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Mercury Computer Systems has launched its Protocol Offload Engine Technology (POET), a protocol-agnostic multi-fabric connectivity solution for Intel processors.

The technology enables companies to migrate to open solutions and future-proof their applications by ensuring that a range of standards can be implemented without costly hardware changes.

‘POET aligns with trends in the defense industry that are driving a migration to high-performance embedded Intel technology – a crucial factor for high-performance ISR subsystems,’ said Leon Woo, Mercury’s vice-president of engineering, Advanced Computing Solutions (ACS) Division.

‘POET’s open and downloadable multi-fabric support simplifies customisation and adds competitive differentiation to our customers’ products, while simultaneously embracing open standards,’ Woo added.

At its highest level, POET implements a collection of standard interfaces to create a bridge between processors and switch fabrics.

Initially, POET will support both Serial RapidIO (sRIO) – the preferred switch fabric for the defense industry – and 10 Gigabit Ethernet – the most common commercial fabric.

By offloading and accelerating standard protocols, POET simultaneously facilitates high-bandwidth and low-latency operation, giving 10Gb Ethernet the guaranteed, deterministic delivery of Serial RapidIO,’ said Charlie Frazer, Mercury’s director of IP technology, ACS Division.

POET can improve size, weight and power constraints in subsystems by providing local switching in the FPGA between multiple fabric ports to create distributed mesh networks – thereby eliminating the need for a centralised switch fabric card.

In future releases, POET will support next-generation switch fabrics such as 40Gb Ethernet and Infiniband, as well as offload protocols such as RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) – an Infiniband over Ethernet standard.

Through industry-standard internal interfaces, customers can integrate their own downloadable firmware with POET to add value to their subsystems, or engage with Mercury’s Services and Systems Integration group to obtain customisation services.

Mercury Computer Systems

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