|Themis Launches 8 Core
UltraSPARC T2 VPX Server|
Editor:- December 2, 2009 -
Computer today launched the 1st 6U VPX SBC based on Sun's
multi-core UltraSPARC T2.
Themis' T2VPX features a new system
architecture that combines up to 8
SPARC processor cores and
64 threads, with a VPX IO fabric. The T2VPX is ideal for compute-intensive
military and aerospace applications requiring rugged computing solutions, beyond
the reach of today's VME-64-based systems. It runs both Linux and the Solaris
10 Operating System. The T2VPX will be offered with 6 and 8 core processor
is a proposed ANSI standard that breaks the performance bonds of traditional
buses and serial interconnects, enabling Themis to create supercomputer-level
products like this one for the critical embedded systems market," declares
Ray Alderman, executive director of VITA.
Themis Rugged Servers get NATO TEMPEST Certification
California - November 13, 2008 - Themis Computer announced that its
RES-22DCX and RES-32DCX servers were successfully tested for NATO TEMPEST
certification without the use of an external enclosure.
Rugged Enterprise Servers (RES) 2RU and 3RU systems were selected for use in a
surveillance program that requires TEMPEST Zone 2 certification. As a result of
the successful testing and certification for compromising emanations
conformity, these servers are qualified in for use within Facility Zone 2
deployments by the Federal Office for Information Security.
work closely with our customers and partners to design and build rugged
computing systems that provide high quality, superior scalability, and
reliability. Our servers are notably designed to run mission-critical
applications in hostile operating environments," said William Kehret,
president of Themis Computer. "It should be reassuring to our OEM's and
system integrators, that in standard configurations our Rugged Enterprise
Servers are able to meet the system level emission require-ments for Zone-2
TEMPEST, without recourse to an external rack enclosure." ...Themis Computer
SPARC systems, Military
Editor's comments:- even those of you not in the
defense or intelligence community may be interested in knowing some aspects of
since computers became used for sensitive purposes it was known that enemies
could learn some of the data in them - by detecting electromagnetic emissions
from those systems. TEMPEST has been a multi-decades long evolving set of
design standards and tests aimed at reducing the risks of such leaks
Even before the widespread use of computers - spooks
designed ingenious ways to learn what was being typed into target documents. 20
years ago - the book Spy
Catcher was banned in the UK. Among other things it described how British
Intelligence could read what was being typed on a manual typewriter from audio
intercepts. And in another part of the book how they could get audio data by
detecting sound vibrations off a room's window using light beams.
more recent decades the books (and films) of
Tom Clancy and the tv series
24 have educated
millions to the intelligence possibilities posed by electronic systems. But
remember - the bad guys are always improving their technology too. So it never
And going back to today's press release... the reference to "without
recourse to an external rack enclosure" is significant - because if you put
a leaky system into a big shielded box - that achieves the same purpose. But
it also limits the deployment options - by adding considerably to the space
required, weight, thermal management and cost. Being intrinsically qualified -
without an external box - makes the servers much more useful.
First Terabyte SSD in Space - from Mtron
South Korea - May 20, 2008 - Mtron announced today that a terabyte of
their SSD storage will be used in a NASA funded project (flying over the
South Pole) to research high-energy cosmic rays.
Neutrino events are rare and hard to detect on Earth. But the
Antarctic ice sheet provides a large nature-made detector with a million square
kilometer "lens" (when viewed from the balloon's 35km mission
is a radio telescope attached to NASA's stratospheric balloon to detect
Cherenkov pulses created when neutrinos from space hit the ice sheet which
is "remarkably transparent to radio waves."
month long experiment will start in December and will include 8x 3.5"
SATA SSDs from Mtron making up the data logging storage.
comments:- balloons are a rugged environment for data storage, because
apart from the expected extremes of altitude and temperature - the way these
flights finish is often with a crash. So the ability to survive impact shocks
is also importanct.
Previously mentioned SSD balloon flights on
these pages include:- a 42 day flight by a 43GB
BiTMICRO SSD (2005) and before
that - an SSD from Memtech
plunged 127,000 feet as part of a NASA weather balloon that crashed onto a
Virginia highway, where it was promptly run over by a truck. Despite being "totally
bent out of shape" the data was still accessible.
acquired by STEC in 2005
- Memtech made the most
SSDs in the Solar System. One of their drives was onboard the
2004 Mars Rover.
Unveiling XLC Flash SSD Technology
Editor:- March 31, 2008 -
STORAGEsearch.com today published an article about stealth mode fabless
semiconductor company, XLC Disk, Inc called - Unveiling XLC Flash SSD
It describes their revolutionary multi-level cell nand
flash technology which may appear in a new range of high density
flash SSDs in Q1
Overcoming the intrinsic technology problems which have limited
devices to 2 bits in a single
flash memory cell - the
new XLC technology uses a patent pending calibration / discriminator
architecture which enables reliable operation with 4 bits (with today's process
technology) and may be scalable to more bits in the future.
successful - this type of technology could deliver 16x the storage density
currently available from SLC SSDs using the same area of silicon - thereby
closing the gap in cost per gigabyte between
HDDs. As with any new
storage technology reliability
is an unknown factor - but XLC Disk claim that intrinsic data repeatability
(before on chip error correction) is at least as good as current MLC devices.
This article was initially planned for publication tomorrow (on April
1st) but when I contacted Jim Handy at
Analysis for a comment on this spoof concept - he surprised me by saying
that he knows of at least one of the
top 10 SSD companies
which is working on exactly this type of technology. It shows that fact can be
stranger than fiction - and we can expect to see SSDs starting to put price
pressue on the hard drive market years earlier than predicted by Moore's Law
type density improvements. ...read the article
WEDC Targets Medical CompactFlash Market
Phoenix, AZ - December 19,
2007 - White Electronic Designs Corp is leveraging its defense industry
experience and expertise to develop high-reliability modules for the growing
portable medical device market.
According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, there will be an expected 40 million persons in the U.S. over the age of
65 by 2010, driving the need for portable medical devices, especially for home
use. The portable medical device market is driven by the same requirements
and expectations as the defense segment; such as high quality and reliability,
shorter development cycles, a well-defined and documented supply chain and
extended product lifecycles. Among other products WEDC designs and
manufactures one of the industry's first medical series CompactFlash cards.
Editor's comments:- WEDC has also recently
published a paper
CompactFlash Really Created Equal? (pdf) which uses the medical
instrumentation market as the backdrop for a discussion about
flash SSDs similar
to those concerns analyzed in
SSD Myths and
Legends - "write endurance" - which looked at the enterprise
LEON3 Processor Licensed for New Space Missions
Sweden - September 12, 2007 - Gaisler Research AB announced that
license agreements have been signed for the use of the fault tolerant LEON3
processor with Assurance Technology Corp (US), Syderal SA (Switzerland)
and Tubitak Uzay (Turkey).
The LEON3 and the GRLIB IP
library will be used together with the RTAX2000S FPGA from ACTEL Inc.
"These license agreements represent yet another confirmation of
the success of the fault tolerant LEON3 processor. The LEON3 processor has now
been accepted for critical space missions in Europe, US and Asia," said Per
Danielsson, president & CEO of Gaisler Research.
The fault tolerant
processor is based on the standard LEON3 SPARC V8 Processor. It has been
designed for operation in the harsh space environment, and includes
functionality to detect and correct errors in all on-chip RAM memories.
NextComputing Ships 1.6GHz SPARC Portable
NASHUA, N.H. -
February 7, 2007 - NextComputing integrates the 1.33GHz and 1.60GHz
UltraSPARCIIIi processors in its Vigor ULTRA-III rugged deployable server line,
committing to Sun Microsystems' server-processing architecture beyond 2010.
Encased in a compact, rugged chassis with flip-down keyboard
protecting the integrated (1600 x 1200) LCD, the Vigor ULTRA-III is currently
used to support critical C4 field deployments, as well as a stand-alone, "small-footprint"
server in command and control and training simulation centers worldwide. The
modular, open-standards architecture of the Vigor ULTRA-III results in the
superior flexibility, scalability, and extended lifecycle viability compared to
static "point-solution" designs like the
laptop, whose parent company has not addressed future support strategies or new
mobile SPARC product announcements since 2005.
committed to the worldwide Solaris user base. Solaris 8 is supported, as well as
Trusted Solaris, Solaris 9, and Solaris 10," says Bob Labadini, NextCom CTO
and founder. "We offer the most comprehensive support and enable our
clients to port proprietary applications from Solaris 8 to Solaris 10 within the
same platform, while also providing a migration path to Solaris 10 X86,
Enterprise Linux, and Windows 2003 Server with our Vigor Opteron, featuring a
common platform package, and the same look and feel as our Vigor ULTRA-III."
|Are MLC SSDs Safe
in Enterprise Apps?|
| This is a follow up
article to the popular
SSD Myths and
Legends which, a year earlier demolished the myth that flash memory
wear-out (a comfort blanket beloved by many
RAM SSD makers)
precluded the use of flash in heavy duty datacenters.|
article looks at the risks posed by MLC Nand Flash SSDs which have recently
hatched from their breeeding ground as chip modules in cellphones and morphed
hard disk form
|| It starts down a familiar
lane but an unexpected technology twist takes you to a startling new world
SPARC Servers in the Military|
Military computer users have always
needed access to high performance computing. The company I worked for started
suppling Sun motherboards repackaged into our military rugged enclosures in the
1980's almost as soon as the first SPARC systems appeared. This was a great
benefit to our customers who no longer had to pay outrageous prices for
processing performance alone, although the packaging and high speed peripherals
still came at a price.
In applications where it's just not acceptable
to have a workstation or server freeze up or crash 3 or 4 times a day, the
reliability of the SPARC Solaris environment continues delivering benefits, even
though Intel processors are now available with faster clock speeds. And for many
real-time applications which involve fast I/O data rates, the 64 bit SPARC
data bus provides a level of performance which is still unmatched.