Radstone FDDI device sails on Trident submarine
By John McHale
TOWCESTER, England — Officials at General Dynamics Defense Systems in Pittsfield, Mass., are using the FDDI-1 (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) controller from Radstone Technology in a program to upgrade the electronics aboard the U.S. Navy`s Ohio-class (SSBN-726) ballistic missile submarines.
Radstone`s 100 megabit-per-second FDDI device will be part of the submarine`s computerized fire-control system, which is capable of launching as many as 24 Trident long-range nuclear missiles.
The Trident fire-control system provides information necessary to control and sequence the missile during launch. Radstone`s FDDI controller will handle the main transfer of information between fire-control subsystems via a fiber optic communication network.
The Trident order reflects a relationship dating back to the early 1990s, says Martin Holmes, product manager for Radstone`s PLM group. While FDDI remains a robust technology, the product is six years old and does show certain lulls in production quantity.
The FDDI-1 is a high-speed fiber distributed data interface controller with fiber-optic connection. It has software support for VxWorks, Solaris, OS-9, LynxOS, and other popular operating systems. It works with a 25 MHz SPARClite RISC processor and an AMD Supernet-2 FDDI chipset.
Radstone officials say they believe the compatibility of their FDDI controller with their other VMEbus products they have supplied to Trident in earlier retrofit programs will help reduce life-cycle costs on the submarine. The first production deliveries of Radstone`s FDDI controller will begin in early 2000.
For more information on the Radstone FDDI contact Martin Holmes, by phone at 44-1327-359444, by fax at 44-1327-359662, by mail at Radstone Technology, Water Lane, Towcester, Northants, NN12 6Jn, England, by e-mail at [email protected]. uk, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.radstone.com.