Rugged VME Chassis / VME64x Chassis

VME Chassis and VME64x Chassis, is a ruggedized enclosure utilized in defense applications for housing and interconnecting VMEbus-based electronic modules. These chassis provide a standardized framework for integrating various processing, communication, and control modules, ensuring compatibility and interchangeability across military systems.
Overview Rugged VME Chassis / VME64x Chassis
By Mike Ball Last updated: May 5th, 2024

VME or VMEbus is a computer bus standard that is designed for computing applications requiring multiple processors, shared memory and varied I/O. It is widely used in military and aerospace applications, including command and control systems, communications, radar, and more.

A VME chassis allows single or multiple 3U or 6U boards to be inserted and connected together via the backplane. They may range from single-slot up to 21 slots.

VME64x Chassis

The VME standard has been extended several times since its inception to take advantage of new technological developments. One of the newest revisions is VME64x, which provides a 64-bit bus and allows for the usage of more powerful processors and larger amounts of memory, as well as enabling faster data transfer. VME64x also added the ability for boards to be hot-swapped, which is highly useful for maintaining mission readiness in military and defense applications.

VME and VME64x chassis enclosures will typically include a controller and power supplies in addition to the backplane. They are available in a variety of different heights, including 1U, 2U, 3U and all the way up to larger sizes such as 9U and 12U, and in different form factors including rackmount, portable and benchtop.

Rugged VME Chassis

Depending on the application, 3U and 6U VME and VME64x chassis may need to be ruggedized to enable them to withstand harsh operating conditions. This may include protection against shock and vibration, extremes of temperature, EMI (electromagnetic interference) and ESD (electrostatic discharge).

Rugged VME chassis may be conduction cooled or convection cooled. Conduction-cooled chassis may utilize a special module that fits in one of the card slots and allows heat to be dissipated via a conduction plate attached to the chassis.