CSPI saves customers time and money with Honeywell tool

BILLERICA, Mass. - Engineers at the CSP Inc. (CSPI) MultiComputer Division are using the SAGE design tool from Honeywell Space Systems in Clearwater, Fla., to save their 2000 Series customers time and money

Apr 1st, 2000

By John McHale

BILLERICA, Mass. - Engineers at the CSP Inc. (CSPI) MultiComputer Division are using the SAGE design tool from Honeywell Space Systems in Clearwater, Fla., to save their 2000 Series customers time and money.

The SAGE tool - short for Systems and Applications Genesis Environment - was developed at Honeywell with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va.

The software create a tool for addressing parallel processing, says Hoyt Layson, manager of business development in the Commercial Systems Operation at Honeywell Space Systems. A key advantage of the tool is its ability to work across heterogeneous hardware and runtime environments, he adds.

"The 2000 SERIES architecture allows CSPI to rapidly insert the latest technology advances, such as SAGE, into our products," says William E. Bent Jr., vice-president of engineering, at CSPI's MultiComputer division.

"This ability is key for customers who want to capitalize on new product offerings, particularly tools for application development," Bent says. "SAGE greatly simplifies the development process by removing the need for the developer to be knowledgeable about the hardware and runtime environment in order to develop and target an application."

SAGE aids the design, development, and integration of high-performance embedded systems. With SAGE, CSPI application developers can develop a multiprocessor application on one workstation using Sun Solaris from Sun Microsystems in Palo Alto, Calif., Windows NT from Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., or HP UNIX from Hewlett Packard Co. in Palo Alto, Calif.

With Sage, designers can partition and map functions across several different processors on a 2000 Series VME board, across multiple 2000 Series VME boards in a 6U VME chassis, and across multiple VME chassis on a network, CSPI officials say.

The SAGE tool suite for the 2000 Series system includes support for the VxWorks operating system from Wind River in Alameda, Calif., the Message Passing

Interface library, Myrinet networking technology, and CSPI's industry standard signal processing library.

SAGE provides one point-and-click graphical user software interface to facilitate application development. The developer uses this tool to define data types, select software functions, map the application to the target hardware, and compile and link the load modules, CSPI officials say. SAGE insulates the developer from environment details and offers a consistent user interface from application design to target integration.

The SAGE tool suite enables the developer to take advantage of the latest COTS technology with a minimum investment in training, Honeywell officials say. The tool focuses on applications such as radar, sonar, image processing, acoustic processing, spectral analysis, and distributed processing.

SAGE currently is part of the U.S. Army Crusader artillery program and Layson's team recently demonstrated SAGE on the front end of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft for DARPA officials, he says.

Honeywell engineers used SAGE running Windows NT on a PC, Wind River's PSOS on a board form Alacron in Nashua, N.H., Solaris on a Sun workstation, and VxWorks on a CSPI 2000 device, Layson explains.

The performance was flawless and DARPA officials were impressed, Layson claims.

Because SAGE is hardware and runtime independent, Layson says, it can work with VxWorks and Intel PCs, Sun workstations and Solaris, or any configuration you can think of, he adds.

If a designer says he would like to try his hand at the AltiVec chip or real-time Linux, he can use SAGE without generating new code, Layson says. All that has to be generated is the glue code to connect the software components across the distributed processing architecture, he explains.

Glue code enables communication between the processor load module, hardware, and runtime environments, Layson says. The algorithms will remain the same, Layson claims.

Application developers need not be experts in the hardware and software environment supporting the application because SAGE captures the knowledge of the underlying hardware and software environment of both the development system and the target system, Layson explains.

This characteristic reduces development time and cost by one order of magnitude, Layson claims.

For more information on SAGE contact Layson by phone at 727-539-3448, by e-mail at hmlayson@space.honeywell.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.honeywell.com/sage.

More in Computers