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General Micro Systems (GMS) Introduces X9 Venom OpenVPX Single Board Systems and Chassis

Product family brings over 20 new 3U and 6U modules and chassis with SOSA™ and MOSA approach based upon Thunderbolt™ 4 and 100Gb Ethernet Interoperability

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AIGeneral Micro Systems (GMS) today introduced a new product family of 3U and 6U OpenVPX computer boards, peripherals and ATR-style chassis for use in U.S. Army ground, air, communications and weapons systems. The “X9 Venom” family of 21 products will be available by early 2023, starting first with the 3U and 6U single-board computers (SBCs) based upon Intel® and NVIDIA® processors and GPGPUs. All products follow ANSI/VITA 65 standards, meet the Department of Defense (DoD) requirement for modular open standards approach (MOSA) electronic systems, and are IEEE 1101.2 conduction cooled. X9 Venom products are also SOSA™ (Sensor Open Standard Architecture) aligned and ready to meet C4ISR/Electronic Warfare Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), two standards that increasingly are requirements in U.S. Army programs and platform upgrades.

The OpenVPX standard is a common upgrade from widely deployed legacy VME-style boards and chassis. Unlike VME, however, OpenVPX modules have limited space for electronics and input/output signals, offering little differentiation between vendors or suppliers of these modules. For system designers, OpenVPX systems have fewer functions per slot and need more boards in the chassis, require complex wiring between the slots as functions “spill over,” and generally use more power, generate more heat and cost more.

GMS’ X9 Venom product line is different, relying on GMS’ modular and super-dense X9 architecture and patented I/O, through-board and external connectors, signal conditioning, power management and cooling to drastically increase the functionality of each X9 Venom single board computer—better called a single-board system.

“Each of Venom’s 3U and 6U single-board systems have more functionality, more memory, higher-performance processors, and much greater amounts of data I/O bandwidth—up to 455 Gbps—than any competing OpenVPX vendor,” said Ben Sharfi, CEO and chief architect, GMS. “With all of these unique capabilities, if a customer chooses OpenVPX or SOSA™-aligned OpenVPX over more efficient implementations like our small form factor (SFF) X9 Spider modules, it only makes sense to choose one of our X9 Venom OpenVPX single-board systems.”

Folded “Origami”

According to Sharfi, GMS accomplishes what was once deemed impossible by “folding” a larger computer board with many functions into multiple 3U-sized boards that fit into either one or two 3U slots. In addition, patented GMS connector technology and know-how routes high-speed PCI Express 4 signals (16Gbps) between the stacked boards without signal degradation. Traditional PCI Express and Ethernet data is sent to the backplane, but high-speed I/O—including 100Gbit fiber optic data and Thunderbolt™ 4 signals—is sent to the front panel.

GMS 3U and 6U ATR-PLUS chassis are designed to handle both backplane and front panel copper and fiber data. The 6U-sized X9 Venom boards are all single slot but essentially take the 3-board X9 architecture and place it onto a single 6U board. All boards or chassis use GMS patented “clamshell” heat sinks, wedgelocks, RuggedCool™ or Diamond RuggedCool™ hot spot cooling and stiffeners, and have available LightBolt™ front panel connectors for copper, fiber, or fiber with up to 100W Power Delivery.

A New MOSA Perspective: Interoperability via Thunderbolt 4

Unique to GMS’ X9 architecture, which includes the X9 Spider SFF modules and X9 Venom OpenVPX boards and chassis, is Thunderbolt 4 technology. This Intel®/Apple® 40Gbps interface provides USB 4/3/2, DisplayPort, PCIe, 10Gbits/s Ethernet, and up to 100W Power Delivery (when equipped). With Venom single-board systems, Thunderbolt 4 ports and 100Gb Ethernet allow data movement between cards and outside of the ATR box without loading up the limited bandwidth OpenVPX backplane. In addition, externally connected Thunderbolt 4 systems provide simple modularity, scalability and a very easy upgrade path without having to modify an OpenVPX chassis.

“Thunderbolt 4 ports and 100Gbs Ethernet give GMS’ Venom boards the ability to scale well beyond the ATR chassis,” Sharfi said. “We’ve solved the board real estate problem by ‘folding’ the boards to maximize functionality per slot. With Thunderbolt 4 ports and 100Gbps Ethernet added, we’ve also solved the limitations of the VPX backplane.”

Thunderbolt 4 technology and 100Gbps Ethernet provide the MOSA interoperability, scalability and vendor independence that SOSA is trying to accomplish, without having to define the interface at the card edge all the way down to the individual pins. Any product with Thunderbolt 4 technology or Ethernet ports will interoperate and can be replaced by any other product.

X9 Venom Product Offering

Available in single-slot or dual-slot versions, in 3U or 6U sizes, and in air- or conduction-cooled versions, X9 Venom SBCs are available with Intel®’s 8 core Xeon W (Tiger Lake H), Intel’s 20 core Xeon D-2700 (formerly Ice Lake D HCC), or NVIDIA®’s Jetson AGX Orin GPGPU machine image vision/AI processor. Each SBC comes fully featured, and can also be available with network-oriented functions (“NET” version), network-attached storage functions (“NAS” version), or artificial intelligence functions (“AI” version). Options are many, including up to 48TB of on-board storage, 4-6 100Gb Ethernet ports, supplemental NVIDIA RTX5000 GPGPU co-processor, and up to six Thunderbolt 4 40Gbps ports for out-of-band data movement without relying on the backplane.

3U Processor Modules

CPUs are either Intel® Xeon W Core i7 or Intel® Xeon D Ice Lake as single-board system, or as network-centric (“NET”) with 2-6 RDMA 100GbE and 2-4 Thunderbolt 4 ports, or as network-attached storage (“NAS”) with up to 48TB VROC RAID storage, and 2-4 Thunderbolt 4 ports plus 2-4 100GbE ports with Intel iWRAP and RoCEv2 on Ice Lake D systems. All processor modules have multiple low-speed I/O plus legacy I/O options, along with optional NVIDIA GPGPU.

6U Processor Modules

CPUs are either Intel® Xeon W Core i7 or Intel® Xeon D Ice Lake, or as network-centric (“NET”) with 4-6 RDMA 100GbE and 2-4 Thunderbolt 4 ports, or as network-attached storage (“NAS”) with up to 48TB VROC RAID storage, and 2-4 Thunderbolt 4 ports plus 2-4 100GbE ports with Intel iWRAP and RoCEv2 on Xeon D systems. All processor modules have multiple low-speed I/O plus legacy I/O options, along with optional NVIDIA GPGPU.

Accessory Modules

Additional OpenVPX Venom modules include NVIDIA® Jetson AGX Orin GPGPU for artificial intelligence (“AI”) with image processing frame grabber inputs; 20-port Ethernet switch (“Switch”); and 1000W redundant, N+1 SOSA-aligned smart VPX power supply (“Power”).

OpenVPX ATR-style Chassis

GMS “ATR-PLUS” and “ATR-MAX” chassis come in aluminum alloy or in carbon fiber to save up to 30% in weight. Per-slot heat pipe cooling improves reliability and extends operating range. All chassis front panels are infinitely configurable and include high- and low-speed copper connectors plus fiber connectors for internal backplane and card front panel wiring. 3U chassis have six or eight slots, a removable 4-SSD canister for data storage, and two slots for dual 1000W smart power supplies. 6U chassis include two canisters for removable storage and eight slots, with two reserved for power supplies. All Thunderbolt® technology-equipped chassis offer 100W Power Delivery over fiber.

Designed in America

GMS has proudly designed X9 Venom SOSA-aligned 3U and 6U OpenVPX modules in America—with the same design ethos as the company’s successful MIL-SPEC conduction-cooled servers, VME and VPX single-board computers, and deployed conduction-cooled small form factor (SFF) chassis and systems.

Where: Booth #8221, AUSA Annual Meeting and Expo, Washington, DC, October 10-12, 2022

Images and a datasheet can be found at

For interviews at the show, contact Kelly Wanlass at 801-602-4723 or or GMS CTO Chris Ciufo at (360) 921-7556 or

About General Micro Systems:

General Micro Systems (GMS) is the rugged server company. The company is known as the industry expert in highest-density, modular, compute-intensive, and rugged small form-factor embedded computing systems, servers, and switches. These powerful systems are ideal for demanding C5ISR defense, aerospace, medical, industrial, and energy exploration applications. GMS is an IEC, ISO, AS9100, NIST-800-171, and MIL-SPEC supplier with infrastructure and operations for long-life, spec-controlled, and configuration-managed programs.

Designed from the ground up to provide the highest performance and functionality in the harshest environments on the planet, the company’s highly customizable products include GMS Rugged DNA™ with patented RuggedCool™ cooling technology. GMS is also the leader in deployable high-end Intel® and NVIDIA® processors. For more information, visit

General Micro Systems and the General Micro Systems logo are trademarks of General Micro Systems, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

©2022 General Micro Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved



Chris A. Ciufo


Kelly Wanlass

HCI Marketing and Communcations, Inc.



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