Unprecedented Processing Density to Propel Digital Battlefield Applications from the Research Laboratory to Networked Land-Mobile Vehicles
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Jan. 16, 2006 -- Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCY) announced the introduction of the PowerBlock(TM) 200 -- the third member of its Cell Broadband Engine(TM) (BE) processor-based family of hardware products, and the first rugged device designed with the Cell BE processor. The PowerBlock 200 product plan was unveiled during an exclusive reception at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, prior to the opening of the Bus & Board Conference at which Mercury is exhibiting and co-presenting the keynote with IBM Corporation. Mercury displayed a mechanical prototype to illustrate the small footprint that will contain the PowerBlock 200's tremendous processing power.
The integrated network-centric warfare environment of the 21st century will provide soldiers with the ability to access and control vast arrays of deployed sensors in real time. Delivering on this vision of instantaneous data fusion and interpretive displays of the battlefield requires enormous processing power. Deploying these applications in tanks, armored personnel carriers, and Humvees demands an unprecedented level of processing density in a ruggedized enclosure that can stand up to the harsh environmental conditions of the battlefield.
The PowerBlock 200 processing appliance is designed to deliver the raw compute power needed to propel the vision of network-centric warfare from the research laboratory into the field. At 200 GFLOPS, the processing capacity of the PowerBlock 200 rivals that of 12-20 PowerPC(R) processors or 45 Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processors -- in a COTS-deployable ATR chassis about the size of a toaster. This configuration will enable defense contractors to deploy compute-intensive applications in places and spaces previously unthinkable. For example, the unprecedented processing density offered by the PowerBlock 200 will allow military prime contractors to deliver new levels of performance and capabilities in compute-intensive vehicle electronics (vetronics) applications, with:
- Dramatically increased situational awareness throughout the fighting force
- Consolidation of a wide range of sensor processing tasks into a single processing element, which significantly reduces vehicle weight and simplifies logistics
- Considerably enhanced effectiveness of existing data links through new levels of intelligent data compression
- Vastly accelerated response to threats detected in complex environments through real-time sensor processing.
The PowerBlock 200 can also enhance other important data-intensive applications such as aided target recognition, tracking, geo-location and mapping, terrain rendering, video processing, image enhancement, feature extraction, communications processing, and more.
"The Cell BE processor was originally designed for the volume home entertainment market, but its architecture of nine heterogeneous on-chip cores is well-suited to the type of distributed, real-time processing that will power tomorrow's digital battlefield," said Craig Lund, Chief Technology Officer, Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. "At 200 GFLOPS, the Cell BE processor is an order-of-magnitude higher in performance than other processors. In defense computing, the availability of the Cell BE processor is an industry milestone akin to the introduction of AltiVec into the PowerPC architecture."
The PowerBlock 200 uses a 1/2 ATR Long Tall chassis designed for military applications in the harshest environments on land, sea, and in the air. It contains a single Cell BE processor and has Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, RS-232 and GPIO front panel interfaces. Other I/O options are available via open-standard mezzanine card expansion sites. The entire chassis will consume less than 400 W and support a self-contained cooling infrastructure that will conduct heat to the chassis walls. Customers interested in deploying the PowerBlock 200 can start migrating applications immediately using Mercury's Cell Technology Evaluation System (CTES), which recently started shipping to customers.
Developers can streamline time to deployment and boost application productivity by leveraging the Mercury MultiCore Plus(TM) Advantage. Multicore chips like the Cell BE processor provide a new level of performance for embedded applications, but increased programming complexity and power consumption create deployment challenges. The MultiCore Plus Advantage is a suite of products and services enabling application developers to harness the full potential of today's revolutionary multicore processors and stay ahead of their competition. Mercury draws upon 20+ years of experience in developing high-performance multicomputers in creating the numeric primitives, middleware, development tools, and enclosure solutions to enable customers to rapidly transform standalone multicore chips into complete system solutions. The Mercury MultiCore Plus Advantage product suite is optimized to take full advantage of the Cell BE processor and its revolutionary architecture. Visit www.mc.com/cell for more information on the Cell BE processor architecture.
The PowerBlock 200 is planned for shipment in the first half of calendar 2007. For more information on the PowerBlock 200, visit Mercury in Booth #14 at the Bus and Board Conference, visit www.mc.com/PowerBlock200, or call 866-627-6951.
About Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCY) is the leading provider of high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing computer systems. Mercury's products play a critical role in a wide range of applications, transforming sensor data to information for analysis and interpretation. In military reconnaissance and surveillance platforms the Company's systems process real-time radar, sonar, and signals intelligence data. Mercury's systems are also used in state-of-the-art medical diagnostic imaging devices including MRI, PET, and digital X-ray, and in semiconductor imaging applications including photomask generation and wafer inspection. Mercury provides advanced 3D image processing and visualization software and optimized systems to diverse end markets including life sciences, geosciences, and simulation. The Company also provides radio frequency (RF) products for enhanced communications capabilities in military and commercial applications.
Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Mercury serves customers in North America, Europe and Asia through its direct sales force and a network of subsidiaries and distributors. Visit Mercury on the web at www.mc.com.