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RES-302s upto 2 x SPARC processor rugged server
rugged SPARC servers
from Themis Computer

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Military SSDs
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SPARC history - 25 years of milestone
RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
Adaptive R/W and DSP ECC IP for use in flash SSDs
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Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
Removable Military Solid State Disks
from Targa Systems
SPARC History - locate rare resources - see this military sparc page back in time:-
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Themis Launches 8 Core UltraSPARC T2 VPX Server

Editor:- December 2, 2009 - Themis 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 options.

"VPX 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

Fremont, 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.

Themis' 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.

"We 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 profile, military SPARC systems, Military Storage

Editor's comments:-
even those of you not in the defense or intelligence community may be interested in knowing some aspects of TEMPEST.

Ever 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 occurring.

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.

In 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 stops.

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

SEOUL, 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 height).

ANITA 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."

ANITA's 2nd month long experiment will start in December and will include 8x 3.5" SATA SSDs from Mtron making up the data logging storage. ...Mtron profile

Editor's 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.

Before being acquired by STEC in 2005 - Memtech made the most rugged SSDs in the Solar System. One of their drives was onboard the 2004 Mars Rover.

Unveiling XLC Flash SSD Technology

Editor:- March 31, 2008 - today published an article about stealth mode fabless semiconductor company, XLC Disk, Inc called - Unveiling XLC Flash SSD Technology.

It describes their revolutionary multi-level cell nand flash technology which may appear in a new range of high density flash SSDs in Q1 2009.

Overcoming the intrinsic technology problems which have limited previous MLC 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.

If 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 SSDs and 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 Objective 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. 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. ...White Electronic Designs profile

Editor's comments:- WEDC has also recently published a paper Is All 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 server market.

LEON3 Processor Licensed for New Space Missions

Goteborg 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 LEON3 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 Bullfrog laptop, whose parent company has not addressed future support strategies or new mobile SPARC product announcements since 2005.

"NextCom remains 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." ...NextCom profile, SPARC Notebooks
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Military SPARC Server & Workstation Manufacturers

(Due to market changes this historic list is no longer updated)


DRS Technologies


General Dynamics

GNP Computers


IBI Systems



Rave Computer

Rugged Portable Systems

Storage Engine


Telos Systems Integration

Themis Computer

Z Microsystems
Military storage
Military STORAGE

Test Equipment
Test Equipment


serial SCSI
Serial Attached SCSI

solid state disks
Solid state disks
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SPARC Servers in the Military
by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

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.
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