SEPTEMBER 10--SRC Computers Inc. (Colorado Springs, CO; www.srccomputers.com) has been awarded a development contract to create a miniaturized computer system based on its Unified Computing Architecture (UCA) and reconfigurable MAP processor for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Sensors Directorate. The resulting mobile/man-portable computer is expected to perform 96 Gflops with more than 6 Gbytes/s of direct sensor I/O bandwidth in a single processor weighing as little as 10 pounds, depending on configuration. Even higher levels of performance are achievable for nonfloating-point applications, such as image processing. The system will initially be used to support a variety of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and other Air Force sensor applications.
Processors on-board today's UAVs are only capable of processing about 10% of the data acquired by on-board sensors. Says Tim Kemerley, chief of Aerospace Components Division, Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, "The object of this program is to accelerate the development and transition of a new on-board RF and EO/IR sensor signal processor that will increase the capability per unit volume and power by a factor of 500 to 1000."
Under this contract, SRC will shrink the MAP and work with technology providers ISR and Tessera to add an optional 2-Gsample/s A/D front end and cool the assembly with a SprayCool system. Jon Huppenthal, president and CEO of SRC Computers, asserts: "Both military and commercial customers have shown significant interest in the Compact MAP. Consequently, SRC will use the Compact MAP developed under the contract throughout its product line in a variety of form factors."
To date, SRC has delivered a standard SRC-6 system to the AFRL, which will be used to port existing applications to the UCA in preparation for the receipt of Compact MAP systems in late 2004 and early 2005. MAP is a general-purpose reconfigurable Direct Execution Logic processor that offers orders of magnitude improvement in performance, volume, and power consumption compared to high-end microprocessors. SRC currently produces general-purpose computing systems based on the UCA with MAP for embedded, workstation and high-end server markets, and has had systems in the field for several years. All SRC systems are software compatible and are programmed using standard high-level languages and programming models under SRC's Carte programming environment, making the systems very programmer friendly.
SRC Computers is a privately owned company, established in 1996 by computer architect Seymour Cray. Since that time, SRC has developed and delivered a new Unified Computing Architecture that provides orders of magnitude increases in performance over conventional microprocessors.