Honeywell looks to Alacron for high-performance computing

Electronics designers from Honeywell Inc. who are concerned with a broad range of applications are looking to a new octal-Sharc single-board VME digital signal processor from Alacron of Nashua, N.H.

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Electronics designers from Honeywell Inc. who are concerned with a broad range of applications are looking to a new octal-Sharc single-board VME digital signal processor from Alacron of Nashua, N.H.

Alacron`s new board, as yet unnamed, packs one Intel 166 MHz Pentium microprocessor and as many as eight Analog Devices Sharc digital signal processors, 8 to 256 megabytes of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), one PCI mezzanine card connector, 12 to 36 megabytes of local memory, 1 to 4 megabytes of dual-port video RAM, and an option for a packet-switching 320 megabyte-per-second MyriNet network interface onto a 6U VME, says Alacron CEO Joseph Sgro.

"We are trying to get some high-performance computing capabilities," says Joseph Philipose, program manager at Honeywell Space Systems in Clearwater, Fla., who explains the Alacron DSP board has the potential for surveillance, radar data processing, and industrial applications. "We can apply this as a common piece across multiple Honeywell areas," Philipose says, explaining he doesn`t want to give specifics to safeguard proprietary technology. "It gives us much more leverage. It can be scaled up or down and gives us good flexibility."

Honeywell engineers are choosing the Alacron Sharc/Pentium because of its "simplistic programming model," Philipose explains. "Many of the other Sharc boards you have to program at the Sharc level, where with this board you can talk about making library calls implemented on multiple Sharcs."

Honeywell experts are interested in the MyriNet interface because of its potential for scaleable, high-performance computing. "I/O is a bottleneck, and MyriNet might be a less expensive alternative than supercomputers such as the Intel Paragon," Philipose says. - J.K.

For more information on this product, contact Beth Lane at Alacron by phone at 603-891-2750, by fax at 603-891-2745, by e-mail at beth@alacron.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.alacron.com.

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Computer scientists at Honeywell Inc. are looking to an octal SHARC board from Alacron (above) for high-performance computing tasks across several company divisions.

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