Military Embedded Systems

General Micro Systems' S2U replaces 15U of equivalent server rack functions


February 22, 2017

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

General Micro Systems' S2U replaces 15U of equivalent server rack functions

SAN DIEGO. Officials at General Micro Systems, Inc. (GMS) announced that the company's S2U "King Cobra" 2U short rack can replace up to 15U of equivalent server rack functions. The announcement was made during this year's Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) WEST 2017 conference.

Engineers enabled the 'total rack' server system by using modular and scalable architecture that is a breakthrough in electro-mechanical design. The field-removable OpenVPX single-board computer (SBC) motherboard dual 18 core Intel Xeon E5-2600v4 CPUs mate with up to 1024GB (1TB) of DD4 DRAM and are supported with a completely PCI Express-based storage subsystem with up to 48TB of NVMe SSDs.


The 17-inch deep short rack S2U King Cobra includes a 24 port Ethernet switch subsystem, a hardware or Cisco intelligent router, two Power Supply Unit (PSU) options with Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), and scalable add-in modules for algorithm coprocessors, sensor interfaces, additional I/O or legacy system interfaces. The on-board removable fan trays manage airflow and noise using side-mounted inlet/outlets.

S2U is based on 12 patents and pending patents that range from the Intel Xeon CPU sockets and PCIe interconnects to the distributed airflow to the 12VDC internal power buses that eliminate the inefficiencies of typical server power supplies with standard multi-voltage power rails and up/down converters.

The OpenVPX motherboard was designed based on the company's compute-engine design. The Intel Xeon CPUs are cooled via a version of the GMS' RuggedCool technology. the heatsinks are also custom designed for maximum thermal transfer to the in-box airflow.

GMS CEO and Chief Architect Ben Sharfi says, “We looked at the entire rack, identified the functions most needed in a rugged system—from the server to the switch, and from backup power in our patent-pending APU to the existing system I/O—and designed a ‘total rack’ into a 2U, 17-inch deep box. It’s a future way of thinking about a server solution to the problem.”

Add-in I/O and co-processors capabilities include 4x PCIe x16 card slots, 3x 3U OpenVPX modules. S2U includes two ways to the power the system: either the three N+1 3U OpenVPX power supplies or via the add-in PSU/APU.

Read more on OpenVPX:

Common standards, 3U VPX, open architecture initiatives flavor ETT conference

Designing with VPX: Ensuring efficient speed, cooling, and interoperability

Battling obsolescence in military systems from Earth to space


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