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Single board computer

Single board computer

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the PowerXtreme PPC9B rugged 6U VMEbus single board computer.

Based on Freescale's QorIQ P2020 dual core processor and with 2GBytes of ddr3 ECC memory, it is designed to provide a compelling upgrade path for PowerXtreme users by maintaining the power envelope of previous family members such as the PPC4A and PPC7A while delivering around 10 times the processing performance (depending on the application).

More than 15,000 PowerXtreme single board computers are deployed in demanding military/aerospace applications – including ATFLIR, ACOT and EFA (the European Fighter Aircraft).

The performance/watt profile of the PPC9B will be equally attractive to new customers to whom it can deliver an advantage in environments such as unmanned vehicle control systems.

The PPC9B's power dissipation of 20-25W makes it suitable for rugged, deployed applications where minimal heat dispersion is essential such as sensor fusion and processing, tracking and targeting, weapon guidance and electronic support subsystems. It demonstrates GE's continuing commitment to its customers, bringing to market leading edge products that are form, fit and function compatible with earlier products and that maximize the value of their investment.

The Freescale QorIQ P2020 achieves its ~10x performance increase (compared with the 7410 processor that was at the heart of the PPC4A) through its dual core architecture, its faster clock speed (1.2 GHz), its higher degree of silicon integration, faster memory interface and implementation of PCI Express and RapidIO.

In addition, the PPC9B offers substantial configuration flexibility, allowing customers to create a solution precisely tailored to the requirements of the application. PMC and XMC sites are provided, as is an AFIX site. AFIX is GE's proprietary Additional Flexible Interface Extension daughter card which allows system integrators to add features to a host card without using a PMC site, offering the possibility of reduced slot count and therefore lower cost, space and weight. AFIX cards can be custom-developed, or acquired as COTS products – the latter including single/dual channel dual redundant MIL-STD-1553, 8- or 16-bit SCSI with VGA graphics, and Flash memory.

Connectivity for the PPC9B is provided via dual Gigabit Ethernet, two UART ports, four fast serial COM ports, two USB ports, two SATA ports and 24 GPIO ports, with an additional Gigabit Ethernet, USB and UART port available via front I/O for air-cooled versions. Keyboard/mouse PS/2 ports are provided for legacy applications that require them: these can be substituted by two additional USB ports.

Available in five rugged air- and conduction-cooled build levels for optimum cost-effectiveness, the PPC9B is fully supported by comprehensive Deployed Test Software (BIT and BCS) while operating system support for VxWorks, LynxOS and Linux gives customers the choices they require.

Author
Chris Shaw

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