Ge Intelligent Platforms has recently announced the high performance GRA112 3U VPX rugged graphics board. Designed for demanding graphical applications as well as (GPGPU) general purpose computing on a graphics processing unit applications such as ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), radar and sonar, it features a 384-core NVIDIA Kepler architecture-based EXK107 GPU. Also provided is 2GBytes of GDDR5 memory which, together with the latest NVIDIA GPU, makes the GRA112 significantly more powerful than its predecessor, the GRA111 – for which it provides a simple, cost-effective technology insertion upgrade.
GPGPU has been described as a ‘disruptive’ technology that has enabled the deployment of sophisticated military/aerospace applications that are significantly higher in performance but that can be developed in a shorter time than is possible with alternative development approaches. It is already widely deployed in a broad range of military/aerospace applications.
The GRA112 is truly rugged – as opposed to solutions that feature ‘after the fact’ ruggedization, or that attempt to deploy commercial subsystems in harsh situations – meaning that it can be deployed with absolute confidence in the most challenging military/aerospace environments that are subject to extremes of shock, vibration, temperature and contaminants. Its small size, weight and power (SWaP) requirement mean that the GRA112 is also an ideal solution for applications that are SWaP-constrained such as unmanned vehicles.
The NVIDIA EXK107 GPU features the company’s CUDA parallel computing architecture and delivers significant advances in performance per watt and ease of use over previous generations. The 384-core GPU is capable of 622 GFLOPS, 64 GBytes/second internal memory bandwidth, and 16 GBytes/second external PCI Express bandwidth.
For radar processing, the introduction of double-precision floating point hardware will minimize the impact of artefacts introduced by single-precision processing. For video processing, the GRA112’s higher performance enables superior throughput in applications such as video stitching and sensor fusion in wide area surveillance applications. It can allow the incorporation of data from multiple sensor types to build a complete picture of a large geographical area, delivering increased situational awareness and context.
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