Understanding ARINC Standards: Essential Protocols for Avionics Systems

In the complex world of modern aircraft, seamless communication and data transfer among various electronic systems are absolutely crucial. 

This is where ARINC standards come into play. ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated) standards create a common language and set of protocols that ensure different avionics components work together flawlessly, regardless of the manufacturer.

In this blog post, we’ll explore ARINC standards, their role in aviation, and dive into some key examples, including ARINC 818 MonitorJESD204B, and ARINC 818 IP Core.

What are ARINC Standards?

ARINC standards provide specifications for everything from the physical shape and connector types of avionics equipment to the complex protocols that govern how these systems send information to one another. 

They are developed by industry committees that include airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and equipment suppliers. Here’s why they matter:

  • Interoperability: Different components in an aircraft, potentially made by different companies, can communicate and work together thanks to ARINC standards.
  • Cost Savings: Standards reduce the need for custom solutions, saving time and money during development and maintenance.
  • Safety and Reliability: ARINC standards promote rigorous design and testing practices, ensuring that avionics systems consistently work as intended.
  • Global Reach: These standards are used worldwide in commercial and business aircraft, making aviation a truly international industry.

Types of ARINC Standards

ARINC standards are divided into categories based on their function:

  • ARINC Characteristics (400, 500, 700 series): These define the nitty-gritty of avionics equipment – shape, size, electrical interfaces, data formats, and essential functions.
  • ARINC Specifications (600, 800 series): Provide blueprints for the design of systems (think detailed procedures), software languages, or data loading protocols for onboard equipment.
  • ARINC Reports: Offer best practices and guidelines to the industry, such as standards for flight simulators and software development processes.

Key ARINC Standards and Their Uses

Let’s look at some prominent ARINC standards and their importance in the avionics world:

  • ARINC 429: The Workhorse of Avionics Communication This is one of the most widespread avionics standards. It defines a simple, point-to-point data bus used for transmitting various information within an aircraft (for example, navigation data, flight control parameters, airspeed, and more).
  • ARINC 664 (AFDX): High-Speed Data Networking AFDX (Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet) is a newer standard allowing complex data to travel efficiently across an aircraft’s network. It’s based on standard Ethernet technology and is used for applications like high-definition cockpit displays and sharing sensor data.
  • ARINC 818: High-Speed Video Transmission This standard is designed for sending uncompressed high-definition video signals within an aircraft. It’s increasingly important for applications like advanced cockpit displays, surveillance cameras, and in-flight entertainment systems.
  • JESD204B: Connecting High-Speed Data Converters Though not technically an ARINC standard, JESD204B defines a high-speed serial interface commonly used to connect data converters (like analog-to-digital converters) to devices like FPGAs or processors in avionics systems.

Focus on ARINC 818

Let’s examine ARINC 818 in more detail, especially with your keywords in mind:

  • Why ARINC 818 Matters: The growing use of high-definition videos in modern avionics requires a fast and reliable transmission standard, which is what ARINC 818 provides.
  • ARINC 818 Monitors: Specialized hardware devices or software tools can monitor ARINC 818 traffic in an aircraft. This is useful for system testing, troubleshooting, and capturing video data for analysis.
  • ARINC 818 IP Cores: These are pre-built, reusable blocks of logic that implement the ARINC 818 protocol. They can be integrated into FPGAs or ASICs (custom chips), saving time for avionics equipment developers.

Choosing ARINC Products and Services

If you’re working with avionics systems, here are factors to consider when selecting products or services that leverage ARINC standards:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the products or services align with the specific ARINC standards you require. Check for proper certifications if needed.
  • Vendor Expertise: Look for vendors with a proven track record in the avionics industry and in-depth knowledge of relevant standards.
  • Product Features: Does the product meet your specific needs in terms of performance, video resolution, supported frame rates, or any other essential capabilities?
  • Support and Documentation: Availability of good documentation and responsive support services ensures a smooth integration process.
  • Future Proofing: Consider the potential for upgrades and scalability as your system evolves, so the hardware and software you choose remain useful for years to come.

The Evolving World of ARINC Standards

ARINC standards continuously evolve alongside technological advancements in the aviation industry. Here are a few trends to keep an eye on:

  • Increasing Bandwidth Needs: Standards like ARINC 818 will see revisions to accommodate higher resolution displays (4K and beyond) and faster data rates
  • ARINC Standards for AI Systems: As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent in avionics, standards will likely emerge to manage and govern the behavior and integration of AI components.
  • Focus on Cybersecurity: Threats to avionics systems will demand more focus on cybersecurity within ARINC standards, focusing on encryption and secure data transfer methods.

India’s Role in ARINC Standards

India’s growing aerospace industry and expertise in electronics make it a significant player in the development and adoption of ARINC standards.

  • Participation in Standardization: Indian companies and experts contribute to ARINC committees, shaping the future of avionics standardization.
  • Growing Ecosystem: Companies offering ARINC-compliant products and services are expanding within India, providing cost-competitive solutions and regional support.

The Benefits of Adhering to ARINC Standards

For both Indian and international businesses involved in avionics, adhering to ARINC standards brings these important advantages:

  • Ease of Integration: Components designed to ARINC standards make systems easier to build, upgrade, and maintain. Think of it like using standard building blocks that fit together seamlessly.
  • Innovation Opportunity: ARINC provides a foundation, allowing companies to focus on innovation, adding value on top of established standards to create unique solutions.
  • Global Market Access: Products meeting ARINC standards have a wider market potential, making them attractive to airlines and equipment suppliers everywhere.


ARINC standards are the backbone of modern avionics systems, promoting compatibility, safety, and efficiency. Understanding the major ARINC standards, their role, and your specific requirements is essential for developing, integrating, or maintaining avionics products. Whether you’re a manufacturer, an integrator, or simply an aviation enthusiast, the world of ARINC standards undoubtedly impacts every flight we take.

This Article is from Piyush Gupta from Logic Fruit Technologies