SKY Computers' Thunderbolt Embedded Computer Sets New Standards for Speed, Reliability, Price/Performance

1/20/2003 - SKY ComputersTM Inc., a subsidiary of Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ: ALOG), announced ThunderboltTM a new generation of embedded computers that deliver unprecedented levels of scalability, reliability and price/performance for demanding applications. Field-tested packaging and connector technologies make the new 6U and 9U Thunderbolt VME boards deployment-ready for harsh environments, leveraging advanced stiffening technologies to increase vibration tolerance. Thunderbolt is aggressively priced 30 percent below currently available high performance embedded computers.

“SKY Computers is taking the lead in addressing the new demands of the embedded computer buyer,” said Don Barry, president of SKY Computers. “The days of sacrificing reliability for bleeding edge technology are gone. Our customers want 99.999 percent uptime, and they want it with very fast computing power. The system needs to be packaged for their application, and priced aggressively. SKY has produced the most reliable, best cost/performance computer systems on the market. Thunderbolt represents up to a 70 percent price/performance improvement over products currently on the market.”

The Thunderbolt family uses the 500 MHz PowerPC MPC7410 microprocessor and the ANSI/VITA standard SKYchannel interconnect fabric, delivering optimal computing and I/O performance. The advanced SKYvec® software development environment provides tools that simplify complex multiprocessor programming. The 6U Thunderbolt V-600 is configured with one compute module of four MPC7410’s and one optional I/O module. The 9U Thunderbolt V-900 can be configured with up to four compute modules of four MPC7410’s (16 processors). The Thunderbolt V-900 includes a built-in I/O module.

The new Thunderbolt family of embedded computers is 100 percent compatible with SKY’s previous SKYbolt® family of products. Customers can easily upgrade to the new Thunderbolt family without re-writing their applications.

“The Thunderbolt family of systems solves our demanding signal and imaging processing problems, delivering competitive advantages and cost savings over offerings from Mercury Computer Systems,” said Ash Law, president of SensorCom, Inc., a SKY integrator. “This latest offering is further evidence that SKY is committed to continued product enhancements and upgrades that support long program lifecycles characteristic within military and defense programs.”

Thunderbolt Overview
Thunderbolt boards and systems are designed with reliability built in. Battlefield ready to withstand high levels of vibration and temperature, Thunderbolt boards use the latest packaging, connector and heat dissipation technologies.

Features and specifications:

SKY Computers’ ThunderboltTM is a modular and scalable family of 6U and 9U VME boards and systems. A 6U Thunderbolt delivers 16 GLFOPS per board, a 9U Thunderbolt delivers 64 GFLOPS per board. A VME 9U Thunderbolt system of 16 Thunderbolt boards delivers up to one TFLOPS in a single chassis. Thunderbolt systems use the ANSI/VITA standard SKYchannel packet bus to continually keep the high performance processors operating at peak efficiency between boards and chassis.

Advanced SKYvec® development tools simplify code development for large multiprocessor systems by automating many of the processes which otherwise would burden the systems programmer. SKYvec eliminates the need for developing costly and time consuming software ports, requires minimal training, and simplifies the application development tasks, which means that new applications can be implemented in one-third to one-half the time required by other systems.

The Thunderbolt architecture utilizes a System Processor (SP) to off-load system-level functions from the compute processors. The 33 MHz i960HD increases the performance of the SP by 33 percent over previous SKY products. The large flash memory of the SP provides a Fast Boot capability which results in 10 second Fast Boot for start up and initialization. Because the boards all boot in parallel, the SKY Fast Boot capability allows an entire 16 board, 256 processor system to start a typical SAR application in 10 seconds instead of the 7 minutes commonly required by other systems. This is key in real-time mission-critical applications, where the length of time in starting or re-starting a system can mean missing a potential threat or target.

Thunderbolt 6U and 9U VME embedded computers will be available for shipment in the second quarter of 2003.

About SKY Computers
SKY Computers, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Analogic Corporation, is a leading supplier of embedded high performance computer systems. SKY’s commercial-off-the-shelf products meet the embedded computing requirements for subsurface, surface, airborne, and space applications. Advanced technologies are combined with an open system architecture to provide solutions for demanding government electronics, industrial inspection, medical imaging, and security applications.

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