Unmanned Systems News

VersaLogic Launches Ultra-Compact Hawk Embedded Processing Unit

Published: 05 May 2015

VersaLogic Hawk EPUVersaLogic Corp., a designer and manufacturer of embedded computers, has announced the release of Hawk — an extremely small, rugged, embedded computer. This next generation of the VersaLogic Embedded Processing Unit (EPU) format combines processor, memory, video, and system I/O into an extremely compact full function embedded computer with a footprint the size of a credit card.

The Hawk was engineered to meet the military, avionic, and medical industries’ evolving requirements for smaller, lighter, and more powerful embedded systems. Roughly the size of a credit card and less than one inch thick, the Hawk is a highly-integrated embedded computer. It combines the new 4th generation Intel® Atom™ “Bay Trail” processor, with system interfaces, in a form factor designed to withstand extreme temperature, impact, and vibration. These features make the Hawk ideal for use in unmanned systems applications.

Hawk is available in single-, dual-, and quad-core models. The quad-core model delivers more than 5X the performance of previous generation products, with an 18% reduction in power consumption. The single-core version provides over 2X the performance of the previous generation product, while providing a 25% reduction in power.

“We are excited to offer next-generation performance in our tiny EPU format. The ability to choose a single-, dual-, or quad-core version allows our customers to exactly match the CPU performance and power to their application needs,” said Gary Harris, VersaLogic’s Director of Technology. “The single-core is suitable for lower power systems, while the quad-core is ideal for UAV video applications where higher performance and light weight are important.”

The Hawk features an Intel Atom E3800 processor optimized for performance and power balance. It provides compatibility with a broad range of x86 application development tools for reduced cost and development time.

Intel’s advanced Gen 7 HD graphics engine provides outstanding graphics performance and is capable of supporting two simultaneous 1080p video streams. On-board hardware acceleration is available for encode/decode of H.264, MVC, VP8, VC1/WMV9, and other standards. The graphics engine also supports DirectX 11, Open GL 4.0, full HD video playback, dual display support, and resolution up to 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz. Hawk supports a single-channel LVDS display output.

Hawk’s I/O connectivity includes a Gigabit Ethernet port with network boot capability, four USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports, and Intel High-Definition Audio (HDA). A SATA 3 Gbits/s interface supports high-capacity rotating or solid-state drives. A Mini PCIe socket with mSATA, a microSD socket, and on-board eMMC (on some models) provide flexible solid-state drive (SSD) options. Systems can be enhanced by leveraging the Mini PCIe socket with plug-in Wi-Fi modems, GPS receivers, MIL-STD-1553, Ethernet, Firewire, and other mini cards.

Designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation, the Hawk also meets MIL-STD-202G specs for impact and vibration. Soldered-on RAM and fanless thermal solutions provide additional ruggedization for use in harsh environments.

The Hawk’s wide input voltage range (8 to 17 volts) simplifies system power supply requirements. It is fully compatible with typical automotive (nominal 12V) power systems.

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.

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