Military Embedded Systems

InfiniBand generating buzz in military radar, ISR applications


January 22, 2013

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

LONG BEACH, CA. Speakers at the Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) this week in Long Beach, CA, are touting the benefits of InfiniBand switched fabric for high performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications such as radar and electronic warfare.

“InfiniBand is kind of an obvious choice,” said David Pepper, at GE Intelligent Platforms. It has lots of compute performance, a lot of data movement across the backplane, providing high-speed performance, he added.

“Radar will be one of the bigger initial applications for InfiniBand in the military,” said Marc Couture, Director, Product Management Sensor Processing Chain at Mercury Systems in Chelmsford, MA. There is a great deal of interest from prime contractors for using InfiniBand technology for inverse FFTs, and other intensive signal processing functions, he continued. InfiniBand is also well-suited for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and ground mobile applications, Couture added.

“At Mercury we try to remain fabric agnostic, but we see a lot of requests for InfiniBand and 40 Gigabit Ethernet due to their long term roadmaps, speed, and low latency,” Couture said. Since is commercially available silicon and can be packaged in an open framework it is faster to market and has a clear upgrade path, he added.

Mercury’s new LDS6523 (low-density server) leverages Intel 3rd generation Core i7 quad-core Ivy Bridge mobile-class processor and dual Mellanox ConnectX-3 host adapters for a total of four InfiniBand fabric connections. Solutions based on the device are targeted at multi-dimensional applications requiring determinism, high throughput, and low latency — such as cyber intelligence, signals intelligence and radar.