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VITA PERSONA: Mike Walmsley

Thursday, July 13, 2023 3:27 PM | VITA Marketing (Administrator)

Mike Walmsley, Product Manager, Industry Standards, TE Connectivity

Mike Walmsley has more than 40 years of experience with TE Connectivity (TE) and formerly AMP Inc. primarily in Engineering and Product Management with an emphasis on new  product development. His areas of expertise include interconnect solutions for embedded computing, rugged high speed board level and RF connectors. Mike earned his MBA from Penn State University – Harrisburg and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Rochester, NY. 


1. Explain what’s coming for the next generation of VITA standards.

It’s an exciting time in the VSO.  There are multiple study groups and working groups actively working on revisions or new standards for next generation embedded computing.  OpenVPX hardware standards are being reviewed for future requirements, addressing needs for higher bandwidth and processing speeds, higher density, more efficient power handling and improved cooling technologies.  From the VPX plug-in modules to backplanes, mezzanine cards and external connections and small form factor systems, technology is evolving rapidly, and the VITA standards activity is responding.

2. As VITA 67 Working Group chair, how are RF coax and optical interconnect evolving in OpenVPX architecture?

With the need for higher bandwidth and increased density in sensor systems, high density optical and coax interconnect are becoming a critical piece within OpenVPX architectures. New coax interfaces NanoRF and SMPS have been added to the VITA 67.3 standard, and VITA 66.5 was published with high density optical modules and hybrid coax/optics solutions.  We are also introducing new 75-ohm coax modules to support emerging high speed video applications.


1. Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why?  If not, how’d you wind up here?

As a child, I always took things apart to see how they worked and I loved and excelled in math, so I’d say engineering was really my calling.  My dad was an electrical engineer, but I went the mechanical engineering route because I had to physically see things work.

2. What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general)

How technology changes in the Defense industry have accelerated in the past 10 years.  Technology evolution with military products had been slow for decades, but it’s exciting to see the demand for rugged high-speed solutions, and higher density packaging driving new interconnects and standardization.

3. What is one of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?

With emerging technologies, more than ever an engineer must work within a team and collaborate with other disciplines. For example, in developing high speed products an engineer must balance mechanical robustness, signal integrity and manufacturability. No product will be successful without evaluating all these aspects and addressing for the end system requirements.

4. What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?

Ask questions and build knowledge outside your immediate functional responsibility.  The best engineers understand what impact their designs have for their customers and their applications and know how to optimize designs by consulting with “experts”.

Off the cuff: What's the most recent show you've binge watched?

“Better Call Saul” - as good as Breaking Bad but with more dark humor.  It’s all good man…

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