Conduction-cooled processing with switch fabric interconnect

Mercury Computer Systems has introduced a conduction-cooled version of its RACE++ Series computers.

The new systems, which incorporate PowerPC 7410 ‘G4’ processors with AltiVec technology, will provide digital signal and image processing for a variety of defence electronics platforms such as tactical fighter aircraft, smart torpedoes, helicopter-based infrared systems, airborne and ground mobile surveillance radars, and land-based tactical vehicles.

‘We have repackaged the RACE++ architecture for conduction-cooled applications and are the only vendor offering conduction-cooled multiprocessing systems that incorporate switch fabric technology,’ said Vince Mancuso, vice president and general manager, Government Electronics Group, Mercury Computer Systems.

As military forces increasingly rely on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) multiprocessing systems, the demand has grown for conduction-cooled products that can operate in harsh environments where convection (air) cooling is not possible. For example, conduction cooling is often the only solution available in battlefield or airborne systems, which are subject to widely varying temperatures and humidity, dirt and dust, and extreme vibration and shock.

Designers of radars, reconnaissance cameras, and radio receivers now have the ability to locate high-performance signal processing solutions alongside system sensors in the corrosive atmospheres and harsh environments where there is little or no air flow.

The key to scalable computing power in these new conduction-cooled systems is the RACE++ switch fabric interconnect. The RACE++ fabric enables multiple high-speed data transfers simultaneously by providing multiple pathways between network nodes. Initial system configurations can scale from 6 GFLOPS and 1 GB/second to more than 85 GFLOPS and 6 GB/second.

Mercury’s conduction-cooled systems are available for immediate order. Production deliveries begin in December 2001.