SOSA-aligned 3U OpenVPX X9 Venom Xeon D host processor boards for US Military

15th February 2023
Sheryl Miles

General Micro Systems (GMS), global technology-independent supplier of computing engines in boxes, boards and servers, has launched its X9 Venom Xeon D Host 3U VITA 65 OpenVPX single-board computer.

Aligned to the SOSA (Sensor Open Standard Architecture) Technical Standard, this family of high-performance modules support the demanding needs of next-generation warfare with massive, flexible I/O and compute capabilities in multiple configurations. These single-board computers are powered by up to 20 Intel Xeon D-2700 HCC (formerly Ice Lake D) cores, and unprecedented bandwidth via inter-chassis and front-panel connectivity with Thunderbolt 4, PCIe Gen 4, USB, and 100 GbE ports.

“Developed specifically to meet battlefield requirements for instant communications, faster data-driven decisions, and rapid upgrades, the X9 Venom Xeon D Host single-board computers deliver more compute, bandwidth, I/O and memory than any other industry provider,” said Ben Sharfi, CEO and Chief Architect, GMS. “Our Xeon D Host single-board computers include huge data pipes with CPU offload, multiple GPUs for artificial intelligence or graphics, and long-haul fibre via Ethernet or Thunderbolt 4 – all in a much smaller, ruggedised and SOSA-compliant form factor, unlike any competitor. In fact, there are no competitors for this compact solution.”

What makes these single-board computers (SBCs) different is the compact combination of ultra-speed I/O at 40Gbits/s or 100Gbits/s, up to three processors per module, and the breadth of modular, application-specific I/O that interfaces with all manner of defence systems and platforms.

The combination of the X9 Venom Xeon D Host’s CPU and optional twin GPUs, PCI Express Gen 4, Thunderbolt 4, and front panel 100G fibre – plus multiple M.2 storage and I/O sites – makes Venom the fastest, smallest and most powerful compute and I/O processors anywhere in the world. The modules are designed for extended temperature, long life, conduction- or optional convection-cooling, and operate from a single 12VDC supply. All versions are OpenVPX, VITA 65, SOSA, and US Army CMOSS-aligned or compliant, with backplane profiles available to best fit the processing and I/O options.

Available in three configurations (standard “D”, “NET” and “NAS”), these single-board computers bring unprecedented flexibility to military applications:

  • Single slot 3UVPX Venom D with two M.2 storage sites, two PCIe-Mini sites, two Thunderbolt 4 ports with optional 100W power, and four 100GbE ports (two to front panel)
  • Dual slot 3UVPX-NAS for network-attached storage (NAS), including six M.2 storage sites for up to 40GB of RAID, two PCIe-Mini sites, two Thunderbolt ports each with 100W power, four 100GbE (two to front panel) and optional dual GPU or quad 100GbE or dual Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Dual slot 3UVPX-NET, or high-speed I/O, including two M.2 storage sites, two Thunderbolt ports each with 100W power, and up to ten 100GbE ports (eight to front panel), plus optional dual GPU or dual Thunderbolt 4 ports

Based on open standards, all X9 Venom Xeon D Host configurations include:

  • Intel Xeon D high core count (HCC) CPU up to 20 cores and 64GB DDR4 ECC DRAM, supporting up to 40 parallel threads
  • Virtual machine computer/server capability providing 20 clients or disparate processes
  • Up to 10x 100GbE ports for massive sensor pipeline or inter-board communication for parallel processing
  • Direct-to-drive and software RAID for NVMe drives
  • 100Gb Ethernet I/O supporting Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over converged Ethernet (RoCE) which offloads local or distant CPUs for ‘atomic’ burst data transactions

Folded ‘Origami’ leads to unprecedented capabilities

To realise the incredible slot density fundamental to the X9 Venom Xeon D Host family, GMS pioneered, patented and refined a technique that takes a feature-rich, server-sized monolithic motherboard and “folds” it into stackable 3U-sized modules. Each module is carefully groomed for timing, signal integrity, EMI mitigation and maximum performance.

The X9 Venom PCBs are interconnected via ultra-high-speed board-to-board connectors that route signals such as PCIe Gen 4 between, and through, the modules with no speed degradation. GMS- technology allows nearly 40 lanes of PCIe to be routed effectively between all three boards.

“If open standards compliant modules like OpenVPX, SOSA, CMOSS, HOST and more are required to comply with the MOSA (modular open standards approach) DoD mandate, the X9 Venom Xeon D Host family is the single best embedded computer to meet the high-performance computing and networking requirements of the modern battlefield,” Sharfi said “GMS’ Venom SBCs do more in one or two slots than the other guys using a whole chassis.”

Visit GMS this week at AFCEA West 2023 in San Diego

The X9 Venom Xeon D Host is one of several technologies GMS will feature at AFCEA West 2023 in San Diego, February 14-16.

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