VPX goes HPEC
Some military programs need high-end processing, and that’s all there is to it, for example, an airborne classified data system. Case in point: The Kontron-bred High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) platform, in an 8U VPX form factor, was selected for just such a system. And the reasons this ware stands out to us, too, are plenteous. Described as a “supercomputer-like system” by the company, the DSP-suited HPEC platform comprises 18 of Kontron’s VX6060 Core i7 2 GHz (or more) computing nodes including 8 GB DDR3 memory on each board, in addition to 36 tightly coupled processors within the HPEC platform. Several switched fabric interconnects are housed in the backplane. And the 19" footprint HPEC platform – suited to radar, SIGINT, sonar, and video processing needs of UAV or aircraft programs – delivers 1.44 Teraflops, thwarting the old paradigm of military programs sacrificing performance (or facing a proprietary technology path).
Digging a bit deeper, the COTS-based HPEC platform utilizes a 10 GbE/PCI Express combo for the data plane, and the control plane is good old GbE; this setup yields 540 Gbps aggregate system throughput. Other components include PCIe switches, two 10 GbE mezzanine cards, PMC/XMC carrier boards, and GbE switch cards. Temperature ranges supported are conduction-cooled at -40 °C to +85 °C or air-cooled at 0 °C to +55 °C.
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