Elma Bustronic now offers VXS backplanes with a Gigabit Ethernet Control Layer Channel per VITA 41.6, the first of which is a 20-slot size. It features a dual star routing topology and 18-layer stripline design. The Gigabit Ethernet control channel provides for out-of-band communication, particularly important feature for system management, software and firmware upgrades, and initiating new processes on specific boards. The 7U high backplane includes power studs in 3.3V, 5V, 12V, and GND along the top and bottom of the backplane. Also on tap are VXS backplanes with Dual Star topologies in eight, 12, 18, 20, and 21 slots. VXS Star backplanes include sizes with five slots and an eight-slot with one hub, five payload, and two legacy VME64x slots. Depending on configuration, price for the 20-slot VXS backplane with control channel is under $3,000 each in volume. ELMA ELECTRONIC INC., Fremont, CA. (510) 656-3400.