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Xf Tuner: Innovation in ARINC 818 Development

ALBUQUERQUE, June 28, 2016—Take five minutes for a video tour of Great River Technology's universal ARINC 818 transmitter, the XF Tuner.

Recently introduced, the XF Tuner affords ARINC 818 system developers the ability to adjust format characteristics in real time. Quickly test the robustness of systems through its error injection features. It's a great companion product to GRT's ARINC 818 Video & Protocol Analyzer (VPA). The two can be installed togeather in our Titan, Callisto, and Europa systems.

Find a link to the XF Tuner video on our XF Tuner Product Page and download the companion datasheet while you are there.

Remote monitoring and control enhances HS SAM

April 15, 2013—An improved GUI allows remote status monitoring and control of Great River Technology's High Speed Stand Alone Module (HS SAM). These and other features are available on the HS SAM Gen II, which GRT has begun shipping.

For the first time an optional software development kit (SDK) is available, empowering designers to integrate automatic equipment into the test environment.

Graphic user interface (GUI) for SAMView2
A partial screen from SAMView2, including HS SAM Status indicators

"The HS SAMView2 software enhances flexibility and usability of GRT's proven SAM concept," said Gary Ashel, GRT Software Engineer.

Like previous SAMs, the new generation achieves link rates up to 4.25 gigabits per second and can be configured for conversion of ARINC 818 to DVI and VGA or DVI to ARINC 818. It can also be ordered as a line-spy/video monitor or test pattern generator.

The new generation HS SAM and HS SAMView2:

Software developers can also take advantage of the optional SDK. to create applications that communicate with the new SAM. It enables the integration automatic test equipment into the test environment. No knowledge of the USB layer is required; the application programming interface handles all USB 2.0 communication.

Advanced avionics ARINC 818 switch in production

July 10, 2012—Great River Technology shipped the first production Pantera 4x4 ARINC 818 switch to Boeing this spring. The Pantera series is intended for engineering development and factory use.

ARINC 818 is a video interface for high-bandwidth, low-latency, uncompressed digital video transmission for mission-critical avionics systems, such as cockpit displays, mission processors, and video concentrators. "Since modern avionics systems have as many as ten ARINC 818 signals, engineers often need to route these signals to different locations. Our new series of switches will make this possible" said Tim Keller, Director of Marketing for Great River Technology.

The Pantera switches support baud rates between 1.0625 and 4.25 gigabits per second and operate on fiber-optic wavelengths at 850 or 1310 nanometers. The switches can route any input to any output and can be used as signal splitters and broadcast devices. They can be monitored and controlled through a web browser interface with an Ethernet cable. "These are 'smart' switches," Keller said. "An individual video frame will never be broken or corrupted when switching channels."

Upgrades—such as real-time link monitoring, test pattern generation, and error counting—are also available. As a distributor for Techway, Inc., Great River also provides similar switches with up to 10 inputs and 10 outputs. Mounted in racks or rugged chassis, these complement Great River's Pantera switches, meeting a great variety of ARINC 818 needs. Learn more.

Great River introduces the Pantera 4x4 ARINC 818 switch

August 2011—Great River's Pantera A818 switch is a 4 input, 4 output switch for 1, 2, 3 and 4 Gbps applications. The switch can map any input to any output and supports broadcast modes (one input to many outputs). The switch uses smart monitoring to switch between asynchronous inputs without transmitting partial or corrupted video frames.

The switch is controlled via an Ethernet cable using a common web browser. It can be connected directly to a PC (using a cross-over cable) or to a LAN. The browser permits easy configuration of the switch and gives real-time status of each switch input. The switch has many useful features such as built in test patterns and retention of configuration settings through a power cycle.

GRT offers the ARINC 818 transceiver IP core

November 1, 2009—Great River Technology's (GRT) ARINC 818 transceiver core provides an easy way to implement ARINC 818 compliant interfaces in Xilinx V2, V2Pro, V5, and Altera PLD's. The core uses Xilinx Rocket IO transceivers (MGTs or GTP tiles) to achieve ARINC 818 interfaces up to 3.1875 Gbps (4.25 Gbps coming soon). The core can be used for transmit only, receive only, or for transmit and receive applications.

The core has many flexible compile time settings allowing for various link speeds, line segmentations, and line synchronization methods. The core can be configured for various resolutions and pixel packing methods. Ancillary data can use default values set at compile time or data can be updated in real time via register interface. Learn more

New Matrix PCIe card by GRT enables next-gen ARINC 818 and HOTLink II

Photo of Great River Technology Matrix boards
Matrix PCIe card supports 500 MBps+ throughput and is perfect for high-performance ARINC 818 and HOTLink II I/O applications where uninterrupted throughput is needed.

November 7, 2008—Great River Technology today introduced the Matrix PCI express 4-lane video card for high-speed ARINC 818, FC-AV, and HOTLink II applications. The Matrix series cards, which are capable of recording or transmitting video at 500MB/s+, are built with Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA technology and can be configured for a variety of video formats and resolutions. The Matrix series cards were created for demanding mission-critical video applications and are ideal for digital video recorders, simulation and engineering labs, flight test programs and factory test equipment.

"With the number of new ARINC 818 applications at 3.187Gbps that are being kicked-off by our customers, a new generation card was needed to be able to support the 300MB/s of throughput required. The Matrix series provides this platform for current applications up to 4.25Gbps, and allows for future growth to 6Gbps," said Tim Keller, Director of Marketing.

"As the number of new ARINC 818 and HOTLink II applications increases, we needed a high-performance platform that we can use for the next five to seven years, and it looks like the PCIe bus will be prevalent in test equipment for the foreseeable future," said Jon Alexander, Director of Engineering.

Matrix series boards will be used in systems to test PFD, MFD, HUD cockpit displays; visual and infrared imaging sensors; video concentrators; and map and chart systems.

Matrix series cards are available in two different versions: HOTLink or ARINC 818.

New GRT analyzer accelerates serial communication
implementations of Cypress's HOTLink® SERDES

photo of HOTLink Serial Analyzer
The HOTLink Serial Analyzer simplifies the development and debugging Of a wide array of commercial and military video and data applications.

Albuquerque NM and San Jose CA, September 3, 2008—Great River Technology today introduced the HOTLink® Serial Link Analyzer (HSLA), a tool to accelerate implementing and troubleshooting video systems using HOTLink and HOTLink II SERDES solutions from Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY). Great River Technology's HSLA captures and analyzes 8B/10B traffic on a link, including all data and special characters. The analyzer works with systems with link speeds between 160 Mbps to 1.5 Gbps and covers a wide range of commercial and military video and data applications.

The HSLA was designed for engineers that need to 'see' what is on the link as they develop new HOTLink applications, it is the first HOTLink II analyzer of its kind. "I was developing a complex transmitter protocol and needed a means to verify the output, but normal frame grabbers don't capture all the framing characters, so I had to create a tool that I could use to verify my design, and then kept improving it. Other engineers started borrowing it to verify their designs, and before long it evolved into our HOTLink Serial Link Analyzer," said John Stahoviak, systems engineer and HSLA developer.

"Great River Technology's HOTLink Serial Link Analyzer will be a tremendous help to engineers and technicians developing and debugging systems that use Cypress's HOTLink family of products," said James Lie, marketing manager for HOTLink products at Cypress.

Captured data traces can be easily searched using the included HSLAView software. Multiple trigger levels and trigger logic allow the tool to capture multiple layers of data for detailed analysis. The HSLA works with all 8B/10B encoded protocols such as Fiber Channel, DVB-ASI, and GigE. The HSLA not only captures and analyzes data, but can be used to replay a data stream back on to the link, and allows easy insertion of modified data or errors.

The HOTLink Protocol Analyzer is built on Great River Technology's robust GRAVity product family. Using PCI 64bit/66Mhz technology, the hardware captures raw HOTLink data including all special characters. The capture depth is up to 2 GB, which provides between 18 seconds to 125 seconds of capture, depending on the link speed. The HSLA offers a cost effective means to capture and analyze raw HOTLink data for a number of different PHY's.

The HLSA features include:

The HL2View software offers ease of use with the power to analyze and debug HOTlink interfaces. The feature rich application makes "seeing" what is on the wire as easy as the push of a button. A time scale histogram quickly identifies idle characters from data characters, for quick data previewing. The programmable color-coded data display shows character offsets of the data from when it was received. HL2View makes analysis of Hotlink interfaces fast and productive.

The HSLA is available in two versions: HSLA_Rx, which is a receiver and analyzer, and the HSLA Rx/Tx, which adds data playout features for HOTLink system emulation.

GRT releases ARINC 818 video IP core for Xilinx, Altera FPGAs

Great River Technology released the first ARINC 818 IP core for aerospace and military video applications. The IP core targets both Xilinx and Altera FPGAs and drastically reduces the effort of implementing an ARINC 818 interface into new applications.

August 7, 2008—Great River Technology (GRT) announced today its new ARINC 818 (Avionics Digital Video Bus) IP core with support for Xilinx Virtex-2 Pro, Virtex-5, and Altera Stratix II GX FPGA devices. ARINC 818 is the new standard for high performance, low latency, uncompressed video for mission critical applications, such as military and commercial aerospace environments. "Since being released in January of 2007, the ARINC 818 video protocol is being implemented across a surprising number of military and commercial video applications, such as the Airbus A400M, the Boeing 787, and a number of regional jets," said Jon Alexander, CEO. "The GRT IP Core will help engineers to quickly incorporate an ARINC 818 interface into their products without a large investment in time or engineering."

The ARINC 818 core is compliant with the latest ARINC specification and provides flexibility for implementing and tuning a variety of video formats and timing classifications. The IP core is targeted at cameras, IR sensors, video processors, avionics, and cockpit displays such as MFDs, PFDs, and HUDs. The core uses Xilinx Rocket IO or Altera GX transceivers to achieve ARINC 818 interfaces up to 4.25 Gbps. The GRT IP Core will help engineers to quickly incorporate an ARINC 818 interface into their products without a large investment in time or engineering. GRT licenses the ARINC 818 core using a SignOnce™ agreement. Additionally, VHDL source code and a complete Aerospace Certification Package may also be purchased to support DO-254 qualification. GRT also offers development boards, design support, and engineering services for customization of the core.