electronic package. The MILTECH 309 fit the bill. Because of its small size, ruggedized componentry and conformal coating, it could fit right in to the size and industrial shock standards needed to deliver the fast and reliable products the company is known for.

To read more about how Autometrix is using MilSource, read the full story in Control Design Magazine.

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We’re headed to AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL next week with one of Techaya’s newest device the MILTECH303. The industry’s only rugged, MIL-STD, IP68 ultra-compact USB 3.1 USB hub. This cool little hub is designed not only to connect USB devices—handhelds, sensors, night vision goggles, keyboards— but also provide power management and charging of up to 5 devices at a time.

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“Routing” on a network is a common term that I think almost everybody knows and understands today. Just to clarify, routing is the act of finding a path for a data packet to travel from one network to another. However did you know that there are three key elements needed to make this routing happen:

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Today, we announced the availability of the new Techaya MILTECH 9124 and MILTECH 9128 board-level, ultra-compact Ethernet switches. These conformally coated, Layer 2/Layer 3, 24- and 28-port 1 GbE and 10 GbE Ethernet switch/routers are designed specifically as embedded solutions for military, avionic and commercial communications platforms.

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Techaya just recently announced a major platform upgrade to their compact, ultra-compact and board level managed Ethernet switches. Through a major firmware upgrade, these managed Ethernet switches now have some key new features.

Why is this so important to existing and future customers of Techaya managed Ethernet switches? Well, this new platform upgrade (available free through a firmware update) adds Layer 3 static routing functionality to these compact, ultra-compact and board-level Layer 2 Ethernet switches. By adding static routing functionality, these switches can now perform IPv4 and IPv6 static routing between VLANs without having to add a router upstream. This reduces the amount of equipment, weight and cost on mobile military platforms.

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As we know, open standards and platforms are becoming a top priority for the military branches as it attempts to implement technologies with more rapid innovation cycles.  For the US this is an absolute necessity to keep up with or stay ahead of foreign threats. Last year, officials at DARPA issued a broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-14-40) for the System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE) program. The program goal is to develop an open system architecture (OSA) for rapid distribution and experimentation of new functionalities across aircraft, weapons, sensors, and mission systems.

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Whether they realize it or not, a recent Research and Markets Report, (take a deep breath now) Commercial Avionics Systems Market by Sub-systems (FMS, Flight Control Systems, Navigation, Communication, & Surveillance Systems, HMS, and Aircraft Electrical & Emergency Systems), by Platform (Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing), and by Geography – Forecast & Analysis (2014 – 2020) (exhale) is indirectly calling for an increased use of Ethernet in the Avionics market.

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Dedicated bus architectures have been traditionally used in military applications, including UAVs, but resulted in heavier, proprietary and more inflexible systems. Ethernet has been shown as a viable alternative for military UAV applications for a number of reasons:

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