A new class of high-performance distributed computing subsystems meets the U.S. military’s goals for increasing the use of low-cost open-standards base commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics in military ground vehicles. The Packaged COTS (PCOTS) Systems from Curtiss-Wright Controls provide military system integrators with a Modular Open Standards Approach (MOSA)-compliant and scalable range of rugged systems designed to meet the open standards for the integration of C4ISR and related items of equipment on Army platforms.
The small, high-performance x86 computers are available in a range of packaged solutions from 150 in³ to 778 in³ in volume and from one to five processing modules. With an IEEE 802-based, high-capacity network infrastructure, they offer low latency, high-speed application-to-application data transfers.
The family features OpenVPX computer modules in a 3U form factor, but accommodates alternate 3U VPX modules to change system functionality (video processing, etc.) Users have the option of PCOTS Switch solutions in a variety of form factors including PMC, XMC, 3U OpenVPX, 6U OpenVPX, and stand-alone, platform-ready subsystems. The platform accommodates technology refresh with future 6U VPX Switch modules and supports DMA-controlled diagnostics utilities and tools. Computer and switch implementations leverage a patent-pending cooling method to optimize thermal path from card to vehicle cold plate or atmosphere.
Designed for reliable operation in harsh ground vehicle environments:
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.