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Linux-based signal and image processing servers double power

Dec 17, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Sky Computers, a subsidiary of Analogic Corporation, today announced two new products that extend its Smartpac family of Linux-based systems, which it says are ideal for data-intensive signal and image processing applications in markets such as military/defense, industrial inspection, healthcare, homeland security, and… software-defined radio.

Sky claims its new products, which include a dual-processor SMP compute blade based on 1.0 GHz AltiVec MPC7447 processors, strengthen the I/O and double the compute capabilities of its Smartpac systems.

Sky Smartpac 600 Data Acquisition Server

The Smartpac 600 is designed for front-end data collection, aggregation, and distribution. Data can be distributed to the compute server blades within the Smartpac 600 chassis or to tightly integrated, high-density Smartpac 1200 compute servers.

Sky's Smartpac 600 data acquisition server

The Smartpac 600 features six PCI-X adapter slots for I/O, supporting a broad range of third-party PCI I/O cards.

The system can be configured with up to six single- or dual-processor compute blades, which can be utilized for I/O management or compute-intensive tasks. An integrated InfiniBand-based system fabric provides high-performance, fault-resilient communications between processors. Six InfiniBand connections are available on the rear of the chassis for inter-chassis scaling within a 42U rack to over two tera-FLOPS (trillion floating-point operations per second), or for inter-rack scaling to thousands of compute nodes. Rear InfiniBand connections also provide direct connection to a broader InfiniBand fabric.

Smart dual-processor SMP compute blade

Sky says its new Smart dual-processor SMP compute blade delivers 16 GFLOPS (billion floating point operations per second) through two 1.0 GHz AltiVec MPC7447 processors. It supports the Smartpac 600 Data Acquisition Server or the Smartpac 1200 Compute Server, which is designed to provide the back-end computational power for large-scale, compute-intensive signal processing and image analysis, according to Sky.

Sky's Smart dual-processor SMP compute blade

The Smart dual-processor blade doubles compute density of single-processor compute blades, allowing the Smartpac 600 to support 12 1.0-GHz CPUs in a 3U chassis and the Smartpac 1200 to support 24 1.0-GHz CPUs in a 3U chassis, according to Sky.

Early customers and comments

The new Smartpac products are currently being evaluated by major defense contractors, according to Sky, for use in surface ship defense, airborne and ground-based intelligence; by commercial Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for applications such as semiconductor inspection; and by Computed-Tomography OEMs for homeland security applications.

The Smart Systems Architecture consists of a development environment that provides quick application definition, development, and optimization, and a runtime environment that incorporates system health monitoring technologies to enable a high level of application availability. This system-wide architecture is designed to deliver high compute performance, scalability, and interconnect bandwidth, according to Sky. Smart Systerms are built on open-source software and standard technologies such as Linux, InfiniBand, MPI, VSIPL, and Corba.

“We've designed our product family to match the structure of many signal and image processing applications,” said Mark Pacelle, Sky's vice president of marketing. “Applications in this space naturally break down into two fundamental parts; data acquisition and processing.”

“With the addition of the new dual-processor compute blade, we're delivering an unprecedented level of compute density, almost a fifth of a TFLOP in a 3U chassis,” added Sky president Don Barry.

Pricing and Availability

Sky's Smartpac 600 Data Acquisition Server pricing starts at $21,250, while Smartpac 1200 Compute Server pricing starts at $22,700, with volume discounts available.

This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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