Over the years, Intel® Architecture processors have become widely popular in many military and aerospace systems. Many of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance members focus a majority of their efforts on this market segment, with a strong line of products optimized for use in applications common to military and aerospace.


In parallel with the Intel® announcements of the latest 22nm quad-core processors, the third generation Intel® Core™ i7-3612QE and i7-3615QE, has been a wave of board and system announcements for products that are targeted at military and aerospace applications that show off the latest in Intel® Architecture processor technology.


Kontron starts the march with recent announcements to upgrade several popular board form factors. Kontron boosts performance/watt for high-performance embedded solutions with seven new application-ready platforms available on their COM Express® basic, Flex-ATX, Mini-ITX, AdvancedMC™, 3U and 6U CompactPCI® as well as 3U VPX™, embedded board form factors. Kontron claims these boards provide up to 20% enhanced computing power and up to 40% increased performance per watt compared to designs based on the second generation Intel® Core processors.


Kontron Platforms with third generation Intel® Core™ i7-3612QE  and i7-3615QE.


Norbert Hauser, Executive Vice President Marketing at Kontron explained. "Our objective is to get the cutting-edge high performance technology building blocks into our customers hands early so that they can utilize the benefits sooner in their solutions and get to market quickly with their complete applications. Our active involvement with Intel® helps us to ensure our customers’ minimized time-to-market.”


GE Intelligent Platforms first wave launched four products. The SBC325 is a new 3U VPX single board computer that implements the i7-3612QE quad core processor and the SBC625, XCR15 and XVR15 – designed for 6U VPX, CompactPCI and VME systems respectively, use a  i7-3615QE processor. All of these boards are available in five build levels, from benign (air-cooled) to fully rugged (conduction cooled) to provide customers with optimum price/performance.


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GE Intelligent Platforms SBC325 3U VPX Single Board Computer with i7-3612QE.


Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS), paraded out two new OpenVPX™ boards designed with the i7-3612QE processor, the VPX3-1257, their first  SBC and the CHAMP-AV8 DSP engine. The VPX3-1257 is a full-featured 3U OpenVPX SBC, designed for harsh-environment, air and conduction-cooled aerospace and defense applications. The combination of four cores and doubling of floating point performance  provided by the new Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel® AVX)  instruction set on the CHAMP-AV8 is a tremendous performance boost for signal processing applications.


"This 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor allows us to enhance our products by creating a 3U OpenVPX SBC with a thermal footprint never before obtained with earlier generation processors," said Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager of Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions. "With Intel's commitment to long life-cycle supply, this advanced low-power processing engine will drive a new generation of higher performance and power efficient compute intensive applications."


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To round out the first wave ranks of announcments, Concurrent Technologies announced three products; the VX 91x/01x 6U VXS™/VME SBC, the PP 93x/x1x 6U CompactPCI® SBC, and the AM 92x/x1x AdvancedMC™ SBC. All three product familes are offered with either the i7-3612QE or i7-3615QE processors.


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Concurrent Technologies VX 91x/01x 6U VXS™/VME Single Board Computer with i7-3612QE.


The third generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors not only offer enhanced performance per watt but also deliver a significantly improved thermal profile, enabling greater cooling for the extended temperature ranges demanded by the most rugged military, aerospace and government customer. Size, weight, and power (SWaP) of embedded designs that are so critical to military and aerospace applications reach new realms of possibilities, offering an opportunity for the development of new capabilities in small form factor applications.


The list of applications that can benefit from the new gains in SWaP includes command/control, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), radar/sonar, and signal processing. Platforms with the most demanding fielded applications from unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, tactical aircraft, and armored vehicles to rugged naval systems will see significant improvements.


I am sure that there are many other products in development now. Expect an attack of announcements in the coming weeks as additional members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance promote their product lines to Ivy Bridge.


Jerry Gipper

OpenSystems Media®, by special arrangement with Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance

Editorial Director, OpenSystems Media, VITA Technologies


Kontron is a Premier member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance, GE Intelligent Platforms is an Associate member, and Concurrent Technologies and Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions are Affiliate members.