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Randy Banton

Monday, April 16, 2018 8:30 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)
Induction: April 2018

While a young engineer at Bell Labs, in the early 1980s, Banton cut his teeth on VMEbus where he took part in an effort that mapped the VMEbus specification to an AT&T proprietary line-card format for a switching system they were developing in research. He later landed at Mercury Systems for a decade, starting there in 1996.

At Mercury Systems, he took part in many of the standards activities that were key to the future generations of Mercury System products. Some of the concepts, which set the foundation for VITA-48 VPX REDI, were innovations borne out of the Mercury Systems PowerStream 7000 development. Seven patents were issued to Banton, and members of the development team, for those innovations.

He vividly recalls making the proposal for what became VITA-48 VPX REDI. It was in the upper-room of a Scottsdale meeting location; he had mostly lost his voice overnight and struggled to do the presentation. He felt like he had done a lousy job, and wow! – He closed to a robust round of applause from the excited attendees.

The VITA 48 working group was formed at the January 2004 VSO meeting. The purpose of the group was to develop an enhanced thermal management standard suitable for the new ruggedized VPX initiative. A standard, which would harmonize the various cooling methods: Air, conduction, spray, and liquid flow-through. The title of the original draft was “Mechanical Specifications for Microcomputers Using Enhanced Ruggedized Design Implementation (ERDI).” With the magic of marketing insight from Rich Jaenicke, “ERDI” was rearranged to the market-friendly “REDI” (Rugged Enhanced Design Implementation)!

Banton took part in the development of many VITA standards (VITA 5.1, VITA 17, VITA 41, VITA 46, VITA 47, and VITA 50, to name a few) as a key contributor by supporting, chairing, and working the details directly or feeding back into others at Mercury Systems.

Key contributions:
  • VITA 48 VPX REDI – working group chair for more than two years
  • VITA 42, Rapid IO mapping – working group chair until publication
  • 26 patents spanning his career – the first was one from Bell Labs, the research switching system which used VMEbus
  • A motivating force behind the Mercury Systems and VITA patent license agreement for U.S. Patent No. 6,759,588

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