Military Embedded Systems


Articles 1 - 11

Cores and threads: Hybrid processors for today’s multitasking world - Story

February 13, 2024

The incredible growth of processing parallelism has resulted in a corresponding explosion of performance and capabilities, but not all cores and threads are created equally. For mainstream computer users, such as the vast majority of Windows users, the detailed usage of cores and threads is not important for the user to understand. After editing a document, we hit the <SAVE> icon, and all the magic happens under the hood. But for designers of critical real-time processing systems, what happens under the hood matters. With a more detailed understanding of the latest hybrid core processor enhancements, military embedded systems designers – whether designing for land, sea, or air use – can build more deterministic and responsive processing systems and at the same time maintain better control over power consumption, resulting in SWaP [size, weight, and power] savings and longer-duration missions.


Tactical decision-making demands increasing speeds and volume of data processing - Story

August 03, 2023

For defense applications, responsiveness, accuracy, and precision have never been more critical to mission success. Expanding the connectivity bandwidth within and between systems enables faster time-to-solution and greater mission capability through higher data resolution and fidelity, all of these with reduced latency.


Doubling down: Intel’s 8-core Xeon processor raises the performance bar for rugged systems - Story

September 13, 2021

In August 2021, Intel announced the new Intel Xeon W-11000E Series processor ­(formerly known as “Tiger Lake-H”), designed for the embedded market. This new processor follows the announcement of similar 11th-generation processors introduced for the commercial market several months earlier.


Truly rugged and proven reliable: VITA 47 and beyond - Story

November 27, 2017
All vendors of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware intended for use in harsh defense and aerospace environments insist that their products are reliable as well as rugged. But without a consistent baseline for comparison, it's almost impossible for system integrators to objectively confirm whether one COTS product is more reliable than another. The VITA 47 standard gives system integrators just such a baseline as it is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard.

It's time for VITA 47: Raise the bar on defining ruggedization, reliability - Story

June 09, 2017
How rugged is "rugged"? The answer to that question should have a clear and consistent answer that gives system integrators the confidence and surety that a specific module from a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) supplier will perform and survive in the conditions their application requires. All too often though, claims made by COTS vendors that their module will meet a certain range of durability (temperature, shock, and vibration) are not based on a common, industry standard that enables the customer to make meaningful comparisons between different boards from different vendors.

Taking the complexity out of PCI Express configuration to optimize HPEC system design - Story

April 18, 2017
Performance is all about eliminating bottlenecks to minimize latency and maximize throughput. Today's high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) systems integrate powerful processing subsystems, each of which might be a fully functional processing node needing to share data with other processing nodes. To maximize overall system performance requires the fastest, most efficient processor-to-processor data paths. With VPX, embedded systems moved away from the VMEbus shared parallel bus model.

Long live VME! - Story

March 11, 2016
While the "V" in "VME" actually stands for "Versa" (as in "Versa Module Eurocard"), it could arguably also stand - especially in the defense and aerospace commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) market - for "venerable." For the decades prior to the advent of the VPX architecture in 2006, VME was unquestionably a de facto board standard for rugged open architecture systems. Today, there are thousands of VME boards installed in the field and untold millions of dollars invested in hardware and systems software currently used on those deployed systems.

Broadwell chip boosts GPU performance for COTS SBCs - Story

September 14, 2015
Embedded defense applications have the option of Broadwell chip, but may find challenges in thermal design

Multicore processor-based 3U architectures reduce SWaP for UAS ISR platforms - Story

April 16, 2015
There is a never-ending pursuit of reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) processing. Traditionally, what's been seen in the ISR application space: Complex, specialty-built systems which tended to be very large, very high-powered, and difficult to cool.

ROcE protocol brings 40 Gbps Ethernet to VxWorks - Story

March 16, 2015
Network performance can be an issue for VxWorks, especially in demanding applications like signal/image/radar processing. However, designers can get full-speed 40 Gbps Ethernet out of VxWorks.

VICTORY prevails - Story

October 02, 2014
An industry perspective from Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions
Articles 1 - 11