AB Family Small Form Factor I/O Computers

Capable · Efficient · Proven

AB Family: The Time-Proven COTS Solution

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The Ballard AB Family from Astronics pioneered the small form factor avionics I/O computer segment. These flexible Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) devices can be configured for a wide variety of uses, such as standalone rugged computing, protocol converting, data recording, network data serving, or remote monitoring. The problem-solving AB family is particularly well-suited for avionics technology upgrades and have been deployed on dozens of aerial, ground, and marine platforms in military and commercial applications.

Products in this versatile family range from compact AB1000 Avionics I/O Converters and highly-flexible AB2000 Avionics I/O Controllers, to the latest SWaP-optimized AB3000 Series N Avionics I/O Computers. The AB3000 Series N is optimized for distributed architectures with an integrated 8-port gigabit Ethernet switch. It also features 64-bit quad core processing and cybersecurity capabilities. More details for each AB Series can be seen below.

AB Family Overview

NG Family – Avionics Interfacing and Computing

NG is a new family of 64-bit Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) avionics I/O computing platforms, providing flexible, problem-solving solutions for areas such as mission computing, distributed control, and avionics data conversion.

The NG Family is recommended over the AB Family for all new designs.

Find out more about NG Family »

AB3000 Series N – Integrated Network Series Avionics I/O Computers

The AB3000 ‘Series N’ Avionics I/O Computer is the first small form-factor COTS mission computer to integrate a 64-bit quad core processor, high throughput Gigabit Ethernet, and a wide array of avionics I/O in a rugged, compact device.

AB2000 – Flexible Avionics I/O Controllers

The Rugged AB2000 is a family of compact, conduction or convection-cooled controllers for use in demanding environments. These flexible, Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) devices solve challenging interface, bridging and control problems, while reducing SWaP (Size, Weight and Power).

AB1000 – Compact Avionics I/O Converters

The AB1000 is a small, lightweight embedded converter with built-in avionics databus interfaces and a variety of standard I/O types. This unique, small, problem-solving COTS device is ideally suited for simple protocol converting, data serving, and other common avionics needs.
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Proven Solutions That Minimize Your Risk

The AB Family, like all our COTS products, comes pre-configured and pre-validated for rapid deployment with no up-front NRE. Why spend your valuable time and money developing a custom solution when we've already created the hardware you need—before you knew you needed it. Our expertise is delivering proven solutions that minimize your risk and ensure the success of your program. Here are more ways we help you deliver your programs on time and within budget:


Thoughtful Designs

You need products that integrate and perform the way you expect—with no surprises. Our hardware and software solutions feature high reliability and long service life to save you money now and over the life of your program.


Loaner Hardware

Get a jump on development. We can bail loaner hardware at no charge for both embedded and test & simulation use, allowing you to test drive the products and ensure they meet your needs.


Universal API

Don't rewrite code if things change or you need to migrate from one interface platform to another. Our universal API software portability speeds deployment and protects your valuable programming investment.


World-Class Support

Get responsive and knowledgeable support—both before the sale and for the life of the product. We know your deadlines are critical, so we're a partner that helps you achieve your goals, not one that holds you back.

The AB Family is Prequalified and Ready to Meet Your Challenge

Mounting Orientation

AB3000 Horizontal

AB3000 Horizontal Chassis

AB3000 Vertical

AB3000 Vertical Chassis

AB3000 models are ordered with either a horizontal or vertical chassis. AB2000 models can be mounted in either orientation using an optional horizontal or vertical mounting kit.

Multiple Avionics Databus Interfaces and more...

Ballard boxes are known for their broad and varied I/O complement. Choose the model with the capabilities and protocol mix you need to satisfy the unique requirements of your application. Available protocols include: MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, ARINC 717, and ARINC 708, along with serial, discretes, Ethernet, USB, and others (I/O varies by model, see "Ordering Information" below for examples).

Model Comparison

ModelDescriptionProcessorAudio/VideoPower SupplyNotable Features
NG3/NG2 SeriesNew Generation (recommended for all new designs more info)Intel Atom E3950 64-bit, quad coreYes (NG3)IsolatedmPCIe expansion, user-removeable mSATA, CANbus
NG1 SeriesNew Generation (recommended for all new designs more info)NXP QorIQ LS1023A 64-bit, dual core (Arm Cortex-A53)NoIsolatedLow SWaP, Gigabit Ethernet, CANbus
AB3000 Series NIntegrated Network SeriesQorIQ T1040, 64-bit, quad coreNoEnhanced high-efficiency, non-isolatedIntegrated on-chip 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
AB2000 SeriesOriginal SeriesPowerPC, 32-bitNoIsolatedPMC expansion
AB1000 SeriesOriginal SeriesPowerPC, 32-bitNoIndustrial Grade512 MB CompactFlash

For full specifications, download product datasheets below in the "Additional Information" section.

Ordering Information

This table includes sample configurations for each AB Series product. For more information on a specific model to meet your needs or to request a quote, call +1.425.339.0281 or fill out the form at the bottom of the page.


AB3000 Series N

(all models include 8-port gigabit Ethernet Switch, Ethernet Host, USB Host, Serial)

AB3186xNStandard features plus 2 dual-redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553, 8R/4T ARINC 429, 1R/1T ARINC 717 channels
AB3180xNStandard features plus 2 dual-redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553 channels
AB3146xNStandard features plus 8R/4T ARINC 429 and 1R/1T ARINC 717 channels
AB3581xNStandard features plus 4R/4T ARINC 429, 4 dual-redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553 channels, and 20 avionics discretes

AB2000 Series

(all models include Ethernet Host, USB Host, Serial)

AB2342Standard features plus 8R/4T ARINC 429, 1R/1T ARINC 708 and 1 dual redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553 channel
AB2146Standard features plus 8R/4T ARINC 429 and 1R/1T ARINC 717 channels
AB2280Standard features plus 4 dual redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553 channels
AB2143Standard features plus 4R/0T ARINC 429

AB1000 Series

(all models include Ethernet Host, USB Host, Serial, Discrete)

AB1150Standard features plus 4R/2T ARINC 429, and 1 dual redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553 channel
AB1140Standard features plus 4R/2T ARINC 429 channels
AB1110Standard features plus 1 dual redundant multi-function MIL-STD-1553 channel
AB1100Standard features only

nRnT = number of Receive/Transmit channels
Multi-function channels have protocol error injection capability and can simultaneously be a Bus Controller (BC), Bus Monitor (BM), and up to 32 Remote Terminals (RTs).
Single-function channels can be configured in software as either a Bus Controller (BC), a Bus Monitor (BM), or up to 32 Remote Terminals (RTs).

Cables & Accessories

A wide variety of cables and accessories are available to complement these products.
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For more information or to request a quote, fill out the form below or call us at: +1.425.339.0281

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Astronics AES

12950 Willows Road NE
Kirkland, WA 98034 USA