Northrop Grumman goes outside for I/O boards on image processor

When engineers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Sensors and Systems Division in Baltimore needed I/O boards for their Common Image Processor (CIP) family of scaleable computers for a variety of airborne applications, they faced the classic "make or buy" decision.

When engineers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Sensors and Systems Division in Baltimore needed I/O boards for their Common Image Processor (CIP) family of scaleable computers for a variety of airborne applications, they faced the classic "make or buy" decision.

They chose "buy," and a cost-benefit analysis led them to a small, specialized board maker, Myriad Logic in Silver Spring, Md., says William Irby, program manager for space and tactical applications systems.

"The bottom line is Myriad`s expertise," Irby notes. The company had already developed a family of commercial off-the-shelf I/O boards for signal and image processing applications for customers include the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. Myriad officials demonstrated the boards in a real-time tactical reconnaissance program using a digital electronic framing camera in an airborne pod.

Two of the Myriad boards were applicable to Northrop Grumman`s needs. The common data link synchronizer, CDL-2740, synchronizes common data link data, and stores the resulting formatted data in VME or RACEway memory. A common data link router, the CDL-2745, is a VME module capable of receiving high- or low-rate serial data from four external sources.

The result, Irby says, is minimal non-recurring engineering costs. Furthermore, the Myriad boards offer a growth path to later use of Fibre Channel interfaces. "Fibre Channel is moving in across the board," he says, "and it is clear that systems need to move this way."

Myriad has been working with VME/RACEway and VME interfaces since early 1996, adds Richard O`Connell, president of the Silver Spring firm. He calls the technology a "natural fit into CIP." The company is also working with Northrop Grumman`s Advanced Technology Laboratories on custom programs. - J.R.

For more information on the Myriad boards, contact Richard O`Connell by phone at 301-588-1900, by fax at 301-588-0605, by post at 1109 Spring St., Silver Spring, Md. 20910, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.myriadlogic.com.

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