Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has announced what it claims is the aerospace and defense industry’s highest performance 3U OpenVPX single board computer (SBC), the first to be based on the just introduced Intel Xeon E-2176M (former codename “Coffee Lake”) processor. Featuring a significant performance improvement over previous generations of Intel Core i7 and Xeon processors, the Xeon E-2176M makes the new VPX3-1260 an ideal processing engine for system designers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other robotics platforms seeking the maximum amount of performance-per-Watt to support their compute intensive deployed applications.
The Xeon E-2176M’s 6-core (12-thread) architecture delivers 2.7 GHz performance that increases up to 4.4 GHz when the processor’s Turbo Mode is applied. In addition to being available in air- and conduction-cooled configurations, this rugged board will also be available as the industry’s first Xeon E-2176M-based 3U OpenVPX SBC to feature full compliance to the VITA 48.8 Air-Flow-Through (AFT) cooling standard, ensuring optimal performance for critical applications in the harshest conditions.
“Curtiss-Wright is proud to lead the rugged embedded COTS industry in bringing Intel’s latest processing architectures to the aerospace and defense markets,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “The VPX3-1260 is the industry’s first single board computer to bring the screaming fast processing power of the Intel Xeon E-2176M to the 3U OpenVPX form factor, enabling our customers to rapidly deploy the sheer power this 8th Gen Intel Xeon processor.”
The VPX3-1260 was designed to take full advantage of the Xeon E-2176M’s next-generation performance features, delivering over 50% more processing power when compared with earlier Core i7 and Xeon processor designs. The SBC’s six cores are supported with up to 32 GB of dual-channel, high-speed ECC-protected DDR4 memory. With memory throughput rated at up to 38.4 GB/s, the VPX3-1260 maximizes the capabilities of the new processor while eliminating data bottlenecks. With 50% more Intel Advanced Vector Extension (AVX) engines, the SBC can accelerate math intensive applications with over 500 GFLOPS of AVX2 performance. In addition, the board supports up to 256 GB of on-board, super-fast Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) Flash storage, to deliver 3-5x improvement in performance and provide up to 16x the capacity compared to standard SATA interfaces.
The VPX3-1260 is ideal for use in general purpose mission computing applications that require the highest possible processing performance while consuming low power. This fully rugged module speeds and simplifies the integration of the 8th Gen Intel Xeon processor’s cutting-edge capabilities into demanding defense and aerospace deployed applications such as mission computing, image and display processing, virtualization and small multi-SBC ISR systems.
Extending Curtiss-Wright’s Trusted COTS (TCOTS) product family, the VPX3-1260 addresses increasingly critical trusted computing requirements with built-in support for Intel’s latest cybersecurity features, including Intel Boot Guard, UEFI Secure Boot, Software Guard Extensions (SGX), and locally encrypted file system security. The SBC was designed specifically to implement these important security features.
The VPX3-1260 features an integrated Intel Graphics P630 graphics engine that provides enhanced graphics and video features while delivering up to 3x faster GPU performance compared to predecessors. It supports OpenGL for graphics-intensive applications or serves as a GPGPU with performance rated at over 400 GFLOPS, and OpenCL support for data processing-intensive ISR/EW applications.
The VPX3-1260 is easily integrated with other members of Curtiss-Wright’s extensive 3U OpenVPX product family, including Intel, Power Architecture and Arm-based SBCs and powerful graphics and storage modules, as well as DSP and FPGA engines to develop powerful mission computing and ISR/EW systems. Its processing power makes this size, weight and power (SWaP)-optimized SBC ideal for architecting solutions for High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) systems, general computing and mission processing, and multi-SBC systems for advanced processing and ISR/EW applications. When matched with complementary 3U modules, such as Curtis-Wright’s VPX3-687 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch, VPX3-4731 video capture and display processor, and VPX3-4923 GPGPU processor, or with Curtiss-Wright’s wide range of XMC mezzanine cards, such as the XMC-4730 video capture and display processing module with NVIDIA CUDA capabilities, the VPX3-1260 serves as the foundation of a complete system solution.
Pin-compatible with previous generations of Intel-based SBCs, the VPX3-1260 delivers a tremendous leap in performance over previous generations of Core i7 and Xeon processors in the smallest 3U form factor, making it ideal for use in technology upgrade programs.
The VPX3-1260 is supported with drivers for an extensive suite of industry standard operating environments, including Linux (Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)), VxWorks, Green Hills Software INTEGRITY, Microsoft Windows 10, LynxOS and others.