Sensors-to-Server Strategy

Are you more Beatles or Rolling Stones fan, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, x86 or PowerPC sponsor, Linux or Windows, VITA or PICMG? Sometimes, it is difficult to choose the best corner!

Same in Embedded World! Just a few companies in the business of manufacturing systems using VITA technology develop products in other form factors, like rugged rackmount server depending on their market focus and the needs of their customers. Sensors-to-Servers strategy is the way ECRIN Systems uses to define its products development roadmap. ECRIN Systems will demonstrate, during PARIS Air Show from 19 to 23 June 2017 in France, this practice with the announcement of an ATX-class server based on relevant technology from the company’s VPX product lines.

But what an ATX form factor server has in common with VPX?

  • First is the common market focus: ECRIN Systems is well known for its computing systems used in High-Performance Embedded Processing and sensor data collection for a wide variety of defense platforms. VPX multi-slots SWaP systems for battlefield and ATX-class servers, for backend and less harsh shelter environment, are designed for mission processing, sensor processing, and cybersecurity applications, addressing the defense market’s need for affordable and trusted solutions for mission-critical functions. Being a motherboard-based architecture, ATX is inherently lower in cost, which helps meet the budget constraints of many programs.
  • Second is manufacturing security: ECRIN servers are designed and manufactured in France. Integration of all hardware and software trusted building blocks from managed supply chain, configuration and tests are made by France-based employees working in our domestic secure facility.
  • Third is Products security with same trusted BIOS and firmware running on INTEL Xeon server-class processors to provide a secure software environment: Trusted Platform Module via crypto processor (TPM), UEFI Secure Boot, configuration options with hypervisors and solid-state drive (SSD) storage with encrypted data and secure erase options, different levels of ruggedness adapted to environmental conditions and its location on the battlefield theater
  • Same level of services and requirements
    • Product Long-life Management
    • Total cost of ownership, not only purchase price
    • Reliability, trusted system
    • Failure is not an option during the mission
    • Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO)
  • Re-Use
    • Technology reuse of designs for cooling and rugged packaging from chips to enclosures. ECRIN Systems spends a lot of development energy on cooling strategies and design elements for rugged operating environments. The experience gained for VPX and ONYX COM Express Small Form Factor (SFF) can be leveraged by ATX-class servers.
    • Military customers gave up proprietary systems and building blocks developed more or less for defense niche market like LynxOS, PowerPC, VME…Nowadays, they think OPEN Standards, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf, x86 and Xeon server-class processors, high speed interconnect PCI Express, 1/10/40 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Linux with its Embedded, Real-Time or DO-178 extensions, or Windows
    • Thanks or due to this standardization, coming from both Embedded and IT Enterprise markets, our Customers want to have the same level of performance, same extended service lives and greater levels of ruggedness for military applications. The servers support protection of mission-critical functions to achieve trusted systems and networks. These building blocks comprise an adaptable security platform that provides the foundation for customer personalization and innovation. The extensible nature of this security approach enables these secure servers to be easily upgraded with the latest technology advancements for built-in future proofing.
  • Xeon D: Last but not least, INTEL launched in 4Q2016 a new disruptive technology version Server-Class of its Core architecture. New Xeon D open the door of Embedded market to ultra-dense servers for military and  aeronautic programs where we have to add every time new servers to increase performance. Base on 14nm BROADWELL Core architecture, with higher performance and energetic efficiency, Xeon D offers new features to optimize CPU load processing, storage and network computing with a very low TDP estimate at 25 to 65 Watt depending of SKU’s:
    • 8/12/16-Core with DSP on each Core
    • Operating from -40°C to +85°C certified by INTEL himself, the first and only Core i7 supporting this extended temperature window. A mandatory feature for Aeronautic programs that need product  operating life time over 10 years
    • 24x PCI Express Gen3 lanes
    • 2x 10GigE native LANs

Xeon D BGA System-on-Chip offers all Server-Class functions and open new perspectives to Mil/Aero developers: virtualization of many digital processing and networking computers, high speed interconnect between different building blocks inside and outside of the box.

Following this Convergent strategy, ECRIN Systems will be the first system manufacturer introducing at same time, during PARIS Air Show worldwide event, two Server-Class computers based on Xeon D, designed to meet RTCA/DO160 and MIL-STD-810  qualifications :

–  TOPAZE D, an ANSI/VITA 65 Open VPX platform that will be flexible enough to be configured to different HPEC applications: SIGINT, Radar digital processing, Electronic Warfare in extreme conditions and SWaP constraints. In this Modified COTS platform, ECRIN will be able to integrate a maximum of combinations with

  • XILINX UltraScale+ FPGA for front end A/D and D/A , DSP, RF signaling, DRFM …
  • NVIDIA Pascal GPGPU for intensive computing
  • INTEL Multi-Core Server-Class Xeon D SBC’s

–  µOPALE V2-D, a really new Server-Class platform, to complete our 7-Years old existing OPALE V2 IPC series. With very small foot-print 1U/19’’/450mm depth, this Xeon D server will be ready for load balancing functions, SAN/NAS storage, Edge computing, Virtualization, Deep Learning…

At the Core of Convergence, Xeon D Server-Class platforms will be more and more present into your next Mil/Aero projects:

  • Embedded into the POD of fighter for EW or C4ISR missions based on TOPAZE-D
  • Integrated into a shelter Ground Control Station to receive, process, record and replay dataflow coming from UAV, into different OPALE V2-D Bill of Material

As you can imagine, this Convergence will optimize your development costs, reduce test tools, accelerate your time to market federating teamwork and reducing drastically your return on investment (ROI) cost.

You will be welcome to visit ECRIN booth at PARIS Air Show Hall 2B- E10, TOPAZE D and µOPALE V2-D will be demonstrated.