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Kontron introduces new VPX HPEC platform for military-aerospace DSP apps
by Staff Writers
Eching, Germany (SPX) Jun 17, 2011


Kontron has introduced a new high performance embedded computing (HPEC) platform designed for military-aerospace applications. Using the strengths of Kontron's substantial system and board-level platform expertise along with its experience in design and deployment of ruggedized systems for defense programs, the company has developed a highly integrated platform that supplies an immense amount of power in a small footprint.

Meeting the needs of compute-intensive DSP-based systems, the Kontron HPEC platform is a VPX-based super computer-like system that accommodates up to 18 Kontron 6U VPX VX6060's, powered by Dual Intel Core i7 processor computing nodes, and employs 36 tightly coupled processors.

Using an innovative VXFabric approach, which is a simplified API that Kontron developed to help accelerate the design process, Kontron's new HPEC platform allows high-speed socket-based communication between blades by using multiple switched fabric interconnects within the backplane.

The 72 core, 18-blade Kontron HPEC platform provides a breakthrough in compute density, up to 1.44 Teraflops (1.44 Trillion Floating Point Operation per second) in a small 19-inch footprint that delivers the high-performance computing power that is a critical capability for many of today's military systems. Potential applications include radar, sonar, SIGINT and video processing for various aircraft or UAV programs.

"With this highly integrated HPEC VPX system, military programs that require high-end processing no longer need to make compromises in terms of performance or are forced to move to proprietary solutions. Kontron is able to match the sizeable speed, resolution and accuracy needs of DSP-based applications with the massive computing horsepower provided," said Andy Mason, Director, Military and Aerospace Division at Kontron.

"The independent data interconnects enable significant modularity, scalability and flexibility improvements using Gigabit Ethernet as the control plane and a combination of PCI Express and 10 Gigabit Ethernet as the data plane. This approach enables aggregate system throughput up to 540 Gb/s with extremely low latency. Plus, application software development and time to deployment is accelerated by the Kontron VXFabric API, which simplifies high speed communication between blades."

Demonstrating its viability for military systems, a major government contractor has selected Kontron's VPX HPEC platform for its airborne classified data system. The company won the program based on its ability to successfully integrate multiple high-performance COTS products to meet the immense throughput and processing requirements of the space-constrained airborne system that must handle more than a teraflop of data.

The new platform boasts an industry-leading performance per power ratio (one GFlop/Watt). Offering a low risk, fully compliant technical solution, the major components of the Kontron VPX HPEC platform include: Kontron's processor boards (VX6060), dual 10GbE mezzanine cards (XMC401), PCIe switches (VX3905), GigE switch cards (VX3910) and PMC/XMC carrier boards (VX3800), all within the 8U 19-inch VPX chassis (FS-1290). The Kontron VX6060 features two dual-core Intel Core i7 processors onboard that operate at 2 GHz clock rate or greater.

Each VPX processor board is configured with 8GB DDR3 memory, which is allocated across four memory channels with 2GB per processor core. The VPX processor boards also support one XMC site with maximum throughput of 8Gbps.

Kontron's VPX HPEC platform is available now for military system OEMs in air-cooled (0 degrees C to +55 degrees C) and conduction-cooled versions (-40 degrees C to + 85 degrees C).

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Kontron VPX solutions
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