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Server Shipments Going Up, Especially Blades
The server market has a notable impact on technology adopted by the military. Not only does the DoD consume massive amounts of Internet infrastructure to realize the digital battlefield, but VME, CompactPCI and now AdvancedTCA vendors often retarget their server products, modifying them from civilian to military use. So when the server market—including blades—is growing, that’s good news for military planners. According to market research firm IDC, the total available market (TAM) for servers of all kinds will reach $53 Billion by the end of 2004, a 5 percent increase. But by 2008, that TAM will grow by 3.8 CAGR to over $60 Billion (Figure 1).
Blade servers—board based products that slide into rackmounted chassis—will grow even faster to $9 Billion by 2008. Blades are often based on open standards such as CompactPCI and ATCA, both PICMG standards. IDC predicts that blades will account for 29 percent of the server market (by volume) in that timeframe. While Windows-based servers will continue to lead the market with 60 percent, Linux-based machines will make up slightly less than 30 percent of the market by 2008.
CsLEOS RTOS Underpins CH-47F Avionics
The Army killed the Commanche program in favor of recapitalizing its aging fleet of aircraft, including the CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter. Boeing has been contracted to upgrade 300 of the beasts to the F-model, which replaces the aging analog flight controls with digital control avionics running the CsLEOS real-time operating system. Exclusively targeting mission- and safety-critical systems, BAE’s commercial off-the-shelf CsLEOS RTOS is ARINC-653-compliant, fault-tolerant and operates in hard real time.
The RTOS is partitioned and uses memory protection to “brick-wall” time, space and resource planning. CsLEOS can be certified to various levels of DO-178B, which will come in handy on the Chinook. The new digital avionics suite first and foremost is responsible for airframe and crew safety, and will incorporate a new built-in diagnostic system for detecting and analyzing system failures and faults.
BAE Systems, Aerospace Controls
Johnson City, NY.
Motorola Acquires Force Computers
It’s been no secret thatparent company Solectron was interested in divesting its subsidiaries Dy 4 Systems and Force Computers. Late in 2003 Curtiss-Wright Controls bought Dy 4, and last month Motorola announced its intention to buy Force Computers. Scant few details of the deal were made public: only that Motorola expects the deal to close during Q3, calendar 2004.
Industry insiders are having a field day speculating on what the acquisition could mean. What’s clear is this: Force is a major player in the telecom market space, orienting a majority of its product plans and R&D in that area. While the company certainly provides equipment for the defense market, major announcements over the recent past have focused on servers and telecom-related initiatives. (COTS Journal has reported that elements of the company’s fault-tolerant EndurX shelf management system would be ideal in many defense applications.)
The combination of Motorola Computer Group (MCG) and Force Computers would have little effect on the harsh environment market, served by players such as Dy 4 Systems, Radstone, SBS and Synergy. But in the telecom space, companies like Artesyn, Kontron, Performance Technology and Radisys may feel the weight of the combined Motorola/Force marriage. MCG employs 1,000; Force Computer employs 500.
Motorola Computer Group
Interstate Electronics Wins COTS Submarine Displays Contract
L-3’s Interstate Electronics Corporation (IEC) was selected by General Dynamics of Pittsfield, MA to provide 244 ruggedized, intelligent displays for the Trident Strategic Weapons System Integration submarine conversion program. Part of the Navy’s Strategic Weapons System Integration and SSGN Conversion programs, the 18.1-inch and 15.4-inch displays will be installed aboard the Ohio Class SSGN/SSBN submarines and be used in launch control as part of a joint IEC/General Dynamics digitization and integration effort.
The modified COTS displays must be able to withstand the significantly high shock and vibration levels in an active weapons environment. The 15.4-inch display was designed to tuck into multiple configurations on the sub, including panel mount, tube mount and bulkhead mount (Figure 2). The displays are designed with pre-planned product improvements (P3I) in mind: they can accommodate a future embedded single board computer. The conduction-cooled displays are qualified to MIL-STD-810F (shock), MIL-STD-810E (vibration) and meet MIL-STD-461D (EMI).
Radstone Locks In via Octec Purchase
First Curtiss-Wright Controls buys UK-based graphics and radar scan converter expert Primagraphics. Then Radstone Technology nabs UK-based Octec Limited, manufacturer of specialty rugged video tracking equipment. What’s going on here? As the market for UAVs and smart munitions heats up, the need for intelligent digital target tracking hardware and software is becoming acute. Radstone is potentially one-uping Primagraphics by adding new hardware and software capabilities to its harsh environment arsenal.
Octec is a market leader in the design and manufacture of rugged, real-time video tracking and image processing subsystems. The company’s image processors and target trackers are integrated into electro-optical systems deployed in air-to-ground, ground-to-ground and naval applications. Octec’s core intellectual property items are the image processing and target tracking algorithms that allow computers to remain digitally locked onto a target. With this technology, Radstone can climb just a little higher up the application food chain, adding more value to its rugged hardware without running the risk of competing with its customers who supply full-blown systems.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ.
‘PEO Ships’ Site Informs on New Wave of Ship Electronics
Navy ships are undergoing a huge transformation in shipboard electronics, automation and computing. It’s the job of the Program Executive Office Ships (PEO Ships) to provide the U.S. Navy with a single, platform-focused organization that concentrates knowledge, management skills and buying power for the acquisition and modernization of all non-nuclear surface ships. As part of that mission, the PEO Ships website is a wealth of information on the critical programs that are contributing to next generation ship electronics.
The most significant program under the PEO Ships umbrella is DD(X). DD(X) is tasked to produce new systems for a family of advanced technology surface combatants, not a single ship class. The DD(X) section of the site provides details of the various subsystems that comprise DD(X). By clicking on a graphic of a DD(X) ship on the site, visitors can access information on areas like Advanced Gun Systems, and the shipboard Total Ship Computing Environment. News, engineering development models and program schedule details are also available on the site.
Program Executive Office Ships
Washington Navy Yard, D.C.