Gerald Persaud, V.P. Business Development at Reflex Photonics was given the opportunity to participate in a VITA expert roundtable.
Read the whole roundtable discussion here.
Gerald Persaud is responsible for overseeing global marketing, business development and customer initiatives related to the Reflex Photonic's product lines, as well as managing product development and customer technical support.
Gerald holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at McMaster University.
Different questions were being answered by the roundtable experts. Here are Mr. Persaud's answers:
What drivers pushing VITA technologies forward most affect your customers and company, and how are you responding?
Electronic Warfare is evolving faster than ever, as computing power increases exponentially and AI algorithms and sensor technology become more sophisticated. With new Electronic Warfare threats arriving at an alarmingly fast pace, VITA systems are being architected to scale quickly and cost effectively.
Fiber optics, with its enormous bandwidth, is the best interconnect technology for scaling systems. Once the fiber optic infrastructure is installed, it supports multiple technology generations with no change. We support scaling with an array of ruggedized optical transceivers offering line speeds of up to 25 Gbps and I/O densities up to 24 lanes in small chip size modules. In the near future, we will double line rate to 56 Gbps, and we’ll further ruggedize our optical transceivers for more harsh environments, such as space, where radiation hardness is needed.
What trends will be most pertinent to systems integrators working with VITA technologies?
The trend towards autonomous or SMART systems is one that will greatly affect system integrators working with VITA technologies. VITA technologies will have to support machine learning or artificial intelligence capable of accurately characterizing the environment and recommending the best course of action based on massive data input from sensors and other data sources. VITA systems will need to deliver enormous processing power in a smaller and smaller footprint. From the start, Reflex Photonics was structured to make the smallest rugged optical modules capable of supplying enormous BW and optical channels. Today our rugged technologies are field-proven and well positioned to take advantage of the trend for smarter and smaller systems.
What are the three main reasons your company continues to use whichever VITA technologies you have been using the longest?
Reflex Photonics VITA Technology focus is on optical interconnects such as VITA 66 and 67 standards. We see great benefit from active optical blind-mate connectors to simplify system assembly and upgrades. As well, optical blind-mate connectors reduce space and enable field servicing. Our latest LightCONEX™ blind mate connector integrates an optical module into the backplane connector, thus eliminating the need for separate optical modules, cables, and cable routing. LightCONEX simplifies board assembly since there is no optical cable to assemble and no chance of cracking the glass fibers during assembly.
What myths about VITA technologies should be put to rest?
Myths we hear are the ruggedness of fiber optic interconnect and the cost of fiber-optics versus electrical interconnects.
Yes, fiber-optics may require some additional handling during installation and maintenance but this is small compared to the numerous benefits such as immunity to EMI, light weight, superior bandwidth, reach and scalability. As well, there are many technical approaches to manage the handling issues and Reflex Photonics can provide solutions.
With respect to cost, fiber optics interconnects are generally more expensive, but one has to consider the overall effectiveness of the systems and the cost of upgrades over the life of the equipment. For example, if the cost of fiber optics increases the system cost by 5% but enhances the system by 20% then one has to decide if the additional 15% effectiveness is worth it. For an expensive aircraft, this may mean the difference of losing that aircraft because it was unable to counter a threat quickly enough. As well, the cost of upgrades could be far greater if one has to replace the electrical with optical interconnects to support more advance technologies.