Mercury offers rugged Cell BE-based computer for digital battlefield applications

LONG BEACH, Calif., 16 Jan. 2006. Mercury Computer Systems Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass., is offering the PowerBlock 200 processor based on the IBM/Toshiba Cell Broadband Engine (BE).

Jan 16th, 2006

LONG BEACH, Calif., 16 Jan. 2006. Mercury Computer Systems Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass., is offering the PowerBlock 200 processor based on the IBM/Toshiba Cell Broadband Engine (BE).

The PowerBlock 200 is for applications in network-centric warfare from the research laboratory into the field, Mercury officials say.

The Cell BE architecture defines a processor structure for distributed processing and multimedia applications. This structure contains a Power Architecture processor augmented with several high-performance single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) synergistic processor units and DMA commands for communications among processing elements.

At 200 billion floating point operations per second, the PowerBlock 200 offers the processing power of 12 to 20 PowerPC processors or 45 Intel Pentium 4 processors in a COTS air transport rack ATR chassis about the size of a toaster, Mercury officials say.

Mercury announced the product -- the third member of its Cell BE processor-based family at the Bus & Board Conference in Long Beach, Calif. The PowerBlock 200 is rugged enough to deploy in tanks, armored personnel carriers, and humvees, company officials say.

The PowerBlock 200 could enhance important data-intensive applications such as aided target recognition, tracking, geo-location and mapping, terrain rendering, video processing, image enhancement, feature extraction, and communications processing, Mercury officials say.

The PowerBlock 200 uses a 1/2 ATR long tall chassis designed for military applications in harsh environments on land, sea, and in the air. It contains one Cell BE processor and has Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, RS-232, and GPIO front panel interfaces.

Other I/O options are available via open-standard mezzanine card expansion sites. The chassis uses less than 400 watts of power, and has a self-contained cooling infrastructure that will conduct heat to the chassis walls.

For more information contact Mercury online at www.mc.com/cell.

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