Military Embedded Systems

PCIe as a Visualization Framework in Military Heavy Armor

Eletter Product

Modern battlefield tactics in the age of information rely on real-time, synchronous, high-resolution video disseminated throughout heavy armor vehicles. With upwards of 6 crew members commanding the varying stations of the vehicle – the ability to monitor and act upon shared visual intelligence as soon as possible can be the key difference in a critical mission scenario. New advances in visualization technologies in the commercial sector are leading to new opportunities for advancement in DoD deployments. To leverage these technologies, a higher throughput and lower latency networking framework is needed to avoid compromise in distribution of synchronized video and inferencing overlays to multiple displays. PCIe, a bus architecture typically used within host nodes for end-point device communication, can be used as an external framework to extend the capabilities of high-performing end-point devices to a managed and switched fabric architecture.

OSS is in early development of two products for such an Army deployment – named Donati and Cernis. Donati is a small form factor military rugged system, which integrates an advanced AI GPU module, optimized for visualization and with high I/O availability over MIL-STD connectors. The Donati platform is designed to meet the most stringent environmental parameters, including liquid submersion, to operate effectively in the extreme conditions of a battlefield and act as the crew compute node at each primary operating station within the armored vehicle. Cernis is the military rugged PCIe based switch, which will act as the networking hub for multiple Donati and other external platforms throughout the vehicle. Through use of the Donati and Cernis platforms, the next generation of heavy armor vehicles will see vast improvements in incoming video multicast capabilities – with the ability to act on real–time high resolution data without compromise. OSS anticipates delivery of the first units to the Army in Q3 of 2023. 

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