You know what it's like when you have that "A Ha" moment. Well we have been getting a lot of these lately from various customers. What's driving these reactions are the implications of having two low voltage Harpertown processors running on Trenton's MCX/MCG system host boards and what this means to applications that require maximum performance with minimum heat generation. The processors I'm speaking about are the embedded Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors L5410 and L5408. The performance and thermal design power (TDP) ratings of 50 Watts and 40 Watts respectively have significant implications in the high-end performance segment of the embedded system market that Trenton serves.
Now I know that 40W or 50W TDPs sounds horrible compared to the sub-20W TDP ratings common in the low-end, commodity driven portion of the embedded system market. However, the reality we deal with everyday in the embedded system market segments that we serve is a demand for a level of processor performance that in the past has precluded most low power processor solutions. The Intel L5410 and L5408 are rapidly changing this performance vs. heat paradigm.
For example, in a surveillance aircraft application, the system needed requires four system host boards with each board having two, Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors L5408. This system is managing incoming data from a variety of sources, processing all this data and driving the display and communication systems needed to act on these critical inputs. Data processing time and accuracy are critical as well as the need to have a system that generates as little heat as possible. It would have been next to impossible to design a system to meet all of the customer's performance and thermal requirements without the L5410 or L5408 processors.
Next time I'll share with you some of the system design details regarding the chassis airflow design and the new four-segment PICMG 1.3 Ethernet fabric backplane we produced for this system application.