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Abaco Announces New Family of Avionics Devices for Test and Simulation, Development, and Dataloading Featuring Thunderbolt™ 3 Interface


  • Provides powerful alternative to devices based on ExpressCard, PCMCIA, Ethernet or USB connections


  • Leverages high speed 40Gbps interface for minimum latency, maximum channel density
  • Gives customers a clear path forward



HUNTSVILLE, Ala.— April 2 2019 Abaco Systems today announced the launch of a new family of avionics devices that feature the Thunderbolt™ 3 interface, including Thunderbolt 3-to-PMC/XMC interfacing with ARINC 429 and MIL-STD-1553 protocols.  The new platforms have integrated Thunderbolt 3 to establish a new standard for high-speed, low latency portable devices for a broad range of avionics applications. All of the Thunderbolt 3-equipped products include a rugged, all-aluminum design along with Power-over-Thunderbolt 3 to maximize portability.

The first of the new platforms include:

  • The RCEI-830A-TB supports up to 16 Tx and 16 Rx ARINC channels with a range of flexible I/O configurations. It provides complete, integrated databus functionality for ARINC 429, ARINC 615-3 dataloader, ARINC 717, ARINC 575 and selected 2-wire, 32-bit protocols.  Configurations with ARINC 717 provide support for both ARINC 717 HBP (Harvard Bi-Phase) and BPRZ (Bi-Polar Return to Zero) across a range of bit rate/sub-frame combinations.
  • The QPM-1553-TB provides high levels of performance, flexibility and interface density for MIL-STD-1553A/B. Standard features include 1 MByte of RAM per channel, real-time bus playback, aperiodic message insertion, error injection/detection, conditional BC branching, 64-bit, 25 nanosecond message timetagging, and “one-shot” BC operation. 

Additional products in the family are planned for the near future.

“Increasingly, our customers are finding that their existing portable avionics equipment is becoming obsolete,” said Peter Thompson, Vice President, Product Management at Abaco Systems. “Modern PCs and laptops rarely feature the ExpressCard or PCMCIA interfaces on which our customers have historically relied. While USB and Ethernet theoretically provide alternatives, their inherent latency limits real-time interaction with data, and channel density is limited.”

“Beyond this,” Thompson continued, “recent government-mandated security requirements have presented a challenge to avionics data loader customers in that migrating to newer operating systems and hardware creates significant technical obstacles.”

Thunderbolt 3 is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for peripherals: 40Gpbs is the fastest PC connection available,” concluded Thompson. “These new products, combined with Abaco’s proven, flexible and easy-to-use software provide new levels of performance and usability, and deliver invaluable tools for any organization involved in bus analysis/simulation, system integration or flight-line – including data loading and maintenance, repair and overhaul – and will provide a clear path forward for our customers.”

In line with Abaco’s commitment to minimizing long term cost of ownership, the new product family is backwards compatible with many existing Abaco avionics devices in its support for Abaco’s feature-rich API and BusTools UI.

About Abaco Systems

With more than 30 years’ experience, Abaco Systems is a global leader in open architecture computing and electronic systems for aerospace, defense and industrial applications. We create innovative, modular solutions based on open standards that are characterized by outstanding price/performance, ultimate rugged reliability and minimal SWaP. Our goal is to be a significant contributor to our customers’ success, partnering with them to reduce cost, time-to-deployment and risk and supporting them over the long term.  With an active presence in hundreds of national asset platforms on land, sea and in the air, Abaco Systems is trusted where it matters most.

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